Tag Archives: Judy Steffes

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Hartford City Hall addresses five cases of COVID

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

West Bend Parks Commission approves changes regarding dogs in City parks

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update to Dogs in City of West Bend Parks

Ordinance to be updated:

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

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

Update:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remodeling update at Wallace Lake Supper Club

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

County Highway Department honors Ben Falter            By Ethan Hollenberger

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

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

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

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

New town board chair in Town of Barton

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

Resolution 20-004

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

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

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

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

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

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

PASSED and ADOPTED this 21st day of July 2020:

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

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

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

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

Jim Geldreich receives Wisconsin Award              By Carroll Merry

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

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

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

Horicon Bank announces new Senior Vice President | By Grace Bruins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What does Briggs & Stratton bankruptcy filing mean for Germantown facility

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

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

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

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

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

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

Below is the Briggs & Stratton bankruptcy announcement courtesy Market Watch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tracking down some Fleet Farm history

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

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

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

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

West Bend History is Fleeting!

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

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

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

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

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

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

A couple other bullet points to keep in mind:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mike Duckett <mduckett@millerparkdistrict.com>

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

To: Judy Steffes <judy@washingtoncountyinsider.com>

Subject: Miller Park District

Hi, Judy:

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

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

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

Thanks,    Michael R. Duckett, P.E.

Executive Director

Miller Park District

Miller Park

One Brewers Way

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

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

See story below from July 10, 2020.

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

Miller Park statement

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

The Associated Press reported:

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

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

Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann issued the following statement:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mary Gumm is now banking on retirement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weather has had minimal impact on department contractor schedule.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Washington Co. Dist. 22 Supervisor resigns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Memories of the old Fleet Farm in West Bend

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

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

Tammy Matter-Clyse Kinda heartbroken 💔

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

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

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

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

Brad Kuhn The “dated” bathroom 😝

Di M Man Sad! My dads 2nd home!

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

Dean Pok Loved the buckets catching water when it rained.

Sharon Brand Narrow aisles and the small-town feel

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

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

Jerry Bohmer Always liked the smell of the new tires lol

Lori Rieger The smell of tires.

Dan Kindler Not going to miss that store for a second

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

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

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

Laurie Wagner The smell when you first walked in!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Fleet Farm to be razed this week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The old Fleet Farm building was constructed in 1968.

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

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

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

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

This week the Associated Press reported:

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

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

Washington County Executive Josh Schoemann issued the following statement:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ozaukee County Fair cancelled

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Man who drowned on Big Cedar Lake identified

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

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

According to the radio station web page:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Jenny Roemer

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

 

 

Washington Co. Dist. 22 Supervisor resigns

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Memories of DQ in West Bend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

D.j. Kleinke photo of curly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

History of DQ in West Bend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Previous DQ in West Bend timeline:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paying tribute to Washington County Judge Richard T. Becker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Public Works Announces Electronics Recycling Event

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

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

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

Mickey’s Frozen Custard in Hartford reopens after fire

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

St. Frances Cabrini shares inspiring news about SFC alumni

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

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

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

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

KARA CONLEY

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

ZACHARY GALANTE

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

RACHEL KRUEPKE

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

West Bend Police searching segment of Eisenbahn State Trail

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

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

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

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

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

Saying goodbye to Schwai’s in Cedarburg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Slinger School District to release survey results about fall reopening

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catholic Schools across Washington County to reopen in fall 2020

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

Dear Parents,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely yours in Christ,

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

Electrical fire temporarily closes Mickey’s Custard in Hartford  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

According to reports from the scene:

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

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

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

According to Dodge County Administrator James Mielke

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VFW presents Scout of the Year Award

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Below is a list of caveats:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

USDA releases West Bend Deer Management report 2019/2020

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

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

Cedar Community announces phased approach to reopening

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#CedarCommunityStrong

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Weiss described the building, as “architecturally perfect.”

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

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

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

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

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

On Monday, June 8 a confirmation note was received.

Good Morning Judy,

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

All the best,   Louis Lessor

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

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

Sandy Paws Dog Park opens at Sandy Knoll

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Covid pause affects some construction in West Bend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New County Highway M bridge now open

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

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

The County Highway M bridge reopened Friday, June 5.

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

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

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

Updates & Tidbits

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rotarians are people of action!

Chucky Fellenz of West Bend has died

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

For years Fellenz was a fixture on the corner of Decorah and Main Street in West Bend. He worked two shifts daily during the school year and crossed about 200 kids a day.

“Every day was the best,” said Fellenz. “I loved my corner; there was no sitting in the car reading papers. I had hundreds of kids a day and they come really fast. I never had a kid get hit.”

This past April Chuck celebrated his 80th birthday.

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

Below is a story from March 2016 when Washington County got socked with a late-season snowstorm and Chucky Fellenz dashed out of the house to go to work.

The robins are flitting around the late winter white saying, “What are this?” The hearty purple crocus are pushing their faces through the heavy blanket of ice and Chucky Fellenz wife shakes her head as her little boy leaves the house in a fluorescent lime green jacket, hat and shorts.

“I put my pants away three weeks ago,” said Fellenz with confidence. “I just had a lady roll down her window and yell at me. I hollered back ‘I’m not cold.’”

Fellenz has been working the corner of Decorah and Main as a crossing guard in West Bend about a dozen years and he’s not gonna let Mother Nature tell him what for.

On Wednesday afternoon school kids ducked their heads as they braced against the pelting rain. Traffic moved slowly as windshield wipers pushed away the heavy, damp snow and Fellenz knew enough to stay 2-feet back from the curb.

“These cars come along and they hit that puddle and the water carries up over in a good slosh,” he said.

White chicken legs exposed to the elements, Fellenz gives a sharp blow to his whistle, lifts his stop sign and safely crosses students to the opposite side of Main Street.

He dances back up on the sidewalk, his white tennis shoes soaked. He’s a poster boy for every mother’s winter-wardrobe nightmare.

“My wife bought me a pair of heated gloves,” he said. “I got them on low. Put your hand in here.

“My ears may get a little cold, but the rest of me is just fine.”

Thank you Chucky Fellenz for all your years of service and keeping children safe in West Bend.

Below is a tribute from his niece Tiffany Fellenz.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

July 4 fireworks may be in jeopardy in West Bend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

According to Fox6now.com

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

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

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

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

See the note from Village President Kevin Scheunemann below.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Details will be emailed to all current ticket holders.

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

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

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

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

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

The property is currently for sale for $1.7 million.

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

Lease Rate $14.00 -16.00/SF Net

Washington County elected officials support cancelation of Washington County Fair

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dollar General moving into Dove Plaza in Slinger       By Ann Bauer

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

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

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

Tuesday Morning to remain open in West Bend

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

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

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

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

Lazy days of summer

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

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

Tom Schwai sets new fish fry record at Fillmore Fire Hall

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

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

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Final sale price for former Fleet Farm building in West Bend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other details from the Kwik Trip:

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

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

Oaken Hogg bourbon bar opening in downtown West Bend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Dear Volunteers & Community Partners,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With Gratitude,

Janean Brudvig

 

Help needed finding sentimental property stolen in West Bend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guest Editorial | Looking for leadership                          By Kraig Sadownikow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enchantment in the Park makes donation to local food pantries

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teachers at St. Frances Cabrini channel a summer camp tradition

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

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

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

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

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

The teachers made 27 visits.

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

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

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

Sunday morning flight in West Bend

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

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

Interfaith Caregivers hosts Drive-thru Percolate to celebrate volunteers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Is a new event center a possibility for West Bend?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Public meeting March 19 for WIS 60 rehabilitation

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

Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School rolls out virtual education plan

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

Administration shared the letter below with students and parents.

Dear KML Family,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Private School Choice Programs

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

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

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

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

WI Department of Instruction Website

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fatal accident in Germantown under investigation      By Germantown Police Department

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

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

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

Bond set at $500,000 for Town of Kewaskum woman facing possible homicide charge

A $500,000 cash bond has been set in Washington County Circuit Court for a 50-year-old Town of Kewaskum woman in connection with the death of a 43-year-old man this week at a home on County Highway H.

According to reports from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department the woman was arrested Monday, March 11 for the alleged homicide of her husband. The death reportedly occurred during a domestic dispute.

During the bail hearing Judge Todd Martens said “there was probable cause” that the woman did “commit a crime.”

In an effort for the state to finalize its charging decision the next hearing will be March 27 at 11:15 a.m. No charges were issued during the Friday, March 13 court appearance.

According to the Washington County Sheriff, deputies were called to the home on Wednesday, March 11, 2020, at 9:20 a.m. after receiving a 911 call from the suspect.  The suspect was arrested at the scene without incident.  The deceased victim was located inside the home by the first responding officers. The preliminary investigation suggests he suffered a stab wound during the altercation.

The woman accused in the case is currently being held at the Washington County Jail.

The Sheriff said the incident is still under investigation as they await the results of the autopsy.

The sheriff’s office requested charges of 1st-degree intentional homicide. “Our office has been working closely with the Washington County District Attorney’s Office to maintain the integrity of the investigation,” said Sheriff Martin Schulteis.

The sheriff’s office would like to thank the Kewaskum Police and Fire Department, the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Washington County Medical Examiner’s Office for the assistance in this investigation.

West Bend H.S. band trip to Italy canceled because of “international health concerns”

The West Bend School Board voted Monday, March 9 on a list of extended trips for students. This June, high school band students were prepping to go to Italy. According to board documents “a revised band trip that will occur in June of 2020.  This trip is rescheduled due to international health concerns.”

According to the World Health Organization the Italian government has issued a quarantine of northern Italy and it’s implementing a lockdown on tourism. The measures are tied to attempts to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

It appears the board will vote Monday to approve a band trip this June to Hawaii.

Background:

Students in our High Schools have the opportunity to participate in a variety of experiences to extend and apply their learning which require travel outside the State of Wisconsin or even outside of the United States.  As in past years teachers and co-curricular coaches are seeking opportunities to take students to the following locations during the 2020-21 school year. The trips on this list are those that have yet to be approved by the school board.

High school administrators have met with the staff proposing the trips to verify information required and. Building and district administration have reviewed the details of the trip relative to the Board policies and Administrative Rule 352.1 and support the participation in these experiences.  It should be noted that 352.1 AR includes procedures to review the status of the trip at least 25 days prior to departure.

This request for approval also includes a revised band trip that will occur in June of 2020.  This trip is rescheduled due to international health concerns.

West Bend School Board to vote on updating science textbook

On Monday, March 9 the West Bend School Board will vote on updating science textbook.

There was a curriculum update, February 24, presented by Kevin Hyde, Laura Jackson, Robert Muelbauer, and Timothy Harder.

Members of the community were invited to give feedback and the topic generating the most comments involved the new science textbooks.

Instructor Muelbauer said several science teachers from the high school had gone on learning walks and there was a lot of discussion about Badger and Silverbrook.

“We were at Silverbook looking at the amplified curriculum and how they interacted with science and eventually we’ll get those kids through Badger and at the high school but currently we’re dealing with some textbooks that are 15, 18, and 20 years maybe since we’ve gotten a new one and in no way does it resemble the way they would interact with the primary resource at those grade levels,” said Muelbauer. “So, that’s part of the main driver of wow we need to really up our game here to meet the kids where they’re at and so we can build them from there.”

Laura Jackson said the board will be asked to purchase the textbooks on March 9.

“All of the major textbook companies will have a biology-specific textbook,” said Jackson. “There’s also a way to purchase unit by unit.”

“Our state standard testing for science has been very high,” said board  member Kurt Rebholz. “So obviously there’s been many right decisions along the lines for many years to select the right curriculum to prepare our students for their next level.”

There was community feedback from a handful of neighbors. “We tried to make it as convenient for parents as possible and nobody showed up but at night five community members were there,” said Jackson. “The comments related to the textbook are below.”

Jackson clarified the meeting times for the public to review the potential new Biology instructional resource: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020 from 6:45 a.m. – 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. “There was a late night meeting by request,” said Jackson.

“The times selected were intended when parents were coming to pick up or drop off students so they could potentially stay a little longer and hopefully make that work for them,” said Jackson.

The textbook being reviewed was over 100 pages in length and there was supplementary resource also available for review which includes a student journal or a glossary of terms. “Generally we have a window of time so people can choose to spend as much time as they want. Some end up coming back.”

Jackson said several notifications went out about the book review time: “Student information system sends a biweekly newsletter to families; it goes to every family in the district unless a family has blocked it. That email total is in the thousands. It also went to school messenger through Badger families and high school families – freshman and sophomore. The number of student families receiving that would be in the thousands. A notification was also posted on the district Facebook page, so the general public would be notified.” Jackson did not know how many times that notification was posted.

Questioned about how encouraging it was to send out notification to thousands and have five people participate. “That turnout is pretty consistent,” said Jackson. ”

The board asked no questions about the specific community feedback.

A couple bullet points on topic:

– Jackson said the “public comments (above) will be shared with the teachers when they begin training.”

– Jackson addressed the parent concerns. “We have evidence our glaciers are melting or pieces are falling off and when you look historically we have had changes we refer to as ice ages and stuff like that over the history of the earth, where we have evidence of glaciers coming down. It is theory and it is presented as a theory,” said Jackson. “I’m going to have to look at the resource and look at the standards.”

– “If this resource purchase is approved then we will move forward with our training and we will look at if we’ll tweak any of our sections and provide specific evidence or are we going to handle it as is,” said Jackson.

– Jackson said instructors would be trained “partially in June and partially in August.”

– After the meeting Muelbauer said he didn’t have time for a couple questions because he was hungry.

-Board member Paul Fischer said he had not seen the textbook in question, however he was traveling out of state and would catch up on his return.

-Board member Chris Zywgart said he had not seen the textbook nor the parent comments.

-Emails were sent to the rest of the board and as of 10 p.m. Sunday there was no response.

-The board will vote Monday, March 9 on the textbooks. Jackson said the input review from the community was posted in the board members Board Docs information.

-The board votes to approve the text as the resource and the dollars,” said Jackson. “It’s not typical for the board to have physically reviewed all the textbooks. You call around and ask other districts and other school boards; do they actually sit down and review the textbooks. Only those who ask, that’s typical. They’re approving the resource and they’re trusting their admin to move forward with a resource that will meet the student need.”

Jackson also noted, the question below that was in student learning material has been addressed and removed.

“The Problem: Mr. and Mrs. Jones have been married eighty years. During this time, Mrs. Jones has had three children. Recently Mr. Jones found out that Mrs. Jones has been secretly dating another man, Mr. Smith, throughout their marriage. Mr. Jones now questions if he is truly the father of the three children. Using a blood sample from Mr. Jones, Mrs. Jones, Mr. Smith, and each of the three children, determine if any of the three children are Mr. Smith’s, and not Mr. Jones’.

Letter to the Editor | Oscar Estrada for District 7 alderman in West Bend | By Derek Brzeski

To whom it may concern,

I spent 26 years growing up in West Bend; Fair Park Elementary, Badger Middle School, and am a proud West Bend West Spartan – class of 2004. Through those years I had the pleasure of watching the city grow and flourish. I still remember when the highway exit for Paradise Drive was nothing but farm fields.  Years later, well into my professional career, I had the privilege of working with Oscar Estrada as part of Continuous Improvement team for a food manufacturing company. Oscar was not only the Director of my team spanning 7 plants, but also a coach and a mentor for me.

During that time, Oscar’s strengths and leadership skills were showcased. These strengths were grounded in leadership, problem solving, and people skills.

Oscar was able to lead teams from shop-floor employees to senior leadership, from small to large group sizes, and from many different cultural backgrounds. Leading these teams required identifying and utilizing each and everyone’s strengths as well as motivating the teams to work together to reach a common goal. To solve a problem and drive bottom line cost savings both creating stability and growth potential for a company.  Oscar had the innate ability to keep people motivated and build excitement and eagerness for change.  To build trust and relationships.

These skills are found in strong Six Sigma professionals, and are no doubt, accelerators in a strong representative for a collective group of people within the community. I have complete confidence Oscar will utilize all the above strengths and abilities to serve the city and municipality greatly. To deliver cost savings and lower taxes. To develop relationships, to seek improvements and change, and to keep people excited to call West Bend “home.”

Mr. Oscar Estrada will receive my vote for District 7 Alderman.

Derek Brzeski  West Bend

Letter to the Editor | Overview of Dist. 7 aldermanic candidate Oscar Estrada | By Keli Ismajlaj

I’ve known Oscar Estrada for approximately 27 years. We met in College in 1993 and became close friends soon thereafter.   Initially, what drew us together was our dedication to family, work and education. After college we’ve kept in touch and worked together at several companies. On company in particular was Federal Mogul lighting in Franklin Park. They were struggling and losing over $6 million yearly.  They hired Oscar to get them out of their financial predicament. Oscar is very good at looking at situations and figuring how to best make changes that increase profits.

For example reviewing and reducing the follow,

Over producing or spending, Excess inventory, Scrap Overtime in the labor force, and Expediting freight. He is very passionate and motivates people with his vision.  In order to address the above issues he had to change the way of thinking.

First, he spent time with all the managers and employees.  Explaining how the current way of business was not in the company’s best interest.  Then he creates teams to do special events.  Once the teams accomplished their goals they’d celebrate.  This had a positive effect in the company culture and made it easier for other projects.

Second, Oscar gathered all the vendors and informed them of his vision and how we were going to control purchasing and incoming inventory.

Third, had the vendors come to the plant and showed them our Kanban or Pull system for ordering. This had a positive effect with the vendors and with our plant. Doing all this within 2+ years the plant went from losing $6M+ to making $2M.

I can go on and on about all the things that Oscar has accomplished but, I just gave a small insight into his capabilities.

That being said, I believe Oscar would be a great asset to the community. Between being a devoted husband and father who supports his daughters in their education and sports.

Some key attributes I believe he has and are very important to run a community and city are:

Creating team concepts, he knocks down barriers between departments so everyone is working for the better good. Being a Master Black Belt in Six Sigma, has skill sets that most do not have.

Thinks outside the box.  Many people have limited skill sets.  Oscar has worked in many industries and has prevailed.  As mentioned before with improvements that have a major positive effect on the company’s bottom line and morale.

Finally, another example of his effect on people, to this day some of our key professors from college still call on him to socialize or make a class presentation.

I hope this letter gives you some insight into the man Oscar Estrada.

Sincerely,

Keli Ismajlaj

Chicago, Illinois

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Look WHOOOooooo is back!

For the third year in a row a Great Horned owl is nesting in what looks like an old vent in the side of a building in West Bend. The photo below was snapped this week by Greg Lofy from ASP Images.

Mary Holleback is one of the educators at Riveredge Nature Center in Newburg. “The owls have already had their eggs and they’ve already hatched,” said Holleback. “At this point they’re little fluff balls. Give it a week or two and you might see a few heads poking up in there.”

Holleback said the owls are done mating, they’ve laid their eggs and they’ve hatched and there’s a chance the owls have some soft down on them already.

The website asknature.org has a great article on the feathers of an owl and how it aids in reducing noise in flight to make the owl a silent predator.

This fringe breaks up the air further as it flows off the trailing edge, resulting in a large reduction in aerodynamic noise. Then, any remaining noise that would be detectable by the owl’s prey is absorbed by velvety down feathers on the owl’s wings and legs. These soft feathers absorb high frequency sounds that most prey, as well as humans, are sensitive to. All together, these feather features enable owls to remain undetected when they fly.

Temperatures this March 2020 have been rather mild, even though overnight temps have dropped below freezing. “This is the way it is every year with the owls trying to get a head start on the season,” said Holleback. “The Great Horns are the first ones to mate in Wisconsin and towards the end of the month the barred owls and screech owls will start nesting too. The Great Horns start early because it takes so long for their young to get mature enough to take off and get on their own before the end of summer. The owlets need to be self-sufficient before winter.”

While one owl has been spotted so far this season, Holleback said “usually the same adult pair come back to the same spot.”

“Say, last year they had a brood and if successful those young will fledge and they will disperse; they won’t go too far but the young don’t usually take the nest site from the adults,” said Holleback. “If the adults were not successful and the young died or froze to death then they usually look for another location. The whole name of the game is to reproduce and make more offspring for the next generation.”

Located below the nesting site is a rather graphic collection of last night’s dinner.  Owls will take in food and then yack up hair and bones and what not; a lot of that is in a small grassy area right under the nest. (you have been warned). If you happen by and don’t see the mother owl, take a look in the surrounding trees by the Milwaukee River. That’s good hunting area for them.

No. 5 Kwik Trip moving forward in West Bend

The West Bend Plan Commission, minus two members, at the Tuesday night meeting unanimously moved forward with Kwik Trip No. 5. The latest proposal is for a Kwik Trip to be built at 1613 and 1637 W. Washington Street at the former location of Fleet Farm.

A rendering of the design was submitted to Plan Commission and Kwik Trips Troy Mleziva walked us through what the layout will look like.

“The store will face north toward Washington Street and the fuel canopy will be closest to Washington Street. It’ll be built pretty much where the Fleet Farm building sat along with the old Tri Par,” he said.

“We’re taking a bunch of green space and adding it to the south of the property to create a buffer with the neighbors on Concord Lane.”

The space on the hill to the east of 18th Avenue will have some green space added and some will remain paved as there’s a possibility for more development, possibly a restaurant. “We don’t have anything determined yet, or the zoning but current zoning is commercial,” said Mleziva.

There will be shared-access driveways on 18th Avenue and three entrance/exit on W. Washington Street. If you drive past the location there is quite a drop off in elevation on the property. Mleziva said that is going to be changed. “The grade change between the old Fleet Farm base elevation and the new Kwik Trip is about four to five feet,” he said.

Only one neighbor, Lois Biron, spoke during the public hearing. Biron has lived on Concord Lane for 20 years. Concord abuts the western edge of the new Kwik Trip.

Biron was concerned with the development design that would remove a 50-foot tall line of Evergreen trees and how the new store would be about 60-feet off the property line.

She said another concern was there would now be ongoing traffic since the store would be open seven days a week and the reports to the Plan Commission showed a 75% increase in traffic to the area and even more if a restaurant will be built.

“Kwik Trip is a 24-7 operation and we’ll no longer have holidays with no noise or quiet at night and with added development there are added concerns,” said Biron. “From 15th Avenue and 18th Avenue there are other businesses coming in and our concern is this will be another Paradise Drive. This will directly impact the enjoyment we have along with the four other neighborhoods behind us.”

Biron was primarily concerned about the noise and how they would be able to hear things in the summer when their windows would be open. “We accept Kwik Trip,” said Biron. “But still have concerns about a number of things.”

Plan Commission member Jed Dolnick expressed concern about the exterior speakers. Initially the plan said the speakers would be turned off from 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. Representatives from Kwik Trip quickly complied with his request that the speakers be turned off from 9 p.m. – 7 a.m.

Dolnick also put to rest rumors about how City government worked with regard to who could open a business and what the alternatives would be concerning the possible reuse of the old Fleet Farm building.

The timetable on development of Kwik Trip No. 5 has yet to be determined. Mleziva said the old Fleet still needs to be razed but the early thought is they’d like to have the store open “some time next year” in 2021.

Other details from the Kwik Trip:

– There will be 56 parking spaces and 6 handicap parking spots at the W. Washington Street location

– There is a car wash at the W. Washington Street location

– Construction will start this year, 2020, on the Kwik Trip No. 3 and No. 4 locations in West Bend. Mleziva said the two projects may be “staged at the same time” but he was not aware which will be started or completed first.

Kettle Moraine Lutheran wins Regional Final against Lake Country Lutheran   By Megan Himm

Twenty-four hours after playing USM, Kettle Moraine Lutheran (KML) took on the Lake Country Lutheran (LCL) Lightning for the regional finals of the Division 3 WIAA 2020 Boys Basketball Tournament. The Chargers were able to come out victorious with a final score, 74 – 67.

Both schools went into the game with equal records of 20–3. KML’s No. 2 seed allowed them to play No. 3 LCL at home. The stands were packed and additional bleachers were pulled out to accommodate the large crowd. The energy translated to the court and was felt by the players.

The game started slow with neither team scoring for the first two minutes. LCL was the first to score.

With three minutes left in the first half, the Chargers were able to tie the Lightning. By halftime, the Chargers were up 35 – 32.

Senior Cole Biesterfeld describes the comeback, “We were down by a lot right away, but we had the will to come back. At the end of the day, it comes down to working hard and that’s what we did. We’ve been playing together for a really long time and we know each other so it just kicked in. That chemistry created the comeback.”

Leading the Charges in scoring was Jacob Stoltz with 28 points. Austin Wagner followed with 17 and Austin Schaff finished with 16.

Looking ahead, Biesterfeld said, “We just won our second regional final. We can enjoy that today, but we have bigger plans. We have to look onto our next game and get ready for that.”

An upset resulted in No. 4 Brown Deer defeating No. 1 Dominican at home with a final, 103 – 102. The Chargers will play Brown Deer on March 12 at Brown Deer.

Public hearing regarding special assessment for neighbors on 18th Avenue in West Bend

It appeared almost all of the 70 homeowners and their spouses were in attendance at Monday night’s West Bend Common Council meeting as a public hearing was held on a special assessment for neighbors in the Westminster Place subdivision located in the area of Decorah Road and 18th Avenue. The special assessment is tied to road improvements on 18th Avenue between Decorah Road and Vogt Drive along with curb and gutter, street lights, sidewalk, etc. About 85 properties are included in the special assessment.

The group appeared in an organized effort to try and convince the council to back off on a special assessment that could tag properties an additional $1,757.14 to $5,449.47 to over $16,000. That last increase is for an address that houses a non-profit organization on 18th Avenue.

Brett Berquist kicked off the public hearing with a list of prior court cases, details of municipal code, and developers’ agreements.

Steve Ahles – 9,600 vehicles per day use 18th Ave. Subdivision is 70 homes. Deficiencies in the road. 18th Ave has had a rural cross section and the subdivision not the reason why it should be an urban road. Road is generally flat, if our subdivision were the reason for this or make sure we’re safe then why take until 2019 to open the road.  Few N & S arterial streets in WB. Next road is 2 mi to the east. Allows travel from Paradise Drive biz and serves as alternate to US 45. Would adding a bike lane to two blocks of road make it safer for bikers. How much do adjacent property owners benefit vs the traveling public. Please consider who really benefit from the reconstruction of 18th Avenue. Go back, sharpen your pencil and rework your numbers.

Brett Berquist – special benefits. Ignore those that support the people.

City engineer report shows direct benefits to subdivision.

No. 1 – curb and gutter result in improved roadway. The subdivision as some reverse frontage lots. New curb and gutter benefits the entity who pays for it. After road done the city became responsible for maintenance.

No. 2 – pedestrian and bicycle access. S. 18th Ave. is part of larger network of bike and walking trails.

No. 3 – wider road for improved vehicle capacity. When does increased number equal benefit to subdivision.  Basically road is no wider than it was – other than

No. 4 – improved emergency vehicle access

No. 5 – improved safety with street lighting. Only helps drivers and not property owners.

No 6 – benefits have to be articulated and detailed showing an uncommon advantage. Developer would waive future rights and there’s wording in developers agreement. Reconstruct 18th Avenue on “some future date.”

Clear on provisions in state statutes – the use of a special assessment to recoup costs. This would not pass legal scrutiny.

Comments – in 2017 as part of design process – the traffic forecast was 8300 cars in 2013. More vehicles from community use 18th Ave than residents of subdivision.

Arterial road – 18th Ave benefits general public – 2020 land use plan – any street must move people efficiently and safely and provide direct access to homes.

Heavy volumes of traffic can’t be in a subdivision.

A street with heavy traffic is not attractive for neighboring subdivisions.

Other cities have chosen special assessments – except on two blocks of Eighth Avenue.

Not a benefit to Westminster Place Subdivision.

Tim Riedl –It’s obvious any sort of road improvement helps the city overall. There are times in life when you have the right to do something or it’s the right thing to do. In this case this is clearly not the case. Please do the right thing when making a decision.

Harry Shaw –  Examine the issue of special assessment through a different lens. First word is integrity. Definition according to Webster – an unimpaired condition. Two examples – website gets hacked and impaired. It no longer has integrity. Military code broken it’s compromised. The issue at hand is the local contract. I feel integrity was compromised when Joseph G. Altschaefl – was part of the Plan Commission and then the agreement was passed along to future property owners. I firmly believe this was not an oversight.  No. 2 ethical – conforming to accepted standards of conduct. City has to file rules for state statutes of conduct. To not follow these would compromise the city’s responsibilities. I find it incomprehensible the city engineer is trying to pass off that the improvements are for our subdivision and not the city as a whole.

Bob Roecker – The city shall have the right to impose special assessments. It doesn’t say the city must.  We’re being assessed over $11,000; this increases speed and volume of traffic and we have to do snow removal. This benefits all of West Bend.  Why isn’t the cost distributed evenly among all taxpayers? Are all road improvements in the city of WB financed by special assessments? Then if not – why this one? This money doesn’t fall from the sky. This isn’t fair or ethical. I hope you will decide to levy this tax on all taxpayers evenly.

John Peterson – 18th and Schloemener – few years ago received notice that I’m from the government and I’m here to help you. I attended public hearings. I raised objections. Was told this would be for the greater good of the city. A hill was created in my yard and I lost five trees and now there’s 150 feet of sidewalk that I must shove. Lived on corner since 1989. I paid school taxes even though my family has gone to private schools since ????.  Why should I be charge for a street that I only use a couple times a week.  My assessment is $13,000.

Lay Rosenheimer – board of directors of Friends, Inc. In existence for 42 years and shelter is on S. 18th Avenue. Not in the subdivision but on 18th. This is a non-profit agency. Operate 20 bed shelter for people experience abuse and human trafficking. Provide 7,000 bed nights annually. Shelter and transitional living make up half of annual budget of $480,000.

As the rest of residents impacted – we have an assessment of just under $15,000 and that’s a crippling amount. We don’t receive county support anymore but do receive United Way funding. I’m asking this committee to reconsider charge to Friends, Inc. It’s the largest amount for all homeowners involved. We were cut out of county budget in 2017. These families experience trauma in their homes and if we were not here to provide this. Our budget is set on grants, donations. To relay the cost to our services – it could me a loss of 428 advocacy sessions. 441 education lessons. This loss would be felt throughout the county.

Lay’s words – I’ve been a city resident for 26 years and in the county for 60 years. We have problems in our community and we exist to help victims of the crimes. This is a substantial assessment and this is a nice road but it’s difficult. This agency relies on donations, grants and an assessment like this is damaging.

Louie Santini – this is an arterial roadway joining north and south West Bend to the west. The special benefits have been challenged. These benefit the general public. City six statements – curb and gutter on 18th Ave. Subdivision was already designed with water diversion easements. Helping other modes of transportation. This will benefit the city as a whole. Improved vehicle capacity with wider roads – will that rally benefit the subdivision? Improve emergency vehicle access – that’s not improved just if the road is new. Lights help road and not Westminster. City is asking developer that there’s a special benefit to Westminster. Without acknowledgement the project would have been denied. The road was widened on Eighth Avenue but no special assessment happened there.

No sunset provision in this developer’s agreement. Will this go on into perpetuity. Developers agreement says city MAY not SHALL issue a special assessment. We ask respectfully to vote no to resolution

Douglas Kieckhafer – lifelong 626 S. Eighth Avenue. I’ve traveled 18th many times. As I heard about this – when I drive through 18th from Decorah – every time I think how ridiculous this type of assessment would be. The people here that are affected have been well behaved. If I had been living in that area – or the non-profit I would be quite upset. My concern is this setting a precedent. Might you start doing this elsewhere. One important thing – 9,600 cars per day and something says the subdivision people in attendance are small. Other people are benefiting… as are the businesses on Paradise Drive. How ridiculous this assessment is. Who ever would go along with this should be ashamed of themselves.

Following about 45 minutes worth of comments the public hearing was closed.

The council then discussed the issue for about 15 minutes hashing over items like the developer’s agreement, state statute and escrow.

“This is a tough situation here and I feel sorry for all these residents because of one person, the developer,” said District 1 alderman John Butschlick. “If we relinquish and say we won’t hold them accountable then in the last minute the city has no rhyme or reason – would it be the property owner or city.”

The council eventually voted unanimously to table the issue until the next meeting. After the meeting neighbors from the subdivision gathered in the entrance to City Hall. They praised each other for maintaining a professional demeanor and for giving the council “something to think about.”

“The feeling I got was the council members received a lot of information tonight,” said Westminster subdivision spokesman Louie Santini. “I didn’t think they felt they could make a decision on the resolution based on what they heard tonight. I think they will do their own research as to what’s the right thing to do in this situation. We truly believe this is not a fair assessment to S. 18th Avenue residents and the Westminster subdivision.”

West Bend Mayor Candidate Forum

The two candidates running for Mayor of West Bend, Chris Jenkins and Rich Kasten, participated in a candidate forum at City Hall.

Chris Jenkins – Married with five children. Dist. 4 alderman in West Bend. On finance committee and long-range planning committee. Pres. of WB Early Risers Kiwanis. Village Adm for Elmwood Park. Lots of experience. Lead our city to next decade.

Rich Kasten – Married with three grown children. Homeowner for 22 years. Grad of MU and working now as IT manager. Serving Dist. 5 alderman. Chaired public works and finance committee. Former member of CFAC committee, crime prevention patrol and on committees at St. Frances Cabrini. Budget and strategic planning.

With low unemployment businesses struggle – how do you entice talent?

RK – Vision I have for WB is to get us out of this bedroom community. Have WB be known as a great, safe, place to live, dine, work and play. At that point we’ll have better individuals to get to workforce.

CJ – Public safety, strong infrastructure and quality of life. A strategic plan can spread out to larger values. We need to be open-minded and have broad array of housing.

If City received $1 million grant how would it be used and why?

CJ – Roads. We’ve increased funding towards roads. The plus is our overall debt has been lowered by $40 million

RK – Roads is No. 1 issue. Also want to be cognizant we’re not doing roads at the expense of quality of life.

If elected will you follow through on riverbank restoration?

RK – yes, absolutely. The corridor between downtown and MOWA we’re lucky to have it. We need to continue the momentum.

CJ – We’re only half-way complete. It’s a great example of public and private partnership.

Deteriorating roads is a hot topic – will you spend more money than previous administration?

CJ – Yes, with a caveat that we have a plan in place. The advisory referendum gave us mixed results. We’re looking at efficiency and we don’t want to hinder tax burden.

RK – We’re realizing results of decreasing our debt and we’re getting space to use for roads. Need to look at different strategies. Don’t want to spend wildly. Maybe do smaller sections of road.

What’s the last job you succeeded in and how does that fit the mayoral position?

RK – we delivered our latest project on time and under budget. I have that experience to drive toward success and stay on target. That’s part of being a good mayor.

CJ – being a village admin one of the things we developed was a new strategic plan. We brought a group together to look at values and that made decision making process easier. We can do this too at City level.

What 3 steps to put City on firmer financial footing?

CJ – Create a strategic plan, make sure our budgets align to goals, and follow through.

RK – Continue following policies we’ve put in place on borrowing and spending. We have key components set so our bond rating is as solid as possible. Challenge our department heads. There shouldn’t be any fear to try new things. Work with Dept. Heads to address zombie issues and a strategic plan will help.

How are we welcoming to new and diverse population?

RK – residents of WB are welcoming. If we can get the message out for people looking for diversity and flag organizations like Casa Guadalupe. Wants Chamber of Commerce to return to a welcome wagon for new homeowners.

CJ – be welcoming through community development. Housing needs and support nonprofits and community events.

What are we spending too much on as a City and not enough money on?

CJ – We’ve done a good job at holding city departments accountable. Spending more money on infrastructure and public safety. Police, fire and medical services

RK – what do we spend too much on – I don’t think we do that. We provide more than enough for police and fire. Not spending enough on roads. It comes down to how we can best spend those dollars.

One thing at City level to impact future of WB

RK – getting involvement of residents. We have committees and commissions with smart people who can help. Most committees are advisory but they can help mold the city.  Growing involvement of the city.

CJ – create a strategic plan. Why our previous mayor succeeded with the task force, the goals and conservative fiscal discipline. Which includes citizen involvement and predictable spending.

Define a successful term

CJ – making sure the issues we face on city council are less burdensome. Create a plan and setting objectives and carry out the plan.

RK – Did I earn the respect of residents, employees and the council. That would say a lot for the success of the term. Did we achieve the challenges with measurable results. We have greater involvement by residents and committee.

The West Bend Mayoral race will be on the April 7 ballot in the City of West Bend. Rich Kasten will be listed first followed by Chris Jenkins. Voters are asked to cast one vote in this non-partisan race.

In-person absentee voting begins in the City of West Bend on Monday, March 16 and runs through Friday, April 3 at 5 p.m.  Remember to bring identification to the polls.

Neighbors complain about amount of dog waste on Eisenbahn State Trail in West Bend

There has been a growing number of complaints in West Bend regarding the amount of dog waste on the Eisenbahn State Trail and the downtown Riverwalk.

Warm, sunny weather brought a lot of people out to the trail on Saturday including bikers, runners and neighbors walking their dogs.

Bill Casey has lived in the Barton area since 1961. “I’ve got Douggie and Nellie with me,” he said about the dogs on the leash.

“Most people probably pick it up …. but there are those few,” he said.

Casey has his plastic bags for dog waste stored with the dog leashes so he remembers to take them every time he goes out. “If they had more garbage cans it would be nice, but there is a receptacle by the Train Depot; it’s not difficult to carry and then throw it in the garbage,” he said.

Between Highway 33 and Barton on Saturday there was a purple plastic bag of dog waste sitting on a bench. Several other blue plastic bags of waste had been tossed into trees and brush on either side of the Eisenbahn Trail.

Kathy Cira of West Bend was walking Riley around noon on Saturday. “We are on this trail all the time,” she said. “We live right off of Creek Road and we walk through here.”

“I really don’t appreciate seeing the waste left behind. Most of the dog owners I know do pick up,” Cira said.

Without any prompting Cira reached inside her jacked pocket and pulled out a number of blue, plastic bags. “These are really accessible to buy and I use the garbage facilities by Cast Iron,” she said.

‘Questioned how some of the bags of excrement end up in the trees or bushes or just left along the trail, Cira had one word. “Lazy,” she said. “People don’t care. I’ve lived here 15 years and this is annoying to see. I always pick up after my dog.”

Cira indicated West Bend was “a dog orientated community.”

“I really think the few are ruining it for the many,” she said.

There was some suggestions on how to reduce the instances of people leaving dog waste on the trail, both relied on more police presence. “I guess the police have to be out here more and if they see them fine them,” said Cira. “Make sure consequences are enforced.”

Casey echoed that thought. “They should have a guy on a bike riding patrol and giving out $250 tickets,” he said.

It was April 15, 2019 when the West Bend Common Council passed an ordinance allowing dogs on the Riverwalk.  Upon passage the council was clear this would be a one-year trial.

West Bend alderman candidate forum for Dist. 3 and Dist. 7

A candidate forum was held recently at West Bend City Hall. Candidates included Brett Berquist and Mary Ann Rzeszutek vying for Dist. 3 alderman and Oscar Estrada and Justice Madl vying for Dist. 7 alderman in the April 7 Spring Election.

Opening statements

Dist. 3 – Brett Berquist – Went to UWWC, 25 years in Military with three deployments, retired WBPD. Public safety, growing community and responsible with tax dollars. Top issue is roads and attracting new business.

Dist 7 – Oscar Estrada – Dist 7 – lived here 11 years with two daughters. Eucharist minister and member of Knights of Columbus.

Dist. 7 – Justice Madl – Incumbent. Business owner in Barton. Increased pressure on police department and be careful to remain safe. Work with new mayor, focus on roads and  and make Barton safe and clean.

Dist. 3 – Mary Ann Rzeszutek – Recently moved from NY. WB is a beautiful place to live. I have no agenda and can look strategically at issues. Works part time at WB public library. Want to be active member of community. Experience with local government. Was in manufacturing with Kodak Co.

What qualities do you bring to council that would benefit district and community?

OE – 29 years of experience and working with customers. I would work united. Would spend more time listening. Improve and grow WB. Quality of products and people and drive cost out but doing right thing for people of WB.

JM – Direct line to how people in district feel about issues

MAR – I’m a good problem solver. Good at communicating. Broad background. Experience to spend money wisely. I would treat taxpayer money like I do my own.

BB – I like working as a team. I can see the big picture and help communicate. As a former police officer I can think on my feet. I’m just one person but I want to work for taxpayers.

If your campaign is successful how will it affect area business?

JM – HBBA has put on 10 local events. Installed bike racks. I’m already doing it.

MAR – I have experience in biz and residents of Dist. 3 are concerned about empty stores. Thriving business means thriving community.

BB – Positive impact. I shop local. Work as a team and I’m going to rely on others and learn about developers agreements and special assessments. Look out for what’s best for the community.

OE – My strength is working with businesses around the world. I know how to develop growth and bring people into the city of West Bend. I’d look at marketing and our great safety factor. Key is to develop trust and respect, understanding, sincere, and providing time to listen to taxpayers to help grow home.

What’s more important building more homes and commercial space or rehabbing, expanding existing storefronts?

MAR – Using the existing storefronts and space is important. Effectively fill empty stores.

BB – It’s a fine line. We don’t want to be stagnant. Don’t want to limit housing. Empty buildings – it would be great to encourage business growth and development. Biz are in biz of making money. Yes, City is involved but important to allow them freedom to want to come here. Teamwork is important to get to the point to benefit biz and community.

OE – WB is home. Attractive part is the local stores. At times other businesses are needed. There are opportunities for us to grow.

JM – There has to be a combination. Can’t always afford to tear something down and build new. Bermico building needs to come down.

City roads are hottest topic in community. Should city spend more to address problem?

BB – We’ve been trying to address it. Important to be part of the solution. Instead of tearing up roads how about just resurface and make a short-term fix. If a road needs to be replaced then it has to be considered.

OE – If we can do assessment by district and look at worst roads by volume of vehicle. Try something different – look at it from total cost of operating. Review bidding process and rate bidders. Look at all corners of WB to please everybody.

JM – City has PASER rating to rate the roads. We’ve improved debt situation. Roads are tough.

MAR – Spoke to city engineer. There is an evaluation process along with traffic count. City has prioritized roads and it’s a good plan to follow. City does a good job to fix roads when it coincides with sewer and water repair. Suggests taxpayers may be ready to spend more.

One thing to be done at government level to have biggest impact on West Bend?

OE – Public safety. Want to make sure people feel safe.

JM – Staff. Work with new marketing person.

MAR – Better communication.

BB – Teamwork. The important thing is the taxpayers. People want someone to listen to them.

How are you different than other candidates?

JM – I have an ability to connect with my constituents.

MAR – I’m learning about the city, have an open mind and clean slate.

BB – I have strong communication skills.

OE – I’m more like a coach and help to get the best out of people.

What challenges has no one started discussing yet?

MAR – Safety and make sure WBPD and WBFD are funded adequately

BB – Where do we want to go from here. What are our priorities

OE – Barton Park improvements

JM – Improve downtown Barton

What does a successful term in office look like to you?

BB – Work on issues and find important things to address and work towards a better community for all.

OE – Build trust with constituents, provide support with businesses and increase activities for all ages.

JM – I’ve been very successful the last two years. New banners, bike racks, Christmas decor….

MAR – Have a good relationship with residents.

Polls open at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

First anchor tenant commits to new Water Street Suites in Downtown West Bend By Deb Reinbold

American Commercial Real Estate, an American Companies affiliate, has signed a 10-year lease to Stifel, one of the nation’s leading full-service wealth management and investment banking firms, for occupancy in the new Water Street Suites.

The anchor tenant is the first to commit to the new space, planning to occupy 7,035 square feet of Class A office space within the 15,500-square-foot facility. Both of Stifel’s existing West Bend offices will be consolidated into this new location once construction is complete this fall.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working as the property manager for Stifel at their current location on 18th Avenue since 2009,” said Jo Sadownikow, Principal of American Commercial Real Estate.  “We explored many options and I’m pleased to be able to continue this relationship with them at Water Street Suites.”

“Downtown West Bend is a highly-desirable destination for new and expanding businesses,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau. “With the transformation of the Riverwalk, and this exciting site redevelopment, we are exploring all economic development opportunities that will support and enhance the community.”

American Construction Services began site construction in mid-February for the Water Street Suites and a 68-room Marriott TownePlace Hotel, located on an adjacent property. Construction began shortly after the February 7 sale of 3.3 acres from the City of West Bend, a portion of the site formerly home to Gehl Company’s manufacturing facility.

“We could not be happier to make our new home in this exciting development in the historic heart of our community,” said Matt Andrews, Senior Vice President of Investments for Stifel.  “We’re proud to be a part of downtown West Bend. Our new office will greatly benefit our eleven financial advisors as well as their clients.”

Established in 1890, Stifel serves clients from more than 400 offices across the nation and ranks as the nation’s seventh-largest full-service investment firm in terms of number of financial advisors. It is a leading provider of investment banking services to the middle market, a top-ten municipal bond underwriter, and home to one of the industry’s largest equity research franchises. Parent company Stifel Financial Corp. is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “SF” and has achieved twenty-four consecutive years of record net revenues.

For additional details about availability in the Water Street Suites, contact Jo Sadownikow at 414-303-1837 or Adam Williquette at 262-424-3217 of American Commercial Real Estate.

$20,000 in grant funding awarded by City of West Bend Tourism Commission | By Jessica Wildes

The City of West Bend Tourism Commission has awarded grants totaling $20,000 to support promotional efforts for local summer events held by area nonprofit organizations.

Grant awards include:

  • $12,500 for the Museum of Wisconsin Art to support Art & Chalk Fest 2020 held on July 25-26. This is the fourth year of the event which welcomed more than 20,000 visitors the past two consecutive years. MOWA anticipates more than 20,000 visitors and over 200 overnight leisure visitors.
  • $3,750 for Habitat for Humanity of Washington and Dodge Counties to support GERMANfest 2020 on August 27-30. This is the 35th year of the event and fifth year run by Habitat for Humanity. It is estimated this multi-day event will welcome 10,000 attendees.
  • $3,750 for The Hometown Foundation Inc. to support Homegrown Music Festival on July 10-12. This expanding event started in 2015 and anticipates 3,000 attendees.

Six nonprofit organizations submitted applications for consideration. A total of $53,000 was requested of the available $20,000. Funds requested are designed to promote tourism and provide economic impact on the City of West Bend from May 1-September 30, 2020.  The primary purpose for using these funds is to generate overnight stays at West Bend hotels.

Marketing directed outside of the West Bend/Washington County area is given priority. The three entities awarded best demonstrated the highest likeliness of attracting overnight visitors and bringing attendees from outside of the local community to West Bend. The Tourism Commission met on the evening of Tuesday, March 3 to review each application and award available funding.

“The Tourism Commission is responsible for distributing the hotel room tax that’s generated throughout the year,” said Commissioner Jay Shambeau.  “This is the highest number of grant applications received as well as the most funds requested to date. As this grant program gets more competitive, we’re seeing the quality of marketing plans and promotional efforts become more sophisticated and impactful.”

In addition to the spring/summer promotion grant, the Tourism Commission offers the Fall/Winter Tourism Promotion Grant totaling up to $20,000. Funds may be requested to promote tourism and economic impact for events held between October 1, 2020-March 31, 2021. The application deadline is Friday, May 15, 2020 at noon.

West Bend Plan Commission approves development of Taco Bell on W. Washington Street

The West Bend Plan Commission has approved development of a new Taco Bell at 2356 W. Washington Street. That property is currently home to Matrix Title..

The current building will be razed and a new 1,763-square-foot restaurant will be constructed. The new restaurant will feature a drive thru, concrete patio with decorative fence and tables, more than 20 parking spots.

According to records at City Hall the property used to be owned by Bridgeman Foods. The building permit dates to November 20, 1985.  The building sold in 1992 for $315,000 to St. Francis Bank. In 1997 the bank sold for $390,000. At one point PNC Bank was located at that site. In June 2014, John Rehman from Matrix Title Co. purchased the former PNC Bank building, 2356 West Washington Street.

Word that a second Taco Bell was opening in West Bend has been met with some speculation by neighbors in the community, since the fast food outlet currently located on S. Main has locked its doors during the noon hour and operated solely through the drive thru. Management has said it’s because of a staffing shortage. Construction on the second restaurant is expected to get underway this year. So far no permit has been pulled to demolish the Matrix Title building.

Letter to the Editor | Questions about curriculum transparency in West Bend School District | By Jody Geenen

Yet another transparency issue with the West Bend School District!  As the only new candidate running for School Board, I am frustrated with the district’s deceit in pretending to seek public input regarding new curriculum.

For example, the district sent a memo to certain parents/guardians and taxpayers (not me) inviting them to review the new 9th grade biology curriculum.

A friend received the email and was frustrated with the inconvenient times offered ~ 6:45 a.m. – 8 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.- 4 p.m., when most parents are traveling to work or working. There were no evening or weekend sessions.

I emailed the Curriculum and Instruction Department to request an evening viewing. While they were willing to hold a private viewing, they refused to open it up to the public except to let me invite guests. So I brought four.

Laura Jackson presented the curriculum and was aware the public was not invited to the evening session. Yet, she praised herself at the February 24 School Board Meeting for inviting public  input. She said she offered convenient times to parents who were dropping students off at school or picking them up and that there was an evening session.

Really? There were zero (0) people, other than a teacher, who attended the two early sessions, and the five of us who attended the evening session from which she provided our written feedback to the board. Were inconvenient viewing sessions offered because there was something to hide from the public?

Were they just pretending to be accommodating to avoid any negative reaction to the curriculum? If you’re tired of the lack of transparency and you believe children’s education should be a partnership between parents and teachers, then vote for Jody Geenen on or before April 7 for West Bend School Board.    Jody Geenen  West Bend

Letter to the Editor | Curriculum questions in West Bend School District | By Jean Bury Weymier

Dear Editor, I am writing to share my personal experience with the West Bend School District putting out a new book and curriculum for 9th grade Biology. First, there was an open viewing of the book and curriculum to anyone who pays taxes but the only means of notification to the public was an email to limited audience. I was told that this was open to the public but later found out that whoever was in charge of putting out the invitation refused to let people know there was an evening viewing. What are they trying to hide?

Second, the book filled with non-science and pseudo-science topics such as climate change, population control and evolution.  Instead of teaching the Science of Biology it is a total indoctrination of agenda-driven propaganda. I do not want my taxes paying for this type of brain-washing. This situation reminds me of the way the West Bend Community Hospital relocation to where it is now was accomplished.

Then, only after the outcry by many people from this community did an open and faux meeting occur. The move proponents pretended to care what we thought, only to do what they wanted in the end anyway. We need change in our school district so kids learn what they should and not a political agenda.  If you want change in our district vote for Jody Geenen for the West Bend School Board on April 7.     Jean Bury Weymier   West Bend

Letter to the Editor | Letter of recommendation for Oscar Estrada as Dist. 7 alderman in West Bend | By Jeffrey P. Cartwright

It is my pleasure to recommend Oscar Estrada to you as Dist. 7 alderman in West Bend.  He has worked for me directly in two separate roles at different companies where we turned around struggling businesses to profitability within a relatively short time.  Oscar is a dedicated leader who routinely worked long hours in a whatever-effort-is-required mode.

Additionally, he has a strong sense of team and motivates individuals to rally together for the greater good of the enterprise.   The difficult things we accomplished were based on a strong foundation of treating each and every individual with respect and dignity.  Oscar has the ability to positively interact and engage with all levels of the organization from the Chief Executive Officer to the factory line worker.  He consistently demonstrated the ability to teach, train, and develop those around him.

Beyond the tactical attributes described above, Oscar has a strong sense of strategic vision and is able to keep the long term in mind while executing the shorter-term objectives.

Following, the direct roles above, I have hired Oscar to assist me in a number of consulting engagements where we have been able to positively impact the results of the client organization in a matter of a few days.

I highly recommend Oscar as a servant leader, as well as, an individual contributor.

Best regards,  Jeffrey P. Cartwright

Disclaimer: Opinions and letters published in http://www.washingtoncountyinsider.com are not necessarily the views of the Editor, or Publisher. The http://www.washingtoncountyinsider.com reserves the right to edit or omit copy, in accordance with newspaper policies.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Property sale complete for new TIF District 14 in West Bend

The property sale of 28.57 acres east of S River Road (Hwy G) and north of Highway NN is complete. According to records at West Bend City Hall the sale from John Renner to the City of West Bend was finalized February 7, 2020.

The parcel sold for $20,927 per acre which equals a total sale of $597,900. The transfer fee was $1,793.70. That property is connected to the new TIF District 14 which will a business/industrial park and be home to the new development of Milwaukee Tool.

Interfaith Caregivers thankful for $82,500 grant from Senior Corps

Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County is singing the praises of its volunteers and giving “thanks” to Senior Corps for an $82,500 grant it just received.

“This is exciting news for our organization and the community,” said Interfaith Executive Director Janean Brudvig.

The mission at Interfaith is to connect senior citizens with caring volunteers in Washington County.

“The grant will further allow us to recruit and engage our volunteers who provide rides to medical appointments and the grocery store,” said Interfaith Communications Director Clare Robbe. “Our volunteers also visit and bond with lonely and isolated seniors and the grant will help engage volunteers with elder-abuse prevention.”

“The grant will allow us to impact needs of senior citizens in our community and thanks to all the volunteers; we couldn’t do this without you,” said Brudvig.

Interfaith Caregivers provided over 14,000 rides to senior citizens who need transportation to critical services including the doctor, appointments,

“Our services provide a family feel,” said Robbe. “Our clients can rely on our volunteers and they like that volunteers sit with them and wait at their appointments so they don’t feel alone.”

Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County: Senior Corps RSVP volunteers will provide transportation for home bound seniors and veterans to preventive/medical appointments and other services that allow them to live independently; be trained in Elder Abuse Prevention in order to identify and mitigate elder abuse of financial fraud, abuse and/or neglect; provide education on Elder Abuse prevention to at-risk seniors and their caregivers and provide outreach and education within the community; operate a durable medical equipment loan and resource referral program. ($82,500 grant; 185 Senior Corps members)

Giving time to Interfaith Caregivers is a rewarding experience. Whether it’s getting a group together to clean up an elderly neighbor’s yard or simply folding a fresh load of laundry, your time makes a real difference! In the end, don’t be surprised if you forget who’s helping who.

If you want to check out come and hear more about Interfaith Caregivers, join us Friday, March 6 at 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. for Percolate, a chance for coffee, bakery and conversation, is held at the Interfaith office in West Bend, 2374A W Washington Street.  Come join us!

Kewaskum Police officers receive Life Saving Award     By Kewaskum Police Department

Kewaskum School Resource Officer Kevin Kohn and Officer Luke Wilhelm have each been issued a Life Saving Award from Kewaskum Chief of Police Thomas Bishop for their actions February 13, 2020.

On that date, both officers responded to a medical call for a male subject who possibly overdosed. Upon arrival, officers began life saving measures as the subject was unconscious and turning blue. NARCAN was administered to the subject and, after a short time, the subject regained consciousness. He was then transported via Kewaskum Rescue to Froedtert West Bend Hospital.

The 17-year-old male has been charged with Possession of Narcotic Drugs and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

The Kewaskum Police Department is trained in the use of Narcan in an effort to combat overdose deaths associated with opiate use and addiction. The quick actions of these officer’s directly resulted in saving this young man’s life, while placing themselves in a potentially dangerous situation — these efforts deserve recognition.

“On behalf of the Kewaskum Police Department and citizens of the Village of Kewaskum, I am proud to issue this award to Officer Kevin Kohn and Officer Luke Wilhelm for their outstanding performance on February 13, 2020,” said Kewaskum Police Chief Tom Bishop.

Holy Angels Students of the Month for January 2020 | By Anne Weise

Holy Angels School in West Bend is recognizing three students for the month of January 2020 including Michael Held, Lyra Keegan and Brady Barnes. 6th Grade:  Michael Held is an all-American kid.  He is a good student, with nice study skills. He is a friendly, positive, happy person who enjoys participating in a variety of activities and is a natural leader. He likes pizza and baseball. In fact, he plays many sports including basketball and football. When he isn’t shooting layups, Mikey is probably playing video games or hanging around with his family and friends.  At school, he helps out by serving at Mass and is also on the Forensics team.

7th Grade:  Lyra Keegan – is a very detail-oriented student. She pays close attention in class and will always ask questions about any piece of the concept she doesn’t feel comfortable about. She is not satisfied with doing less than a stellar job.  In addition to being strong academically, she is very artistic. Lyra participates in Forensics and helps out at school as a patrol and as a server for Mass.  Outside of school, she enjoys biking and swimming. Lyra is particularly passionate about running cross country.

8th Grade:  Brady Barnes is a quiet, funny, kind eighth grader. When he isn’t walking around on crutches, Brady participates in basketball and plays golf. He has impressed his teachers with his academic focus this year. He has improved his study skills and shown a willingness to ask for help when necessary. Brady serves at Mass and is part of the 8th grade Bells Choir.  When he isn’t hanging out with his family and friends, he enjoys playing Fortnite.

West Bend School District discusses November referendum

As the West Bend School District is in the midst of searching for a new superintendent it is also moving forward with discussion on a November 2020 referendum proposal. Some of the items reviewed at the Monday, Feb. 24 meeting.

The timetable included administration working with consultants and stakeholders from January through May, May through late July there would be mailings and school community groups soliciting feedback, interpreting feedback, confirm and finalize projects and cost and establish full scope. By Monday, August 3, 2020 the board would need to approve a resolution for referendum which would be on the November 3, 2020 ballot.

The early though was an elementary school in Jackson with a size between 550/600.

The existing referendum and debt listed at $33,245,000 through 2027-28. There is a board workshop slated for March 16 with a final boar resolution deadline of Aug. 24. In April 2019 a proposed $47 million referendum with a $74 million total failed in the West Bend School District.

In October 2019 the West Bend School District Private Task Force unveiled a solution to the West Bend School District’s facility needs. The Task Force, which was an independent body, reported it could address the issues, including funding and declining enrollment, without raising property taxes.

Board President Joel Ongert questioned the Task Force’s findings and invited them back to explain.

West Bend School Superintendent position posted

The job opening for a superintendent in the West Bend School District has been posted. This follows an announcement Superintendent Don Kirkegaard is returning to South Dakota to take a job in his previous school district.

The timeline for receiving applications is 11:30 a.m. on March 12, 2020. A new superintendent is expected to be announced by April 27, 2020 with a start date of July 1, 2020.  The posting by the consulting firm in Omaha, NE initially posted the opening February 13, 2020.

The West Bend School District will now have had five superintendents over the last four years. Kirkegaard was hired after former Superintendent Erik Olson submitted his resignation December 14, 2017. Olsen was hired June 2016. The School Board approved a two-year contract with Olson at a salary of $155,000. In 2017 that contract was extended another two years. The payout to Olson was about $300,000.

Prior to Olson, Ted Neitzke served as superintendent from 2011 – June 2016 when he resigned and Laura Jackson served as interim superintendent after Olson left and prior to Kirkegaard.

Slinger High School student recognized for logo design for Washington County Drug Treatment Court

Washington County Judge Todd Martens praised Slinger High School student Morgan Rogacki during a meeting this week of the Slinger School Board.

Rogacki was the winner of a contest to design a logo for Washington County’s new Drug Treatment Court. She was presented with a plaque and recognized for her art work, which was selected from over 30 submitted logos from five high schools across Washington County.

According to Judge Martens, “The goal of Drug Treatment Court is to help persons with substance abuse problems get sober, stay sober and rebuild their lives.  Congratulations to Morgan and thanks to her for submitting a design which we felt best embodied the mission and spirit of Drug Treatment Court.  The logo will be used in Court program documents, Court letterhead, and certificates given to Court participants. We appreciate all the hard work put in by students to design Drug Treatment Court logos.  The designs were all excellent, and we thank you!”

Simon Weinandt of West Bend receives Eagle Scout pin

Simon Weinandt received his Eagle Scout pin during an Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony for Scouts BSA Troop 762. The celebration was in the old gym at St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception in Barton. Following the posting of the colors and an invocation by Rev. Andrew Infanger, Weinandt, 18, was praised for his leadership, love of the outdoors, and his dedication to scouts.

Weinandt was featured in an article in November 2019 when there was a special blessing for his Eagle Scout project. He built 14 Stations of the Cross in the park across from St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception Parish in Barton.

The 14 Stations feature a stone base, a large wooden cross and a series of bronze images “portraying events in the Passion of Christ from his condemnation by Pontius Pilate to his entombment. “The most challenging part was not at all in the building, but it was in the planning,” said Weinandt. “People are eager for it to be used.”

A scout since he was 6 years old, Weinandt sports a tan sash crowded with 48 merit badges. “Wilderness survival is probably the one I’m most proud of,” he said. “I got that in my first year in scouts and it was one I really wanted because you have to build your own shelter in the woods and start fires.”

Chess and music making are two other merit badges that rank high on his list of accomplishments. Earning the highest rank of Eagle Scout was also one of his goals. “There’s a saying that only two-percent of people make it to Eagle Scout,” Weinandt said. “But I had a standard that was set by my dad, brother Spencer, uncle and cousin; they all achieved it and I wanted to too.

During the Eagle Scout ceremony Weinandt’s parents participated in swapping out his red neckerchief for a royal blue neckerchief with red and white trim.

Weinandt will be attending tech college in Red Wing, Minnesota where he will study to be a luthier, a maker of string instruments like violin, bass, and cello.

GUEST EDITORIAL | Why is it difficult to find volunteer firefighters            By Ron Naab

The issue of finding people to fill the boots of a firefighter or EMT is challenging. It is a societal issue. We are now in the mindset of what others can do for us and not what we can do for others. I have had conversations with younger generation.  Following is a post in response to the Slinger Fire Department asking for help over the weekend to dig you fire hydrants, when I suggest to an individual to join a fire department; “no thanks, time is all I have in this life and I don’t give that away for free.”  How do we change that mind set?

How did we create a generation that is not willing to sacrifice their time, their skills, or their talents to help others?  I had a mentor tell me once, “Your kids are what you make them.  The apples don’t fall far from the tree.”

I have read many times that our Wisconsin fire service is made up of approximately 78% volunteers.  These individuals that are willing to leave a kid’s birthday party, get up at 3 a.m. for a fire call that could last until 8 a.m. and still go to work, are willing to give 2 to 3 nights a month to be trained and hone their skills or are willing to spend hours to design and purchase and verify construction of a new piece of apparatus or building.

WHY!! Because of pride, pride in their membership to an elite group of individuals that all love helping others.

Pride in that they have successfully completed 100+ classroom hours to become a Firefighter 1 or 180 hours to become an EMT.  Plus, to become a IV Tech is another 100 hours. They have pride in the fact you were able to help someone at a very terrifying or tragic time in their lives so they can “see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

After the educational requirements and training we still ask our members to give up hours to help raise money to buy equipment.  How many other government or quasi-government entities must do fund raisers to purchase their trucks, or their equipment?

We expect our firefighters to enter building made of lightweight construction filled with furniture made of petroleum-based products, that burn hotter and faster.

Firefighters pride in their department maybe because of the equipment or the building they have for a fire station that was purchased with fund raising dollars and taxpayers supported dollars.

Former Chief Chuck Himsel of Mount Horeb Fire-Rescue stated once to his fire district board, “We have 50 people respond to any type of call at any time of day, on any given day of the year for NO money.  All we as a department and as a community have to offer is pride.  Pride in who we are, what we do and what we have.  So, if the members want a bell on a fire truck or an area to have an antique apparatus on display, this is nominal to the dollars we would have to pay them for each call.

We as fire departments and as communities need to look at ways of attracting younger generation members of our community so they will get involved.  Our department, Allenton, has had an Explorers Club, their other departments that have similar program where 8th graders through seniors can be a part of the fire department to be part of training and do support duties at an emergency scene. These programs have been very successful, it takes a group of adult fire-rescue members to be willing to support this group.

Another factor that makes operating and funding a department in today’s world is the cost of equipping a firefighter with a helmet, with a hood, firefighting and rescue gloves, turnout coat and pants, boots along with a pager to alert them.  Total cost is approximately $2,500 plus.  This does not include Self Contained Breathing Apparatus [air packs] we are at $6,500+ and the cost go on.  A single-axle truck to haul water is in the range of $275,000.  In 1973 you could do this vehicle for less than $13,000.

Our community governments and businesses need to be supportive of our volunteer and paid-on-call emergency services. There was a time that employers would allow their employees to respond to calls with NO dock in pay.  NOW we have a difficult time getting these entities to allow them to respond.  One reason is the owners are not residents of the community.  There was a time that local municipalities allowed fire departments to have a few extra things so as to pay wages.  I understand tight budgets, we need to be creative to get businesses to support our volunteers.  We need to work with state legislators and those representing us in Washington, D.C.  I believe that valid avenue to help get people involved and to support our volunteer fire-rescue squads is having a tax credit for employers based on allowing employees to go on calls.  We need to get tax credits for firefighters and emergency medical responders for time being served, training and responding.

This year alone there are probably 15 bills that would have supported our firefighters.  Some of these bills introduced were to give tax credits to volunteers, with more years of service the greater the credit.  The Length of Service Award changed to Service Award Program which was funded by local governments and the state was changed to allow younger, less time served firefighters and EMTs to cash out.  The payout was raised but the funds were not set aside this some that retired this year are still waiting for funds.  There was a bill to increase the penalties for those that caused bodily harm or death and accident scene.  There was a bill to help get timely reimbursement to those departments that are involved in Wisconsin’s Urban Search and Rescue Task Force.   WHAT HAPPENED TO THESE BILLS?  They died at a committee chairman’s desk or at the legislator in-charge of the assembly or senate.

In my opinion, our state and our federal government need to get involved!  We need to have representatives that will follow through and not make promises and not to follow through to get the legislation completed.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

2020 Washington County Breakfast on the Farm is at Sunset Farms in Allenton

The family at Sunset Farms, 6600 Sunset Drive in Allenton, will be hosting the 2020 Washington County Breakfast on the Farm on June 13.

Sunset Farms is a sixth-generation family farm. This will be the fourth time hosting Washington County’s Breakfast on the Farm; the last time was 2013.

A 2014 article by Dairy Professional Development featured Sunset Farms:

The farm employs 26 full-time and 6 part-time and seasonal workers, milks approximately 900 cows, has about 100 dry cows, raises most of their young stock and steers and crops 3,200 acres. Fifth- and sixth-generation family members, along with a few employees, own the farm.  Sunset Farms includes Albert and Mildred and their sons and wives, Ray and Anne, Dan and Ellen, Bernie and Cindy, and Paul and Sue. In addition, some of the next generation has joined the family corporation, including Karen Hughes who serves as herd manager; Carl, Ed and Dave Wolf; and Tim Baier.

“We continuously strive to improve our farm and the care of our cows. Cow comfort is what drives our modernization,” says herd manager Karen Hughes. The farm’s mission is to produce safe nutrition, create a good quality of life for employees as well as neighbors and friends, and ensure everyone involved enjoys their work together.

Breakfast on the Farm kicks off Saturday, June 13 at 6:30 a.m. and features all-you-can-eat pancakes served with scrambled eggs, applesauce, cheese, sausage, milk and coffee.

Activities include wagon ride to the farm, barn tours, petting zoo, pedal tractor pull, live music, Roden Barnyard Adventures, antique tractors, $1 Sundaes or Root Beer Floats   Tickets in advance – $6 Tickets at the door – $7 and Children 3 and under FREE.

West Bend Common Council selects District 8 alderwoman

On a vote of 6 – 1 the West Bend Common Council selected Meghann Kennedy as the new representative to fill the vacant aldermanic seat in District 8. Kennedy, who currently is part of the West Bend Park & Rec Commission, will fill the remaining term following the resignation of alderman Roger Kist.

Kennedy was one of four people who interviewed for the seat. Others vying for the seat included Aaron Zingsheim, Clifford Van Beek, and Alice M. Iaquinta. During a 5 p.m. interview before the Common Council, Kennedy spoke for 15 minutes outlining her work at Kohl’s Corporate where she meets with senior leadership, analyzes revenue and business trends.

Kennedy manages a multi-million-dollar business and specializes in digital processing. She has a strong background in math and analytical skills.

A resident of Villa Park for seven years, Kennedy said she wants to serve the community. “I’m good at working in collaboration,” she said. “I’ve already established relationships within government and City Hall and I look to hit the ground running.”

Questioned why she wanted to serve the community; Kennedy expressed a desire to “be part of the solution.” She described herself as a “fiscal conservative” who was interested in a “balanced budget.”

“I want to see the City grow effectively and efficiently,” she said.

Questioned about the current testing in the Villa Park subdivision and her knowledge about the gas emissions and the landfill, Kennedy mentioned she had discussions with the DNR and the city’s Doug Newman. “Villa Park is not only going to affect District 8 but the entire City,” said Kennedy. “We have good people in place and I look forward to working with consultants.”

“I’m excited to serve, it’s a good challenge and I’m interested in learning and help guide the future for families,” she said.

Kennedy received an endorsement from Mike Staral, who heads the City Park and Rec Committee.

After one round of ballot voting, Kennedy was announced the winner.

City Clerk Stephanie Justmann swore in Kennedy who immediately took her seat on the council. She will fill the remaining term in District 8, which will run to election day April 2021.

It was Friday, January 10, 2020 when alderman Roger Kist submitted his letter of resignation to the city clerk. Kist had served on the Common Council since he won election in April 2009.

Commerce Financial Holdings, Inc. in West Bend sold to Nicolet Bankshares, Inc.

Nicolet Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: NCBS) (“Nicolet”) and Commerce Financial Holdings, Inc. (“Commerce”) today jointly announce the execution of a definitive merger agreement, pursuant to which Nicolet will acquire Commerce and its wholly-owned banking subsidiary, Commerce State Bank (“Commerce Bank”).

Based on the financial results as of December 31, 2019, the combined company will have pro forma total assets of $4.3 billion, deposits of $3.6 billion and loans of $3.2 billion, as Commerce would represent approximately 16% of the combined company’s year-end assets.

Mike Daniels, President and CEO of Nicolet National Bank said, “We are excited to partner with great people who have a purpose very complementary to ours: to serve our customers, shareholders, and each other. Both Nicolet and Commerce are entrepreneurial organizations that know what it’s like to build a business from scratch. This quality allows us to relate to each other and our customers and will be a driving force as we move toward integrating our two cultures in the coming quarters.”

Bob Atwell, CEO and Chairman of Nicolet said, “In each merger, we have purposefully found partners who focus on serving customers and the community.  When we combine our resources and cultures, we can positively impact the community banking landscape of Wisconsin.  The geography isn’t as important as the characteristics of the communities and the passion of the people.”

Joe Fazio, CEO of Commerce said, “We have known Nicolet for a long time and we like their reputation for doing things the right way.  We are going to leverage the combined strengths of Commerce and Nicolet, which are our people and relationship-focused attitudes, to accelerate our growth.  The time feels right for the next chapter.”

Jack Enea, Chairman of Commerce said, “This merger creates an opportunity for shareholders to rapidly get to the next level of our strategic plan.  We have created a strong bank that centers on talented and experienced people.  That model will continue and expand through our combination with Nicolet.”

Transaction Information: Under the terms of the merger agreement, Nicolet will acquire Commerce with Nicolet being the surviving corporation. In the merger, Commerce shareholders shall receive 1.15 shares of Nicolet common stock for each share of Commerce stock. Based on Nicolet’s closing price of $72.32 as of February 14, 2020 the merger consideration is valued at approximately $129.6 million, which excludes Nicolet’s pre-existing ownership of Commerce shares.

The merger agreement provides for a cap and collar to potentially re-set the exchange ratio or change the mix of consideration should the Nicolet Common Stock Price, as defined in the merger agreement, rise above $82.00 per share, or fall below $62.00 per share.

The estimated transaction value is a 1.9 multiple of Commerce’s tangible book value as of December 31, 2019 and equates to approximately 18x Commerce’s 2019 after-tax income. Additional assumptions and metrics can be found with the attached Financial Supplement.

Leadership/Employee Information: Post-merger, Joe Fazio will join the Board of Directors of Nicolet Bankshares and Nicolet National Bank. Tom Hopp and Dave Borchardt, Commerce’s President and CFO/COO, respectively, will join Nicolet National Bank.  All customer-facing employees of Commerce are expected to stay on in the same capacity.

Approvals and Closing Date: The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.  It is subject to Commerce shareholder approval, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020.  Upon consummation of the transaction, all branch offices of Commerce Bank are expected to open as Nicolet National Bank branches.

Primary election results in Washington County

Unofficial election results are in for two primary races in Washington County. The polls closed at 8 p.m. and while there was a predicted turnout of about 10 percent in Washington County it appears the turnout may have exceeded 20 percent.

There was a primary for Justice of the Supreme Court. Advancing to the April 7 election will be incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly and Jill J. Karofsky.

In Washington County Kelly received 75 percent of the vote while Karofsky received nearly 19 percent of the vote.

In the Slinger School District four candidates advance to the April election where there are two open seats on the Slinger School Board. Candidates advancing to the April 7 election include Bruce Hassler (Incumbent and Vice-President), Jen Novotny, Jody Strupp, and David Zukowski (Interim Incumbent).

A Community Forum will be held Tuesday, March 24 at 6:30 p.m. in the Slinger Middle School cafeteria. The forum is designed to provide community members an opportunity to meet the Slinger School Board candidates and ask questions about their candidacy.

April 7 is the election to determine who will gain the two seats on the Slinger School Board.

Canvassing for all results will occur before the end of the week.

Slinger and Hartford HS Snowboard teams finish season strong | By Delaney Braun

The Hartford and Slinger High School snowboard season has wrapped up with an excellent finish. All members on the girls’ team and six of the student athletes on the boys’ team competed in the toughest race yet at Mt. LaCrosse.

The state qualifying boys included Brady Jackson, Conor Schmitt, Gabe Kebbekus, Zak Raskin, Isaac DeWalt, Ethan Smith, and Brayden Wiedmeyer. All of the girls’ team qualified as well and the team was able to come home with some pretty amazing accomplishments.

Friday was met with some frustration and hard training from the racers to prepare them for the race the next day. The coaches were strategic with the courses and amount of time they required the racers to prepare.

The courses on Saturday were challenging. Marisa Reyes took second in boardercross, following Kallie Weyer in 11th and Ava Stortz in 15th and the girls took second overall.

For the boys boardercross Cole Rummel of West Bend took first along with Ethan Benedict in ninth and Brian Pomeroy in 15th. Ethan Smith and Brady Jackson took the 12th and 13th spots and Isaac DeWalt finished 17th.

Giant slalom was the next event. Reyes took an unfortunate fall during her race. That left Kallie Weyer scoring highest for Slinger in 12th place and Sophia Parkinson of Hartford taking 14th.

Ava Stortz had a nice finish in 17th. For the boys, Rummel again took fourth, Smith from Slinger took fifth. DeWalt finished 14th and Pomeroy in 15th. An honorable mention to Conor Schmitt, taking 22nd, beating all but one boy on the Slinger team that event.

Last but not least was Slalom. Reyes took ninth place and Weyer finished 15th. Rummel took fourth, Smith was seventh, Pomeroy 12th, and Jackson 14th. Benedict and DeWalt were close with Benedict taking 18th and DeWalt was 19th.

For the event team results, the Hartford and Slinger ladies took second in boardercross and third in giant slalom and slalom. That is a huge accomplishment for them. For the boys, they took fourth in all events.

Congratulations to the West Bend snowboard team for taking first place overall in boardercross. Overall results were third place for girls and fourth place for the boys.

Thank you to all the parents for the constant support this season, the racers really could not do it without you.

Socks in the Frying Pan coming to UWM at Washington County on Friday, March 6

Get your tickets today to Socks in the Frying Pan. Performance at UWM at Washington County on Friday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. Don’t miss this award-winning trio from County Clare Ireland – the universal hub of Irish traditional music. Socks in the Frying Pan includes Aodán Coyne on guitar and vocals and the accomplished Hayes brothers — Shane on accordion and Fiachra on fiddle and banjo.

They blend Irish traditional melodies with their own personal flair, which has gained them critical acclaim and accolades including New Band of the Year by the Irish Music Association.

Public hearing on special assessment for property owners on 18th Avenue

There’s going to be a public hearing on March 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers at West Bend City Hall. The special assessment is tied to the reconstruction of 18th Avenue between Vogt Drive and Decorah Road.

“The way the assessments are calculated are based on the frontage of the lot,” said City Engineer Max Maréchal. “We’ve established the cost of lineal foot of project and we multiply that by the frontage of each property. If your frontage is smaller than you will get a smaller assessment.”

According to preliminary numbers the total for the special assessment varies from $1,757.14 to $5,449.47 to over $16,000. That last increase is for an address that houses a non-profit organization on 18th Avenue.

“That will be up to the common council to address,” said Marechal. “This is what the public hearing is for so aspects can be addressed between the public and the council.”

The special assessment, overall, is based on an existing policy. “When there are new improvements the property that benefits directly the government entity has power to assess for the cost of installing those new improvements,” said Marechal.

Improvements on the 18th Avenue project include curb and gutter, streetlights, sidewalk, etc. About 85 properties are included in the special assessment.

Neighbors on 18th Avenue and Decorah Road question, if the entire community is using the streets and sidewalks, then why are only the property owners in that area charged with a special assessment to cover the cost of improvements?

Marechal went back to his statement of “property that benefits directly” from the work. “Direct benefit to the property,” he said. “Are there properties immediately adjacent that will benefit.”

Marechal said his office is receiving phone calls. “Most of the people understand what’s going on but we’re also open to answering any other inquiries,” he said.

The reconstruction project on 18th Avenue between Vogt Drive and Decorah Road was completed in October 2018.

The entire first portion of the project was less than a mile in length. There’s a second phase of the project waiting in the wings which will run from Vogt Drive south to Paradise Drive.

“Obviously we will follow the same process as the first phase,” said Marechal. “Which means we will go to the City common council and ask them whether they intend to assess for new improvements; will that directly benefit those properties or not and we’ll go from there.”

Slinger HS student wins design contest for Drug Treatment Court | By Todd Martens

The Washington County Drug Treatment Court Team invited students from Washington County high schools to submit designs for its county-wide Drug Treatment Court logo design competition.  Students from five County high schools submitted over 30 logo designs for the team’s consideration.

The team appreciates all the hard work students put into submitting designs which reflect this important new program.  The goal of Drug Treatment Court is to help persons with substance abuse problems get sober, stay sober and rebuild their lives.

After careful consideration and considerable debate, the team chose the design submitted by Slinger High School student Morgan Rogacki.  Congratulations to Morgan and thanks to her for submitting a design which we felt best embodied the mission and spirit of Drug Treatment Court.  The logo will be used in Court program documents, Court letterhead, and certificates given to Court participants.

The decision was a difficult one.  The winning design received six votes, and the runner up received five.  Both designs were outstanding.  The team would like to specially thank and acknowledge the design which came in second place—it was submitted by Germantown High School student Hannah Hermann.

We appreciate all the hard work put in by students to design Drug Treatment Court logos.  The designs were all excellent, and we thank you!

Washington County Drug Treatment Court Judge Todd K. Martens will recognize Morgan Rogacki and her contribution to the Washington County Drug Treatment Court in a ceremony during the Slinger School Board meeting at 7 p.m. February 24, 2020.

Downtown West Bend establishment may have cracked the recipe for Dick’s Pizza

The Inferno Bar & Grill, 140 N. Main Street, in West Bend thinks it may have cracked the recipe for Dick’s Pizza.

In the 1980s Dick’s Pizza was an institution in West Bend. The original Dick’s Pizza dates to the 1950s when Dick Turnquist opened on north Main Street near where West Bend Tap & Tavern is located.

“In 1977 Turnquist started building the new restaurant on 18th Avenue but he was killed in a car crash three weeks before even opening,” said owner Earl Richter about the crash on Paradise Drive when Turnquist swerved to avoid hitting a dog.

An employee at the restaurant, Paul Schloemer became the new owner and ran the business for three years before Dave Wolf bought the pizza place in March 1980. Twenty-one years later in December 2001 Richter bought the business.

“We really grew the sales within the first three or four years,” said Richter. “My sales were probably fifty percent higher than anything they’d ever done but all of a sudden one restaurant after another started opening in this town.”

Neighbors remembered a number of things about Dick’s Pizza; from the thin crust to the spicy tomato sauce to the hot cheese.

The Inferno Bar & Grill will have pizza samples available on Thursday, February 20 starting at 3 p.m. through dinner.

Sample pizzas will be made on the spot so they stay warm and fresh.  Everyone that comes in can get a free slice of pizza.  It will be served party style, so it is cut into small squares.

Pizza will be available for sale with a $3 off pizza special every Thursday.  The full pizza menu is below. It also includes the soup of the day and chili options.  You can also combo the soups with sandwiches for discounts, and there is a “half a sandwich/cup of soup” option.

The Inferno is also contracting for delivery. For those who want to call in and get food to go –  (262) 353-9016.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Walden – A Supper Club has sold

There will be new life for Walden – A Supper Club as the restaurant on Wallace Lake is under contract for purchase.

Kevin and Amy Zimmer gathered with staff at the restaurant Friday afternoon and introduced themselves as the new owners.

“We are very excited to preserve an iconic property,” said Kevin Zimmer.  “We were most attracted to the dedicated staff as well as the faithful clientele that we saw every time we came out for dinner. Waldens has been our go-to restaurant for many years. We are committed to keeping the restaurant open while making improvements yet preserving the Wisconsin supper-club feel.”

The supper club is located on the shores of Wallace Lake; it started as a summer home in the 1940s.

The future of the popular restaurant had been in question after the former owner, Bob Walden, died October 4, 2019.

Walden moved to West Bend in 1974 where he was a principal at Jackson and Green Tree Elementary.

In 1989 Bob owned and operated Walden – A Supper Club.  In his younger years, he was a member of the Musical Masquers theater group in West Bend. Bob liked solving crossword puzzles, driving cool cars, and being a restaurant owner. He enjoyed vacations in the Eagle River and St. Germain areas, fly fishing, and watching the Packers.

The supper club on the lake has quite a bit of history. “Bob purchased the restaurant in 1989,” said Karen Walden, Bob’s wife. “It used to be Benike’s before we got it. George and Carol Benike purchased the club from Dot who ran it as Dot’s Club.”

Dot and her husband Nick added the cocktail lounge in 1974.

David and Nancy Slinde lived down the block from the supper club. “Bob has been a great neighbor on Wallace Lake,” said David.  “He had an understanding of his customers by offering a familiar setting and great food.  His restaurant is a historic place in the Barton community.  While many said he should do this with the building or that with the building, he stayed firm in offering the community a historic supper club pure and simple and rich in memories.”

Neighbors across Washington County are familiar with the supper club that sits on the south shore of Wallace Lake.

According to supper-club website,

Walden presents a Northwoods ambiance of knotty pine and lake shore, a relaxed fine dining experience. Excellent service and delicious entrees accompanied by mouth-watering salads, breads, potatoes, and desserts.

Prime Rib, the house specialty for over 50 years, is served every night. A dry aged center-cut tenderloin steak is also very popular. Walden also features Bavarian Pretzel Chicken, Frog Legs, Lobster Tails, Shrimp, Salmon, a most delicious Shaum Torte. Several other exciting entrees are served including Fish Frys on Fridays, nightly specials and sandwiches.

Walden is available for larger group luncheons and for banquets depending on availability. Several weddings followed by wedding banquets have been held along the shores of the lake.

The dining room seats up to one hundred guests. the cocktail lounge, overlooking the lake seats 52 people at the bar and side bars.

A bit more history on the supper club is below.

Walden-A Supper club began life as a summer home for Lucy and her family from the Milwaukee area in the early 1940’s. Emil Kufahl and his family operated the White Oaks Resort using the current dining area as a bar and four cabins once located along the western boundary of the property.

Kufahl’s were convinced by several Friday customers that they should start offering a Friday Fish Fry. In addition to adding a small kitchen, Kufahls added a bait shop lake side. Rental cabins, boat rental, fish bait sales, bar business and Friday Night Fish Fries kept the White Oaks Resort quite busy.

Several owners succeeded Kufahls each bringing a uniqueness in talent, interest and personality, blending to give Walden a character all its own.

Karl and Mush Hansen greatly expanded the dinner menu beyond the Friday Fish Fry. At this time, the bar was located across the fireplace wall. The Hansens sold the supper club to Nick and Dorothy Jonas who named the restaurant Dot’s Club.

Over a 22-year period, Dot’s Club became an even more inviting place to enjoy the food, the company, the lake and turtle soup. Nick and Dot added the Cocktail Lounge in 1974. The knotty pine was added to the dining room along with the beautiful field stone fireplace.

The Waldens made significant changes in the kitchen, enabling them to expand the menu. Windows were added to the dining room for the view and expanse. Booths were added in the area which had been a front porch for Lucy. Banquets were added to the Cocktail Lounge. And a beautiful patio has been added outdoors, lakeside, next to a waterfall garden.

The property was last assessed at $496,800. Fair market value is listed at $533,100.

WWII veteran Joe Demler who survived Nazi prison camp has died

World War II Army veteran Joe Demler of Port Washington has died. Demler was 94 years old. Demler was recognized around the world after a photo of him was published in Life Magazine. Demler was 19 years old and lying in a bunk while in a Nazi prison camp, Stalag 12-A in Limburg, Germany. He was a mere 70 pounds.

Demler was featured in the 2012 documentary film “Honor Flight: One Last Mission.”

A note from the Honor Flight reads:

Joe told us that he learned while he was a prisoner of war that “every day is a bonus,” which has become the motto of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. He has spent countless hours over the years helping to raise funds so his fellow veterans could take an honor flight.

Funeral services for Joe Demler are pending. Details will be posted when information becomes available.

West Bend School Superintendent contacted Meade School District in South Dakota on January 13, 2020

Just a day after WashingtonCountyInsider.com broke the story about West Bend School Superintendent Don Kirkegaard looking to return to his former school district and expressing interest in the interim superintendent position in the Meade School District the story got picked up by Rapid City Journal in South Dakota.

Reporter Jim Holland writes:

STURGIS | Former Meade 46-1 superintendent of schools Don Kirkegaard has offered his services as an interim superintendent of the district, following the release of current superintendent Jeff Simmons in January.

Kirkegaard also confirmed he had contacted the Meade 46-1 Board of Education about the superintendent’s opening, but only in an interim capacity. “If you decide you’re going to do an interim (superintendent). I would be interested in being considered,” Kirkegaard said.

“If you’re going to do a full-fledged search, I will do everything I can to help you get the right candidate, but I’m not going to re-apply for the position,” he said.

Dennis Chowen, president of the Meade 46-1 Board of Education, confirmed Tuesday that Kirkegaard had contacted the board the day after a Jan. 13 meeting in which the board and Simmons announced a mutual agreement of his release from the remainder of his three-year contract.

“He (Kirkegaard) has certainly expressed interest, but the board, at this time, hasn’t officially made any statement one way or the other whether he’s going to be offered…

Kirkegaard started in West Bend in July 2018 after a search firm, McPherson & Jacobson, LLC, was hired by the school board to find quality candidates. The district also held stakeholder meetings.

Kirkegaard came from South Dakota. He said he and his wife Lois are returning to the home they built in the Black Hills. “We did not sell our house in the Black Hills,” said Kirkegaard. “We kept it with the idea that we knew that’s where we would retire.”

Kirkegaard is 62 years old and spent 60 years in South Dakota.

Kirkegaard’s last day in West Bend School District will be June 30, 2020.

The West Bend School District will now have five superintendents over the last four years. Kirkegaard was hired after former Superintendent Erik Olson submitted his resignation December 14, 2017. Olsen was hired June 2016. The School Board approved a two-year contract with Olson at a salary of $155,000. In 2017 that contract was extended another two years. The payout to Olson was about $300,000.

Prior to Olson, Ted Neitzke served as superintendent from 2011 – June 2016 when he resigned and Laura Jackson served as interim superintendent after Olson left and prior to Kirkegaard.

American Construction Services is part of $132 million redevelopment in West Allis

West-Bend based American Construction Services Inc. is one of the contractors in a $132 million redevelopment underway in West Allis.

ACS is working with an Iowa-based firm to develop a 1128-room Home2 Suites by Hilton hotel. The project is part of the Allis Yards redevelopment on 70th Street.

According to an article by reporter Sean Ryan in the Milwaukee Business Journal,

Crews are clearing the southern parts of that office building first to open land for the new Hilton, according to an emailed statement by Scott Yauck, president and CEO of Cobalt, Milwaukee. Yauck’s development group last week sold 2 acres at South 70th and West Madison streets for $1.83 million to the hotel’s developers, according to state records.

Iowa-based Kinseth Hospitality Cos. is co-developer and operator of the Home2 Suites. It is working with West Bend general contractor American Construction Services Inc., led by Kraig Sadownikow. Yauck said the same team previously teamed up on a Home2 Suites in Menomonee Falls at White Stone Station, another Cobalt-led project.

Cobalt Partners is the lead developer.

American Construction Services was started by Kons Sadownikow in 1980. The company, founded as West Bend/American Building Systems, later became American Companies. In 1997 Kons hired his son Kraig who is now President of American Companies.

“I’m proud of the pace we’ve been able to grow the company that my father started 39 years ago,” said Kraig Sadownikow.  “We believe in investing in our people and we work hard as a team to provide exceptional service to our clients.  Construction projects are significant investments for a company and I’d personally like to thank each one we’ve worked with; we don’t take your business for granted.”

Germantown man killed in motorcycle accident in Colorado

A Germantown family is mourning the loss of their son after he was involved in a motorcycle accident January 31 in Thornton, Colorado. According to police Patrick Olson, 29, was killed after crashing into an SUV that turned in front of him.

Olson was a graduate of Germantown High School. Family and friends are rallying to help support the family.

Below is a note from Patrick’s mother Mary Kay.

“I was overwhelmed with the love and support for my son Patrick Olson. After going through Patrick’s paperwork in Colorado and coming across a paycheck stub, we found he donated $50 per paycheck to a children’s toy foundation and was paid twice a month. It brought tears to eyes; I never knew. Patrick loved Christmas and wanted to make sure every child had a Merry Christmas. All donations received will go towards keeping his memory alive and will be donated half to Colorado and half to Wisconsin Salvation Army. Patrick helped shop for toys this past Christmas, he was a big kid.”

Mary Kay Olson said she is working on funeral details. She said the service will be held with Rev. Mike Petrie at St. Boniface Church in Germantown, hopefully February 22 at 1 p.m. with a reception to follow. More information will be posted when details become available.

Washington County Sheriff investigating Thursday crash on Hwy 60 off ramp

The Jackson Police Chief said the 22-year-old West Bend man who crashed his vehicle at Highway 45 and the Highway 60 off ramp on Thursday afternoon is listed in critical condition at a Milwaukee hospital.

Chief Ryan Vossekuil said charges against Adrian Jollie are still pending. Police said the vehicle Jollie was driving exited onto the off-ramp for State Highway 60 at a high rate of speed and crashed into a guardrail on the off-ramp.

The driver suffered serious injuries as a result of the crash. He was transported by the Jackson Fire Department to Froedert West Bend, and subsequently flown by Flight for Life to Froedert Milwaukee.

There had been a warrant out for Jollie’s arrest. The crash remains under investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Department.

Don Pridemore announces candidacy for 13th State Senate District

Former State Assembly Rep. Don Pridemore is announcing his candidacy for the 13th State Senate District. Pridemore issued the statement at 4 p.m. on Friday afternoon, February 7.

“Today I am announcing my candidacy for the soon-to-be-vacated elected office of the 13th State Senate District. I am very confident the current occupant of that seat, Senator Scott Fitzgerald, will win the right to represent Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District, replacing Congressman James Sensenbrenner; I am making this announcement early. The election of Donald J. Trump has given me new hope that reforming government is a high priority of the electorate.

What is causing today’s youth to look favorably at socialism is what is happening in our classrooms. What is being taught in history and social studies classes makes no mention of American exceptionalism and too often takes the tone of blame America first.

I currently serve on the Hartford Joint 1 School Board and have seen how local control can make a difference in the lives of children. If elected I will lead Wisconsin out of the education swamp and address the problems our cities like Milwaukee have and address the problems which have made them unique and underserved.

Pridemore was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 2004.  In April 2014, Pridemore stepped away from his seat in the Assembly.

Spaulding Clinical names new CEO

Spaulding Clinical has names Cassandra Erato as chief executive officer. Erato has been with Spaulding since its inception in 2007. “We are very excited about her taking the helm and leading us into the future,” said Spaulding Clinical spokesman.

Randy Spaulding will still be an integral part of the team, assuming the role of founder, chairman, and chief visionary officer. “Our vision is to continue to deliver new technologies that enable our customers to make decisions faster and bring new, life-enhancing drugs to market faster than before”

“I am honored to assume leadership of Spaulding Clinical. Mr. Spaulding built our Phase 1 site based on the vision of building the first fully paperless Phase 1 CRO and a world-class cardiac safety testing site,” said Erato. “He was clearly 10 years ahead of his time, as we’ve seen other Phase 1 units start to adopt eSource solutions in the past year. He has introduced many new functionalities and integrations; recently, he introduced a new functionality that allows us to deliver flash results faster than anyone in the industry. I am committed to continuing to grow Spaulding Clinical and build upon the excellent foundation that has been laid.”

Randy Spaulding will continue an active role as managing member and will focus on the next innovations of the company.

“Our vision is to continue to deliver new technologies that enable our customers to make decisions faster and bring new, life-enhancing drugs to market faster than before,” said Spaulding. “Mrs. Erato is the best person to execute on this vision and help us achieve our next phase of growth. This enables me to focus even more time on developing new technologies for the pharmaceutical development industry.”

Erato is currently the COO of Spaulding Clinical and has held the position since 2015. She has been with Spaulding Clinical since its inception in 2007 and has played a key role in developing the operational procedures and systems in place today.

Erato will be attending SCOPE 2020 in Orlando, Florida, the week of February 17 and is available for interviews.

New seating being installed at Historic West Bend Theatre | By Kine Torinus

The Historic West Bend Theatre, 215 N. Main Street, is starting to take shape.  Theatre seats were installed today and it looks like Kevin and Amy Zimmer stopped in to give them a test run.

The renovation of the “The Bend,” its new brand name, is nearing completion. The old seats were beyond saving, so the HWBT board decided to buy new seats from Irwin Seating Co., a Michigan company that specializes in theatre seating.

Former Gehl site sold for Marriott hotel development in West Bend | By Jessica Wildes

The sale of 3.3 acres in Downtown West Bend has been sold from the City of West Bend to construct and manage a new 68-room Marriott TownePlace extended stay hotel and 16,000-square-foot multi-tenant commercial office building in the heart of downtown.

Paul Stangl of RafRad LLC led the purchase on behalf of the Downtown West Bend Hotel Associates (DWBHA).

DWBHA has partnered on the development with Iowa-based Kinseth Hospitality Companies and American Companies. A portion of the site is formerly home to Gehl Company’s manufacturing facility.

DWBHA has partnered on the development with Iowa-based Kinseth Hospitality Companies and American Companies to construct and manage a new 68-room Marriott TownePlace extended stay hotel and 16,000-square-foot multi-tenant commercial office building.

The same group was also part of the development team for the Hampton Inn and Suites on 18th Avenue in West Bend, managed by Kinseth since opening in 2008.  Construction on the buildings will start this spring.

The City of West Bend acquired the property from Gehl Company (now Manitou Americas) in 2008 when it relocated itsheadquarters to a larger site two blocks east. Recognizing the potential for the site located in the heart of downtown West Bend, the City took on the responsibility of the remediation and demolition of the multiple buildings that were obsolete for future manufacturing.

“This is an extraordinary location for a hotel,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau. “Visitors will have the unique opportunity to explore and enjoy downtown West Bend. They can frequent our thriving restaurants and shops, the Riverwalk, Eisenbahn State Trail, farmer’s market, Museum of Wisconsin Art, and newly–renovated Historic West Bend Theatre, all within walking distance.”

West Bend is a founding member of the Washington County Site Redevelopment Program (SRP). The SRP was awarded two U.S.Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfield grants and contributed $18,000 for a Hotel Market Demand Study by Patek Hospitality Consultants, Inc. which determined current and future demand for hotel accommodations in the market area.  The study proved the viability for the hotel and was instrumental in securing the interest of Marriott and the development team.

The site was considered by other developers in the past, primarily for apartment buildings and commercial office space.“We knew this site had high potential for redevelopment and are pleased to present the first hotel located in downtown West Bend,” stated Kraig Sadownikow, President of American Construction Services and American Architectural Group. “This is the type of project that will enhance the community and attract new visitors and businesses.”

Approximately 7,000-square-feet of Class A office space is available for lease within the new office building.  For details, please contact Adam Williquette of American Commercial Real Estate at (262) 424-3217.

Mike Jentsch approved as new Park, Rec and Forestry Director for City of West Bend

The West Bend Common Council unanimously approved the appointment of Mike Jentsch as the new Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry for the City of West Bend.

The Parks and Recreation Commission also recommended the appointment on Thursday, January 30, 2020. An employee of the City of West Bend since 1999, Jentsch will transition from his current role as Parks and Forestry Superintendent.

“Mike has been a standout employee with the City of West Bend for 21 years. It is with great excitement to welcome him to our department head team,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau. “Mike’s knowledge of our community and his ability to complete projects made this promotion an easy decision for the Parks and Rec Commission and Common Council. Congratulations, Mike.”

Jentsch, 50, said there are a couple projects he’s eager to tackle including the update on Carl Kuss Field and the remodel of the west side of the downtown River Walk.

“If we were to pencil something on the calendar, we’re targeting utility work this year,” he said. “It means we’ll tear out the west side of the River Walk and We Energies, Charter and AT&T and all the utilities will be upgraded. In 2021 we’d upgrade from the north pedestrian bridge to Veterans Avenue and then the next year target north of the bridge to Highway 33.”

Jentsch expects that work to begin around June 2020.

The Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry is responsible for implementing acquisition and development plans for new and existing park facilities, and for ensuring the provision of park and recreational programs and facilities for the public.

As department head, Jentsch will administer the operational budget, policies, plans and projects, and the Parks and Recreational Facility Developmental Program. He will engage in community and media relations, and coordinate cooperative activities with other city, county, state, and private organizations.

“I look forward to working with the Council, Parks and Recreation Commission, service clubs, and local businesses to keep moving West Bend forward,” said Jentsch. “Team Green is a group of highly dedicated professionals who enjoy serving the community. Our staff goes above and beyond to make West Bend a place we can all take great pride in.”

The position of Park, Recreation and Forestry director opened in mid-July 2019 after Craig Hoeppner resigned to take a similar job in Oconomowoc.

Property home to Le’s Bridal in Downtown West Bend sold | By Adam Williquette

The building home to Le’s Bridal, Darling Diva Boutique, and Exhale Salon in downtown West Bend has been sold.

AH 262 N. Main, LLC has sold the building at 262-4 N. Main Street to Elmazi Real Estate, LLC for $400,000. Adam Williquette, president of American Commercial Real Estate handled the transaction. The property is made up of multiple units. It was last assessed by the City of West Bend in 2018 at $338,500.

Other spaces available downtown through ACRE include the first floor of the Alexssa building at 301 N. Main Street. Alexxsa purchased the former Chase Bank branch at 801 W. Washington Street in January 2020. There is also 3,000 square feet available at the 801 W. Washington building, as Alexssa will only be occupying the first floor.

New to the market is also the former RiverShores Chiropractic space at 705 Village Green Way. Located in the same building as Tochi Ramen, Café Floriana, and Children’s Hospital, the space will be available in June of this year when they move to their new building at 235 N. 18th Avenue.

Questions about commercial real estate? Contact Adam at 262-424-3217 or adam@americancre.net.

West Bend business owner creates frozen luminaries for Feb. 8 hike at Pike Lake State Park

A local business owner has become inspired by the beauty of the annual Luminary Walk at Pike Lake State Park. The event is Saturday, February 8 starting at 6 p.m.

Jim Sprouse from Property Loss Management in West Bend has been working with a couple staffers on making Glowing Ice Luminaries.

“We use a five-gallon plastic bucket and we’ve lined the bucket with some weeds from Pike Lake State Park as decorations,” he said.

The water freezes from the sides down and the secret to creating a clear hurricane lantern is well water. “If we used City water from the tap because it’s cloudy,” said Sprouse. “We go down to the neighbor’s farm and we use his well water; that’s not chlorinated and it’s super clear.”

“I was so moved by this project and we called the Ranger Station for some help and then started making some on our own,” he said.

There are four miles of trail at Pike Lake State Park and two miles are lit with luminaries.

31st Annual Pike Lake Candlelight Ski and Hike Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Activities: Astronomy, Candlelight events, Cross country ski, Hike, Night event, Outdoor activity, Snowshoeing  Location: Kettle Moraine SF – Pike Lake Unit

This whimsical event is one the whole family is sure to enjoy. Bring the skis or hiking boots to enjoy the park from a whole new perspective. There will be a total of 2 miles illuminated by candlelight, so you are welcome to be out for however long you’d like. Afterwards, meet at the North Shelter for a bonfire, complimentary treats, guest presentation on WI mammals, and of course hot chocolate! Please help us reduce our waste by bringing along your own mug or thermos. Meet at the Beach.

Kettle Moraine Lutheran’s Jacob Stoltz hits career 1,000 points | By Megan Himm

With a three-point shot Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School senior Jacob Stoltz was able to secure the 1,000th point of his high school career. Going into the game, Stoltz only needed to score five points. After the shot, the achievement was announced to the crowd, who erupted with cheers as the team congratulated Stoltz. The Chargers would go onto win the game against Winneconne, 93 – 57.

Stoltz started playing basketball when he was just a toddler. He remembers playing at the YMCA, “It really was my dad just putting a basketball in my hands and going through stuff with me at a really young age.” Stoltz would continue improving his skills while playing on his grade school team at St. Lucas, for the KML Junior Chargers, and Kewaskum Youth Basketball.

Cole Biesterfeld, a senior, has played with Stoltz since fifth grade, “One thing that has always remained the same throughout those years has been his love of the game. He is one of the smartest basketball players I have met and has an abundant amount of knowledge and passion for the game. He will do everything in his power to help benefit the team and help us will our way to victory no matter what it takes.”

Once in high school, Stoltz landed a spot on the JV team as a freshman. The next year, he was on varsity. It was that first year on varsity when KML had its state-run. Describing the experience, Stoltz said, “Being new to the team it was right away a hard adjustment to go to the varsity level and play with a bunch of new guys. About halfway through the season, I finally got good with the guys, and then we put on a nice run where we all gelled together and we were able to make it to state.”

This year, Stoltz has been a true leader both as a teammate and as a scorer. Austin Wagner, a sophomore on the team, describes Stoltz as “a great leader and someone that the whole team can count on. The energy he brings every game is huge for us; it pushes the whole team to bring energy. He wants to win and he pushes the rest of the team to be as successful as we can be.”

With a scoring average of 23, he has led the team in scoring for most games. Earlier this year, during a game against Sheboygan Falls, Stoltz tied the school record, scoring 35 points. “Being able to lead more than scoring is big for me. Being able to be a leader, being able to pass, and helping my teammates get better is just as big as me scoring. I try to motivate my teammates to keep scoring. I wouldn’t score as much as I do without them. They set screens for me, they drive and pass to me and let me shoot. They are right with me through it all, so definitely give credit to them.”

Looking ahead, Stoltz said we can’t get complacent. “We have to keep working hard, we have to keep getting better. At practices we need to work harder and get better each game. Once we do have some hard games, we need to be ready to attack them and play our best.”

While basketball may be his passion, it’s not the only sport he has played at KML. Stoltz ran cross country his freshman and sophomore year and played football his junior and senior year. A broken arm halted his junior year, but he was still able to have a successful senior season. In the spring, Stoltz is a member of KML’s baseball team. Freshman year he was able to earn a spot on the JV team. His sophomore year on JV was cut short when he tore a ligament in his knee, but he was able to come back his junior year on varsity. Stoltz is planning to play baseball again this spring.

Stoltz is the embodiment of a student-athlete. Not only does he excel on the court, but he also does well in the classroom. As a member of the National Honor Society, he has demonstrated scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Stoltz is also an honor roll student, maintaining a GPA of 3.3 or higher. Second quarter he achieved high honor roll with a GPA of 3.6 or higher. Some of the classes he’s taking this year include World Literature, Transition to College Math, Lifetime Sports, Computer Application, Word of God, and United States Government.

Stoltz uses his leadership skills outside of sports as a member of Cross Trainers. As such, he is paired with a freshman and serves as a mentor to that freshman.

2020 winners from Kiwanis Early Risers Chili and Soup Cook off

The annual Kiwanis Early Risers Chili & Soup Cook off was a huge success. Twenty-six teams were won over the record crowd on Saturday, February 1. There were so many people additional seating had to be created and many of the vendors started running out of chili around noon. The event lasted until 2 p.m. Winners are listed below.

People’s Choice Chili: 1st West Bend Firefighters, 2nd Olde Cedar Inn, 3rd Badger Transmissions

People’s Choice Soup: 1st Brazen Head Pub, 2nd Riverside Brewery and Restaurant, 3rd Sandy’s Barton Café

Judge’s Choice Business Chili: 1st Badger Transmission, 2nd Don Patnode Agency, 3rd Minuteman Press

Community Service Chili: 1st Interfaith Caregivers, 2nd West Bend Firefighters, 3rd West Bend Noon Kiwanis

Restaurant Chili: 1st Olde Cedar Inn, 2nd El Pig’s Butt Bar-B-Que, 3rd Billy Sims Barbeque

Restaurant Soup: 1st M&JS Moonlighting, 2nd Brazen Head Pub, 3rd Riverside Brewery and Restaurant

Thanks to everyone who participated and a special shout out to Property Loss Management for its donation of water.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

City of West Bend selects new Park, Rec and Forestry Director

The City of West Bend has selected a new Director of Park, Recreation and Forestry and they didn’t have to go far from home.

According to the upcoming Jan. 30 Park & Rec Commission agenda, Mike Jentsch will take over the position. Jentsch had been filling the post in the interim along with City Administrator Jay Shambeau.

“We evaluated the structure within the department and had a conversation about joint ventures and decided against that,” said Shambeau. “I initially spoke with Mike and as more time passed his interest peaked.

“Mike’s excited for the position and he’s got some good ideas and I think it’s a great fit.”

Jentsch has a unique employment history; he started with the City of West Bend as a summer worker when he was a teenager.

“Mike has been with the City for 21 years,” said Shambeau. “After college he was in the Marines and most recently, he was Parks Superintendent.”

Shambeau said although Jentsch is advancing internally, his old position won’t be posted but it will be filled by two current employees who will share responsibilities. “The Superintendent roll will be retitled to Parks Supervisor and that post will be filled by our lead arborist Dan Farvour and Kevin Lisko.

The language on the Jentsch appointment is below. It still needs to be approved by the Parks Commission and then it will be voted on by the Common Council at its February 3 meeting.

City Administrator, Jay Shambeau and Human Resources Director, Michelle Hoey ask for your assistance in approving the recommended appointment of Mike Jentsch to position of Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department. Mike brings over 20 years of experience in the field of Parks and Forestry as well as over 15 years in management.

The position of Park, Recreation and Forestry director opened in mid-July 2019 after Craig Hoeppner resigned to take a similar job in Oconomowoc.

Could West Bend taxpayers be faced with a referendum for two new elementary schools

The West Bend School District Committee of the Whole reviewed several discussion items during its Monday night meeting with board members agreeing the Village of Jackson needed a new elementary school and possibly two new elementary schools were needed in the district.

In April 2019 voters in the West Bend School District turned down a proposed $47 million referendum, which would have totaled $74 million with interest.

In June 2019 a Private Task Force approached the district with a plan to use private funds to study an alternative way to assess existing conditions in the district and bring the expertise of how modern educational facilities should be designed.

Findings were presented by the Private Task Force in October 2019. A long-term sustainable approach was rolled out which included new facilities and a way to fund the project without increasing taxes. “Money is the solution to the problem – more money may not be,” said Task Force leader Kraig Sadownikow.

Fast forward to Monday night’s 2-and-a-half-hour meeting where the Committee of the Whole began with growth projections for the West Bend School District.

Village of Jackson President Mike Schwab and Village Administrator John Walther talked about development of single family and multifamily homes and they anticipated possible commercial development after the new municipal complex was completed.

Board member Paul Fischer asked for a breakdown of new housing starts over the last five years.

Schwab and Walther believed a school in Jackson was important to its identity as a Village. “It’s important for the future and the kids,” said Schwab. “Yes, we believe an elementary school is vital.”

Schwab also indicated the parcel the district purchased for $750,000 at W204 N16722 and W204 N16690 Jackson Drive was a better location for a new school than the current site.  “It’s close to the community center, the new site is safer and it eliminates kids crossing Highway 60 to get to the Boys and Girls Club,” he said.

Questioned about the marketability of the current Jackson Elementary School, Schwab indicated it would “take careful planning.” He believed it could be an attractive site if it was “repurposed in a quick fashion.”

Economic development manager Adam Gitter then presented an overview of growth and development in the City of West Bend. “Residential growth has been slow,” said Gitter.

The City, according to Gitter, has seen an increase in development of housing for senior citizens and the former Barton School is “workforce housing.”

The City is expanding into a new 216-acre industrial park on River Road and Highway NN. There was also a review given of newer business growth with additional Kwik Trips, Morrie’s Honda and the new Fleet Farm.

Questioned several times on where residential growth is most likely to occur, Gitter said it would be “pushing toward the east side of Highway 33.”

Christian G. Tscheschlok, executive director of Economic Development Washington County, presented an in-depth look at business growth and trends nationwide and then he brought the vision closer to West Bend.

He mentioned how “businesses need to sell products outside of Washington County” in order to succeed.

“Economic development is measured in jobs and new investment,” he said.  “Over the last 10 years the trend is suggesting each project had job creation but that trend has declined because it’s hard to find employees.”

One of the key trends, said Tscheschlok, is the speed with which a business can develop. “Decisions are made in less than 90 days and the trend is end users don’t want to own properties but lease properties,” he said. “Project needs location, workforce and to be competitively priced.”

Questioned whether West Bend is prime for development Tscheschlok said the key factor was “availability of land.”

Enrollment question

The district has been discussing future enrollment trends ever since October 2019 when administration indicated “unless there is a change in enrollment trends, the district can expect declining enrollment for the next 8-10 years.”

What are wishes of the board?

Following the presentation of data, board members weighed in on the future of Jackson Elementary. In October one of the findings of the Task Force had been to close Jackson and build a new school to the north by about a mile to serve students in both West Bend and Jackson.

“Perhaps a school in Jackson is no longer justified,” said Randy Stark from the Task Force.

Construct one new school (783 capacity) at a south side location and expand Green Tree. Close/sell Jackson School, Jackson land, Decorah, Fair Park, District Offices, Rolfs & Maintenance. Develop a single central campus on the south side of WB.

Paul Fischer – I can’t personally see a community of 7,000 not having its own elementary school. It’s pretty obvious there’ s more growth happening in Jackson than in WB. It warrants having a K4 facility.

Erin Dove – I live in Jackson and my three kids went to Jackson Elementary. It was walk able for us and it feels like community. I can’t imagine leaving a community with 7,000 people and it’s hard to stomach.

Chris Zwygart –  It would be ill-advised not to have a school there (in Jackson). We need to be a good partner.

Kurt Rebholz– We can’t afford to turn our back on Jackson and a whole student and parent population. Being bold do we put a K-6 school there. Getting into how do we fund it. I said before – getting out of the taxpayer base and being responsible for facilities the trend is for public sector communities to rent or lease space.

Superintendent Don Kirkegaard – We have ability to lease buildings too. Because we’re a low spending district all that will come out of Fund 10. The way you would pay for that is take it out of Fund 10 and that’s already strapped and where do we get the money to pay for the lease.

There was some discussion about closing an elementary school in West Bend; possibly closing Fair Park or Decorah Elementary and then building another elementary school. The board acknowledged a declining enrollment and debated the best scenario.

Finally, Superintendent Kirkegaard laid out three options. 1) new elementary in Jackson 2) what would cost be to renovate or add on to one of two elementary facilities 3) what would be cost to replace Fair Park and Decorah Elementary and build a school to the east.

There was also a proposal to move the Rolfs Education Center and relocate the Head Start program to Silverbrook while also moving the district office, possibly to Badger School. Kirkegaard said he is also exploring working with Moraine Park Technical college on a joint program to enhance building trades rather than remodeling the area at the high school.

The board did not address funding for the new school proposals other than referendum.  Maintenance projects such as locker rooms at the high school were suggested could be paid for by fundraising and/or a private partnership with area businesses.

The Task Force indicated funding in lieu of a referendum could be generated through consolidation of the campus, selling property, and outsourcing jobs.

Communities in Washington Co. receive over $8 million in General Transportation Aids

Neighbors in Washington County may want to buckle in for this next story. It looks like cities, towns, and villages across Washington County are set to receive over $8 million in local road funding.

The true total for Washington County for transportation-related projects for 2019-2020 is $8,236,273.

The money is coming from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. It falls under the category General Transportation Aids, Connecting Highway Aids and Expressway Policing Aids.

Below is a tidbit from the General Transportation Aids website:

Program overview: The General Transportation Aids (GTA) program enables local governments to receive state aid payments to offset the cost of county and municipal road construction, maintenance, and traffic operations. The funding sources of these aid payments are the fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees collected by the state. GTA is WisDOT’s second largest program.

Distribution of GTA funds is based on a six-year costs average or a statutorily set rate-per-mile. Transportation-related expenditures and revenues incurred by local governments are necessary factors in the calculation process. This financial information is taken directly from the Municipal Financial Report Form that each local government files annually with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. The Cost Reporting Manual provides guidance in identifying the eligible expenditures and deductible revenues that are applicable to GTA.

Below is a list of how communities across Washington County will be impacted. According to Tim Olusegun with GTA the first quarterly installment was already received this month by local governments. The amount received is 10 percent more than what the state budgeted in 2019.

According to Hartford City Administrator Steve Volkert, the funding will help offset the increase the City has already seen in the price of road salt.

Community                        MILES JURISDICTION STATE AIDS MAINTAINED

WASHINGTON COUNTY $2,414,744       N/A

CITY OF HARTFORD $603,098      71.13 mi.

CITY OF WEST BEND $1,327,163     134.43 mi.

VILLAGE GERMANTOWN $1,077,507    130.70 mi.

VILLAGE JACKSON $340,857       27.00 mi.

VILLAGE KEWASKUM $204,788     18.24 mi.

VILLAGE NEWBURG $55,900      5.57 mi.

VILLAGE RICHFIELD $386,500     147.07 mi.

VILLAGE SLINGER $231,635        29.41

TOWN OF ADDISON $169,637     64.55

TOWN OF BARTON $121,598      46.27

TOWN OF ERIN $149,008       56.70

TOWN OF FARMINGTON $171,135   65.12

TOWN OF GERMANTOWN $11,721   4.46

TOWN OF HARTFORD $127,379      48.47

TOWN OF JACKSON $155,893      59.32

TOWN OF KEWASKUM $99,995  38.05

TOWN OF POLK $152,871           58.17

TOWN OF TRENTON $174,525   66.41

TOWN OF WAYNE $142,611       58.55

TOWN OF WEST BEND $117,708 44.79

TOTAL $8,236,273

Two people apply for open seat as District 8 alderman in West Bend

As of Thursday afternoon, two people had expressed interest in the opening for District 8 alderman in West Bend.

City Clerk Stephanie Justmann said Meghann Kennedy has turned in paperwork for the position along with Aaron Zingsheim.

Kennedy is currently on the West Bend Park and Rec Commission. She is fulfilling the term of Jennifer Koehn, which expires in 2021. Kennedy works at Kohls Corporate in Menomonee Falls and is a digital business category analyst.

Zingsheim is a fifth-grade teacher at Silverbrook School in West Bend. He lived in Milwaukee nine years and then moved to West Bend in 2014.

The seat in Dist. 8 opened when Roger Kist submitted a letter of resignation on January 10, 2020.

The City posted the position and are now seeking interested individuals who reside in District 8 to fill the vacancy.

The Council will review required materials and interview candidates at the Common Council meeting on February 17, 2020. The successful appointee will represent District 8 for the remainder of the term, expiring in April 2021.

To be eligible to serve, an individual at the time of the appointment must be:

A citizen of the United Sates and the state of Wisconsin; An elector of the city of West Bend; and A resident of District 8. Official maps of the districts are available at the City of West Bend Clerk’s Office.

Those interested in being considered for the District 8 aldermanic appointment are required to submit the following materials: Letter of interest with brief summary of what they feel they bring to the position. Resume or statement of qualifications

Required materials are due to the City Clerk by February 10, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. delivered, mailed, or emailed to: City of West Bend Attn: City Clerk Stephanie Justmann

Candidates will be reviewed at the Common Council meeting on February 17, 2020.

Kewaskum resident receives Froedtert WB Hospital Sunflower Award       By Tim Olsen

Sara Groeschel, critical care technician on the Modified Care Unit and Kewaskum resident, has been recognized with Froedtert West Bend Hospital’s semi-annual Sunflower Award for the dignity and respect she provided a patient.

“Sara was kind and compassionate while tending to mom’s cares,” said one of her nominators. “Sara gave her dignity and respect as she deserves. Sara always went above and beyond, asking if anything was needed. God bless you.”

The Sunflower Award honors extraordinary nursing support staff who demonstrate devotion, strength and compassion to ensure the well-being of patients, family and staff.

Froedtert West Bend Hospital recognizes two nursing support staff member each year. Each Sunflower honoree is recognized at a public ceremony in his/her unit with a certificate, a Sunflower Award pin and a hand-carved stone sculpture titled “Supporting Heart.” The sunflower was chosen as the award theme because the sun symbolizes warmth and strength, and the flower represents devotion, compassion and enthusiasm.

Patients, visitors, nurses, physicians and staff may nominate a support staff member by filling out the form available in the hospital lobbies and nursing stations and following the instructions or through Excellence in Action.

Kwik Trip on E. Washington Street in West Bend goes out to bid

The demolition of the old Mobil station on E. Washington Street happened in late December 2019 and this week bids went out for the new Kwik Trip on East Washington.

According to plans the incoming Kwik Trip No. 4, 1610 E. Washington Street, would include 10 pump/dispenser islands with a total of 20 fueling spaces. The diesel canopy will accommodate 2 fueling positions.  It appears construction will get underway in spring, after the frost is out of the ground.

Then trusses will arrive in early August and framing will begin around August 10. The gas canopy will be installed August 17 and signage and graphics should be in place by October.

It looks like Kwik Trip is aiming for an early November, maybe between Nov. 2 – 6, opening.

Bids are due to the Construction Manager (Thrive Construction) on January 31. West Bend has two Kwik Trips currently in operation; one is on Silverbook Drive just north of Paradise Drive and the second is on Main Street and Decorah Road. There is another site set for development of a Kwik Trip on E. Paradise Drive and River Road and then the No. 4 Kwik Trip on E. Washington Street and Schnoenhaar Drive.

A fifth Kwik Trip has been proposed for the former Fleet Farm site on W. Washington Street and 18th Avenue. That public hearing regarding a No. 5 Kwik Trip has yet to be rescheduled.

Rep. Gundrum presents Hometown Hero Award to Pete Rettler                  By Jason Knack

Rep. Rick Gundrum (R – Slinger) kicked off Wednesday, Jan. 22 on the Assembly Floor Session with recognition of special guest, West Bend constituent and philanthropist Pete Rettler, who was joined by his son, Max Rettler.

Pete Rettler was nominated by Rep. Gundrum to be a recipient of the Hometown Hero Award. This award is reserved for individuals who have gone the extra mile to benefit his or her community and improve the lives of its residents. For 26 years, Pete Rettler has dedicated himself to causes and programs that fit this exact description.

To date, Pete has logged over 23,700 miles since 1994, not missing a single day of running over the 26-year span. He has used this remarkable track record to raise money, recruit volunteers and sponsors, and highlight the work of non-profits in Washington County.

Just over a year ago, Pete Rettler coordinated the largest donation to the United Way of Washington County and largest overall percentage increase in fundraising history through his “25 Runs of Gratitude.”

“It is my sincere honor to have nominated Pete Rettler to be a recipient of this year’s Hometown Hero Award. Pete has been a pillar of the community for many years, and his contributions to numerous non-profits, charities, and projects in Washington County are worth this recognition,” said Rep. Gundrum. “Over the past 26 years, Pete has been an outstanding example of what it means to give back to the community by donating his time and resources to improve the lives of residents in the 58th Assembly District.”

Pete served for four years as the director of Mental Health Clinic Lutheran Social Services, has served for 13 years as the Dean at the Moraine Park Technical College’s West Bend Campus, and is a past President of the United Way of Washington County.

His past, present, and future efforts are a testament to the impact one individual in a community can make.

Eulogy for Margaret “Peggy” Ziegler                                                  By Nicholas Novaczyk

A beautiful tribute Thursday afternoon at the Schmidt Funeral Home in West Bend as friends, family and neighbors paid their respects to the family of Bernie and Margaret Ziegler.

Peg Ziegler died January 15, 2020.

The funeral parlor was packed with old friends including Ken and Marge Miller, Allan Kieckhaefer, Gloria Dawn Strickland, Nancy and Vern Van Vooren …. to name a few. There were flowers and flags of Peg’s favorite sports teams including the Brewers, Badgers and Packers.

Rick Gilbertson, accompanied by piano and violin, sang a couple of hymns including “I come to the garden alone” and “In the Garden.”

Nicholas Novaczyk presented a touching eulogy that defined Peg Ziegler as a champion blessed with a gift of compassion and an opinion.

The Matriarch

Good afternoon. For those who don’t know me, I’m Brooke’s husband, and by marriage, a grateful and proud grandson to Gum Gum. Bernie, Jane, and JJ asked if I could say a few words on behalf of the family today, to mark the incredible life of their Mother.

Which gladly I will, but first let’s start with some housekeeping, please take out your phones and delete every email forward that you have ever gotten from Peg, she was prolific, and it should save you about 5 gigabits in space….

February 22, 1925 a day that set-in motion the 94 years that will define an impactful life. The reaches of which are hard to assess, But I sense we all have a collective idea of how vast and deep Pegs influence on our lives are marked. The space and time that is filled between that day and January 15, 2020 is a legacy that I think we all can look to as a standard, as a goal, and as an achievement.

We all have our own stories of Peg, each of whom has shared and individuals memories that help us define what she meant to us, the subtle memories of a mother, the connect gift of a sister, The comfort of a grandmother, and the laughter and trouble making of a friend, but to define Margret Ziegler we may need a little more runway. Our world in which God has placed us is less today because of our loss.

*West Bend and Washington County have lost their champion, Wisconsin has lost a favorite daughter, and our Country has lost the strength and grace of a depression and war-era Matriarch.

So much can be learned from the examples that Peg set. Her gifts were many, and even more remarkable was her willingness to share them. Some might argue that her greatest gift was that of having an opinion, which in turn gave her the moniker of the “The General” This stern and rigid reputation was widely known and depending upon who you were, either blessing or a curse.

I would argue that her greatest gift was that of compassion, that gift, so often hides behind the above-described. Peg was straightforward and direct, but was also loving and kind, and connected these traits as well as anyone I have ever met. The world has changed so much of the last 94 years, throughout her life, as we all do, she felt loss and uncertainty, suffered tragedies and pain, but each time, she made a choice to not let those events and circumstances define who she was. She became better because of them.

I would suggest that she used those times as fuel to shine and be a light. Her leadership as head of her family, her leadership as a community member, and her devoted moral compass are many small examples of her storied life. The success she enjoyed in life was earned through her determination and resolve.

Her marriage to Bernie is a great American love story. Blessed are those who were able to witness that story unfold over the decades, I can only imagine what those early years together were like, as they planned and worked to create such legacy that will leave us so much better off because of them. I had the privilege many years ago to talk about Bernie and his life. I recall finding the words to describe him, as the Caddies and the Kings, after talking to one of his golf caddies in Arizona.

This was a man that could inspire the least of us and greatest of us without a changing tone. What I didn’t know then, and I certainly know now, is that this very well may be the case of the Women that made the man. Through letters and stories, and simple pictures or memories, she was to Bernie as she was to all of us.

*She made us better people, stronger people, Better Fathers, Better Mothers, better stewards of all the blessings that God has given us. This was not a request, she demanded we be better. I’m glad she did, and I’m hopeful that she will continue to demand us to be better as we move on from this day without her.

There is no doubt that Peg in the later stages of her life was truly blessed. Her strength carried her to 94 years old, her health stayed steady for most of those years, and her children surrounded her in the last hours. The void she leaves is vast, as often is the case with Matriarchs, there is no replacement, there is only the chance that we lead our lives with purpose, and with respect paid to what Peg wanted for all of us. Happiness, success, health, and the chance to make the world around us a better place.

A complete life is a rare site, but on occasion the example is so clear and bright, it is worth for us to stop and recognize that our Friend and Mother, had the good luck, the good fortune, the good looks, and the good lord beside her to make each of her 94 years on earth count in spectacular fashion.

*I can see the dusty roads of the 20’s and 30’ when she grew up in an American that was just becoming, I can imagine the pause when she watch our country head to a War that would define her generation,  The created memories she made raising a family in the great decades of the 50’s and 60’s. While I have no confirmed reports that she attended Woodstock in 1969, the next 30 years were spent building and shaping her family and her state, Peg turned the century as a strong and beautiful example of what the freedoms of America can produce. As her husband’s legacy does, Gum Gum belongs to the ages now. We all are eternally grateful for her and what she meant to all of us.

As her book is ending, those of us left to live our lives will watch the sun rise in morning. We get to decide on our actions and our choices we make each day on how to live, I think Peg left us with many indelible guiding moments for us to learn from. In honor and memory of this Ziegler’s life, I am going to ask you all to think about completing a task.

*It can be as small or as large as you can creatively organize. I’m going to ask that at some point in your life in years to come, you make a meaningful difference in the lives, communities, and country that you are a part of. The kind of difference that Peg so often made. The kind of impact that changes lives and makes it a little easier for others to achieve what maybe they couldn’t without a nudge or a little support.

****But here is the catch, after you do, and after the rewards are felt and seen, you can’t tell anybody it was you. You can silently say a prayer and remember that Peg wanted all of us to be better, and that is enough I am certain, for anybody in all walks of life to aspire too.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Paying tribute to Margaret “Peg” Ziegler

Neighbors in West Bend are paying tribute to Peg Ziegler as a “matriarch of the Ziegler family,” someone who was direct and leaving a legacy in the community.

Ziegler died at her home on Wednesday, January 15, 2020; she was 94.

Washington County Circuit Judge Andrew Gonring was taken aback when informed of the news. “Peg did so much for the community; both she and Bernie,” said Gonring. “All you have to do is take a look at the Kettle Moraine YMCA and see many improvements she funded, all in the name of kids and all in the name of making that facility available to members of this community in a way it wasn’t before.

“She was a tremendous matriarch of the Ziegler family. West Benders will be eternally grateful for what she’s done,” he said.

Questioned how he would identify Peg Ziegler, Gonring said “she was about as West Bend as they come.”

“She had down-home roots; she never put on airs or pretended to be someone she wasn’t. She truly was a great West Bender in all aspects,” he said.

Margaret “Peg” Ziegler, nee Gumm, attended West Bend High School. She graduated 1943 and her name is listed first as one of the editors of the high school yearbook.

“Peg was a sharp and classy lady that I had the utmost respect for,” said former West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow. “On several occasions I would get a call or email from her letting me know, very directly, her opinion. Usually she was in Arizona and still paying close attention to her home. She had a deep love for West Bend and its people.”

During her senior year in high school Margaret Gumm was involved in everything from band to choir, Latin Club, variety show, Christmas Play, Clipper Staff and Bend Editor and she was even elected Prom Queen.

“She was always a good friend,” said Gunter Woog. “We went at it tooth and nail but we were good friends.”

Woog said “she was always there when we needed her.”

He praised Ziegler for her donations to the community including Enchantment in the Park.

“If we needed a donation to Jam for Kids or anything the Zieglers always helped out,” he said.

Woog laughed at some memories of his friend Peg, saying a good word to describe her was “cantankerous.”

“One time she told me to move back to Germany if I didn’t like it,” Woog said. “She held her ground but had a big heart. Even when we were fighting, we really liked each other. It’s the kind of relationship people don’t have today.”

Betty Nelson, another legacy of West Bend, was good friends with Peg Ziegler. “Bernie and Peg introduced Cliff and me,” she said about her future husband. “We went to the auto races at State Fair Park. That was back in 1948 and we were married in ’49.”

Nelson, 96, described Peg and Bernie as “close friends for years.”

“She was such a generous woman. She was interested in West Bend; everything about West Bend or everything that pertained to West Bend and she was very active in raising money for the Y and all manner of things,” said Nelson.  “We were fast friends because the Ziegler’s were a lot of fun. Peggy had a good sense of humor and I think that took her through a lot of tough times.”

Barb Justman, owner of BJ and Company, spent time with Ziegler weekly; visiting her home every Thursday to “do her hair.”

“She was spirited,” said Justman. “When I’d be there, she would talk about things like the art museum and the trees or bushes planted by the museum. Someone would have taken her for a ride and she just always wanted to know what was going on in West Bend,” said Justman. “The museum and the historic theatre were always hot topics of conversation for her. She really wanted to be kept up on local news.”

Former Washington County Board Chairman Ken Miller said he had the pleasure of working with Peg on several occasions. “She always knew what she wanted but could compromise if necessary. She was feisty but kind. I admired her for just being “her”. She was unselfish and always willing to “pitch “in. She is one of the great philanthropists that makes Washington County a great place. Her “mark” is all over the area not just Washington County and West Bend. She will be missed. What a great Lady.”

Ric Leitheiser of West Bend said Peg Ziegler made a significant impact in the community. “Peg carried on the Ziegler legacy and made her own in more ways than I’m sure people realize. What I remember most is her interest in kids. She always had a soft spot for kids and children will benefit from her generosity for generations. She will be missed,” said Leitheiser.

Nancy and Jerry Mehring were good friends of Peg Ziegler. Jerry Mehring would drive her to medical appointments. “She asked for Jerry specifically as a driver with Interfaith,” said Nancy. “She was a proud lady and I felt bad because was such a wonderful person.”

Mehring remembered working for Peg’s husband Bernie years ago at the West Bend Company. “Bernie and Allan Kieckhafer and Harry Haugen were all in wholesale and premium. Peg was always so kind and sweet and it’s no wonder Bernie could do as much as he did because they worked together as such a good team,” said Nancy Mehring.

One-year Bernie Ziegler gave Nancy Mehring a pale green cashmere sweater for Christmas. “It was so special and it was a gift and I treasured that so much and I always told Peggy how much that meant.  West Bend is missing a great lady; West Bend was lucky to have the Zieglers and their generosity.”

Peggy is survived by 3 children:  Bernard Ziegler, Jayne (Jim) Wayne and J.J. (Annette) Ziegler; 10 grandchildren:  Brooke (Nicholas) Novaczyk, Sara (Joe) Humann, Laura (Grant) Sommer, Jim (Aurelia) Wayne, Nick (Priscilla) Wayne, Carri Wayne, Lucy Wayne, Keller Ziegler, Charlie Ziegler and Drew Ziegler; 13 great-grandchildren; 1 sister Dorothy Barnes; other relatives and friends.

In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by 1 daughter Marna Ziegler, 1 daughter-in-law Liz Ziegler and 1 brother Robert Gumm.

Visitation will be on Thursday, January 23 from 10:30 a.m. until 1:15 p.m. at the Schmidt Funeral Home in West Bend.  Funeral services will follow at 1:30 p.m. with private interment.

Skinny Vic’s location in West Bend revealed

The location for the new Skinny Vic’s Diner & Coffee Stop is being revealed.

“It looks like everyone nailed it,” said owner Vicki Lehnerz.

The initial story about the new restaurant was posted as a tease on Saturday morning. Folks in the community offered an array of guesses.

Lehnerz said her new eatery is going into the former Golf Etc. storefront, 804 W. Paradise Drive; in between Petco and Anytime Fitness in the strip-mall location by Home Depot.

“This is the place to be,” she said.

It was two years ago, June 2018, when Lehnerz closed her diner in Slinger.  She gravitated to West Bend, looking for a larger space.

“I’ll have 1,300 more square feet in this location and my Coffee Stop, with the grab-and-go items, will be larger,” she said. “I’ll be selling my bread, soups, salads; it’ll be like a Starbucks or Panera counter inside the restaurant.”

Lehnerz plans to be open for breakfast and lunch and then dinner on Friday night.

The build out for the new Diner & Coffee Stop is underway. Lehnerz is expecting a soft open with special invites around April and then officially launching by May.

“I have an incredible passion for what I do and my food is amazing and people want me back and that’s what keeps me going,” she said.

Sharpshooters prepping to trim the deer population at two parks in West Bend

 Sharpshooters will be conducting a managed hunt in the coming weeks at Lac Lawrann Conservancy and Ridge Run Park in West Bend in an effort to better manage the growing population of deer in the City.

This is the third such hunt since a Deer Management Committee was formed in 2017.

The City of West Bend allowed a managed hunt for two years. The first effort in 2018 was coordinated in house and included three bow hunters who had to pass a marksmanship test to qualify to take part.  Hunters spent five days in the park and shot a total of three deer.

The Deer Management group and West Bend Common Council followed up with a more aggressive plan in 2019 and hired sharpshooters in an effort to trim the herd by 60 at Ridge Run Park and Lac Lawrann Conservancy.

Sharpshooters totaled 56 deer in 2019 and are looking to trim the herd by an equal amount or better this year.

District 1 alderman John Butschlick is part of the Deer Management Committee.

“The sharpshooters will conduct the managed hunt in January and February,” he said.

Some neighbors have already voiced their concern saying they felt the number of deer in the City has dramatically declined. Butschlick said that’s not the information they’ve received.

“They did a drone search of the parks and I was shocked at the number of deer they found at Lac Lawrann,” he said.  “Three or four weeks ago hunters spotted 150 deer.”

This past year Bicentennial Park and its deer population was also discussed.   Butschlick said the deer are extremely heavy on 18th Avenue especially near Miller Street and Hilltop Drive. “The deer trails in that area are just like runways,” he said.

The City applied for a $5,000 Urban Wildlife Damage Abatement and Control grant to help offset the expense which totaled a little more than $9,000.

Butschlick said the paperwork has already been filed and with advisement from the DNR he hopes to secure the grant to cover the cost of the 2020 managed hunt.

The city is targeting a reduction in deer numbers to reduce deer damage to habitat, property and car/deer collisions.

Former Mayor Kraig Sadownikow praises new S&P long-term bond rating for City of West Bend

Former West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said the news release from the City of West Bend, today January 13, 2020, is great news for the community.

Sadownikow said the effort took a lot of hard work and commitment.

The City of West Bend announced Standard & Poor (S&P) Global Ratings has assigned its ‘AA’ long-term rating to the City of West Bend series 2020A taxable general obligation (GO) community development bonds.

The AA rating declares the City to be “at a very strong capacity to meet financial commitments due to its leadership, organizational policies, and financial stability. It will position the City to receive the best possible interest rates on future borrowings.”

“The City of West Bend has made a tremendous commitment to its short- and long-term financial wellness,” said City Administrator Jay Shambeau. “This improved rating reflects the hard work and dedication of City Council members, the Finance Department staff, and our department head team.”

Sadownikow said the bond rating issue goes back to 2011 when he was elected and met with a Washington County Supervisor.

“That supervisor said the city is on a collision course with a financial tsunami,” said Sadownikow. “It took about a year and a half to figure out what he was talking about …. but he was exactly right.”

Sadownikow praised the West Bend Common Council for it’s aggressiveness and dedication to “reduce debt and increase reserves.”

“Moody’s was the City’s bonding agency for more than 20 years and during our annual conference calls their reps would lay out what the City had to do to increase its bond rating,” he said. “We did that but I didn’t feel the City was getting the respect it deserved.”

In 2019, Sadownikow threw out the challenge for the City to change rating agencies and that’s where S&P comes in.

“S&P looked at the information and said you guys are a lot stronger than Moody’s was giving you credit for and that’s where we are today,” he said.

Details in the latest S&P report upgraded the City’s bond rating, last conducted by Moody in 2019, from Aa3 to AA. In summary, the rating reflects S&P’s assessment of the City’s:

Strong economy with access to a broad and diverse metropolitan statistical area (MSA). The city has a projected per capita effective buying income of 98.3% of the national level and per capita market value of $93,945. Overall, the city’s market value grew by 6.9% over the past year to $3.0 billion in 2020. The county unemployment rate was 2.5% in 2018.

Strong management with good financial policies and practices under our Financial Management Assessment (FMA) methodology. West Bend conducts line-by-line budgeting, relying on historical information to determine trends.

Very strong budgetary flexibility with an available undesignated fund balance in fiscal 2018 of 28.3% of operating expenditures.

Very strong liquidity with total government available cash at 78.8% of total governmental fund expenditures and 3.3x governmental debt service, and access to external liquidity we consider strong.

Adequate debt and contingent liability profile, with debt service carrying charges at 23.9% of expenditures and net direct debt that is 128.7% of total governmental fund revenue, as well as low overall net debt at less than 3% of market value and rapid amortization, with 89.3% of debt scheduled to be retired in 10 years.

Strong institutional framework score.

“What this does is put the City in a position where raising taxes at random and increasing debt at random puts the City right back where it was,” he said. “What it takes is some time, energy, and question asking to understand what made us strong, because we know what made us weak.”

Questioned whether the AA rating is now good enough so all the roads can be fixed in West Bend, Sadownikow said…

“Can we finally fix the roads? If that means someone’s going to say let’s borrow $20 million, I would say no,” he said. “The amount of money the City is putting into roads is potentially over the next three years higher than it’s ever been. It allows the City to invest more into roads but it has to be done in an intelligent manner or we end up right back where we were.

“The report recognizes the reduction in debt; that debt is more manageable and more sustainable than it was in the past.  It also recognizes that the City’s reserves are at a really comfortable level and that’s what gives bonding agencies comfort is knowing a community is financially strong,” said Sadownikow.

“If taking on a bunch of debt willy nilly and to raise taxes by taking on a bunch of willy-nilly debt, I would say that’s not a good solution and it would put the City right back onto a path of a financial tsunami. I’m super proud the common council took a position seven years ago to put some mechanisms in place to put the City in the position it’s at right now.”

“The Finance Department is very pleased with the upgraded bond rating,” said Finance Administrator Carrie Winklbauer. “The City of West Bend is continuing to move in a positive financial direction.”

WBHS club teams complain about budget cuts but they really overspent allotted amount

During the Jan. 6, 2020 meeting of the West Bend School Board, students packed the board room.  High school students and parents spoke about funds being cut for clubs like forensics and debate and the school music program was even mentioned.

When students in attendance were asked where the information about funding cuts came from, none could answer.

At the meeting students and parents spoke about the “importance of band, the cost of transportation to events and registration not being covered.”

“I don’t know why the arts don’t get funded like sports teams do. We have football fields, a brand-new tennis court that got resurfaced… The kids in the arts… are a team as well. They are a club as well. They need to be recognized. They need to be funded.”

“I want to know how the budget is put together and how can that budget be changed in the middle of the school year.”

Emily Colton – “I’m here to address the recent defunding of the East forensics program… Who can reverse this decision.”

After the public speaking portion of the meeting Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said, “I don’t believe the board and or the district cut any funding for co-curricular programs.”

Following the meeting Kirkegaard asked for a hold on any story until he could look into it further.

Superintendent Kirkegaard spoke this week about what they found.

Kirkegaard – “There were no cuts at all to any of the forensics or music budget. There was no cut at all to the budget but last year between East and West they overspent by about $5,000 between the two. The cut was actually based on not actually having the ability to spend as much this year as they did last year and that had nothing to do with the approved budget.”

Kirkegaard – “I just visited with both principals and we are going to suggest or tell the advisers that we’re going to spend up to where we were last year and then this spring when we look at those funds we’ll then make the decision whether we will live within the budget or amend the budget to better reflect the expenses we have.”

Kirkegaard – “If they had overspent in the past and told they couldn’t overspend in the future then I can see where supervisors would think they don’t have as much to spend this year as they did last year but we truly have adjusted it making sure we’re not going to hold them specifically to that amount but we’re going to try to live within what we spent last year which was a little bit over what was budgeted for last year and now we need to make sure we budget appropriately or spend in accordance with the budget.”

District Finance Director Andy Sarnow- “Debate is a combined team but there’s a forensics team for West Bend East and another for West. I’ve only heard about discussion with regard to forensics. I’ve heard of no further discussions for band; I don’t know where that came from. There have been discussions with the forensics coach. I’ll have to get back to you on the budget numbers. We are coming up with a document to share with the board.”

Sarnow – “In 2018-2019 and East and West forensics is separate and each has a budget of $6,700. The total for forensics is $13,400. Last year they overspent by about $4,950 within forensics. So just under $5,000. That was both teams together. Total they spent that year $18,500 and overspent just under $5,000.”

Sarnow – “Going over budget by 25% – 30% is significant. We don’t want to make a big deal about it because they do some wonderful stuff. Don Kirkegaard did reference they did spend $9,500 last year for transportation and that was a little more than previous years. We put a lot of things together and put it into one line item in our chart of accounts and I can’t say that account went over budget but they spent a little bit more so that was another couple thousand dollars that was more than anticipated.”

Sarnow – “The prior year they were within about $1,500; not a big concern but it does go back to the original message Mr. Graff shared is ‘boy, we just have to do a little bit better job living within our budget.’ There were no budgets that were abused, nothing like that it was just more of an effort to be proactive because we have a defined revenue limit. We can’t just ask taxpayers for more money and get it we’re just trying to be a little more sensitive to that.”

Sarnow – “By site the principals oversee their school allocations. My department, I work with them as well to take a look at things and are monitoring that regularly.”

WCI questioned if now the spending is being monitored or was it before?

Sarnow – “We have been, but in going back they had more activities that had been anticipated. They went a lot longer than I believe; they had activities from the end of September 2018 to the end of May 2019. So, I think there were more activities; I don’t know if there were more students participating but I do know they went to more events.”

WCI – Is it busing only or hotel stays or admission costs?

Sarnow – “It’s busing but travel; events further away where students are spending the night. Hotels, meals, and students are also contributing. Above the district allocation each school is also fundraising approximately $10,000 a year and spending about that so that’s additional money that’s spent on travel and coaches and going to these events.”

WCI – parents and students did speak for over 45 minutes at the board meeting about spending being cut.

Sarnow – “That’s not accurate.”

WCI – How did that get out there?

Sarnow – “I don’t know. There were discussions that dated to August but you should call WB East principal John Graf. (Calls have been placed to Graff with no response.)

WCI – The board then asked for more money to cover expenses. Where is that money coming from?

Sarnow – “Again, there were no budget reductions. We’re trying to get them to live within their budget. If we do need to get them a little additional money that’s equal to what they spent last year there is a little discretionary money the principals have and they could shift around and cover any overages. And that’s exactly what happened last year. At year end they had a little money left over so they were able to absorb the deficit within their budget.”

WCI – Should someone else get involved in overseeing how the money is spent so students don’t get rattled like this again?

Sarnow – “Myself, I don’t see any concerns or have any issues with the way we’ve been monitoring it. Are we going to pay a bit more closer attention, sure. But I don’t have any concerns from a financial perspective.”

WCI – How is the money being spent.

Sarnow – “I believe, based on coding and how we describe the expenditures we incur, it may indeed have included the one combined East and West debate team but primarily speaking this is mostly forensics.”

Sarnow did not know how or why band funding was brought into the discussion.

Calls have been placed to school board members for their response.

Hope Demler promoted to Deputy Sheriff Lt. for Washington Co. Sheriff Martin Schulteis

A nice tribute to Hope Demler as she was promoted to Deputy Sheriff Lieutenant for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Demler has been with the Sheriff’s Department for nearly 19 years. She started in February 2001 and was promoted to detective in April 2006.

During a Public Safety Committee meeting on Wednesday morning, January 15, Sheriff Martin Schulteis recognized Demler for her service as a Patrol Deputy, DARE Instructor, Detective, Dive Team Member, CVSA Operator and Evidence Custodian.

“During that time, she received multiple acknowledgements, commendations and letters from private citizens and fellow professionals regarding her outstanding performance serving the citizens of Washington County.”

Demler was also recognized for her service as a U.S. Navy veteran and for her “honor, integrity and respect.” Sheriff Schulteis then promoted Demler to Deputy Sheriff Lieutenant effective January 16, 2020.

Slinger/Hartford snowboard team brings home the hardware   By Delaney Braun

The Slinger Snowboard team had two fantastic races over the weekend at Alpine Valley Ski Resort.

A notable highlight featured Slinger girls’ varsity earning the top three spots on the podium. Gold went to the SHS junior Marisa Reyes, silver to Kallie Weyer a freshman, and bronze was awarded to freshman Ava Stortz.

Slinger is also proud of Pun Worakulpisut, a foreign exchange student from Thailand. He raced for his first time ever. Great work Pun.

All of the Slinger medalists included (back row) Jack Bullis, Luke Schmitt, Ethan Smith, Brady Jackson, Marisa Reyes, (middle row) Kallie Weyer, Ava Stortz, Emma Smith, McKinley DeLong, (front row) Kennedy Weidmeyer, and Jax Weidmeyer.

Front row – Kennedy Wiedmeyer Jax Wiedmeyer. Second row – Kallie Weyer, Ava Stortz, Emma Smith, McKinley DeLong. Third row- Luke Schmitt, Ethan Smith, Brady Jackson, Marisa Reyes. Back row – Jack Bullis. Medalists not pictured Joe Hefter and Henry Wolf.

The course was extremely slick and rutted, which made it even more difficult for racers. The conditions were questionable going into the weekend but ended up with no severe storm.

Falls were commonplace by many racers on other teams, but with looking at the results the 2020 Slinger Snowboard Race Team had some of the strongest and most talented snowboarders in the Midwest.

West Bend Philanthropist to be named Assembly ‘Hometown Hero’ | By Rep. Jim Steineke

The Wisconsin State Assembly will recognize Pete Rettler of West Bend as a “Hometown Hero” at the upcoming Assembly session on January 21.

Rettler, who was nominated by his State Representative, Rick Gundrum (R-Slinger), has been devoutly involved in the United Way Washington County, raising funds for projects and initiatives throughout the community.

In 2019, Rettler coordinated the largest dollar amount and overall percentage increase in Washington County United Way fundraising history.

“Pete has exemplified what it means to give back to one’s community through his work with the Washington County United Way,” said Assembly Majority Leader Steineke (R-Kaukauna), who selected Rettler for the award. “We’re honored to recognize his giving spirit and dedication to Washington County.”

Rettler’s impressive fundraising for the area has not gone unnoticed by others in the community. In 2019, he was awarded the prestigious West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce’s Betty Pearson Community Leadership Award.

The Wisconsin State Assembly sees giving back to the community as one of the most valuable characteristics one can have.

The Assembly Hometown Heroes program seeks to identify and recognize individuals from around the state who give of themselves to make a difference in our communities and in the lives of those around them.

Hometown Hero Award winners are invited and introduced as a special guest at an Assembly floor session and given the opportunity to speak.

Hartford Union HS’s Mary Scherr named Gymnastics Coach of the Year

Hartford Union High School (HUHS) is proud to announce Mary Scherr, Varsity Girls Gymnastics Team Head Coach, named 2018-2019 Central Section Girls Gymnastics Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

In September of 2019, Mary Scherr was named Gymnastics Coach of the Year for Wisconsin by the NFHS.

“I was very surprised and feel honored to be receiving this award. I want to thank my daughter Bobbi and son Michael for all the time and effort they put into coaching with me. I would not be receiving this award without their help,” said Mary Scherr.

Mary was specifically nominated by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association as the most deserving recipient for this honor among coaches of the sport in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin.  Honorees were selected based upon their performance in the 2018-2019 school year, lifetime community involvement, school involvement, and philosophy of coaching.

“We’re excited for Mary to be recognized at the National level.  Our student-athletes are lucky to be working with such a high-caliber coach,” said Scott Helms, HUHS Athletics & Activities Director.

18th annual Hunt for a Cure for MS is February 1  

Join the Bell family at the 18th annual Hunt for a Cure for MS at Circle B in Cedarburg is Saturday, February 1.

On a history note: The hunt started in a garage in Saukville and to date it has become one of the most popular fundraisers for multiple sclerosis in Wisconsin. The humble family of Don, 88, and Eileen Bell, 87, are the force behind the effort.

The Bell Family Rabbit Hunt began in 2002.

“It started because of our two children that left this earth early,” said Don. “Marge and Rich were both devastated by multiple sclerosis and at that time there were no drugs for it. Now at least there is stuff that can control it and slow it and people are at least a little more comfortable rather than being so debilitated and bedridden.”

The Bell family includes seven children: Margie, Janet, Richard, Gordon, twins Ann and Alan and Brian.

“Margie was our oldest and she came down with MS first when she was a student at UW-Oshkosh,” said Eileen. “Her first symptoms were when she was 20 years old.”

Marge left college, married her boyfriend and after she had her first son, she developed more symptoms. In 1979 she was diagnosed with MS, a disease of the central nervous system.

“The body starts to attack itself and the nerves to the muscles start to sort of short circuit,” said Eileen. Doctors told the Bell family the disease was not hereditary.

Rich, the third oldest son, started developing symptoms when he was 27 years old. “Rich was very athletic and he would fall and he blamed it on the concrete sidewalk and it was really toe drop,” said Don. “He went to Madison for an MRI and they found lesions around the brain.”

The Bell children had MS at the same time. Rich returned home in 1991 and died in 1999. Margie passed away in 2003.

Don said the idea of holding a fundraiser was hatched following a rabbit hunt in Saukville.

“My nephew called and told me to come to Saukville and go rabbit hunting,” said Don. “My brother Jerry went along and we were sitting in the garage drinking beer and talking smart and the word fundraiser came up. I suggested we do it for MS and boom it got started.”

The first family hunt was a neighborhood thing. “We were in a garage for two years and we made $10,000 in one year,” said Don. “I’m not kidding you; they auctioned off empty paper boxes to meet the goal. They knew they were empty but they bid on them and we raised money for MS.”

After outgrowing the garage and shed the Bell family moved the event to the Railroad Station in Saukville. For 15 years the fundraiser was held there until it moved again in 2018 to Circle B Recreation in Cedarburg.

“We had 300 initially turn out and now we’re up to 500,” said Don Bell. “It’s almost $400,000 that we made for the Wisconsin Chapter of the MS Society.”

Families and friends from Madison, Green Bay and Eau Claire make up a majority of those in attendance along with people who have experienced MS.

Proceeds from the Rabbit Hunt Fundraiser are divided between research ($50,000 annually), helping people with mobility issues and student scholarships. “If families affected by MS can’t afford education for their children, we help provide scholarships for them,” said Eileen.

“This year we’re putting $3,000 into one scholarship,” said Don.

The day of the hunt

The day begins with three-person teams hunting anywhere in southeastern Wisconsin where hunting is permitted before arriving Circle B Recreation from 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Fifty teams took part in the 2015 event, which raised $50,000 that was donated to MS. The funds came from the $225 team registration fees for the hunt and from general donations, although a large percentage was donated by proceeds from auction items and sales of raffle tickets.

Team names are part of the fun including: Briar Patch Bandits, The Haasenpfeffers (with the Haas family) and Hare Today Stew Tomorrow.

“In 2018 we had 235 rabbits,” said Don. “Nothing goes to waste and everyone gets a prize because we have so many prizes donated.”

Don brings out several 5×7 photos which show hundreds of rabbits strung on a line.

Most teams take their rabbits with them and those that are left are processed free of charge by a man in Grafton who cleans them and sponsors a meal for hunter education classes. “He also makes sausage and that goes to the Lasata Nursing Home in Ozaukee County,” Don said.

Hunters, along with family and friends, then spend the afternoon enjoying food, beverages, games, music, raffles and auctions. “People donate items and the gun raffle is really big,” said Don.

“Our granddaughters put on bunny ears and they walk around the room selling raffle tickets,” said Eileen.

One year Don won a boat cover, which was a little ironic since he owns Cedar Lake Sales and Service in West Bend.

“This little boy and his dad came by me and said, ‘That cover would fit our boat and how much do you want for it?’” said Don. “I gave that to him along with an anchor. It just made his day.”

The Bell family believes it is making an impact on research and so does the MS Society. “We just received a plaque for the biggest and most unique fundraiser in the state,” said Eileen. “We are leaving a legacy and we have the deepest appreciation for the volunteers and the generosity and support to make an impact on the lives of many individuals affected by MS.”

 

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to cognitive challenges, blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million worldwide, including more than 11,000 children, women and men in Wisconsin – believed to be one of the higher prevalence rates in the nation.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Neighbors in Town of Hartford disappointed in County Board annexation vote

Neighbors in the Town of Hartford left the Washington County Courthouse upset and frustrated following a 15-8 vote authorizing a petition for annexation of the Washington County Golf Course and Family Park to the City of Hartford.

Those voting in favor of the annexation included supervisors: Mike Bassill, Chris Bosert, Russell Brandt, James Burg, Kris Deisss, Brian Gallitz, Chris Jenkins, Denis Kelling, Don Kriefall, Mark McCune, Carroll Merry, Tim Michalak, Jeffrey Schleif, Keith Stephen, and William Symicek.

Supervisors voting against the annexation include Richard Bertram, Marcella Bishop, Rock Brandner, Joe Gonnering, Robert Hartwig, Brian Krebs, Marilyn Merten, and Peter Sorce.

Supervisors John Bulawa and Roger Kist were not in attendance.

County Administrator Joshua Schoemann began the meeting saying, “what the county board is deciding today is not if the annexation of the Golf Course is going to happen but when the annexation of the Golf Course will happen.”

Schoemann said because “this was a business meeting” the public would not be allowed to speak.

Two people from Gehring View Farms, 4630 Highway 83, Christine and Derik Gehring sat in the front row holding photos of their family farm. Derik is a seventh-generation farmer.

The county indicated the sale of the property meant future development and revenue for the county.  Schoemann said he visited neighbors to the County Golf Course on Monday, January 6 and “none of those folks have any interest in annexation and several of them said to me one day they knew this would happen.”

Neighbors in the Town of Hartford said they feared two things with the annexation including higher taxes in the City of Hartford and losing their view with subdivisions in their backyard.

Laurel Jaeke from the Town of Hartford said the bottom line was money. “The supervisors even said it in their discussion that it was for money,” she said. “This is going to hurt farmers because the annexation of the golf course will open the gateway to continued development and …. with the continued march up and outside of the city into agricultural lands prevents farmers from growing crops they need to support their cows. This is a sad day for the Town of Hartford.”

Supervisor Marcella Bishop – “I feel very strongly this County Board is jumping the gun on this local municipality. We should let the local municipalities take care of their own business.”

Supervisor Richard Bertram – “I was told we should look at parks as quality of life. Where can people take their kids. All of a sudden now this particular parcel here doesn’t seem like that’s a good quality of life. Now we want to change this. As far as us selling parks was not to make a ton of money but I can honestly tell you….  if I gave property to the county, I’d be one ticked off person that the county is trying to make money on what I gave them to have a park.”

Supervisor Kris Deiss – “Everything that has been done is just the way government functions and I understand that for people who aren’t a county board supervisor or involved in government it’s always so hard to understand what the heck we’re doing. But we’re trying the best we can.”

Supervisor Chris Bossert tried to compare the situation to eating a large pizza and then his girlfriend also eating a large pizza. “This is not a money grab,” he said. “I saw a comment on Facebook that this proposal if the annexation goes through the people in the Town of Hartford would see their taxes double.” County administrator said “no, this will have nothing to do with that.”

Supervisor Mark McCune – “It does come down to money. One of my favorite hobbies; I like money. This helps our county to have more money.”

Supervisor Brian Krebs – “Before we go through the process of annexing this piece of property, I think it’s better if the county goes through and actually takes the time to acknowledge what the future of the golf course will be. I think we should take an honest look at what do we want with the golf course.”

Supervisor Joseph Gonnering referenced the Washington County 4-H students who were honored at the start of the meeting. “Where would they be today if we didn’t have Fair Park? There was a time when it was being looked at to get rid of Fair Park. But where would these kids be today without our parks system as a whole and people who live in this county and outside of the county use the parks whether they’re mowed or not. We threw a lot of money into Family Park to start with and it’s a shame we’re not keeping it up, but to get rid of it is not a good thing to do.”

Supervisor Robert Hartwig – “My wife said to me now that you’re retired, we should take the grand kids to all the parks. That’s my question for people who go to Family Park. How many people from the subdivision attend this park? That’s one of my big reasons… why would we want to get rid of this. The golf course is paid for. We should hang onto it and not annex at this time. Plus, I see a gentleman in the audience with a picture of his farm. I can see his concern, if the golf course gets annexed down the road there will be subdivisions moving out and the next thing you know they’ll be after his farm as well. This kid caught my eye and it helped make my mind up to vote no.” With the approval of the annexation the county will now submit a letter to the Department of Administration and then a letter will also be written to the City of Hartford. The process should take about two months before it gets to the City of Hartford.

After the meeting some of the Town of Hartford people in the gallery talked about how the project was rushed through. One person talking in the hallway outside the county board chambers indicated the upcoming April 7, 2020 election may have played a part in the timing of the annexation.

An icon in Hartford will retire Friday, January 10 from McDonald’s on Highway 60

That lady at the McDonald’s drive thru in Hartford. The one who has been there the past 26 years. The one who knows you by the sound of your voice or your specific order. You may want to take a moment Friday, January 10 to stop and visit and say “thanks” because tomorrow Sandy Thiele is retiring.

She’s been called an “icon” in Hartford. Folks around town know her. She’s the lady in the drive thru; the one that calls everybody ‘Hunny.’

“It’s time,” said Thiele. “I’ve been here at this McDonald’s since I was 40.”

Hired by her manager Jon Schmidt, Thiele still has the spunk, common sense and customer service that’s made her a recognizable face in the community.

Thiele, 66, recollects about the changes she’s seen in her two decades plus. “We didn’t have all these coffee specialty drinks,” she said.

“We always had the hamburger and cheeseburger… but they were cheaper back then. Do you remember the brats? And the McRib… those were fun,” she said.

Thiele said the “customers are the best people in the world.”

“One lady gets a large coffee, two cream, shot of caramel, and one egg biscuit and all she does is pull up and says my name and I put her order in,” said Thiele.

Customers recognize her voice too…. or her signature Green Bay Packer hat or the familiar face in the first drive-thru window at McDonald’s. Thiele’s there at work, Monday through Friday at 6 a.m.

Thiele’s view outside her window has changed over the last 26 years. “Walgreens wasn’t there,” she said. “The dry cleaners was there; and then they moved that. Kwik Trip wasn’t there. Culvers was a Hardees and that wasn’t Piggly Wiggly it was County Market and we had a Blockbuster back there.”

On Friday there will be a ‘thank you’ celebration at McDonald’s in Hartford. Feel free to stop in and wish Sandy well.

Accolades pour in as WB alderman and WC supervisor Roger Kist resigns from office

Accolades are flooding in following word West Bend Dist. 8 alderman and Washington County Dist. 2 Supervisor Roger Kist has submitted a letter of resignation.

According to West Bend Clerk Stephanie Justmann the letter was presented Friday, January 10 just after noon.

Dated January 10, 2020 the letter says: “After careful consideration and conversations with family, I am tending my resignation as City of West Bend Alderman for District 8 effective immediately, pursuant to Section 17.01, Wis. Stats., due to my current health issues. It has been an honor and privilege to serve the people of the City of West Bend, Wisconsin in this position since April 2009.”

There are few communities as lucky as Washington County to have a plethora of people dedicated to helping make it a better place. One of the notable community leaders is Roger Kist. Officials from Washington County, the City of West Bend and local non-profits offered a comment when they heard the news with many of the notes focusing on the same theme of “dedication and community service.”

Washington County Supervisor and former Washington County Clerk Marilyn Merten – Way before Roger was on county board, I worked with him on Land Use and Parks. He got things done around the courthouse, so it looked appropriate. Roger was always someone who was willing to help keep the county in good operation. He was a very dedicated individual who wanted to do service to the public. His idea on the county board was service. When he was Ranger Roger he was always dedicated to the parks and he did whatever he could to see the parks were taken care of. I remember Roger would stop into the clerk’s office to see everything was kosher. Roger had a very old-school type of dedication.

Former West Bend Mayor Kraig Sadownikow – It is not too often someone truly dedicates a lifetime to public service. Roger is one of rare individuals who has. My most sincere Thank You and utmost gratitude go out to both Roger and his family for their dedication to West Bend and Washington County.

Former Washington County Board Chairman Ken Miller – Roger was in parks for a long time and managed all the parks in the county. I didn’t always agree with Roger’s vote as a representative with the county, but he sure did manage the parks well and he kept them top notch. As chairman of the Republican Party he did a good job letting everybody know what was going on.

Former Washington County Fair Park Executive Director Sandy Lang – We always knew him as Ranger Roger from the parks system. I’ve known Roger and Denise more so as friends from their community service and church. He’s an all-around great guy. Roger always took on a lot; when he said he was going to do something he did it to completion.

Assembly Rep. Rick Gundrum – I enjoyed serving with Roger on the Washington County Board. He was a very dedicated public servant who took his role as County Supervisor seriously. Roger made it a priority to attend all committee meetings so when it was time to vote he’d be well informed on the issues. Whether he agreed with you or not on an issue Roger was always respectful of your views and opinions.

Janean Brudvig, Executive Director of Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County – Roger has been a wonderfully dedicated friend of Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County. We got to know Roger better several years ago when he was looking for help with his brother. As he learned about our organization and how we help the elderly in our community – Roger did what Roger does so very well – he became an advocate of our mission, helping folks age independently, and he became involved!! Since then, Roger has served an active role, supporting and attending many of our events and activities. Roger was also a member of our newly formed Senior Corps Advisory Board, helping to get it off the ground.

Kist announced in November 2019 he would not be running for reelection to the County Board in April 2020. He served as a supervisor since winning election in April 2016. Kist turned in his non-candidacy papers early. Joseph R. Vespalec has already turned in signatures to run for the seat in April 2020.

Kist is still a sitting alderman in West Bend District 8.  His current term on the council was scheduled to end in 2021.  Kist was elected District 8 alderman in 2009. He beat incumbent Neal Narveson; Kist has won reelection to the two-year term ever since. In April 2014, Kist took out papers to run for mayor of West Bend. He challenged incumbent Kraig Sadownikow and lost, however he retained his aldermanic seat in Dist. 8.

The West Bend Common Council will meet to determine how to fill the seat in Dist. 8. According to the City Clerk the open seat will not be added to the April 7, 2020 ballot. In the past the city has accepted applications and following a review the council has appointed a replacement.

Kist retired as manager of Washington County Parks in September 2003; he held that position for 35 years.

Kist joined the Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau in September 2003.

Kist was a young pup when he moved to Ridge Run Park in November 1967. Originally hired as caretaker of the park, Kist said it “reminded me a lot of when I worked on the farm.” A supervisor at the park, Kist sported a handlebar mustache and eventually became a fixture known as Ranger Roger.

“When I was on the council, I was also chairman of the local Republican Party,” said Kist. “I remember Mike Schlotfeldt was elected alderman and he chaired the Democratic Party. When he sat down, he looked over at me like the devil had just shown up.”

Kist took his time and built a relationship with the representative from Dist. 6. “When Mike decided not to run again, we had a little party and he said to me, ‘Roger you’re the only friend I’ve got.’”

Over the years Kist has made quite a few friends and below are some comments from those he’s met along the way who talk about the impact he’s made in this county.

West Bend Police Chief Ken Meuler: I met Roger before he ever ran for alderperson as he has always been actively involved in the community. He donates his time to a number of community events, and supports almost every community function. Anyone out in the community will see him at Music on Main, Farmer’s Market, church festivals, parades, and numerous fundraisers in the community. During his time as an alderperson he has not been someone that pounds his fists or grandstands, but he always speaks up on issues that are important to him and his constituents. He has called me on a number of police issues to get a better understanding of our policies and practices. He has been a strong supporter of the police throughout his tenure as alderperson. I have always enjoyed working with Roger as an alderperson and appreciate all he has done for the community. More important, I value his friendship.

Leah Baughman at Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County: “Roger Kist is very active and in touch with the West Bend community and knows what is needed to help support its citizens. When asked if he would like to be a part of the Interfaith/RSVP Advisory Council Roger very graciously accepted right away. Even though this venture has just begun he has been an important member that has contributed many great ideas and support.”

Todd Tennies remembered Kist when he worked and lived at Ridge Run Park. “As a little boy I can remember going to Ridge Run Park and riding bikes past the log cabin as we headed to our favorite fishing spot. Roger would always stop and say ‘Hi’ and ask us how the fishing was. He was always friendly and willing to talk to us kids. After his retirement from the county he settled in and served the community through his involvement in city government. He did a great job and always had an interest in what was best for the community. His interest in our county also carried over into the Tourism Committee for Washington County. He did an extraordinary job promoting the Washington County Fair Park as well as all of our wonderful parks we have in this county. Great job Roger.”

Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten said Kist is somebody he really admires. “The things he’s accomplished at the county and city and he can still walk down the street and people know him from Ridge Run Park. I wish I could be more like him with his ability to relate to people and between him and his wife the way they’re prepared for every meeting. I’m very lucky I’ve been able to spend time on the council with him.”

Dist. 4 alderman Chris Jenkins -“I am shocked to see Roger, who is such a pillar in our community, step away from serving, but considering the amount of time and dedication he’s put into our community over many of our lifetimes – this is a well-deserved rest. I will remember Roger as the guy who would pull me aside and give me his straight-forward unabashed opinion no matter what. He spoke up during meetings whenever he felt compelled, he attended every event and meeting he could, and his lifetime of service is one to be admired. I thank him for the opportunity to serve alongside him on the West Bend Common Council and Washington County Board and wish him and his wife nothing but the best as he enjoys retirement!”

West Bend City Administrator Jay Shambeau said Kist’s name is relatively synonymous with park land and this community. “To promote the development, use and preserving of parks and the fact he has not wavered in his opinion is really a tribute to him. He’s everywhere. He’s the longstanding West Bend member of the Mid-Moraine Municipal Association and he attends league conferences and the Alliance meetings.”

Former West Bend city clerk Amy Reuteman spent 15 years at City Hall and noted, “Roger Kist has been there forever. And he’s early; you can always count on Roger to be early.”

Thank you, Roger Kist, for your dedication and service to help make West Bend and Washington County a great community.

Property 111 – 117 N. Main Street in downtown West Bend has sold

The property in downtown West Bend that’s home to R. W. Baird & Company, 111 – 117 N. Main Street, has been sold.  Ascendant Holdings has sold the building to TRS105, LLC for $650,000.

TRS105, LLC also owns the building to the south at 105-107 N. Main Street. Adam Williquette, president of American Commercial Real Estate handled the transaction for Ascendant.

This leaves Ascendant Holding with one property in downtown West Bend located at 262 N. Main Street which is also still available for sale through American.

Also, this week, an American Commercial Real Estate sign for lease was put up on the former Gehl site. This location will be home to a 68-room TownPlace Suites and 15,000 square foot office building that will break ground in spring.  There is still approximately 8,000 square feet available for lease with occupancy of both properties targeted for fall 2020.

Ballot order for local races on April 7, 2020 Spring Election

The deadline to turn in candidacy papers for the April 7, 2020 Spring Election was Tuesday, January 7 and now the next task is to determine how the names are listed on the ballot.

In West Bend city clerk Stephanie Justmann oversaw the process on Wednesday afternoon at City Hall.

For the West Bend mayor’s race Rich Kasten will be listed first followed by Chris Jenkins.

District 3 alderperson will have Mary Ann Rzeszutek listed first and Brett Berquist second.

District 7 alderman will have incumbent Justice Madl first and Oscar Estrada second.

There is also an election in Dist. 1 and Dist. 5 however those seats are uncontested. Incumbent John Butschlick is running again in Dist. 1 and Jed Dolnick is running for alderman in Dist. 5.

The mayor’s seat carries a 3-year term in office and aldermen are elected to 2-year terms.

In the Village of Kewaskum there are four people running for three seats on the Village Board. They are all elected at-large on a non-partisan ballot to two-year terms.

Sarah Severance (I), Richard Knoebel (I), Richard Laubach (I), Rob Klein

In Washington County there are 26 seats on the County Board up for election and in five of those districts there are contested races.

In the Germantown School District, there are two seats open; No. 3 and No. 5. For seat No. 3, Lester Spies is the incumbent and running against Amanda Reinemann. For seat No. 5, incumbent Bob Soderberg is running against Tracy Pawlak.

Fire sprinklers activated following smoke at The Pavilion at Glacier Valley in Slinger

There was a bit of smoke and at The Pavilion at Glacier Valley, 1900 American Eagle Drive, on Monday afternoon, January 6. Slinger Police Captain Joshua Gullickson said the initial call came in at 4:20 p.m.

The call was for a sprinkler system activation. “When officers arrived, smoke was visible but no flames,” said Gullickson. “Slinger Fire Department was dispatched to the scene and the cause of the sprinkler activation was an overheat malfunction of a heating unit in one wing of the facility.”

Gullickson said residents were moved to a different part of the building. No injuries were reported to residents, staff or emergency responders. The Pavilion is described as “short-term rehabilitation, respite and long-term care.”

January 7 West Bend Plan Commission public hearing for No. 5 Kwik Trip postponed

Just received word the agenda for the Tuesday, January 7 West Bend Plan Commission has changed. The 6:01 p.m. public hearing for a request for a conditional use permit to allow a gas station use at 1613 and 1637 W. Washington Street, by Leah Berlin Kwik Trip Inc. has been rescheduled and it will be held at the February Plan Commission meeting instead.

City officials said the public hearing was postponed because there were a number of items Kwik Trip still needed to address and it would be easier to reschedule the meeting so all items could be discussed.

Kwik Trip will also be organizing a neighborhood meeting soon to answer questions from the community. Stay tuned. The public meeting is held in the council chambers and at City Hall.

Brett Berquist files to run in Dist. 3 for West Bend Common Council

The deadline is Tuesday, January 7, 2020, for all candidates to file paperwork and signatures if they plan on participating in the April 7, 2020 Spring Election. According to the Wisconsin Election Commission Washington County Circuit Court Judge Branch 2 Justice James K. Muehlbauer has filed the appropriate number of signatures to run again.

In West Bend another candidate filed papers to run for common council. Brett Berquist will be running for District 3 alderman. Berquist, 59, is a former West Bend Police Officer. A life-long resident of West Bend and Washington County.

“I worked as a prison guard, at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and I was at Moraine Park and then I was sworn into the West Bend Police Department in 1994 and worked 20 years for the city and retired in 2014,” he said.

Berquist also went overseas as a member of National Guard. “I went to Iraq in 2003 -2004,” he said. “I was there for 14 months total.”

After retirement Berquist said he was looking for something to do and wanted to get back to serving the community. “I’ve always been about service,” he said. “My career was part of it and the military; when I got out of police work, I found a new connection with my faith and it’s good timing to give back.”

Berquist said he spent seven hours recently collecting signatures. “I managed to get two blocks in my district,” he said. Some of the hot topics were roads and the special assessment for neighbors following construction on 18th Avenue.

“As far as roads are concerned if we want to have good stuff, we have to pay for it,” he said. “Bottom line is we would like to be fiscally conservative and keep taxes low but there are also requirements.”

Berquist said this is his first time running for a political position.

He called his former co-worker, interim mayor Steve Hoogester, for advice. “This isn’t about me or an ego it’s about doing the right thing,” he said.

Incumbent Dist. 3 alderman Andrew Chevalier turned in his non-candidacy papers on Dec. 11, 2019. Chevalier followed in his father’s footsteps and was elected to the council in April 2018.

There will be a race for the seat in Dist. 3 as Mary Ann Rzeszutek filed a declaration of candidacy in December.

New restaurant in Germantown makes list of Top New Restaurants in 2019

Congrats to Chef Jodi Kanzenbach of Germantown as her restaurant, Precinct Tap & Table, has made the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel list of the Top New Restaurants in 2019.

Reporter Carol Deptolla writes: Much of the menu is shareable plates that change with the seasons or when the chef wants to try something new — things like ginger chicken in crisp tempura with mango sticky rice, or shrimp with rice cakes browned in miso and butter, curry pickles on the side.  It’s good to see a chef bring the sort of plates to a suburban restaurant that neighbors would have had to drive downtown for before.

It was May 2019 when Kanzenbach announced on WashingtonCountyInsider.com that she was closing Cafe Seourette in downtown West Bend and investing in a new location in Germantown, W161N11629 Church Street.

April 2020 contest for District 3 on Hartford Common Council

There will be a race for alderman in Hartford in spring. Three of the aldermanic seats are up for election. Dennis Hegy, alderperson in District 2 is running again as is Jeff Turchi in District 1.  Both will be unopposed.

In District 3, Hartford City Council President Barry Wintringer filed non-candidacy. He has been in office nine years.

As of the 5 p.m. deadline tonight there were two people who filed papers for that district including Kyle Sikora and Kathy Isleb. Some may recognize Isleb’s name; she used to be an alderperson several years back. Ironically Isleb was the incumbent in District 3 when she lost to challenger Barry Wintringer in 2011. The race in District 3 in Hartford will be on the April 7, 2020 ballot.

Updates & Tidbits

-Two Catholic schools in West Bend are inviting the community to come visit and learn about the great educational opportunity available. St. Frances Cabrini School, 529 Hawthorn Drive, is hosting a pancake breakfast and open house on Sunday, January 26 from 8:30 a.m. – noon. Holy Angels School, 230 N. Eighth Avenue, is holding an open house and kindergarten roundup from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 26.

-On Wednesday evening, January 8, the Hartford Police and Fire Commission unanimously approved the appointment of Scott MacFarlan as the eighth Police Chief in Hartford history. MacFarlan is currently the Administrative Lieutenant at the HPD. He has held this position for the past 13 years. MacFarlan has been with the HPD a total of 24 years. He will replace Chief David Groves who will retire February 10, 2020. Groves served as Chief of Police since July 27, 2006.

– Auto Safety Center and Interfaith Caregivers teamed up this past holiday to collect food for the Full Shelf Food Pantry in West Bend. On Friday, January 3 the locally owned Auto Safety Center and the non-profit pooled their donations and turned them over to the Full Shelf Food Pantry. Many thanks to everyone who participated.

– Beginning January 1, 2020, Tony Burgard assumed the position of Fire Chief for the Richfield Volunteer Fire Company after being elected in December 2019. Chief Burgard takes over for Chief John Schmitz, who retired at the end of 2019.

– Learn why excellent Christian schooling is the No. 1 choice for families today. Take a tour during the January 21 Open House at Ozaukee Christian School, 1214 Highway 33, West Bend.

Small, safe classes, develop resilient Christ-followers, teachers go the extra mile for you and your child, need-based financial aid available (up to $100,000) Open House is TUESDAY, JANUARY 21, at 6:30 p.m.

– The Hartford Rotary Club and Hartford Union High School are pleased to announce that Abigail Holappa, Katie Pulvermacher and Bryce Zimdars were honored recently as Rotary Students of the Month.

– Cedar Community annual Chili Social and Used Book Sale is January 25. Enjoy chicken quesadillas, our famous chili with all the fixings (corn chips, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, jalapenos, and onions), fruit, cookie, coffee, lemonade, or hot apple cider–all for only $8.50. Quarts of chili to go for $8. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Grand Hall – Cedar Community, Cedar Ridge Campus, 113 Cedar Ridge Drive, West Bend

Letter to the Editor | Is Washington County Board proposed development putting local farming at risk | By Elaine Gehring 

I am writing to express serious concern about the agenda item on Wednesday’s County Board Meeting agenda regarding the issue of seeking annexation of the golf course property by the City of Hartford.  I believe that the decision made on this issue reaches much farther than the golf course property itself.

The golf course property is the gateway that opens the way for further long-range development into valuable existing farmland north of the City of Hartford. I believe the county supervisors need to carefully consider this annexation issue and the delicate balance between city development and the agricultural economy of Washington County.

I understand that change is inevitable and agree with Supervisor McCune when he stated at a recent Executive Committee Meeting that “we could be looking at something completely different 20 years from now with the game of golf.”  Supervisor McCune also stressed the need for flexibility in the use of this golf course property; however, please consider how this whole issue has developed.

Earlier this year, the Town of Hartford Zoning Board refused to rezone a three-acre parcel just west of the Family Park so that several lots could be developed and sold.    When that Board declined to approve the rezoning, the response by Supervisor McCune was to bring forth to the Executive Committee the discussion on seeking annexation for all of the county-owned land at that location, including the golf course.  For many of us taxpayers looking on, this has rapidly grown from a small issue into an enormous question with significant long-lasting impacts.

These impacts could endanger the future of rural agriculture in the immediate area for years to come – long past the 20 years referred to by Supervisor McCune.  It is no secret many farmers in our area and all around Wisconsin are struggling; part of that struggle involves the farmers’ ability to rent or secure enough acreage to maintain their dairy herds.  For dairy farmers, their milk checks are their primary income – if they can’t grow and provide enough feed for their herds, they are out of business.

So how does this relate to the annexation of the County’s golf course by  the City of Hartford?   Annexation by the City of Hartford isn’t just about flexibility or the capability to hook up utilities.

As I mentioned earlier, the golf course property serves as the gateway for further annexation by the City of Hartford and further residential development into valuable existing farmland – farmland that currently enables local farmers to feed their herds and stay in business.  Currently the surrounding farmland is protected from development because the golf course property is within the Town of Hartford, so adjoining land cannot be annexed; the proposed annexation would change that.

Perhaps that development will come in the future and may even be necessary – but today’s not that day…

This issue will be discussed at the County Board meeting this Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. at the Washington County Administrative Building on Hwy 33 – please consider attending the meeting or contacting County Board Supervisors to ask them to vote no to this resolution or at least to table the resolution to provide opportunity and time for further consideration and for a public meeting and taxpayer input.

Please help us protect the delicate balance that exists in Washington County between city development and the valuable agricultural economy.

Elaine Gehring    Hartford

Letter to the Editor | County Board proposed annexation in Town of Hartford could challenge future of farming | By Derik Gehring

I am a seventh-generation dairy farmer in the Town of Hartford. I hope you can take a minute to read this.

I don’t know the full story or background on this issue, but I just learned about this new challenge to the future of farming and agriculture in our area, as well as the country lifestyle the residents of rural areas enjoy, and I thought you’d want to be aware of it.

The County Board is moving toward asking Hartford to annex the golf course and will be discussing it at the County Board Meeting this Wednesday.

The golf course is currently within the Town of Hartford. Recently the Town’s zoning board refused to rezone the Family Park and some land on Clover Road to residential as the County wanted to sell lots there. The follow-up is that the Executive Committee is now pushing to have the City annex the whole golf course and take it out of the control of the Town of Hartford completely.

As Hartford Mayor Michalak makes clear in a West Bend Times Press article, this will clear the way for annexation and further development of land beyond the golf course. The issue I see with developing land leads to further loss of valuable land for agriculture and the country lifestyle for the rest of the Town residents. It appears that the value/needs of rural and agricultural interests in our county are taking a backseat to city development. Annexation by the City of Hartford of the golf course opens the door to such development.

This issue appears to be on a fast track with the issue going to the County Board on Wednesday. At the very least, it seems this should be put on hold to provide opportunity for taxpayer input and public meetings, etc. As concerned citizens have asked county supervisors in the past, about other issues, what’s the rush?!

***As a concerned citizen of the Town of Hartford, please consider contacting county supervisors and ask them to vote No on the annexation of land to the City of Hartford.

I will be sharing the contact info of the supervisors in the comments, but here is a link to the contact information of the county supervisors: www.co.washington.wi.us/departments.iml…

Open the “Supervisors” tab and “more” opens their email address you can click and send your comments to. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO VOICE YOUR OPINION TO THEM! They need to be asked to vote No on the annexation of the golf course to the City of Hartford.

The county board meeting takes place THIS WEDNESDAY January 8, 2020 at 6p.m. at the Washington County Courthouse in West Bend, WI. The public is welcome and may or may not get a chance to speak, but presence will show how important this issue is to us. If you would like to attend, you may.

Feel free to share the information to others. Thank you and have a great day!

Derik Gehring     Town of Hartford

Letter to the Editor | Town of Hartford residents push back on development proposal by County Board | By Karen and Greg Romagna

This is in response to the Washington County Board wanting to have the City of Hartford annex the Washington County Golf Course and the Family Park.

Contrary to what Mr. Michalak says, we in the Town of Hartford around the golf course are not interested in having further development around the golf course and do not wish to be part of the City of Hartford now or in the future.

We are rural and agriculture land. As Mr. Michalak makes clear annexing will clear the way for there to be further development of land beyond the golf course than the Town of Hartford rules allow, meaning loss of valuable rural and agricultural land in order that the City of Hartford can expand.

We are in the subdivision east of the golf course in the Town of Hartford and wish to remain rural and do not want to have subdivisions going up around us with barely half-acre lots and tons of houses and more loss of farming land.

This issue appears to be on the fast track with it going to the County Board on Wednesday, January 8 at 6 p.m.

What is the hurry on it, why were meetings canceled, and where is the opportunity for taxpayer and residents of the area input and public meetings, etc?

We are asking the County Board to hold off on passing the resolution until there is further discussion with all parties involved.

Thank you,  Karen and Greg Romagna      Ernst Dr., Town of Hartford

Letter to the Editor | Annexation followed by proposed reduction in size of Washington County Board | By Diane Pedersen

Recently I read two Letters to the Editor regarding annexing the Washington County Golf Course from the Town of Hartford into the City of Hartford.

While that may not seem like a big issue to some it means the golf property would be subject to the zoning rules of City of Hartford. That might just be the tip of the iceberg as adjoining properties could then be annexed into the City based on WI State Statutes for new development reducing the size of towns.

In addition to the golf course issue it is important to know your Washington County Board of Supervisors has discussed reduction of the number of districts, reducing the number of Supervisors. How does that affect you?

Currently there are 26 Supervisor Districts and district borders are determined by calculating each district with a similar population number. Currently nine (9) district Supervisors represent towns. The remaining 17 Supervisors represent cities and villages.

The current Washington County population is approximately 135,000 resulting in approximately 5,200 residents per district. If the districts are reduced to 21 the result is approximately 6,450 residents per district. Where will the approximately 1, 250 residents come from to determine the new districts? It could be worse if the number of districts is less than 21.

One possible plan could be to expand all the districts within current cities and villages. If that is the ultimate outcome all the Washington County Board of Supervisors would come from cities and villages. Residents who live in towns would not have a county representative who thinks and supports town and agricultural culture.

If the idea of NO representation for residents living in towns bothers you, call ALL 26 Washington County Supervisors and let them know your concerns.

Just 26 phone calls to let your voice be heard. Phone numbers can be found by clicking HERE.

Diane Pedersen  Richfield

Disclaimer: Opinions and letters published in http://www.washingtoncountyinsider.com are not necessarily the views of the Editor, or Publisher. The http://www.washingtoncountyinsider.com reserves the right to edit or omit copy, in accordance with newspaper policies. Letters to the Editor must be attributed with a name, address and contact phone number – names and town of origin will be printed, or may be withheld at the Editor’s discretion. During the course of any election campaign, letters to the editor dealing with election issues or similar material must contain the author’s name and street address (not PO Box) for publication.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

West Bend School Board discusses steps needed to possibly merge high schools

The West Bend School District Committee of the Whole met Monday, Dec. 2. It reviewed the district’s current and future facilities.

Aside from reviewing replacement vs. repair costs, energy needs, transportation and the dynamics surrounding an operational referendum the board talked about the declining enrollment and how that will affect the West Bend High Schools in the coming years.

In October 2019, Superintendent Don Kirkegaard said, “unless there is a change in enrollment trends, the district can expect declining enrollment for the next 8-10 years.”

Predicted enrollment trends, including numbers from the high schools which show a drop in enrollment from 2019 at 2,184 to 1,669 in 2028.

Board member Joel Ongert brought up Policy 188: Should the Board decide to further consider reconfiguration of the high schools, the Board must proceed to a non-binding referendum at the next Gubernatorial or Presidential election balloting. The next Presidential election is Nov. 3, 2020.

Policy 188 was put into place in 2015; it was the last time the district broached the subject of combining the two high schools.

Joel Ongert – “The way this policy reads and all the steps, this could take potentially years…  So, I think it’s time we look at this policy. I’m not saying we totally eliminate it; I’m not saying that we … maybe not necessarily start from scratch. I think it’s time we start looking at this policy, just in case in the future the declining enrollment numbers … It would be easier for us to close an elementary school than it would be to combine the two high schools.”

Chris Zwygart – “It’s worthy of at least examining. Prior boards, I understand at that time there was very interesting discussion and a lot of passion so I can understand the intent, but I think we need to balance that with our current circumstances and …. to give ourselves the flexibility and options to do. So, I’m supportive a review of it.”

Ongert – “There’s $45 million worth of work at the high school and we’d be remiss not to think about … if we were to get $45 million and talk about paint. Do we start painting everything blue and maroon again? Or do we start talking about maybe it’s time we combine the two high schools and maybe that becomes part of a referendum question and you know we want to borrow $45 million and a separate advisory question is do you want us to combine the high schools.”Tonnie Schmidt – “I agree to have the policy reviewed. We don’t need to decide right now … but if we’re going to spend a lot of money, I would like to consider seeing it spent in such a way, say 10 years from now… we don’t have to redo things.”

Paul Fischer – “It’s important we look at what the financial implications are. Would we go to one athletic director? Probably with that amount of students, probably not – it’s an A.D. and an assistant. I came out in 2015 as a passionate supporter of two high schools. If enrollment continues to decline and we see more co-op teams, we also need to consult Erin and Kevin to find out how quickly can we tell the WIAA that one of our schools no longer exists.”

Don Kirkegaard – “It truly will be a lengthy process, and this is a huge decision. We like this heritage – we don’t throw this out just on a whim, but you have to look at all the financial and enrollment data.”

Ongert – “I find it interesting it would take a lot of time for us to combine the high schools following this policy versus closing an elementary school or some other major decision. I understand why the board put the policy in place at the time but that was a while ago.”

Maintenance Shed:

One of the other topics of discussion included the district’s maintenance shed.

The board made several references to the report presented by the West Bend School District Private Task Force. One of the findings by the Task Force involved a suggestion to create one central campus.

Construct one new school (783 capacity) at a south side location and expand Green Tree. Close/sell Jackson School, Jackson land, Decorah, Fair Park, District Offices, Rolfs & Maintenance. Develop a single central campus on the south side of West Bend.

Task Force member Kraig Sadownikow said, “As a district there are multiple campuses at wide geographical locations. That means maintaining and monitoring is difficult. This makes operating the district more expensive.”

“Money is the solution to the problem – more money may not be.”

“Finally – the capital maintenance budget is inadequate. It’s underfunded. Can’t consider a new investment in new facilities without considering how to maintain what we currently have. Building new while avoiding maintenance is a losing situation.”

Director of Facilities Dave Ross talked about the maintenance building. “It’s not in bad shape. The replacement cost would be $1.4 million with $176,000 worth of repairs that need to be done.”

Joel Ongert – “Would we be saving a lot of money by closing the shop?”

DR – “We have a full-time custodian and a little maintenance but there’s not a heck of a lot. All office partitions were donated to district. It doesn’t cost a huge amount of money.”

Joel Ongert – “Does it still serve the purpose of protecting our vehicles and doing maintenance in the shed.”

Dave Ross – “Yes. Both functional buildings.”

PF – “If implement the Task Force’s recommendation to consolidate to a single campus you may reduce some level of custodial service but you’re going to need custodial services for the rest of that facility so at the end of the day maybe it’s a net reduction – maybe half or 20 hours a week. It’s marginal, I guess. It’s not that far out of line to be enticing to do the consolidation model.”

The meeting wrapped up with Superintendent Kirkegaard talking about the timing of an upcoming referendum.

“I’d suggest we put to rest that there will be no referendum in April. We need to know that by January. There’s just no way possible we’re ready for a referendum in April. Earliest I could see is November 2020, but we have a lot of work to do before that.”

West Bend Christmas Parade viewed around the world

Chilly temps and some winter white and neighbors dressed in knit hats, boots and blankets lined the street for the annual West Bend Christmas Parade. (note of correction – NOT the 5th annual as said in the video – as WB Parade is one of the oldest in Wis.)

There were 66 entries including floats, bands, decorated vehicles and the entry from West Bend Children’s Theater really stood out. It was worthy of a Macy’s Parade as the Children’s Theater promoted its upcoming play, Seussical The live broadcast was viewed around the world. Below are some of the comments from social media:

Jacalyn (Hansen) Sullivan – Viewed from Sunnybank. Queensland, Australia … love the hometown Christmas parade! Have a blessed Christmas and glorious New Year!

Elaine Bartol · Watching your parade from Elfrida, Arizona! Hi to my families in Wisconsin!

Terry A. Becker · Greetings from the Blue Ridge Judy, thanks for bringing us home once again for Christmas!

Susan Kist – Thanks so much for broadcasting the Christmas Parade as I really wasn’t able to be outside watching it this year.  Because of you I didn’t need to miss the 2019 parade. The West Bend Christmas Parade has been a part of my life since the 1950’s when I marched in it as a member of the Grafton High School Band.  Many years I marched with my kids.  Sometime it was with 4-H, other years with a church float.  Other years I just watched it live.

Renee Newton Reese ·  Greetings from Kent, Ohio

Carol A. Feypel · THANK YOU!!! Carol FEYPEL LOVING IT.

Katie Bastian Singer · Carol A. Feypel so glad you got to watch it from Georgia

Tom Pfotenhauer · Watching from Jekyll Island, GA

Linda Theisen · Watching from Marietta, Georgia. .

Nancy Reisner –  I always enjoy everything you cover!  That meeting last night was really informative!  The parades and everything else is great!  I’m pretty much home bound due to the neuromuscular disease I have, so I’m guessing I appreciate your coverage more than anyone. It keeps me connected!  Thanks for all you do Judy and have a wonderful Christmas season!

Hat tip to BOSS Realty for allowing us to broadcast from its balcony overlooking Main Street.

This year’s live broadcast will be brought to you by Slesar Glass, 115 N. Sixth Avenue, So Fly Fashion, 125 S. Main Street, West Bend, and Alpha Dog Audio

Here are the parade winners from tonight’s Christmas parade:

Adult:    1st place – West Bend Moose Lodge, 2nd place – West Bend Kettle Trailblazers, 3rd place – Kettle Moraine Bible Church

Youth:    1st place – West Bend Children’s Theatre, 2nd place – Faith United Church of Christ, 3rd place – West Bend Middle School Dance/Guard

Business:    1st place -Auto Safety Center, 2nd place – C&K Services, 3rd place – Meijer

County Supervisor Marilyn Merten files non-candidacy

The paperwork is in and Washington County District 15 Supervisor Marilyn Merten has filed non-candidacy for the April 2020 election.

Merten has served on the Washington County Board for 12 years. A long-time public servant Merten’s career in government started after she graduated high school.

“I worked in the county superintendent’s office and I was there for four years,” she said.

With only a brief pause, Merten said she was on the Civil Service Commission and the Samaritan Home Board of Trustees.

At 81 years old Merten said her decision not to run for County Board is not exactly a signal she’s retiring. “I’m still volunteering and I’m a member emeritus for the Washington County Historical Society Foundation and I’m on the Agricultural Industrial Society Board; I’m up for reelection as a member-at-large,” she said. “I serve on the administrative committee, finance committee …. you’re not totally rid of me.”

Questioned why she filed non-candidacy Merten said it was time. “I put in a lot of years as a public servant and I’ve always done the best I could for the citizens I represented and it’s a time where things are not going the way I normally see them so I really feel I’ve done my duty as a public servant,” she said.

Merten said this was not a difficult decision. “I’ve been thinking about it for some time,” she said. “People have been telling me I really need to run, and I just figured I have to make a decision. I have things with my children and grandchildren I want to spend some time with.”

Merten and her husband had seven children together. She’s grandmother to 11 grandkids. “Only 11,” she said.

Over the years Merten has developed a reputation as a stickler for rules. She’s been dubbed a walking “Robert’s Rules of Order;” she is well versed in parliamentary procedure.

“There are times I challenge what’s going on because I don’t believe it’s correct but if somebody can point out to me that it is, I guess I have to relent,” she said.

Not only was Merten in county government, she also spent 21 years on the Germantown School Board. “I learned a lot from our school attorney and feel I gained a lot of knowledge through those years,” she said.

Merten was elected Washington County Clerk in 1994. She worked with board chairmen such as Reuben Schmahl, Ken Miller, Tom Sackett, Herb Tennies and Don Kriefall.

Questioned whether she thinks the size of the County Board needs to be reduced, Merten said “definitely not.”

“People don’t understand what the County Board does and what it’s supposed to do, and I really believe the number of people representing you on the County Board level is small enough,” she said.

For most of her time on the County Board Merten represented the Town of Polk. After redistricting she extended into the Town of Jackson.

Candidates have until December 27, 2019 by 5 p.m. to file a certificate of non-candidacy if they do not plan to run in April 2020.

Candidates who are running are circulating papers to collect signatures which must be turned in by 5 p.m. on January 7, 2020.

Candidates running for Washington County Board Supervisor must submit 50 -100 signatures and candidates running for County Executive must submit 500 – 1000 signatures.

WBSD Task Force report at Jackson Community Center

Common Sense Citizens of Washington County hosted an informational meeting Thursday night at the Jackson Community Center as a member of the West Bend School District Public Task Force gave a presentation on its findings.

Owen Robinson spent about an hour outlining details from the Task Force which spent the summer reviewing facilities in the West Bend School District.

Following the presentation Robinson took questions from the audience. There were nearly 20 people in attendance including Village of Jackson administrator John M. Walther.

Questions in Jackson.

Woman in audience read a statement about how the Task Force was made up of all businessmen from West Bend.

Owen Robinson: “I was invited by Kraig Sadownikow and he was looking for people with facilities management.  I was invited because I was a vocal opponent and I have some experience in infrastructure in my private life. As far as makeup of the committee he tried to get some who were for and others against.”

Woman:  were all the costs factored in including bussing and special education.

OR: “Bussing yes, it would be an extra $180,000 but we talked facilities.”

Man: “I’m opposed to put an elementary school kid on a school bus. A kid feels security being into town. Moving elementary school out of town is a major hit to the community. Moving it outside is not a positive thing.”

OR – “Bussing – we did a lot of thinking about this. Community schools’ matter and there is value in kids walking to school. However, in our modern society fewer kids do that. There are plenty of kids who live .7 miles from school, and they will drive them because it’s safer.

OR – “Hit to Jackson by removing it’s school. There is an economic impact that can’t be ignored. The mission to WBSD is to educate kids and not worry about the economic impact to the Village. Do what we can for education.”

Man – “As you’re looking at operational costs. Totally agree not contracting out teachers but why not outsource administration.”

OR – “I think there is room to outsource administration. You look at payroll or expense management. I don’t think you can outsource superintendent or principal but as far as thing that don’t deal with education it can be evaluated.”

Man in red – “783 capacity and then expanded to 1,000. In terms of dealing with elementary school kids – value is better with smaller numbers. What’s more efficient is developing social skills. They get lost in a crowd. When you say reduce staffing – then what happens with guidance.”

OR – “Rough mockup with possible expansion and out to 1,000 students. Statement is about bigger may not always be better. It’s worth looking at. Looking at construction with pod structure would be like a lot of smaller schools put together. If there’s an opportunity to reducing staffing – you have to be smart about it.”

Man in red – “Parents are dropping kids off – but if you get up to 1,000 then it’s a concern.”

OR – “If we’re faced with decision 10 years from now … we were saying from a facilities long-term planning. You’re trying to stay flexible. We’re trying to make sure it’s well constructed, well maintained and built in a way it can be expanded.”

Woman in stripes – “Would you consider transfer WB students from WB schools; close to Badger and leave Jackson without busing.”

OR – “Look at busing to Jackson instead. We looked at a few options. Didn’t look at how to incorporate Badger or Silverbrook. One option is to close Fair Park or Decorah and we’re at 100% capacity and put those kids elsewhere.”

OR – “We’re at 79% capacity for elementary schools in WB. You could take kids from one school that closed and put them in other schools.  I’d take umbrage with “your kids and our kids,” these are all WBSD kids. We’re educating kids from Newburg, to Jackson to towns. Important to approach with all the kids in the district and not your kids and our kids.”

Woman – “I stand corrected. But WB has pushed Jackson into the dark ages. WB is bigger and thinks it has more clout but if we lose our school it’s not good for the village. If your kids get bussed why wouldn’t you want to build new school here and bus WB kids to Jackson.”

OR – “It is an option. We looked at site and sewer and water. Having a Jackson site – you’re talking added busing costs MORE than $180,000 we calculated.  How do you best serve with new facilities to more kids? If you do traffic studies, putting it on north side of Jackson that would be fine.

Woman – “The financial numbers you gave won’t exist and how can you say there will be a potential surplus of $2 million. You can’t guarantee the dollar amount.

OR – We did get some actual commercial bids and dropped the amount. We did our best and you have to start somewhere.

Woman – “Your $2 million surplus that’s not a lot.”

OR – “In the context of overall operational budget $2 million is a conservative number. But it is enough of an operational savings.”

Woman – “Money stashed away for Jackson school – what would happen to that money?”

OR – “As far as fund of money we started saving a few years ago. We spent some of that money to date ($750,000) so what’s left would go into the plan to help with school. That’s a school board decision.”

John Walther – “I understand your economics of scale. There are certainly economies of scale and the Village of Jackson is doing the same thing. The Village board has committed $14 million to $16 million for a new village hall and new police station and fire station. We’re talking services and not bodies or children. One of the main reasons the Village board made the commitment was to pave the way for the school district to build a school directly north of here. The Public Works has already moved to a new facility. It was a good-faith effort. A couple prior superintendents were working hard with the village in constructing that school but unfortunately the momentum was lost but the Village is still making the effort for a neighborhood school. I do understand this is facilities driven and this does make sense from that standpoint, but the reality is you’re dealing with small children.”

OR – “We did look at it from a facilities lens and not an educational impact. We did work with Zimmerman and asked them for state-of-the-art to make sure it was right. Part of the thinking is this would be in place for five generations – even if we look at how kids are laid out it will not be the same in 10 years or 50 years. We built an infrastructure that has access to major trunk roads with flexibility to adjust.”

OR – “First point was Village had an eye on new Jackson Elementary and was looking at that for a long time. As a school district we could build a new elementary school, but it’s failed twice. But with facts on declining enrollment and declining budget how do we get the most bang for our buck. We think with this plan we can serve a lot more kids with this money. Does this break a promise, maybe but how could a superintendent three supers ago make this type of promise?”

Walther – “I believe Jackson is one of largest communities without its own school district. If Jackson is removed the WBSD will really get cut.”

OR – “Should Village break off. Jackson can … but it’s a monster process but it can be considered. In the long-term vision of WBSD – it could be reduced in size.. then so be it. If you look at districts around the country that generally speaking – economies of scale could make sense. WB does have a different demographic makeup.”

Woman in blue – “Why kids are enrolling out. Some are very unhappy with the HS. I know enrollment in some districts are getting smaller.”

OR – “Why are kids open enrolling or school choicing out of WBSD.  We did not look at that. We looked at enrollment as fact and how do you manage facilities with enrollment projections. One note – if you look at open enrollment going out – it’s virtually static and 69-70 percent were never enrolled in the district.  There are some population centers on the edge of district, and it has nothing to do with the district. Religious reasons are separate reasons. The Task Force did not look at that. The enrollment decline – the lions share is a decline in the district period.”

Man – “Why doesn’t Jackson have its own school district.?”

OR – “We had a radical look – Slinger has its own district and Jackson does not. If Jackson wants to look at it that’s a major investment. Or to have a feeder school into the high school. From a WBSD standpoint – I would say the school board needs to approve.”

Man – “Jackson has been treated like an ugly stepchild but what does it take to get the ball rolling – let’s do it.”

OR – I don’t know why it hasn’t looked at it. Being perceived as an ugly stepchild – nobody ever talked about it that way. Our decisions were made by economies of scale. We made facilities discussions that way.

Woman in front – “History nugget. Mr. Wiziarde, former superintendent, was approached about 20 years ago making Jackson its own school district and WB said “no” because they welcome our tax base.”

OR – “Right now the Village and town of Jackson are 18% of tax base in the district. My hope is we start and end with what’s best for most …”

Man – Where is the Task Force report going?

OR – “The school board seems to be evaluating our findings. I was encouraged by other ways to approach the facilities issue. If we’re talking declining enrollment and declining revenue – and just replacing by being reactive. If you’re looking at where the district is and how to serve the most kids if you have X amount of money. The board patted us on the head for a couple things. Recently they were in cycle on consolidating the libraries and looked at the maintenance shed. We were just trying to inject a different view. I will say, as an aside, time is not to be wasted and these buildings are declining so the sooner they start making decisions the better.”

OR – “The Task Force did homework, we’re sharing, and we hope it gave you a different viewpoint. We were nine people in a room trying to figure out a puzzle.”

Woman in stripes– How did you come about Maintenance and Rolfs into new plan.

OR – Maintenance is by VFW on Sand Drive and Rolfs is behind the district office on Fifth Avenue. Just looking at facilities and put in a single campus; it would be easier say when it snows… if you have fewer facilities then there’s more efficiencies.

Woman in Stripes – I’m a victim of consolidated schools when I was a kid I rode the bus and it’s hard on kids and mental health is in a crisis and I don’t want to see Jackson kids get bused to WB and I don’t want WB kids to be bused here.

OR – Neighborhood schools have value and less busing and more walking. We as a district can have more buildings scattered out. It’s a cost factor. The second point – it’s not all about the money – it’s about the kid but we have a limited amount of money. Every dollar we spend on carting around for snowplow will hinder teacher raises. We have to be good fiscal stewards.

Man – if the Village is going to do something, they need to do it now.

OR – “Why wasn’t McLane included in study? It is the second-best school from a facilities perspective. It’s a matter of limited amount of money and you start with the worse problem and work up from there.”

Dave H. – “Has study affected attendance at School Board meeting.

Kurt Rebholz – “No. I would encourage more people to come and voice opinion. Now is time the task force is being reviewed.”

West Bend Police Chief sent notice to families in West Bend School District about threat

West Bend Police Chief Ken Meuler sent a note to parents and students in the West Bend School District regarding a reported threat on social media.  Below is his message.

“On November 7, 2019, a 19-year-old female reported to the West Bend Police Department that she saw a message on social media that said on December 2 there would be a shooting at the high school. The message did not specify a high school or city. The woman stated because she lives in West Bend she assumed the message was directed towards one of the West Bend High Schools. The woman did not save the message and West Bend Police investigators were unable to retrieve the message from her phone.

This past week and this weekend, rumors have surfaced regarding this reported message. The West Bend Police interviewed a number of students who stated they heard about this possible social media message. No student stated they saw the message. West Bend Police reached out to a number of law enforcement agencies in Washington County and throughout Wisconsin. No other law enforcement agency received any reports of anyone seeing this message. West Bend Police and West Bend School District officials have also been monitoring social media sites and have not observed any similar messages.

The West Bend Police Department and West Bend School District encourages anyone that sees or hears something that may endanger anyone to immediately report it to police. In regard to this particular reported message, if anyone has previously or more recently seen a message that indicates violence directed at any school on December 2, please call the police department.

West Bend Police and West Bend School District officials have been in contact throughout the weekend. We are in agreement that there is no evidence that this message existed nor that it was directed at any West Bend school. All West Bend schools will be open tomorrow, Monday, December 2. As we do every school day, school liaison officers will be in the schools and officers on patrol will pay special attention to the schools.”

Two candidates in race for Mayor of West Bend

The race is on in West Bend as a second candidate has announced his intentions. District 4 alderman Chris Jenkins notified the constituents in his district of his intentions.

Jenkins is the second candidate to file along with Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten who announced October 17.

Below is Jenkins letter to his constituents.

“Dear Residents of West Bend,

After much consideration, thought and prayer with family, friends, and colleagues, I am announcing today my candidacy for Mayor of West Bend.

I have been actively involved in our community for quite some time. Beginning with a small role in Mayor Sadownikow’s task force, I then moved to the West Bend Library Board. In a matter of months, I was elected President of that Board and for 3 terms lead that department on a path of fiscal sustainability and strategic planning.

From there, I was elected Alderman of District 4 on the West Bend City Council where I currently sit today. In this role, I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of our hiring, budgeting, and road planning processes while working with my fellow Aldermen on various policies to move our City forward while maintaining a fiscally sound approach.

In addition to these roles, I sit on the Washington County Board of Supervisors, am President of West Bend Early-Risers Kiwanis, am President of Musical Masquers theater company, as well as sit on various other community boards and committees.

During the day, I work as the Village Administrator for Elmwood Park, WI where I have the responsibilities of Treasurer and Clerk as well.

While my resume is important, it’s likely more important to know what I’ll do as your Mayor:

First, I’ll bring people to the table of all different backgrounds, experiences, and opinions to continue to develop creative solutions for our City. I have proven experience doing that.

Next, we’ll create a new strategic plan with goals for 2020 and forward, aligned with new values, to better budget and track our progress. I have experience doing that as well.

And finally, we cannot squander the strong economic position Mayor Sadownikow has placed us in. We must continue to push ourselves towards less debt, more savings, and more value for our tax dollars.

That’s it, I’ll keep it simple and focused. I look forward to an opportunity to talk between now and the election. Let’s discuss why we love our community and choose for this to be our home to raise our families in. I hope I can earn your support.

Thank you!”

Candidates in some races can start circulating papers today, December 1, 2019

Candidates running for Washington County Board, county executive, alderman and mayor can start collecting signatures today, Dec. 1, to get on the April 2020 ballot.

Those signatures must be turned in by 5 p.m. on January 7, 2020.

Candidates running for Washington County Board Supervisor must submit 50 -100 signatures and candidates running for County Executive must submit 500 – 1000 signatures.

Candidates have until December 27, 2019 by 5 p.m. to file a certificate of non-candidacy if they do not plan to run in April 2020.

Candidates running for the city council need to submit 20-40 signatures from people in their district. Mayoral candidates must submit 200-400 signatures to run for office.

As of Tuesday, Nov. 12 Dist. 7 alderman Justice Madl filed papers to run again for West Bend city council.

On Oct. 17, WashingtonCountyInsider.com posted a story about Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten announcing he would run for mayor in the City of West Bend. Click HEREfor the story.

School board candidates do not need to collect signatures.

Two people are currently vying for the newly elected county executive post in Washington County: Joshua Schoemann and Adam Gitter.

It was Sept. 11, 2019 when the Washington County Board voted a second time to switch from a hired county administrator to an elected county executive.

Children Shop with a Cop at Meijer in West Bend | By Amelia Neuwirth

The Meijer parking lot in West Bend was crawling with cops tonight, but there was no crime.

Meijer’s annual Shop with a Cop event, sponsored by Kettle Moraine Lodge 10 Fraternal Order of Police, saw children teaming up with police officers to find the perfect Christmas presents for their families.

Each child had a budget of $30, which was graciously donated by Meijer. Carts were filled with gifts ranging from toys, to candles, to fishing poles.

Children and police officers wore Santa hats, antlers, and giant smiles. This was a special night for shoppers, children, and police officers alike.

Amity Rolfs Nativity taking shape at Holy Angels Parish in West Bend

It was a blustery day Wednesday but some hearty volunteers in the community stepped up to assemble the manger for the popular Amity Rolfs Nativity. It’ll be on display in front of the parish office at Holy Angels Church on Eighth Avenue.

The first thing to be assembled is the manger. Although showing signs of age, the manger was built old school. Heavy cedar boards have stood the test of time. While some beams look like Swiss cheese with numerous holes, the pieces still held enough bite and the manger went together in about an hour.

Coming up next will be the refurbished pieces from the Amity Rolfs Nativity.

Over the past year an anonymous member of the community stripped, mended and painted the 15 pieces in the nativity.

With care of a seasoned and skilled craftsman the Nativity figures will be returned to the manger for another year of celebrating the birth of the Christ child.

The life-size nativity display is a holiday hallmark for West Bend. Originally brought to the community by brothers Tom and Bob Rolfs, the pieces, handmade in Germany, were originally placed in front of the tower of the Amity building on Main Street. The nativity later moved to the front of the Amity Outlet on Highway 33 and in 2007 it was donated to the Downtown West Bend Association. From 2007 until 2014 the nativity was set up in front of Westbury Bank on S. Main Street.

The project was completed silently as a pledge had been made to bring the Rolfs Nativity back to its full glory.

While the craftsman wanted to remain anonymous, his name will be published in this week’s Holy Angels Church bulletin.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

An end of an era as Sager’s Mens Apparel in West Bend has closed

After 87 years in business Sager’s Mens Apparel in West Bend has officially closed.

The store sign came down Tuesday, Nov. 5, before the snow. Above the entryway is now the old West Bend Pilot sign. That’s expected to be restored.

Fred Sager opened Sager’s Mens Apparel in 1932. Donald Sager took over the business from is father in 1970. Scott Sager and his sister Sara ran the business until it closed.

Sager’s Men’s Apparel, Inc. has been in the men’s clothing business since 1932. We specialize in tuxedo sales and rental, men’s suits, sport coats, and dress slacks. We distribute tuxedos from Nedrebo’s and DuBois formalwear, and carry an extensive selection of our own in-stock formalwear. Our Store is in downtown West Bend.

Below are some reactionary comments to Sager’s announcement posted on social media:

Kenneth Wendland – I remember that store when I was a kid growing up on Parkfield Drive. Said to see it go.

Alex Gaeth – Well that sucks, it was a great place, great customer service, and I liked it that it was a small, family company.

Sandy Erdman – Best of luck to them! I remember when we repeated our wedding vows and I wore my wedding dress and Sager’ s decked my hubby out in white trousers and purple vest. Our colors. So handsome he was!!!!

Nicole Moederndorfer Nooo! They were phenomenal! Amazing service! No one will compare.

Jim Groh – Was a great store over the years

Cheryl-Sheri Hay – Sad day in West Bend. Sager’s was a family store that was committed to friendly customer service. Happy Retirement

Connie Thull – A West Bend landmark! Enjoy retirement!

John Steffan – Congratulations on your retirement you will be greatly missed got my 1st tuxedo from them

Van Kline – I bought a suit there when I got home from Viet Nam. Time goes on I guess.

Rich Zerillo – We so loved it when Sager’s would “donate” (let a couple of us guys borrow for the evening) a tuxedo, so we would look super-sharp @ Januli’s for Diva Night. Thanks for all you have done over the last 87 years as a small business in our great little city of West Bend!!

Jo Ann Taylor – Sager’s was the “Go to Place”, to dress my Husband! Doug Trusted the Mr. Don Sager’s opinion over His Mine! Happy Retirement!

Dianne Brisingamen – Congrats on retirement, but man, you will be very missed!

Tim Stern – Thank you to Scott and family, Sagers was a staple in the West Bend community and downtown, I certainly hope you are able to enjoy retirement Scott!

Shirley McDaniel Schwartz – Sager’s was always an anchor store in downtown West Bend. They will be missed! Enjoy the hunting and fishing Scott!

Lisa Brown – So sad! They actually knew how to fit a ‘husky’ man. Other competitors just assume the ‘skinny’ fit works on everyone. Enjoy your retirement!!

Heidi Belger Schulz Many well-dressed men have walked out of those doors! They will be missed!

Angela Bins – Thank you for making my wedding day great with your rentals and for helping my dad purchase his father of the bride suit. You’ll be greatly missed.

Susie Janel – End of an era for sure! Your business will be missed but enjoy retirement.

Karen Liepert – Best wishes on your retirement. Enjoy your outdoor activities. Thank you for your commitment to the community.

Michael Sterr – Congrats to the Sager’s! Not many businesses can last that long. They will be missed in downtown

Cyndi Seefeldt – 87 years!!!!!! That’s impressive! Sad to see a family business go!

Suzanne Weinert Tennies – Wonderful, generous, community minded family. Appreciated your community involvement. Best wishes in the future. Hope your retirement is filled with many blessings.

Josh McCutcheon – Wish the Sagers the best. Scott was awesome and went out of his way many times for my developmentally disabled clients. All my business suits came from there. Happy retirement…you will be missed!!

George Prescott inducted into Wisconsin State Hall of Fame Boys & Girls Club

Local philanthropist and former grocery and restaurant owner George Prescott has been elected to the inaugural class of the Wisconsin Boys and Girls Club Hall of Fame.

Prescott, 72, said he’s busy these days with about a dozen grandkids was honored to receive the award.  said

“Working with Jay and feeling the success that comes out of this entity is just beyond believe,” he said.

Dressed in blue jeans and a red sweater and sneakers Prescott was soft spoken and humbled by the award.

According to Jay Fisher, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club, there were 22 people nominated for the award and six were selected.

“The standards for the award were for people who served on different committees and boards and really stood out in the community,” he said.

The Boys and Girls Club is West Bend is 21 years old and has served about 60,000 kids.

“We’re so lucky and what makes it happen is connections,” said Prescott.  “We call on the people to make it happen and they outperform.”

Prescott was inducted with others including former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl, former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and philanthropist Marty Stein.

“This award is so big it makes me feel little,” said Prescott. “We just did what we had to do to make this happen; I feel proud.”

The initial Hall of Fame Award was presented over the summer in Madison. Prescott was out of town at the time, so Fisher said the Boys & Girls Club Board presented Prescott with the award in July.

“Obviously George has spent time here,” said Fisher. “He’s donated a lot of dollars; his name is on the building and he really helped get the Boys and Girls Club started with Sharon Ziegler and this wouldn’t be possible without George.”

Prescott is still part of the Board of trustees.

“He’s done more for the Boys and Girls Club in this community as anyone has in the state of Wisconsin,” said Fisher.

The Boys and Girls Club opening in West Bend in 1998. A gym was added in 2003 and an addition with an art room, kitchen and technology center was completed in 2016.

In 2001 when Prescott owned the Pick ‘n Save stores in West Bend a customer, Janice Weninger spent $1 on the Megabucks lottery and won part of the $20.3 million jackpot.

The store owners also received some money from the Wisconsin Lottery for selling the ticket. Prescott spread the wealth to his employees and even donated to the Boys & Girls Club.

Below is a story about George Prescott and the Boys & Girls Club in 2010

George Prescott presents lessons in Parkinson’s             Around the Bend  May 29, 2010         

George Prescott made a guest appearance at the Boys & Girls Club last Friday to give kids an education on Parkinson’s disease.

The children at the club hosted a nickel carnival and all proceeds were donated to a Parkinson’s charity in honor of Prescott.

The former owner and chief executive officer of Prescott Supermarkets, Inc. and current owner of Timmer’s Resort on Big Cedar Lake is a strong supporter of the local Boys & Girls Club.

Prescott spoke for about 15 minutes, talking about when he first received the diagnosis in 2001.

“My wife would bug me because my left arm had no control. I initially blamed it all on an old motorcycle accident but then the doctor told me I had Parkinson’s,” said Prescott.

Children at the Club, who ranged in age from 7 to 11, asked a variety of questions and Prescott’s answers were simple but direct. “I take 15 to 20 pills a day,” he said, “some supplements, others medication.”

Prescott talked about exercising and getting down on the ground with a foam roller. “It’s mostly on my left side and I’m right-handed, but I can tell it’s starting to affect my penmanship.”

Prescott spoke briefly about the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Few youngsters in the room were familiar with Fox. Prescott mentioned how Fox’s tremors were so bad his children would call him ‘shaky daddy.’

Other questions ranged from ‘does it hurt’ to ‘do you tilt?’ One little girl asked his name, to which Prescott responded confidently, “I’m George. George the grocer.”

Another asked how old he was. “I’m 62 and going to be 63 in September.  How old are you and when is your birthday?” he asked the little girl.

Then about 80 hands went into the air; everybody wanted to tell Prescott their birthday.

A couple of final questions had students naming other people afflicted with Parkinson’s. One little boy said Hitler, another mentioned Johnny Cash and then proceeded to sing Cash’s “Cry Cry Cry” in about as deep of a baritone as a 7-year-old boy can muster.

Then a final question, “Are you rich?” said a little voice from the back of the room. Prescott played it cool and said he was wealthier than average and “yes I have a bit of money.”

After receiving dim stares, he humbly said he was a millionaire. A boy in the back of the room shouted in wry fashion and with an innocence of youth, “Oh yeah, RIGHT!”

Prescott, who arrived without an entourage, earring or body art – some of the standards held by trendy, higher profile millionaires – took the comment in stride.

He then opened his wallet and donated a crisp $100 bill to the nickel carnival.

After the Q&A, club director Jay Fisher joked with Prescott.

“We start ‘em young here at the Boys & Girls Club, George – ‘How old are you and how much are you worth.’”

Washington County Dist. 2 Supervisor files non-candidacy papers

Washington County District 2 Supervisor Roger Kist, 82, has filed non-candidacy papers. Kist said he will not be running for election to the County Board in April 2020. He indicated he wanted to file early “to give others the opportunity to consider filing papers.”

Kist has been a member of the Washington County Board since April 2016.

Kist is also alderman in District 8 in West Bend. He said his current term on the council ends in 2021. Kist did not discuss his seat on the council other than to say he has been asked by several people if he’s going to run for mayor.

Kist was elected District 8 alderman in 2009. He beat incumbent Neal Narveson; Kist has won reelection to the two-year term ever since.  In April 2014, Kist took out papers to run for mayor of West Bend. He challenged incumbent Kraig Sadownikow and lost; however, he retained his aldermanic seat in Dist. 8.

Kist retired as manager of Washington County Parks in September 2003; he held that position for 35 years.

Kist joined the Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau in September 2003.

Kist has been active in politics and parks his entire life; he’s been dedicated to making Washington County a better place.

Kist was a young pup when he moved to Ridge Run Park in November 1967. Originally hired as caretaker of the park, Kist said it “reminded me a lot of when I worked on the farm.” A supervisor at the park, Kist sported a handlebar mustache and eventually became a fixture known as Ranger Roger.

Aside from the parks and Washington County Tourism, Kist has been a familiar face in politics on both the West Bend common council and as a supervisor.

“When I was on the council, I was also chairman of the local Republican Party,” said Kist. “I remember Mike Schlotfeldt was elected alderman and he chaired the Democratic Party. When he sat down, he looked over at me like the devil had just shown up.”

Kist took his time and built a relationship with the representative from Dist. 6. “When Mike decided not to run again, we had a little party and he said to me, ‘Roger you’re the only friend I’ve got.’”

Over the years Kist has made quite a few friends and below are some comments from those he’s met along the way who talk about the impact he’s made in this county.

West Bend Police Chief Ken Meuler: I met Roger before he ever ran for alderperson as he has always been actively involved in the community. He donates his time to a number of community events, and supports almost every community function. Anyone out in the community will see him at Music on Main, Farmer’s Market, church festivals, parades, and numerous fundraisers in the community. During his time as an alderperson he has not been someone that pounds his fists or grandstands, but he always speaks up on issues that are important to him and his constituents. He has called me on a number of police issues to get a better understanding of our policies and practices. He has been a strong supporter of the police throughout his tenure as alderperson. I have always enjoyed working with Roger as an alderperson and appreciate all he has done for the community. More important, I value his friendship.

Washington County Supervisor Marilyn Merten: “Roger has always been a considerate and caring individual and he’s willing to do a good job at whatever he did.” Merten was county clerk and worked with Kist when he was at the Washington County Planning and Parks Department. “I’d contact Roger to help make the grounds look nice at the county building. Roger would always take care of it.”

Leah Baughman at Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County: “Roger Kist is very active and in touch with the West Bend community and knows what is needed to help support its citizens. When asked if he would like to be a part of the Interfaith/RSVP Advisory Council Roger very graciously accepted right away. Even though this venture has just begun he has been an important member that has contributed many great ideas and support.”

Todd Tennies remembered Kist when he worked and lived at Ridge Run Park.  “As a little boy I can remember going to Ridge Run Park and riding bikes past the log cabin as we headed to our favorite fishing spot. Roger would always stop and say ‘Hi’ and ask us how the fishing was. He was always friendly and willing to talk to us kids. After his retirement from the county he settled in and served the community through his involvement in city government. He did a great job and always had an interest in what was best for the community. His interest in our county also carried over into the Tourism Committee for Washington County. He did an extraordinary job promoting the Washington County Fair Park as well as all of our wonderful parks we have in this county.  Great job Roger.”

Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten said Kist is somebody he really admires. “The things he’s accomplished at the county and city and he can still walk down the street and people know him from Ridge Run Park. I wish I could be more like him with his ability to relate to people and between him and his wife the way they’re prepared for every meeting. I’m very lucky I’ve been able to spend time on the council with him.”

Former Mayor Kraig Sadownikow said serving the community is in Roger’s blood. “Whether it’s an elected position, or in his career or during his time off he’s always been committed to service and giving back to the community.

West Bend City Administrator Jay Shambeau said Kist’s name is relatively synonymous with park land and this community.  “To promote the development, use and preserving of parks and the fact he has not wavered in his opinion is really a tribute to him. He’s everywhere. He’s the longstanding West Bend member of the Mid-Moraine Municipal Association and he attends league conferences and the Alliance meetings.”

Former West Bend city clerk Amy Reuteman spent 15 years at City Hall and noted, “Roger Kist has been there forever. And he’s early; you can always count on Roger to be early.”

Thank you, Roger Kist, for your dedication and service to help make West Bend and Washington County a great community.

On a side note: In 2017 I hosted an evening at Music on Main. It was right before the school year was to get underway and I challenged readers of WashingtonCountyInsider.com to bring their school picture to the event and I’d treat them to a beverage of their choice. Roger Kist was the first attendee to respond. I told him I thought he looked a lot like Dennis the Menace.

Special blessing for Eagle Scout project in Barton

An Eagle Scout project completed by Simon Weinandt, 18, with Scout Troop No. 762 in West Bend received a special blessing in the park across from St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception Parish in Barton.

Reverend Andrew Infanger led a small procession across the lawn following 9:30 a.m. Mass on Sunday.

Following a reading from the First Letter of the Apostle Peter, Rev. Infanger prayed a blessing over the Stations of the Cross.

“Oh God, your son was delivered up to death and raised from the dead in order that we might die to sin and live lives of holiness. By the favor of Your blessing draw near with mercy to Your faithful people who devoutly recall the mysteries of Christ’s passion. Grant that those who follow His footsteps and bearing their cross patiently may receive as their reward the vision of Christ in His glory. For He lives and reins with You for ever and ever.”

Rev. Infanger then blessed the Stations with holy water and incense.

After the ceremony Weinandt received compliments about the “beauty of the completed project” and “this is quite an Eagle Scout project, you should be proud.”

“I built the Stations of the Cross at St. Mary’s and it’s been a lot of work,” he said. The 14 Stations each feature a stone base, a large wooden cross and a series of bronze images “portraying events in the Passion of Christ from his condemnation by Pontius Pilate to his entombment.”

“The most challenging part was not at all in the building, but it was in the planning,” said Weinandt. “People are eager for it to be used as soon.”

Weinandt will be attending tech college in Red Wing, Minnesota where he will study to be a luthier; it’s a maker of string instruments like violin, bass, and cello.

Washington County leasing space for Solar Now Program

There are about 12 acres on the southwest corner of River Road and Creek Road in West Bend that will soon be home to solar energy panels.

The project is starting to take shape as a field of beams are being driven into the ground.

According to Washington County Public Affairs Coordinator Ethan Hollenberger the county is leasing property to We Energies. “The county is not responsible for any of the capital required to build or maintain the solar generation,” he said.  “Washington County will not own the solar generation.”

It was June 2019 when Washington County Supervisors voted on a resolution approving the Solar Now Pilot Program.

“The Solar Now program, as approved by the Public Service Commission, is for governments to lease land for this purpose,” said Hollenberger.  “We are receiving a lease payment based on the generation of the site. Next year, it is just over $98,000.”

“This is a great program for County as it allows us to continue to invest in budget areas the public believes are priorities such as public safety,” Hollenberger said.

Saukville and New Berlin are a couple of the other communities also investing in the Solar Now Program. Waukesha County is also exploring the opportunity. The County anticipates energy generation to begin in 2020.

Two supervisors file non-candidacy on Washington County Board

As of 12:25 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019 there were two Washington County Supervisors who filed certificate of non-candidacy paperwork.

District 2 Supervisor Roger Kist filed his papers on Friday, Nov. 1 announcing he would not seek another term. On Wednesday, Nov. 6, Dist. 4 Supervisor Chris Jenkins filed a certificate of non-candidacy.

Chris Jenkins is with his son filing paperwork at the Washington County Clerk’s office.

“I did so now, as Roger did, to allow adequate time for someone to consider running in my place,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins was first elected to the Washington County Board in April 2018. He said he will serve out the remainder of his term which ends following the election in April 2020 when the new candidate is sworn in.

“Over this term, the County Board and how it currently operates was not my cup of tea,” said Jenkins.  “I hope the efforts to shrink the size of the Board, and change how the policy-making process occurs, improves things. I am optimistic that a county executive will produce the strong leader the county-level of government sorely needs.”

Jenkins also serves as District 4 alderman in the City of West Bend.  “I will take this added time to better focus on my roles and responsibilities at the city level,” he said.

Candidates have until December 27, 2019 by 5 p.m. to file a certificate of non-candidacy if they do not plan to run in April 2020. Candidates who are running may begin circulating papers to collect signatures on December 1, 2019. Those signatures must be turned in by 5 p.m. on January 7, 2020.

Candidates running for Washington County Board Supervisor must submit 50 -100 signatures and candidates running for County Executive must submit 500 – 1000 signatures.

For the city council, aldermen need to submit 20-40 signatures from people in their district. Mayoral candidates must submit 200-400 signatures to run for office.

On a side note: Two people are currently vying for the newly elected county executive post in Washington County: Joshua Schoemann and Adam Gitter.

It was Sept. 11, 2019 when the Washington County Board voted a second time to switch from a hired county administrator to an elected county executive.

Paving of Eighth Avenue in West Bend complete

Dump trucks hauling hot, black asphalt came and went on a regular cycle Monday, Nov. 4 as two layers were put down on a section of Eighth Avenue in West Bend. The four-block stretch between Highway 33 and Walnut Street had been under construction since May when the Holy Angels Festival was underway.

The costs of the reconstruction project was $1.35 million and it took a little more than five months to complete.  The general contractor for the project was Wood Sewer & Excavating, Inc. from New London, Wisconsin.

There were several subcontractors working at various times which included sanitary sewer installation, water main installation, storm sewer installation, roadway excavation, curb and gutter installation, curb ramp replacement, roadway reconstruction and restoration of disturbed areas.

There was a strong smell of rich asphalt in the air along with a consistent hum of heavy equipment as dump trucks unloaded a sea of asphalt into the pavers. In their wake a series of steel wheel rollers chased up and down the road, packing the pavement and removing any visible seems.  By mid-day contractors were skeptical they would finish the project but by 4:45 p.m. they were just wrapping up the second layer. Landscaping around the curbs and pavement markings should be completed in the coming weeks.

West Bend Common Council to honor veterans tonight including one of their own

Common Sense Citizens of Washington County is teaming with the West Bend Common Council in an annual tribute tonight, Monday, Nov. 4 to honor local veterans.

All veterans will be recognized including District 1 alderman John Butschlick, 72, who served in Vietnam and is taking part in Saturday’s Stars & Stripes Honor Flight.

Butschlick was 19 years old when he enlisted in the Army. A 1965 graduate of Campbellsport High School, Butschlick had played trumpet in Mr. Jacobs class for four years.

“I wanted to play in the band so I would NOT go to Vietnam,” he said.

Butschlick’s dad was diagnosed with a bad heart they sold the family farm in Campbellsport and moved to Kewaskum.

“I worked at Regal Ware for about a year and then enlisted,” he said. Basic training was at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

After eight weeks of basic, Butschlick’s name was mixed up with someone else and he went on as a clerk typist and remained at Fort Leonard Wood.

“But I got my orders in December 1967 and that said I was going to San Francisco and then onto Vietnam,” he said. “Needless to say, my recruiter was not my best friend and my plan did not work.”

Butschlick said Vietnam was horrible from the start. “The stench,” he said. “There was nothing sanitary there; all feces were burned, and it was warm and humid.”

Butschlick was assigned to an artillery group as a fuel administrator. “My first six months I couldn’t believe I was even in a war zone,” he said. “We played volleyball, we had hot meals, our sergeant was a fantastic cook and it wasn’t bad at all.”

In August, Butschlick reup for six more months in the military; he also signed up for leave over Christmas however his new captain denied the leave in December and pushed it off another month.

While dropping off paperwork a warrant officer changed Butschlick’s leave but the captain caught up with him and that brief favor cost Butschlick his assignment.

“I got back from leave and I was sent on the first chopper out; I was on a gunner,” he said. “I lost my field position.”

Nervous, Butschlick met with a pastor and within a couple weeks he was transferred and assigned to headquarters as a commanding officer jeep driver. “This was during the Tet Offensive and I thought I was lucky to be a driver, but my buddies said the snipers would pick off a driver first and then go after the captain,” he said.

“My second tour was scarier than hell.”

Butschlick credits his mother for helping keep him safe. “I didn’t know it at the time but she said a prayer every day and in that prayer she was always asking God to protect me while I was in Vietnam and I firmly believe my mom’s faith brought me back safely,” he said.

Butschlick has kept the copy of his mother’s prayer. It’s on a weary index card, the print is from an old-school typewriter and there are pencil marks where Rose Butschlick wrote in cursive the correct pronoun.

“My faith is what got me through this whole thing… and my mom’s,” he said. “When I got out of the service my mom gave me the prayer cards.”

Butschlick was discharged in 1969 when he was 22 years old.

When he returned to the states he stayed in Chicago and worked at First National Bank as a margins clerk. “Life was actually moving too fast for me over the next three years and then I moved back home and worked at Fleet Farm before I bought the Tastee Freeze and turned it into Little John’s Drive in,” he said. “John Heisdorf worked at the restaurant with me; we called him Big John and I was Little John.”

Little John’s was located on Highway 33 in West Bend in the lot behind the Fleet Farm; that building was there in there in the 1970’s. Alice Kohlman was the cook at Little John’s. “Alice was the best and I loved working with the people,” he said.

The restaurant eventually closed and Butschlick sold it in 1980. “That was when Pizza Hut was across the street, along with Dick’s Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken and the Red Owl was next door to the east,” he said.

Butschlick returned to work at Fleet Farm before taking a job with the City of West Bend.

In April 2014, Butschlick was elected Dist. 1 alderman in West Bend. He won reelection in 2016 and 2018. Butschlick is up for election in April 2020.

Join the Common Council for tonight’s recognition of veterans. Other council members who served include Dist. 2 alderman Mark Allen was in the Coast Guard 1971 – 1984 and Dist. 8 alderman Roger Kist.

West Bend Common Council votes on how to fill mayoral vacancy

West Bend Common Council has unanimously voted to appoint Council President Steve Hoogester as acting mayor until the April 7, 2020 election. According to City Attorney Ian Prust, said Hoogester can still retain his seat as District 6 alderman and he does not have to run for council again just by taking this post.

Prust said, should there be a tie vote on an issue, Hoogester has to notify the council ahead of time that he will abstain as alderman to make a vote as mayor. City administrator Jay Shambeau and Prust said a tie situation would be extremely rare as a council member would need to be absent to create a situation for a tie vote to occur.

The mayoral seat became vacant Oct. 21 following the resignation of Mayor Kraig Sadownikow who cited a conflict between his private business and his elected position with the City. The decision to have Hoogester serve in the interim took about 25 minutes.

On a side note:

District 2 alderman Mark Allen was in favor of selecting a citizen from the community to fill the post. He noted, that would avoid creating a situation with a district not being represented for the next five months.

District 8 alderman Roger Kist said he ran for mayor twice during his career and would be interested in being appointed mayor.

Former Dist. 7 alderwoman Deb Anderson was in the audience at the special meeting and had inquired about serving as a citizen mayor until the 2020 April election.

Updates & tidbits:

-Interfaith Caregiver’s Kindness Crews will be rolling out a group volunteer opportunity starting in December. Kindness Crews are a group opportunity for individual volunteers to help a number of clients in one day with services. Volunteer by yourself, a friend, or bring a whole group! Kindness Crews will go out on the third Thursday of every month from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Join us after percolate on December 6 at 9:00 am for a short information meeting to learn more.

There will be 21 veterans from Washington County on the Nov. 9 Stars & Stripes Honor Flight to Washington D.C. Veterans include: Vietnam Army Ralph Charette of Germantown, four veterans from Hartford including Vietnam Air Force Jeffrey Lauenstein, Korea Army Edgar Loomis, Vietnam Air Force Jeffery Hoppens, and Vietnam Army Jerrold Green. Two veterans from Kewaskum including Vietnam Army Ronald Amerling Kewaskum and Vietnam Air Force James Dorn. Vietnam Army William Schneider Richfield Vietnam Army Donald Thies Slinger

-Senior Citizen Activities, Inc. is hosting its 2nd Annual Christmas Cookie Walk & Crafts on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 8 a.m. – noon at 2378 W. Washington St. Suite A, West Bend.

In order to do justice to the Sager family, below is the obituary that ran in 2005 for Fred Sager.

Longtime local businessman and community leader, Donald Frederick Sager, 66, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on March 17, 2005, at St. Joseph’s Community Hospital in West Bend after a courageous battle with cancer. Born September 5, 1938. Beloved husband of Maradel, (nee Honold). Loving father of Scott (Karen), Susan (Todd) Zeeb and Sara (Michael) Lehner. Dear grandfather “Bumpa” of Kailee, Jonathan, Claire, Lauren and Hannah. Preceded in death by his parents, Frederick A. and Cloris A. Sager, and granddaughter, Amanda Lynn Zeeb. Survived by brother, Steve (Mary) Sager of Fond du Lac and sister, Marjorie (Glen) Klug of Boltonville, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Donald is lovingly remembered by many friends and business acquaintances.

Donald was born and raised in West Bend. As a boy he loved to fish and hunt with his dog, Tucker. An athlete in high school and college, he played football and basketball. He attended Valparaiso University and was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He graduated in 1960 with a Bachelors’ Degree in Business Administration. Donald returned home to take his place at his father’s side in the family clothing business. He met the love of his life, Maradel and they married on August 12, 1961 and together raised a beautiful family.

Donald’s father, Fred Sager opened Sager’s Mens Apparel in 1932. Donald worked alongside his father through high school and college. He took over the business from Fred in 1970 and made it his own. At one time, Sager’s Mens Apparel operated in four locations, West Bend, Port Washington, Grafton, and Fond du Lac. Sager’s Mens Apparel, in downtown West Bend, continues a rich tradition of formalwear and men’s clothing through his children Scott and Sara. Donald was known for his swift use of a tape measure, he’d size you up in seconds, fit you with a suit or tuxedo and send you out the door. His philosophy was “We always try to sell a better product, and our customers aren’t really our customers, they’re our friends.” His favorite time of the retail year was Prom season because he loved to tell the young men how to dress appropriately, tuck in your shirt, pull up your pants, open the car door for the young lady, shake her father’s hand and ask “What time should I return your daughter, sir?” He also enjoyed working with wedding parties and reminding the nervous groom his first sentence should be, “I’m sorry, honey.”

Donald was past president of the West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce and served on St. Joseph’s Community Hospital Board for many years. He was a long-standing member of the Downtown West Bend Businessmens’ Association and was a member of the founding organizational team of the Teen Factory, predecessor of the Boys and Girls Club of West Bend. In 1985, Donald along with his son, Scott and five other men started the West Bend Hunter Education Program. This program has instructed over 3000 students in the safe and responsible handling of firearms in the past twenty years. Don always felt, “That if you take your kid hunting, you’ll never have to go hunting for your kid!”

Donald was an avid outdoorsman and master tinkerer. He loved to train dogs, pheasant hunt, make lunch for deer hunting, hunt for ducks on the Mississippi River with his brother, fish for panfish and walleyes with his buddies, play with his grandchildren and use a 10-penny nail to fix everything. He had a great gift for painting, if it moved, he painted it and usually himself in the process, too.

He was a caring and loving man and would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it, or better yet, sell you one. He continually supported his family and community, and gave more than he ever had. He never said no. He will be greatly missed by his family and the community, he touched many lives.

Visitation for Donald will be Sunday, March 20, 2005, from 2 PM to 5 PM at Phillip Funeral Homes, 1420 W. Paradise Drive in West Bend. Funeral services will immediately follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Boys and Girls Club of West Bend, would be appreciated. Donald always felt that “our kids are our greatest gift.”

The family is grateful to Dr. Rajesh Trivedi and his staff and the many other doctors and caring nurses who tenderly cared for Donald at St. Joseph’s Community Hospital in West Bend, St. Luke’s Hospital, and Froedert Hospital in Milwaukee.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Grand opening date posted at new Fleet Farm in West Bend

The shiny, new Fleet Farm on the hill on W. Washington Street in West Bend is getting set to open. A sign on the door of the stores announces the grand opening will be Friday, November 22. That’s a week ahead of Black Friday, Nov. 29.

One new product customers in West Bend will find on the shelves at Fleet will be beer, wine and spirits.

The city clerk in West Bend confirmed Fleet secured a license to carry alcohol. It will be at both the store and the Fleet convenience store/gas station.

“Fleet Farm stores that have opened since 2018 carry a selection wine and beer, as well as packaged grocery items,” said Christopher Zulfer, Division Vice President, Fleet Farm. “Our beer selection includes more than 200 beer items, including national and local craft beers. Our wine selection includes more than 225 items from a wide variety of vineyards.”

A record check in the city assessor’s office shows Fleet Farm Properties LLC sold the 69.7 acres of vacant land to Store Spe Mills Fleet II 2017-7 LLC for $3 million on June 19, 2019.

Challenging process of picking an interim mayor in West Bend

On Monday, Nov. 4 the West Bend Common Council will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. The hot topic will be, Discussion on the Vacancy Created by the Resignation of the City of West Bend Mayor  2. Filling the Office of Mayor

On Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, at the West Bend Common Council meeting Mayor Kraig Sadownikow announced he was resigning his seat effective immediately. Sadownikow stepped down citing a conflict between his business and his position with the City.

The state has a legal process on filling the vacant mayoral seat, which comes up for election in April 7, 2020.

City administrator Jay Shambeau said filling the seat will “not be an easy answer to come to.”

There are three options on the table; the council can appoint the council president or an alderman or a citizen from the City.

Option 1: appoint council president

The current council president is Dist. 6 alderman Steve Hoogester. In the past, when the mayor needed to recuse himself from an issue before the council it would be Hoogester who would take over the meeting.

“If Hoogester or another alderman, is appointed mayor then he must resign as alderperson, so he no longer has that seat,” said Wisconsin Election Commission staff counsel Michael Haas. “The statute says if there’s a vacancy in the office of mayor then it’s filled by the common council unless a special election is ordered which is probably not likely if it’s a short-term vacancy. The council would need to decide, and the alderperson would need to decide.”

Hoogester has been council president since February 2018 after Dist. 2 alderman Steve Hutchins resigned. “It’s an interesting thought,” said Hoogester about the mayoral position. “It’s something I’d be willing to do and fill in for five months; do the best I can and keep things moving forward.”

A wrench in the works, however, is if Hoogester would leave his seat as alderman, he would have to run for office again. “My aldermanic seat is not up for election in 2020 and if I’d have to vacate after five months I’d be out. That’s not on my list of priorities,” he said.

Hoogester said he would take a “wait-and-see approach” on how things shake out at Monday’s meeting.

Option 2 : leave the seat vacant or appoint an alderman

Another option, the council could choose to leave the office vacant and just delegate authority to the council president or someone else to do whatever the mayor would do whether it’s signing documents, etc.

An alderman could also be appointed. Then their seat would be vacant and that could be filled by appointment as well.

On October 17, Dist. 5 alderman Rich Kasten announced his candidacy for mayor.   According to Haas, “In a non-partisan election you can actually run for mayor and alderperson and if you win both you can choose which office you want.”

Kasten said last week, he is not interested in filling in the next five months as mayor however he is committed to running for the seat in April.

Option 3: city representative

The City could take applications from anybody interested and then, according to Haas, “everybody has a fair shot at applying and trying to convince the council they’re the right person.”

Deb Anderson was the alderperson in District 7 from April 2010 until April 2012 when she chose not to run for re-election. Anderson stopped at City Hall to inquire about being appointed to fill the short-term seat.

In a Wednesday night phone call Anderson said she did not want to run for mayor, but she could fill in for the next five months. She said her schedule was flexible and this way an aldermanic seat would not be unrepresented until the April 7, 2020 election.

During Anderson’s one term on the council she was a member of the Library Board, she helped drum up attention for the Barton Business District, and she expressed caution in 2012 when then Mayor Sadownikow encouraged aldermen to sign “Budget Pledge” to not raise the tax rate.

Anderson used to be the property manager for River Bend Senior Village. Most recently she headed up the Washington County Senior Center. Now she volunteers at the Senior Center.

On a side note: The city council will be voting on its 2020 budget in the coming weeks. On the table is a discussion on whether to keep a flat tax rate of $7.79 or raise it six cents to $7.85 for 2020.

Monday’s Special Meeting begins at 5 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street, in West Bend. The meeting is open to the public.

West Bend School District report on declining enrollment

West Bend School District Superintendent Don Kirkegaard outlined enrollment trends during the Monday night, Oct. 28, School Board meeting. The district indicated “unless there is a change in enrollment trends, the district can expect declining enrollment for the next 8-10 years.”

Superintendent Kirkegaard:

-Our enrollment has been going south. It has been for quite a few years and it’s going to go for quite a few more years.

-We’re down about 600 students since 2006

-There are about 60 kids that open enroll out of Jackson. Jackson area is the largest open enrolling out of the district.

-Projections: I made an assumption that the kindergarten class would stay the same and every kid who is in school this year stays in school throughout their whole career. If you go to the high school, we’re at 2184 this year. If you look at current students in the school, I added 50 kids every year once they become 9th graders, based on Holy Angels and Cabrini, typically the last few years we picked up 50 parochial kids that come to high school. You’re down to 1669 students with both east and west together.

-This isn’t doom and gloom, it’s just reality.

-There are certain districts in the state of Wisconsin that are going up (with enrollment), much of Wisconsin is not and we’re part of that.

-The reason for the decline is we don’t have as many kids coming through the system. Most people have two kids, one kid, three kids…

-The second Friday in January there is another student count. Typically, the January count is less than the September count.

-The third Friday of September is the official count date for district enrollment. See first chart below. The second chart shows a 14-year comparison of actual students in seats at schools in the West Bend District.

Chart 5 shows a 9-year projection of enrollment based on current students in the district and a flat kindergarten enrollment based on 364 students.

On a side note: The West Bend School District Private Task Force studied the school district and its facility needs over the summer. It released a report of findings on October 14. One of the findings considered the declining enrollment and loss of state aid.

Randy Stark – task force member: How do we take older inventory offline and replace it.

Options: We could do nothing. Keep spending $1.5 mil a year on facilities.  Retain all building and come up with money and address immediate capital needs however the design characteristics with concerns can’t be changed. Even if come up with $22.5 mil – we still have 80% of square footage is getting older.

Replace Jackson – in 25-year plan – solves some problems but only addresses one building.

“Perhaps a school in Jackson is no longer justified,” said Randy Stark from the Task Force.

Construct one new school (783 capacity) at a south side location and expand Green Tree. Close/sell Jackson School, Jackson land, Decorah, Fair Park, District Offices, Rolfs & Maintenance. Develop a single central campus on the south side of WB.

Doug Barnes from Zimmerman Architectural Studios – “Other school districts that have consolidated include New Berlin which has closed four schools and Beaver Dam has closed elementary schools and consolidated and Racine.”

West Bend Common Council to honor veterans on Monday, November 4

On November 4 the West Bend Common Council will honor all Veterans during its regular Monday night meeting as elected officials pay tribute to those who have served our country.

The event is organized by Common Sense Citizens of Washington County. The ceremony begins at 6 p.m. in the West Bend High School Silver Lining Auditorium.

All veterans will be recognized. Anyone in need of free transportation is encouraged to call 262-335-5123. The event is free and open to the public. Items for Support the Troops will be collected during the event and distributed as care packages to troops serving in the U.S. military.

Railroad crossing in Allenton expected to open Saturday, November 2

Work crews are taking advantage of the 40-degree temps and finishing the approach to the Canadian National Railroad crossing on Highway 33 in Allenton.

Contractors expect the road to reopen Saturday, November 2.

Wisconsin Central Ltd. (Canadian National Railway), has been reconstructing its railroad crossing located between Weis Street and County Road W since Monday, October 28.

To complete this work, crews required a full closure of WIS 33 at the crossing from Monday, October 28 until Friday, November 1.

The Town of Addison and Washington County Highway Department received numerous complaints about the crossing being hazardous and the noise when crossing was unsettling.   This crossing was repaired in 2014 and Canadian National has had to make repairs since.

Part of the major repair will include a complete removal of the base material, the ties and rails along with the approach from both sides of the track. Railroads own and are responsible for the track and up to 50 feet on each side.  This crossing was originally scheduled to be done in August.

On a side note: A train passed through the construction area at 1:38 p.m. on Monday. Interesting because the contractors are going to be pulling up the track during this repair.

Morrie’s West Bend Honda announces opening date

The street sign is in place, the parking lot has been blacktopped and the driveway to Highway 33 has been poured and Morrie’s West Bend Honda has officially announced its opening date.

According to general manager Bob Splitstoesser the West Bend Honda store will open Friday, Nov. 15. Contractors broke ground in November 2018. Morrie’s West Bend Honda is at 3215 W. Washington Street on the southwest corner of Highway 33 and Scenic Drive.

Morrie’s new Honda facility will create approximately 60 new good-paying jobs. Morrie’s West Bend Honda will feature customer parking for 40 standard and two barrier-free parking stalls.

The site plan identifies 248 stalls for vehicle display and loaners, 6 rental stalls, 75 service stalls, 74 employee stalls.

Bloomin’ Holidays Wine Walk is sold out                     By Jessica Wildes

Bloomin’ Holidays Wine Walk  is Saturday, Nov. 9 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.  Shop, sip, and swoon over the sights of downtown West Bend at the inaugural Bloomin’ Holidays Wine Walk. Start at the Museum of Wisconsin Art for your first taste and explore floral arrangements in the art galleries and an indoor artist marketplace. Then head to 20 more nearby destinations for wine, treats, and shopping along the way.

SOLD OUT! Join the wait list. Contact Jessica at 262-247-2266 or jwildes@wisconsinart.org. Please note that we cannot add additional registrants. If a registered participant cancels, we will work from the wait list. Registered Participants: Keep an eye out for event details in your email on Monday, November 4.  At check in, plan to bring your photo I.D. to verify your age (21+). No tickets are needed since everyone has pre-registered online. Your reservation will be held under your last name at check-in.

UWM at Washington County golf team wins major awards in final season | By John Minz

The UW Milwaukee – Washington County State Championship winning Golf Team had four members earn top spots on the WCC All-Conference Teams.

Antonio Feciskonin is the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference Player of the Year.  He was medalist in both the Wildcat Invite at WCGC and the Wombat Invite at The Bull.  He finished the state tournament, held at Mascoutin CC, 10 strokes ahead of 2nd place.  He’s the 4th Wildcat in the last five years to be named Player of the Year.

Jacob Eichline is on the WCC First Team All-Conference for a second year.  Jacob improved his play from last year finishing 3rd in both the Invites and 4th at State to earn a spot on the 1st team.

Second year player Brad Halverson made the WCC Second Team All-Conference also for a second year. Brad had placed in the top 10 in both the Invites, and a strong 6th place finish at state, to earn a spot on the 2nd team.

Josh Bohn also made WCC Second Team All-Conference.  Despite not playing on a high school golf team, Josh worked hard posted a top 10 in the Wildcat invite and placed 7th at State earning him a spot on the 2nd team.

These are great honors to the Wildcat players for their post season play and their Wisconsin Collegiate Conference State title.

Washington County Trail Sharks wrap up successful season | By Julie L Willmas

The season for the Trail Sharks has come to an end with the State Race on the Trek Trails in Waterloo for the mountain bike team.

With the course being muddy and technical, the athletes were excited to race.  The racecourse was filled with fans, as the 850+ riders slid up and down the slick hills and turns. The Washington County Trail Sharks did not give up as they raced to an 11th place finish for the season.

The team was led this season by medalists Kendra Schmitt (Kewaskum) 1st place, Mike Spangenberg (West Bend) 4th place, and Anja Lanser (West Bend) 1st place. Medalists for the state race….Kendra Schmitt (Kewaskum) 2nd, Anja Lanser (West Bend) 1st

Top 10 in their age group…Gabe Rogaczewski (Slinger) 9th, Fiona Shaw (West Bend) 10th, Mike Spangenberg (West Bend) 7th

Other team athletes… (1 lap)-Aiden Schubert (West Bend) 27th, Nate Sajdak (West Bend) 45th, Brandon Paulson (Slinger) 81st, Kira Zechlin (West Bend) 14th, Ayla Abraham (West Bend) 29th, Shiri Zechlin (West Bend) 43rd

(2 laps)- Lexi Schubert (West Bend) 17th, Will Mauney (West Bend) 12th, Christian Spaeth (West Bend) 21st, RJ Goldberg (Hartford) 22nd, Gabe Kebbekus (Slinger) 44th, Carson Phillips (Slinger) 46th

(3 laps)- Nick Skaalen (Hartford) 33rd

Signing 9/11 Wisconsin Memorial Highway bill into law

An effort to name a 9-mile section of highway that runs through Kewaskum the 9/11 Memorial Highway came to fruition on a snowy afternoon in October as Governor Tony Evers signed the bill into law.

“This Memorial will serve as an important reminder to the people of Wisconsin of the loved ones we lost and the heroes that ran towards danger without a second thought and our nations grit and resilience in times of tragedy,” said Evers.

“Now that we’re 18 years removed from the 9/11 attacks it’s important, we remember and honor this history including the nearly 3,000 innocent lives lost that day including 12 known individuals with connections to Wisconsin and of course Kewaskum’s own Andrea Haberman.”

The bill was spearheaded by Assembly Rep. Tim Ramthun and state Senator Duey Strobel.

Ramthun said the entire process has been a team effort. “This is overdue and it’s the right thing to do,” said Ramthun. “The value of this and the memorial factor will allow us all to never forget what happened to our nation and our state on 9/11; the enduring value is forever.”

Grand opening this week for Ozaukee Christian School in the Town of Trenton

There was a big celebration this past week as Ozaukee Christian School officially opened in the Town of Trenton. Parents, students and staff gathered early Monday morning to give praise and thanks and then cut the red ribbon to enter their new education space.

School administrator Kris Austin was beaming. She said the move to a new, permanent location has been quite a long road but “we just took it day by day and we let God take care of the things we couldn’t control.”

“It’s pretty amazing,” she said. “We had school at Camp Awana on Friday and here we are today with classrooms fully ready to receive kids. We’ve got a great staff, parents and volunteers.”

School board member Keenan Kerrins said it was a phenomenal day to celebrate. “This is our first permanent facility in the 30-year history of Ozaukee Christian School and we are so excited we’ve been able to come this far and to give such opportunity for students and parents alike to be able to experience school and God together,” he said.

Ozaukee Christian used to be located nine miles to the east of their current site in Saukville. As far as enrollment is concerned, Austin said there’s been some loss but great gain.

“We lost a few because this location is just too far for some families, but we picked up 14 new families, primarily from the West Bend area,” she said. “We will also be picking up another new family next week.”

OCS is a non-denominational Christian school founded in 1990.  The current location is 1214 State Highway 33 across from West Bend Lakes Golf Course. Ozaukee Christian School describes itself as “offering outstanding, Christ-centered, non-denominational educational opportunities for students from K3 to eighth grade. We are dedicated to academic excellence with a uniquely Christian perspective—one that places Jesus at the center of everything we do and acknowledges the Bible as our ultimate authority.”