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Tag: Judy Steffes

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

City of West Bend borrows $1.5 million after “mistake” and looks to borrow $10 million more tonight

The West Bend Common Council recently voted 5 – 2 in favor of borrowing an extra (approximately) $1.5 million after a “mistake” was made on bidding out the Seventh Avenue reconstruction project.

The City engineer said they realized the “mistake” on Monday, March 8, 2021. The council was notified about the “mistake” in an email sent 5:24 p.m. on Friday, March 12, 2021. The council was to vote on the project at its Monday, March 15 meeting.

Below is a copy of the letter set to aldermen on Friday, March 12.

Mayor and Council,

Some of you have asked about the agenda items included for Monday’s meeting around the planned borrowing. These resolutions are required as part of this year’s borrowing process. The borrowing is for the 2021 portion of our 5-year plan. The adopted capital plan is attached and included with our budget on our website. Phil Cosson provided a document that today was added to the agenda with similar level of detailed projects included in the $5.5 million borrowing.

Good news that the 7th Ave project bids came in lower than estimated. Also, we mistakenly included water and sewer utility costs in our original $2.3 million estimate. The end result of borrowing the $5.5 million in 2021 will greatly reduce our anticipated 2022 borrowing (approx. $1.5 million). We will be able to utilize the funds borrowed in 2021 for our 18th Avenue project constructed in 2022.

Our projected 2022 extra (beyond our $3 million annual amount) borrowing of $1.8 million for 18th Avenue should be reduced to approximately $300,000.

Phil, Max, Carrie and I will all be present on Monday to further explain this good news and logic for maintaining the borrowing at $5.5 million this year.

Please call my cell over the weekend 262-355-6102 or on Monday if you have any questions.

Enjoy the weekend!

Jay Shambeau  City Administrator  City of West Bend  (262) 335-5171

During the Monday, March 15 meeting Dist. 4 alderman Randy Koehler asked if the council borrows about $1.5 million over the project cost in 2021, is there a way to make sure the council borrows less next year? He also asked, “We’re just going to sit on that $1.4 million for a year and do nothing with it? That doesn’t make any sense to me. And if we don’t need it why are we borrowing it,” asked Koehler.

 

The representative from Ehlers Public Finance Advisors said “the City could earn interest on the $1.4 million. You also have the ability to lock in at the day of sale at a fixed rate for the life of the debt at a low interest rate environment for not only this year’s projects but a portion of next year’s projects.”

Koehler responded. “You said we have the ability to earn interest but we’re also going to be paying interest on money for a year that we’re just going to leave sit there. I would like us to scale this back by $1.4 million and just borrow the $4.1 million that we need to do the projects this year. That way we’re not tying the hands of the council next year and we’re also not saying we have an extra $1.5 million and then next year we borrow the same… we can’t determine how that will go next year. I want to scale this back and borrow just what we need.”

A clarification was made that the money borrowed would have to be spent on roads.

City engineer Max Marechal was asked if the money could be used in 2021 on other road projects. Marechal indicated contractors are already booked through the end of the year.

During a separate interview Phil Cosson from Ehlers indicated the interest for a year on the extra $1.5 million would cost the City $20,000. The interest received on the borrowing would be “nominal,” according to Cosson. Questioned what the dollar figure on “nominal” is he said “less than $1,000.”

“Do we think the rates are going to be better today, or are they going to be better next year,” said Cosson. “I don’t have a crystal ball…”

Cosson said interest rates would have to move “about 100 basis points or 1 percent in order to make up for that $20,000 interest payment.”

Questioned whether a 1 percent jump is normal, Cosson said, “I can’t estimate that… we’re not hearing the Federal Reserve is going to change policy over the next six months or so but it is certainly possible they could move up.”

The final vote on March 15 to borrow an extra $1.5 million was 5 – 2.

Those voting in favor: Alderman Dist. 1 Jon Butschlick, Dist. 2 Mark Allen, Dist. 3 Brett Bergquist, Dist. 5 Jed Dolnick, Dist. 7 Justice Madl

Those voting against: Dist. 4 Randy Koehler and Dist. 8 Meghann Kennedy

During tonight’s meeting, Monday, April 5, 2021 the council is voting on a proposal to create a new Tax Increment District #15 in the area north of Highway 33 and Main Street. Click HERE for details starting with Page 72.

This would be a $10 million borrowing with total borrowing of about $15 million with interest.

The vote is being held the day before the April 6, 2021 election which means no one will be representing taxpayers in Dist. 6 since that seat is open following the death of alderman Steve Hoogester.

 

The former chair of the council finance committee, Adam Williquette, reviewed available data on the proposed TID #15 and sent a note last week to alderman warning them of the dicey situation this proposal could mean for taxpayers.

Dear Council Members,

I am writing to voice some concern with the new proposed TID# 15 in West Bend. I not only bring the municipal background of TID creation and municipal finance, but an even greater understanding of TIDs due to my profession as a commercial real estate broker for the last 17 years. Having been on common council and having a good knowledge of the city’s finances, I write this as a West Bend resident with no ill intention to any of the parties involved in this development.

 

In looking at the TID plan, I find it confusing that West Bend would include borrowings for the following:

$1,000,000 developer incentive (What is this paying for?)

$4,545,000 MRO to Developer (What is this paying for?)

$2,200,000 for Riverwalk restoration south of Highway 33

$1,500,000 Main Street Improvements

I can understand how the following could be seen as “beneficial to the TID” and applicable for TID borrowing given the boundary:

$500,000 for Riverwalk North of Highway 33

Unlike other similar recent TIDs in West Bend, this has a whopping projected borrowing of $9,725,000 (without interest).

So now we get to the cash flow part of the TID plan. It factors in a very aggressive building schedule and is projecting that $17,000,000 would be completed by January 2022 to be paying $349,000 in taxes to pay for expenses in 2023. Even then the TID is only projected to cash flow $4,920 that year.

Then projecting that the project will assess at $30,000,000 in January 2023, the taxes for 2024 will be $558,000, with expenses increasing to $554,000, this projects a cash flow of $3,800 for the year.

The TID increases slowly to a maximum $14,000 surplus in 2046 (24 years from now) before finally paying off enough debt to pay surpluses of $323,711 in 2047, $711,057 in 2048 and, $714,489 in the last year of the TIDs life.

The first 24 years of this TIF are razor thin, and if things such as construction schedule are off by anything, the TIF will lose money over that time period and not actually benefit the taxpayers until 2047, and even then, everything would have to go 100% as projected.

This reminds me of the downtown River Shores TID # 10 which would have been costly to the taxpayers had the developer chosen not to pay their shortfall, which we should be thankful they had deep enough pockets and a great moral compass to do so. Thankfully, they also further developed Cast Iron Luxury Living to generate further increment in the failing downtown TID. If they didn’t have deep pockets, again, this would not have happened.

Next is downtown TID# 9, which has been one, if not the biggest, drain on city finances for the past few decades. This was the Veterans Avenue relocation which sat vacant, and then was sold largely to non-profit groups and did not pay anywhere near its TID “projection” or potential had the city held out for higher taxed entities.

The last one is downtown TID# 12. This was the relocation of a company downtown and trade for their former headquarters. In exchange for a lot of their taxes in return, they stayed in West Bend. Good, yes, but the taxpayers paid for it. The city even paid a consultant $100,000 to tell them this was a good idea, on the taxpayer’s dime. TID# 9 & 12 accounted for a huge amount of the city’s debt payments for many years and there is still work to pay those debts down. At least there has been some headway the last few years to put as much increment in those TIDs as possible. We do not need to attempt another downtown TID that we can’t look at and call a no-brainer and gamble with the taxpayer’s money again. We have had many successful TIDs in West Bend that passed that test and need to continue that as a test for approval of new ones.

TID # 15 is a Blight Rehabilitation TID. The other Blight Rehabilitation TIDs that West Bend tried downtown lead to the biggest drain on West Bend’s finances for the last decade and a half because the city gambled with the taxpayer’s money and lost.

This brings me back to some of the expenses of TID# 15. The MRO (Municipal Revenue Obligation) on the Table 4- Cash Flow shows the MRO as all principal. I assume it includes interest because the borrowing says it will be $4,545,000 MRO to Developer and the Cash Flow spreadsheet says it has a total cost of $8,574,201. If we calculate interest on that number, it is around 4.5% over the life of the TID. If those costs are going to pay for public infrastructure, which TID costs generally are required to do, why would we not issue GO Bonds at a 2% interest rate? I suppose that would look like a tax increase, but nonetheless save the taxpayers money.

The EDWC was asked to do an independent look at this TID. They were denied access to all information other than the public information by the city. (Which is the same information I was able to make these conclusions from.) If this project is such a great idea, why would the city not allow an independent economic development group that is one of the city’s trusted advisors on many other financial decisions, come to the “same great conclusion” that the plan is good and should be passed?

On top of the numbers not looking great, or even good, there seem to be a lot of unanswered questions. Why not do a pay-go TID where there is little to no risk for the taxpayers? Why try a Blight Rehabilitation TID again with worse projections than those of the past that failed?

 

I urge you all to ask more questions, not support this in its current form, or table this until further information is gathered.

This is a great project, but not the way that it is gambling with the taxpayer’s hard-earned money.

If any of you have any questions on my thoughts, please feel free to reach out to me.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely, Adam Williquette West Bend, WI

Monday’s West Bend Common Council starts 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.

West Bend council votes 6-1 to move forward on development of TID #15

Following a one-hour closed session the West Bend Common Council cast a 6-1 vote (Dist. 8 Meghann Kennedy the lone dissent) to approve a project plan and establish boundaries for creation of TID #15.

The focal point of TID #15 would be the redevelopment of the old West Bend Brewery which would be converted by HKS Holdings, LLC into 181 apartments and retail space. “Tax base, foot traffic and connectivity between the north and south of the river walk were the key points of the project,” said Phil Cosson with Ehlers Public Finance Advisors.

HKS proposes a mixed-use development with 181 high-end apartment units and a commercial space for retail or a restaurant.

After closed session District 5 alderman Jed Dolnick rattled off a list of direct questions. “The current value of the brewery and land is worth $770,000 (amount corrected) and it will be replaced by a structure that is conservatively estimated to be $35 million,” he said.

“The only money we (the City) will borrow is for the public improvements of the City river walk, the river walk going under Highway 33 and improvements to Main Street plus a third of the cost to clean up this site but we are not borrowing any money ($10 million) to build this.

“The third point, the most confusing, the MRO is not being paid for by borrowing it is being paid for out of the tax being paid on the property.”

Cosson confirmed all of Dolnick’s statements.

Kennedy voted against the proposal adding, “I’m really excited for this project, it’s beautiful and I think it’s going to bring a lot to the City. My no vote is on the belief that we have four potential new board members that could be on this board tomorrow (April 6 is Election Day and the even-numbered seats are up for election) so that is why I’m voting no,” she said. “I think this issue should be put before the new board.”

During his initial review of the $35 million development plan, Cosson said:

It will take 23 of the 27 years to fully pay back the tax increment district (TID)

There are up to $9.7 million in capital expenditures that are TID eligible.

The $1 million incentive to the developer is for cleanup of the site including relocation of the We Energies site. Cleanup is estimated to cost $3 million total.

$500,000 for river walk north. The $1.5 will be borrowed and it would be paid back by the City from increment from the development.

River walk south is $2.2 million and that includes a tunnel under Highway 33.

Portion of Main Street improvements which will be tackled in 2023.

HKS estimates it will have its development constructed by 2023.

MRO = municipal revenue obligation – a contract between developer and City. After the City’s obligations are first paid the remaining increment will go back to the developer up to $4,425,000.  “The key is the City costs, borrowed money, will be paid first and what gets paid last is the MRO payment which will be due on an annual basis,” said Cosson. “If the valuation comes in less or it under performs the developers are the ones at risk and they are the ones that will be hurt.”

Increment from the HKS development is 1 half of 1 percent appreciation factor as the revenue that comes into the TID.

The proposed TID #15 must still go before the Joint Review Board later this month, April 15.

Dairy Destination is June 12 at Sunset Farms in Allenton

Washington County Dairy Promotion is rolling out a brand-new event for 2021, “Dairy Destination – Carloads of Fun. This event provides a unique opportunity to load up your car with family and friends and head to one of Washington County’s finest dairy farms, Sunset Farms located in Allenton, WI.

Upon arrival, you will be guided to the auto trail where you will roll through the entire dairy operation from the comfort of your car. Cows, calves, dairy barns, farm equipment and other fascinating sites that make the wheels turn on this dairy operation.

There will be games and surprises along the way for the kids. Each car will receive a signature “Dairy Dream Box” filled with dairy products, treats, and prizes valued at over $30.

Mike Strupp, event co-chair, said the goal of this new event is to show-case locally available dairy products through a fun and creative adventure at the farm.

The event is Saturday, June 12 through advanced ticket sales only. Tours run 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Your ticket will indicate your tour arrival time.

Tickets go on sale May 1, 2021 and can be purchased online at washingtoncountydairy.com A limited number of tickets will be sold on a first-come first-serve basis. It is recommended to purchase early to guarantee a spot. The cost is just $20 per carload and promises to be fun for all ages. Tickets are non-refundable.

Washington County Dairy Promotion is dedicated to promoting the dairy industry through promotion and education in classrooms and through community events. Proceeds from this event make these programs possible. Washington County Dairy Promotion is supported and operated by dairy farmers and partners in the dairy industry.

Reported bomb threat deemed hoax by West Bend Police

Pick ‘n Save north, 2518 W. Washington Street, in West Bend was evacuated around 10 a.m. Thursday after police received a call about a bomb threat.

Police combed the area and visited other businesses along Wildwood Road including the strip mall to the north, Stein’s, and the Stockhausen mall area.

The entrances to the grocery were blocked with police vehicles and yellow tape. Employees and customers were evacuated from the store. Business owners in the area were also visited by police to ensure there was nothing amiss.

After a little more than an hour no device was found. Police issued the press release below.

Pick ‘n Save reopened around 1:30 p.m.

BOMB THREAT 2518 West Washington Street

On Thursday, April 08, 2021 at 9:23 AM, a person that did not identify themselves called the West Bend Police Department and stated a bomb had gone off at the Pick N Save North store.

West Bend Police Department personnel and West Bend Fire Department personnel responded to the store. Police officers arrived and found there was no explosion. Officers were directed to an unattended package in the parking lot.

Police and fire personnel then assisted in evacuating the area. The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit responded and examined the package. The package did not contain any explosive device or material. Personnel searched the store and surrounding area before opening the store.

The store and Wildwood Road from Washington Street to Park Avenue were closed for approximately one hour. Investigators are working on identifying the caller.

Helping small businesses recover in Washington County

Washington County, WI and Economic Development Washington County (EDWC) have partnered to offer easy-access rocket fuel financing to propel county businesses who are ready to move past the pandemic and engage in what’s next because ‘Together. We’ve Got This!’  County Executive Schoemann released the following statement on the new program:

COVID-19 and Safer at Home has ravaged our economy, and in particular our small businesses. While programs from the state and federal government have provided assistance to a great many, as the dust settles it appears that a small portion of ultra-small businesses have been hit particularly hard and have received little or no economic support.

That is why I’m excited to announce this pro-growth initiative aimed at providing funds to our farmers, restaurants and small retail establishments quickly and with no collateral necessary.  I’d also like to thank the Washington County Board for approving money for this program as I recommended: money returned to Washington County from Sales Taxes generated by the “Miller Park” tax.

I feel this money belongs to the businesses that helped generate it then and need our help now.   This is yet another example of how we are working to create a pro-growth environment.

Loans will become available on April 7 and EDWC will take applications until funds are exhausted on a first come, first serve basis. Financing subject to review and approval of EDWC. We anticipate high demand for the program.

More information on the WashCo Small Biz Loan is available at edwc.org/washcosmallbizloan/

Local establishments change hands as liquor license applications are reviewed

It was March 12, 2021 when a story was posted on WashingtonCountyInsider.com about the sale of Culaccino Bar + Italian Kitchen in West Bend.

Jeremy Hahn bought the establishment. On Monday, April 5, 2021 he will be one of six requests before the City of West Bend Licensing Board.

Hahn, who currently owns The Boardroom, The Inferno, and Garden Lounge, will be requesting an Original Class B Combination license for 110 Wisconsin Street. It will be the future home of Vino Con Volo. Hahn said his chef at The Inferno is classically trained in Italian cooking. “He ran Buca di Beppo in Milwaukee for 10 years so it could be a good fit,” Hahn said.

As far as the menu is concerned, Hahn sees things remaining Italian but will try to push for a lunch crowd.  “We’re going to have a special with burgers but I’m not 100% yet.” Hahn said he is leaning towards an “airplane theme” since his dad is a pilot and the blades on the ceiling fans resemble propellers from a plane.

Also on the docket for Monday is a liquor license request for The Wedge 53095 Uncorked. The story about the new cheese and wine store was first posted on WashingtonCountyInsider.com on January 15, 2021.

The business is owned by Jessica Youso.

Just a bit up the road at 1539 N. Main Street the old M&R Bar has changed hands. Who has some history knowledge to tell us what M&R stands for?

B&K Sal Properties has applied for the license. Robert F. Salinas is the one filing the application. Right now, renovations are underway and there is a Dumpster in the parking lot as new life is breathed into the building.

Finally, it looks like the location to the south of Saloon Royale will be named Mavens on Main, 241 N. Main Street. Chad Goeman has applied for a liquor license. Monday’s meeting begins at 6:25 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. The meeting is open to the public.

Fond du Lac County Breakfast on the Farm is Sunday, June 27

Envision Greater Fond du Lac Agri-Business Council is gearing up for its annual Breakfast on the Farm. This year’s event is Sunday, June 27 at LaClare Family Creamery in Malone.

“We actually did a drive-thru last year and this year we are ready to celebrate June Dairy Month in person,” said Amy Ries, director of agricultural program.  “This is going to be a safe, outdoor event and we encourage families to come celebrate agriculture in Wisconsin.”

The breakfast is $8 in advance and $9 at the event. Breakfast will feature scrambled eggs with ham and cheese, pork sausage, cheesy potatoes, coffee and milk. “We will have custard in a separate van and those will be $1 apiece and we will also have LeClare Creamery goat ice cream sundaes and those will be $1 as well,” said Ries. “All proceeds from the goat ice cream goes to the Ag Ambassador (ag in the classroom) program.)

Sheboygan County Breakfast on the Farm

Sheboygan County Dairy Promotions Association has announced its 2021 Breakfast on the Farm will be at Devin Acres in Elkhart Lake on Saturday, June 19. Breakfast on the Farm in Sheboygan County will include pancakes, eggs and cows. The event at Devin Acres, W3844 Primrose Lane, Elkhart Lake is with your hosts Kevin and Deb Kirsch on Saturday June 19, 2021 from 7 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Wall panels put in place at new Milwaukee Tool in West Bend

The walls are finally going up at the new Milwaukee Tool in West Bend. The walls arrived on a flatbed and were then lifted in place by a crane. The new manufacturer is located on River Road.

 Transplanting 4th-generation rhubarb in Cedar Creek

On a dreary Saturday morning with temps in the low 50s Kevin Zimmer and his sidekick Coco set off on a mission to transplant a 4th generation rhubarb patch from the old Peil Farm.

Climbing into his 6-wheel drive red pickup Zimmer cut through the back of his property on County Highway C and headed south through the 97-acre Peil farm; a parcel he closed on purchasing this month.

Rolling through a tree line, past low rock walls that date to the mid-1800s, Zimmer is elated about transplanting the old Peil family rhubarb plot.

“This is just really nice rhubarb,” he said, his eyes a little wild, similar to when local auctioneer Mike Paul talks about his love of bread pudding or limburger cheese.

“It’s really nice rhubarb. Kinda like when you drive down the highway past a farm and you see great big rhubarb. It’s that kind of rhubarb; we like rhubarb.”

Coco kept her eyes forward, watching turkeys cross in front of the vehicle. She had heard the story before, she hid her excitement well.

The 97-acre Peil farm has an extensive history. Zimmer grabs the original abstract title off the dashboard. “I just really want to know how old this rhubarb patch is,” he said. “In 1849 the farm traded for $200 and if you page through in 1914 it traded for $5,700 on a 10-year land contract.”

Zimmer plans on developing the property, located north of Highway 60 and east of Hillside Road. His mission today was to save the rhubarb.

Armed with a yellow-handled shovel and a “rhubarb extracting tool” Zimmer got to work, separating the thick stalks and cutting through the roots.

Putting the business end of the shovel into the rich soil Zimmer jumped on the blade for good measure and heaved up a ball of leafy rhubarb.

The project moved rather quickly as Zimmer narrated. “This is nice rich dirt; rhubarb really likes organic dirt, sun and manure,” he said. “I could have my own Saturday morning gardening show.”

“If any of the Peil kids are watching and they want some of their heritage rhubarb back… I’ll part with a few,” said Zimmer. Before noon Zimmer potted 75 rhubarb plants.

Recipes are now being accepted as the sweet harvest is just around the corner.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

In-person absentee voting begins Tuesday, March 23 for April 6 election

In-person absentee voting begins Tuesday, March 23 from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. and will continue through Friday, April 2. Election Day is Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

Absentee Ballots were mailed Tuesday for the April 6 Spring Election and local clerks pretested voting machines for the election. Absentee ballots will be mailed as requested until the Thursday, April 1 deadline at 5 p.m.

Fire guts West Bend Lakes Golf Club – 15 fire departments on scene

Fifteen fire departments from Washington and Ozaukee Counties responded to a large fire at West Bend Lakes Golf Club on Sunday afternoon, March 14.

The first fire call came in around 2 p.m. The fire appeared to start in the back of the building at 1241 Highway 33.  The 18-hole course was designed by Dewey Laak, the West Bend Lakes golf course opened in 1968. Chris Merkel manages the course as the Club Manager.

Prepping for Kwik Trip No. 5 at 18th Avenue in West Bend

The big trucks are moving earth and removing a longstanding tree line on the south end of the property at 18th Avenue and Highway 33 as the development of Kwik Trip No. 5 is underway in West Bend.

On a windy Thursday, large dump trucks and excavators could be seen pulling up the blacktop at the site, formerly home to Fleet Farm. On the south side of the property trees were being removed from a nearby fence line.

Lois Biron is a neighbor whose property abuts that tree line. Biron has lived on Concord Lane for 20 years.

In March 2020 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.”

Catastrophe averted in Allenton as sidewall gives in at road construction project | By Ron Naab

Some excitement in Allenton as contractors working to put in a manhole assembly on Railroad Street just south of Highway 33 had a sidewall give way Thursday afternoon, March 11. Witnesses said a huge geyser shot up as a pipe was pulled completely out of the valve assembly.

The incident emptied the 350,000 gallons in the water tower as the hole on Railroad Street filled with water coming in a 115-pounds of pressure.

Contractors with Highway Landscapers from Little Chute stayed on scene until 2 a.m. to fix the break.

There were several issues that led up to the incident. According to the contractor the crews were attempting to make the hole safe enough to work in along with being dry. A sidewall of the opening gave way and the weight of the water and ground pushed against the water line pulling the pipe out of the valve assembly and that caused the water tower to empty.

According to Highway Landscapers the previous repair to the water line apparently did not have a thrust block installed per state code. Early word is the line may date to 1961 and state code could have been different back then.

Allenton neighbor and local volunteer firefighter Ron Naab said the ground in that area is referred to as “liver sand” because it is gray in color with a high concentration of water.

After the fix, the two well pumps started working to refill the water tower.

Contractors are working on a major road repair and upgrade on County Highway W from Highway 33 south to Highway 175. The first portion of the project from Hwy 33 to Maysteel should be completed by June 1.

Below is the notice from the Washington County Highway Department.

WORK TO BEGIN ON COUNTY TRUNK HIGHWAY W FROM STH 175 to STH 33

Reconstruction of County Trunk Highway (CTH) W, from STH 175 to STH 33 in the Town of Addison is scheduled to begin on Monday March 8th, 2021 and be substantially completed by November. The prime contractor for the project is Michels Corporation from Brownsville, Wisconsin. The construction project will be closed to through traffic from the beginning of March to November, in two stages. Stage 1 will be from Hillcrest Drive (East) to STH 33 and Stage 2 will be from STH 175 to Hillcrest Drive (East).

Improvements will include grading, asphalt, curb and gutter, sanitary sewer, water main, storm sewer, culvert pipes, acceleration/deceleration and bypass lanes, and sight line improvements.

Please follow the posted detour routes utilizing STH 33 and STH 175. Residents are asked to use extra caution when driving in the construction area and to obey all flagmen and construction signs. Alternate routes should be utilized if possible, to avoid delays. Access will remain open to local businesses.

Also note, the Canadian National train that passes through Allenton is now traveling at 5 miles per hour. Naab said the horn, which normally sounds two longs, a short and a long is now blowing one long. The assumption is that is tied to the repairs going on within 300 feet of the track.

Building supplies in high demand at East Side Lumber in Hartford

Paul Faust has been with East Side Lumber in Hartford for 42 years. He has been doing sales and purchasing since about 1987 and he has never seen anything like the current market.

“Lumber has always had patterns as far as buying and selling and this past year has been basically a year like no other,” Faust said. “Nobody could predict this and anybody who has been doing this a long time has never seen this.”

What Faust and others in the building/construction industry are seeing is unprecedented demand, unprecedented shortage in materials, not enough raw material to supply the demand, and extended lead times to get the materials.

“Lumber is still in high demand and people continue to purchase even at the high prices,” he said. The reason for the push, according to Faust, can be tied to this past year where people were not able to go to work.

“People were not being able to do normal things so they have been trapped in their homes,” he said.  “Then they do projects like building home offices, building garages, basements and money has been cheap so there is still demand to build houses. The demand for new homes is there so that’s what has created the whole supply and demand imbalance.”

With an eye to the future, Faust said his prediction critically hinges on what happens to interest rates and if people keep working. “We will still have a lot of demand because young families and the next generation is starting families so the demand will continue. I think we’re at the top end of the scale as far as pricing,” he said.

Faust said he “feels pretty confident for the future of building.”

“We are continuing to buy,” he said. “You have to be proactive and continue to buy and we have the supplies.”

It had been rumored the price of lumber may double or even triple in the coming month.

“Spring prices will be lower and as the year goes on people get busier and prices escalate,” he said. “If hurricanes come ashore this season then prices will go up. Building lumber, panels, treated lumber we are at 300% inflated number from what we saw pre-covid last year.”

Faust asked customers to “be patient with us. This is something we haven’t seen before.”

Public information meeting on CTH W extension and intersection improvements

About 50 people attended a public information meeting Tuesday night at Addison Town Hall.  The hot topic was County Highway W extension and improvements to intersections at STH 83, STH 175 and CTH S.

Washington County Director of Public Works Scott Schmidt led the information session touting “the project will create a more effective and efficient roadway system and improve the poor operating conditions of the existing intersections.”

Schmidt stressed “safety” and “efficiency” as the top two talking points.

Neighbors in attendance pushed back on the proposal saying making one change would cause a bottleneck elsewhere. There were complaints about the need for three parallel roads within a single mile and taking away more farmland to complete the project.

People in attendance were encouraged to fill out forms with their input.

The next meeting on the project is Thursday, March 18, 2021 – Town of Addison meeting.

The issue will come before the full Washington County Board on May 12, 2021.

One of the complaints filed by neighbor Elaine Gehring read:

Say NO to Hwy W Extension Again!! Washington County is once again proposing that Hwy W be extended from STH 175 to STH 83 with a new road through several existing farm fields.  This proposal was previously brought to the County Board in both January 2019 and February 2019; it was voted down both times… but here it is again!!

The issues and questions haven’t changed…

–           Is it fiscally responsible to spend at least $2.1M (initial cost estimate in 2019) on a half-mile (.55 mile) of new road?

–           At a time when Washington County continues to seek new sources of revenue, is this the best use of our tax dollars?

–           Is this new roadway necessary when two connectors between STH 175 and STH 83 already exist within one mile of each other; do we really need three parallel roads within a single mile?

–           Frequent daily congestion due to the railroad tracks in Allenton is still a problem – will more traffic from Hartford using the new Hwy W extension improve that situation?

–           What about safety concerns with slow-moving farm vehicles on the curve of the Hwy W extension?

The most important questions – Why is the Hwy W extension back on the table after just two years?

What is the purpose of all of this?  Why do they keep pushing it?  What’s going on?           

In 2018, the County explained that one goal of the Hwy W extension was to “increase mobility from Hartford” – sounds like another reliever route option!  In 2019, the County explained the need for this extension was because of safety concerns related to the STH 175/CTH S intersection; if that’s still true, then why not focus on the proposed changes to that intersection and other CTH S interchanges for an anticipated cost of $450,000 (2019 initial estimate)? 

The Highway Department wants your input, so please bring your questions and your comments.  If you are not able to attend the meeting, they ask that you communicate with the project contacts listed below to share your comments.  Please provide comments by noon on March 18. Scott Schmidt, Washington County Director of Public Works – 262-335-4435 – scott.schmidt@washcowisco.gov

Kewaskum School Superintendent Jim Smasal retiring

The Kewaskum School Board announcing today the retirement of superintendent Jim Smasal. A note was sent to parents in the district Wednesday morning.

Good Morning Kewaskum families!

After 9 years of strong leadership, James Smasal, District Administrator of the School District of Kewaskum, announced his intention to retire effective June 30, 2021.  In his tenure at Kewaskum, James has tackled many difficult challenges including top 20% in student achievement while being lowest 20% in mill rates in Wisconsin, significant renovations of the school facilities and upgraded athletic fields below budget, built a solid, talented team of effective educators, support staff and leaders.

Most recently, the challenge of keeping our schools open and our students in school during the past year when many districts around the state elected to keep their schools closed for in-person education.  We thank James for his leadership, his hard work and efforts in moving our district forward in a positive direction.

As we transition, we are extremely excited to announce that we have promoted Dr. Mark Bazata, current Curriculum Director, to the position of District Administrator.  Mark has been with the district since 2014 and has served in several leadership positions.  With the district’s support, Mark received his PhD in 2018 and his District Administrator license in 2019 from Marian University, Fond du Lac.  Mark is well qualified to lead and his passion for the School District of Kewaskum and our Community is evident.

Being able to develop talent and promote from within is a WIN-WIN for the school district.  Ultimately, it saves money for the district, is more effective and provides for good continuity of leadership.  It is also a testimony to the quality and focus of our leadership team within the district over the past 9 years. The Board of Education conducted an extensive interview and voted unanimously to promote Dr. Mark Bazata as District Administrator of the School District of Kewaskum.  Board President Jim Leister stated, “Dr. Mark Bazata is a strong match for District Administrator of the School District of Kewaskum.  I am very pleased, on behalf of the Board of Education, to welcome Mark in working together to ignite a passion for learning.”

Hiring a District Administrator is one of the most important roles placed on the Board of Education.  Please join us in thanking James Smasal as he moves on to a hard-earned retirement and embracing and congratulating Dr. Mark Bazata in his new role.

Sincerely,

Jim Leister, President   Tim Ramthun, Vice President   Stephanie Bird, Clerk

Dennis Aupperle, Treasurer  Sue Miller  Doug Gonring   Richard Leitheiser

One person injured in motorcycle accident in neighboring Dodge County

On Friday, March 19, 2021 at approximately 11:28 a.m., the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office responded to a motorcycle crash on STH 175 near CTH HH in the Township of Leroy, Dodge County. Initial investigation shows a 2003 Honda motorcycle was traveling south on STH 175 at a high rate of speed.

The motorcycle passed over the top of a small hill and began to slide on the roadway. The motorcycle traveled off the right/west side of the roadway, struck a mailbox, and overturned in a cornfield. The motorcycle operator was wearing a helmet. He was ejected from the motorcycle as it slid and overturned in the cornfield.

The 25-year-old motorcycle operator sustained serious injuries and he was flown by Flight for Life helicopter to Froedert Hospital in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

The crash remains under investigation by the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Brownsville Fire Department, Mayville EMS, Fond du Lac Paramedics and Flight for Life.

Regal Ware appointments Ryan Reigle as President & Chief Executive Officer

Kewaskum, Wisconsin – Regal Ware, Inc. announces Jeffrey A. Reigle, has stepped down as President and Chief Executive Officer and will hand the reins to his son, Ryan Reigle. Jeff will remain active in the business as Chairman of the Board.

Jeff has been with the company since 1973. Under Jeffs’ leadership, the company has always had a reputation for integrity, growth, innovation and continually reinventing themselves.

Jeff was always willing to invest in new ideas while keeping a focus on customers, suppliers, and employee’s success. His continued commitment of building the type of company that treats Regal Ware family members, customers and communities with honor and respect are testaments of his dedication and commitment as a leader.

The Board would like to convey its appreciation to Jeffrey A. Reigle. His leadership, talent and expertise have been a great asset to Regal Ware’s success. We are pleased that Jeff will stay active in the business serving as Chairman of the Board.

The Regal Ware Board of Directors is pleased to announce Ryan Reigle will take over as President &Chief Executive Officer effective March 18, 2021. Ryan is a fourth generation descendent of Regal Ware founder J.O. Reigle.

“There are three members of the fourth generation of the Reigle family working in this business. I cannot think of any other indication of our commitment to the business and the community than to have members of the fourth generation of the family come back and want to be part of the organization and helping to build the future,” said Jeffrey Reigle.

Ryan has long been groomed for the top job. He began his career with Regal Ware in 2007 serving in a variety of sales and management positions. In January 2016 he was appointed President of Saladmaster, overseeing global sales and operations worldwide, growing the division by 20+ percent.

In October 2019 he was appointed Sr. Vice President, Sales, providing oversight of all Regal Ware sales divisions. Keys to Ryan’s success have been his extensive background in global sales and operations providing a solid base of experience that allows strategies to be developed and implemented across the organization. Ryan was elected to Regal Ware’s Board of Directors in 2018.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Ryan’s caliber and experience step up to lead Regal Ware,” said Jeff. “Ryan is a visionary with a proven track record of execution. He is a strong communicator who is customer focused with deep leadership capabilities. He is the right person to successfully implement our strategy while delivering exceptional value to our customers.”

“I am honored to step into this role and excited to lead Regal Ware,” Ryan said. “When I reflect on Regal Ware’s past, I see a history of progress, not a progress of history. Here at Regal Ware, we made things happen and made the world a better place. Reflecting upon how that happened, it only happened one way. It is around the great people that have made up this organization for the past 75 years. I am fortunate to work alongside an incredible team of global employees and sales leaders to fulfill our mission of enriching life by bringing families together across the world.”

 

High winds snap metal flagpole in Fredonia

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory on Wednesday night and by 3 a.m. Thursday, March 11, 2021 the gusty winds caught a metal flagpole at Big Joe’s on Highway A in Fredonia and snapped it in half.

The clerk at the gas station said nobody was in the store when the pole hit the building. The owner arrived shortly thereafter and it took him an hour to get the flag off the pole which was estimated to be about 50 – 60 feet in length.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Plow driver saves life of 5-year-old boy in Washington County

David Gehrke of West Bend had a bit of excitement during his early morning plowing shift.

Gehrke, 61, is a part-time plow driver and Friday morning, February 12 at 4 a.m. he was headed for his route on River Road when he saw some movement off the wing of his plow blade.

“I thought it was a deer, or dog,” said Gehrke. “My wing light is a bright LED light and it was shining toward the curb and sidewalk area and as I passed Kilbourn Avenue going north I could see something.”

Gehrke said he sees his share of deer running around the City.

“Turns out it was a child in his pajamas,” he said. “No jacket or hat. If it were anybody else driving by, I don’t think you would have seen him because my lights are on the curb.”

Gehrke spun his rig around. “He watched me and looked at me as l drove by. I got out of the truck he had no shoes. His zip-up pajamas did have feet bottoms.”

Quick to react, Gehrke took off his jacket and wrapped the boy up and put him in his truck with the heat blasting.

“I called police on my radio,” said Gehrke. “They asked if l needed rescue and l thought the child appeared to be fine… he was just shivering. I asked him where he lived and he pointed down the block.”

Gehrke said the boy was 5 years old. “I asked him what he is doing out here and he said he wanted to go see grandpa.”

“It was minus 5 degrees,” said Gehrke.  “I mean the kid would have froze to death if I hadn’t seen him. I checked him out, his hands were tucked in his jammies and his feet were cold but not frostbit. He was a happy kid. He couldn’t tell me where grandpa lived but he had a lot of questions about the truck.”

While waiting for police Gehrke said the boy was chatting, inquisitive and clever. “I asked him where he lived and he pointed down the road and then said we could follow his footsteps if I wanted to see where he lived,” Gehrke said.

When police arrived, they did follow the footsteps to the boy’s home.  Gehrke said the boy was about a block away from his house. He was returned safely.

Police indicated someone was at the child’s home. Police were spotted at the residence for an extended period later that day.

Doug Newman, head of West Bend Public Works, contacted Gehrke to praise him for his quick thinking.

District 5 alderman Jed Dolnick also said Gehrke should be commended for his awareness and quick thinking. “The boy was standing in the roadway… so this could have been really tragic,” said Dolnick. “Thank God he saw him and did what he did.”

Gehrke said when three squads show up, they “took my information down and then l was on my way to do my route.”

“I am so glad l found this child. He could have froze to death. PD thanked me for what l did,” said Gehrke. “That will be a day l will never ever forget.”

It is a day that should be dubbed “David Gehrke Day” for the heroic actions by one part-time snowplow who helped save the life of a 5-year-old boy walking alone in freezing temperatures.

On Wednesday afternoon, under much better circumstances, Maddox and his mom, met the man who saved his life.

Gehrke’s actions drew rave reviews from the community who dubbed him a “hero” and the boy’s “guardian angel.”

David met with the mom and Maddox on Wednesday afternoon to exchange stories and a note of thanks. Maddox’s mom Brittany posted a note on social media.

“First off I need to say how thankful I am that Maddox is safe and nothing horrible happened to him. This kid is my whole life and I don’t know what I would do if something bad happened to him.

And David Gehrke, I will FOREVER be grateful for you! There is no way I could ever repay you for what you did for Maddox and I. If it wasn’t for you finding Maddox at that exact moment, I don’t know what would have happened! And that’s hard to think about.

I am also extremely grateful for the police officers that assisted that night in keeping Maddox safe and getting him back home!!

Friday early morning Maddox woke up and thought he was home alone (he was not) and decided to try and walk to Grandpa Andy’s house. I was at work and my sister was at my house babysitting Maddox while he slept.

I left for work at 1am and got a call about 430am from the west bend police department that they were with Maddox. I was told he was found by David, a plow truck driver. Maddox was outside in his pajamas and Maddox told him he was just trying to get to his grandpa’s house. (It was below zero and snowing!)

I have never in my life felt so terrified. I could have lost my son that night had David not found him right away or not found him at all. Thank you David for being there at just the right time. You’re our guardian angel, that’s for sure.

Maddox did say he had a good time with you and the police he met that night. He wasn’t fazed by it at all but me on the other hand, still traumatized.

I can’t stop thinking about how bad things could have been or the what if’s. I keep beating myself up about it constantly. And seeing all the bad comments people are saying about me, hurts. I’m a good mom and I wish people wouldn’t be so quick to judge and talk crap online. I pray nothing like this ever happens to them. I do everything for Maddox and I work 3rd shift so I can be home with Maddox from when he wakes up and until he goes to bed.

So, thank you, thank you and thank you to David and the officers! Ya’ll will forever be in my heart for being there for my son!!”

FB cover photo courtesy Hillary Mintz

Owners of Cedarburg restaurant opening establishment in Washington County

The owners of The Stilt House in Cedarburg are bringing their talents to West Bend and opening Dooley’s Bar and Grille in the former West Bend Tap + Tavern, 315 N. Main Street.

On Saturday, February 13, a story was posted on WashingtonCountyInsider.com as Tap + Tavern owner Brian Culligan announced that after eight years in business he was stepping aside.

“After 8 amazing years of serving this community I have decided to step down as the owner of West Bend Tap + Tavern to focus on my family. Our last day of service will be Saturday 2/27.”

Culligan said the restaurant would be taken over by a new restaurateur, that happens to be Gordon Goggin and his wife Tricia Dooley, owners of The Stilt House.

The new restaurant in West Bend will be called Dooley’s Bar and Grille.

Goggin described his vision for Dooley’s below.

Dooley’s is a casual, family- friendly restaurant with great service, great food, in a relaxed space that will be open for lunch and dinner.

Located in the heart of downtown West Bend on Main Street, Dooley’s offers a full-service, casual dining experience with a full bar that offers 16 local craft beers on tap.

Combining high quality, locally sourced ingredients in every dish, the menu provides a wide selection from seafood to burgers to fresh salads and sandwiches. We also have a wonderful patio and a private party room available for guest use.

Named after Dennis Dooley, my wife’s father, who was always known to have been warm and welcoming to friends and strangers alike, he had the unique gift of being able to make everyone feel like a long-lost friend the moment they met.

We aim to carry on that legacy by creating a warm, welcoming restaurant where everyone can come and enjoy.

Our website is “dooleysonmain.com” which will continue to be updated as we get closer to the opening. The opening date is slated for March 16, 2021 contingent upon licensing.

My wife, Tricia Dooley, and I own and operate The Stilt House located on Washington Avenue in Cedarburg and Toast located on Second Street in downtown Milwaukee. We are the proud parents of three children, two of which attend West Bend West HS.  We are excited about this opportunity and look forward to being a part of the downtown West Bend community!

Brian Culligan, owner of WB Tap & Tavern, and his wife Monica are good friends and they contacted us a few months ago to initiate the process of taking over the West Bend Tap & Tavern space.

Brian and I have very similar management styles and we are very happy to not only take over the space but also keep the current staff employed along with keeping many of the popular menu items on the Dooley’s menu.

Germantown beats Beaver Dam to advance in WIAA Division 1 Girls’ Sectionals Semi-Final   By Jason Howarth

Germantown’s defense suffocated Beaver Dam’s offense en route to a WIAA Sectional Final victory, 74 – 54. During the win Germantown sophomore Kamorea Arnold scored her 1,000th career point. Germantown (as a No. 2 seed) will now travel to No. 1 seeded Kimberly to face off for the Division 1 Sectional 2 championship and the right to travel to La Crosse for the Division 1 WIAA state championship on February 27.

Arnold led the charge for Germantown with 26 points and several game-breaking steals, which helped shift momentum for the Warhawks. Beaver Dam was led by senior Avery Stonewall with 16 points.

Germantown head coach Matt Stuve was proud of his team’s defensive effort. “This group has got a lot of self-belief, especially defensively. It works because they buy into what they want do (defensively) and the game plan.”

Stuve praised Arnold and her ability to wrap her arms around the team.  “It’s amazing that while we have had 1,000-point scorers before, those have all come from players in their senior year, but it’s more than that. The great thing about Keke (a nickname of Arnold’s) is she plays the game of basketball so well, not just individually, but from a team perspective she is always making the right plays consistently, from attacking the rim to finding holes in the defense for her teammates, she is an extraordinary player.”

Stuve said he is looking forward to a rare matchup against Kimberly. “Four years ago, we beat them in the regional finals and it’s the only time we have ever played them in recent history.”

Slinger St. Peter Knights of Columbus make generous donation

The Slinger St. Peter Knights of Columbus Council #12588 recently presented a check for $2,116 to the Slinger High School’s – Functional Life Skills Program. Funds are used for Adaptive Educational Equipment.

The Knights of Columbus also presented a check for $2,116 to the Addison Elementary School – Special Ed Program and a check for $270 to the Wisconsin Special Olympics.

Donations were received from the local K of C Tootsie Roll drives and local business canisters. The St. Peter Knights of Columbus want to thank all of our sponsors for their continued support of the Tootsie Roll program.

Pictured are Knights of Columbus Members Bob Kuenzi and Terry Krall with Slinger High School’s – Functional Life Skills Teacher Sara Sturgeon.

Jackson Police Officer Gerke receives Woman Officer of the Year Award    By Jen Keller

Village of Jackson Police Officer Jennifer Gerke has been named the “Woman Officer of the Year” by the 2020 Wisconsin Association of Women Police.

Chief Ryan Vossekuil submitted the nomination due to Officer Gerke’s excellent investigative work on several cases, as well as her community outreach efforts.

Criteria for the award is posted below.

The Woman Officer of the Year Award

The award is to honor a female law enforcement officer who has exceeded the duty requirements expected of her position and has demonstrated a distinct pattern of community service coupled with professional achievement.

Displays and maintains a professional demeanor and reputation

Embodies a high moral character and demonstrates exemplary performance

Outstanding service and dedication, Outstanding leadership and devotion

Dedicated service and efforts that strive to help the community grow and flourish

Exceeded the duty or requirements expected of her duties and demonstrated a distinct form of community service

The award will be formally presented to Officer Gerke at the March 9, 2021 Jackson Village Board meeting.

Successful sturgeon spearing in Fond du Lac                                    By Wisconsin DNR

Day five of the 2021 sturgeon spearing season has concluded. Today’s system-wide harvest totaled 91 fish, with 68 fish speared on Lake Winnebago and 23 fish speared on the Upriver Lakes. Stockbridge Harbor registered the most fish (17) on Lake Winnebago today as the northern registration stations continue to lead the way in the number of fish registered. Today’s Lake Winnebago harvest was the lowest of the season so far, which is likely due to a decrease in spearing effort as we move through the workweek.

We are anticipating harvest to increase throughout the remainder of the week and into the weekend. The Lake Winnebago harvest remains under 50% of the allotment for each sex-specific harvest cap. Both the Lake Winnebago and system-wide harvest caps remain distant as we move into day six.

However, the Upriver Lakes harvest caps are another story. The Upriver Lakes daily harvest included 2 juvenile females, 4 adult females and 17 males, bringing the season totals to 37 juvenile females, 70 adult females and 206 males. After today, 16 adult females and 10 males represent the number of fish remaining to trip the 90% trigger on the Upriver Lakes.

If either of the sex-specific 90% triggers are reached, the Upriver Lakes season will close at 1 p.m. of the following day. Be sure to continue checking the daily harvest reports for information on the Upriver Lakes season outlook as we approach the harvest caps. See the full day five harvest breakdown in the link below.

The biggest fish harvested on the Winnebago System today was a 134.4-pound (77.5 inches) F2 female speared by Terry Noone and registered at the Oshkosh (Leech Amphitheater) registration station. Terry’s fish was classified as a F2 female, meaning it was in the second stage of the female reproductive cycle. The Upriver Lakes largest fish of the day was speared by Cassie Stumpf on Lake Poygan. Cassie’s fish was a 95.9-pound (72.1 inches) F4 female and was registered at Boom Bay.

Slinger Snowboard team scores big win at State race at Mt. La Crosse   By Delaney Braun

The Slinger snowboard team is coming home with a huge win from the State snowboard race that took place this weekend at Mt. La Crosse. Racers endured bitter cold temperatures and some snowy weather to show the state of Wisconsin what they could do.

Racers arrived on Friday, February 12 for a day of training in the boarder cross, giant slalom, and slalom events. Training was almost exact to the courses the racers would be competing on the next day.

On Saturday, the girl’s teams went first on the boardercross course. Marisa Reyes, a senior took second out of 38 racers. Slingers freshman Mickey DeLong finished 6th.

For the boys, Joe Hefter a freshman scored high taking fourth out of 56 racers. Ethan Smith, a junior followed closely behind. Isaac DeWalt took eighth and Brady Jackson took eleventh who are both in their junior year. For giant slalom, the course was very steep with a large head wall and a very spaced out set course. Reyes took third followed by Slingers sophomore Kallie Weyer in sixth and Hartford’s Sophia Parkinson in seventh.

The boys found success as well with Smith in fourth, DeWalt in eighth, and Jackson and Hefter tied exactly for eleventh. Slalom later that day was nice for Slinger because it was a bit easier than the racers are normally used to training. Reyes took seventh, Slingers sophomore Delaney Braun took ninth and Weyer finished in tenth. Smith took fourth, Jackson took fifth, DeWalt took seventh, and Hefter finished it off with tenth.

Reyes made this state competition a memorable one as she took third overall. The girls team combined gave them enough points to finish in second behind Middleton High School. The boys defeated all the competition taking first overall.

The Slinger snowboard team in its regular season also took 5 of 6 conference titles. Smith and Jackson both finished with 54 points for the season, meaning it went to a timing tie breaker where Jackson beat Smith 357.82 seconds to 358.73. Jackson took the slalom title while Smith took the giant slalom title.

For girls, Reyes had two titles finishing with 57 points in slalom and 54 in giant slalom with Braun behind Reyes in girls’ slalom and third in girls’ giant slalom. Braun ended up taking the boarder cross girls conference title with a total of 48 points.

With two state podiums and 5 conference titles, the Slinger Snowboard team had their most successful season to date. Thanks to all the parents, coaches, and weekly readers for the support for the team this season.

After 41 years the Kleinke family is selling the Amerahn in Kewaskum

After 41 years in the tavern business the Kleinke family is ready to move along and they are selling the Amerahn in Kewaskum.

“The first time I walked in here it was Steve and Mary’s Minor Bar and my friends sat me on a chair and within 10 minutes I had 15 beers sitting in front of me,” said Amerahn owner Marie Kleinke. “I think beers were 7 bottles for $1 at that time.”

In 1974 the drinking age lowered to 18 and the hall was built.

Earl and Marie Kleinke bought the establishment in 1980. “Earl always wanted to own a bar,” said Marie. “We had a lot of rock bands perform here including Rockin’ 88 and Herman’s Hermits.”

“I remember the floors and windows shaking when I was a kid,” said Brian.

The Amerahn has been sale for the past year. “My knees are bad and I’m old enough to retire,” said Marie.

BOSS Realty is overseeing the sale of the property. A pair of couples from the Campbellsport area are the new owners. A liquor license was discussed during the Town of Kewaskum meeting regarding the new owner 7 Bridges Road, LLC.

Prior to the Kleinke’s owning the establishment the business was a hot spot known as Steve and Mary’s Minor Bar. Owners were Steve and Mary Rahn.

They later built the Amerhan Bar and Hall with their daughter and son-in-law, Jeanne and Allen Amerling. The names Rahn and Amerling were combined to form Amerhan.

Mary Rahn died in September 2013. Steve Rahn died August 22, 2014.

The hall was a popular and favorite gathering place for many.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Kettle Trailblazers snowmobile club volunteers to reroute trail at Sandy Knoll

 

Volunteers stepped up over the weekend to work with the West Bend Kettle Trailblazers snowmobile club clearing a new path for the trail to go around, rather than through the dog park at Sandy Knoll.

 

Last week a story was posted at WashingtonCountyInsider.com about some confusion at Sandy Knoll County Park on Wallace Lake Road in West Bend as fans of the dog park were mixing with snowmobile enthusiasts on the same turf.

 

Some miscommunication was to blame, but rather than dwell on it the Kettle Trailblazers snowmobile club stepped up to make it right.

 

“We had 20 guys show up with less than 24 hours’ notice,” said Pat Groth of West Bend Kettle Trailblazers snowmobile club.  “We worked hard to make the trail go where it needs to and that should help make dog owners happy and safe.”

 

Groth put out a call-to-action early Saturday morning and was more than pleased with the response. “I couldn’t be more proud of our snowmobile club because I put out a mass text on Saturday morning at 8 a.m.   It read, ‘We’ve got a whole bunch of stuff to take care of at Sandy Knoll to make this problem go away for Washington County and we’re just helping out another landowner.'”

 

Groth said on Sunday morning a crew showed up with wheelbarrows and trucks and saws and within four hours they cleared a path outside of the dog park fence. “The trail now goes to the west outside of the fence for the dog park. Problem solved,” said Groth.

 

The team of volunteers moved the path, cleared a large amount of brush to get the groomer through, and cleaned up. The snowmobile season in Washington County runs about 20 days at most during the winter season.

 

On a history note: The snowmobile trail has been running through Sandy Knoll Park for 45 years and the trail itself has been in place even before Sandy Knoll became a park. Sandy Paws Dog Park opened in 2020.

read more…

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Festival Foods is coming to Hartford. The story broke Monday night on WashingtonCountyInsider.com

“We’re hoping to start construction in 2021 with an opening in 2022,” said Brian Stenzel with Festival Foods.

The company is family and employee-owned and operates 31 full-service, state-of-the art supermarkets in Wisconsin. On December 18, 2020 it closed on the purchase of Hartford Plaza.

The location, 1201 Bell Avenue, and 1275 Bell Avenue, had been vacant more than four years following the departure of Sentry Foods to the west and Kmart to the east.

“We looked through numerous opportunities that come across our desk and we just saw the community as one that we could serve well with our store,” Stenzel said.

The grocery is expected to bring about 200 new jobs to the community both full and part time.

While Festival Foods plans to open in the old Kmart section of the strip mall, Stenzel said they are keeping their options open on the west side of the property. “We have no plans at this time,” he said. “We will look at opportunities for that space on down the road.”

This will be the first new grocery for the City of Hartford since Aldi opened in mid-December 2014 and Walmart opened in May 2007. Questioned whether the company is nervous about the current uncertainty in the economy Stenzel said building new store is always a gamble.

“We believe it is a good, calculated risk just because of what we have to offer,” he said. “We have great customer service and our model of serving the community with a clean, inviting grocery store is something we take great pride in.”

Although the strip-mall property has been on the market a while and is a bit set back from Highway 60 it does sit near, what some say, is a diamond corner with McDonald’s, Walgreens, and Kwik Trip.

“We always look for areas that have a lot of rooftops to be convenient for people to shop or a busy hub where people can get a lot of things done outside of grocery shopping as well,” Stenzel said.

While the news about a Hartford opening is settling in there was some rumbling about a Festival Foods opening to the south in Menomonee Falls.  Stenzel said “there is nothing confirmed there.”

The City of Hartford is unique in that its liquor ordinance prevents any grocery or convenience store from selling alcohol. The ordinance was passed to protect the mom-and-pop liquor stores in the community.

Currently Hartford has four liquor stores including Hartford Wine and Spirits on Sumner Street, B&S Liquor on S. Grand Avenue, Hilldale Liquor on E. Sumner Street, and Stop-N-Go Convenience Center.

Stenzel said the alcohol ordinance did not impact their decision. “It is something we will certainly work with the City and certainly obey any ordinance that is in place,” he said. “It is nothing that swayed our decision one way or the other.”

Hartford Plaza sold

The Hartford Plaza located south of Highway 60 and just west of County Highway K in the City of Hartford has sold. The Washington County Register of Deeds reports the two parcels, 1201 Bell Avenue, and 1275 Bell Avenue, sold December 18, 2020.

Equitable Bank sold both parcels to MKB Hartford II LLC for $925,000 each.

MKB Hartford II LLC is listed as “a Wisconsin Domestic Limited-Liability Company filed on December 4, 2020. The company’s filing status is listed as Organized and its File Number is M113433. The Registered Agent on file for this company is Kirk Stoa and is located at 3800 Emerald Dr E, Onalaska, WI 54650.”

Kirk Stoa and 3800 Emerald Drive in Onalaska is also the address tied to Festival Foods and Stoa is listed as Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at Festival Foods.

Festival Foods defines itself as, “A family and employee-owned company that operates 31 full-service, state-of-the art supermarkets in WI.”

The closest Festival Foods are in Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Portage and Oshkosh.

City Administrator Steve Volkert was informed of the sale by WashingtonCountyInsider.com

“Residents have been interested in seeing a new owner for the building so there can be a new use for the facility,” said Volkert. “We’re looking forward to what will come.”

There are currently three businesses operating out of the strip mall including NAPA, Cost Cutters and Edward Jones Financial.

Volkert said the old Kmart, located on the east side of the strip mall, closed in early 2016. The Sentry Foods store, on the west endcap of the strip mall, closed around 2010.

This is a 17.79-acre site with 150,000 square foot multi-tenant shopping center.

The property was initially listed for lease in September 25, 2016.

ABOUT PROPERTY – Located in a high traffic area, surrounded by many prominent retailers, this property has tremendous potential for all incoming tenants. Built in 1990, with a 7,200 SF addition built in 1998. Lot size is 17.79 acres, with 800+ parking spaces, Zoned B-2 (Community Business District) 9 separate suites ranging from 1,200 SF to 86,480 SF.  Located 5.5 miles west of I41

Volkert said the rumor mill has been running fast and furious the past year about potential incoming tenants.

“We’ve heard everything from an Amazon distribution center to Festival Foods,” he said. “Nothing has come before us or the Plan Commission.”

If a rumor about another grocery is true, can Hartford support four grocery stores? Hartford currently has Aldi, Walmart, and Fox Bros. Piggly Wiggly (previously County Market).

“It is more than the City of Hartford to consider,” said Volkert. “So, you take a 5-mile radius outside of the city limits and that’s your market; if that is the case, they are obviously doing their due diligence for an additional grocery store.

“People may feel the City controls it but it is a lot of work done by the developer to research the community, the facility and the area and make a business decision that suits their needs. Blaming or giving credit to the City is not warranted because we haven’t been working with anybody.”

To add more fodder to the rumor mill is a job posting found on Google. While the post may say “Hartford” the location for the job is listed as Oak Creek, WI and then at the end of the post it also says “Hartford.”

Starbucks in Hartford

There appears to be a retail development boom in Hartford as a new Starbucks is expected to break ground in March or April 2021.

“Hartford is hot right now,” said Tom Hostad, executive director of the Hartford Area Development Corporation. “People are looking at what can come here and I do see 2021 as a good year for commercial development in Hartford.”

Real estate firm Mid-America posted designs for the new store at 1502 E. Sumner Street; the property is formerly home to the Clark gas station and car wash. That property was posted for sale in February 2019. It featured 8 pumping stalls, 38-feet for frontage on Highway 60, the car wash and convenience store. The building dated to 1980 and the assessment was $563,800.

According to Mid-America the new construction would feature a side-by-side development with Starbucks opening to the west with a drive-thru. There would be additional 1,800 – 2,300 square feet available for lease on the east portion of the building.

City Administrator Steve Vokert said the construction was approved in 2020 by the Hartford Plan Commission but “at that time they had not verified what beverage business it was going to be.”

On Monday, WashingtonCountyInsider.com broke the story about Festival Foods purchasing the Hartford Plaza. The grocery will be developed in the former Kmart location on the east side of the mall. The west endcap, formerly home to Sentry Foods, has yet to be determined.

John Dyke, commercial real estate broker with Encore Real Estate said, that intersection in Hartford is the “holy grail of commercial real estate.”

“You have McDonald’s, Kwik Trip, and Walgreens and if you ever want to find the best corner in town this is it,” he said.

Dyke said the properties in that area sat empty for a while for one reason. “Amazon,” he said. “Who is building a big box store anymore. There are a lot of empty storefronts including Boston Store and Macys but we were always confident a grocery would go in there.”

When the Hartford Plaza first went on the market Dyke said Festival Foods and Menards were at the top of the list. “Now that Festival has committed development will be attractive to a lot of people because it brings so much foot traffic or car traffic,” he said. “It wouldn’t be beyond the realm of doubt to see a Buffalo Wild Wings (not confirmed) because Hartford is underserved for any high-level dining.”

The Ponderosa is currently under contract with an accepted offer; however, the property has not sold.

Festival Foods has confirmed it has not purchased that property. Ponderosa, 1285 E. Sumner Street, was listed in late November and had an accepted offer, according to real estate agents, within 10 days.

“Highway 60 in Hartford is going to develop; they have very good population growth and the affordable apartments coupled with the industrial park makes Hartford really attractive,” Dyke said.

Pete Rettler’s record-setting fundraiser celebrating 27 years of running  

Pete Rettler of West Bend wrapped up 2020 in record fashion as he completed his 27th year of running daily and raised double the amount intended for the Wisconsin 9-11 Memorial in Kewaskum.

“I’ve been blown away by all the support,” said Rettler.

On New Year’s Day the newly minted grandfather pushed his 2-month-old granddaughter, Reagan, in a stroller 3.1 miles. To put a bow on the run Rettler also raised $4,700, far more than the $2,700 goal he set.

“We held a virtual event this year but I had 12 sponsors and we picked up $1,500 from 29 door prizes,” he said. “People were extremely generous and I received a lot of support from my colleagues at Moraine Park Technical College.”

Rettler’s running streak dates to January 1, 1994 and a bet made with a former wrestling teammate. The pair vowed to run daily for an entire year to return to their wrestling weight of 126 pounds. They both stayed true to their word and then Rettler took it to the next level and kept going – daily for 27 years.

Over that time, he has endured challenges such as kidney stones, a lightning storm and below freezing temperatures during Wisconsin winters.

“If there was a year my streak might come to an end, I thought 2020 would be it,” he said.

While Rettler avoided contracting COVID he was tormented by a couple injuries. “It was a hard year because this summer I tore a hamstring while water skiing,” he said. “It was sore but I kept running and when I started feeling better it popped again.”

A regime of ice and heat, wrapping and moderate running and Rettler, at 56, bounced back.

“I’m really very blessed,” he said.

On Friday morning about 30 people gathered at the Annex in Kewaskum to take part in Rettler’s annual run. Rev. Pat Heppe blessed the event

“I look at the world and God looked at all of us and said ‘there’s great potential here’ so He sent His son Jesus and told us how to activate that potential. This is part of that too, actuating the potential we have as human beings to make the world a better place and to go above any type of tragedy.

Paul to the Philippians said, “I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength” and Hebrews talks about “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. The beauty of this is God has a race marked out for all of us.”

Gordon Haberman, one of the founders of the Wisconsin 9-11 Memorial, said a couple words.

“I did a rough calculation and today would be the 9,855th day that Pete has put on his running shoes and braved the elements to keep his streak going,” said Haberman. “That’s amazing. This marks the second anniversary Pete has designated the Wisconsin 9-11 Memorial as the recipient of donations from his run.”

Haberman said it is expected construction of the Wisconsin 9-11 Memorial will be completed in mid-2021.

Record-breaking year for Enchantment in the Park                                  By Lori Yahr

Thank you West Bend for another great Enchantment in the Park season.

There were over 45,000 people who visited beautiful Regner Park, 18,750 pounds of delicious food was collected and given to Washington County pantries, and $45,355 was given back to local nonprofits who help setup, takedown and operate Enchantment in the Park, 2020.

A big shout out to our generous sponsors; West Bend Mutual, Seek Careers and Staffing, Schmitz Ready Mix, Westbury Charitable Foundation, Lynch Buick GMC, Husar’s House of Fine Diamonds, Strachota Family, Delta Defense, Midstate Insurance, Weasler Engineering, Jeff and Chris Potts, Kohler Credit Union, West Bend Friends of Parks and Recreation, Washington County Insider, Kilian Management Services, Pet Supply Plus, Paul and Karen Rice, Baird, the Chlupp and Hall Group, The Chris Chlupp Family, Moraine Park Technical College, Morries Honda, Johnson Family Foundation, Dave Baldus Family, and A & W Iron and Metal.

Thank you to all of our energetic group volunteers who helped setup, takedown and volunteer at Enchantment, Immanuel Church, WB Boys Basketball, Casa Guadalupe, WB Snowboard Team, WB Winter Guard, Slinger Kiwanis, Jackson JHawks Baseball, West Bend Rotary, WB East Dance, WB Sunrise Rotary, Slinger Allenton Rotary, Slinger SkillsUSA, WB Early Risers Kiwanis, Kohler Credit Union, St. Peter’s Youth, Menomonee Falls Rotary, Kewaskum Girls Basketball, West Bend Lightning Softball, WB Dance, WB Swim Club, Joel Schneider and team, Peter German Family, Jon Corbett Family, Dylan Moore, Paul Hayden Family, Moraine Park Electrical Department, Jon Schlindwein, Gary Wachs, and Jessica Schmitz and Kat Trago team.

Big shout out to our marketing teams, Epic Creative and Washington County Insider and a special thank you to the West Bend Police Department for keeping the traffic flowing and the West Bend Parks for keeping the paths clean.

Happy New Year to all. See you again in 2021!   The Enchantment in the Park Team

Man rescued after breaking through ice on Pike Lake

A 65-year-old man was rescued after falling through the ice on Pike Lake in Hartford on Wednesday afternoon, December 30.

According to Hartford Fire Chief Paul Stephans the call came in at 1 p.m. about a man through the ice about 400 feet from the beach area at the State Park. People hiking on the trail called 9-1-1 after hearing calls for help.

The Washington County Dive Team was activated along with Flight for Life via protocol.

“The man fell through the ice but he did not go below the surface so we were able to rescue him with our ice rescue suits and bring him ashore,” said Stephans. Hartford Fire and Rescue transported the man to Advocate Aurora / Hartford Hospital.

“He was alert and conscious and suffering from hypothermia after being in the water for 40 minutes,” Stephans said. One member of the Hartford Fire Department did suffer a shoulder injury and he is being treated at Advocate Aurora. There is no prognosis update on the firefighter.

“The ice is not safe yet,” said Stephans. “I know it is a great feeling for the ice fishermen to get out on the first ice but it is way, way too dangerous with the weather we’ve had through December and today was proof of the instability of the ice.”

Sharon Ruplinger retires after 47 ½ years with McDonald’s

After 47 1/2 years with one employer Sharon Ruplinger is ready to retire from McDonald’s and Kilian Management Services.

Ruplinger, a McDonald’s veteran, started in 1973 when she was a 15-year-old sophomore at West Bend East High School.

“I was there when the special sauce for the Big Mac was mixed at the store and when the Hamburgler crawl thing, bouncy fry girls and metal slides were in the outdoor play land,” Ruplinger said. “We had to shut down the play area when it was really hot because kids would burn their legs on that metal slide.”

As a teen Ruplinger had to know all the prices and the tax table, add by hand on a piece of paper, and cook by sight – not by computer.

Ruplinger started working behind the counter at McDonald’s when the store was located at 915 S. Main Street; currently home to AutoZone. That store had a one-window drive thru and the popular sandwich was the McLean Deluxe. She was there in 1988 when the uniforms were baby blue with polyester pants and a blue striped button-up top.

Ruplinger advanced within the ranks and worked as Steve Kilian’s assistant and local marketing manager. She was there when the McDonald’s offices were in the basement of the Kilian home to when it was in the Frisby House on the hill at S. Main and Poplar Street and now on

Ruplinger has worked for Steve Kilian and Steve Jr. ever since Jr. was 7 years old.

“She said my brother and I were running around as kids and my dad and mom were there so we kind of grew up with Sharon in our house every day,” said Kilian Jr. “It was very unique but amazing how it worked out.”

“She is the hardest working, most loyal person you could ever meet,” said Steve Kilian Jr. “She cares about everybody here and wants to see everybody succeed and that’s just a great quality and she cares so much and wants to do the best and she’s come to work every day doing that which has been outstanding and we’re just thankful she’s stayed with us for so many years.”

Kilian said the secret to Sharon’s success came from hard work.

“She earned the respect of her peers, both the people who work for her and the people she worked for,” he said. “She never would ask someone to do something she wouldn’t do herself and she was honest. That’s how people earn respect.”

Kilian Jr. said it was 2019 when Ruplinger gave her 1-year notice. “It was a very emotional moment,” he said. “She said she is always a phone call away and it was really important for her to have a replacement in place so nothing would fall through the cracks. She wanted to leave knowing everyone would be set up for success once she was gone and that’s a real special thing.”

Jane Sterr is one of the Day Ladies at McDonald’s who has also had a long career at the Golden Arches. She worked alongside Ruplinger. “That was when we had an outdoor play area where someone stole the full-size Ronald McDonald.”

“Sharon took care of a lot of parties and she kept the dining area clean,” said Sterr. “Sharon is awesome; she would do anything for you,” said McDonald’s Day Lady Karen Wentz. “Whenever we had any celebration she was always there.  Everybody loved her.”

Deb Swenson started with Kilian Management in 1999 and has worked with Sharon “forever.”

“Everybody loves her and she’s been crying for a couple days already because the feedback on the emails has been just tremendous,” she said. “Sharon will be sorely missed. She is very accommodating; she is the face of McDonald’s. She was instrumental in planning the Threshold Shamrock Shake Day and the teacher appreciation nights.  We did a fund raiser for Ronald McDonald House and Cars for a Cause. The Kilian’s are so generous and always giving back to the community.”

“I’m really sad. This is very sad,” said Steve Kilian Sr. “She was going to retire in August and then her husband was going to retire at the same time and she said she could then stay until the end of the year when he is retiring.”

Kilian said he had a million Sharon stories. “When I came to West Bend in 1990 and she was working for the previous owner she was pretty emotional about the changes we made and she cried then and now that she’s leaving, she’s crying again,” he said.

“I spotted her and thought she was capable of a lot of things. She did some bookwork for me and she became close to my family because she came to work at my house every day,” said Kilian. “She would sometimes babysit or throw birthday parties; she did what we needed her to do.”

Kilian said Ruplinger evolved from being a helper to being a consultant. “I would ask her opinion on so many things,” he said. “Her confidence grew and she was a big voice in our company. She got to the point where she did my thinking for me, she got to know me so well.”

Kilian credited Ruplinger with having great instincts. “She became the marketing person. She had no formal training but we learned the business together,” he said.

While Ruplinger’s career spanned nearly 48 years, the last 31 years were with Kilian Management.

“I am going to miss her tremendously,” said Kilian. “She’s become, not only a member of my company but of my family and she had a tremendous effect on my business and my family and I sincerely thank her for that.”

“I could not be more proud of the dedication and work ethic of 47 years at the same employer.  This is the last of a generation of worker devoted to their employer for life.   Also, having grown up on McDonalds cheeseburgers since they were a quarter, I hope my kids will realize that fast food can provide a lifetime of support to a family.  Sharon has her home family and her McDonald’s family, and only the time of day determined which she worked harder for.” – Scott Ruplinger (Son)

“My mom has been proud to be part of McDonald’s for her entire career.  I am grateful that I witnessed her strong work ethic and loyalty.  Her example made us better.”  – Kim Raschick (Daughter)

“We grew up with McDonald’s. From Mom bringing home the newest happy meal toy to breaking in the new play-places. Every birthday party we had was with our McDonald’s family at the restaurants. Looking back, I can’t think of a time when I heard my Mom complain about work. She loves her job and her co-workers. Her work ethic lessons have been taught to us and we will pass down to our kids.” – Kelly Bubolz (Daughter)

Ruplinger sent a note December 10, 2020

This email is to inform the business associates (which I will call my Friends) that I have worked with over the many years. I will be retiring at the end of the year from McDonald’s/Kilian Management Services.

My one and only job started on April 30, 1974. I have worked for McDonald’s for 47 ½ years with over 30 years with the Kilian’s. I’ve attached our Christmas card from this year with my 9 reasons to retire.

COVID has been rough with not seeing our Grandkids. Hoping after COVID I’ll be the Grandma I want to be. You hear when people retire how they will miss the people they’ve worked with. I can tell you from the bottom of my heart working for the Kilian’s is and was like working with my Family. Steve Jr was 7 yrs old when I started working for them in their office in their house. I’m so proud to say I was here to watch Steve Jr grow up and become a successful 2nd generation Operator.

My Assistant for many years Deb Swenson will be taking over my job and is your contact for Kilian’s schedules and anything else you will need.

Thank you for all the years of help and patience.

Sharon Ruplinger

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Plan Commission questioned about property sale to DQ

The owner of Jumbo’s Frozen Custard, Jeff Kern, spoke before the West Bend Plan Commission on Wednesday evening asking how they could justify selling the Mutual Mall to Dairy Queen.

Kern said he appeared before the Plan Commission in 2003 when he proposed investing over $1 million to redevelop the A&W property after it sat vacant following a fire and make it into an independent custard shop.

“While I’m not at all against Kevin or the Dairy Queen to reestablish itself in West Bend it is amazing to me that the City would sell a piece of property to a business that competes directly against me,” said Kern.

“I’m a free-market guy but I don’t understand the purpose of planning commission when the City is actively involved in putting the same frozen dessert-treat service with similar hot dogs, similar hamburgers, similar French fries, as a matter of fact the person who delivers my custard mix will go right across the street and deliver to Kevin.”

“It seems to me that’s a lack of foresight among the City of West Bend in allowing something like that to happen.”

Kern said DQ offered a layout of a beautiful building and expressed a lot of opportunity in West Bend for the business to move forward but questioned why they would locate it across the street from a similar business.

“I just don’t understand why it goes directly across the street from me,” Kern said. “And hits me right in the wallet the minute this vote goes through.”

Kern said “Any opportunity for future sales will be directly related to the vote happening right now.  Evidently the $1.3 million I invested in Jumbo’s when I built, the 17 years of community service and support, the $6 million or $7 million in payroll means nothing to the people sitting in this room.”

“For you to sell a parcel to these people so I can look out the window of my business at my competition. I just want to go on record saying that’s disappointing and I will be here to fight for every customer I have but this chamber is making it very difficult to succeed in this endeavor,” Kern said. Kern said DQ offered a beautiful building and expressed a lot of opportunity in West Bend for the business to move forward but questioned why they would locate it across the street from a similar business.

“I just don’t understand why it goes directly across the street from me,” Kern said. “And hits me right in the wallet the minute this vote goes through.”

Kern said, “Any opportunity for future sales will be directly related to the vote happening right now.  Evidently the $1.3 million I invested in Jumbo’s when I built, the 17 years of community service and support, the $6 million or $7 million in payroll means nothing to the people sitting in this room.”

“For you to sell a parcel to these people so I can look out the window of my business at my competition. I just want to go on record saying that’s disappointing and I will be here to fight for every customer I have but this chamber is making it very difficult to succeed in this endeavor,” Kern said.

City of West Bend development director Mark Piotrowicz said the property was zoned B-1 commercial and the decision to sell the property was up to the Common Council and not the Plan Commission.

The Plan Commission then voted unanimously in favor of the site plan for Dairy Queen. Those voting included Jed Dolnick, Bernie Newman, Sara Fleischman, Steve Hoogester, Chris Jenkins and Max Marechal.

Absent from the Plan Commission were Mike Staral, Bryce Gannon and Chris Schmidt.  The site plan must still go before the Common Council for approval.

Opening of Dunkin’ / Baskin Robbins delayed until December 2020 / January 2021

The facade signs are in place at the new Dunkin’ / Baskin Robbins location in West Bend however neighbors are going to have to wait a bit longer than expected for the opening.

The store, 1610 W. Washington Street, was slated to open in October and then pushed to mid-November. Now media spokesman Louis Lessor said their goal is still a late 2020 opening but that could possibly be delayed to early 2021.

The store is still waiting on a couple pieces of key equipment including several hand-washing stations. Construction got underway June 10, 2020 in the lot formerly home to Pizza Hut.

The 2,160-square-foot property is nearly complete. Signage was installed October 29. The building must still pass building inspection before it can open.

Spaulding Clinical increases stipends

Spaulding Clinical in West Bend has an easy way for people who may have lost their job to make money. Cassie Erato is CEO for the Phase 1 pharmaceutical testing firm. “We really have a good message for our community,” said Erato.

Spaulding Clinical currently has 12 studies available that are paying extremely high stipends.

“Because of COVID-19 it is more difficult to recruit right now,” said Erato.  “We have an abundance of trials to choose from and everyone is increasing their stipends.  So, the amount our clients are paying per day is very high, even though the risk is no greater.”

A sampling of what the stipends are like:

– One study is 20 days and it pays $7,500.

– There is a sunscreen trial that is 5 nights, sunscreen is applied and there are blood draws and it pays $3,200.

– Another study is 7 nights and 9 outpatient visits.  It pays $6,800 and that is for an FDA approved drug for high cholesterol.

“People in the community can really benefit from clinical trials, especially if maybe their restaurant jobs shut down, people are turning to clinical trials for income,” said Erato.  “We are providing so much in stipends right now; we’re sending hundreds of thousands of dollars out each week.”

“We have this abundance of trials to choose from, all for healthy volunteers.  You can take your pick from a quick, short stay or five days and being able to work around your work schedule,” she said.

There are 12 studies currently available and they can talk to our recruitment department to see what they are comfortable with.  There are a lot of different

“I’ve been in this industry for 13 years and I’ve never seen stipend payments like this before,” said Erato. “There was a small surge in 2006 right before the recession but it was not like this.”

Al and Sally Tennies Celebrating 67th wedding anniversary

Please wish Al and Sally Tennies a happy 67th anniversary. The couple were married Saturday Nov. 7, 1953.

“We just believe it’s important to cherish every milestone going forward and 67 years is amazing,” said daughter Melissa Tennies

Al & Sally Tennies met in high school, became high school sweethearts and got married on November 7, 1953 at Holy Angels Church at 10 in the morning.

After church, their driver Webster Tennies whisked them off to Lunch, Dinner and Drinks at the Moose – KC Hall on Sixth Avenue above what was called Carol’s House.

After dinner, the reception took place at Laufer’s Roller Rink where lots of dancing and memories took place.

The secret to a long marriage has always been to talk to each other during dinner, have fun and laugh, be friends and grow old together.

Every Love Story is Beautiful, but our Parents is our Favorite

9 Loved Children 804 Months and Countless Memories

18 Amazing Grandchildren 24,455 Days Laughter, Vacations, Good Times, and Endless Smiles

13 Wonderful Great Grandchildren 586,920 Hours Love Family Forever

35,215,200 Minutes & Counting

ONE BLESSED LIFE!

Candidate interviews Nov. 11, 2020 for open seat on Kewaskum Board of Education 

Ten people have applied to fill one open slot on the Kewaskum School Board. The position opened after Mark Sette quit the board after moving out of the district. The candidates who filed paperwork before the October 30, 2020 deadline are listed below.

Candidate interviews are slated for Wednesday, November 11 at 6 p.m. The board will vote to fill the seat at its next regular meeting. Mark Brunner, Lori Bruno, Clayton Frounfelker, Samantha Goehring, Richard Leitheiser, Andrew Mazurek, Rachel Moore, Trevor Owen, Chris Sabish, and Lawrence Wheaton. The board will select a new member at its meeting November 12. That person will serve for six months as the seat is officially up for election in April 2021.

The Antidote opens in West Bend

After 14 years in the restaurant/bar business Wes Feest, 32, has decided to step out on his own and this Thursday, November 5 he opens The Antidote, 302 N. Main Street.

“We’re going to be a little cocktail lounge and after our kitchen is installed, we’ll have food after New Year’s Day,” said Feest.

After some contemplation Feest said he decided to branch out on his own. “This is a great opportunity for my wife and myself,” he said. “I love this location and the brick. There’s a charm and character to the building with all the natural wood inside.”

The name The Antidote came as a response to the dismal 2020 business climate. “With the shutdown we’re hoping this is the cure for the worst year restaurants have had,” Feest said.

In September 2020, the old Foz’s aka Fasciano Properties, LLC was sold to 301 Properties, LLC for $325,000.

The 2020 assessed value was $277,500.  Foz Enterprises LLC purchased the property April 1, 2001 for $210,000. On October 17, 1996 Barbercheck and Gundrum purchased the property for $186,000.

That corner building has been home to many locally owned tavernkeepers. Over the years other tenants in the tavern included Herbie Lundquist who named it The Blue Room. Bob Corbett dubbed it Corby’s. Bob Weston changed it to The Pub. The tavern was The Mixing Place and then Al May moved in with Kings Guard Pub and Don Zimmel later ran it as Three Old Guys with Russ Vermillion and Randy Miller.

Bloomin’ Lights / Bloomin’ Holidays at Museum of Wisconsin Art

The Museum of Wisconsin Art is being transformed into an outdoor movie theatre this weekend and in the spotlight is Milwaukee artist Gabrielle Tesfaye with an animated show for Bloomin’ Lights.

The entire north-facing façade of MOWA features a multicultural painting and then blends the theme of Bloomin’ Holidays with an array of colorful flowers growing under a slow procession of blue clouds.

The animation cycles through every four minutes and is free to view from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. this Saturday, November 7 and Sunday, November 8.

Stop out at 5 p.m. and as the night sky grows dark watch as the brilliant colors come to life.

Letter to the Editor | Save the trees in Town of Erin      | By Susan Graham

Dear Town of Erin Board,

My name is Susan Graham. I am not a resident of your lovely town, but I enjoy visiting my sister and her family here often. My sister is Jenny Graham, who as you probably remember has attended some of your meetings regarding her strong concern about the plan to clear-cut trees along some of the rustic roads in Erin Township. She asked for my assistance in looking at the trees along some of the rustic roads that are marked orange for removal. As background, my undergraduate degree is in botany, and I learned tree identification and took many ecology courses. As a naturalist, I know about restoration and habitat health. I currently work as a water resources scientist. I hope this information will help you make good decisions about how the tree removal project moves forward.

Jenny and I walked the length of Emerald Drive from Donegal Rd to St Augustine. We tied blue flags on orange flagged trees that we urge you to spare in the course of your upcoming road repair project.

We found a very small number of ash trees, already marked orange. We support the removal of these trees if they would fall on the road. There are literally millions of ashes dying in forests across the Midwest, and the only ones being actively removed are in urban areas, or managed yards. If they lean away, and they are well off the road, it’s not clear why the Town would spend the money to remove them but in the big picture, we don’t have a problem with it.

We mostly blue-flagged basswood trees as they were the most common species along the road. These trees are excellent native trees — yes, they are “softwood” but this is no reason to cut them in particular. The cut trees are not being used as firewood, so there is no difference between softwood or hardwood in this context. They produce profuse flowers in spring, providing a veritable feast for honeybees and many other pollinators. As most of you probably know, pollinator insects on the North American continent are declining, and efforts across all levels of government, nonprofits, and private people are working to support them for the benefit of our agricultural industry. Pollinators need all the help we can give them.

A possible misperception about basswood trees is that because most have multiple trunks arising from the ground together that they are in unhealthy condition. This is not the case — it is a normal growth pattern for basswoods. Some people also call these linden trees, and they are plentiful in urban areas.

After basswoods, the other tree species we put blue flags on large-toothed aspen, American aspen, slippery elm, sugar maple, shagbark hickory, and hop hornbeam. These are all wonderful, native trees growing in a healthy forest community. None of the trees I observed along Emerald Dr. are invasive species or problematic in and of themselves — with one exception. There was one buckthorn shrub marked for removal closer to St. Augustine Rd. If this shrub is killed, it would be doing this lovely forest a favor to reduce the spread of this species as it is extremely harmful ecologically, but the stump MUST be treated with an appropriate herbicide or it will resprout readily, with even more sprouts. The forests in this area are really remarkable in that they aren’t already infested with buckthorn, honeysuckle, burning bush or any other harmful invasives that are so common in most other places.

After carefully considering each tree slated for removal, we did mark a lot of them with blue ribbon to ask that they not be removed. Our concern with the proposal to remove the orange flagged trees is that there appears to be no clear rationale to justify the expense. Jenny and I spent a lot of time trying to discern the reason(s) with no conclusion. It seems that all trees within 12′ of this road are slated for removal. But the 12′ distance appears to be completely arbitrary and without justification.

If it’s for driver safety, people simply need to do what people do on roads everywhere — drive the speed limit, unimpaired, and not too fast for conditions. If it’s for school buses to pass each other safely, well, they should not be driving off the roadway to begin with, and again, safe speeds would obviously be called for. All bus drivers are hired with this good sense and trained to reinforce that. A good number of the trees flagged orange are on top of a soil bank, well out of the way of any swerving traffic or other conceivable road navigation. Driver safety is clearly not the reason for removing those.

If the reason is to make snowplowing easier, (and we did note two trees on Emerald that showed damage consistent with being dinged by the lower corner of a plow blade), the plow drivers should slow down just a little, and accommodate the trees that make these roads so scenic and special. They accommodate mailboxes, fire number posts, and utility poles, in addition to the banks of soil in places. I’m sure it’s quicker to plow a wide-open highway but doing a careful job in a variety of conditions is something civil servants take pride in doing. It is just necessary in spots along these rustic roads. As we inspected the orange blazed trees, it was clear that this rationale didn’t apply in the vast majority of cases as they were up on top of a soil bank, down low off the slope of the roadway, or just back off the road where they aren’t in the way of snowbanks.

If the tree removal is because of some sense of stewardship of the woods, the removal of most trees marked orange would be contrary to sound ecological forest management. The forest through which these roads travel is not being actively managed. Dead trees are generally left to provide food and habitat for woodpeckers and many other species of birds that rely on standing deadwood and fall when they are ready as they have in unmanaged forests long before Europeans settled here. Many species of birds and some mammals need standing dead wood.

Some of the trees along Emerald marked for removal are growing up into the canopy of old oak trees. These shorter trees we did not mark to save, because these younger trees penetrating an oak’s canopy will cause the untimely death of large branches, harming the oaks. If the Town wants to be in the business of managing roadside trees for ecologically sound purposes, this would be one small example, but it doesn’t look like that is your purpose, either.

Some trees are growing near the power line. Removing these trees to reduce conflict with the line is the power company’s responsibility, not the Town’s.

Are the trees considered a serious falling hazard to drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists using the road? Even removing the trees near the road will not reduce that hazard due to the sheer number of large trees — this is a mature forest. Very few of the trees marked for removal are leaning over the road, and many are leaning away, but still marked for removal. One was nothing but a 10′ tall stump, about 10 to 12′ from the roadway, leaning away from the road. Cutting this makes no sense. Clearly this falling hazard is not the purpose to remove them.

One last possible rationale we could imagine is if someone felt tree roots near the road would interfere with digging down to refresh the bed of the road during reconstruction. Well, those roots would be present for many, many years whether or not the trees near the road are removed this winter. I know the road reconstruction is scheduled to happen soon, so that can’t be the reason either. Tree roots do not continue to grow after a tree is felled (with the exception of buckthorn, which isn’t killed by chain sawing).

The trees we added a blue ribbon to are stately and beautiful, providing shade and cool during the summer, and habitat for pollinators, birds, and mammals throughout the year. They are a crucial element of a healthy forest and were a prime incentive to the Town of Erin’s original designation of these rustic roads. The trees we marked to save are well off the road, not creating a maintenance problem or any special hazard. They are not hurting other trees, leaning excessively, and not interfering with normal snowplow operations. Many are large and must be very expensive to remove. During the few hours we were walking and talking and looking at the trees, we saw so many people bicycling, driving slowly on that cool Sunday morning, and we spoke with no fewer than 4 curious drivers who stopped to ask what was going on. All 4 individuals or families were unhappy to learn of the proposal to remove the trees, and one already knew, and vehemently stated their opposition, although they want the road resurfaced.

Finally, we could not imagine any other logical justification for this very expensive, disruptive and unpopular proposal. After all the objections, why do residents still have to wonder what is the reason for it? What possible benefit is there to the Town residents?

In summary, by being more judicious about tree removal along these roads, you, the Town board, have the opportunity to save a significant amount of taxpayer money. You can also protect the unique aesthetic pleasure for those who treasure this rustic road. The newly renovated road will be a beautiful place to walk, cycle or drive without the excessive number of trees removed. The area will continue to attract visitors who marvel at the beauty of this township, with outstanding fall color, intimate feel of the forest enclosing the roads, and contributing to the business interests in the area. We feel that in the absence of clear, logical justification, the Town should significantly scale back this arbitrary, harmful, and unpopular waste of taxpayer money, and listen to the residents you were elected by.

Thank you for listening,

Susan Graham

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Bull elk spotted on trail cam wandering near Holy Hill

Bow hunter Nathan Heinritz of Hartford said he and his wife had to watch the trail camera footage about 10 times because they couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

“That is a 4×4 wild bull elk,” said Heinritz. “We’ve seen turkey and whitetail deer and all of a sudden a giant elk… we couldn’t believe it.”

After binge watching the 20-seconds of video Heinritz called the DNR and it confirmed the bull elk is tagged and comes out of Jackson County, WI.

“The tag number is 323 and this bull elk along with a cow elk have been moving down south in search of other elk,” Heinritz said. “The rut for the elk is September through October.”

The elk came ambling through an area near Holy Hill and Highway 164 on Tuesday, October 20 at 11:44 p.m. The video shows some precipitation and the grey and white elk moving directly toward the camera.

“I pulled the camera the next day and that evening my wife and I were looking through the video and we couldn’t believe our eyes,” he said. “We didn’t even know there were elk in this area.”

Heinritz grew up in Pewaukee and his wife in St. Lawrence.

“We have a lot of family who are hunters and nobody ever mentioned elk.  We didn’t even know it was possible… it was just crazy.”

Heinritz, 31, returned to the trail and found monster hoof prints left by the elk.

“Matter of fact you can see the elk’s breath at the end of the video and its antler or nose flipped open the cover of the trail cam and you can hear that in the video,” he said. “When I checked the camera, I wondered why the cover was flipped open but it was the bull elk tampering with the trail cam.”

As far as the size and weight of the bull elk, Heinritz said he could not even estimate but the DNR said the herd is doing well.

“There is a herd in Jackson County called the Black River herd of elk and they were released a couple years ago and they’re all doing very well,” said Heinritz. “The cows are having calves and the population is expanding and that’s encouraging to hear.”

The gun-deer season is ahead and Heinritz confirms an elk tag is needed and those tags are very hard to come by.

According to the DNR the elk hunting season is open Oct. 17 – Nov. 15, 2020 and Dec. 10-18, 2020. Only Wisconsin residents are eligible to receive an elk tag.

“When thousands of people apply for an elk tag only 10 hunters get it and they normally hunt north in the Hayward, WI or Clam Lake area,” Heinritz said. “There is a herd up there and that population is about 160 so there’s a better chance of seeing one.”

Because the gun deer season is Nov. 21 – 29 Heinritz thought it best to report the elk sighting to the DNR. “I wanted it on their radar so they could share the information and warn hunters,” he said. “You really need to know your target and beyond. Hunters need an elk tag to shoot and elk but those tags are very rare.”

The DNR told Heinritz “this is the first time a wild bull elk has come this far south into Washington County.”

Right before Heinritz called in his sighting the DNR said it fielded a report from Waukesha County. “It was a day or two prior and after I posted my video on October 23 there was a reporting of the same elk in Fond du Lac County,” he said. “So that elk is on the move. He came through here at midnight so he must be moving at night”

An education in elk at Shalom Wildlife

On Monday, October 26 a story was posted at WashingtonCountyInsider.com about a bull elk seen in the Holy Hill area near Highway 164.  Nathan Heinritz shared an awesome trail cam video of a large young bull elk walking at 11:44 p.m. on October 20.

The animal is a bit out of place and according to the DNR they’ve been tracking it since it came out of the Jackson County area.

David Fechter from Shalom Wildlife has several elk, bull and cows. He said this is mating season for the elk and the young buck has one thing on his mind.

“One boy gets all the girls,” said Fechter about the elk population. “What they do is the dominant elk chase the young bulls away and then they go off and try to find new territory.”

Fechter said normally in January, after the mating season is over, the young bulls can go back and rejoin the herd.

Shalom has a pasture full of elk including one Fechter thinks is the size of the young bull that has been traipsing through Washington County. “The young guy in the photo will make a lot of miles in a day, sometimes 30 to 40 miles a day, but he won’t find anything down here… unless he comes to Shalom… which is possible,” he said.

The dominant elk at Shalom, named Buttercup, is 10 years old. Fechter refers to him as a Royal elk because he has six tines on his antlers. If he had seven tines he would be an Imperial and eight would be a Monarch.

We got pretty lucky during a stop at Shalom Wildlife as the bull elk let go its bugle mating call. “That’s pretty rare to see,” said Fechter.

Then things went very National Geographic got together for a little afternoon delight. “Well now that’s very rare to see,” said Fechter.

Within minutes the bull elk was sniffing the air again. “It’s called scenting the air and he’s checking to see if there are any other cows in heat,” he said.

The bull made a brief advance in the direction of the young bull elk but the youngster kept his distance.

“The bull elk can mate 20 or more times in a matter of weeks,” said Fechter. “Sometimes a couple times a day. The bull elk can lose up to 25-to-30 percent of its body weight during the mating season because they’re trying to keep other bulls away while keeping all the girls together.”

“There is a sense of urgency for a bull elk to pass along its genes as fast and as often as he can because he only has a couple years to really do that,” Fechter said.

Old-fashioned pumpkin patch field trip at St. Frances Cabrini School

The temps were a little chilly Tuesday morning but the kids at St. Frances Cabrini School were dressed for the weather and a traditional field trip.

Mittens, check. Knit hat, check. Pillowcase, check. And off went Mrs. Pat Kraemer’s kindergarten class with little red wagon in tow to the pseudo pumpkin patch in the grassy area next to the old Cabrini convent….. and ooooooh were the kids excited!

“Oh, my goodness… look at all these pumpkins,” said Mrs. Kraemer.

The kids sloshed through leaves to find the perfect pumpkin. They were all of a pretty manageable size.

Halloween on Indian Lore donated the pumpkins for the event which included K3 and K4 classes. “The kids are pretty excited, which is good,” said Principal William Waech.

Kewaskum man on the mend following horrific accident

Neighbors across Kewaskum and Washington County are praying for Joey Donald after he was involved in a horrific accident Thursday afternoon, October 22 on eastbound I-94 in Waukesha County.

The accident happened at 2:48 p.m. at HWY G just west of Grandview Road. The call came in as “one person pinned under pickup truck.”

Joey’s wife Carrie relayed how the accident happened.

Joe was on I-94 east when he saw a lady spin out and hit the median 3 times. In Joe fashion, he quickly pulled over to make sure the lady was ok. He went up to her window, confirmed she was ok and then took her phone and called 911. That is all he can remember… Thank God.

Suddenly, another lady came down the road and hit the exact spot that the lady Joe was helping hit and also hit the median. She then flew into the truck that Joe was helping which then rear ended his work truck and threw it 100 feet.

When she rear-ended the car Joe was helping, it threw him into the median, the car ran over him and pinned him against the median. Fire truck had to use a winch to get the truck off Joe because they could not get to him.

Carrie and Joey have been married five weeks and have two children.

First, we want to thank you for all your prayers. I just wanted to share with all of you Joe’s condition. In case you did not hear yet, I got a horrific call yesterday from Froedert informing me that Joe was hit by a car. I am writing this cause as much as I to respond to all of you, my time needs to be with Joe. He is down at Froedert in the SICU right now.

He had a broken pelvis, broken humerus, 2 broken ribs, 2 cuts by his right eye, fractured L1, L2 and a puncture in his bladder. He had surgery today on his pelvis where they had to put in plates and screws to put it back together.

During surgery he lost 2 liters of blood, so they had to do a blood transfusion. When they got all that under control, they then went into his bladder and repaired the tear that the pelvis ripped. Everything finished great.

His humerus bone did not get fixed today because with the transfusion and the extra time under sedation. They want to wait till next week so he has time to heal before the next big surgery. They are keeping him sedated overnight along with a breathing tube to keep him relaxed and rest easy. I also got the chance to talk to the police officer that was at the accident yesterday.

We need your continued prayers as this will be a long recovery for Joe. But in the words of Joe before surgery, “There ain’t no way a Ford is gonna kill me!”

We love you all and thanks for all your kind words and prayers.

https://www.paypal.me/carebearfechter

Slinger School District partners with Allenton American Legion

As a tribute to Veterans Day members of the Allenton American Legion Fohl-Martin Post 483 gathered for photos and to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Fohl-Martin Post is working with the Slinger School District to gather memories and answer questions for students in lieu of visiting the classes this year.

Coming up watch for more videos as members of the Allenton American Legion answer student questions about being in the military, what they did for a job, where they slept, what they ate and if they missed their mom.

Jackson man recognized for his efforts to save a life

Doug Sewell, 42, of Jackson received a commendation from Washington County in October for his efforts to save a life while working for the Shared Ride Taxi Service.

On September 21, 2020, Sewell picked up a client from the nursing home and quickly noticed at a stoplight the woman was unresponsive. “I pulled over, checked her pulse and called 911 and started CPR until paramedics came,” said Sewell.

The woman eventually died at the hospital however Sewell received a commendation for “going above and beyond” in his efforts and for being a man of strong “character, quick action, and demonstration of love for his neighbor.”

“The recognition makes me feel appreciated,” said Sewell. “I tried to stay calm and just do the best I could.”

Scott Stortz to announce candidacy for Village of Slinger president

While most election eyes are focused on Tuesday, November 3 there are some people looking ahead to the April 2021 election including Scott Stortz.

Later today Stortz is expected to announce his candidacy for president of the Village of Slinger.

“Current Village President Russell Brandt has indicated he will not be running again and I bring some unique insight and skills to the table and want to give it a shot,” Stortz said.

A familiar name in the area, Stortz has been in local real estate for close to 30 years and is owner of Star Properties, Inc. for the past 24 years.

“I bring business skills to the table with a successful, well-known company. I’m used to negotiating with real estate sales and troubleshooting and I have many years of serving the community from county level to the Village of Jackson and Slinger,” he said.

Stortz is not a stranger to local politics. In early 2000 he was a supervisor on the Washington County Board and while living in the Village of Jackson he was on the Plan Commission and Village Trustee.

Stortz touts his work with the Boys & Girls Club and public-private partnerships.

A father of two children in the Slinger School District, Stortz said he has a good grasp on young families and growing the community.

“I have fresh ideas and fresh perspective on ways of thinking through things,” he said.

Questioned how he would fill the corner on Highway 60 and Highway 175 after Casey’s General Store razed its building and then announced it would not be moving forward with new construction, Stortz said he sees opportunity.

“Not only that corner but downtown Slinger as well,” he said. “In this time of businesses closing or struggling, I find my clients are coming up from Milwaukee to the small towns and I think that is going to be true for smaller companies as well that want the small-town atmosphere and smaller storefronts rather than the chaos of the bigger cities.”

Stortz, 51, was born in Richfield. He lives in the Village and touts the strengths of the community starting with the Slinger School District, robust rail line, local ski hill, and racetrack as well as the positive, strong family values and work ethic.

The election for the non-partisan seat in the Village of Slinger is April 6, 2021.

Candidates can start pulling papers Dec. 1, 2020. Signatures are due January 4, 2021 in order to qualify to be on the April 6, 2021 ballot.

“I’m not running against anybody, I’m running for the position,” said Stortz.

Russell Brandt has been Village President in Slinger since 2003. He has previously served as a supervisor on the Washington County Board and in November 2019 filled non-candidacy papers.  In the late 1980s and early 1990s Brandt served for six years as a Village Trustee in Slinger.

Day 17 and Town of Barton man has not received requested absentee ballot

Terry Lyons of the Town of Barton is not a happy camper. Lyons contacted WashingtonCountyInsider.com about the status of his absentee ballot. His story is below.

“My absentee story: I am going to be away for the election, so I ordered an absentee ballot on 10/9/20. Sherry Eckert, Town of Barton Clerk, who is a longtime friend, mailed the ballot to me on 10/12. Well here it is 11 days for the USPS to deliver, but no ballot. So I went and did in-person absentee voting and cancelled the absentee ballot. This tells me that the post office worries are valid.

Sherry was extremely surprised. Asked me to let her know if it ever shows up. I feel I do not trust the USPS for voting issues. They sure can get a pile of junk mail to me everyday yet can’t get a ballot across town! Do not vote by mail. Go to in-person absentee voting if need be. There are no crowds.

If they have ordered a ballot, it can be cancelled when going in for absentee voting.

And yes, it makes me angry!  Signed Terry Lyons”

Sherry Eckert is the clerk in the Town of Barton. She said she is familiar with Lyons.

“I don’t have a lot of people who have called me saying they have not received a ballot,” she said.

“Eleven days is excessive. I usually try to find out and I look at myvote.wi.gov to see if there was a mistake in the address. A lot of time they are entering the address so it could be a small error in anything.”

Eckert’s advice on dropping a ballot in the mail is to monitor it closely.

“They should closely monitor the myvote.wi.gov website and it would show when the ballot is mailed. I would give it 10 days and then call the clerk,” she said.

 

“They can also come in to vote. I had one person where I issued the ballot, he didn’t receive it and I welcomed him to come in and vote. We spoiled his ballot; he didn’t have one to turn over but people should vote in person if they’re concerned.”

Lyons contacted WashingtonCountyInsider.com on Tuesday night and said his ballot still had not arrived and that would make it 16 days since the request was submitted.

Dean Krueger is postmaster at the US Post Office in West Bend.

He said the ballot requests are sent down to Milwaukee for processing. “We do not hold anything in the local Post Offices because they want to be sure they’re processed to the right address, there’s tracking information built into the barcode on that ballot and that will show when that piece is processed with the date and time and then it comes back usually within the next day or two to be delivered,” said Krueger.

“Depending on this man’s address it could be delivered by West Bend Post Office or it could be delivered by Kewaskum Post Office. But once it goes down to Milwaukee it gets processed and delivered by the carrier to the customer.”

Questioned whether he could explain the 11, now 16 days without receiving a requested ballot. “That seems extremely excessive and I don’t know,” he said.

“We want the requests sooner than later so everything can be processed. Without having seen that piece or knowing the address I can’t give you an exact reason for the delay.”

Lyons asked who is being held accountable?

“The actual tracking of the individual ballots is not something the USPS is capable of monitoring. I can tell you the steps we take locally is we sweep our buildings in the morning, mid-day and night to make sure nothing is left in the building. We do surveys and that goes to the district to show the sweeps are being done.

“If we have ballots that come to our office that are not for our office, we send them via express mail to the intended office to ensure they get there. We had an Allenton ballot and I personally drove it to the Allenton polling station so it got there.

“We deliver in a timely manner right up until the election,” said Krueger.

Lyons advised people “go in person if you want your vote counted.”

“I’m teed off,” he said. “My faith in the USPS has evaporated.”

Election Day is November 3, 2020.

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Remodel nearly complete at Washington House

The remodel of the tavern in a landmark location in West Bend started just a couple months ago and over the past few weeks a noticeable transformation has taken place.  How long did it take you to pinpoint the location?

The building at 228 N. Sixth Avenue in West Bend is listed in the National Register of Historic Properties.

From the book The Story of Washington County by Carl Quickert there was a brief mention of Baltazar Goetter.

“B. Goetter who in the spring of 1849 opened up the first brewery and later erected the “Washington House,” one of the largest and finest hotels in the State at the time, and for many years the preferred rendezvous of the German pioneers.”

From the sign out front of the cream city brick building.

“This building was one of the first brick building erected in West Bend. It was built in 1849 by Baltazar Goetter. It replaced a wooden hotel built in 1852.  That building was destroyed by fire on January 1, 1864.

The Italianate structure reopened October 15, 1864 as a headquarters for travelers along the “Old Stage Coach Road” serving coach and ox-cart alike.

The book The Spirit of West Bend by Dorothy E. Williams has a section on the hotel fire involving the Washington House.

“Perhaps the most dramatic moment in the life of the Washington House occurred on January 1, 1864. It was a severely cold day, as New Year’s days usually are. Every room o fthe hotel was filled. The many stoves were crammed full of wood to ward off the frigid air, and inside in the cheery atmosphere the men played billiards, cards, or told stories to while away the holiday.

Suddenly the dread cry of “FIRE!” brought everyone to his feet. The roof was a fire! Instantly, townspeople and guests set to work to save what they could. There was no local fire department as yet, and the only equipment the village had was a “donkey engine” with 20 feet of hose, entirely inadequate to reach the river, which at any rate was frozen solid. Willing hands pitched blankets, beds, pitchers, washbasins, luggage, and looking glasses from the upper floors to the frozen ground below. After the entire first floor was cleared, men went into the cellar to rescue the sauerkraut jar and carried the heavy burden all the way up the steps and outside to safety.

Other helpers managed to carry out the cumbrous hotel range, with the holiday turkey still in the oven. The turkey promptly froze. Most of the food in the basement was well enough insulated so it did not freeze – the apples, potatoes, etc. When it was all over, the only item remaining on the spot where the hotel had been was the cast iron stove which had overheated and probably caused the terrible conflagration. There is no record of where the guests spent the rest of the day, but probably the townspeople took them in.

 

Almost at once Mr. Goetter began to rebuild, this time a three-story cream-colored brick building of local clay that rivaled the famed Crem City brick from Milwaukee, according to local observers. It could accommodate 100 guests and was ready for occupancy by October 15 of that same year. By this time West Bend had its own cabinet maker, Mr. Roecker, who made some of the furniture for the new rooms.

Many famous Americans have stayed at the Washington House including William Jennings Bryan, William Barkley (Vice President), and John F. Kennedy and it is the oldest business left in the city, having celebrated both the centennial and bicentennial.

West Bend School District responds to social media post about students and face masks

A note of clarification regarding face masks in the West Bend School District. There was recently a post on social media about face masks that claimed middle school students in the West Bend School District were being asked to remove some political masks and not others.

Superintendent Jen Wimmer was asked about the allegations regarding the masks and responded.

“We have been made aware of a person posting information on a local Facebook group page that alleges a staff member at Badger Middle School told a student to remove a face mask because it featured a political candidate. The Badger administrative team, supported by our Director of Human Resources, is conducting a thorough investigation.

As that investigation takes place, families and the community can be assured that the West Bend School District believes students have the right to exercise non offensive and non-disruptive free speech. Supporting a political candidate or advocating for a group (i.e. BLM, Blue Lives, flag, military, etc. as Ms. Kellom notes) is allowed in our schools. There is no policy or practice that would discourage this (unless as part of that message it included offensive language or imagery).”

Wimmer said, “Thank you for reaching out and helping to correct public perception regarding our practice. Again, we support our students’ rights to express themselves in a non-offensive and non-disruptive manner.”

An email from the district’s communications manager Nancy Kunkler initially denied the incident took place. “The person also alleges the students in the West Bend School District cannot wear anything that supports police. The incident the person described did not take place; no one at Badger Middle School was told to remove a mask with a political or election-related matter.”

Parents of the students involved in the incident have contacted WashingtonCountyInsider.com and confirmed it was a male teacher that confronted the student and requested that a mask supporting President Donald Trump be removed. The parent of the girl who reported the incident said it occurred in the hallway on the third floor.

Below is the original post from Facebook and Sue Kellom.

“I learned today that students at the Badger School are not allowed to wear any Trump mask and were asked to remove them as they were “Offensive” however BLM mask are allowed. I’m so sick of this double standard BS! You can have a School named after Barack Obama but Trump is offensive!?

I encourage everyone to write an email or call the West Bend School District to stop this discrimination. I understand political things however if you allow BLM then you also need to allow Blue Lives Matter, Military Lives matter, Trump mask and the American Flag mask.”

National Life Chain is Sunday, October 4 in Hartford          By Terese Hummel

The annual, national Life Chain event returns to Hartford and West Bend on Sunday, October 4, 2020. Beginning at 2 p.m., pro-life individuals and families from Washington County will gather at the east parking lot of Willowbrook Park and spread out along Highway 60 (E. Sumner Street) in Hartford. There will also be a gathering at 2 p.m. at the corner of Paradise Drive and S. Main Street.

Held each year on the first Sunday of October, Life Chain is a legal, peaceful, quiet display of people in our area communities gathering to publicly and silently state that there are alternatives to abortion and healing is possible.

There are no disturbing images for passing motorists, only thought-provoking statements including “Adoption, the Loving Option,” “Jesus Forgives and Heals,” and “Pregnant? Need Help? 800-712-HELP.”

The display will line Highway 60 in Hartford until 3:30 p.m., in unison with other Life Chains across the country. From its small beginnings as a local witness in Southern California, the Life Chain has spread to more than 2,000 cities all over North America. The first Sunday of each October is National Life Chain Sunday.

We believe it is time for the Church to fight for the unborn with spiritual weapons. The battle for life will not be won in the courtroom or the voting booth until it is first won in prayer. We call for pastors to lead the Church in repentance for our nation. When God’s people humble themselves, pray, seek His face, and turn from their own ways, we believe that God will hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14-15).

Uniform signs will be available free of charge on October 4 at Willowbrook Park’s east parking lot. On the back of each sign, participants will find Scripture and praise-and-hymn lyrics.

For more information, please contact Terese Hummel at 262-689-3742

Log home in Town of Wayne lost to fire

A dire house fire over the weekend in the Town of Wayne went from bad to worse. On Saturday, September 19, 2020 at approximately 10:38 p.m. a dozen fire departments responded to a house on fire at 9115 Woodlawn Drive.

After the fire was extinguished the Washington County Sheriff shared photos of the damage. See video below. But then on Sunday the logs in the home that dates to 1902 held in so much heat the fire started again. Firefighters bought in an excavator and leveled the historic home.

Homeowner Michael Ziegelbauer was devastated by the fire.

On Monday, he stood in the middle of the charred remains. “I had just finished remodeling a couple rooms,” he said.

Ziegelbauer, 29, was at a loss.

The two-story had once been home to Orville and Ruth Kern. They owned it from 1948 until 2006.

“We bought the property when we got married,” said Ruth. “We bought it for $700. We used every bit of money we had.”

Ruth, who now lives in Kewaskum, farmed the land with her husband and raised six children.

“The kids had this painted for me,” said Ruth about the picture of the old homestead. “The log home has been cleaned up a bit. This is when it had windows added and we had a man name Muckerheide level off the front yard.”

Ruth met Orville at a bar. “I was with somebody else,” she said. “They introduced us and he asked me out. We dated for a year and a half and then got married. I was 19 years old.”

“Orville was so kindhearted, a wonderful guy. He was town clerk for 25 years,” she said.

Ruth and Orville worked hard and spruced the place up when they could afford it.

“Our windowsills were really deep,” said Ruth holding her hands more than a foot apart. “Everybody envied it. We remodeled the whole thing… little by little.”

Orville built a new outhouse and installed plumbing. “My husband dug a well by hand; we didn’t have running water. The first thing we did was build a toilet and then when we had money we put in hot water.”

“We had a wood heater and that pipe from the wood heater would heat the living room too,” she said. “We wallpapered the upstairs because the plaster was bad. Even when I sold the place the real estate agent said that was pretty wallpaper.”

“I worked for George Hess, personnel manager at West Bend Aluminum Company. I worked there until we got married and then my husband didn’t want me to work because he said it didn’t work when we live on the farm but we sure could have used the money.”

The Kerns lost their first child, a girl, when she was 20 weeks old. “She had a heart condition,” said Ruth. “After that we had three girls and three boys.”

Ruth recalled the good times and bad on Woodlawn Drive. The ice storm from 1976 and when the fire department brought a generator so the milk would not freeze. “We bought seven cows,” said Ruth.

The cash crops are where the Kerns made a lot of money. “We had sweet corn and field corn and peas,” she said.

The fire departments that assisted in the fire call were Kewaskum, West Bend, Theresa, Lomira, Allenton, Boltonville, St. Lawrence, Slinger, Knowles, and Eden Fire Departments.

Baskin Robbins / Dunkin’ staff training to begin as opening nears

The address, 1610 W. Washington Street, has now been posted in the window at the new Baskin Robbins / Dunkin’ store in West Bend.

Construction got underway June 10, 2020 in the lot formerly home to Pizza Hut. “We’re hoping for a late October opening for our new Dunkin’ and Baskin restaurant in West Bend,” said owner Emily Kettinger.

“Equipment will be coming in early October and then it’s just getting everything installed and the final touches coordinated. Hopefully, we’ll be training new staff in the coming weeks.”

The 2,160-square-foot property is nearly complete as signage is expected in the coming weeks and the parking lot will be paved.

Neighbors have been eagerly anticipating the opening of the ice cream store and coffee shop. This is the second time West Bend will be home to a Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors. In 1974 Ken and Shirley Leisman opened the first Baskin Robbins in the West Bend Plaza.

“It was by the old Kohl’s Food Store in the mall on Main Street,” said Kathy Leisman Suchon, the daughter of the owners. “On the other end of the mall was Alston’s clothing store and we were right in that middle by the garden area on the right-hand side. I remember the whole front and side of the store were all windows.”

Suchon also remembered a Ben Franklin in the strip mall and RadioShack, 842. S Main Street.

Suchon said her parents got into the ice cream business because they really wanted to do something together. “They thought what is better than an ice cream parlor that brings families together and everyone is happy when they get ice cream and they just thought it would be really fun,” she said.

Outdoor Fun at Fall Harvest Fest

Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, 6869 Wildwood Road in West Bend, invites the community to attend Fall Harvest Fest, Saturday, October 17, outside on the church property from 1 – 4 p.m. Guests are encouraged to come in costume. This event is free and open to the public.

A variety of family activities are planned. Trunk or Treat will be set up on the top tier of the parking lot where treats will be handed out. Nearby a craft tent will be available for a make and take craft kit (parental supervision required). Following a map of hidden clues, children can venture out on a scavenger hunt. Then kids can kick a few balls at the soccer station while learning about an upcoming soccer camp.

Other activities for the day include a free hot dog lunch while supplies last. Praise band Unworthy will play Christian cover songs from 2 p.m.– 3 p.m. Bingo for adults and kids, with prizes will round out the fun from 3 – 4 p.m.

A contingency plan is in place in case of rain. Any questions can be directed to the church office at 262-334-9892 or visit www.shepherdofthehillswi.com for more information.

Andrew Wundrock named new President of Wisconsin Pharmacal

Wisconsin Pharmacal Company, LLC has announced Andrew Wundrock has been appointed to the position of President of the company effective September 2020. Wundrock has been with Wisconsin Pharmacal for over 25+ years in various roles – most recently Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing.

Wundrock’s thorough understanding of the consumer product space, Wisconsin Pharmacal’s core strengths, and his unique relationship with the retail trade position him well to advance the company forward in this competitive landscape.

“Andrew has demonstrated a keen understanding of our business throughout the years. His dedication to the company and attention to detail, along with his long-tenured relationships with our major retail partners, make him an excellent choice to lead our company”, said John Wundrock – CEO.

Wisconsin Pharmacal and its subsidiary, Lake Consumer Products, manufacture and market a wide variety of outdoor health and safety, first aid, and feminine health & wellness products across a widevariety of retail outlets – including Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Target, Amazon, and others.

“It is with a great deal of enthusiasm that I accept the position of President of Wisconsin Pharmacal. I am highly confident we have the best team in place to help us advance the company forward in a very competitive landscape. I am proud of our accomplishments to date and look forward to new challenges and opportunities.” said Wundrock. Wisconsin Pharmacal is a diversified consumer products company that is FDA & EPA approved and manufactures and distributes long-established brands in the OTC Health/First Aid and Outdoor/Safety markets.

Election Day

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.  Over the weekend quite a few neighbors across Washington County received their mail-in ballot via U.S. Postal.

Wisconsin will mail all registered voters an application to vote absentee prior to the election. You can also vote in person as Wisconsin offers early voting.

Details and deadlines for Election Day, November 3, 2020

The following details are per the Wisconsin Election Commission.

The deadline to register online to vote is Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

According to the Wisconsin Election Commission: All voters in Wisconsin can request an absentee ballot be mailed to them for any reason.  Voters must be registered before they can request an absentee ballot.   Voters may request their absentee ballot in writing.

The deadline for registering by mail to vote is postmarked by Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Thursday, October 29, 2020.

The deadline to register in person to vote is Friday, October 30, 2020.

According to the Wisconsin Election Commission –  Voters may register in-person in their municipal clerk’s office during the clerk’s business hours until 5 p.m. on October 30, 2020.  Find your Municipal Clerk’s Contact Information here.

The early voting period runs from Tuesday, October 20, 2020 to Sunday, November 1, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.

You can also register and vote on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3. Polls will open at 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Remember to bring a valid I.D.

According to the Wisconsin Election Commission – Voters can register to vote at their polling place on Election Day, November 3, 2020.  Find your Polling Place here.

Election questions from the community:

A woman at Cedar Ridge received her absentee ballot and the envelope the ballot arrived in was open. Was this tampered with?

West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justmann – “It is the mail machine. Sometimes the envelope goes through the machine and doesn’t hit the sealer properly and it doesn’t seal the envelope correctly.”

Can people vote three days after November 3, 2020 with no postmark needed on their mail-in ballot?

West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justmann – “That is not correct. Right now, all election rules are in place. I have to receive this ballot by 8 p.m. on election night, November 3, 2020. If it comes on Nov. 4 it is past the deadline.  If it arrives on Nov. 4 and it is postmarked Nov. 2 it is after the deadline.  I have to receive all ballots by 8 p.m. on November 3.

How many mail-in ballots has the City of West Bend sent.

West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justman – “The City of West Bend sent 5,400 absentee ballots out for the Nov. 3, 2020 election as of September 21, 2020. At the last presidential election in 2016 there were a total of 5200. We’ve now mailed out more in total than the last presidential election.”

If I send in my mail-in ballot now… when will it be counted?

West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justmann – “The mail-in ballots that are returned now will be counted on Election Day. We start at 7 a.m. and at central count we will have three voting machines that will be counting ballots on Election Day. There will be three different groups of central count poll workers.

If the mail-in being stored until Election Day where is it being stored?

 West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justmann – “The mail-in ballots are held in the vault at City Hall. Everything is alphabetized by district and held there until election day.”

Even though there is postage included on the mail-in ballots, can those ballots be walked into and dropped off at City Hall?

West Bend City Clerk Stephanie Justmann – “Absolutely. The media has been telling people to drop them off at City Hall. You can mail it in or drop it off at the clerk’s office or you can bring it to the polls on Election Day and turn it in.”

Below is a list of polling places for November 3, 2020 in the City of West Bend.  If you need help determining your polling place click HERE.

District            polling location in City of West Bend

Aldermanic District #1           Washington County Courthouse, 432 E. Washington Street

Aldermanic District #2           Washington Co. PAC,  333 E. Washington Street (Indiana Ave.)

Aldermanic District #3           First Baptist Church 2300 S. Main Street

Aldermanic District #4           City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street (West Entrance)

Aldermanic District #5           Washington Co. PAC,  333 E. Washington Street (Indiana Ave.)

Aldermanic District #6           Washington County Govt Center, 432 E. Washington Street

Aldermanic District #7           Moraine Park Technical College, 2151 N. Main Street AMTC Addition, Entrance T2,

Aldermanic District #8           City Hall, 1115 S. Main Street (West Entrance)

Anyone who is not sure in which Aldermanic District he/she resides, may call the City Clerk’s Office at 262-335-5103.  All polling places are accessible to disabled voters.

Preserve Parkway road closure in Village of Germantown starts September 28

There will be a road closure effective Monday, September 28 at 6 a.m., Preserve Parkway in the Village of Germantown will be closed to facilitate the installation of sanitary sewer for Kinderberg Estates.

The road closure starts at Buckthorn Drive (north end of Kinderberg Park) south to Donges Bay Road. This closure will ensure the safety of the traveling public and utility workers. Preserve Parkway will reopen at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, September 30.

Village of Germantown to hold in-person absentee voting on two Saturdays in October

In Person Absentee Voting begins Tuesday, October 20, 2020 for the November 3, 2020 General / Presidential Election.

Below is a list of in-person voting hours in the Village of Germantown.

October 20 – October 22:  8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

October 23:  8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 24:  8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

October 26 – October 29:  8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

October 30:  8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturday, October 31:  8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

October 30 is the last day to register to vote in the Village of Germantown Clerk’s Office prior to the election. There is no absentee voting or voter registration on November 2, the day prior to the election.

You may also make a request in writing to receive an absentee ballot through the mail.

All requests for an Absentee Ballot must be in writing by the elector. Use the Application for Absentee Ballot or write an email or letter requesting an absentee ballot be mailed to you.

The application must be received by the Clerk no later than 5 p.m. on the Thursday, October 29 before the election in order for an absentee ballot to be mailed to you.

Any written requests must include the following information:

Name of the registered voter requesting the absentee ballot.

The address to which you are registered to vote in the Village of Germantown.

The address where the ballot should be sent, if different than your residence.

The signature of the registered voter requesting the absentee ballot. Signature is not required for email requests.

If you have not previously provided a copy of photo ID, photo ID must accompany the request. For the full list of acceptable photo ID visit http://bringit.wi.gov.

Registered Voters may request an absentee ballot via MyVote.WI.gov and follow the instructions. Questions may be directed to the Village of Germantown Clerk’s Office at 262-250-4740 or via email at elections@village.germantown.wi.us

Round the Bend by Judy Steffes

Election information

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.  Over the weekend quite a few neighbors across Washington County received their mail-in ballot via U.S. Postal. Wisconsin will mail all registered voters an application to vote absentee prior to the election. You can also vote in person as Wisconsin offers early voting.

The deadline to register online to vote is Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

The deadline for registering by mail to vote is postmarked by Wednesday, October 14, 2020.

The deadline to register in person to vote is Friday, October 30, 2020.

The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Thursday, October 29, 2020.

The early voting period runs from Tuesday, October 20, 2020 to Sunday, November 1, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.

You can also register and vote on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3. Polls will open at 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. Remember to bring a valid I.D.

Building formerly home to JP Foz’s sold by Adam Williquette

The building that housed JP Foz’s has sold. Fasciano Properties, LLC sold to 301 Properties, LLC for $325,000. The property was sold as an investment for 301 Properties, LLC.

Adam Williquette, president of American Commercial Real Estate handled the transaction. This is the fifth building American Commercial Real Estate has sold downtown West Bend in the last 12 months.

The 2020 assessed value was $277,500.  Foz Enterprises LLC purchased the property April 1, 2001 for $210,000.

On October 17, 1996 Barbercheck and Gundrum purchased the property for $186,000.

That corner building has been home to many locally owned tavernkeepers. Among them “Three Old Guys” and “The Pub.”

The Pub was Bob Weston. Three Old Guys was Don Zimmel, Russ and Randy Miller and Al May was the Kings Guard Pub with “the best hot buttered rum” drinks.

Over the years other tenants in the tavern included Herbie Lundquist who named it The Blue Room. Bob Corbett dubbed it Corby’s. Bob Weston changed it to The Pub. The tavern was The Mixing Place and then Al May moved in with Kings Guard Pub and Don Zimmel later ran it as Three Old Guys with Russ Vermillion and Randy Miller.

 

Final totals for United Way of Washington County Food Drive

 The United Way of Washington County is toasting the community with three cheers of “Thanks” for participating in the kickoff campaign food drive.

The final total amount of food collected was announced by United Way executive director Kristin Brandner.

“Al Pauli from Full Shelf Food Pantry followed up today that over 5,000 pounds of food was donated.  Al said we exceeded his expectations! Thank you for being our committed partner and being awesome!!! We do have a good time doing good work!”

United Against Hunger was a drive-thru event held at the Washington County Fair Park. Eighty-nine vehicles drove in and hundreds of bags and boxes of nonperishable food items were donated.

Leading this year’s annual campaign are Women in Business: Prudence Pick Hway, Debra Cahoon, Amy Salberg, Rose Petitte and Jacci Gambucci.

Highway 60 open from Jackson to 5 Corners in Cedarburg

Motorists traveling Highway 60 rejoice as the road reopened between Jackson and 5 Corners Dodge 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.

Road crews could be seen just west of Cedarburg collecting orange-and-white striped barricades as vehicles zipped up and down the fresh blacktop.

Work included updated signage, pavement marking, restoration, and lighting at the roundabout at County Y.  The extensive summer project included milling off the top two inches of roadway and laying four new inches of pavement. The paved shoulder width was increased to six feet, and bypass lanes and right turn lanes at intersections added or extended as needed.

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

American Construction Services recognized by MMAC                By Marie Kohler

American Construction Services is being recognized by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) as an honoree in their Focus on the Future Awards.

American Construction Services was entered in the Pivot Not Panic category with its 40th anniversary story.

This past spring, the American team was looking for a way to celebrate 40 years in business. This was also the time the COVID-19 virus hit.

Even through all the unknowns and the fear of the pandemic, the leadership team knew it wanted to find a way to celebrate by helping the community during the uncertain times.

Dubbed the “40 for 4 and 40 for 40 celebration,” American Construction Services sponsored 40 meals each for four Washington County non-profits from four Washington County restaurants. To go along with that, the service staff at each of the restaurants was tipped 40 percent.

The non-profits that were supported for the celebration were Friends Inc, Karl’s Place, Medical Center Foundation of Hartford, and Interfaith Caregivers.

The meals received were prepared by The Norbert and Poplar Inn, Culaccino’s Bar and Italian Kitchen, Perc Place, and Precinct Tap & Table.

“It was an honor to be able to give back to the community after receiving so much of their support throughout the years,” said American Companies president Kraig Sadownikow. “Thank you to the MMAC for the honor and congratulations to American Companies.”

Trick-or-treat hours across Washington County

Halloween is Saturday, October 31, 2020 and trick-or-treat hours have been posted across Washington County.

Town of Addison 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25.

Village of Jackson 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31.

Village of Newburg 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31

Village of Slinger 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31.

Village of Germantown 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. (Ben from the clerk’s office said, “Trick or treat will go on even if it snows…. like it did in 2019.” He said Germantown received 6 inches of snow. Remember that??)

City of Hartford 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Halloween Saturday, Oct. 31

Village of Kewaskum 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31.

Village of Richfield 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31.

West Bend 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31

Crack and joint sealing schedule in West Bend

Crack and joint sealing work in West Bend will be performed through the following street segments beginning Monday, September 21, 2020 until approximately October 9, 2020. Please note the project dates may be adjusted due to weather conditions or other circumstances.

5th Ave: Maple St to Oak St   6th Ave: Decorah Rd to Oak St

7th Ave: Vine St to Decorah Rd    8th Ave: Pine Dr to Chestnut St

12th Ave: Walnut St to Chestnut St   18th Ave: Chestnut St to W Washington St

Decorah Rd: University Dr to 18th Ave   Indiana Ave: E Washington St to Oak St

Indiana Ave: Hargrove St to Paradise Dr    Silverbrook Dr: Hawthorn Dr to Paradise Dr

University Dr: Decorah Rd to Campus Dr    N River Rd: E Washington St to Creek Rd

Creek Rd: Schmidt Rd to Trenton Rd    12th Ave: Wayne Rd to Park Ave

13th Ave: Alder St to Wayne Rd      18th Ave: Park Ave to Jefferson St

Motorists are reminded to abide by all traffic control signs and devices as well as be aware of ongoing construction activities. Please plan on using alternate routes to avoid construction whenever possible. Please communicate this information with any delivery vehicles or other interested parties. Construction activities will include cleaning and routing existing cracks, placement of crack sealing material and restoration of disturbed areas.

Planning underway for new displays at Enchantment in the Park 2020

The Christmas season may be months away but this week planning began for 2020 Enchantment in the Park at Regner Park in West Bend.

Founded in 2009, the mission of the event was “to create a holiday adventure where wonder and excitement are experienced through enchanting holiday light displays, music and other performing arts.” According to organizer Lori Yahr there will be some changes this year.

“This year will be a bit different,” said Yahr. “We will still have the holiday light drive thru, fire pit with marshmallows, horse-and-carriage rides, and music in the stage area.”

Also new will be a 50-foot high Grinch and Snoopy characters courtesy Pet Supplies Plus in West Bend. There will also be some new vintage artwork, improved lighting, and decorative pergola by the walkway entrance to the park.

In an effort to be considerate of the current CDC guidelines there will be some noticeable changes. “We reached out to area school groups and they told us they are not having music classes this year so they won’t be able to perform,” said Yahr.

The Enchantment Board also decided not to put up the enclosed pavilion, Santa’s workshop, indoor stage and for now Santa is on hold.

‘We will look at our food collection procedures and see if we have to tweak anything for added safety,” Yahr said. The Senior Center will still be selling snacks in a paired down concession stand. Hot cocoa and packaged snacks will be available. They will work out of the Kiwanis Building and the volunteer groups will move to the Rotary Building.

Enchantment in the Park will be open Friday, Nov. 27 and run through Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.

Setup for Enchantment in the Park begins October 9, 2020.

West Bend Common Council approves new ordinance allowing dogs in City parks

The West Bend Common Council is set to approve an ordinance regarding dogs in City parks. It was July 2020 when the Parks Commission went round and round on the issue.

The final vote was 5-2 with aldermen John Butschlick and Brett Berquist dissenting.  District 4 alderman Randy Koehler was not in attendance.

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

The new ordinance would allow dogs in other City parks except Regner Park, Lac Lawrann Conservancy and park buildings. Special events at City parks would also not be open to dogs.

The new ordinance would be evaluated in one year.

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.
  2. West Bend Riverwalk – sidewalk/trail portion only. 4. Old Settlers Park – entire park.
  3. 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).

Hand-me-down dishes hold memories and family history lessons | By Ann Marie Craig

The tines are bent and uneven and the wood handles show more than a century of wear. They live in the far recesses of the silverware drawer and hardly see the light of day anymore, but I cannot bear to part with them because they belong here in the house where they came as new forks to be used by the farming family who became my great-grandparents and grandparents and mother.

Its top edges are pocked a bit and if there ever was a lid it is now missing, but you can still see the swirls on the inside bottom from having been thrown on a pottery wheel many, many years ago. Its outside is roughly salt glazed in an uneven earthy brown and the inside is colored with dark, smooth, brown slip. Great-Grandma Anna’s salt crock is still intact and I guard it carefully even as I use it to hold springtime pussy willows and late fall dogwood and spruce branches. It belongs here too, having been used day after day as she cooked and baked on the wood stove in the tiny kitchen of this tiny log cabin.

_________________

It is not unusual for me to reach into a cupboard and grab a pot or a spoon or a bowl or a cake plate that once belonged to someone on my family tree, and every piece has a story or it would not have ended up in my kitchen.

I crawl deeply into the back corner of a lower cupboard with a flashlight twice a year to find the salt crock, each time holding it in my hands, carefully filling it will pretty branches and setting it on a table or deep windowsill, touching and imagining. I never knew my great-grandmother, but I can almost see her, and later my grandmother, reaching into the cellar almost without thinking as they seasoned the meat or vegetables cooking on the wood stove. That wood stove sat just about where my kitchen table now stands and the crock was nearby and used every day.

When I was growing up I would see those old forks in my grandmother’s kitchen utensil drawer. They made fine holders of meats that needed to be held still for cutting, but they probably had outworn their use as everyday tableware. I chose to bring them home with me years later, and they now are seen really only when I get around to cleaning the kitchen cabinets.

They are over 100 years old and saw a lot of use at the farm table in this cabin. What I learned when I brought them back after my mother had a good clear out of her drawers, was that they were used by my great-grandparents and their six children and were left behind when they retired and my grandfather took over the farm.

I look at them and think of stories told about the house and farm and about my grandfather before he married.

My grandparents married in 1920, but just a year or so earlier my grandfather became ill with the Spanish Influenza. No one was certain how he caught it because as a farmer, he almost never went anywhere. It was said that WWI soldiers brought the virus back with them from the front. Was he sneezed upon by someone at the feed mill or the hardware store? Could he have caught it at a dance, perhaps?

Family lore still speculates, but he was very ill for three months. His unmarried sister Mary came to keep house and nurse him, and his brothers helped with the farm work. I am pretty sure he ate with those wood-handled forks left behind by his parents because he didn’t yet have a wife to change the silverware style.

Somehow September and the start of autumn makes me want to nestle into home. I cook and bake and reminisce about the times shared in the kitchen around tables seasoned with family recipes and stories that keep us connected and cozy. It somehow is important to me to touch the things that family before me touched and those links to the past make the present warm and the future inviting.     Find more stories by Ann Marie Craig at CenturyFarmhouse.com

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Village of Slinger surprised by plans for Casey’s General Store

“It was the biggest shock last week,” said Village of Slinger Administrator Margaret Wilber. “Casey’s called and is stopping the project.”

The project in question is the razing of the Casey’s General Store and car wash, 651 E. Washington Street, in Slinger.

A spokesperson for Casey’s called WashingtonCountyInsider.com and issued the following statement. “We are not planning to proceed with construction as we are focusing store development efforts in other areas. We appreciate the support the Slinger community had for this store.  We will continue to work with the local Village and ensure the site is in good condition.”

The demolition of the corner gas station began Wednesday, September 2, 2020.

Plans had already been approved for development of a new store until a voicemail was left Thursday, Sept. 4 with Gregory Darga the Village Building Inspector/Zoning Administrator. That’s when the project went sideways.

“Mid-day we were informed that Casey’s cancelled the project,” said Darga.  “So, at this point they will complete the demolition, restore the site to grass and then there won’t be anything there for the foreseeable future.”

Wilber pointed out that Darga’s voicemail was from the project manager, so someone not related to Casey’s.

“They were called and ordered to stop the project,” said Wilber.

Village officials spent all day Friday, before the long Labor Day holiday weekend, trying to contact someone at Casey’s.

“I finally spoke with a couple of people who confirmed an executive decision had been made and they weren’t going to continue at this time,” Wilber said. “They were going to restore the lot and the decision hadn’t been made yet whether they would put a new building up or put it on the market.”

“It was quite a surprise because they went through all the trouble of starting the teardown,” Wilber said.

The Village of Slinger Plan Commission approved plans for a new Casey’s convenience store and car wash in July 2019. “It was approved almost a year ago,” said Wilber. “At that time, the Plan Commission approved the site, architectural, lighting, landscaping, and stormwater.”

The property was purchased by Casey’s General Store in December 2018. Tri-Par previously owned the 1.92-acre site. The sale price was $850,000. The latest assessed value is $1.292 million.

Wilber has been the Village Administrator for a year but has been with the Village for 20 years. “This has completely taken us by surprise,” she said. “It did cross our mind that the project may have been paused because of Covid… but…”

Darga has been with the Village for eight years. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said. “The permits for the building had been issued and the demolition permit had been issued and after months and months of trying to get this thing going, finally they were starting and as soon as we started they pulled the project.”

“We’re very disappointed,” said Wilber. “We’re going to try to keep in touch with Casey’s and monitor their progress and continue to get updates on the plans.”

A representative for Casey’s, Jim Sklada, told Wilber there had been no decision whether the property would be put up for sale.

Slinger lemonade stand and food pantry                        By Corbin Stover (5th grade)

At Slinger Schlesinger Village kids in the neighborhood did a lemonade stand during our last week of summer in August. Jovy, Corbin, Alex, Soffy, Elliot, Elvlyn, and Noah wanted to do this for people that are homeless and it was the right thing to do.

Me and my friends did this for fun too. We made $275.85 in donations and a big bucket of food. Corbin and Jovy collected food from 20 to 30 homes. We started at 2:30pm and ended at 5:30pm. We got 75 to 80 customers it was crazy big. We got so excited when we got customers. We loved it so much, it was awesome. I was mesmerized by the money we got and the food. The food pantry people were mind blown.

93-year-old female mechanic goes for spin in ’57 Chevy Bel Air 283

It was a memorable day for Ellen Hembel as a friend from Just Like Home in Jackson brought his 1957 Chevy Bel Air to take her for a spin.

Ellen is 93-and-a-half years old. She is more than familiar with the Chevy Bel Air having been an auto mechanic most of her life.

“My dad worked on cars,” said Ellen.

She said she got her start when “his hands didn’t work so well.”

Ellen was part of the family business, when Hembel’s had an auto shop off Highway 41.

“The first car I worked on was an Essex,” she said. “I got all the cars running.”

With family gathered on a rainy Thursday morning, Ellen took a look under the hood before she climbed in the passenger seat.

“This is the battery and the engine and the radiator and the horn,” she said.

Jim Bird has owned car for 44 years. “It has been a pleasure to meet a lot of people,” he said.

Bird bought the car in Iowa; paid $1,200. “I drove it back to Fond du Lac. We had no muffler or lights.”

As the engine roared to life, Ellen smiled. “Nice and tuned up,” she said.

Ellen’s chauffeur slowly put the pedal to the metal and at 5 miles per hour they left the carport and made one slow lap around the driveway and back home.

“Wonderful,” said Ellen hugging her great grandchildren. “Simply wonderful.”

WIS 33 over the Milwaukee River in the Town of Trenton closed Monday, Sept. 14

Construction crews will be out Monday, September 14 at the WIS 33 bridge over the Milwaukee River doing bridge deck repairs and an overlay. Work includes bridge deck repair and over

Full closure of WIS 33 over the Milwaukee River for approximately 3 weeks starting September 14. Through traffic will be detoured along County M and Main Street in Newburg.

Local access will be available up to the road closure located at the bridge. The signed detour takes motorists along County Road M, but locals more familiar with the area may look to alternate routes. WIS 33 is scheduled to open in early October.

Fond memories found in the kitchen cupboard

A bit of a Hallmark moment this week for Jodi Janisse-Kanzenbach of West Bend as she worked in her favorite room in the house. The head chef and owner of Precinct Tap & Table in Germantown was doing what she does best when she found the items, she was working with hit her right in the feelings.

“Brought peace to me tonight baking in hand-me-down loaf pans I’ve had for 20 years. Using my Dutch oven from my husband, Pyrex bowls from a friend, and eating our dinner in vintage soup bowls kindly gifted to me after being found in a shed up north on my father-in-law’s property. This is part of the problem I have with owning entirely too much kitchenware.”

On that note, other Good Housekeeping type stories started to emerge as it appears many women have strong ties to their kitchens and tools of the trade.

Carol H. writes – “I inherited six of these Fire King ovenproof dishes from my mom who passed away in 2018. I think these were supermarket premiums. My mom used them mainly on special occasions or for special recipes like French onion soup. They were ideal for placing in the oven for melting the cheese on top of the soup.”

Here’s a baking pan (8 x 10” in size) with a sliding cover. I remember my mom using this pan for baking goodies like Blonde Brownies or Lazy Daisy Cake.

Stefanie Ulma of West Bend owned The Grasshopper Restaurant on N. Main Street. She was the head chef and made the beautiful bakery displayed in the glass case.

A photo is held tight to her home refrigerator with a magnet of the Pillsbury Doughboy. It shows a kitchen with relatable wooden cabinets, large-print wallpaper and three ladies working at the counter. Ulma said she started young, learning from her mother and grandmother.

“Since I learned my passion from my Mom …of course I have all her recipe books along with notes on the sides of what to add and how good it was. I still use her big countertop mixer… the dough hook is a constant reminder that my Mom was an excellent bread maker (I only have a few recipes under my belt).

“This time of year, especially. there was always a covered bowl in a warm spot in the house rising with some type of bread or pastry. At Christmas time I bring out her spritz cookie maker and her cookie cutters.

“Baking always reminds me of entering in the State Fair with my Mom. We would bake all day and night before and then sit all day with all these other women we made friends with from years before. We would cheer them on too and spend the day exchanging recipes and ideas and watch the judges take tiny bites of our items. My Mom won the Archway competition one year. Such an awesome memory.  I also have her aprons which I really wish SHE was still wearing ..showing me the ropes… I have so much more I wanted to learn from her.”

Lori writes – Nothing in the kitchen from my mom. I do have a cast iron fry pan from my girlfriend’s mom; she was a true hoarder.

I have a handwritten cookbook from my Mom…but not much else. Oh, the two Miracle Maid West Bend Company cake pans…. that is what husband brought into the marriage 41 years ago.

RoxAnn Witkowski – What a great article. It made me go to my kitchen cupboards and see what I could find (besides, it was time to straighten).

There were the cast iron pans that were my grandmother’s. Still great for browning meat and making Dutch baby pancakes. The Duncan Hines cookware made by Regal Ware in Kewaskum. It was waterless! I remember the time and planning my mother put into a dinner party. By hosting she got a discount on the purchase of the cookware. Fifty plus years later it is still being used daily.

She was very active in a homemaker’s group. They would take trips around the state of Wisconsin. From Mirror aluminum in Manitowoc, I have an angel food cake pan and star Jell-O mold. Oh, the time it took to layer all that Jell-O. From West Bend the cake pans in all sizes. Those cake pans have been to hundreds of functions. Then there is the Pyrex ware. The design may be old but the durability speaks for itself. Taste of Home in Greendale I think was her favorite. She saved every cooking magazine from them. My sister and I still make many of the recipes and have passed them on to our children. Thank you for sharing. I may no longer live in Wisconsin, but the memories are priceless. Take care y’all.

Darlene Hefter from Allenton – I use my mom’s good china every time I have a sit-down formal dinner since I never had china and mom always said you see and get that someday. Love her loaf pans for baking bread; always gets so nice and brown in her pans. Always use her hand mixer for beating up eggs.  I do treasure wine glasses and other design glasses from my Grandma’s and cut-glass relish trays I always use from my mom.

Kitten rescued from engine compartment by Bob’s Main Street Auto

As cooler weather is slowly approaching, Bob’s Main Street Auto & Towing would like to remind everyone to check their vehicles for furry little friends. This week Bob’s Main Street Auto & Towing in West Bend received a call from police that someone saw a kitten climb up underneath their car. After towing the vehicle to the shop, technicians Brett and Zach and tow truck driver Chris never heard a single noise which made the search even more challenging.

Piece by piece was removed from the car until the entire front end was disassembled. After what felt like forever, the black kitten, which was smaller than the technician’s hand was rescued from a small compartment near the engine.  During the changing seasons animals will look for warm places to stay; it is not uncommon to find a cat perched inside a wheel well. Bob’s Main Street Auto would like to remind everyone to keep their vehicles and furry friends safe and look over your car before driving. If you find yourself thinking, or knowing, you have an animal hiding in your vehicle, please give us call and we will be happy to assist you and the stowaway.

Graffiti in West Bend and Kewaskum

Police in West Bend said they were aware of multiple instances of graffiti on S. Main Street. Someone with red and blue spray paint tagged a number of businesses including the Decorah Shopping Center, the old Shopko and Kohl’s Department Store.  Police said the business owners will be contacted. They would then have 24 hours to clean up the graffiti. Police are expected to visit businesses along S. Main Street to see if there is any surveillance video. More details are expected to be released when information becomes available.

Aside from West Bend, the bridge on Fond du Lac Avenue just south of Highway 28 west was also tagged. There’s no confirmation on whether the tagging incidents are related.

West Bend man’s marathon on Eisenbahn Trail to raise awareness

Thaddeus Bath, 34, will be running the Boston Marathon virtually in West Bend on the Eisenbahn State Trail this Saturday, September 12. Bath is running for himself and to bring attention to narcolepsy, a diagnosis he received about five years ago. By using Taekwondo and running, Bath has found a way to fight daily battles of addiction and the sleep disorder.

“Running, especially trail running, is a therapy for me,” said Bath. “Taekwondo has been great for me with the discipline and structure. It helped me become an all-around better person.

“Being active does help me with some of the narcolepsy symptoms. I have a little more energy during the day if I stick to my schedule of running/working out.” Tabetha Wolfe said her brother has worked hard to get where he is today.

“Not only training but bringing awareness and fundraising for the nonprofit Wake Up Narcolepsy,” said Wolfe. “Running the marathon virtually is not the same as being in Boston but if I can get enough community support it will make it that much more memorable for Thaddeus.”

Bath will be running September 12 starting at noon. He will start on the Eisenbahn Trail near Legacy Martial Arts, 111 E. Decorah, Road, West Bend. He will run south to Paradise Drive then north to Highway 33 and back. He will run out and backs until he reaches 26.2 miles.

Letter to the Editor |   Looking ahead to November election             By Ken Miller

Recently I have heard from a number of Conservatives/Republicans, having doubts about Pres. Trump. Very disturbing. I do not like some of his tactics, verbiage, and temperament. He is a “shoot from the hip” type and can be blunt not mincing words.

He demeaner is bordering on I’itis These traits can be annoying and rather unproductive. But he’s not a diplomate or politician, he’s all business accustomed to getting things done his way and that, my friends is working.

His successes are many such as the border wall, NAFTA rescinding and a new fair-trade agreement. NATO allies paying their fair share. Holding Russia at bay. Cutting off China and brokering agreements such as Israel and UAE, all but destroying ISIS and bringing troops home.

During his term, the economy rose to record heights and stock market it all time high. The list of course is incomplete and does leave out some unsuccessful attempts. But the point is he has done more in 4 years discounting the pandemic which Dem’s claim he did not solve fast enough.

Let’s look at the Liberal side. Joe Biden is the savior of the party along with Kamala. They tout the accomplishment of Joe.  His reviving of the economy in 2008, was that his, Really? I am convinced it was Obama’s which he went along with, during his Vice Presidency we heard little of his betterment of the country. He was afraid, (up to now) [’ to debate Trump.

Biden has barely condemned the riots, looting, destruction of businesses which are another plus for the Dem’s claiming Trump has not done enough. They are not saying that the Democratic Governor’s refused the help.

His health plan is a plan to bankrupt America. To further the spending of non-existent money he wants open borders and health care and funding benefits for all. His leadership skills wane against Trump and his program will take us back to the oppressive Obama years. It is incumbent to vote for a proven leader that has brought this country to becoming a world leader again.

Kenneth F. Miller   Germantown

Former President, Washington County Republican Party  Former County Board Chairman

Disclaimer: Opinions and letters published 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

Tribute to Mark Jug

It is with a heavy heart to relay the news that Mark Jug, 67, founder of MJ Stevens Pub & Restaurant and founder of McJugger’s Saloon & Grill, has died.

Jug passed Friday night at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. Tributes are below with many comments received referring to Mark Jug as “legend.”

Doreen Laatsch works at Jug’s and got her first job at MJ Stevens. She said the news spread quickly Friday night as staff at Jug’s Hitching Post in Kohlsville was told of his passing.

“He was amazing, wonderful, and he loved everybody he employed,” said Laatsch. “He wanted everybody to enjoy a good meal and enjoy life. In his new bar in Dundee, McJuggers, he had a stained glass made and it was written in Italian ‘In beer there is truth’ and he was so proud of that and he said that a lot.”

Laatsch met Mark Jug in 1989 when she first went to MJ Stevens for a fish fry.

“Isn’t it ironic that he passed away on a fish fry Friday,” she said. “It’s also Labor Day weekend; he employed so many and he passed away on Labor Day weekend.”

Laatsch said Mark Jug always offered a place where people could come and rest their burdens.

“He was proud of his food and if you didn’t like something he made sure you liked it,” she said. “He touched so many lives and so many people were crying last night when Jason called and told us.

“The college kids grew up in this restaurant. They’d go away to school and then when they came home they would have their job back,” said Laatsch. “It’s like we were all his children.”

Jug had been hospitalized since mid-August. He had been planning to open McJugger’s Saloon in Dundee.

In February 2018 Mark Jug sold MJ Stevens. He said at the time…

“You know I feel it was time to go a little smaller,” he said. “I’ve worked 32 years here.”

It was 1979 when Jug took over the Long Branch in Barton. In 1985 he took over the bar that ran alongside then Highway 41. “It was called the Timber Inn,” he said. Owners were John Kreilkamp and Harold Hefter.

“I leased it from them for three years and then I bought it,” said Jug.

Over three decades there were plenty of memorable moments at MJ Stevens. “We had two New Year’s Eves in a row that we got hit with snowstorms and we lost both those nights,” said Jug.

If that wasn’t bad enough… “We also had two Father’s Days in a row and some guy hit a pole and knocked all of our electricity out and then the next year Mother Nature hit something electrical again and down we went that year too,” he said. “How the hell does that happen?”

Over the years the “traditional pub-style restaurant with an old-world traditional flavor” grew in popularity. Neighbors would wait an hour for a Friday fish fry, prime rib or Sunday brunch. The time would pass swiftly with a Bloody Mary at the bar or a traditional Old Fashioned.

Jug credits his 80 employees for making the business a success. During a recent Christmas party he made a list of all his long-time employees and read it aloud.

“When we started here it was just Brian the bartender, Manny, who is still with me, he was the server and I did the cooking and dishes,” said Jug. “The first Friday we sold 25 pounds of fish and I was so happy. Now we do 600 – 700 pounds.”

After a heavy pause Jug admitted he had been thinking about selling the business for a while. “It’s a big place; big operation,” he said. “I’m going to do something… it’s going to be hard to let go here.”

Scott Ritger is with the Slinger-Allenton Rotary.

“Mark was a one of a kind, a very thoughtful man who never forgot someone once he meet them. Our Slinger-Allenton Rotary club meetings were graciously hosted by Mark and his staff at MJ’s for more than 10 years already when I joined the group back in 2014.

The day of my induction ceremony Mark took time out of his busy day to attend and was standing in the back of the room the entire time. As the ceremony wrapped up he came up to me and said whenever you stop in here next, you come find me and the first drink is on me while you tell me about your goals for this incredible club.

Every time since then when we stopped in for lunch or dinner at MJ’s, if Mark was there and spotted me, the first drink was already waiting. Mark leaves behind an incredible legacy that will far outlive him. He was a dedicated man of his word and always made sure everyone was taken care of and happy. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who can fill Mark Jug’s shoes.”

John Fritsch: “Hearing of the passing of Mark Jug is a sad time. He was a great person who cared and always said hi to you. Whether he knew you or not. He welcomed you to his restaurant like you were part of his family. I had a couple of his children in my classes when I was teaching. His kids were just like him, always polite and had a smile on their faces. He will be missed by all. He would put out his hand to shake when he came by your table or walking in his place. His food and service were 5 star service every time you went to eat at M.J. Stevens. Prayers and thoughts go out the family of Mark as well to all his former and current employees were also part of his family. Thank you Mark for years of service and knowing you. You will be missed ALL.”

Bob Bonenfant was a frequent visitor to MJ Stevens. “He was successful at whatever endeavor he attempted. If you were around here anytime over the past 40 years you either had a drink or something to eat at one of his places. He was a very nice guy.”

Rick Taetsch: “Mark, rest in peace, fantastic human being, the world will miss you, your kindness, caring, thoughtfulness, and deep laugh will live forever in our memories.. He provided so much joy in his personality, he enjoyed an adult beverage with his friends,

Loved his families, great businessman, heck of a restaurant owner, gave back to the community, Made strong lasting relationships.. Mark enjoy story time with Brain. “Absolutely superb “

Randy Geier has been a friend of Mark Jugs for the last 30+ years.

“My wife, Dawn , worked for him for 30 years at MJs and I for the last 22 years. He was just the nicest, decent, most caring person I’ve ever met. It was a pleasure to work for him, because with Mark you weren’t just an employee, you were family.

He truly cared deeply about his customers and that they have a great dining experience at MJs because with Mark the customer always came first. The things Mark did out of the public eye, the people and families he’s helped are a testament to the big giving heart he had. He will be missed by so many people.”

Funeral details will be posted when information becomes available.

Swarm of bees descend on home in West Bend

It was a quiet Saturday afternoon as a West Bend couple awaited the start of the Kentucky Derby…. and then the swarm of bees arrived.

“From the round plant by the berm there was a swarm of bees that landed in the yard,” said Lori. “It was like locusts. It is insane, they were everywhere.”

Lori sent this message: Ok… so this happened today….. about noon a locust-like swarm invaded the southeast side of our yard. It was insane, not knowing what it was! Well it turned out to be a bee swarm…they decided to make a temporary home in our tree by the pool.

A video provided by the homeowner shows a sunny afternoon at a home off 18th Avenue and while it is difficult to see … trust her, it is bees. A lot of bees. “They started going away but 10 minutes later I see them in the tree,” she said.

The bees have enveloped a tree branch. “They are hanging on each other.” Early word is the queen bee is in the middle of the cake of bees.

Neighbors flocked to see the swarm of bees. “I told them $2 a picture,” said Lori. “What else can happen in 2020? These are the Rona bees.” If anyone wants to professionally remove the bees, please message me and I will put you in touch with the homeowner.

Addison and Nathan’s summer butterfly project

Their classmates may not know it but Addison, 6, and Nathan, 7, of West Bend are entomologists and they spent the summer improving their education as lepidopterists.

Together the brother and sister raised over 100 monarch butterflies and they know so much …. they could teach a class. “The boy butterflies have a spot on the inside of their wings and the girls don’t,” said Addison. “That’s how you tell the difference between a boy butterfly and a girl butterfly.”

The kids and their mom, Katy Moon, have been raising butterflies for several years. They have a garden full of milkweed and colorful flowers and they’ve built a large enclosure with netting and sticks to watch as their science project moves through the stages from egg to caterpillar and then chrysalis to butterfly.

“We find them (the eggs) under the bottom of the leaves of milkweed,” said Nathan. “My mom had the idea of raising them because they’re getting extinct.”

The family glued sticks inside the frame of the butterfly house. After the caterpillars would spin into a chrysalis the kids would attach those to the sticks and watch the metamorphosis; within 10 days the green chrysalis would turn transparent and a black and orange butterfly would emerge.

“I like it because we get to release the butterflies after we hold them,” said Nathan..

Honoring Marilyn Merten

Family, friends, and elected officials gathered at Washington County Fair Park on Wednesday evening to pay tribute to long-time County Board Supervisor Marilyn Merten.

Merten was honored with a plaque that read: In honor of Marilyn Merten.

Celebrating her years of service to the citizens of Washington County and the Town of Polk as a County Board Supervisor, County clerk, Germantown School Board Member, Town of Polk Municipal Clerk, and Town of Polk Municipal Treasurer. As an avid supporter of the communities and people who she represented, her dedication to the ideals of public service were so greatly appreciated.

Marilyn Merten is recognized for her contributions as the Town of Polk Municipal Clerk and Municipal Treasurer, a Germantown School Board member from 1977 to 1998, the first female Washington County Clerk from 1994 to 2005, a member of the County Board Supervisors from 2008 to 2020, a member of the Washington County Historical Society Board from 2008 – 2018, and a member of the Agricultural and Industrial Society Board since 2008.  On behalf of a grateful County, we dedicate this permanent symbol of our gratitude and appreciation.

Former Washington County Board Chairman Ken Miller could not be in attendance and sent a note to be read at the event.

Dear Marilyn,   I am so sorry I cannot attend your retirement from the County Board.

Our paths have paralleled for quite some time starting with the Republican Party, through the years at the County up to the Ag-Industrial Society.

During those years we worked together on numerous projects, through some turbulence, but always came to a solution.

I was always impressed with your perfection no matter what. (Sometimes a bit annoyed as you know perfection was not one of my better traits). Whether it was grounds keeping, elections, minutes, rules of order and the list goes on. This was the case, even when personal adversity struck, you were always there.

Through all that, it has been and still is a pleasure to work with you. I wish you all the best and thank you for your tireless service to the people of the county.  God Bless, Ken Miller

Merten was humbled by the recognition. “I never expected anything like this… I just did what I did,” she said.

Baskin Robbins history in West Bend

As the Baskin Robbins / Dunkin store nears completion on W. Washington Street in West Bend we pause to look back when Baskin Robbins / 31 Flavors was first in the community.

Kathy Leisman Suchon was a teenager in West Bend when her parents, Ken and Shirley Leisman, opened the first Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Store in the West Bend Plaza.

“It was by the old Kohl’s Food Store in the mall on Main Street,” said Suchon. “On the other end of the mall was Alston’s clothing store and we were right in that middle by the garden area on the right-hand side. I remember the whole front and side of the store were all windows.”

Suchon also remembered a Ben Franklin in the strip mall and RadioShack, 842. S Main Street. (RadioShack filed bankruptcy Feb. 5, 2015. The store in the West Bend Plaza closed at the end of May 2015.)

“My mom and dad opened the Baskin Robbins in 1974 and we had it until 1978,” she said. “Right about the time we first opened you could buy a coupon for a $1 and it had four squares and each square was worth one scoop of ice cream. So, each scoop was a quarter which was pretty amazing,” she said.

Suchon’s brother was 14 years old when he worked at Baskin Robbins. He said minimum wage was $2 an hour when he started.

The many windows at the store became a marketing tool as Suchon’s mother came up with a clever plan.

“She would call the grade schools and elementary schools and they would have an art class come and paint murals on the windows; it was mainly during the holidays,” she said. “My mom thought it was neat to have the kids paint the windows and then for the next month the kids could bring their parents and show them what part of the mural they painted and then have an ice cream. My parents were very family focused and thought that was a neat program.”

In 1976 with the Great Ice Storm on March 6 and 7 the power went out at the store. “We had so many tubs of ice cream in the freezer and we didn’t know what to do,” said Suchon. “The National Guard was in town with headquarters based at Badger Middle School. My parents took all the ice cream over to Badger School and scooped ice cream for all the National Guard members that were there.”

Suchon said her parents got into the ice cream business because they really wanted to do something together. “They thought what is better than an ice cream parlor that brings families together and everyone is happy when they get ice cream and they just thought it would be really fun,” she said.

For a teenage perspective it was fun. “It absolutely was fun,” Suchon said. “We always had ice cream in the freezer at our house. Most of my birthday parties were at the store and my friends would love to come and be able to scoop their own ice cream.”

One of the interesting things about the franchise was the Baskin Robbins headquarters was is in Burbank, California. “It is warm there 12 months of the year and having a shop in Wisconsin was definitely different. Not too many people are thinking about ice cream when it is below zero, so that was definitely a challenge,” said Suchon.

Something funny Suchon’s mom always chuckled was the selection of flavors.  “Every month a lot of the flavors changed.  We had a bubblegum ice cream that was popular and a daiquiri ice that was popular. But my mom laughed because of all the different flavors of ice cream my favorite was vanilla and that is still true today,” she said.

The Leismans sold Baskin Robbins to a woman but within a year the store closed completely.

“Still to this day when I come back to West Bend, I visit the store site. I had a lot of fun memories with my mom and dad,” said Suchon.

Milton Kenneth “Ken” Leisman  Feb. 10, 1928 — Feb. 25, 2015. He was 87 years old.

Ken was born Feb. 10, 1928, in Oconomowoc, the oldest son of Mavis (Schirmacher) and Rev. Milton B. Leisman. Ken graduated from Columbus High School in 1946 and then enlisted in the United States Air Force, where he served as a Staff Sergeant in Japan and Germany. After serving his country, he attended Northland College in Ashland. While attending college, he met his future wife, Shirley Ann Holvick, whom he married on Sept. 8, 1951.

Ken graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a B.S. in Journalism in 1953. He worked as an advertising manager and technical writer, but his most rewarding job was owning and operating a Baskin Robbins Ice Cream store in West Bend. Ken loved playing cards, traveling in his RV, listening to big band music, watching Green Bay Packer games and spending time with his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed volunteering for the West Bend Communication Patrol and was honored with a Community Service Award in 1982. He was a lifetime member of the VFW. He is preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Shirley Leisman.

Silver Spring Collision in West Bend sold to Crash Champions

It was 1996 when Joe Lamberty moved his business, Silver Spring Collision, to West Bend.  “This spot at 3000 W. Washington Street used to be home to the Golden Knight Supper Club,” said Lamberty.

In the late 1980s Art Von Schloedorn, Ernie Von Schloedorn’s son, had the property for a used car lot. At the time Lamberty owned a self-serve car wash up the street. “Art came in and said his dad wanted him to give up the car lot in West Bend and run one of the dealerships in Mayville,” he said.

Lamberty offered to buy the property and build a body shop; that was the start of Silver Spring Collision in West Bend.  “I knocked over the restaurant and we opened the body shop in April 1998,” he said. “I’ve been here ever since.”

At the time Lamberty’s neighbors included Young’s Royal Ford-Lincoln-Mercury Inc. across the street. “The self-serve car wash I owned is where the Russ Darrow Chrysler dealership is now. I sold that to Steve Kearns and he tipped it over and built Kearns Motor Cars and then sold it to Darrow,” said Lamberty. Kiddie corner was the old Devenport family farm, now home to Morrie’s Honda and down the street the Holiday Inn and later Fanta Suites.

Silver Spring Collision started as a 12,000-square-foot shop; a 13,500-square-foot addition was quickly built to the east. Lamberty also had a 2.5-acre parking lot out back.

On Tuesday, the office at the 30-bay autobody shop was operating at a NASCAR pace as members of the incoming team, Crash Champions, was setting up shop to take over.  “It has been a wonderful run and I get along good with the insurance companies and we kept growing and growing and now it is time for me to step back and let the younger generation take over,” said Lamberty.

At 69 years old, Lamberty said he “knew it was time.”

“I’d rather do this while I’m healthy and I still have some years where I can travel,” he said.

Choosing to work with Crash Champions came after a lot of research according to Lamberty. “My son and all the 14 employees will stay on board,” he said. “That’s what the beauty is with this whole deal; they are a standup company. We worked 10 months on this deal.”

Lamberty said the company is straight forward. “These guys are coming into this building and they’re making an investment into the employees and the community,” he said. “We were state-of-the-art but they are going to update that and run with it. They have a network of 50 shops and they’re on top of their game.”

Asked what was ahead for retirement. “I don’t know. I’ve got to decompress and tie up the deal here,” he said.

Questioned what was one of his most significant memories about running the shop. “In all these years, 24 years I’ve never had any vandalism, no theft and I only had two bounced checks,” said Lamberty. “That is phenomenal.”

Lamberty started his shop at 16th and Silver Spring in 1987. “I was renting various buildings in Butler and Brookfield and I ended up on Silver Spring running a body shop called Silver Spring Collision,” he said. “That serviced Bob Brown Nissan, Hobbs Honda, Schlessinger Toyota and Schlessinger Nissan.”

After 13 years in business Lamberty sold his business in Brookfield and the one on Silver Spring.  “I took two years off and when I wanted to get back in again I talked to the insurance companies and asked them which area I should target Washington County and that’s how I ended up out here,” he said.

Crash Champions announced September 1, 2020, its expansion into the Milwaukee, Wisconsin market with the acquisition of Silver Spring Collision Center in West Bend, WI.

The Lamberty family owned Silver Spring Collision, 3000 W. Washington Street, West Bend, since 1983 and it has been a family owned-and-operated facility for over 40 years.

With the addition of this facility, Crash Champions continues its rapid growth strategy and expansion throughout the United States with 40 locations in Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, and California.

“I’m excited about this location because it is a very nice well-equipped facility.  They also share our operational standards for high-quality repairs and great customer service,” said Matt Ebert, CEO of Crash Champions.  “This acquisition is another big step in our expansion as it marks our entry into the state of Wisconsin.”

On a history note:  According to Al Luedtke of West Bend the “Golden Knight was just west of the Harley-Davidson dealership which used to be Frontier Bowl.” Luedtke sold the Golden Knight in 1978 to Larry and Diane Block who named it Blocks Supper Club. They leased it to Dean Derge who turned it into a night club called City Limits.

Obituary Susan Martens, 69, formerly of West Bend

Susan Martens (nee Lockman), 69, of Newbury Park, CA passed away peacefully on August 28, 2020 after a brave fight with cancer.

Sue was born August 16, 1951 in West Bend, Wisconsin. She was preceded in death by her parents Robert and Margaret Lockman and older sister, Julie.

Sue is survived by her husband Jerry Martens, brother James (Marcia) Lockman of Eden Prairie, MN, niece Lindsay Lockman, nephew Robert Lockman and numerous cousins. Sue will always be remembered for her wonderful sense of humor and infectious laugh, which she maintained during her final days.

Sue graduated from West Bend High School in 1969. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Milton College. She pursued a career with Wang Laboratories first in Milwaukee, WI then in Minneapolis, MN.

After marriage to Jerry Martens in 1980, they moved to the Los Angeles area where Sue worked first as a civilian contractor and then directly for the U.S. Navy. Sue was never able to discuss her duties with the Navy, however from some recognition awards we know her position was Air-4. OP Facilitator supporting the Target’s Flight Clearance Process.

The family is planning a private fall ceremony to celebrate Sue’s life. Memorials in Sue’s name may be sent to Fifth Avenue Methodist Church, 323 S. Fifth Avenue, West Bend, WI 53095 or Kettle Moraine YMCA, 1111 W. Washington St., West Bend, WI 53095.

 

Washington County veterans participate in Honor Flight Parade

Sixteen veterans from Washington County were among 175 veterans that gathered on Canal Street on Saturday, August 29 under the shadow of Miller Park to participate in the Stars & Stripes Honor Flight Parade. The event was held to recognize veterans in light of a canceled flight to Washington D.C.

The event got underway with the singing of the National Anthem by Vintage Mix from Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Police on Harley-Davidson motorcycles then led the parade followed by the Patriot Riders and Rollin’ Thunder motorcycle groups.

Veterans from Washington County that participated in the Honor Flight Parade are listed below

Daniel Barney            West Bend     Army  Vietnam/Vietnam

Robert Duehring       Kewaskum    Army  Vietnam/Vietnam

Thomas Farvour      Germantown       Army  Vietnam/Vietnam Era

Preston Jackson      West Bend         Air Force      Vietnam/Vietnam Era

Walter Kohler          West Bend        Army  Korea

Charles “Mike” McCormick    West Bend  Army  Vietnam/Vietnam Era

Walter Nowak        Slinger         Army  Vietnam/Vietnam Era

Tom Okruhlica        Jackson  Navy  Vietnam/Vietnam Era

Gordon Peszko       Hartford  Army     Vietnam/Vietnam Era

Gary Pichler           Colgate  Army           Vietnam/Vietnam Era

Arthur “Jim” Scherer  West Bend   Navy Vietnam/Vietnam Era

Mike Schreiber       West Bend        Navy Vietnam/Vietnam Era

Gerald Schwenke      Colgate          Army  Vietnam/Vietnam Era

Patrick Sharkey        Germantown Marines Vietnam/Vietnam Era

Lloyd Westerman    Kewaskum     Army  Korea

Chuck Woodhull   West Bend   Army     Vietnam/Vietnam Era

Around the Bend by Judy Steffes

Sirens sound as Newburg couple celebrates 72nd wedding anniversary

Considering their age… the sirens that approached Friday night could be misconstrued for an emergency but the Newburg Fire Department rolled up to the driveway of Lucy and Norbert Carter to personally wish them a happy 72nd wedding anniversary. It could be the start of a Midwest tradition…. After a short panic and check of the pulse Norbert and Lucy welcomed the good wishes.

Lucy was 21 years old when she got married; Norbie was 18.

“We met at the Newburg centennial picnic,” said Lucy. It was July 27, 1947.

“I was there with my parents, standing on the merry go round with my little sister and he was looking at me.”

Norbert was with his buddies. “They were pretty wild,” said Lucy. “They were noisy.”

It did not take long and the pair were going out. Norbert picked her up in his black 1931 Chevrolet. The four-door had spoke wheels and there was white writing on the driver’s side and passenger doors. “Don’t spit the driver can’t swim” and “Peaches here’s your can.”

Lucy is almost 93.  Norbert turned 90 in April. Both vividly recall their wedding day August 28, 1948.

“We were married in the Newburg Holy Trinity priest’s house,” said Lucy. “I was Catholic and Norbert was Lutheran.”

“They wouldn’t marry us in the church,” said Norbert.

“And the bride could not have a sleeveless dress,” Lucy said.

Sitting in the couple’s driveway on Highway M on Friday night, both acknowledged the recent passing of Jack Eggers of Campbellsport. “He drove at my wedding,” said Norbert.

Black-and-white pictures of their wedding day are eased out of a large crisp white envelope. “I bought my dress up in Fond du Lac and that bridal shop, Edith’s, is still open,” said Lucy. “We all went into the priests house; only immediate family were allowed in.”

The couple first lived with Lucy’s grandmother. “Oh, and the rent was high,” said Norbert. “It was $15 a month. “There was no in-door plumbing. We had a hand pump for water and the toilet was up on the hillside.”

Three years after getting married the couple bought 1-acre of land from Lucy’s parents farm. “We started to build our own house in 1951 and we lived in the basement,” said Norbert. “I put tar paper over the top.”

Norbert laid all the block walls in the basement with the help of his brother. “The block were 12 inches and weighed 92-pounds apiece,” he said. “We poured the footings with a hand mixer that had a little electric motor on it. We wheeled it down in the hole on a ramp.”

“We both worked during the day and then we would come home at night and Norbert’s brother would dry mix the mortar during the day and we would eat supper and they would work on the roof half the night under the moonlight,” said Lucy.

“One night a neighbor complained, we can hear you pounding away,” said Norbert. “That was when I was putting shingles on the roof. Not a crack in those walls though….”

It was January 1951 when the couple realized their construction project would be put on hold. Norbert was drafted into the U.S. Army. He entered service in 1952. He spent 15 months and 22 days in Korea

“I never got to go to high school,” said Norbert. “I was put on the farm to help my uncle because he couldn’t get a hired man during the war.”

Norbert was one of seven boys in the family; four of his siblings were also in the service. “My dad was in World War I; my oldest brother was in the Navy during Pearl Harbor. Two of my brothers were in Germany, two of us were in Korea and my youngest son was in Desert Storm.”

Norbert went to Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania for basic training. That was followed by a stint in Washington and later he spent 17 days on a ship to Japan.

“We spent one night in Japan, got back on the boat and I spent the next 15 months and 22 days in Korea,” Norbert said.

Immediately stationed on the front line, Norbert recalls his orders.

“We were on night patrol and walked up to one area and were handed a steel vest and they said ‘put it on — this is the area where you need it’ and we walked some more and pretty soon we were up on Old Baldy,” he said referencing the site of five engagements during a 10-month span of the Korean War.

“For 32 days I helped build bridges while we were under fire,” he said. “There were some Army tanks on a couple mountains up there and we had to get them back for service work.

“The biggest bridge we had was 280-feet long and it was all steel treadway. We couldn’t work during the day because the enemy could see us and every day for the first five days the bridge was knocked out by artillery, so each day we had to tear it out and start over.”

Back home Lucy was working at Badger Meter in Brown Deer. “Most of the time I stayed with my parents. A neighbor man would pick me up and take me down to work where we made bullets,” she said.

Norbert and Lucy corresponded via letter. “It took 29 to 30 days when I mailed a letter to her and it was airmail; for her to mail a letter to me it took the same amount of time,” said Norbert.

 

One story about mailing a package to Korea involved a homemade hickory nut cake with frosting. “His mother sent the cake and it took weeks to get there and once they received it the frosting was all moldy,” said Lucy.

“The guys around me said, ‘We’re going to have dessert.’ We opened it up and it was green. In true soldier fashion, the fellas got some spoons and scraped the frosting off and ate the cake,” Norbert said smiling.

The letters Lucy received were censored. “The letters all had been opened and if they didn’t like something, they just cut it out,” said Lucy.

Upon his return Norbert said, “It was 19 days going over to Korea on a ship and it took 18 days coming back. Norbert was discharged in 1953 as a staff sergeant Section B in the Second Division Combat Engineers.

“We landed in San Diego, California. We came in on a ship and went under the Golden Gate Bridge and within two hours we went over the top on a bus and we were there two or three days and then bused to Camp Carson Colorado.”

“I drove all the way to Colorado to pick him up and bring him home,” said Lucy.

When Norbert and Lucy reunited at home things moved quickly. “The day we moved into the house, June 1955, was the day I brought home my first daughter,” said Lucy.

Over the years the Carters had four boys and four girls. Today their family has grown to 16 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

“I used to sew lots of clothes,” said Lucy. “We wore aprons and I had an electric sewing machine and got my material from JC Penny.”

Lucy credits her mother and grandmother for her skills, both sewing and in the kitchen. “The family liked my homemade noodles, homemade sweet rolls, and coffee cakes,” she said.

“And homemade bread,” said Norbert.

Both Norbert and Lucy tended a big garden. “Norbie has been called the Tomato Man,” said Lucy.

The Carters said the hard work they experienced throughout their lives is what they credit as the secret to a long and happy marriage.

Body found in Washington County

A body has been found in Washington County and the Washington County Sheriff’s Department is investigating. According to Sheriff Martin Schulteis the body was found Monday, August 24, 2020 in the Town of Addison. An autopsy is currently underway. Schulteis declined further questions regarding where the body was located, how it was found, or the gender. “This is all still under investigation,” he said.

More details will be released as information becomes available.

Building home to Rose Marie’s Hair Designers for sale

Watch for a For Sale sign to go up shortly at the corner of Chestnut and Main Street in West Bend as the building that is home to Rose Marie’s Hair Designers is on the market, 408 S. Main Street.

The property is listed by Adam Williquette, president of American Commercial Real Estate.

The building was constructed in 2002 and the parcel is priced at $239,000. Click HERE for details.

Prior to the hair salon moving in September 2011 the location was home to Morning Glory Coffee & Conversation owned by Marianne Olson. In September 2000, Morning Glory had been located across the street, 349 S. Main Street, in the cream city brick building when her delicious coffee and scrumptious homemade bakery outgrew the location.

The shop jumped kitty-corner to 408 S. Main where Marianne purchased a big coffee roaster and meticulously decorated for the ever-changing season.

The coffee shop which was later purchased by Mark and Tina Thull. The couple from Kewaskum bought the business in August 2008 but by December 2009 the Thulls were looking to close. After a brief hiatus they hired a new manager and reopened briefly in February 2010.

Prior to Morning Glory the southwest corner of Main and Chestnut was home to Rick Takacs and Meadowbrook Market.

Meadowbrook Market had fresh produce in the summer, pumpkins in October and Christmas trees in December. The corner store had an open concept and car-dealership streamers of colorful flags above the lot. The corner sign featured a farmer in a straw hat holding an ear of corn. The building was razed in April 2002.

On a history note: Remember her big dog that laid on the carpet at the entrance to Morning Glory Coffee shop. The dog was a 100+ pound Samoyed. What was its name?

Horicon Bank’s Shred Day is Saturday, September 12

Make your life more secure by shredding old documents and make your community better too. Horicon Bank, 1535 W. Paradise Drive, in West Bend will be collecting donations for the Wisconsin Honor Flight at its Shred Day event, Saturday, Sept. 12 from 10 a.m. – noon.

Two homes razed on W. Washington Street in West Bend

Two homes in the 2100 block of W. Washington Street are being razed to make way for a new two-story office building. The homes are being leveled to make way for a 6,334-square-foot commercial building located 2115-2121 W. Washington Street.

It was March 2020 when a site plan was reviewed for the new Oak Brook Dental, currently located at 1201 Oak Street, West Bend. Oak Brook Dental will occupy the upper level and the lower level will be built out for a possible second dental office pending approvals.

Zoning: The 0.71-acre lot is zoned B-1 Community Business District. Two driveways exist on the site and the new proposal will utilize the eastern most driveway connection to W. Washington Street.

A total of 24 parking stalls (22 standard parking and 2 barrier free parking stalls) are provided for the development. The parking requirement for a dentist\medical use requires 5 parking stalls per doctor and parking for employees based on the largest shift. Based on the parking calculations 28 stalls would be needed. The developer is requesting a parking exception for the reduced number of stalls based on the anticipated needs that the office will generate.

Lateral Service\Utilities: Sanitary sewer and water laterals will be extended from the existing mains W. Washington Street to serve the buildings. An apparent electric easement may exist along the property frontage and should be verified.

Grading\Storm Water Management: A storm water management plan has been submitted and reviewed for the development. Prior to the issuance of a building permit, the storm water management plan must be approved.

25th annual Boltonville Fire Department Street Dance is Saturday, September 12

The last big bash of the summer is Saturday night, September 12 at the Boltonville Fire Department. The Street Dance starts at 5 p.m. with food and refreshments. There is an $8 donation at the door to see Rebel Grace. Proceeds benefit the Boltonville volunteer Fire Department.

Celebrating women’s right to vote in Washington County

There was a large gathering outside on Veteran’s Plaza on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 as officials from Washington County gathered to honor the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment which granted women the right to vote.

Former State Assembly Majority Leader Pat Strachota was the guest speaker. Segments of her speech are below, Women Suffrage Centennial Speech.

“It was August 26, 1920 that the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, was finally ratified.

One hundred years ago the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution stated: The rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

This Amendment codified in law, for the first time that women, like men deserve all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and this still holds true today.

Whistles and bells rang out in cities all across America acknowledging this historic day.

“Susan B. Anthony, is probably the best known suffragette. She was recruited by Elizabeth Stanton to travel and give many forceful speeches including her famous quote, “Failure is impossible” as well as this excerpt from her best known speech after her arrest for casting an illegal vote in the presidential election of 1872.

And I quote, “It was we, the people, not we, the white male citizen, nor yet we the male citizen; but we, the whole people, who formed the Union. And we formed it not to give the blessings of liberty, but to secure them, not to be the half of ourselves and the half of our posterity, but to the whole people – women as well as men. And it is downright mockery to talk to women of their enjoyment of the blessings of liberty while they are denied the use of the only means of securing them, provided by this democratic-republican government – the ballot.”

These were powerful words by a lady who was small in stature but large in her thinking.

A depth of gratitude is owed to these women and all the suffragists who were willing to voice their opinions, sacrifice their time and dedicate their lives so women could have the right to vote and participate in forming their government and communities.”

Hartford Lions Club accepts Eagle Scout Project | By Thomas Sweet

The Hartford Lions Club is heavily involved with vision-impaired people all over the world.

The Lion Club teamed with Boy Scout Aaron Haas, 14, of Slinger as he worked to complete an Eagle Scout project to build eyeglass collection boxes. This was designed to be coordinated with a Boy Scout doing his Eagle Scout Project.

Haas and his family met with leaders of the Lions Club and Aaron persisted in getting the project okayed by his troop, fund raising and bringing together a group of fellow scouts to work on the project.

The design of the boxes was modified slightly and the final project looked very sharp. The boxes will be placed in high-traffic areas like U.S> Post Offices, credit unions, schools and libraries. Total man hours in the project hit 150.

Highlighted in Lions Club yellow and blue colors, the boxes are sure to raise public awareness of what the Lions Clubs stand for as well as increase the collection of used eyeglasses, which are then refurbished and sent to undeveloped countries all over the world.

Aaron is entering Slinger High School where he has been part of Student Council and National Honor Society.

He will be a class officer his freshmen year. He was on the Yearbook Committee and Forensic team all three years of middle school.

With the Scouts, he earned Life Rank, went through National Youth Leadership Training, got confirmed at Still Waters UMC, and became a member of Brotherhood of the Order of the Arrow.

Aaron also donated $890 to the Lions’ Club that represents fund raising that did not go to the actual project. This was all warmly received by the Lions Club organization.

Aaron gave a fantastic recount of the entire project and the Lions Club expects to see him going a long way in life. Many thanks for a job well done.

Halloween store to open in former Shopko building in West Bend

The big white storage pods sitting in the parking lot of the former Shopko, 1710 S. Main Street, in West Bend are filled with costumes and Halloween displays as the empty big box store will temporarily be home to Spirit Halloween.

There are 16 Spirit Halloween stores in Wisconsin. The store in Fond du Lac is currently open.

According to its website:

Spirit Halloween has one single goal, to deliver the very best Halloween experience possible to all of our guests. We are the largest seasonal Halloween retailer in the world and the premier destination for everything Halloween. Since being acquired by Spencer Gifts, LLC in 1999, we have grown from 63 locations to over 1,300 across the United States and Canada and service the globe on SpiritHalloween.com.

Emily Putnam with Spirit Halloween said the store in West Bend will likely open in a couple weeks. The store’s web page lists “planned to open September 3.”

The stores normally stay open through November with big sales after Halloween, October 31.

The Halloween supply store will only take up about a third of the front of the former Shopko building.  This is the second year Spirit Halloween has operated out of the old Shopko, which officially closed in June 2019. The last day for the Shopko in West Bend was April 15, 2019.

Trick or treat hours across Washington County.

Town of Addison 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25.

Village of Jackson 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31.

Village of Slinger 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31.

Village of Germantown 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. (Ben from the clerk’s office said, “Trick or treat will go on even if it snows…. like it did in 2019.” He said Germantown received 6 inches of snow. Remember that??

Village of Kewaskum 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31.

Village of Richfield 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31.

West Bend 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31.

Ghost sign discovered during demolition of Fleet Farm

As the final chapter of the old Fleet Farm, 1637 W. Washington Street, in West Bend comes to a close there was a brief glimpse of history caught as the demolition neared its final stage.

The northeast corner of the building is the oldest part of Fleet Farm. Barely visible on the dirty white brick is an arrow symbol pointing to the left with the words entrance. That same sign can be seen in the submitted photo below. The blocked windows can also be seen in the video on the back side of the building.

According to Terry Becker with You Know You Are from West Bend….

“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 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.”

A couple recollections from the old, old store.

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.

Matt Smith – Small squared off room was the ammo room. I helped expand it in 2001 when we started to fill CO2 tanks and did fishing line spooling. Also, the NE corner rumor had it was a former machine shop. The original blueprints for the build when it turned to fleet farm were in a crawl space up in the SW corner of the store. Many memories in that building.

Letter to the Editor |     | By Kraig Sadownikow

I recently took a look at a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center that came out the first week in August.  It revealed why voters support either President Trump or Joe Biden.

The survey listed various important traits of a quality candidate such as leadership, policy positions and temperament.  It also listed a few attributes independent of performance such as party affiliation.

A full 72% of those intending to vote for President Trump say they support him for quality-based reasons while 38% support him simply because he is Republican or for other undisclosed reasons.  It is pretty powerful that a super-majority of supporters have clearly taken the time to research the President and recognize tangible job performance-based reasons for endorsing him.

Most startling to me, however, is the leading reason supporters of Joe Biden are choosing him as their candidate.  He is not supported for what he has done, he is not supported for what he plans to do.  He is not even supported for who he is.  He is being supported for who he is not.  56% of Joe Biden’s support comes because he is not President Trump.  To me, this means virtually anyone could be on the Democrat ticket in November and would get support of 56% of Democrat voters.  This is a scary statistic that hopefully causes real concern to the American people and acts as a gut-check for Democrat supporters.

Not being President Trump may help Joe Biden get elected.  Big deal.  Once in office though, don’t we all want someone there whose supporters voted for them because they had great ideas, was a quality leader, and because they believe in the American people and values?

Electing a President because they are not someone else may feel good at first but is this really good for the United States?  Ideally the candidate I support for valid reasons will win.  If not, at a minimum, I would like the candidate that does win to have support for who they are and what they plan to do and not be supported just because they are not someone else.

I understand there are those who do not support President Trump.  If you feel that way, don’t vote for him.  Similarly, if you do not support Joe Biden for who he is, please don’t vote for him either.  It is insulting to our Republic, our history, and is dangerous for all Americans.

Kraig K. Sadownikow

City of West Bend

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

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.

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