Do you remember Around the Bend? Saturday’s 2A

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Jan. 26, 2017 – West Bend, WI – Posting the story about the closing of Ooh La La… accessories let me dive into my archives to search for the brief article I wrote when the store on N. Main Street was going to open.

There are about 10 years of archives from a popular Saturday column called Around the Bend. It’s interesting to look back at local history – the old stores, hot topics, and relatively calm political battles we were waging.

Here’s the full column from August 15, 2009 that carried the piece announcing a new women’s accessories store prepping to open in downtown West Bend and there’s a smart-alec take on a motorcycle mishap on 18th Avenue. Good times!


AROUND THE BEND    AUGUST 15, 2009                                             BY JUDY STEFFES


A mailing from the Milwaukee Archdiocese went out to parishioners in Northern Washington County this week notifying members about area meetings Monday, August 17 and Wednesday, Aug. 19 in West Bend.

The goal of the meetings is for members of the community to provide input to the question, “What will Catholic Education in the Northern Washington county area look like in the future?”

The letter from Reverend William Patrick Callahan said, “This Task Force is encouraged to look at ways to promote a strong Catholic Identity and to foster continued growth in academic excellence in a way that is affordable for the students and parishes. This is an important opportunity for the parishes to “Think Big;” look beyond parish borders; and share resources in ensuring the highest quality of Catholic Education exists now and in the future.”

Area parishes already involved in forming a Task Force include Holy Trinity in Kewaskum, Holy Trinity in Newburg, Holy Angels in West Bend along with St. Frances Cabrini and St. Mary’s.

A note from Rev. Edwin Kornath in Kewaskum added, “This is not a process to merge schools, but to cultivate as many ideas as possible to assist us in planning for the future.

This past March a task force from St. Mary’s and Holy Angels were given a directive from the Archdiocese to develop a plan for consolidation of the schools by 2009-2010. That effort ran into some difficulties and an eventual impasse as committees suggested an expanded time frame to develop quality programs and build acceptance.

The upcoming listening sessions are intended to cultivate ideas and plan for the future of Catholic Education in the Washington County Area. Monday’s listening session will be at 7 p.m. at Holy Angels School and Wednesday’s session will begin at 7 p.m. at St. Frances Cabrini in the church hall.



A new store called Ooh la la… accessories is opening mid-September at 138 N. Main Street in downtown West Bend. The shop will feature ladies accessories, scarves, purses, sunglasses and jewelry. “We’re going to be a very low key, reasonable, fashion jewelry store that anybody can walk into and you’re not dropping fifty bucks,” said owner Kim Riley.

Ooh la la… accessories is located next to Ruth Anne’s Gourmet Market and will open in the storefront formerly home to West Bend Frame & Art.



A West Bend couple is using some creativity to try and sell their home. Roger and Linda Berth have had their house on Rhynie Court on the market for the last year and recently they posted a new sign off Silverbrook that reads: HOUSE FOR SALE INCLUDES GREEN BAY PACKER  SEASON TICKETS.

“We came up with the idea of including the Season Packer tickets as a way of peaking interest and increasing traffic flow through the home,” said Linda.

The Berth’s have owned the Packer tickets for about 25 years and “really enjoy going to the games, but we know that selling the house is imperative.”

“Since we put the sign up just two-and-a- half- weeks ago, we have had a number of people who have gone through. Only one couple said that they would have to give the tickets away because they weren’t Packer fans. That’s hard to believe,” said Linda.

The ranch style home is at 1319 Rhynie Court and is described as; meticulously maintained three bedroom brick home with a 3-and-a-half car attached side entry garage, spacious kitchen with lots of cabinets and ceramic floor, four seasons room with a sunken spa and ceramic/carpeted flooring and a gathering room with wood fireplace.

The Berth’s have lowered the price of the home three times. The property is currently listed at $289,000.



The West Bend school district will be removing five trees from the northwest side of Badger Middle School to make way for a new running track, football field and baseball diamond.

The district hired Wachtel Tree Science & Service Inc. of Merton to review the 32 trees in the area of 6th and Oak.

Director of Facilities and Operations Dave Ross said a Norway maple near the sidewalk on Oak Street had a bad split in the crotch and the tree would be removed for safety reasons. Four other trees in the middle of the lot would be removed to make way for the new field and track.

Ross said the remaining 27 trees would stay.

The district did not bid out the tree survey project and Wachtel Tree Science & Service Inc. was paid $1,100.

During a neighborhood meeting Tuesday, June 16 contractors from Ric Miller Construction of Milwaukee, VJS Construction Services of Pewaukee and Eppstein Uhen Architects of Milwaukee talked about future landscaping and how they were trying to be conscious of the neighbors and the community.

Robert Vajgrt from Eppstein Uhen Architects said one of their goals was to “maintain as much green space as possible and 80% of the trees will stay.”

Around the Bend contacted two certified arborists, Bob Gluck from Gluck Tree Care of Random Lake and Tom Clark of Kewaskum; each walked through the area near 6th Avenue and Oak Street last June.

Clark, who recently retired after 23 years as head forester with the City of West Bend, said a majority of the trees were 80 to 90-years-old and had a lifespan another 30 to 50 years. There were a variety of trees on the north end of 6th Avenue including silver maples, sugar maples, Schwedler maples, hackberry and white oaks.

Construction on the addition to Badger Middle School began earlier this week.


West Bend East High School teacher Scott Lone has been selected the 2009 Educator of the year by the Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools (GSAFE).

Lone was presented the Celebration of Leadership award during a May 16 banquet in Madison where he was recognized along with six students for “creating real change for lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered (LGBT) and ally students across Wisconsin.”

According to the GSAFE web site: “Scott Lone has been the target of conservative opposition and public scrutiny as an out history teacher at West Bend East High School, the fourth largest high school in Wisconsin.

He created his school’s GSA in 2003 and has worked to ensure a safe place for LGBTQ students and their allies ever since.

As club advisor he has created an environment to support LGBTQ students and discuss the harassment that many of them deal with at school.

He helped organize teams to participate in AIDS Walk and for the past six years spear-headed efforts to observe Day of Silence.

Scott also co-facilitated a support group for LGBT students. He regularly incorporates LGBT history into his U.S. History and Government/Law curriculum.

He is consistent and fair when addressing all harassment issues amongst students and staff. In the summer and fall of 2008 Scott faced intense public persecution in the form of accusations, innuendos, letters to the school board, school administration, and the State Attorney General because of his strong stance against one groups’ efforts to repeal the school’s non-discrimination policy.

Despite these attacks, Scott has continued to be a resource and strong support to LGBT students at his school.”



UW- Washington County is currently highlighting Eric Fleming on their billboard along Highway 45. Fleming attended UW-WC from 2001 – 2003. He received a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering in 2005 from UW -Madison and completed his Master of Science in 2007.

“UW-WC was a good start for me because I was able to continue living at home and maintain my existing lifestyle during my first two years of college, while saving money in the process,” said Fleming.

“With the small class sizes, I was able to develop one-on-one relationships with my professors and receive more individual attention from them than I would have at a larger university. With a small community feel to the school, I was able to feel valued because I knew many of the faculty and students, and many of them knew me,” he said.

Fleming currently works as an Operations Engineer with American Transmission Co in Pewaukee.

Prior to Fleming, Dr. Scott Fellenz, a veterinarian from Family Pet Clinic in Menomonee Falls, was featured on the billboard. Dr. Fellenz attended UW-WC 1978-80, graduated from UW-Madison in 1983 with a BS in microbiology and in 1987 graduated from UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine.



The West Bend Noon Rotary’s all-you-care-to-eat shrimp boil is Tuesday, Aug. 19. So, just how much shrimp are they ordering?

“I can’t really say at this point,” said event chair Patricia Leach who is working with Sysco on the order.

Rotarians decided as a group to offer West Benders an event that would give them their money’s worth in these troubled economic times and spread the word about the Rotary motto “service above self.”

“We want to show the community that yes, our money goes to causes that help them,” said Leach.

The shrimp boil is being held this year at Regner Park so the Rotary can highlight plans for their future splash pad, slated to be built early next summer.  “We are revitalizing the park to bring families back to our community and if an all you can eat shrimp boil can be the catalyst for that – let’s go for it,” said Leach.

Tickets are $15 and they’re available at the door or from any noon Rotarian. The bar opens at 5 p.m. and food will be served at 5:30 p.m.



Raffle tickets are on sale for the annual Holy Trinity Social Fest to be held August 22 at Riverhill Park in Kewaskum. The grand prize is $2,500 and proceeds benefit Holy Trinity.  “I am really floored at how generous businesses have been from Kewaskum to West Bend this year especially considering the economy,” said organizer Sharyl Zillmer about the donations received for the event.

Some of the live auction items include a maple foyer/sofa table donated by Mike Nigh Construction, a hand crafted captain’s chest donated by Rob and Joan Struebing, and homemade wine by Kenny and Sandy Bonlender. Tickets for Social Fest are available at the door or in advance at Holy Trinity School, Herriges Oil, and Geidels Piggly Wiggly.



The Wayne Heidel ~ Jennifer Semmann Foundation golf outing is Sunday, Aug 16 at Scenic View Country Club. The event benefits students and educational programs at nine area high schools and Wisconsin Lutheran College.

The benefit began as a way to honor Wayne Heidel who founded Heidel’s Restaurant in Jackson and died from Sarcoma cancer in February of 2006. Wayne’s daughter Jennifer Semmann was added to the event after she died unexpectedly in January 2008. Semmann, 43, was principal at MacArthur Elementary School in Germantown. More information on tomorrow’s outing can be found at the foundation website:



Chalk up multiple citations for a West Bend man who moved barricades and ran over wet cement at the 18th Avenue reconstruction project.

According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Department the incident occurred at 7:41 p.m. July 9 when Henry Jerome Krier Jr. moved a barricade so he didn’t have to drive all the way around the construction. His shortcut cost him $896.20 and nine points on his driver’s license.

Krier, 38, was cited for failure to obey an official sign in a construction zone, operating after revocation, operating without a valid motorcycle driver’s license, unauthorized display of registration and altering a registration sticker.

Washington County Sheriffs wrote the ticket and on that Thursday evening standing on the corner of 18th and Chestnut were a deputy, the motorcyclist, a West Bend police officer and a construction worker.

Almost the full cast of the Village People.



Just a couple notes to wrap-up details on my summer bicycle tour from Seattle, WA to West Bend.

I made it home Monday, August 3. I had been on the road since June 25 after completing the inaugural Rock n’ Roll Marathon in Seattle. Total bicycle miles amounted to 2,420. I had one flat, one broken spoke, three days with rain and only had to pay for three nights stay since the rest of the time people took me into their homes or I spent the night at churches.

People have asked if this was the best tour ever and the last trip is always the best, because it’s the most memorable. Being on the road and biking for about 10 hours a day, seeing sights, meeting people and hearing their stories are what make the tours unique.

Pedaling out of Seattle, climbing over the mountains and rolling through six states and into West Bend gave me a very satisfying sense of accomplishment.







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