News

Michigan Street closed for repairs starting Monday

You will have to find an alternative route to get across the channel in downtown Sturgeon Bay starting Monday.  The Michigan Street Bridge will be closed to traffic for two weeks for repairs from damage caused by a semi-truck early this fall.  The bridge will be closed through this Friday and then reopen for the weekend before closing again December 13-17 to finish the repairs.   Drivers should use either the Oregon/Maple Bridge or the Bayview Bridge during the closure.  The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says crews may finish earlier than scheduled depending on weather and conditions.  The Michigan Street Bridge will remain open to marine traffic during the two-week period.  

Sportsmanship emphasized during sporting events

With the winter sports season ramping up in gymnasiums throughout Door and Kewaunee Counties, local athletic directors want to remind fans and students that sportsmanship should carry over into the stands as well as on the court or mat.  Janesville Parker school officials apologized earlier this week when students wore what they described as inappropriate attire for a dress-up theme during a girls basketball game the previous week.  Southern Door High School Athletic Director Korey Mallien says that they have not had any major issues and will occasionally remind the student body to have fun but to focus on cheering for their team while not lashing out at opposing teams.

 

 

Mallien says the school has a game manager and two ticket-taker supervisors with an administrator on-site to promote sportsmanship and monitor the conduct of fans.  He says Southern Door has done theme nights for games in the past but those are typically related to the students wearing all the same color shirts in the stands.

Stony Creek land earns protection

The Door County Land Trust announced recently the permanent protection of a stream bank along Stony Creek in southern Door County that spans a one-mile stretch.  This is the first time a conservation organization has purchased land within the 13-mile Stony Creek stream corridor, which is the largest in Door County.  Door County Land Trust Executive Director Tom Clay says the protection of the Stony Creek watershed may improve fish spawning habitat and ultimately improve the water quality flowing into Lake Michigan.

 

 

Door County Land Trust plans to restore a small portion of the property to create a buffer of native plants that will help lessen soil erosion and sedimentation in the creek.


Christmas trees benefit YMCA youth despite shortage

Your family still can find a real Christmas tree for your home’s holiday decorating.  A community tradition continues at the Door County YMCA in Sturgeon Bay with the annual Christmas tree sales.  The Door County YMCA has a limited quantity of trees left due to a shortage but had a dozen left leading into the weekend.  Tyler Powell from the YMCA says the proceeds from the sale benefit youth programs.

 

 

The trees range in price from $55 to $70 and can be picked up near the entrance of the Sturgeon Bay YMCA Program Center on Michigan Street. 

Algoma Public Library hosting holiday festivities

You can find holiday-themed activities all month long at the Algoma Public Library. During December, the library has something to offer for people of all ages. One of the events is the Holiday Open House on December 16th. Library director Cathy Kolbeck lists what you can look forward to while in attendance.

 

 

The library will also be holding a holiday craft week starting on December 6th. During the week, children will work on a holiday chain to decorate the library tree; there are also craft activities for teens on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Tuesday of that week, families are invited to join a Family Handprint grab-and-go kit. There will be a scrap tree ornament-making activity for adults who would like to drop in on Monday the 6th from 1-4 pm. In addition to the craft week and holiday open house, you can enjoy an interactive Polar Express viewing on Tuesday, December 7th. You will find a complete list of holiday events at the Algoma Public Library website.

Community Spotlight: Mayor David Ward enjoying Sturgeon Bay's progress

Leading the Sturgeon Bay City Council through the three past years has Mayor David Ward reflecting on the transition from infighting and dealing with challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, to the significant accomplishments in the past year.  Ward shares the improvements he is excited about in the city for 2022.

 

 

A career in finance, education, and the University of Wisconsin administrative system served Ward well before his voyeur into politics.  Ward spent most of his career as a finance professor at UW-Green Bay and UW-Oshkosh before becoming the Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs for the entire University of Wisconsin System.  Moving to Sturgeon Bay in 2000, Ward was elected mayor of Sturgeon Bay in 2019, after being appointed to the City Council in July of 2017.  You can listen to the entire interview with Mayor David Ward on the podcast page


Winter Storm Warning in the area until 9pm

The National Weather service has issued a Winter Storm warning in effect for Door County until 9pm tonight. Snowfall totals could reach 5 inches and light ice accumulations are possible. Expect poor visibility and wind gusts up to 35 mph. A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Kewaunee County until 6pm tonight. If you must travel, precautionary and extra preparedness is advised. Tune in to the DoorCountyDailyNews.com for the latest updates

First Omicron variant case in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced Saturday that a Milwaukee County man has the first case of the Omicron variant in the state. The man had recently returned from travels to South Africa and was fully vaccinated with a booster dose.  He reported mild symptoms and was not hospitalized.  The case is not related to the COVID-19 outbreak that the Department of Health Services and the City of Milwaukee Health Department are investigating.  You can read the complete DHS news release below.

 

First Case of the Omicron Variant Identified in Wisconsin

Governor Evers, DHS urge vaccination and continued public health practices to reduce the spread of the Omicron variant

Today the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has detected the newest variant of concern(link is external), the Omicron variant, in Wisconsin. The Omicron variant, B.1.1.529, was classified as a variant of concern by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on November 30, 2021. Variants are classified as variants of concern if they show evidence of being more contagious, causing more severe illness, or resistance to diagnostics, treatments, or vaccines.

To date, one case of the Omicron variant has been identified in a specimen from a Wisconsin resident with recent travel history to South Africa.

“We’ve been prepared for this news and will continue trusting the science to help keep Wisconsinites and our communities healthy and safe,” said Governor Tony Evers. “Now is the time to double down on our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, including the Omicron variant. I urge all eligible Wisconsinites to get vaccinated and receive a booster dose as soon as possible and to follow the latest public health guidance.”

The Omicron variant was first discovered in South Africa in November 2021 and has spread to the United States, including Wisconsin. The Omicron variant contains a concerning number of mutations to the spike protein. Certain mutations on the spike protein were already recognized on other variants and have been associated with increased transmissibility and antibody resistance. It will take several weeks to determine Omicron’s transmissibility, impact on disease severity, and the effectiveness of vaccines and treatments against it.

“With the detection of Omicron in Wisconsin, Wisconsinites should stay vigilant in their efforts to stay healthy and to help prevent further strain on our heavily burdened hospital system,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. "As we learn more about this variant and how easily it spreads, it’s crucial that all Wisconsinites continue to practice good public health safety measures like getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, staying home if you’re sick, and getting tested."

The person with the Omicron variant is an adult male and is a Milwaukee County resident who recently returned from a trip in South Africa. The person was fully vaccinated and had received a booster dose. The person reported mild symptoms and no hospitalization has been required. Contact tracing efforts have been completed. This case is not related to the COVID-19 outbreak that DHS and the City of Milwaukee Health Department are investigating.

Information on variant case counts is provided by the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene(link is external). Variants are identified through a process called whole genome sequencing(link is external). Whole genome sequencing takes a sample of the virus from a positive SARS-CoV-2 test specimen and reads its genetic code to determine the genetic makeup of the virus. DHS, the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, and other laboratory partners regularly perform whole genome sequencing on a portion of positive tests.

DHS is urging all Wisconsinites to follow these public health practices to protect against COVID-19, including variants like Omicron:

  • Get vaccinated.
  • Get your booster if you’re eligible.
  • Wear your mask in public indoor settings.
  • Stay home if you’re feeling sick.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • If you’re experiencing symptoms or have been identified as a close contact, get tested for COVID-19.

Everyone ages 5 and up can receive a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, the CDC now recommends that everyone 18 and older receive a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after having received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two months after their single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Vaccines are free and you do not need an ID or health insurance to get one. To find a vaccine location in your community visit vaccines.gov , or call 211 or 877-947-2211.

Johnson pushes for state legislature's take over of federal elections

The Wisconsin Legislature would have control over the next federal election you participate in if U.S. Senator Ron Johnson had his way. The idea came after a non-partisan report of the 2020 election found no widespread fraud or wrongdoing, but it also offered a number of ideas for continuous improvement in the future. While the Wisconsin Republican points out language in the U.S. Constitution that could allow state legislatures more control of federal elections, Democratic Governor Tony Evers told the New York Times it would be a vast overreach. Johnson believes the Wisconsin Elections Commission is doing things it was never intended to do when it was created by the state Legislature and signed into law by Governor Scott Walker in 2016.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission fought back on the audit during its public meeting on Wednesday, with both Republican and Democratic appointees calling the report unprofessional and inaccurate. The commission still moved forward on implementing some of the suggestions made in the audit.


Tugs prepared for winter fleet arrival

When you start seeing the winter fleet arrive later this month, you will also see several tug boats hard at work. It has been a busy year for Sarter Marine Towing with the pandemic not slowing them down too much, despite a drop in international ships visiting the area. Captain Steve Ross will spend some of the upcoming weeks getting dry docks set up for the winter fleet’s arrival to Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding. Whether it is a big laker, like the Arthur Anderson, or last month’s escort of the S.S. Badger, Ross says it is great to work in a community that appreciates its maritime history.

The winter fleet schedule is not finalized yet, but it usually begins in late December and continues into early March in some cases depending on the ship and the work that needs to be done.

Legacy endures for Farm Technology Days

The 15,000 hamburgers and the 11,250 bowls of ice cream served during the 2017 Farm Technology Days are long gone, but your college-aged students interested in agriculture can still benefit from the event now and well into the future. In addition to helping fund other projects in the county such as the Dana Farm Ice Rink in Kewaunee, the Andy Barta Legacy Show Pavillion in Luxemburg, and playground equipment in Algoma, Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days has funded over $18,000 in student scholarships.  The committee hopes to award the $1,000 scholarship to approximately 70 students over 10 years. Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days Committee Member Aerica Bjurstrom still looks fondly on the community support the event received and the impact it still has years later.

The application window is now open for alumni from Algoma, Kewaunee, Luxemburg-Casco, Denmark, Southern Door, and Mishicot in the second half of their post-secondary school career. Applications can be found here and must be completed by January 31st.

Friends of Peninsula State Park planning an inclusive playground

You might have noticed a missing structure at Nicolet Bay Beach in the Peninsula State Park after the old playground was taken down. The structure was removed for everyone's safety because it rotted and became overall unsafe. The Friends of Peninsula State Park have set out to build a new playground in its place that will be all-inclusive. The Friends secretary Judy Ortiz details what the inclusive playground brings.

 

 

Ortiz says the Friends of Peninsula State Park's mission is to make sure that everyone can enjoy the parks, and with the new playground, the ramp on the Eagle Tower, and the more accessible Nature center, their work has proved successful. The construction is set to begin in the Spring of 2022, with hopes of completion for the summer season. A lot of the money going towards the playground is coming from donations.  A donor has agreed to match $40,000 of dollars raised to support the Friends' goal. If you would like to donate to the cause, more information can be found here.


Vollenweider to make run at Kewaunee mayor

There could be at least one contested election in city government in Door and Kewaunee counties as potential candidates begin taking out their nomination papers. 

 

Jeff Vollenweider, who is currently one of the two aldermen representing  Kewaunee’s first district, took out his nomination papers to run for mayor. He could potentially face the city’s current mayor Jason Jelinek, who has also grabbed the necessary paperwork needed to begin his re-election bid. Janita Zimmerman will seek another term representing the third aldermanic district while Cathy Brown has begun circulating papers for the first aldermanic district being vacated by Vollenweider.  

 

Sturgeon Bay City Clerk Stephanie Reinhardt could not be reached on Friday, but at least two incumbents have made their intentions know (known) that they will be running again. Mayor David Ward indicated last month that he will run while Seth Wiederanders announced on Facebook that he has taken out nomination papers.

 

Only incumbents have taken out nomination papers in Algoma. Mayor Wayne Schmidt, First District Alderperson Kevin Schmidt, and Fourth District Alderperson Jake Maring have begun the process to run again for their respective seats.

 

Interested candidates can begin circulating nomination papers any time over the next few weeks, but they are due back to their respective clerk’s office by January

Vitamin D: A Powerhouse!

As the days get shorter and we spend more time indoors, getting enough Vitamin D is trickier! Vitamin D plays a role in almost every process in your body so it is important to keep healthy levels all year round!

 

What is Vitamin D?

Our bodies need Vitamin D to maintain healthy bones, reduce inflammation, maintain healthy muscles and brain function. Vitamin D keeps our metabolism functioning, and keep our immune system strong! A lack of vitamin D in the body can lead to a slew of health concerns, such as osteoporosis, or brittle-bone disease, decreased insulin production, and lowered immune function!

 

How much Vitamin D do you need?

The amount of vitamin D you need will depend on your sex, age, race, and sun exposure levels. People over the age of 65, people with darker complexions, and people who spend less time outside will need more vitamin D in their diets. Most adults need about 600 IUs a day. Those over 70 need even more vitamin D. Signs you might not be getting enough vitamin D are fatigue, bone pain, muscle weakness, and mood changes, like depression.

 

Where do we get Vitamin D?

Our biggest source of Vitamin D is the sun! When the ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun hit our skin, vitamin D synthesis begins. Most experts suggest direct exposure to the face, arms, and legs for 5 to 30 minutes mid-day several times a week. Sunshine can provide vitamin D, but it is hard to track how much vitamin D our bodies are producing based on age, time of year, sunscreen, skin complexation, etc. This means we must include vitamin D in our healthy and balanced diets. Food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines, mushrooms, fortified milk and yogurt products, and eggs.

 

 

Photo Caption: Many foods naturally provide Vitamin D including salmon, tuna, herring, and egg yolks. Vegetables sources include spinach, kale, okra, kale and soybeans. Many foods are fortified with Vitamin D including milk, cheese, cereal, and orange juice. Check the label to be sure. (Photo: Canva)

Protect yourself from "porch pirates"

Local law enforcement is warning you to take extra precautions when it comes to protecting your packages from thieves.   Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is the time when most parceled thefts occur.  Sturgeon Bay Assistant Police Chief Dan Brinkman says don’t leave your packages unattended for an extended long time.  He says a change of address done to have the package delivered to a neighbor or your work is a good idea.

 

 

Other tips include requesting notifications on tracking your deliveries via phone, text message, or email and requiring a signature on your deliveries to ensure packages are never left unattended.  A recent survey by Safewise found that 210 million packages were stolen from porches over the past year in the U.S and that 64.1 percent of Americans have been victims of package theft. 

Evers vetoes Workforce and Education Fairness Act, signs bill for clear ports and clean beaches

Governor Tony Evers approved one bill and vetoed another on Friday that was co-authored by Andre Jacque. 

 

A billed co-authored by State Senator Andre Jacque designed to extend tax deductions to postsecondary tuition to apprenticeship instruction has been vetoed by Governor Tony Evers.  In a statement issued Friday, Jacque says The Workforce and Education Fairness Act would have “leveled the educational playing field by addressing a significant financial barrier to these rewarding skilled trade careers.” 

 

All tuition for schooling programs that are approved by the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) qualifies as tax-deductible, but apprenticeship programs are not included.

 

Another bill that reforms DNR regulatory legislation by promoting the clearing of Great Lakes ports and supply chains, and encouraging to clean and restore beaches in the state was signed into law by Gov. Evers.  It will allow the reuse of clean sand removed from the Great Lakes.  Senate Bill 93 and Assembly Bill 99 will facilitate disposal of dredging material from Lake Michigan and Lake Superior and have the DNR exempt facilities from various solid waste.  The law will also require the DNR to hold a public hearing in the county where a facility is located before approving a request to accept dredged materials that contain PCBs or heavy metals.

 

One death reported as Kewaunee County's COVID cases remain high

The number of active COVID-19 cases went up as new cases outpaced recoveries in Kewaunee County again this week.  The Kewaunee County Health Department reported Friday that 139 more residents tested positive in the last week.  Active cases increased by 41 and now is at 149, with 97 recoveries noted.

 

Kewaunee County reported the 44th death from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic and two hospitalizations after having none last week.

 

Nearly half (48.8%) of Kewaunee County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is below the state average of 59 percent.

State passes 1M mark for COVID-19 boosters

Wisconsinites are finding that there are plenty of opportunities to get an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Over one million additional/booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered since they have been made available in August. Door County Medical Center announced last week it is only administering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster, which accounts for over 428,000 of the doses that have been administered statewide. Director of Outpatient Services Sandy Vandertie says it is available to anyone 18 years and over at least six months removed from completing their series with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine or two months ago with the Johnson and Johnson shot.

Medical professionals from across the state made their plea for residents to get vaccinated and take other precautions against COVID-19 as infections are on the rise and hospitals are being strained. Prevea Health CEO Dr. Ashok Rai admitted that one Green Bay hospital had to reject 28 patient transfer requests from other facilities outside of the area because of its capacity limits.

Baumann selected as new youth apprenticeship program director

A new face will be helping guide your children towards possible new career opportunities in Door County. The Door County Economic Development Corporation announced on Thursday that Lauren Baumann would be taking over the reins as its new Door County Youth Apprenticeship Program Director. She is not a stranger to working with youth in the county as she was previously a Certified Athletic Trainer. Baumann’s goal will be to continue the development and growth of the Youth Apprentice Program in Door County through the area’s five school districts as she connects them with local businesses. The Ahnapee Regional Youth Apprenticeship Consortium, which covers schools in Door and Kewaunee counties and the surrounding area, is currently ranked third in the state in terms of connecting local businesses with students to provide mentorship, support, and guidance.  

Musicians fill the air with holiday music

You will have plenty of opportunities to get into a festive mood with holiday music over the coming weeks. Midsummers Music’s Griffon String Quartet will be visiting local businesses in the area to perform mini-concerts with its ensemble. Birch Creek Music Performance Center sold out both of its Christmas concerts inside Juniper Hall on Saturday. That is also when Vic Ferrari’s Michael Bailey, Tran-Siberian Orchestra’s  Mark Wood, and Steve March-Torme take the Stone Harbor Resort stage for their holiday show “For Kids from 1 to 92!” at 7 p.m. The son of the lyricist behind “A Christmas Song,” March-Torme is excited to share the stage with Bailey and Wood to bring some holiday classics to life.

You will still have some opportunities to get your live holiday music fix. The Peninsula Symphonic Band will perform their holiday concert on December 9th while local schools will host their performances over the coming weeks. 

Diaper Bank a big success

Thanks to some generous donations and hard work by community members and students, the Kewaunee County Public Health has plenty of diapers and wipes for qualifying families needing assistance.  Public Health Director Cindy Kinnard says Luxemburg-Casco National Honor Society students raised over $1200 worth of diapers, wipes, and cash at the “Keep Their Bottoms Dry” event earlier this fall.

 


Kewaunee County Public Health received generous donations of diapers and wipes from the St. Mary’s Luxemburg Christian Mother’s Group from their Light Before Christmas Advent evening held this past Monday.  The Diaper Bank was started last year through an outreach program by Kewaunee County Public Health. You can find more information on diaper availability and schedule pick-up times by calling the health department at (920) 388-7160. 

Tractor Supply opens in Kewaunee

A new retail business has opened its doors in Kewaunee and is planning its grand opening on Saturday. Tractor Supply, which announced the purchase of the old Shopko Hometown building last April, had a soft opening on November 20.  Assistant Store Manager Jacob Joly says customers are excited to have a hardware store in Kewaunee.

 

 

The Kewaunee store is one of the company’s biggest locations, occupying about 35,000 square feet.  Joly notes that the store carries home improvement, agriculture, lawn and garden maintenance, livestock, and pet care supplies.  Headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, Tractor Supply has nearly 2,000 stores nationwide.

COVID-19 cases continue to spike, one death reported

With health officials reporting that Wisconsin has the fourth-worst rate of COVID positivity of any state in the country, Door County Public Health’s COVID-19 data on Thursday showed a significant increase in positive tests.  Since Monday, Door County has reported 101 new cases of the 206 test results.  The number of active cases also jumped by 86 and now stands at an even 400.  Three more people were hospitalized, and one more COVID-19-related death was reported though those numbers could lag based on the information they receive from the state.

The second omicron case was confirmed in the U.S. on Thursday, as Minnesota health officials stated a resident who had traveled to New York City tested positive.  

On the vaccination front, nearly three-fourths (74.8%) of Door County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.  Door County Public Health is offering second vaccine doses for COVID-19 for children 5 to 11 years old at the ADRC building by appointment from 4 until 6 pm this Friday. 

 

Door County Medical Center’s Fish Creek clinic announced pediatric COVID-19 vaccination clinics for Tuesday, December 14, and Thursday, December 16, from 4 until 6 pm.  The first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be available to kids five to 17 years old with required appointments.  The Door County Medical Center’s clinic staff will not be giving adult boosters during the Pediatric vaccination clinics.  To make an appointment for your child, call (920) 868-3511.

 

Battling slick roads while winter driving

With a couple of snowfalls in the rearview mirror and more on the way, now is the time to start taking the necessary precautionary measures before you go out and drive.

 

Monday’s snowstorm may have only dropped a couple of inches of snow, but the slick conditions may have been a factor in at least three vehicles going into ditches among other calls into Door County Dispatch. A set of snow tires could make a difference, but Randy Sahs from Sahs Auto and Collision Center says packing the right things in your car and taking it easy is something simple you can start with when winter weather hits.

A wintry mix of snow and rain is expected for Friday, but the area could also see accumulating snowfall on Sunday. Be aware that the poor weekend weather could have an impact on your morning commute on Monday.

Holiday shopping off to a strong start

You certainly were not alone the last few weekends if you decided to get a jumpstart on your holiday shopping.

 

The National Retail Federation announced this week that nearly 180 million shopped over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, including Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. It exceeded its expectations by over 21 million people and falls in line with the country’s four-year average. Thanksgiving shoppers spent an average of $301.27 on holiday purchases, which is about $10 less than last year. Sturgeon Bay storefronts were busy the last two weekends as shoppers not only celebrated Thanksgiving but also Christmas by the Bay the week before.

 

Cameryn Ehlers-Kwaterski from Destination Sturgeon Bay is encouraged by what they have seen so far.

You have some extra incentive to head to downtown Sturgeon Bay to shop. While the kids still have the opportunity to send Santa their wish list, adults can enter the Moo-La-La Giveaway whereby visiting local businesses they could win $1,000 in gift certificates in addition to other prizes.

 

Picture courtesy of Destination Sturgeon Bay

 

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