Mayoral Candidates share leadership style---Series Part III

The two candidates hoping to be elected as the next Mayor of Sturgeon Bay are making their last push to sway voters on why they should be the next leader of the city.  At a recent candidate forum, David Ward, current council member and former UW-Green Bay Chancellor, says his work in the educational field will help with conflict resolution. 





Shawn Fairchild says he has the right demeanor and that conversations must be in an open environment to properly deal with conflict.



The mayoral election will be held next Tuesday.  



Full audio response from "What would your leadership and conflict resolution style as mayor?" at the forum below. 



Help Of Door County Shares Advice on Confronting Sexual Harassment

Help of Door County is working to prevent sexual harassment in the area by offering ways to confront it. A recently released EEOC study showed that at least one in four people are affected by workplace sexual harassment. Executive Director of Help of Door County Steve Vickman offers some advice in dealing with the problem of sexual harassment and domestic abuse.

Vickman says anytime offensive comments are made about women, even when they are not present, the person needs to hear that it is not tolerable behavior. He added that men can be victims of sexual harassment as well. According to a Washington Post survey, ten percent of men have experienced sexual harassment at work.



"Making Lawns Safer" presentation this Thursday at Crossroads

You can find ways to have a safer and more environmental-friendly lawn this spring by attending a program this Thursday.  The Door County Environmental Council (DCEC) is sponsoring a free presentation at Crossroads at Big Creek.  Dr. John J. Beck, a board member of the DCEC, says having a natural lawn is important.  



The safe lawn presentation by the DCEC will be held at the John Collins Learning Center at 7 pm on Thursday.    

Progress made on Forestville Dam fire department fill site

An alternative fire department fill-site near the Forestville Mill Pond and a more permanent fill-site appear to be progressing. The Southern Door County Fire Department and the Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department met informally at the mill pond.  The fire department would like to have a temporary fill-site below the dam when the mill pond is drawn down as part of a clean-up project.  Assistant Fire Chief Randy Massart says soil and water department officials appeared receptive to the department's proposals.



 The drawdown is scheduled to begin this November and will last two years before the pond will be refilled.

Jail update planned for April 8th

Kewaunee County residents will get an update on the months of work that have already gone into planning a new public safety building next month. The meeting will present the findings from its consultant that has gone through the current jail facility, which during its time has also housed the communications center and Sheriff’s Department offices. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says giving tours of the current facilities have been eye-opening for those willing to take him up on the offer.

Joski says you can contact the Sheriff’s Department to schedule a tour of the jail facility to learn more about the building’s deficiencies or mark April 8th at 5 p.m. on your calendar to attend the first planning meeting update at the Kewaunee County Administration Center. You can learn more about the meeting online with this story.




In a continued effort to keep our community informed as to the progress of the planning related to our Safety Building facility, I would like to provide as much of an update as I can. I say as much as I can as we are awaiting the first phase report out from our consultant which will be provided on Monday April 8th at 5:00 PM. This meeting will be at the Human Services Building in their large training room. If you are not able to attend, no problem, it’s not that big of a room. I will make sure that we provide a prompt report to everyone in as many sources and outlets as we can.


         The reason I use the title of the Safety Building Facility, is that we need to take into consideration all of the operations that are currently housed at the Safety Building which includes not only the Jail, but our Communications Center as well. Also, back in 1969 all of the Sheriff’s Department operations were contained in that building. Over the years we have grown, and as a result have had to develop options for much of our operational needs through use of various buildings. While we will make every effort to minimize the scope of this project to address our absolute needs, we also don’t want to overlook anything. I like the old saying “Measure Twice, Cut once” as a guide to an accurate planning and implementation process.


          One thing I can report on is that we recently held our second planning meeting at which time the Committee toured our current facility.  I think it was an eye opening experience for all who participated and provided an excellent backdrop to our need for urgency in remedying what has been and continues to be a great deficiency in both the housing of inmates as well as working conditions for our staff. While I do not feel comfortable articulating the various security deficiencies publicly, it is safe to say that there significant challenges we face as we not only care for and provide adequate housing to those remanded to our care, but also challenges in maintaining a safe environment for those men and women of the Sheriff’s Department who work every day in that facility.


           Just today I did a walk through with the Jail Lieutenant who has had to deploy the seasonal rain buckets in various areas of the jail to catch the water coming in through the roof. While it would be easy to say let’s just fix the roof, any money spent on that building would not be a wise investment of public resources, as the structural degradation is just one of many deficiencies. We can be proud of the service we received from that structure, but it is in fact time to turn the page. As I have in the past, I will offer my services to provide a tour of our current facility to anyone who is interested. Please feel free to call me at (920)388-7177.

NexGen Door County looks to keep young professionals

Keeping young professionals in the county with the highest average age is a major selling point for NexGen DoorCounty. The organization schedules events throughout the year focusing on professional development, community service projects, and social gatherings to help connect local businesses with the area’s rising stars. Molly Brauer from NexGen Door County says they are working with the Door County Economic Development Corporation to help not just attract young people to the area but give them reasons to stay.

NexGen Door County will honor its rising and shining stars at its awards event on April 24th in Egg Harbor. You can learn more about the event and the award nominees online with this story. 



Help on the way for student borrowers

Student loan expert Sandy Duckett is hopeful college borrowers in Door and Kewaunee Counties will get the help they need from a new proposal from President Donald Trump aimed at addressing the debt crisis. By introducing a cap on student loan borrowing and simplifying the repayment process last week, the administration hopes to make a dent in t debt crisis which has some graduates facing over $28,000 in loans to pay.  Duckett says the changes will have a positive impact on how people approach applying for loans in the future.

According to Forbes magazine, over 44 million borrowers have accumulated $1.5 trillion in student loan debt with the default rate hovering at around 11 percent.

Small farms benefit from new price proposal

A new proposal aimed at helping small to mid-size dairy farms could mean an extra $40,000 in the pocket of Thunderstruck Holsteins owner Greg Letter. According to a proposal from the National Farmers Organization, a two-tier milk pricing system would be established to pay farmers an extra four dollars per hundredweight of milk they produce a month up to 1,000,000 pounds. Farmers would make a lower amount per hundredweight if they exceed that amount. The proposed program could help farmers like Letter, who milks about 70 cows and produces just over 1,000,000 pounds a year. He would like to see the program narrowed down even further to help save family farms across the state.

The federal government would have to approve any price adjustments before the proposed idea can be implemented. Class III Milk price futures currently stand at approximately $15 to $16 per hundredweight over the next nine months.

Southern Door approves all-day 4-year-old kindergarten

The Southern Door County School district will help parents wanting to start their children in school early or face daycare challenges.  The board of education approved a full-day 4-year-old kindergarten option that will start this Fall.  That followed a survey indicating parental desire for such an option.  Superintendent Patricia Vickman says some parents are also looking for a chance to give their children an early advantage.



The all-day, 4K option will begin this coming Fall.  Parents will still have the options of enrolling their children in the half-day 4K program or the full-day five-year-old kindergarten programs.

Many people lack the necessary vitamin D

Many people in Door County may experience health problems because of a lack of vitamin D.  Produced primarily through exposure to the sun, Vitamin D works alongside calcium to help with bone density and regulating the immune system, as well as aiding nerve impulses. More recent studies have linked proper vitamin D levels with lowered risk of autoimmune diseases and lower blood pressure. As you age your skin produces less vitamin D naturally when exposed to sunlight so older people are at a higher risk for lower levels. Jody Anderson, a Kewaunee County nurse and health coach, suggests speaking with your doctor about your risk for low vitamin D and whether you should be taking a supplement.



Most foods do not naturally have vitamin D in them but there are some that are fortified with it, like milk and some cereals. Adding these to your diet, especially in the winter, can be a good way to help increase your levels when you are least exposed to the sun.

Learning gymnastics can help keep your kids safe

Door County children learning gymnastics can not only have a fun sport to play but it could help keep them safe as well. Amy Gamble, gymnastics coach at the Door County YMCA, encourages all boys and girls to learn gymnastics at the Y. Gamble says it’s a good way to learn how to fall correctly without getting hurt.



Parents who are interested in signing their kids up for gymnastics are encouraged to go to for more information.

DCEDC welcomes back Wisconsin economic outlook report

Local governments and economic development organizations will once again have access to the latest information on Wisconsin's economic trends.  The Department of Revenue is resuming publication of the "Wisconsin Economic Outlook", which had been issued quarterly from 1970 until 2015.  Jim Schuessler, Executive Director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation, says the report provides needed information to help communities with economic planning.



The latest "Wisconsin Economic Outlook" projects the national and state economies will continue growing in 2019. That growth, however, will be at a slower pace as the impact of the federal fiscal stimulus starts to fade.

Fighting back after dark web identity theft

Whether you live in New York City or Sturgeon Bay hackers can take your information from the internet or from computers at stores where you've shopped.  From there it can be sold on the so-called "dark web".  Credit monitoring services, however, may not be the answer for which victims of identity theft are looking.  While they can help fix problems caused by hackers, the stolen information cannot be removed.  Nathan Drager, co-owner of Quantum PC in Sturgeon Bay, says while credit monitoring can be a valuable tool there are simpler steps people can take to protect themselves.



Drager says your information can be sold for as little as $2 along with stolen ID's from hundreds of thousands of other people.  That makes hacked ID's a big business on the "dark web".



Poetry on display at Door County Libraries in April

The art of poetry has been around for millennia and Door County libraries will be celebrating it in the month of April. Professional poets including Door County’s Poet Laureate Sharon Auberle will be sharing their poetry this month. Door County students will also be sharing poetry in the month of April. Those poetry events will be at the Fish Creek, Bailey’s Harbor, Forestville and Sturgeon Bay branches. At all Door County Library branches, they will host blackout poetry events. Tina Kakuske, Director of Door County Libraries, explains blackout poetry. 



Specific times are not official as of yet. Go to to check for times which will be posted at a later date.

Spring break is a good time to vaccinate

With many students on spring break this week the Door County Department of Public Health says this is as good a time as ever to get your children vaccinated. Especially before leaving Door County to go on a vacation it’s very important to be fully vaccinated according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, so as not to catch or spread disease. Katie VanLaanen, a nurse for the Door County Department of Public Health, says it’s a good time to get your kids vaccinated as many college students are also on spring break.


Southern Door, Sturgeon Bay and Sevastopol Schools will have all or part of this week off for spring break. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says 228 people have contracted measles so far in 2019 including some cases in Illinois.

Best of Door County voting going on now

You can vote for your favorite Door County businesses online to decide which ones are truly the best in the area. In its third year, the annual contest celebrates the best of the best across several different categories. Quantum PC has won best computer repair service the last two years, something executive vice president Erin Helgeson says has had a positive impact on their business.

After winning several categories last year including best dining view and old fashioned, Donny’s Glidden Lodge owner Tim Zellner said it is an honor to be chosen.

Voting for Best of Door County runs until April 7th

Kewaunee looks to life after Shopko

Kewaunee, Sister Bay, and other communities across the country are asking themselves the same question: what are they going to do after Shopko disappears? The Green Bay-retailer announced this week it would close all of it stores after a deal for someone to buy its retail operations fell through. Kewaunee’s location has been in liquidation mode since February and expects to close for good in May. Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Richard Baker says the city of Kewaunee has a task force in place to help find the right business to fill the space with the building’s owner. He believes a study done about a year ago gave the city a good idea of what kinds of businesses to go after.

The city of Kewaunee filled one major void last week when it was announced a pharmacy was moving into the former Lakeshore Pizza Company building to be open on June 1st. You can see other updates from Kewaunee Mayor Sandi Christman online with this story.



Shoplifting remains problem locally for stores and thieves

Retailers in Door and Kewaunee Counties face losses from shoplifters, although on a much smaller scale than communities such as Appleton or Green Bay.  The Sturgeon Bay Police Department investigated 30 retail thefts during 2018, ranging from no reported thefts October and November to as many as five in February and September.   Sturgeon Bay Sergeant Investigator Chad Hougard says, however, larger stores have the ability to handle retail theft on their premises.  He adds that improvements in video recording can better help smaller stores nab offenders.



Algoma Police Chief Randy Remiker says shoplifting is certainly not an uncommon occurrence.  He adds, however, the old saying "size matters" works to his community's advantage.



Smaller police departments have to prioritize investigations, which mean shoplifting cases can be put aside.  Sergeant Hougard says improved video surveillance helps identify shoplifting suspects better so that they can be prosecuted at a later time.

Tourism finding enough interest from summer job seekers

Door County's summer tourism season kicks off in a little over two months and, so far, there's much interest in seasonal employment.  Door County Visitor Bureau Membership Director Phil Berndt bases that on the amount of activity from employers and job seekers on websites.  Berndt says he's not heard any concerns about a lack of job applicants.  He adds employers are helping potential employees make sure they have a place to stay for the summer.



Berndt says employers are also being aided by the J-1 program which attracts foreign students looking for opportunities to work in the U.S.A. during the summer.

Sturgeon Bay council member hopes for huge voter turnout

Sturgeon Bay Council Member Seth Wiederanders says he hopes a pair of referenda on the April 2nd ballot will bring more people out to vote than usual. The marijuana and Sturgeon Bay Schools referenda are hotly debated topics and Wiederanders thinks that could bring more voters to the polls. Wiederanders added he hopes people will be interested to learn more about the other races on the ballot and not just the referendum items.



Wiederanders says the granary issue could also bring more people out.

Southern Door Schools proceed with resource officer plan

The Southern Door County School District is moving forward with plans to add a full-time school resources officer.  The district approved a proposal to contract with the Door County Sheriff's Department for a resource officer.  That request must first be approved by the Door County Board of Supervisors.  Superintendent Patricia Vickman says having a full-time school resource officer will be an asset to school staff, students and their families.



Southern Door Schools join the Sevastopol and Gibraltar districts in efforts to add school resource officers five-days a week during the school year.

Some prime ice fishing spots could become risky

The season is open for Whitefish, Northern Pike and Walleye on Green Bay and the Sturgeon Bay Canal though fishing enthusiasts need to be aware of rapidly changing ice conditions.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says outdoor lovers continue taking to the ice on foot and some ATV's.  Conservation Warden Chris Kratcha warns current conditions are such that today's safe spot can become tomorrow's hazard.



Kratcha recommends that you not take to the ice alone, let someone know where you'll be fishing and when you'll return.  He adds if you have any doubts about ice conditions it's best to call it a season and wait until you can fish from a boat.

Ukulele Society playing Beatles jams

You can hear the Beatles music in a whole new way in Fish Creek on Sunday afternoon. The Ukulele Society of Door County is meeting Sunday at the YMCA in Fish Creek and the theme will be Beatles songs. The group meets twice per month and according to the Ukulele Society Coordinator Bruce Hake, members have been clamoring for a Beatles theme day.



The program will start at 1 PM and last until 2:45 PM. The Ukulele Society of Door County meets two Sundays per month at the YMCA in Fish Creek. Ukulele players of all skill levels can attend their meetings and there are no costs.

Egg Harbor to reopen comprehensive plan

The village of Egg Harbor will dust off its shelved comprehensive plan after learning a major road project is coming their way by 2023. The village was given notice by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation recently that it would be doing a road construction project similar to what is currently being done in Ephraim. After last discussing its highway improvement plans three years ago, village administrator Ryan Heise says the road construction announcement gives them the opportunity to start talking again.

Heise says redoing the comprehensive plan will open the door for several public meetings in the coming months. It already plans to be a busy year in Egg Harbor with several new businesses opening in their downtown and the bidding process for its long-awaited beach project already underway. 

Lent remains an important time for Catholics

Fasting, almsgiving, and prayer continue to be cornerstones for Catholics in Door and Kewaunee Counties during the Lenten season as it approaches the halfway point. In addition to giving up meat on Fridays, many Catholics head to confession more often and try to go without something for the 40 day period. Father Daniel Schuster of Holy Trinity Parish in Casco and St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Luxemburg says Lent keeps followers from going through the motions when Easter comes.

Fasting rules vary depending on age and health, but Father Schuster says the practice helps Catholics open themselves to a deeper life. Lent continues until Easter Sunday on April 21st

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