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Sturgeon Bay approves equipment and repair recommendations

During a relatively routine meeting on Tuesday night, the City of Sturgeon Bay moved forward on several recommendations by the Finance/Purchasing & Building Committee.  Council President Dan Williams filled in for Mayor David Ward to preside over the regular meeting, which took about 35 minutes.  He says the first piece of business was the approval of a first reading of an alteration to the Municipal Code to make the wording clearer on the Tourist Rooming House ordinance. 

 

The council then approved the contract with Flock Safety to install a license plate reader camera system for $31,500 with a recurring cost of $30,000 annually.  Williams says the system will only be used in Sturgeon Bay as an investigative tool for situations like Amber or Silver Alerts that have been issued.

 

 

Other recommendations approved Tuesday included the purchase of a new Volvo L90H rubber tire loader and resurfacing the Safe Boat. 

 

After the regular meeting, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council went into a closed session and discussed a property purchase on Division Road but did not take action after deliberating for about 30 minutes.

Algoma primary has Lautenbach and Casey Buhr in Mayor race

There will be a new mayor for the City of Algoma when the general election is held in April after a big turnout of 515 voters on Tuesday.  Incumbent Virginia Haske finished third in Tuesday’s primary as challengers Steve Lautenbach and Casey Buhr finished with the two highest vote counts in the run-off election.

 

Buhr garnered 184 votes, and Lautenbach finished with 177 votes to Haske’s 153.

 

Buhr and Lautenbach will face off in the general election on April 2nd.

 

Buhr was also the top vote-getter in the Algoma Alderperson District 3 primary race, with 84 votes, followed by Bill Bush with 57 and Kenneth D. Taylor with 29.

 

Buhr and Bush will now advance to the general election to determine who gets the seat on the Algoma Common Council. 


Community Investment Fund stretches its impact

You can find even more good that Destination Door County’s Community Investment Fund has provided beyond the $1.2 million that has been given over the last year. The organization recently made its most significant contribution, awarding over $376,000 to six different projects across the county, including new trails in Peninsula State Park and Sturgeon Bay, illuminated water quality signs at five Door County beaches, the Door County Bookmobile, and more. The projects are typically discussed with Door County Community Foundation representatives before being vetted by an independent group so Destination Door County can award the grants. Destination Door County President/CEO Julie Gilbert says she is proud of the types of projects they have been able to support, adding that state statute prevents them from granting funds for other efforts that address childcare and affordable housing.

Chief Communications Officer Jon Jarosh says the pleasant side effect of having to deny some projects for grant funding because of one reason or another is that some of them have been able to receive help in other spots.

The next grant application deadline is March 25th at 4 p.m. Gilbert encourages interested local non-profit organizations and Door County municipalities to schedule an appointment to discuss their ideas before applying.

 

Click here to listen to our full interview with Julie Gilbert and Jon Jarosh

Two-vehicle crash closes WIS 42

Approximately four miles of WIS 42 south of Carlsville was shut down Tuesday afternoon due to a two-vehicle crash. At about noon, emergency personnel reported to the scene of WIS 42 and W Town Line Road, where two vehicles were found lying on their sides. One of the vehicles was a propane truck that was reportedly leaking fuel.   The state highway was closed shortly after that, with personnel directing traffic near intersecting streets. No other information has been released, and we will have more as soon as it is available.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Door County Sheriff's Department


United Way of Door County releases funded program list

Tuition assistance for young families, home repair programs, and family service programs are among the ways your donations to the United Way of Door County will be used in 2024. Close to 20 organizations will benefit from United Way of Door County funding. That includes the organization’s programs addressing child care, alcohol and substance abuse, mental health, family education, and nutritional wellness. United Way of Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle says their committee worked hard to figure out a way to stretch the over $800,000 it raised during its record-setting annual campaign last year.

In addition to the programs it helped fund, the United Way of Door County also formed initiatives and collaborations with 2-1-1, AARP Tax-Aide, the Door County Food Pantry Coalition, and Volunteer Connections.

 

 

Tooth Fairy returns to Door County Medical Center

For over 20 years, you can find the Tooth Fairy and some of her assistants roaming around the halls of the Door County Medical Center Clinic. Every year, the clinic hosts its Tooth Fairy event, which collects donations to support its work with patients in Door and Kewaunee counties who are on Medicaid or considered low-income with no dental insurance. The Door County Medical Center Dental Clinic has grown tremendously since it opened its doors 25 years ago. Last year, the clinic had over 4,500 visits from patients. Tanya Fischer from the Door County Medical Center Dental Clinic says it is sign that is important to get the preventative care you need for your teeth.

You can donate by stopping by their 16th Avenue entrance and purchasing a paper tooth to hang on the wall or you can mail it in. We have more information on the Tooth Fairy event online with this story.

 

 

3-year old Two Rivers boy missing

Two Rivers authorities are trying to locate a missing 3-year-old boy.  The Two Rivers Police Department issued a missing person report for the boy named Elijah, who was last seen in the 3900 block of Mishicot Road in Two Rivers at 8 a.m. Tuesday.  He is described as having Hmong and white ethnicity with dark blonde hair and blue eyes.  He was last seen wearing gray pants, a long-sleeved dark shirt, and red and green dinosaur shoes.  He is possibly carrying a red and white plaid blanket, as shown below.  If you have any information on Elijah's whereabouts, please call 920-686-7200.

 

 

 

 

Crews respond to Midwest Wire Products fire Monday night

Some fraying wires near the roof line of Midwest Wire Products in Sturgeon Bay are to blame for a small fire Monday night. The Sturgeon Bay Fire Department was called to the scene just after 8:40 p.m. to the far southwest-side business for reports of smoke and flames coming from the building’s gutters near a gas line. Crews quickly extinguished the flames before going inside to see if the fire extended into the interior of the building. They did not find any other signs of an ongoing fire, even after pulling down some insulation and poking holes into the roof. Sturgeon Bay Interim Fire Chief Kalin Montevideo says some fraying wires near the gutter likely sparked, igniting the materials in the gutter.

The building was closed for the day, so no one was inside when the fire occurred. Montevideo says the building’s owners and maintenance personnel were on the scene with the firefighters to assess the damage and determine how to make repairs. Nasewaupee and Southern Door fire departments responded to the fire but were quickly sent back after the fire was quickly put out. Montevideo says crews were on the scene for over an hour.

 

Southern Door taps Krutzik as new superintendent

You will find a new face in the superintendent’s office at Southern Door this summer. The district announced Monday night that it has appointed Dr. Kevin Krutzik as its newest superintendent.

 

Krutzik carries with him a 19-year career in education to go along with his studies at Edgewood College, Silver Lake College, Marquette University, and Lakeland University. He served as a Principal at Sheboygan Falls High School, Assistant Principal at Fond du Lac School High School, Middle/High School Principal at Oshkosh Lourdes Academy, and Business & Information Technology Teacher and Interim Principal at Manitowoc Lincoln High School before Monday’s appointment.

 

Board President Penny Price lauded Krutzik’s experience and the “innovative ideas and proven strength” he is expected to bring to Southern Door. “The Southern Door Community is fortunate to begin this journey with Dr. Krutzik, who has the skillset and attitude to take on challenges that our school community is facing while embracing the incredible opportunities that already exist," Price said.

 

Krutzik expressed his enthusiasm for joining the district, citing his excitement to collaborate with students, staff, and board members in his statement following his appointment. “I look forward to creating trusting relationships with all stakeholders and ensuring that we help each student reach their full potential," Krutzik said.

 

Krutzik will officially assume the role on July 1st, relieving Tony Klaubauf of his interim duties. You can read the full announcement from Southern Door School District here.

Fire brings warning of unseasonably dry conditions

A fire call in Baileys Harbor on Monday afternoon served as a reminder that an uncontrolled blaze can start up quickly, even during the middle of winter.  Baileys Harbor Fire Chief Brian Zak says crews responded around 1:30 p.m. when something on a power pole shorted out on the riser and dropped down on the ground, starting a small grass fire near the intersection of West Kangaroo Lake Road and Fairview Road.  Zak notes that the fire burned itself out and scorched only about a ten by 20-foot area.  Although the fire was not caused by burning, Fire Chief Zak advises you to be extremely careful when you do any outside burning and to acquire the necessary permits in advance.

 

 

The National Weather Service forecasts above-normal temperatures and no precipitation for the next week, meaning even drier and potentially more dangerous conditions.  

Washington Island School makes third straight trip to International SeaPerch Challenge

You will see the tradition of Washington Island students going to the University of Maryland for the International SeaPerch Challenge continue in 2024. Sponsored by the North Coast Marine Manufacturing Alliance, the team Fast & Furious took second place at the Ashwaubenon Regional competition on Saturday, earning Washington Island’s third straight bid with at least one team making it to the international competition held in College Park, Md. The school narrowly missed out on a second consecutive year where they had two teams qualify for the competition, with Team JAWS taking third place. Teacher Miranda Dahlke continues to marvel at how her students turn their preparation into success at the regional competitions to earn a trip to internationals.

Carrying the theme of deep-sea exploration, the International SeaPerch Challenge will take place on May 31st and June 1st. Supported by the Door County Maritime Museum, local teams participated in a practice earlier this month at the Door County YMCA, where they could practice with the robots in the pool just like they do during regional and international competitions. Competitors undergo two challenges in the pool and an oral presentation with judges.

Governor Evers signs new maps into law

It is expected that you will see more competitive legislative races this fall after Governor Tony Evers signed new legislative boundary maps into law on Monday morning. Wisconsin Act 94 enacted the maps proposed by the Democratic governor, which experts said still lean Republican but could produce different results depending on the ballots cast. According to the Associated Press, 15 Republican incumbents in the Assembly and six in the Senate will be forced to run against each other under the new maps. According to the Governor’s office, this will mark the first time in 50 years the legislative maps will be fair and enacted through the will of the Wisconsin Legislature and not the courts. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos wrote in his weekly newsletter that I have always said it is the job of the Legislature to determine the maps, not the courts. This should be a win for both sides, as it ends the millions being spent on this redistricting lawsuit, yet not a single Democrat spoke on the floor and all but one voted no.” Evers claimed victory on Monday, saying, “When I promised I wanted fair maps—not maps that are better for one party or another—I damn well meant it. Wisconsin is not a red state or a blue state—we’re a purple state, and I believe our maps should reflect that basic fact.” Fair maps has been one of the main talks for groups like Common Cause Wisconsin. Executive Director Jay Heck hopes this takes the state down the path of a non-partisan redistricting process so the maps remain fair for all parties.

 


The maps enacted on Monday will be in place for this fall’s election and will stay in place until 2031 when the boundaries are redrawn to reflect population changes in the state.

Algoma holds lone primary Tuesday

You can head to the polls on Tuesday in Algoma as the city holds Door and Kewaunee counties’ lone primary. Residents in District 3 will have two races to choose their preferred candidates, while the rest of the city only has to worry about the mayoral races. Voters will choose from Virginia Haske, Steve Lautenbach, and Casey Buhr for mayor and Bill Bush, Kenneth D. Taylor, and Casey Buhr for District 3 Alderperson. The top two will advance to the spring general election on April 2nd. Even though registration is available on election day, voters must bring the proper identification to their polling place to vote.

DNR sets ice shanty removal dates

If Mother Nature has not forced you to move your ice shanties, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will also give you an end date. Permanent ice shanties must be removed from state waters by specific dates beginning February 20th along the Wisconsin-Iowa border. You have a little more time locally with shanties having to be removed from inland water south of Highway 64 (Marinette to the St. Croix Crossing bridge on the Wisconsin-Minnesota border) by March 3rd. Anglers fishing along the Wisconsin-Michigan boundary have to remove their ice shanties by March 15th and those located on Lake Michigan and Green Bay and inland waters north of Highway 64 by March 17th. The removal deadlines are to ensure shanties are removed and to avoid the additional costs and hazards of shanties breaking through the ice. Those deadlines are assuming you were able to put your shanty on the ice at all. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported last week that the average ice cover on the Great Lakes was at 2.7 percent, which is the lowest level since they started keeping track in 1973. 

Turning Door County in Dairyland for Alice

While Alice in Dairyland Ashley Hagenow continues her 12-month reign, the Alice in Dairyland 2024 Finals Committee members are busy preparing for her successor’s coronation. Door County was officially named the host of the Alice in Dairyland 2024 Finals last May, but members in the area’s agriculture community learned of their springtime duties months before. Denise Plassmeyer, the chairperson of the Alice in Dairyland 2024 Finals Steering Committee, says they submitted their bid to host the event as a way to showcase agriculture in an area often more associated with tourism or manufacturing. There is a story to tell, and Plassmeyer is thrilled with the opportunity to tell it with the help of Alice in Dairyland.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection will announce the six finalists for the role on March 1st at The Landmark Resort in Egg Harbor. Plassmeyer says that is just the beginning of the road for the future Alices ahead of the finals event on May 4th.

You can support Door County’s Alice in Dairyland bid and meet Hagenow on March 9th at Apple Valley Lanes in Sturgeon Bay when the committee hosts a fundraising meat raffle from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. 

 

Listen to our full interview with Denise Plassmeyer here

UW-Oshkosh, county opens spring groundwater monitoring registration

You can sign up to participate in the ongoing study of the water you use daily. UW-Oshkosh and Door County are teaming up again to provide groundwater testing in the area as they have since 2019. The program's goal is not just to provide education about the importance of testing your water but to continually update its database of groundwater quality data in Door County. Last year, UW-Oshkosh tested 195 wells in the spring and 162 in the fall. According to the Door County Government website data, nitrates posed the biggest concern to residents, with 26 percent of samples showing between 2-10 mg/L of nitrates and two percent with samples of over 10 mg/L of nitrates. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, concentrations over 3 mg/l generally indicate contamination. The website's data also shows coliform, arsenic, and E. coli levels. Residents can apply to participate in this year’s program for a small fee by clicking this link before March 22nd. Test kits must be returned on April 5th or 6th, depending on your chosen drop-off site.

City looks to purchase license plate reader camera system

If your vehicle is stolen or associated with a crime, the Sturgeon Bay Police Department could have a new tool in their arsenal to find you.

 

When it meets on Tuesday, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council is considering building a license plate reader camera system within city limits. The system could capture computer-readable images of license plates and vehicles to assist in their investigations. According to the International Association of Chiefs of Police, upwards of 70 percent of crimes involve license plates, and they are often the top piece of evidence the police can use to make an arrest. Not only would it help the police identify stolen vehicles and those associated with a known suspect, but the camera system could also be used to help find Silver Alert suspects. The contract with the company Flock Safety would be $31,500 for installation and an annual charge of $30,000 per year. That installation amount is actually less than what was budgeted by the city.

 

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will also discuss repairs to its Safeboat and a contract associated with the West Waterfront Promenade before going into a closed session to discuss the purchase of some property located on Division Road. Tuesday’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. inside the council’s Sturgeon Bay City Hall chambers.

Board games and bubbles highlight Crossroads activities

Family-friendly programs will abound at Crossroads at Big Creek this weekend. Friday night, Crossroads will offer a Winter Board Game Bash for all ages. The weekly Saturday Science program will feature activities about bubbles, and on Sunday afternoon, the Door County Library will present an Author Talk featuring children’s book author/illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh. And then, on Tuesday, Wild Ones of the Door Peninsula and the Master Gardeners join to offer a program called, “Soak It Up, Rain Garden Basics.”

 

The free Sunday afternoon program will give families opportunity to learn a bit about the history of Mexico from Tonatiuh whose distinctive art style and compelling storytelling is published in both English and in Spanish.

 

And for learners of all ages, what can be more fun than blowing bubbles? This week’s Saturday Science program will introduce a number of concepts about these floating iridescent spheres which enhance our beverages, make ice cream soft enough to eat, carry oxygen to our lungs and the oceans, and much, much more. To quote Professor James Bird, “There is no doubt that bubbles connect our world in ways large and small.”

 

Any time now, especially on windy days, we will start seeing bubbles in Big Creek. Not isolated delicate bubbles, but large mounds of suds that smell rather like fish. The fish smell actually is good news because it means the foam in the creek is harmless and natural. When dead plant parts – leaves, sticks, logs – decompose, they release organic surfactants, not unlike soap, which release the surface tension of the water so bubbles form. Mounds of suds add energy (and hiding places) to the creek.

 

But not all foam is good for a body of water. Human-made suds (which sometimes smell quite nice—OR NOT) can come from industry, or from soaps, paints, and fertilizers and pesticides that run off our lawns and parking places. The obvious solution is to stop using harmful chemicals, but there is another way to at least reduce the chemicals that wash into storm drains or directly into the bays.

 

On Tuesday, February 27, at 6:30 p.m., the Wild Ones of the Door Peninsula and the Door County Master Gardeners will bring Naturalist Karen Newbern to Crossroads to present, “Soak It Up, Rain Garden Basics.”

 

Newbern will explain how creating a rain garden is a simple way to help reduce runoff from our home landscapes, keeping excess nutrients and other pollutants out of the waters that surround us. She will discuss what a rain garden is (and isn’t), how to plan and construct one, and suitable plants to include and also talk about the environmental benefits of rain gardens beyond reduced runoff and improved water quality.

 

We at Crossroads cannot predict winter weather, but we will post conditions on our website so if there is adequate  snow, visit www.crossroadsatbigcreek.org for conditions, closures, etc.

 

 

 

 

February 23

6:00-9:00 p.m. Winter Board Game Bash

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a warm fire in the fireplace, hot chocolate, and a good board game to play with family or friends. We’ll have tables set up with a variety of board games including Wingspan, Sushi Go, Science Trivia, and more. Open to all ages. No reservation necessary. Meet in the lab of the Collins Learning Center. Crossroads, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.

 

Saturday, February 24

2:00 p.m. Science Saturday: Bubbles

Blowing bubbles is entertaining, but bubbles also can introduce a number of science concepts, not to mention developing motor skills and coordination. Participants will view a short video and then will participate in a variety of bubble activities for all ages. Free and open to the public. Meet in the lab of the Collins Learning Center, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.

 

Sunday, February 25

2:00 p.m. Door County Library Author Talk

 

This Sunday afternoon program will give families the opportunity to learn a bit about Mexican history from Duncan Tonatiuh whose distinctive art style and compelling storytelling is published in English and in Spanish. This promises to be an exciting afternoon and it is free and open to the public. Meet in the Lecture Hall of the Collins Learning Center, Crossroads, 2041 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay.

 

Tuesday, February 27 6:30 p.m.

“Soak it up, Rain Garden Basics”

 

A rain garden is a simple way to help reduce runoff from our home landscapes, keeping excess nutrients and other pollutants out of the waters that surround us. In this program, we will discuss what a rain garden is (and isn’t), how to plan and construct one, and suitable plants to include. We’ll also talk about the environmental benefits of rain gardens beyond reduced runoff and improved water quality. The Newbern in-person lecture is presented in collaboration with Crossroads at Big Creek, Wild Ones of the Door Peninsula and the Door County Master Gardeners. It is free and open to the public. Meet in the Collins Learning Center.

Egg Harbor continues to make progress on road project

You can start to see the future streetscape take shape through the Village of Egg Harbor as its construction project nears the end of its second month.

 

The Egg Harbor Business Association provided its latest update on Friday, forecasting the utility burial at a pair of road crossings beginning Monday. The first is across STH 42 just north of the STH 42/White Cliff Road intersection, and the second is across White Cliff Road at the STH 42 intersection. Motorists are advised to use Orchard Road and Market Street to access Church Street to bypass the work. The hope is that they can complete the work in one day. Otherwise, it will be finished on February 20th.

 

After that, utility burial efforts will continue from White Cliff Road to CTH G within Harbor View Park. Village officials and business owners continue to stress that despite the construction, the area remains open to business for local traffic. The village has set up bypass routes around the village in addition to the designated detour for those who want to visit Egg Harbor but avoid the construction.

 

You can find the full update posted below.

 

 

Myths of a traffic stop

As a follow-up to last week’s article on the operations of our patrol division, I wanted to expand on a few myths I hear from time to time regarding our motivation and benefit of conducting traffic stops and issuing citations. 

 

As it pertains to generating revenue is our primary motive, this could not be further from the truth. Let’s take a common citation for speeding with a forfeiture of $200.50

      

Of that $200.50, $25.00 goes directly towards court costs. $89.50 goes towards Court Support Services, 23.00 is assessed as a Crime Lab surcharge, $13.00 is a penalty surcharge, and $50.00 goes towards a deposit. In essence, none of that money remains here with the Sheriff’s Department, so revenue is not a driving factor in our decision to issue a citation for a given offense. It always has been and will continue to be the safety of our community which motivates us to be proactive and vigilant in our enforcement of traffic laws.

      

The next narrative is that we here at the Sheriff’s Department have a quota that must be met each and every month. I will concede that there is a slight aspect of truth to this, however, not in terms of citations or fines. Instead, we do encourage and monitor “Contacts” that our Patrol Deputies have on a given shift. Now, there are two ways in which “Contacts are made; one is proactive, and the other is reactive. You could also define them as “Formal” or “Informal” contacts. I can tell you that as Sheriff, what I like to see are a solid number of proactive and informal contacts. What this tells me is that the Deputy is going out of their way to engage with members of our community. This could be in the form of a traffic stop or just stopping in at a place of business. The outcome is not the focus here but rather the contact itself and the positive relationships that these interactions cultivate.

     

Another concern that I have heard is that we should be focusing our efforts on major crime in our communities rather than wasting our time on traffic enforcement. To this, I would say that, fortunately, we have the ability to walk and chew gum at the same time. We have a wonderful community that is not overwhelmed with criminal activity, and when such activity occurs, we have the resources and abilities to pivot and confront such challenges. We do not need to suspend our focus on keeping our roads safe in an effort to thwart criminal activity, nor do we ignore criminal activity in pursuit of dealing with those lesser violations. To this point, next week, I will be spending some time sharing information about our Investigative Division here at the Sheriff’s Department.

Wicklund takes reins of Boys & Girls Club of the Bay & Lakes Region

A new face is at the head of the organization, but it is one you will recognize if you have supported the Boys & Girls Club over the last two decades. This month, the Boys & Girls Club of the Bay & Lakes Region appointed Johanna Wicklund as its Chief Executive Officer, leading the organization’s strategic direction and operations of its three clubhouses and ten school-based sites. Wicklund is no stranger to the organization, having spent her entire professional career with the Boys & Girls Club, serving as the Director of Program Development and Evaluation in Green Bay for 14 years before moving on to become the Senior Director of Strategy & Measurement and Chief Operating Officer before her most recent promotion. She says she knew early on that being with the Boys & Girls Club and helping it reach new heights was where she wanted to be.

Wicklund wants to see the Boys & Girls Club of the Bay & Lakes Region continue to grow under her watch. Over 160 kids are a part of the club in Sturgeon Bay, exceeding where they were before the pandemic. She hopes that collaborating with other youth organizations, community groups, and businesses can provide even more opportunities for kids in Door County.

The Boys & Girls Club of the Bay & Lakes Region is approaching its first anniversary since the Green Bay, Shawano, and Door County clubs combined to provide more enriching opportunities for kids across the region. You can listen to our full interview with Wicklund by clicking this link.

City, district exploring options with Memorial Field athletic complex

Your views and uses of the Memorial Field athletic complex in Sturgeon Bay could change in the future after multiple entities contributed to a feasibility study for the site. The City of Sturgeon Bay and Sturgeon Bay School District have been collaborating for years on possibly improving the complex to modernize surfaces and improve drainage so the facilities can be used for more activities consistently. The complex is a patchwork of pieces that are separately or jointly owned by the city and the district. The city’s Finance/Purchasing and Building Committee approved $20,000 to be used for a feasibility study on the site, with the district, the Door County Pickleball Club, Door County Medical Center, Fincantieri, and an anonymous donor making up the balance of the $74,500 commitment.  City Administrator Josh Vanlieshout says the parties must learn what they can and can’t do with the site while being fiscally responsible.

Sturgeon Bay School District Superintendent Dan Tjernagel expressed last summer his appreciation for the interest from other community partners in the improvements so the complex can serve an even greater good for the community. The feasibility study will take a few months to complete before its findings are presented to the district and the city for further discussion.

Electric vehicles get tagged with new fire safety stickers

Protecting first responders in emergencies is the goal of the new stickers you will receive in the mail if you drive an electric vehicle. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced on Tuesday that the new electric vehicle hybrid stickers will be sent to nearly 146,000 owners by June so they can be affixed in the upper right-hand corner of the license plate. The stickers stem from a law passed in 2023 requiring owners to have the stickers on their vehicles for the safety of first responders. Protocols for responding to a vehicle fire change depending on whether it is a gas-powered or electric vehicle. Last month, Luxemburg Community Fire Chief Lew DuChateau explained the dangers his crew faced when responding to an electric vehicle fire.

The Luxemburg Fire Department received a $3,000 donation from the Lee and Kathy Anderson Foundation to purchase a fire blanket to be used during an electric vehicle fire, which is a much safer option for firefighters. 

First District stays largely intact after Legislature's approval of new maps

The Wisconsin Legislature approved new legislative maps on Wednesday, but you will not see a difference in your representation if you live in Door or Kewaunee counties.

 

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos admitted on Tuesday that the vote to approve the new maps drawn by Governor Tony Evers was a major win for the Democratic-led administration. According to the Associated Press, 15 Republican incumbents in the Assembly and six in the Senate will be forced to run against each other under the new maps. There is just one instance where two Democrats were forced into duels. Experts hired by the Wisconsin Supreme Court said earlier this month that the maps were still titled toward Republicans but should offer more competitive races throughout the state.

 

You will see the same representation for voters in Door and Kewaunee counties. It does not mean that State Assembly Rep. Joel Kitchens and State Senator Andre Jacque will not see some changes to their districts. According to maps provided by the governor’s office, the First Assembly District saw a population deviation of -89 voters, while the First Senate District saw an increase of +2. Democrats were still leery about approving the deal, pointing to language in the bill that the maps would not go into effect until after the November elections.

 

Earlier this month, Evers rejected a different proposal by the Wisconsin Legislature to approve his maps but protected more incumbents. After that episode, Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck had predicted that the courts would have the final say in the matter. He instead celebrated the passage, saying, "We urge Gov. Evers to sign his voting maps passed by the Wisconsin Legislature into law. That will help bring stability and certainty to the fast-approaching 2024 election cycle and for the years ahead until the next decennial redistricting process occurs in 2031."

 

Evers said he would sign off on it if the Wisconsin Legislature approved his maps, but he has not yet taken action on it. 

Rotary Club announces Muckian Scholarship opportunity

High school seniors in Door County can get a jump start on financing their future education at a technical college with help from the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay. Applications for the Rotary Technical Education/Robert Muckian Scholarship are being accepted now for the 17th year. The scholarships range from $500 to $1,500 and are funded through the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay Charitable Trust and an endowment from the estate of Rotarian Robert Muckian. Committee Chair Dr. John Swanson says each application requires a brief essay on "Service Above Self" which is Rotary International's motto.

 

 

The scholarship application deadline is March 15th, with awards presented at the Rotary luncheon in May. The Sturgeon Bay Rotary Club also offers "Service Above Self" academic scholarships for seniors seeking four-year education. You can find the complete scholarship information at the Door County Scholarship Network website here.

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