Egg Harbor plans Church Street project

The Village of Egg Harbor intends to completely renovate Church Street from Harbor School Road north to Highway 42 in 2021. Trustee Lisa Van Laanen says that about a third of the engineering work is done but there is plenty left to plan.


Church Street runs parallel to 42, east of the highway as the state road snakes through the main business district. The project may not be scheduled for over 18 months but a grant deadline already passed at the beginning of the month so the Parks and Public Works Committee is required to get a head start on securing funding. 

Tariffs affect local industry

When you ask Algoma Lumber Company President Dan Kudick how the industry is doing in 2019, his response is a reserved "okay." Kudick believes that the main headwind is the spat of trade wars in recent years. China gets the most attention but the US has had escalating tensions with European and North American countries as well.


The industry is also lobbying for a change in travel restrictions for lumber trucks on the interstate highway system. The hope is to attach the Safe Routes Act of 2019 to the highway appropriations bill to help push it through as the year wraps up on Capitol Hill. 

Door County Veteran Service Office makes hire

Beth Wartella is settling in to her role as Door County's Veterans Service Officer including making her first official hire. Nathan LeClair served in the US Navy from 2005 to 2013. Military service is a family tradition for LeClair. His uncle served in Vietnam. Wartella describes LeClair's role.


LeClair is from the area and Wartella believes that will help ensure the Door County Veterans Service Office continues its relative stability compared to posts in other parts of the state. Wartella says the low turnover has made the office more effective. LeClair's first day was October 28th. 

White-nose syndrome ravages Wisconsin bats

Door Peninsula bat populations are being decimated by a relatively new disease. White-nose syndrome stems from a fungus believed to have originated in Europe. It was discovered in New York State barely ten years ago and can kill 95 percent to 100 percent of bat colonies it afflicts. The disease hurts cave-dwelling bats says DNR Mammal Ecologist Paul White. He explains what happens to bats who come down with the virus.


The drop in the bat population robs farmers of natural pest and insect control. Some estimates peg bats as contributing $1.5 billion in positive economic value to Wisconsin's farm economy.


Public hearing set for fee increases

Door County transportation programs are running a deficit. Both Door 2 Door, the county taxi service, and the ADRC bus, which is meant for the elderly, have been managed by the Department of Health and Human Services for years. Director Joe Krebsbach says that has caused the oversight of the programs to slip through the cracks. With Pam Busch taking over the newly formed Transportation Manager position, fare increases are on the table to shore up the fiscal health of the services.


Because the federal government provides funding for the programs, they must offer a public comment opportunity for policy changes. The meeting is set for Tuesday at 9 AM on the first floor of the Door County Government Center. 

A firetruck on a ferry? No problem

The Washington Island Fire Department put out the call for assistance on Tuesday, November 13th to battle a structure fire. Northern Door County volunteer departments answered the call for mutual aid and the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department had to enlist the Washington Island Ferry for help according to Fire Chief Chris Hecht.


Hecht says the recent incident was only the fifth or sixth time that Sister Bay Fire has had to answer a call on Washington Island in the last quarter century. If manpower is all that is required the department uses a commercial fishing vessel to make the trip. Hecht says the ferry is capable of comfortably transporting the ladder truck.


Algoma Tech Ed program gets donation

Algoma School District's Technical Education Program received a donation earlier this month of a new track saw from the Brown County Homebuilders Association. The organization is hosting a design project for middle school students to be judged during the annual home expo. Only four schools are invited to the contest and Algoma had made multiple appearances. Tech Ed Instructor Matthew Abel explains why a track saw helps the program.


The project changes each year. 2019's design challenge is open-ended, creating a work space that is four feet by five feet and can be up to five feet tall. There is no weight restriction except that four people must be able to move it. That's more than just your average shop class. 


Birch Creek Music attracts international talent

The Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor has become a hub for talent from around the world. Faculty who teach throughout the summer hail from 15 states and the student body comprises even more geographic diversity than that according to Executive Director Mona Christensen.


Christensen says the relationship between student and teacher is mutually beneficial. The experience of being a "Creeker" helps pupils develop contacts that shape their future. Almost half of Birch Creek Students go into a field of study related to music in college. Most choose a school in which an instructor at Birch Creek is a tenured faculty member. 

Door Cancer sees spike in demand

Door Cancer has seen applications for their help rise to a record 23 families for the month of November. The organization helps provide monetary support to families who have a member being treated for cancer. That assistance could be in the form of mortgage or car payments. Unexpected expenses like lodging for families when an individual is receiving treatment in Milwaukee or another large city also add up. Board Member Sue Wehrli says November's applications are far outside the norm.


Door Can's partner for the rest of November, Bliss, is a retail shop in Sturgeon Bay. Five percent of the revenue generated by Christmas ornament sales at Bliss will go to benefit the nonprofit organization.


Nimmers recognized as "Persons of the Year"

John and Sheila Nimmer live in Sturgeon Bay now but the heart of their lives and business involvement is still in Luxemburg. The Nimmers were recognized this past week as the Persons of the Year by the Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce.  John, who started Forest Construction with his three brothers in 1977, says he is proud and humbled by the honor.  He says the Luxemburg community is truly special.



Sheila Nimmer, who owned the former Rocks of Ages Jewelry and Beading business for over twelve years shares how both she and her husband found out about winning the award. 



The Nimmers will be honored on December 7 in Luxemburg at the annual Luxemburg Chamber Christmas Party.  This is the first in a series of the three winners from the Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce awards.  



(photo courtesy of Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce)

Town explores Tannerite ban

The town of Liberty Grove could ban an explosive substance that was the subject of a citizen complaint at the last board meeting. According to the complaint, Tannerite targets were being used by a gun owner in the town and the explosions from being hit were loud and shaking windows. The board advised the town’s administrator to see if the Tannerite targets could be included in its fireworks ordinance. Town chairperson John Lowry says they may also seek to outright ban it.

The Liberty Grove Town Board will take it up again at its next meeting this Wednesday at 6 p.m. at its town hall.

Practicing holiday food safety early

Many people don't realize that food safety is the most important ingredient in preparing food for the holidays.


Size Matters

If you’re planning a buffet at home and are not sure how quickly the food will be eaten, keep buffet serving portions small.

  • Prepare a number of small platters and dishes ahead of time, and replace the serving dishes with the fresh ones throughout the party.
  • Store cold back-up dishes in the refrigerator and keep hot dishes in the oven set at 200 °F to 250 °F prior to serving. This way, your late arriving guests can safely enjoy the same appetizing arrangements as the early arrivals.

Take Temperatures

Hot foods should be kept at an internal temperature of 140 °F or warmer.

  • Use a food thermometer to check. Serve or keep food hot in chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays.
  • Be aware that some warmers only hold food at 110 °F to 120 °F, so check the product label to make sure your warmer has the capability to hold foods at 140 °F or warmer. This is the temperature that’s required to keep bacteria at bay!
  • Eggs and egg dishes, such as quiches or soufflés, may be refrigerated for serving later but should be thoroughly reheated to 165 °F before serving.

Chill Out

Cold foods should be kept at 40 °F or colder.

  • Keep cold foods refrigerated until serving time.
  • If food is going to stay out on the buffet table longer than 2 hours, place plates of cold food on ice to retain the chill.

Keep It Fresh

Don’t add new food to an already filled serving dish.

  • Instead, replace nearly empty serving dishes with freshly filled ones.
  • Be aware that during the party, bacteria from people’s hands can contaminate the food. Plus, bacteria can multiply at room temperature.

Watch the Clock

Remember the 2-Hour Rule: Discard any perishables left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, unless you’re keeping it hot or cold.

  • If the buffet is held in a place where the temperature is above 90 °F, the safe holding time is reduced to 1 hour.
  • Watch the clock with leftovers, too! Whether you’re sending “doggie bags” home with guests or are saving them for yourself, leftovers should be refrigerated as soon as guests arrive home and/or within 2 hours!

Adapt “Old Family Recipes” Safely

Some of your favorite traditional recipes may call for raw or lightly cooked eggs. These may include homemade Caesar salad dressing, ice cream, custards, rice pudding, chocolate mousse, eggnog, and some sauces. 

However, some raw eggs can contain harmful bacteria. These can be particularly dangerous when consumed by those at higher risk for foodborne illness – such as pregnant women, young children, older adults, and those who may have a weakened immune system because of organ transplants or diseases like diabetes, cancer, or HIV/AIDS.

Help keep your party guests safe by adapting your favorite egg containing recipes (or substituting prepared products for some items). Here’s how:

  • Add the eggs to the amount of liquid called for in the recipe, then heat the mixture until it reaches 160 °F on a food thermometer.


  • Use store-bought products of the foods listed above, which are often already cooked or pasteurized. (Check the label to be sure.)


  • Purchase pasteurized eggs. These eggs can be found in some supermarkets and are labeled “pasteurized.” Here are several types consumers can buy:
    • Fresh, pasteurized eggs in the shell (found in the refrigerator section).
    • Liquid, pasteurized egg products (found in the refrigerator section).
    • Frozen, pasteurized egg products (found in the frozen food section).
    • Powdered egg whites (found in the baking section).

Luxemburg-Casco gets a positive report card

The Luxemburg-Casco School District graded out well compared to other schools in the state on the annual District Report Cards.  The report, which was released earlier this week by the Wisconsin Department of Instruction, ranked L-C in the top third among school districts in the state.  Director of Learning Services Mike Snowberry says that Luxemburg-Casco schools are proud of finishing into the Exceeds Expectations category or above.


Luxemburg-Casco district scored 81.4 which was more than 19 points higher than the state average of 62.3.  You can find more information on the District and School Report Cards with the link below.


Student correspondent shadows Sen. Jacque

On November 5th through the 6th, I interned for the Door County Wisconsin, District 1 Senator, André Jacque. I had the opportunity to both shadow and work in the Jacque office to learn about the daily routine of a Senator. 
On the first day of the internship, I shadowed Senator Jacque on the Senate floor and to an Assembly meeting. Sitting next to the media, directly behind the Door County Senator, gave an excellent view of the busy, debate filled Senate. 
On the second day, I was based in the office and tasked with writing op-ed for one of André Jacque's Bills. The communications director, Evan Hafenbreadl, of the office, helped with explaining how the office functions as a support system for its Senator.


I return from this internship with a new-found knowledge of how our government operates from my behind the scenes look. The affairs in Madison addressed by the legislative branch happen in a well-discussed manor, but evidently is a slow process. It is clear that there is not just one person who doesn't just make the decisions, but there is a just and complex system that runs through the media, offices, representatives, senators before the governor himself. Through this, I appreciate the accomplishments that have been made thus far in our Wisconsin Government. I appreciate the opportunity to share my support and opinions with my District Senator.


Below is the entire interview with Hafenbreadl:



Water treatment facilities not hampered by wet conditions

Wet weather and rising water levels in the ground and on Lake Michigan are not causing problems for Door and Kewaunee county water treatment systems.  Stormwater control systems are kept on separate drainage lines from sewage treatment facilities.  Cliff White, Operations Manager for Sturgeon Bay Utilities, says line separation and placement make water intrusion from storms or spring thaw into sewage systems a rare, though not unheard, of occurrence.



White says SBU constantly monitors stormwater and sewage lines for signs of breakage and to replace broken lines as needed.

Lake Michigan barriers keep out Asian Carp despite high waters

The flooding that enabled Asian Carp to get into the Mississippi River has not been a problem in allowing them access to Lake Michigan and the waters near Door and Kewaunee counties.  So far, barriers in Illinois and Indiana have been working, which is a relief for commercial fishing operators like Charlie Henriksen of Sister Bay.  He admits though he'd like to see action at another point for invasive species.



U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Charlie Wooley says barriers erected along those Illinois canals between the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan are working.  Another built-in marsh in Indiana is also proving effective.



Wooley also says the Asian Carp are right now about 22-miles away from the Mississippi River barriers.  He says his agency and others continue looking for new ways to contain the Asian Carp. 

Southern Door sees benefit in student correspondents

A report by one of its own student correspondents helped changed the course for one family attending Southern Door Schools. Superintendent Patti Vickman credits the program with bringing at least two new students to the district, which brought with it thousands of dollars of additional aid. Vickman says it is experience that is hard to find for many in the region.

Southern Door has had three student correspondents contribute articles over the years and Vickman hopes other schools are just as successful finding one as she believes it is great to get their perspective on different issues and events.

Three schools prepare for state One-Acts

Door and Kewaunee Counties will be well represented at UW-Milwaukee next weekend for the Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival. Luxemburg-Casco, Algoma, and Gibraltar will all compete in the one-act play contest during the course of the three-day event. Algoma performed its One-Act play, “Oz” one last time before the state competition at the Algoma Performing Arts Center earlier this week. A modern take-off on the “Wizard of Oz,” Director Jeffrey Dier is proud of how his actors and crew handle the changes that come with competing at the state level.

Local schools were successful at last year’s Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival One-Acts Contest with Algoma’s “Fourteen Lines” earning all-state honors and Gibraltar’s "Death’s Door" earning awards for being a critic’s choice as well for its crew, directing, and ensemble. The festival runs from November 21st through the 23rd.



Photo courtesy of the Algoma Performing Arts Center Facebook Page

Work begins now for 4-H projects

Before they ever step into the show ring or in front of a judge, 4-H members in Door and Kewaunee Counties put in a lot of work. Many members are looking for different projects to participate in during the new year like livestock, photography, and robotics, which require some additional meetings to attend. Door County 4-H educator Dawn VandeVoort says now is a great time to get involved.

Often a minimum number of project meetings are needed to be attended by the youth members in order to show at the county fair. The re-enrollment deadline for Door County 4-H is November 30th while Kewaunee County’s was October 31st. You can enroll at any time if you are new, but Kewaunee County places a February 1st deadline if you want to show at the fair.

Door County approves funding for broadband pilot projects

Door County is moving forward and funding a pair of broadband pilot programs.  Nsight, the parent company of Cellcom, is applying for grants through the Wisconsin Public Service Commission for multiple projects. Those include broadband service expansion on Washington Island and in the Village of Egg Harbor.  Door County will contribute $5,000 for each project pending receipt of the grant money.  Ryan Heise, Egg Harbor Village Administrator, says Nsight's plans meet a big need in his community.



Nsight is using the Egg Harbor and Washington Island broadband projects to determine whether similar broadband systems could be used in other Door County communities. 

100+ Women Who Care growing and helping more people

With just barely two-years since it began, 100-plus Women Who Care Northern Door County has provided $82,000 to local charities and grown substantially.  The Northern Door chapter of the worldwide organization started with just two organizers and now boasts 285 members.  They pool their donations, nominate groups they'd like to help and select the final recipients. The latest recipients included Door Tran.  Northern Door co-founder Ann Morgan says their $10,000 donation was given at just the right time.


Co-found Peggy Reineck believes 100-plus Women Who Care is attracting more interest because of the group's ability to pool resources and make a bigger difference.



Reineck and Morgan say those who join 100-plus Women Who Care become aware of local charities that were unknown to some members.  Some have now become enthusiastic supporters of those charities.

Historic Kewaunee building hosts new restaurant

The historic 1881 Ballering Building in Kewaunee will host a new restaurant in 2020.  That comes after extensive renovation and historic preservation work on the four-story building.  Art Schiller, co-owner of the building, says the as-yet-unnamed first-floor eatery will be operated by the former owners of DC Deli in Baileys Harbor, who checked out the Ballering Building on the spur of the moment.



Schiller is especially pleased to have Boyd and Candace Finnell and their new restaurant as tenants. That's because he and his family will be able to grab quick takeout meals and bring them home to their residence in the two floors above the restaurant. 



(photo courtesy of 

Luxemburg Chamber announces award winners

Five Luxemburg business and community leaders will be honored for their contributions to the area in December.  The Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce has announced the annual award winners for 2019.  Chamber Board of Directors member Jean Dax shares why John Nimmer of Forest Construction and his wife Sheila, who owned Rocks of Ages Jewelry & Beading, were chosen for Person of the Year.



  Todd and Brenda Burdick were chosen as the Community Service Award winners for going above and beyond the call of duty, according to Dax.



Dax adds that photographer Ron LeCloux will be receiving the Spartan Spirit Award.



The honors will be formally presented at the Luxemburg Chamber Christmas Party on December 7 at Northbrook Golf & Grill. will feature the award winners in upcoming articles over the next week. 



Narcotics raid in City of Kewaunee

The Door/Kewaunee Joint Drug Task Force conducted raids at multiple locations in the City of Kewaunee on Tuesday. Two female employees of the Emerald Shores Assisted Living Facility, 40-year-old Lissa Miller and 43-year old Melanie McCracken, are accused of taking opiate prescription drugs meant for use in the facility and selling them on the street. Kewaunee Sheriff Matt Joski says the investigation began away from the nursing home but records there could wind up providing much needed evidence as the criminal investigation unfolds.


The raids were conducted safely and Sheriff Joski commends all involved. Members of the joint task force who executed the raids came from the Sturgeon Bay Police Department, the City of Kewaunee Police Department, and the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department. 



Program changes considered after second Huber escapee found

The second Huber inmate from the Door County Jail to walk away from the program is now back in custody.  Dennis Harris Jr was reported missing Wednesday and was found Thursday morning in Green Bay.  Door County Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says a tipster led to Harris's capture.



Harris is the second Huber inmate to go AWOL in the past two weeks.  McCarty says the next step is a review of the program.



Chad Skarvan walked away from the Huber program on November 4th.  He returned to the Door County Jail November 11th and surrendered to sheriff's deputies.  

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