News

Impeachment process unclear even to senators

United States Senator Ron Johnson says that he doesn't have any special insight into the impeachment inquiry being conducted by House Democrats. Johnson accuses House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of keeping even fellow lawmakers in the dark.

 


The Senate serves as the jury for the trial after a President is impeached by the House of Representatives. If other members of the legislative body feel as Johnson does, that could slow the process down considerably from the accelerated timetable that Democrats seem to be hoping for. 

 

The full interview from Saturday October 19th.

 

 

County clerks help voters ensure they're registered

Residents in Door and Kewaunee counties who haven't moved don't have to be concerned about their voter registration status.  Those who've received letters from the Wisconsin Elections Commission seeking confirmation of their voting addresses should confirm or update that information as soon as possible.  That recommendation is from Kewaunee County Clerk Jamie Annoye. It comes as several state residents and a conservative legal group have challenged the state's deadline of April 2021 for voters contacted by mail to update their addresses.  The challengers want voters to comply within 30-days or have their registration information removed from voters polls.  Annoye says the county clerks office can help verify that you're registered or help you re-register.

 

 

 

Annoye says voters can also register to vote on election day if they've not previously registered in their new district. 

Aging Door County population strains resources

Door County continues to age and the changing demographics are straining resources. The Washington Island Community Health Program was formed to connect aging residents with access to services that would allow them to continue to live independently. Executive Director Christine Andersen says the remote location has always caused issues for those living on the island. Now, though, the problems translate to Door County communities in general.

 


In keeping with that trend, Andersen says demand for WICHP is at an all-time high.

 


No monarchs, no problem in Door County

For Door County residents who love their butterflies there is still one of the orange and black migrating variety flitting from yard to yard in October. The painted lady butterfly is not as celebrated as monarchs are but it provides a similar splash of color to local gardens. Naturalist Karen Newbern says painted ladies do migrate but it is not widely understood.

 


Painted ladies are known as irruptive migrants because the pattern is not seasonal or geographic in nature. There is some speculation that the migration pattern is tied to the El Nino phenomenon which occurs every four years in the Pacific Ocean. 

 

New condominium development in Algoma

There is a developer's agreement in place for three new condominium buildings in the City of Algoma. Each building is expected to be worth at least $900,000 and will increase the taxable base by a significant amount. The proposed site for the buildings is not currently serviced by city utilities including sewer and water so Algoma is issuing revenue anticipation notes to add the necessary infrastructure. Treasurer Amber Shallow explains how those work.

 


Authorization occured at the Common Council meeting on October 16th. 

Money Management Counselors opens new office

The nonprofit organization Money Management Counselors will have a new mobile office allowing them to better serve northern Door County. By appointment only, the group can schedule its preferred one-on-one sessions inside the Nicolet National Bank branch in Sister Bay on the first Monday of the month. Executive Director Leslie Boden says that if demand necessitates, the Sister Bay office could see more use in the future.

 


Money Management Counselors helps with a range of financial issues including budgeting, bankruptcy, student loans, and more. The group's permanent office is in Sturgeon Bay and it serves Kewaunee and Door Counties. 


Local high school gets power tools donation

Sturgeon Bay's Technology Education Department received a pallet of power tools after their program was selected following a grant application with Milwaukee Tool. Technology and Engineering Instructor Brian Pahl says the donation helps to maintain the capabilities of the department.

 


Pahl originally heard of the opportunity through conversations with a teacher from another district. The grant application was sent out last month with quick turnaround. 

Veterans concert helped by American Legion

The Algoma City Band is turning to the American Legion to help notify veterans of a concert celebrating their service. The event will be at Algoma Elementary School on the evening of Wednesday, November 13th. American Legion Kewaunee County Commander Tracy Steiner says that once the curtain goes up, the Legion provides a small, but integral, part of the program.

 


The concert has become an annual tradition held the week of Veterans Day. Sometimes it is on the holiday proper, but this year it is a couple days after. There are many events happening on the 11th. 

Algoma bridge opening December 7

The Second Street Bridge in Algoma will now be looking at a December 7 opening.  Matt Murphy, Algoma Public Works Director, says the construction crews just finished pouring the south embankment pillars this past Thursday.  He shares the next step for the bridge project.

 

 

Murphy says all storm and sewer work has been completed on the First and Second Street project.  He says new curbs and gutters will be installed in the next week with sidewalk completion and the blacktopping of the street to follow.   Plans are for the streets to reopen to the public by the evening of October 29, according to Murphy. 

 


Children used in abusive relationships

In many domestic abuse situations, children can be caught in the middle of abusive conflicts in a household.  Help of Door County Executive Director Steve Vickman says abusers will often use tactics against their partners to get their way.  He says many times abusers will use physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse to control the other person.  Another manipulation is pitting a child against the abuse victim.

 

 

Vickman adds that children will often believe the abuser and at least go along with it for self-preservation.  He says it is best to refrain from blaming the child or badmouthing the other parent because of the confusing time it may be for the child.  October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.      

 

Non-recyclable plastics causing local concerns

With California recently failing to pass legislation that would have banned the production or sale of any non-recyclable single-use containers in the state by 2030, local environmental activists are expressing concerns on plastics and the long term impact in the area. Wayne Kudick, chair of the Stella Maris Parish Creation Care Mission, says the problem is even greater with the makeup of the Door County landscape.

 

 

Kudick lists some of the other countries that are banning or taxing plastics worldwide.

 

 

Kudick adds that the plastic bag tax in the United Kingdom meant it produced six billion fewer bags in the first year reflecting an 83 percent reduction rate.  In the United States, California and Hawaii are the only two states that have banned disposable bags.    

 

Halloween Walk a learning experience

This weekend’s Algoma Halloween Walk is a lot more than just some high school students dressed up as cartoon characters. Since the Algoma School District took over the event five years ago, it has provided students an opportunity to organize all facets of the event. From setting up the craft and theme areas to helping make the wishes of young kids come true. Event Director Jennifer Massey says it is rewarding to see the students run the event.

The Algoma Halloween Walk kicks off the ghoulish end of the month in Kewaunee County on Saturday and Sunday at Algoma High School from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Proceeds from the event go to support programs at the school district and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

 

 


Grant aids Sister Bay waste water plant

The Village of Sister Bay is now closer to upgrading it's nearly 30-year-old waste water treatment plant thanks to a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant.  The $1.6-million grant is the final piece of funding for the project and is being combined with a low-interest USDA loan of $3,391,000.   Sister Bay Village President David Lineau says upgrading the community's waste water treatment facilities has long been under discussion.

 

 

Sister Bay's Village Board recently approved the hiring of an engineering firm to draw up the specifications for the project.  From there, the village will put the waste water treatment facility project out for bids.

Maritime Tower gets a name

Thanks to a generous Green Bay donor, the Door County Maritime Museum is a big step closer to making its planned tower a reality. The museum announced Friday a $1 million gift from the George Kress Foundation for the ten-floor structure planned to be filled with interactive activities. The maritime tower will be named after the late James F. Kress, former owner of Green Bay Packaging. Deputy Director Sam Perlman says this is an important step towards eventually breaking ground.

The donation leaves the Door County Maritime Museum just over $1 million short of its capital campaign goal for the maritime tower of $5.5 million.

PATH proud of home

A year after it purchased the former Jaycee Clubhouse in Sturgeon Bay, PATH of Door County is showing it off to the community. PATH has been working hard making many improvements to the building to make it fit for families with members dealing with autism and other challenges. Volunteer Executive Director Deb Doyle says it was important to establish a home base after years of moving from location to location.

During the year, PATH organizes camp, after school and tutoring programs, family engagement activities, and parent education opportunities. PATH will host its open house on October 23rd from 4 to 6 p.m.

Old grants aid new projects

The city of Sturgeon Bay will be able to keep two grants it received in previous years to help begin work on west waterfront projects. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is allowing two matching grants from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund totaling $447,000 to be used in the future construction of a promenade and dock wall on the city’s west side after litigation essentially froze its use for years. Community Development Director Marty Olejniczak says the DNR was understanding about why the grants had not been used.

The grants were part of the city budget approved by the Sturgeon Bay Common Council earlier this week. To cover the $447,000 it needs to match the grants, Olejniczak says options like naming rights, donations, or dollars from the general and tax increment district funds will be considered.

Different look for Sevastopol homecoming

Much like Luxemburg-Casco and Gibraltar, things will look different for Sevastopol alumni as they return to the area for homecoming festivities. Just like any homecoming celebration, theme days dot the week ahead of Friday’s football game and bonfire followed by Saturday’s dance. However, Sevastopol has gone under some changes ahead of its bigger referendum projects, including a renovation of its gym and cafeteria. Principal Adam Baier hopes alumni and the community as a whole see the work they keep putting into the building.

Baier says alumni and community members will see some of the big changes to Sevastopol’s campus, which includes over $25 million in renovation and new construction projects, within the next year.

New inspection program aids culvert work

The replacement work on culverts under sections of Highway 42 in Kewaunee County and Jacksonport in Door County are being made possible through a new Wisconsin Department of Transportation inspection program.  The culvert being replaced in Kewaunee County was not due for reconstruction for a few more years.  Chris Blazek, the DOT's Northeast Region Maintenance Supervisor, says culvert inspections are conducted every four years.  He says the new inspection system helps find culverts that have deteriorated more rapidly than expected.

 

 

The electronic inspection reporting system also allows the DOT to photograph culvert and bridge conditions and ingest them into department computer systems immediately.  

Sturgeon Bay High School Choirs warming up for Broadway

The Sturgeon Bay High School Choir is taking their show on the road for the first time ever.  The choir’s Broadway Cabaret and dinner show will be presented off-campus at the Union Supper Pub next month.  The show will feature 53 cast members from the three high school choirs plus a variety of solo artists performing classic Broadway show tunes.  Choir Director Leslie Hill says show-goers will be in for a treat on November 2.

 

 

Hill says the choirs will do a sneak preview at the Senior Luncheon at the ADRC Community Center the week before the performance at the Union Supper Pub.  Tickets for the dinner show are available at the Sturgeon Bay High School office for $20 until October 28th.   Proceeds will help defray the cost of the choir’s scheduled trip to New York next June.    

 

(photo courtesy of Sturgeon Bay High School Choir)

 

Great Lakes Shipwrecks featured at historical program

The Door County Historical Society is bringing to light the darkened remains of countless ships that are found at the bottom of the Great Lakes.  Rochelle Pennington, an award-winning newspaper columnist and best-selling author of ten books, will be sharing stories called “Shipwrecked Shores: An Underwater Look at the Greatest Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes” at a presentation on November 18.  Door County Historical Society Director Bailey Koepsel says attendees will find the program fascinating.

 

 

The presentation will be held at the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay beginning at 6 pm on Monday, November 18.  You can information about the program and dinner below.  

 

(photo courtesy of Door County Historical Society)

 

The Monday November 18 dinner will be catered by Scaturo’s. On the menu is baked chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffed shells, dessert, and beverages. The price is $22 for members, $25 for guests. Please RSVP by November 11.

This program is at the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church is located at 1756 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay. Make your reservation by sending payment to the Door County Historical Society, P.O. Box 71, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235. 

The reservation deadline is Monday, November 11; space is limited. For further information, contact the Door County Historical Society at (920) 421-2332 or doorcountyhistory@gmail.com.

Gibraltar turns down property purchase

Residents of the Town of Gibraltar voted Wednesday to reject a proposed property purchase. The bold plan sought to buy 195 acres behind the Settlement Courtyard Inn off Highway 42 for over two million dollars. Supervisor Bill Johnson says residents had two main reservations against buying the Redmann property.

 


Besides affordable housing, single-family homes on 20 acres and multi-family housing were also explored. Over 400 people attended the meeting. The final vote was 180 against compared to just 51 opting for the plan. 

 

Kewaunee County gets broadband boost

Two resolutions passed by the Kewaunee County Board on Tuesday could pave the way for more people getting better access to broadband Internet. The board approved leasing a portion of one of its towers to Door County Broadband for future subscribers. The county will be compensated based on new customers. The board also approved paying $40,000 for their portion of a grant with hopes of constructing a new tower in the Lincoln area. Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Robert Weidner is happy both resolutions were approved.

Tuesday’s board meeting also featured a public hearing for the 2020 budget. Members of the public spoke against the elimination of two county positions, but the board will have its last say next month when it votes on a final draft of the budget.

Flu shot clinic keeping busy

Flu vaccination clinics run by Door County Medical Center are finding plenty of people to keep healthy this winter. According to the State Health Department, close to 3,500 Wisconsinites were hospitalized with flu-related complications last season. Cheryl Wilke from Door County Medical Center says the clinic sites have been busy since some of them opened at the beginning of the month. She advises people of all ages to get the vaccine and schedule their visit in advance.

Door County Medical Center will have their flu vaccination clinic open at their outpatient medical office through the end of the month, while opportunities to get your shot also exist in Algoma, Fish Creek, and its Sturgeon Bay children’s center in November. Costs vary depending on your insurance coverage and type of dosage.

Accident renews harvest safety call

A Casco woman was admitted to a hospital after crashing into a manure hauler earlier this week. No names were released, but the woman was traveling near Cherneyville and Sleepy Hollow Roads near Kewaunee when it failed to yield to a Black Creek-based manure hauler working for a nearby farm. Extension Kewaunee County agriculture agent Aerica Bjurstrom says farmers and motorists need to take proper precautions when out on the roadways.

Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says the manure and fuel spill caused by the crash has been cleaned up. Farmers will be crisscrossing their fields over the next few weeks as it is finally getting dry enough to take their implements out into some of their fields. 

 

MORE ON HARVEST SAFETY FROM AERICA BJURSTROM

Fall brings harvest, and that means road sharing between passenger vehicles and farm equipment. Because most of the roads in Kewaunee and Door Counties are rural, practicing patience and caution can prevent a serious accident.

 

Farm vehicles can be recognized by their size and slow moving emblems displayed. Be prepared to slow down when you see these vehicles. Some may also have flashing yellow lights or a beacon strobe light. Dusk is a particularly busy time as farmers are returning from the fields this time of day.

Because some farm vehicles are not required to have turn signals and brake lights, it may seem as if the vehicle is stopping in the middle of the road, when in fact they are preparing to turn left. Please use caution and patience behind these vehicles; the most common accident occurs when a motorist thinks the vehicle is pulling over when in fact the farmer is swinging the vehicle wide to line up with a gate or driveway.

 

Farm equipment is commonly driven on the shoulder of the road to allow for better passing space for motorists. Although farm equipment operators are not required to drive on the shoulder, they typically do this as a courtesy for vehicle traffic. Be aware that farm implements driving on the shoulder may swing out into the road to go around a mailbox or other obstruction. Also this fall more than others, you may see more equipment operating at night, as many farmers will be working hard to harvest in between rain events.

 

The keys to safety when sharing the road with farm equipment are care, caution, and patience. Have a safe fall harvest and keep an eye out for your neighbors on the roads.

Bright day for Habitat dedication

The eyes were as wet inside as the people were outside during Door County Habitat for Humanity’s 42nd home build dedication Wednesday afternoon. Rain forced the majority of the attendees into the new garage of the Bright family. Organizations presented the Bright family with a bookshelf, bible, and toolbox while they, in turn, showered Door County Habitat for Humanity and its volunteers with praise. The Bright family put in 845 sweat equity hours into the home, so Kari says it was hard staying out of it for five days ahead of Wednesday’s dedication.

The house is a unique building for Door County Habitat for Humanity as it is the organization’s first zero-entry home. That allows daughter Tatiana to safely maneuver around the house in her wheelchair, giving her freedom she never had before. Construction supervisor Chuck Stone says delivering a new house for a partner family never gets old.

The house is not quite finished yet as Stone hopes the Bright family will be able to move in by the end of the month.

 

 

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