New Treasury bond available in February

The U.S. Treasury Department is reissuing 20-year treasury bonds and that comes with a good news/bad news scenario for some investors in Door and Kewaunee counties.  The Treasury Department announced it would begin offering the bonds as early as May in an effort to help pay the growing $1-trillion budget deficit.  The good news is the new bonds would allow the deficit to be repaid with lower interest rates, saving taxpayers money long-term.  Tim Treml, President and CEO of the Bank of Luxemburg, however, says 20-year bonds are not for all investors.


The U.S. Treasury last issued 20-year bonds in 1986.  More details on the new bonds are expected to be released on February 5th.

Potawatomi campers warned about tree removal

 The removal of diseased ash and beech trees is underway at Potawatomi State Park in Sturgeon Bay. Those trees are infested by the emerald ash borer and beech bark disease. Some tree cutting will take place in Potawatomi Parks campgrounds and Superintendent Erin Brown Stender says winter campers need to be cautious.




The harvest of the diseased ash and beech trees will take place through May 15th  Those trees will be used for pulp and the remainder used for building materials.

Students get jump on college with dual credit programĀ 

Southern Door High School presents a college course opportunity for its high school students through NWTC. Southern Door teachers teach the courses available that range from math to communications and. Taking these courses gives students the chance to earn transferable college credit. 
Courses fitting into a student’s high school schedule and in their familiar classroom settings provide a student with a comfortable first taste of college. Along with class instruction, students have online resources such as textbooks, dashboards, and NWTC class instruction. 
Sarah Paye, Southern Door High School Counselor, remarked that the NWTC Dual Credit Program is an excellent way for students to obtain college credit.



Mrs. Paye informed that quite a few Southern Door graduate students head to NWTC for further education. 
Parents and students of Southern Door interested in these offered school prepaid courses can talk to Mrs. Paye to get the inside scoop. 




Area grocers ready for Super Bowl weekend

Although the Green Bay Packers are not playing in the Super Bowl this year, local supermarkets anticipate a busy week as home parties are being planned.  A survey conducted by the National Retail Federation shows that an average of $88.65 will be spent by those expected to watch the game.  Econofoods Store Manager Jon Calhoun says many of his departments are a lot busier the closer we get to kick-off.



Calhoun says the store plans a two-day meat sale prior to Super Bowl Sunday every year that works well for diehard grillers and party planners.  Of the 17.2 million Americans expected to watch the big game Sunday, 19 percent will be throwing a party while another 27 percent plan on attending a Super Bowl party.

Algoma Police Chief holding monthly conversations

To better connect with the community, Algoma Police Chief Randy Remiker is scheduling a monthly "Coffee with the Chief" to address the public's thoughts and concerns.  The first one is planned for Tuesday, February 18 at Caffe Tlazo in Algoma.  Police Chief Remiker shares the ideas and conversations he hopes to stimulate with the local residents.



Remiker adds that everyone is welcome. "Coffee with the Chief" begins at 9 am on the third Tuesday of each month. 


Climate advocacy group offering training session

In an effort to formulate a Door County Chapter to the Citizens' Climate Lobby, a special training session is being planned at the Kress Pavillion next month.  Organizer John Hermanson says the grassroots advocacy group is looking for people interested in solutions and information on legislation to support efforts to halt climate change.  He explains how the three-hour training session will be conducted on February 29.



Hermanson hopes that the local concerns over water quality in Door and Kewaunee counties will spur additional interest in participating in the Climate Advocate Training and ultimately the new organization.  The free event will be held at the Kress Pavillion in Egg Harbor from 9 am until noon on Saturday, February 29.


Routine traffic stop leads to big meth bust

A simple traffic stop on Monday night led to arrests for Methamphetamine manufacturing and dealing in Sturgeon Bay.  According to a Sturgeon Bay Police social media post Tuesday, a police officer stopped a vehicle on the west side shortly before 8 pm Monday for a minor traffic infraction for having a non-working brake light.  After officers discovered a large number of drugs during a search of the vehicle, the driver, a Sturgeon Bay resident, was arrested for several felonies.  A high quantity of meth, marijuana, scales, cash, and paraphernalia were confiscated.   While that arrest was being made, two other Sturgeon Bay Patrol officers followed up on the east side residence of the vehicle's owner.  The individual was uncooperative and was taken into custody.  After searching the apartment, officers eventually found meth, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and smoking devices.  Both suspects will be facing multiple charges including Delivery/Manufacturing Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine,  Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of Marijuana.


This story will be updated with more details when made available by the Sturgeon Bay Police Department. 





Sturgeon Bay Math Team rolls again

The dynasty known as the Sturgeon Bay High School math team continued its impressive run with another victory in a Packerland Conference meet on Monday evening at Sevastopol.  The eight-school competition saw the Clippers tally 317 points followed by second-place N.E.W. Lutheran and third-place Oconto.  Sturgeon Bay math teacher and coach Cliff Wind believes his team also benefits from the block schedule format at the high school.



After four conference meets, Sturgeon Bay currently leads the league with 80 points while N.E.W. Lutheran is second with 72 points.  The Clippers have won 17 consecutive conference championships.  You can find the complete individual and team results from Monday's math meet below.






            1.  Michael Laxo, SB, 38

            2.  Nick Herbst, SB, 36

3.  Fletcher Hubbard, SB, 36

4.  Marina Jeanquart, SB, 35

            5.  Simon Kopischke, Gib, 32



            1.  Abram Abeyta, SB, 32

            2.  Jack Hitzeman, Gib, 32

            3.  Henry Pudo, SB, 30

4.  Molly Fei, NEW, 30

5.  Carter Henry, SB, 29



            1.  Grace Holmgren, O, 33

            2   Andrew Konop, SB, 31

3.  Mark Harrell, Sev, 29

            4.  Arry VanLieshout, SB, 28

            5.  Maggie Stephens, SB, 27



            1.  Christy Braun, SB, 32

            2.  Luke Nell, NEW,25

            3.  Laura Zittlow, So Door, 22

            4. Russell Pudlo, SB, 20

            5. Atlee Manson, Sev, 19




1. Sturgeon Bay, 317 points

2. NEW, 246

3. Oconto, 227

4. Kewaunee, 221

5. Southern Door 193

6. Algoma, 183

7. Sevastopol 180

8. Gibraltar, 155


JV results (10 total teams)

1. Sturgeon Bay 2, 243 points

2. Sturgeon Bay 3, 143

3. Algoma 2, 113

4.  Kewaunee 2, 101




Current Standings for varsity teams after 4 meets

1.  Sturgeon Bay, 80 league points

2.  NEW, 72

3.  Oconto 58

4.  Kewaunee, 48

5.  Algoma, 44

Tie 6. Sevastopol, 43 Southern Door, 43 

8.  Gibraltar, 28



Junior Varsity overall results (10 total teams)


1.  SB #2, 120 league points

2.  SB #3, 112

3.  Kew #2 98

Keeping the department organized

Behind every good sheriff's deputy is a good administrative assistant, and that is even truer in Kewaunee County. For over 15 years combined, Mary Berkovitz and Angie Mueller have served the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department by handling a lot of the paperwork coming across their desk from traffic stops, accident reports, and other incidents. Their duties also provide a vital link between the department and other agencies in the county. They may not have a badge or drive in a cruiser, but Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says they are part of the family.

Joski says the digitalization of records is the biggest change the two have seen in recent years. Patrol deputies kept Berkovitz and Mueller busy in 2019 with over 3500 complaints filed.




While we are still in the early weeks of the New Year I would like to continue with providing information on the various aspects of the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department. This week I will be focusing on our “Sheriff’s Administrative Assistants”

       In every organization there is a system of processes which allows for the smooth and reliable transfer of information from one component of the organization to another. It is the center of all activity and its success relies on constant communication and the ability to adjust to changes on a moment’s notice. For the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department these processes involve the handling of all documentation from traffic citations to accident reports, civil process to criminal charge requests, juvenile referrals to open records requests. They involve providing information to agencies throughout Kewaunee County, the State of Wisconsin and in some cases the Federal Government.

        All of this activity falls under the duties of “Sheriff’s Administrative Assistant” and in Kewaunee County we have two of the best; Mary Berkovitz and Angie Mueller. To provide a glimpse into the daily life of these two will be difficult in the space I have available for this article, but I will try to provide a broad overview.

        From the moment a report is generated to the time when it goes to court our Sheriff’s Administrative Assistants are a vital link between the responding officers to the Supervisory staff where reports are filed reviewed proofed, and ultimately submitted to either the District Attorney’s Office, Human Services or the many other agencies with whom we work with on a daily basis. Here at the Sheriff’s Department all reports are dictated by the responding Officers which then require them to be transcribed by the Sheriff’s Administrative Assistants. This accounts for a great deal of the volume of work which is done by these two employees. Beyond just transcribing they also must make sure all of the incidents are coded correctly so that the monthly reports to the Department of Justice are accurate and reflect the actual offenses occurring in Kewaunee County.

          Beyond the world of law enforcement reports they are also involved in the civil process work that is done at the Sheriff’s Department. This involves the service of court orders ranging from sheriff sales to writ of executions, evictions to restraining orders. Even after the reports have left the Sheriff’s Department and the cases have moved forward in the legal process, many times we receive requests for various reports which these two employees facilitate.

          In the world of law enforcement where documentation is everything, the need for accurate and timely reports is vital and we are very fortunate to have two dedicated individuals who make sure the “I’s” have been dotted and the “T’s” crossed. Thank you Mary and Angie! Next week I will be providing an update on our Public Safety Building planning process, as we are nearing the completion of the second phase of our work.

Independent book stores thrive on shared interests

Readers can save a few bucks buying online.  The co-owner of Novel Bay Booksellers in Sturgeon Bay, however, says there's a value that shoppers won't find on the web.  John Maggitti and his wife Liz Welter opened Novel Bay a little over a year ago and have developed a very loyal clientele.  Maggitti says having a personal relationship with customers is priceless.


Independent book stores are also benefitting from a decline in ebook sales.  The Association of American Publishers says between 2014 and 2018 ebook sales fell about 37-percent.


Escarpment museum hits reset

The wait for a museum highlighting the Niagara Escarpment in Door County just got a little longer. The Greater Escarpment Organization of Door County recently decided to demolish a home it was planning on using for its Niagara Escarpment Discovery Center located in Ellison Bay. GEO-DC President Nancy Goss cited the costs related to removing asbestos and mold along with building a new wheelchair ramp and an extra bathroom as reasons to scrap the original plans. Goss says she believes they will be able to build a better discovery center on the same lot as the original structure.

The decision to demolish the building will have a positive impact on the community.  Door County Habitat for Humanity will remove the salvageable materials for its ReStore and the Sister Bay-Liberty Grove Fire Department will be able to use the structure for training.


Photo courtesy of GEO-DC Facebook Page




Ellison Bay, WI – January 27 2020.  You may have noticed quite a bit of recent activity at 11876 Hwy. 42 in Ellison Bay, the Greater Escarpment Organization of Door County (GEO-DC) Discovery Center site.  Most of the cars, trucks and activity revolves around materials salvage being conducted by Habitat for Humanity.


When GEO-DC purchased the property in 2017, we knew the building was more than 50 years old and had a number of “issues”; mold, a leaky roof, winterization needs, and the need for a great deal of cleaning.  However, we also knew the location, with its superlative view of the Escarpment and the waters of Green Bay, would greatly support our educational mission.  With our hearts leaning decidedly towards sustainability and reuse of an existing structure, we went to work.  Our active team donated many hours of sweat-equity, donning respirators and gloves, as well as wielding crowbars, hammers and shovels (oh my!) to deal with the mold.  Jim Creed fixed the portion of the roof that leaked. 


We began to plan in earnest over the past two years for the significant remodeling project required for public, ADA-accessible, use of the structure and our future exhibits.  What we did not know is that further examination of the structure would eventually reveal some devastating news about worse than anticipated not-to-code construction and, worst of all, asbestos.  Amber Beard, our general contractor, conducted a detailed inventory of what would be needed to remediate these issues, as well as estimated costs of same.  The dollar amount rapidly rose to the point where our Board began to compare demolition/new construction with remediation/remodeling, exploring the pros and cons of each option. 


Ultimately, the Board decided in favor of new construction.  Not only would the materials be new and code-compliant, but new construction would allow us to reposition the structure more efficiently on the small lot, allowing for more parking, and even better views of the Escarpment and the waters of Green Bay.  It would also allow us to build in stages, to accommodate needs and growth.  The final “plus” is that we would be designing a building to fit our planned exhibits, instead of shoehorning our exhibits into an existing space. 


Not wanting the building to simply go to waste, we contacted Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht, and asked if the department could use the building for firefighting training.  We were greeted with an enthusiastic “yes!”  (Our sincere thanks to the Firefighters’ Association for a much-appreciated donation towards the asbestos removal required prior to training).  Because we are still committed to being as sustainable as practicable, we also reached out to Habitat for Humanity to see if they could repurpose anything from the building prior to the Fire Department use.  Habitat/Restore has been removing paneling, flooring, doors, windows, lighting fixtures, shelving, toilet, sink…even the EXIT sign…all to be repurposed elsewhere in the community.

Once Habitat is finished, the Fire Department will take over the scene for training purposes.  Chris Hecht notes, “The Sister Bay & Liberty Grove Fire Department has been very fortunate to have received the donation of the Geo-DC building that is to be removed. The Fire Department has had limited accessibility to surplus structures to use for training and this building will provide a unique opportunity for hands-on training.  Members of the Department will be using the building for real world training including live fire training that will provide hands-on experience in flow path control, ventilation, a variety of search and rescue techniques and fire suppression.  The Fire Department hopes to use the building from late this winter through late spring depending on the weather conditions and the overall need for the complete removal of the building.“


GEO-DC will continue its mission of education with scheduled lectures and events for the 2020 season, while planning for our capital campaign building fund.  Watch our website and Facebook for upcoming details.

Kewaunee tourism treading water

The city of Kewaunee will need to act soon if it wants to avoid a repeat of last year's hit to its sport fishing industry. During the City of Kewaunee's Committee of the Whole meeting Monday night, it was decided that more information was needed before it could make the decision to reopen the marina and boat launch for the first time since closing it last summer due to high water levels. A number of things need to happen to get the boat launch and marina ready before its potential opening date. Accurate Marine owner Tom Kleiman admits he is anxious for the decision because his business and others depend on the marina being open to help bring tourism dollars into the city.

The city of Kewaunee will not be able to count on Mother Nature to help in 2020 after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told officials earlier this month that Lake Michigan water levels are expected to set records. Kleiman is encouraged by city leaders knowing the importance of the sport fishery in Kewaunee and wanting to get something figured out.


Volunteer carving a niche at 93

A 93-year-old Sturgeon Bay man is still using his woodworking skills to benefit Feed and Clothe My People of Door County.  Herb Klein retired to Door County from Chicago over 27 years ago and shortly thereafter volunteered his time to the organization.  Making handmade birdhouses out of old donated shoes and carving walking sticks out of deadwood from maple trees, Klein can finish one of his unique creations in about two hours.  Klein, who volunteers a few hours every Monday and Thursday morning, says he enjoys helping in what he calls a perfect recycling operation.



The birdhouses and walking sticks are $20 each and are available in the Thrift Store located within Feed My People of Door County.  Klein recommends people to get involved and help out any way they can.  He has also made shelving and portable carts for the organization in the past.  You can see pictures of the birdhouses and walking sticks with this story below.







Traps of diet gimmicks -- Mental Health Minute

Losing weight can be easy while dieting but keeping it off can be another story, according to a Sturgeon Bay Psychologist.  Reportedly two-thirds of all adults are considered obese in the United States.  Sturgeon Bay Psychologist Dr. Dennis White says researchers from UCLA examined 31 weight-loss studies and found that long-term dieting does not keep the pounds off.  He says gimmicks are not a good solution since many times the lost weight comes back.  Sustainable changes in your lifestyle are needed.



Dr. White adds that people are often driven to eat.  By changing your approach to foods and eliminating bad eating habits you can improve your physical and mental wellbeing.  You can listen to Dr. Dennis White's entire Mental Health Minute with this story online.





Door County considers Green Tier designation

Self-sustainability will be up for discussion when the Door County Board of Supervisors considers a Green Tier designation.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will make a presentation to supervisors on the specifics and benefits of being part of the program.  Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says joining Green Tier can help participating communities take earth-friendly actions that benefit taxpayers.



The DNR's Green Tier presentation will take place during the Door County Board of Supervisors' regular meeting at 10:00 AM on January 28th.

School mental health program making strides

A program facilitated by the United Way of Door County is helping local high school students get the help they need. For the past year, the STRIDE community program has helped arrange mental health services for students at the county's school districts. Sevastopol has partnered with Bellin Health over the last year to provide a weekly visit from a mental health therapist. Director of Pupil Services Melissa Marggraf praises the importance of reaching kids with the services they may not otherwise be able to get or afford.

Marggraf says the program has a waiting list at Sevastopol. Culver's Sturgeon Bay is hosting a Share Night on Tuesday to benefit the program, which Marggraf says will go to the United Way before it is distributed to the area's school districts.

Moving ahead on Washington Island emergency center

Door County will look to move forward on the development of a proposed emergency services facility on Washington Island.  The Board of Supervisors will consider a resolution supporting a preliminary assessment and cost estimate for the project.  Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says that would give the county a clearer view of what form the emergency service center would take.



In addition to housing emergency medical services, the proposed Washington Island facility would also be used for other county services.

Connecting prayers digitally

You do not have to be in Champion to pray along with other Catholics during the next novena at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help.  Saturday kicks off the first of six different novenas the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help organizes every year. In recent years, it has reached to pilgrims digitally by emailing the set of prayers during each of the nine days the novena takes place. Father John Broussard says its mailing list is growing as people want to connect with the Shrine long before and after they visit.

Broussard says pilgrims can still visit the hallowed site for daily prayers at 11 a.m. or request information by mail if they prefer during the novena, which runs February 1st through 9th.


Battle of wastewater treatment plant continues

April 20th is the next time the courts will listen to arguments over a wastewater treatment plant in northern Door County. Since late 2017, the village of Sister Bay and the town of Liberty Grove have battled over who is the rightful owner of the plant and related facilities. The village believes they have sole ownership while the town believes they have a stake in it. The Liberty Grove Town Board voted earlier this month to decline responsibility for invoices received on behalf of the wastewater treatment plant until the issue is settled. Town chairperson John Lowry hopes the two sides can get to a point of equal understanding.

The village of Sister Bay received good news concerning the wastewater treatment plant when it was awarded a $1.6 million grant to make necessary upgrades.


Response crucial to school fire

Without a passerby reporting to the Door County Sheriff's Department and the help from eleven different agencies, Gibraltar Fire and Rescue Chief Andy Bertges says Monday's blaze could have been a lot worse. The fire department received the call about the fire at Gibraltar Elementary School just before 5 a.m. after reports were made about flames coming from the roof. It is suspected snow slid down the roof and hit a propane line connected to the school's rooftop heating and cooling unit, causing it to rupture. The fire was contained to just the unit itself by around 5:30 a.m. and Bertges was happy for all the help to make sure it did not get worse.


Even though the school day was canceled, Gibraltar kept its after school schedule virtually intact. Bertges says since the fire was contained to the heating and cooling unit and did not harm the roof that he expects school could be back in session for Tuesday.
Photo courtesy of Door County Sheriff's Department


L-C sports facility dedication draws big crowd

Hundreds of community members showed up for the opening of the new gymnasium and wrestling facility at the Luxemburg-Casco High School on Sunday afternoon.   The new facility is part of the $26 million referendum project that the school passed two years ago.  Prior to the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Superintendent Glenn Schlender addressed the crowd and shared what the day meant to be a Spartan.



The program included L-C High School choir, and dance team performances along with commentary from various dignitaries associated with the new addition.  You can see video and pictures of Sunday’s new gym and wrestling room dedication with this story below. 




Highway reopens after school fire, classes canceled

State Highway 42 near Gibraltar Area Schools in Fish Creek is reopened Monday morning after a fire broke out on the school grounds.


According to a Door County Sheriff's Department Facebook post at around 5:15 a.m., the temporary road closure was announced due to a fire on the school grounds. The department recommended traffic take a detour around the school involving County Highway F and Gibraltar Road until around 6 a.m. when it was reopened. A separate post announced classes at Gibraltar Area Schools were canceled for Monday.




Could Sturgeon Bay be cruise ship port of call?

Viking Cruises will be adding the Great Lakes in 2022. The price point for the eight-day voyages runs upwards of seven-thousand dollars per person. Many of the routes end, or begin, in Milwaukee. That means a lot of disposable income will be passing by Door County. Municipal Services Director Mike Barker says infrastructure needs to help make Sturgeon Bay a port of call could add up to a hefty price tag.


There’s more to consider. The cruise ship commissioned for Great Lakes operation is 665 feet long. Sturgeon Bay’s pier today is equipped to comfortably fit a ship roughly 450 feet in length. To bridge the difference Sturgeon Bay would need to make additional waterfront property purchases.


Scam using popular delivery company looks legitimate

Texts claiming to be from FedEx about a parcel delivery may be a scam, although no victims have yet been reported in Door or Kewaunee counties.  The phony texts refer to recipients by their names, have a tracking number and a link to set delivery preferences.  The next step asks the recipient to answer a customer satisfaction survey that asks for credit card, banking or other personal data.  Door County Sheriffs Department Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says such scams need to serve as a reminder for people to verify such information through shipper's websites or a direct phone call.   McCarty adds never click on hyperlinks on questionable texts or emails and never give out personal information.


McCarty says if you're not sure whether calls, texts or emails are legitimate report them to local law enforcement or just delete them without responding.

Door County a Girl Scout favorite

It’s Girl Scout cookie season and the public can’t get enough which is a great thing for Door County. The funds raised from Tag-Alongs and Thin Mints are increasingly finding their way to area businesses. The Door County Adventure Center teams with troops from across the Midwest. Sometimes it is day activities such as zip lining locally. On a grander scale, it can be a week’s adventure to the Apostle Islands or the Porcupine Mountains of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Operations Manager Abbey Tierney says the Adventure Center turns camping into an experience.


Tierney says that she begins planning summer activities with various troops the previous fall. It is the culmination of a year’s worth of effort.


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