Sunset Park packed for Sturgeon Bay Fine Arts Fair

Sunset Park brought in close to 100 art vendors for the 21st Annual Sturgeon Bay Fine Arts Fair Saturday and Sunday. Hundreds of visitors gathered to take in the beautiful art and nice spring weather. Pam Seiler, Executive Director for the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center, says close to 100 art vendors from all over Wisconsin and the Midwest came to the fair. Seiler shared what keeps people coming back year after year.



Tents were set up with paintings, sculptures, jewelry and more. There was a face-painting station and other arts and crafts activities for kids. Pictures from the Sturgeon Bay Fine Arts Fair can be found below.


Gibraltar school employees offered grants to continue school innovation

Teachers and other employees in the Gibraltar Area School District will again have financial incentives to help the schools run more efficiently. For the fifth year, the board of education is awarding innovation grants to district employees.  Those grants will help employees find new and better ways to do their jobs better. School board president Mark Weborg says the program has had past success making the education process easier for staff and students alike.


Weborg says the number of grants is based on what the budget allows from year to year.  He calls it money well spent to provide for smoother school operations. 

Mapping the way for Door County businesses to sell in Jingdezhen

An initial road map for doing business in Jingdezhen, China is generating enthusiasm for companies considering selling their goods in Door County's sister city.   The Ad Hoc Jingdezhen Sister City Advisory Committee has started the effort to make it easier to export Door County products, with help from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.  Committee member Laura Vlies Wotachek says potential exporters are attracted to growing their business modestly or being part of a cultural exchange.



Space is already in place for Door County products at Jingdezhen's main mall in a converted ceramics factory.

SBU canal dredging landfill takes in non-toxic soils

The Sturgeon Bay Utilities landfill used to store dredging material from the Sturgeon Bay Shipping Canal is non-toxic and extensively tested before storage.  The utility is currently seeking a new DNR permit to operate the 30-acre site.  The landfill can take in tens-of-thousands of tons of material from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or the U.S. Coast Guard in a season or none at all.  SBU Operations Manager Cliff White says the landfill tests all material for PCB's and is not about to run out of space anytime soon.



A public meeting on the SBU's request for a new DNR permit for the landfill will be held May 29th at the Sturgeon Bay Utility offices on East Vine Street in Sturgeon Bay.  The meeting starts at 3:30 PM.

Sister Bay man still putting Turkish Peace Corps service to work

A Sister Bay resident who served in Turkey as a member of the Peace Corps is using that experience to attract foreign workers in a tight labor market.
Bill Surbaugh spent two-years as an agriculture specialist in the village of Ashai Chiylanl, Turkey.  His tour from 1966-1968, however, had Surbaugh handling many other duties outside of his specialty.



Since his Peace Corps service concluded, Surbaugh has returned regularly to visit the friends he made, whom he now considers family.  He and his son visit Turkey each January to recruit J-1 students for his son's vacation rental business in Grand Marais, Minnesota.  With some 50 Turkish students working in Northern Door County at one time, Surbaugh found himself befriending more than a few in time of need.



Bill Surbaugh also helped Turkish farmers learn to grow crops with fertilizers, which they previously never used.

Gibraltar juniors looking forward to next year's graduation

The Gibraltar class of 2019 graduates on June 7th and the next group to finish high school after them is planning ahead. The Viking class of 2020 is already raising money for next year’s graduation festivities. They got a boost with a $328.40 donation from the Jandu Petroleum Pride Pumps promotion for April. That money will go towards the Senior Banquet of 2020. Laura Meikle is the class advisor for the class of 2020 and she says this donation takes some pressure off of students to raise money during the school year.



This year’s senior banquet took place on May 15th. During the banquet, seniors are rewarded with scholarships and awards by their teachers.

Memorial Day a county wide celebration

From placing flags on Southern Door gravesites on Sunday to throwing a wreath into the water at Schoolhouse Beach on Washington Island on Monday, Memorial Day is more than just a holiday weekend in Door County. With ceremonies also taking place in Sturgeon Bay and Sister Bay, Memorial Day is the only holiday that recognizes the ultimate sacrifice made by military families. County Veterans Service Officer Scott McFarlane will be the master of ceremonies for the Sturgeon Bay ceremony featuring  United States 8th District Congressperson Mike Gallagher as its keynote speaker. McFarlane says it is important to know Memorial Day is not just a historical holiday.

The Sturgeon Bay ceremony will be held inside the city’s fire station while celebrations in Southern Door, Sister Bay, and Washington Island will be held outdoors. You can find the full schedule online with this story.



FORESTVILLE TOWN (MAPLEWOOD)---------------7:20(split squad)
NAMUR (PIT ROAD)  -------------------------7:30(Split Squad)
BROCKHAUSEN -------------------------------7:40 (Split Squad)
MIESERE -----------------------------------7:50 (Split Squad)
BROWN -------------------------------------7:55 (Split Squad) 
WHITE STAR----------------------------------------------------------------------------------8:30
PRECIOUS BLOOD-----------------------------------------------------------------------------8:40
ST. JOE CATHOLIC (Fox Ln.)-----------------------------------------------------------------8:50
BREAK (9:20-9:45)
CLAY BANKS TOWN-------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10:25
MOUNT OLIVE----------------------------------------------------------------------------- -10:45
SHILOH MORAVIAN---------------------------------------------------------------------------10:55
OLD CATHOLIC (BETWEEN MAPLEWOOD & FORESTVILLE)-------------------------------------------12:10
Sturgeon Bay:  On Monday, May 27th, brief ceremonies will be conducted at Bayside Cemetery at 8:30 a.m., St. Joseph’s Cemetery at 9:00 a.m., and Sturgeon Bay Health Services (formerly known as the Dorchester) at 9:30 a.m.  The main ceremony will be at 10:00 a.m. in the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department bays.  The Chaplain will be Pastor Sauer and the speaker will be Congressman Gallagher.  The Peninsula Symphonic Band will play patriotic music before and during the ceremony.  American Legion Post 72 will provide the rifle squad and Andy Anderson and Mary Nickel will sound echo Taps.  Refreshments will be available after the ceremony and will be provided by Marine Corps League Detachment 1130.  Chairs will be available – please bring lawn chairs if you are arriving closer to the start time of the ceremony – as the number of chairs is limited.  
3.  Northern Door:  Monday, May 27th – at both 8:30 a.m. (Hendrickson Park) and 10:30 a.m. (Little Sister Cemetery) – please see the Sister Bay attachment.  The public is encouraged to bring lawn chairs. 
4.  Washington Island:  Monday, May 27th.  The Island ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. at Bethel Church.  There will be a prayer, patriotic music, and a program based on the American Legion Centennial Celebration.  The emphasis of the program will be on Islanders’ veterans involvement in the wars of the Centennial time period.  Everyone will then march to the cemetery where there will be a reading of the names of departed comrades, rifle squad, and a bugler sounding Taps.  Everyone will then march to Schoolhouse Beach – where there will be a laying of a wreath in the water for those lost at sea.  A bagpiper will play Amazing Grace. 

Jacksonport celebrates the summer with Maifest

Warm and sunny weather brought a large crowd out to Jacksonport for the first day of Maifest on Saturday. The festivities included an art fair, concession stands and live music. The main event was the Maifest parade which started at 10:30 AM. It was led the by Jacksonport Fire Department and the Sevastopol High School marching band. The parade began at Hwy 57 and Cave Point Drive and went for 7/10 of a mile ending just north of the village. Pictures and video of the parade can be found below this story. 


The 47th annual Maifest will continue on Sunday with a 10K run and 2-mile fun run at Lakeside Park starting at 9 AM. All other festivities can be found at Lakeside Park and Erskine Rest Area at the intersection of Hwy 57 and County V in Jacksonport.


Busy Memorial Day weekend at state parks

Newport State Park is ready for all the visitors sure to come this Memorial Day weekend. It’s one of the busiest weekends of the year for Wisconsin State Parks with the weather finally starting to warm up. Newport State Park Manager Michelle Hefty says that there is so much to do at Newport that the trails and beaches shouldn’t be too crowded. The park is also hosting a presentation called “Birds and Wildflowers of Door County” on Sunday. Hefty shared what you might see if you participate.



“Birds and Wildflowers of Door County” is free. A Wisconsin State Park sticker is required. The event starts at 1:30 PM.

Local firefighters have security protocols during emergency responses

Firefighters in Door and Kewaunee counties are subject to the same security risks during emergency responses like the one that resulted in the death of an Appleton firefighter.  While law enforcement officers provide traffic control around fire scenes, they'll accompany firefighters and emergency medical technicians to other calls on an as-needed basis.  Ephraim Fire Chief Justin McDonald says if his firefighters believe they're responding to any situation where their security may be at risk, they're told to call for protection immediately.


Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says each community can decide whether to send officers along on each fire department or EMS call.  Joski says his deputies will respond when requested by fire departments or if they're out on patrol.



Appleton Police also responded to the medical call with Appleton Firefighters and paramedics.  They returned fire after the man the emergency crews had tried to help refused treatment, walked away and opened fire with a pistol.  One police officer was injured by gunfire.

Southern Door kicks off graduation season

The first of the peninsula’s eight high school graduations takes place on Sunday at Southern Door. Seventy students will walk across the stage to get their diploma before life takes them a variety of different routes including college, tech schools, and the military. Southern Door High School Principal Steve Bousley says the personal growth he has witnessed in the senior class over the last four years has been wonderful, even when they struggled at times.

With Alexis Wery and Regan Norton as its valedictorian and salutatorian, Southern Door High School’s commencement ceremonies will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Southern Door Auditorium with a live stream available on Facebook.

Immigration attorneys extremely busy locally with sponsorship challenges

Advocates for Hispanic immigrants in areas including Door and Kewaunee counties say immigration attorneys they work with are very busy with citizenship efforts.  That includes laws governing sponsorship of immigrant parents by adult children who are U.S. citizens.  Sister Melanie Maczka, the co-founder of Casa ALBA Melanie, says their immigration attorneys level with people during the initial consultation process.



Those consultations are held Wednesday by appointment only at Casa ALBA Melanie in the Hispanic Resource Center on South Madison Street in Green Bay.

Law officers say buckle up and stay safe for Memorial Day weekend

Law enforcement officers want you to have fun over Memorial Day weekend in Door and Kewaunee counties. They also want you to stay safe.  So, the Door and Kewaunee County Sheriff's Departments want visitors to remember that seat belt use is mandatory.  Door County Chief Deputy Patrick McCarty urges all drivers to ensure they're following the rules and recommendations for the road.


The Click it or Ticket campaign is a statewide effort to ensure drivers are using seat belts and other restraints.  The fine for failure to use seatbelts is $10.  Failure to use child restraints can result in fines ranging from $10 up to $75 depending on a child's age.

Door County Board to decide fate of transportation program

The Door County Board of Supervisors will be addressing the future of the Door County Transportation Program at the upcoming meeting on Tuesday morning.  Beginning in 2020, taxpayer cost for the Door 2 Door Rides are expected to reach $170,000 per year to keep the program going with projections reaching $220,000 within five years.  Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says he expects the board to take some action on Tuesday. 



Other agenda items to be covered at the Door County Board of Supervisors meeting include finalizing funding for the Cana Island visitor center project and a proposed automated boat launch reserve to provide a digital version for people to pay at three boat launches in the county.  The county board will meet at 9 am on Tuesday at the Door County Government Center in Sturgeon Bay.    

Sturgeon Bay staying on track with street projects

Early season street repairs are progressing nicely in Sturgeon Bay despite the unpredictable and challenging weather conditions this spring, according to City Engineer Chad Shefchik.  He says crews have been able to keep on schedule and the work necessary to prepare for new asphalt surfacing is nearly completed on three projects.



Shefchik says the asphalt company contracted with the city should be rolling into town soon and be able to lay the new surfacing down by early June.  Other street projects in Sturgeon Bay scheduled for later this summer include reconstruction on Georgia Street between North 4th Avenue and 8th Avenue plus a small stretch on Kendale Avenue, according to Shefchik. 



Demand remains high for Kewaunee County Food Pantry

Kewaunee County Food Pantry is making an impact with about 150 families in the area on a monthly basis.  Some 12,000 pounds of food is given away each month to families in need, according to Kewaunee County Food Pantry resident Ken Marquardt.  He says the pantry is always in need of canned foods and other supplies. 



The pantry can get between five to six pounds of food for every dollar donated, according to Marquardt.  He says to accommodate families who may work during the day and still qualify for assistance, the pantry is now open the third Wednesday evening of the month from 5 until 6 pm.  The Kewaunee County Food Pantry is located on Sunset Avenue in the Algoma Industrial Park area. 

Safety First to Start our Kayak/Kayak Fishing Season

It’s Memorial Day Weekend in one of the most beautiful vacation spots in the country.  And, with over 300 miles of shoreline on Green Bay and Lake Michigan, a kayaker’s nirvana to enjoy paddling, and, for the anglers, outstanding fishing.

It’s been a cool spring, with water temperatures in many locations as cold as 50 degrees, so, when you take to the water in your kayak take precautions.  Be sure to wear your PFD, put your phone in a plastic waterproof bag, wear proper clothing in case you tip, and, be sure to tell someone where you’re launching and will be kayaking.  Also, be aware of the weather conditions.  In Door County, the wind can shift quickly making conditions dangerous.  With the big water and quick weather changes, I stay close to shore.  

Now that I’ve touched on some important safety tips, it’s time to get on the water and enjoy kayaking.  Top to bottom, there are no bad places to paddle your kayak or kayak fish in Door County, you are surrounded by beauty everywhere.  And, there are dozens of kayak and boat launches throughout the county, with many roads that dead-end at the water’s edge where you can launch, just be sure to park your vehicle off the road.

For you anglers, and especially us smallmouth bass anglers, the water will be warming, with smallies heading to the shallows to spawn.  You should have good luck from Little Sturgeon Bay all the way to Gills Rock, as well as several spots on the lakeside.  As always, I hope you catch, take a nice picture and release that smallie.  Or, as the Wisconsin Smallmouth Alliance signs say, “Free the Fighter”.  Also, please don’t try to catch smallies that are guarding a bed.  

If you are new to kayaking, there are several kayak outfitters in the county who would be happy to guide you.  And, I am always happy to answer your questions.  Just email me at  



Babcock prepares for final Memorial Day as CVSO

She will never stop her Memorial Day weekend tradition of putting out American flags at a cemetery by her home near Manitowoc, but the end of Jane Babcock’s time as the Kewaunee County Veterans Service Officer is getting closer. Babcock will participate in Kewaunee’s celebration, which includes a 10:15 a.m. parade beginning at the high school before an 11 a.m. Memorial Day program takes place at the Kewaunee County Courthouse. Similar ceremonies are scheduled to take place in Luxemburg at 10 a.m. in front of the Bank of Luxemburg and at Legion Park in Algoma beginning at 11 a.m. Babcock says she has enjoyed her time being the Kewaunee County CVSO.

Babcock will officially leave her post in the middle of June when fellow Army veteran Rob Stearns takes over as the CVSO.

Death's Door Maritime Museum featuring new exhibits

Following last year’s name change, you will be able to find some new exhibits at the Death’s Door Maritime Museum in Gills Rock. Door County Maritime Museum officials are committing themselves to rotating exhibits in and out on an annual basis to keep visitors coming back to its northern campus where the area's commercial fishing industry is a major theme.  Executive Director Kevin Osgood says without ten residents going to the bank to get the first $10,000 in operating costs for the Gills Rock building 50 years ago, the Door County Maritime Museum as we know it today may have never existed.

More interactive exhibits are expected to be added to the Death’s Door Maritime Museum by the July 4th holiday. You can learn more about the Death’s Door Maritime Museum by watching our video online with this story.





State superintendent experiences island life

You could have confused State School Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor with a lifelong resident as she interacted with students and staff of the Washington Island School District earlier this week. With experience with schools in Madison, Taylor visited Wisconsin’s smallest district as a part of a statewide tour. Washington Island School principal Michelle Kanipes says she set the tone early on by thanking staff members and engaging with students and teachers. During the day, Taylor was not just showered with good conversation and island fare, but also hugs from students. Kanipes hopes her experience resonates with her when she returns to Madison.


Washington Island School District is not just the smallest in the state, it also ranks among the most unique with approximately 94 percent of its operating costs covered by island property taxes. 


Kewaunee County Board waits on state on water quality measures

It is now up to the state to act after the Kewaunee County Board nearly unanimously approved two water quality-related measures during its meeting on Tuesday. The board first threw its support behind a state Senate bill granting up to $2,500 to property owners to help remediate tainted wells with high levels of nitrates. It then passed a resolution requesting the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to extend testing of the Ahnapee River after Door County finishes its drawdown of the Forestville Millpond. Board chairperson Robert Weidner says it is important to keep up with items that could help improve its water.


The Kewaunee County Board also passed a third resolution unanimously that would ask construction crews to not use pavement sealers containing a toxic coal-tar base for county projects unless they are forced to by the state or federal government.  

Highway 42 roadwork starts Tuesday in northern Door County 

Drivers around Sister Bay will have the holiday weekend free of construction work before a resurfacing project begins next Tuesday.  The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced Thursday that Governor Tony Evers officially signed the $3.9 million contract to improve a six and one-half mile stretch from Gibraltar Road to Country Walk Drive in Sister Bay.  DOT Regional Communications Manager Mark Kantola says the road construction schedule will take into consideration the busy tourism season.




Kantola says the resurfacing project will also include storm sewer repairs and culvert replacement.  He adds that the road construction should be completed by October of this year.  

Brussels Lions Club "Filling the Float" to fight hunger

A local organization will be helping their neighbors in need with the Fill the Float Food Drive this Saturday in Brussels.  The Brussels Lions Club is joining the fight against hunger in the area with a campaign that is in the bag, literally.  Member Jared Spude says the food drive idea was the brainchild of Jason Vogel who was part of the Brown County Sheriff’s Department's food drive of filling a squad car.  Spude shares how the program will work on Saturday in Brussels.



The Fill the Float Food Drive will be held from 9 am until 3 pm at Marchant’s Foods in Brussels on Saturday. 



(photo contributed)   Jared Spude and Jason Vogel of Brussels Lions Club



Local used car demand increasing drastically

As the price for new vehicles continues to go up, local used car buyers and dealers are reaping the benefits.  According to, the average new vehicle sold this year is over $36,000.  That is up almost thirty percent over ten years ago when the average new vehicle was $28,000.  Jesse Yahnke, General Sales Manager at Jorns Chevrolet in Kewaunee, says a decade ago they sold many more four-door sedans.  



Yahnke adds that currently, it is much more difficult for dealerships to keep an inventory of used vehicles on the lot.



Six years ago, the average monthly payment for a new vehicle was $462 per month, compared to $556 per month this past February, according to  

Sturgeon Bay Fine Art Fair growing with unique artwork

Over 90 artists from around the country will be participating in the annual Fine Art Fair this Saturday and Sunday in Sturgeon Bay.  The event that started over twenty years ago with about 40 artists has grown to nearly 100 exhibitors.   Sturgeon Bay Visitors Center Executive Director Pam Seiler says the array of artists displaying their work will be diverse. 



The Fine Art Fair will also have a “paint your own sturgeon” for children to participate in as well, according to Seiler.  The Sturgeon Bay Fine Art Fair will be held Saturday from 10 am until 5 pm and Sunday from 10 am until 4 pm at Sunset Park on North Third Avenue.   


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