News Archives for 2017-07

Door and Kewaunee County Farmers Forced To Adjust Cropping After Wet July

By Tim Kowols

Farmers in Kewaunee and Door County have had to make significant adjustments to their cropping schedule this year due to the weather. Sturgeon Bay received more than double its average rainfall total in the month of July at over seven inches while the sporadic nature of the storms has made it hard for farmers to get into the fields. Rich Olson from Olson Family Farms in Sturgeon Bay says his cows will get a sweeter surprise when they munch on their hay this fall as getting a dry crop in this year has been next to impossible.




Farmers are also dealing with a poor alfalfa crop after the region was declared a crop disaster area after extreme fluctuations this winter.

Washington Island Welcoming New Businesses And More Visitors

By Tim Kowols

Washington Island has been welcoming new businesses along with its usual influx of visitors this summer. In recent months, the island has been able to attract a full-time optometrist and doctor to open clinics while new businesses have also opened their doors to serve residents tasty treats or quench their thirst for adventure. Town of Washington chairperson John Rader says as more activity has been happening on the island, even more activity is happening on the way to it.



Washington Island's arts community will have an especially busy week as its Art Association hosts the final days of its Red Cup Art Show while its music festival begins Monday.

Mayor's Rejection of Public Waterfront Settlement Agreement Outlined in Statement From Friends Group

By Roger Utnehmer

According to information released by the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront Monday, Mayor Thad Birmingham personally rejected a settlement that would have resulted in the construction of a hotel on Madison Street in downtown Sturgeon Bay.

Dan Collins, a member of the Friends group that successfully challenged the sale of public waterfront property to developer Robert Papke, suggests that Birmingham is in violation of the code of ethics of governmental officials.  "We believe that the Mayor is in violation of 19.59 (1) Codes of ethics for local governmental officials, employees and candidates based on his votes, his conduct, his ownership of a condominium at Bridgeport, his position as president at Bridgeport."

In a release published with this story at, Collins claims that Papke met with Friends member Christie Weber and the two agreed to a compromise hotel location next to Jandrin Dry Cleaners on Madison St.

 "This proposal was soon accepted by the Friends, as it would be located landward of the 1835 surveyed original meander line.  It was rejected by the Mayor when it was delivered to the City by Rep. Joel Kitchens," Collins said in his release.

Collins summarizes the lack of action by the city and rejection of a settlement agreement by the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority and outlines several alternatives to resolve the long-simmering west-side waterfront controversy.

Collins encourages people to communicate to their council members urging support for council action approving the compromise reached between the Friends and the city. That agreement, Collins says,  garnered a "thumb's up" vote by four members of the Friends and four representatives of the city who negotiated in June.

The Friends successfully challenged the sale of waterfront property to Papke in circuit court.  With no action by the city on the compromise agreement reached in June, Collins outlines five outcomes in his statement that include years of costly litigation and resolution by a city council vote to approve the compromise.



Yes!  We are still talking about this!  But the great news is we have each other and we are gathering momentum and better days are ahead.


If it were not for the facts below and for the wonderfulness of all of you and that our relationships build strength, harmony and wonderful community outcomes, this might be a drag. But it's not. Pity the Mayor, pity John Asher and pity the opposition as their supporters are fewer, their excuses more inane and their potential outcomes dismal.


Facing some facts:

  1. You are great, we are great. We are doing great things together.

  2. We are growing a vibrant connected community that is expanding with new ideas, new people and new possibilities.

Thank you to everyone funding our efforts. Without your help we would not be here as a community.  We owe a huge debt to all who have given and to several who have been our rock. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.


So where are we exactly?  - Let's review the last 6 weeks.


June 14th. We have a settlement agreement!! Huge News!

Settlement conversations with the benefit of an expert facilitator (and the absence of the Mayor) achieved a unanimous Agreement on June 14th by all attendees empowered by their respective parties.

In the two days of discussions in Madison, WI facilitated by Jeremy Kautza, interim director of Madison College's Interest-Based Problem Solving (IBPS), present for the plaintiffs were Nancy Aten, Carri  Andersson, Kathleen Finnerty and Christie Weber as well as attorneys Mary Beth Peranteau and Sarah Geers. The City was represented by Council members Laurel Hauser and David Ward, City Attorney Randy Nesbitt and City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout, and accompanied by Attorney John Greene. The four members of the Friends and the four representatives from the City all gave the Agreement a "thumbs up" meaning they will actively support the agreement.

A delegation of the Friends group and the City's Ad Hoc Settlement Committee, City Administrator and counsel met for two days of facilitated discussions (June 12th and June 14th) resulting in a stipulation as to the location of the ordinary high water mark (OHWM) of 92 East Maple Street. The negotiating parties anticipate that they will jointly recommend to DNR approval of an OHWM that is parallel to and 60 feet waterward of the original meander line according to the U.S. government land survey of 1835. This location was proposed by the City's Ad Hoc Settlement Committee, Van Lieshout and Nesbitt. It was accepted by the Friends as a reasonably plausible approximation of the OHWM. This allows the Friends to uphold the public trust Constitutional norm and also move forward positively.

Additional elements of this agreement to resolve the pending litigation and appeal include the City's commitment to an inclusive public process to redevelop the west waterfront site, to strive to maintain a scenic view and public use on 100 East Maple, and to withdraw the City Council's resolution seeking a legislative designation of the OHWM on 92 East Maple.

The parties' OHWM stipulation is founded in the evidence presented at trial and respects the circuit court's previous findings as well as DNR's 2014 OHWM concurrence determination for 100 East Maple. The parties and DNR recognize that uncertainties remain despite the historical evidence. In recognition of these uncertainties, the proposed OHWM grants the City, as riparian owner, the benefit of the doubt of the range of error inherent in the surveyed meander line, which itself was an approximation of the Lake Michigan shoreline near the time of statehood.

June 30th. The DNR is in.

On June 30th we learned that Attorneys for Friends and Attorneys for the City have DNR's commitment to move forward with an OHWM determination that is consistent with the parties' Agreement.

July 5th. The City Council meets and does... nothing.

The City has had the Agreement for more than two weeks, but the Mayor does not even put discussion of the settlement agreement on the agenda.

July 17th. The WRA meets with the Ad Hoc Settlement Committee and decides... nothing.

The WRA decides it needs more information about the offer based on the City's proposed line which was approved and endorsed by the empowered Ad Hoc settlement committee.

July 18th. City Council meets to discuss, in closed session, ratifying the Agreement made and endorsed by the empowered Ad Hoc Committee, Van Lieshout and Nesbitt and does... nothing.

The Mayor and Council President Stewart Fett walked out, preventing a vote. (Apparently, they needed to attend a safety meeting at Bay Ship). As a result, the Council meeting adjourned without a vote.

July 20th. The City files the legal brief with the WI court of appeals, to appeal Judge Huber's ruling made on February 10th... Continuing the delays to resolution.


July 26th. The WRA votes to punish everyone!

The WRA voted 5-2 to reject the Agreement formed with the OHWM line proposed by the City's duly empowered Ad Hoc Settlement Committee along with Van Lieshout and Nesbitt. This "no" vote was done against the recommendations of Council members Ward and Hauser, against the recommendations of Randy Nesbitt, Administrator Van Lieshout and against the recommendations of other trusted advisors.


What???   Yes, the five members of the WRA who were not elected crushed the deal and send the entire community into a quagmire.  As we see it, there are now five or six possible paths that this matter might take. We should remember that the Friends won in Court and that Judge Huber and the DNR, and Rep. Kitchens too, advised the City and the Friends to settle. The Friends took this advice to heart. The City's delay will likely cost years. The machinations are mind numbing. The ridiculousness is appalling.


Since the DNR believed that all parties were on a path to Agreement, there is currently no date scheduled for the declaratory ruling hearing.


We believe the DNR will schedule a declaratory ruling hearing for some time in September. At that hearing, the Friends will advocate diligently and thoroughly for the 1873 shoreline which is based on sound facts and is near Maple Street about 150 feet landward of the line of Agreement reached on June 14th. In any event, this process is independently appealable and will likely take many months.

August 1st. Coincidentally...

The one year anniversary of a meeting between Bob Papke and Christie Weber at which Bob proposed an Agreeable location for the hotel along Madison, next to the dry cleaners and across from the new apartment development. This proposal was soon accepted by the Friends, as it would be located landward of the 1835 surveyed original meander line. It was rejected by the Mayor when it was delivered to the City by Rep. Joel Kitchens. Where will we be on August 1st, 2018??

August 1st – noon . The City Council will meet in closed session to consider ratification of the Settlement Agreement.


--   Please let them know how you feel, speak your mind – Ask them to unanimously vote to affirm the Settlement Agreement and take control of the WRA.

  • Mayor, Thad Birmingham – (920)493-0585,

  • City Administrator, Josh Van Lieshout,– (920)746-2900, ext. 4,

  • Alderperson, District 1, Kelly Catarozoli – (920)495-4995,

  • Alderperson, District 2, Ron Vandertie – (920)743-3886(920)493-0017,

  • Alderperson, District 3, David Ward – (920)743-8832,

  • Alderperson, District 4, Rick Wiesner – (920)559-2836,

  • Alderperson, District 5, Barb Allmann 920 743 5672,

  • Alderperson, District 6, Stewart Fett – (920)493-3244,

  • Alderperson, District 7, Laurel Hauser – 920 493 0572,


What's ahead?   Lots of possible paths...

  1. The possibility of harmful legislation still exists, but it is much less now that the City has rejected the Agreement, based on the line they themselves provided. Any legislator taking up this issue (especially prior to Sturgeon Bay resolving) will be opposed strenuously by conservation organizations throughout the state. It does not mean it won't happen. But it would get very ugly.


  1. The appeal by the City (of the Friends' February 10th victory in circuit court) is moving forward, although it will be an uphill legal battle for the City. The City filed their brief (containing nothing new) and we will file ours. The City believes that since the money is coming from their insurance provider it doesn't matter. Unfortunately, this appeal will cost everyone time and money. The Friends will do our best to slow this process to allow a negotiated settlement and minimize all costs related to this effort. Ultimately this path could arrive at the Supreme Court. This would take years and a lot of money (City staff would continue to waste their time on this rather than spending it on a number of other important local concerns).


  1. Declaratory ruling hearing by the WDNR is currently not scheduled. The WDNR is willing to sign off on the results of our settlement agreement. Our attorneys are prepared to mount a vigorous case in the form of introduction of the circuit court's finding of facts and presentation by our expert witnesses. The DNR could declare the location of the OHWM to be in several places that are better for the community and the Friends. Although not likely, it is possible that the DNR could select a location that is worse (ignoring facts). This is a roll of the dice. This process is independently appealable.


After any independent appeal runs its course, the resulting OHWM determination would be brought back to Judge Huber for his approval (you remember Judge Huber, he said the all or most of parcel 92 is below the OHWM and most certainly the OHWM is not at the bulkhead).  He would likely give deference to the DNR's OHWM, however, it is his call. If the line significantly contradicted his findings of fact, he could choose to not lift the injunction against the sale.


  1. Some roads lead to conflict of interest.

We believe that the Mayor is violation of 19.59 (1) Codes of ethics for local government officials, employees and candidates based on his votes, his conduct, his ownership of a condominium at Bridgeport, his position as board president at Bridgeport. If anyone would like to take on this project, please contact me and I can provide the foundational documents and preliminary findings.


  1. The City Council could discover its power and unanimously vote to affirm the Agreement on August 1st. It could also vote to either override or disband the dysfunctional and mostly non-elected WRA. This could provide the needed affirmation of the Settlement Agreement. The DNR could then accept the Agreement, as they have indicated they would, and then all parties can go to Judge Huber for his ruling.


We could be done in 30 days. We could be having cake and coffee on Labor Day. Think about it, cake and coffee - good cake too!

Thank you for your great work.  I know that together, we will not be denied our public waterfront. Thank you for being a part of our vibrant and joyful community!


Are we still talking about this? Yes!

Kewaunee County Tackles Septic Tank Ordinance Tuesday

By Tim Kowols

Property owners with wells over 30 years old will have to submit soil evaluation reports under a new proposed ordinance getting its second reading by the Kewaunee County Board. Septic systems dating back to 1985 and older would be required to submit the reports after it was found some deteriorating systems could be contributing to groundwater concerns in the area. Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Robert Weidner says this is another positive step to addressing water contamination.


Weidner admits it may be tough to find all of the older wells as some did not need documentation when they were installed. The Kewaunee County Board meets Tuesday at the Administration Center in Kewaunee at 6 p.m.

Innovation And Learning Center In Sister Bay Hopes To Open In January

By Tim Kowols

Sister Bay could have its Northeast Wisconsin Technical College campus open for use by January. Occupying space in the village's former Baylake Bank building, NWTC officials are currently taking bids to retrofit the facility to include a commercial kitchen, a computer lab, a large flexible classroom, and meeting space. NWTC Dean of Regional Learning Jan Scoville says it was important to work directly with Northern Door residents to develop its Learning and Innovation Center in Sister Bay.



Scoville says they are in the process of hiring a manager for the site so programming can be developed during the building's renovation.

Technology Changing Tourism In Door County

By Tim Kowols

Technology is changing the way people, businesses, and organizations approach tourism. Web sites and social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have allowed these groups to be in constant interaction with each other, especially as the average traveler visits 22 travel-related sites before booking a vacation and 70 percent use mobile devices to check into flights and hotels according to Jon Jarosh from the Door County Visitor Bureau says content distribution has been a real game changer for them over the last 10 to 15 years.



According to the Blitz Agency, social media is even catching up to "word of mouth" when it comes to vacation decisions, with 15 percent of millennials saying they are highly influenced by Facebook and 13 percent by Instagram.



Door County Land Trust Hits 8,000 Acres Preserved

By Tim Kowols

The Door County Land Trust is closing in on a major milestone in its efforts to preserve important habitats in the area. Recent acquisitions on Chambers Island and the Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp push the Door County Land Trust over 8,000 acres of land protected from development. Executive Director Tom Clay says the Door County Land Trust has grown a lot since it was just a group of volunteers with a single idea of conservation in mind 30 years ago.



More acres could be added as Clay hopes town of Gibraltar voters allow the Door County Land Trust to purchase two islands located within Chambers Island when it hosts a special meeting on August 2.

Rigging Your Kayak for Fishing Success

By Bill Schultz


So far this season I've talked about types of fishing kayaks, selecting the right paddle, where to fish and best spots to launch.  Today, I'd like to touch on rigging your kayak for fishing success.


For me, two things are key, rod holders and some type of storage crate with rod holders behind my seat in the stearn tankwell.  All my Jackson kayaks have flush mount rod holders, which I prefer, but, I also like the RAM Mount product that extends up from the kayak deck and can be attached to the track system most fishing kayaks come with.  Jackson makes a great crate called the JKrate with ample extra storage and three rod holders.  But, you can also go as simple as a milk crate with PVC tubes for extra rods.


After many years of serious kayak fishing, I still haven't installed a locator.  Most of my kayak fishing is in Door County, so, with the clear water and fishing shallow, I haven't had the need.  However, with the funk the smallmouth bass have be in, I've been fishing deeper and knowing depth, structure and water temperature would be helpful.  I would suggest a locator if you are serious about your kayak fishing.


I've seen fishing kayaks that except for no Mercury engine, look like mini bass boats with power poles to hold you in place while fishing, trolling motors and more.  The track system I mentioned is perfect for adding accessories to hold a camera, your paddle and anchor trolley to raise and lower an anchor.  Other standard items can include a scale and tape to weigh and measure your catch, landing net, pliers to safely remove lures from the fish and something to cut line.


The internet is a great place to check out rigging options and how to do it.  Rigging your kayak for fishing is personal as to how you fish, so, have fun and get on the water.


If you have any questions related to rigging your kayak or any other kayak fishing questions, I'm happy to hear from you.  You can email me at  Jackson Kayak National Pro Staff, Bending Branches and Aqua-Bound Pro Staffs.

Trolley So Far A Success In Sister Bay

By Tim Kowols

A new trolley system in Sister Bay implemented earlier this year has been a success so far. After beginning its weekend service on June 30, the trolley runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. with hopes it will help alleviate some of the congestion on Sister Bay's downtown roads and in its parking lots. While its ultimate fate will be decided after the season concludes this fall, Village Administrator Zeke Jackson says they have learned a lot about how visitors and residents use the trolley.



Fourteen stops are included in the route, which takes riders to the marina, the Sister Bay Historical Society, and various hotels and restaurants.

Blue Ribbons Begin On Farms For Agropur's Luxemburg Plant

By Tim Kowols

The road to a pair of awards at the Wisconsin State Fair begins on the farms of northeast Wisconsin for the Agropur cheese plant in Luxemburg.  Over 120 farms in northeast Wisconsin send their milk to the Luxemburg plant, where it is produced mostly into the mozzarella Master Cheesemaker Roger Krohn captured 1st and 3rd place awards with at the Wisconsin State Fair Cheese and Butter Contest in June. With more than 100,000 pounds of the award-winning mozzarella being produced daily at the plant, Agropur Producer Services Manager Jeff Montsma says farmers and technology have kept up with the pace.



The mozzarella made in Luxemburg is not a stranger to awards this year, capturing a best of class and second award at the U.S.  Championship Cheese Contest held in Green Bay earlier this year.


Weber To Host Passive House Design Presentation In Sevastopol Wednesday

By Tim Kowols

Certified Passive House Consultant Christi Weber visits Door County next week to discuss how the high-efficiency home design could help builders save energy and money. Weber has been designing the high-performance homes for almost 10 years, which focuses on conservation through additional investments in insulation, solar energy, and unique heating, ventilation, and cooling systems. With the goal of net-zero energy use in mind, Weber says homeowners can implement some of the strategies even if they do not want to build new.



Sponsored by the Climate Change Coalition of Door County, Weber's presentation will take place August 2 at the Sevastopol Town Hall beginning at 7 p.m.

Granary's Fate Hits Sturgeon Bay Common Council Meeting Agenda

By Tim Kowols

The fate of the former grain elevator on Sturgeon Bay's west side could have more clarity after the Common Council discusses its options at noon on Tuesday.


According to the agenda packet posted on Friday, the city first looked into the structural issues and costs of weatherizing, stabilizing, or demolishing the structure back in 2012. It recently asked some of the companies contacted back then for updated bids, which range from $20,900 for clean-up and weatherization of the site to potentially over $148,000 for stabilizing the structure. Preserving the grain elevator was a part of the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society's efforts to place the structure on the state and national historic places register earlier this year.


The Common Council will also head into closed session to discuss the potential settlement of the city's lawsuit with the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront, although the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority would have to reverse course on its decision last Wednesday to reject the offer for the case to move forward.

Peninsula Pride Farms Open Their Fields To Continuous Improvement In Kewaunee, Southern Door County

By Tim Kowols

Peninsula Pride Farms members are hoping the answers to many of their questions lie in their fields. Several of the farmers in Kewaunee and Southern Door County are participating in different studies with UW Discovery Farms and the Natural Resources Conservation Service looking at tile drainage, soil health and nitrogen efficiency. Don Niles from Peninsula Pride Farms says operations like Farm Technology Days host Ebert Enterprises and U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award winner Kinnard Farms shows the commitment to continuous improvement and the conservation efforts of its membership.



Peninsula Pride Farms has scheduled a field day for August 30 at Deer Run Dairy in Kewaunee to update farmers and other stakeholders on tile monitoring and low-disturbance manure application. Niles says more field days are being scheduled as a part of studies with the NRCS and UW Discovery Farms.

Sturgeon Bay High School Changing Internet Policy For Students

By Connor Sannito

The Sturgeon Bay high school handbook, a guideline for students issued at the beginning of every year, has been updated for students using the school internet.


Sturgeon Bay high school principal, Robert Nickel, had this to say about the change.


Nickel expects students to behave and use the internet responsibly. Technology and the internet is everything these days, so the correct use of it is incredibly vital. Whether it be keeping your own information confidential, being appropriate with the internet, plagiarism, cyber bullying, etc. The goal is to keep students safe with the school internet.


The change should be implemented at the beginning of the next school year.

Kewaunee County Celebrates 10 Years Of Helping Kids Get Back To School

By Tim Kowols

Kewaunee County celebrates 10 years of helping area youth in need with their Back to School event next month. Over 300 children every year benefit from the annual event, which provides students with a backpack full of supplies, new shoes, and a piece of spirit wear for their school. Cindy Kinnard from the Kewaunee County Public Health Department says they get great support from the entire community to make the event possible.



Kewaunee County's Back to School Program will take place August 16 at Lakehaven Hall. Families on WIC, Food Share, BadgerCare, free or reduced lunch, or show an extreme need qualify for the program. You can find information on how to register and how to donate online with this story.

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"Gaslight" Tactic Can Make Abuse Victims Question Their Own Sanity

By Paul Schmitt

"Gaslighting" is a manipulative way that abusers psychologically control their victims in abusive relationships.  Steve Vickman from Help of Door County says the tactic is designed to make their victim question their own sanity.



The effective tactic gets people to believe they don't know the difference between reality and what's not real, according to Vickman.  You can find more information on "gaslighting" and Help of Door County services with the below links.


Birch Creek's Hany Set To Join United States Air Force Band

By Tim Kowols

Birch Creek Music Performance Center's Ally Hany will be taking her trumpet career to new heights later this year when she joins the United States Air Force Band. An eight-year veteran of the Egg Harbor-based music academy, Hany decided to take her chances to join the highly-competitive band after graduating with a Master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York. Hany says she will lean on Birch Creek faculty member and former Army band member Joey Tartell for help on what she is most worried about joining the Air Force.



Slated to be stationed in San Francisco, Hany says she is committed to the Air Force Band for at least four years while she primarily tours the West Coast.

Door County Astronomy Fans Prepare For August's Eclipse

By Tim Kowols

Excitement is building for the first total solar eclipse to only touch what is considered American soil in 760 years. A total eclipse occurs when the moon completely hides the solar surface, cutting off all direct rays of light. While Wisconsinites will only get to enjoy a partial eclipse, Gary Henkelmann from the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society says club members are heading down St. Clair, Missouri to watch the total eclipse unfold.



Henkelmann says residents and visitors can watch the eclipse occur from Door Peninsula Astronomical Society's Leif Everson Observatory in Sturgeon Bay where they will have equipment available to safely watch the eclipse on August 21 and keep track of its progress across the country.

YMCA's 13th Annual "Fore The Kids" Golf Scramble Set For Monday

By Paul Schmitt

The Door County YMCA will hold one of their signature events Monday at Horseshoe Bay Golf Club.  "Fore the Kids" Golf Scramble is a unique 36 hole straight up scramble. Door County YMCA  CEO and President Tom Beerntsen says the huge outing is big in more than one way.



Proceeds from the "Fore the Kids" Golf Scramble also helps individuals and families with programs like hunger prevention, school readiness, and chronic disease prevention, according to Beerntsen.  The scramble will have tees off at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.  Monday at Horseshoe Bay Golf Club.

Door County Shows Support For Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Coastal Management Program Funding

By Tim Kowols

The Door County Board passed two resolutions Tuesday with the area's natural resources in mind. In addition to voicing their opposition to the proposed Back Forty Mine project in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the board also approved resolutions asking the Trump Administration to maintain current funding levels for the federal government's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Coastal Management Program.  Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says the area has benefitted greatly from the two programs, which states use to help procure grants for community projects.



According to the resolutions, Door County has received over $1.5 million from the GLRI and the Coastal Management Program, which has funded projects like beach restorations, invasive species removal, and water quality improvements.

Area Colleges Trying To Be Flexible With Student Schedules

By Tim Kowols

Investing in your education takes a little bit more flexibility than in years past. According to a Georgetown University study in 2015, nearly twenty-five percent of college students are taking on a full-time job and a packed course load. Nineteen percent of students even add raising a family to the balancing act. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College- Luxemburg Career Coach Sarah Scharenbrock says colleges are trying to be just as flexible as their prospective students need them to be.



Investing in education often leads to more lifetime earnings potential according to The College Board, which shows the typical Associate Degree holder earning 24 percent more and the typical Bachelor's Degree holder earning 66 percent more than a high school graduate.

DNR Declaratory Hearing For Sturgeon Bay West Waterfront Likely Nixed

By Tim Kowols

A declaratory hearing for the ordinary high water mark at 92 E. Maple Street will most likely be nixed by the state's Department of Natural Resources after the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority rejected a settlement offer earlier this week. It was the DNR's reluctance to host the hearing without knowing if a settlement would be reached or not that forced the WRA and the Ad Hoc Settlement Committee to reconvene just over a week after it voted to table discussion on the issue. City administrator Josh VanLieshout says the DNR picked August 3 without deciding on a time or place and believes any hearing is unlikely in the immediate future.



The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will meet in closed session Tuesday to discuss the settlement despite the WRA's 5-2 vote against the agreement between the city and the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront on an ordinary high water mark and options for redevelopment moving forward.

Door County Youth Prepare For Fair Next Week

By Tim Kowols

A year's worth of work will come down to just a few days next week when 4-H members and other youth submit their projects for judging at the Door County Fair. Along with the animals taking up residency inside the barns of John Miles County Park in Sturgeon Bay, dozens of projects in areas including photography, woodworking, and food will be featured in the exhibition halls. Door County 4-H Youth Development Educator Dawn Vandevoort says there was an extra emphasis this year to get children to submit their school projects for the fair.


Entry day for the Door County Fair is August 3 with judging taking place Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Kewaunee County Board Member Calls For Monitoring To Follow Stricter Manure Spreading Regulations

By Tim Kowols

Kewaunee County Board member Lee Luft is in favor of the Department of Natural Resources' proposed rules for manure spreading in northeast Wisconsin. If approved, farmers would be forbidden from spreading manure on land with less than two feet of soil to bedrock and on frozen or snow covered ground with five feet of soil to bedrock. Both restrictions would be stricter than what is already on the books in Kewaunee County, but in the wake of a Luxemburg farmer being fined $50,000 for improper manure spreading Luft says rules are only as good as the monitoring that goes with it.



The new proposed rules come after Dr. Mark Borchardt from the United States Department of Agriculture found a relationship between water recharge events, soil depth, and groundwater contamination in Kewaunee County. Don Niles from Peninsula Pride Farms said last week farmers will have to adjust and collaborate with other operators to properly spread their manure.

Musician Ruby James Finds True Home In Door County

By Tim Kowols

Often musicians, actors, and other artists head to either coast to find their fame, but not singer Ruby James. A Los Angeles native, James discovered Door County as a creative hub in 2007 during the Steel Bridge Songfest held annually in Sturgeon Bay. As a solo artist and the lead singer of Wifee and the Huzz Band, James says she has found a lot to love about Door County.



Now married and living in Door County, James attributes a lot of her love for the area to songwriter pat mAcdonald, who she calls one of the greatest of all of time.



James and many of her other friends from the Steel Bridge Songfest will host a tribute concert to mAcdonald this Saturday beginning outside the Door Community Auditorium at 6 p.m. with a courtyard show and potluck dinner before heading inside at 8 p.m.

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Seven Door County Communities Back Campaign Finance Reform Resolution

By Tim Kowols

An area grassroots effort has led to seven communities in Door County voicing their concern about money in politics. In the last five months, Sturgeon Bay, Baileys Harbor, Egg Harbor (town and village), Forestville, Liberty Grove, and Ephraim have all signed resolutions supporting a constitutional amendment to allow limits on campaign contributions and conducting a non-binding statewide referendum on the issue. With 112 communities in total signing on already, Matthew Rothschild from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign says people from all walks of life are uniting for this cause.



Rothschild credits Dan Powers from Door County United to Amend with leading the cause locally to get the seven communities in the area on board with the resolution. There is currently legislation on the floors of the state Assembly and Senate to bring the resolution to a statewide referendum during the 2018 fall election.

Restored Harbor Hopes To Bring Kewaunee More Tourism And Business

By Tim Kowols

Kewaunee residents and visitors are getting a chance to enjoy the fruits of its $4.2 million harbor restoration. Improvements to the harbor include renovations to the Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse, a fully repaired seawall, and a lit walking path along Lake Michigan. Mayor Sandi Christman hopes it is a sign of more tourism and business in the city's downtown.



Kewaunee Public Works Director Matt Murphy said in June the city could host a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the reopening of the harbor sometime in August.

WRA Rejects Settlement Between City Of Sturgeon Bay, Friends Group

By Tim Kowols

The Waterfront Redevelopment Authority rejected the settlement offer between the city of Sturgeon Bay and the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront by a vote of 5-2 during its Wednesday meeting. Ad Hoc Settlement Committee members Laurel Hauser and David Ward were the lone voices in favor of the settlement, which would have moved the ordinary high water mark at 92 E. Maple Street 60 feet closer to the water and created an open dialogue for waterfront redevelopment moving forward. Christie Weber from the Friends group says they are committed to continuing the fight for the Constitution even if it takes the estimated three to six years to run its course through the courts if it does not get settled.



City administrator Josh VanLieshout could not be reached for comment, but issued this press release Thursday evening:

Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin-

The Waterfront Redevelopment Authority of the City of Sturgeon Bay convened on July 26, 2017, nine days after taking action to table action on a proposed settlement agreement reached between representatives of the City Sturgeon Bay and the Friends of Sturgeon Bay and Carri Andersson, Kathleen Finnerty, Christie Weber, Russ Cockburn, Linda Cockburn and Shawn Fairchild.

The WRA learned, through its attorneys in the declaratory matter that the department of Natural Resources was disinclined to hold a declaratory hearing until it was certain whether a settlement would be reached or not.

The WRA, after over an hour of conferring with special legal council and debating the merits of settlement took action to reject a proposed settlement in a 5-2 vote.

This matter will be before the Common Council on their August 1st agenda.

Southern Door School District Moving Forward With Cuts Prior To State Budget Passage

By Tim Kowols

Southern Door School District is not waiting to find out what the final state budget has in store for them and other public schools in Wisconsin. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the budget remains in limbo as the state Assembly and Senate work together on a compromise currently hitting snags because of transportation funding and taxes. Southern Door School District already had to cut its budget due to residents voting no to their referendum request in April. Finance manager Mark Logan says the budget stalemate causes no concern on their end since the current school funding formula consistently takes aid away from the district.



Superintendent Patti Vickman says Southern Door School District has taken on cost cutting measures such as changing health insurance, consolidating principal duties for its middle and high schools, and raising some fees to address its deficit.

Local Legislators Weigh In On Foxconn's $10B Commitment To Wisconsin

By Tim Kowols

Potentially 13,000 jobs could be created when Foxconn Technology Group builds its display panel plant in Wisconsin. Governor Scott Walker called it the biggest economic development project in the state's history and, by some metrics, the largest in U.S. history during the announcement held at the White House Wednesday.  According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Foxconn will be offered $1 to $3 billion in local, state, and federal incentives to make "Wis-conn Valley" possible. First District Assembly member Joel Kitchens is proud Foxconn is coming to the state and believes it will be transformational for Wisconsin's economy.



Senator Dave Hansen is very wary about giving such a large incentive package to a company currently automating factories in China.



Foxconn and the state will enter a Memorandum of Understanding Thursday to build the facility likely slated for southeastern Wisconsin.

Releases From State Officials

Representative Kitchens Statement on Foxconn Campus in Wisconsin


Madison- State Representative Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) released the following statement regarding the announcement of a Foxconn campus in Wisconsin:


"I was excited to hear the news that the electronics giant Foxconn has committed to building their United States flagship campus here in Wisconsin. This deal will include a $10 billion investment in the state with as many as 13,000 jobs. This is the largest business move in Wisconsin history and the positive effects will be felt not only in the southeast, but throughout the entire state.


"Over the past few years, we in the state legislature have made it our goal to make Wisconsin a more attractive place to work, live and start a business. Earlier this May, CEO Magazine ranked Wisconsin the 10th best state for business, breaking the top ten for the first time ever. This improved business climate, coupled with our renowned Midwestern work ethic and high quality of life, make Wisconsin a very desirable place for businesses to locate.


"This campus will provide our state with numerous benefits on several different levels. Arguably the most valuable outcome of this move will be the thousands of family-supporting jobs with an average salary of over $53,000 that will go to hard-working Wisconsinites. Jobs in fields such as engineering will pair excellently with our state's renewed focus on technical schooling, and the high-tech jobs that this campus will inevitably bring will enable us to keep talented, educated workers in our state. These jobs will also attract qualified individuals to come to our state and make Wisconsin their new home. The economic impact generated by this influx of jobs, estimated at $7 billion annually, will resonate beyond the region of the campus and throughout the state.


"I would like to thank Governor Walker and our congressional delegation for their leadership on this issue and look forward to working with my colleagues to bring more opportunities like this Foxconn investment to Wisconsin."


Go Slow on Foxxconn

New technologies could make human workers obsolete


(Madison)—State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) said today that Wisconsin should be extremely cautious in any use of taxpayer dollars to lure Foxxconn to the state citing concerns that new technologies could eliminate any promised jobs.

"Given recent accounts of how its workers are treated and Foxxconn's strategy of getting every last nickel and dime it can from taxpayers to lower their costs, Governor Walker and any legislator thinking of supporting what could be a $3 billion incentive package should be very wary," said Hansen.  "To do otherwise would be a serious case of legislative malpractice.

Hansen was referring to news reports that described workers at one Foxxconn plant committing suicide because of the dire working conditions and more recent reports that Foxxconn is in the process of a 3-stage strategy to fully automate its manufacturing plants.  To that end Foxxconn has recently replaced 60,000 workers at a plant in China with robots.

"Based on the rate of technological change in the workplace and Foxxconn's admitted plans to automate its plants is it a wise move for taxpayers to be on the hook for potentially billions of dollars to create jobs that may not even exist in five years?" Hansen asked.

Recent news reports say that Foxx conn has a three-stage plan for fully automating its manufacturing plants in China going so far as to use automation to reduce its electric bills by eliminating the need for lighting.  Workers at their plants in China earn only $3.25 an hour compared to promised wages up to $25 at the proposed plant in Wisconsin.

"It is hard to believe that they are fully automating their plants in China to save $3.25 an hour per employee and that they won't do the same thing here where their hourly labor costs could be 8 to 9 times more.  It makes no economic sense to build manufacturing plants in the U.S. let alone the Midwest where labor costs are so much higher unless they plan to eventually replace those jobs with machines.  Before the Governor and legislators mortgage the future of Wisconsin taxpayers, possibly for decades, they should think very carefully about the long-term needs of the state rather than their own reelection."

This would not be the first failed attempt by Republicans to throw tax dollars at a large corporation hoping to protect American jobs.  Shortly after President Trump and now Vice President Mike Pence promised $16 million to Carrier in Indiana the company announced it was planning to replace workers there with robots.

"There are countless warning signs that responsible politicians should pay attention to before committing the hard-earned tax dollars of our families to a company like Foxxconn that has no loyalty to our state or our nation. Anyone who is charged with protecting taxpayers and workers would be wise to proceed with extreme caution."

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Ross Estate Planning In Sturgeon Bay Adds New Attorney

By Paul Schmitt

Ross Estate Planning in Sturgeon Bay has added attorney Jane Seusy to their law firm.  Seusy officially started on July 17 and brings over 25 years of experience, specializing primarily in real estate and general business law.  Seusy explains what she looks forward to most in her new position.



Seusy, who lives in Ledgeview, will be also handling some long-term care and estate planning.  She will be attending a three-day Elder Law Immersion Practice-Building Camp in Chicago next month.  Ross Estate Planning is located on North 14th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.


Plein Air Festival Featuring Top National Artists At Work This Week

By Marissa Hatlen

The Plein Air Festival this week offers locals and visitors the opportunity to watch top artists from all around the country at their craft. The festival has events throughout the week, including Art and All That Jazz, where attendees can meet this year's artists while enjoying hors d'oeuvres and live jazz music. On Saturday, the artists will complete the Quick Paint challenge, finishing artwork in less than three hours to be auctioned immediately after. Kay McKinley, Director of Public Programs at the Peninsula School of Art, says this event is a treat for the artists as well as for art fans.



Kids can join in on another Quick Paint Saturday afternoon and create art alongside the artists for $5. Saturday evening, the festival will end on the free Open-Door Celebration where visitors can view and purchase art from the festival's featured artists. For more information on the festival, you can view schedule information below.

National Budget Cuts Could Impact Homeless Veterans Locally

By Paul Schmitt

The potential defunding of veteran homes as part of the new budget being proposed by President Donald Trump has local officials concerned about the impact on homeless veterans.  Door County Veterans Officer Scott MacFarlane says the cuts could make it even more difficult to place veterans in need of housing.



The number of homeless veterans nationwide is down nearly 50 percent since 2010 but 40,000 remain without housing, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Sturgeon Bay Native Caleb Hietpas In Romania With U.S. Navy's Missile Defense

By Paul Schmitt

A Sevastopol High School graduate and Sturgeon Bay native is part of unique and new Navy command that is providing critical missile defense to a large portion of Romania.  Caleb Hietpas is a master-at-arms serving at the Naval Support Facility Deveselu that is providing defense against ballistic missile attacks.  Hietpas says he has enjoyed his interaction with the Romanian people and checking out the unique landscape.



Approximately 200 officers and enlisted personnel are stationed in Deveselu, Romania.  The highly-specialized jobs are critical to mission success, according to Navy officials.  Heitpas, who has been in the U.S. Navy for over a year,  is the son of Wayne Heitpas and Kathy Keltgen of Sturgeon Bay.

Beach Hazard Advisory Issued For Door, Kewaunee And Manitowoc Counties Today

By National Weather Service












History Of Caves In Door County Include A Rare Discovery In Sturgeon Bay

By Paul Schmitt

Cave Point may be the most famous cave in Door County, but Sturgeon Bay's only known cave is right in the downtown area and has an interesting history as well.  Gary K. Soule of the Wisconsin Speleological Society says the Dorchester Cave located on near North 7th Avenue and Jefferson Street where the original hospital was located and the current Sturgeon Bay Health Services facility was discovered in 1972 during blasting for the basement of the facility.  He says that's what makes the discovering of caves so unique.



According to Soule, the majority of the estimated 40 caves in Door County are formed or sea caves, like Cave Point.  River-formed caves include Horseshoe Bay Cave which was discovered in 1896 and Eagle Cave which is located in the Peninsula State Park bluff in Ephraim.  Soule, who has been exploring caves since 1961, says approximately for every one cave that is discovered in the world, another one remains unfounded.



Entrance to Dorchester Cave



Gary Soule at Dorchester Cave




Large walkway in Dorchester Cave


(photos complements of Gary K. Soule)








Kewaunee School District Sets All-Inclusive Playground Build Date

By Tim Kowols

From selling ice cream at local events to hosting benefits, there is not much students and local businesses are not doing to raise enough money for Kewaunee School District's All Inclusive Playground. Well over $140,000 has been raised for the approximately $220,000 project that will allow able-bodied and challenged students play side by side. Superintendent Karen Treml says it was sad to see the old equipment get torn down last month, but she is excited for the equipment taking its place.


The community build date for the all-inclusive playground is set for August 3 through August 5.

Door County Board Of Supervisors Passes Resolution Opposing Back 40 Mine

By Marissa Hatlen

The Door County Board of Supervisors has passed a resolution in opposition to the Back 40 Mine, a sulfide mine planned to be about 50 yards from the Menominee River. The Board held a public comments session before voting to approve the resolution and heard the concerns of local citizens and visitors from around the state. Some three dozen community members attended the meeting and about half spoke, all in support of a resolution against the mine. Sturgeon Bay resident Alan Walker said that in light of the recent sewage spill in Fish Creek, officials needed to consider the potential ramifications of engineering failures.



Other community members emphasized the need to protect clean water sources for future generations, the potential cost of cleanup falling on Wisconsin taxpayers, and the need for Michigan authorities to consider the impact of the mine on both sides of the boundary water. The motion to adopt the resolution passed with just two "no" votes, joining several Wisconsin counties in resolving to oppose.

Plein Air Festival Brings National Artists To Door County

By Marissa Hatlen

The Plein Air Festival this week offers locals and visitors the opportunity to watch top artists from all around the country at their craft. The festival has events throughout the week, including Art and All That Jazz, where attendees can meet this year's artists while enjoying hors d'oeuvres and live jazz music. On Saturday, the artists will complete the Quick Paint challenge, finishing artwork in less than three hours to be auctioned immediately after. Kay McKinley, Director of Public Programs at the Peninsula School of Art, says this event is a treat for the artists as well as for art fans.



Kids can join in on another Quick Paint Saturday afternoon and create art alongside the artists for $5. Saturday evening, the festival will end on the free Open-Door Celebration where visitors can view and purchase art from the festival's featured artists. For more information on the festival, you can view schedule information below.

Algoma Woman To Receive Regional Conservation Award

By Marissa Hatlen

Cathy Pabich from Algoma will be named a Champion of Conservation by the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership and the Lake Michigan Stakeholders in August. The awards honor those whose exceptional conservation work impacts the Lake Michigan area. Sherrill Anderson, Regional Outreach Coordinator for the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, said Pabich is being recognized for her outstanding work to engage local government and community members in clean water efforts.



A monetary component of the awards goes to a non-profit organization of the honoree's choice. Other honorees were Wendy Lutzke from the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, Trout Springs Winery as the business champion, and the Wisconsin Clean Marina Program as the organization champion; Senator Tammy Baldwin will receive the honorary champion award as a policymaker. The awards will be given out on August 11 as part of Lake Michigan Day. To learn more about Lake Michigan Day or register for the event, you can visit the link below.

Public Meeting Set For Remote Control Of Three Sturgeon Bay Bridges

By Paul Schmitt

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (Wis-DOT) is hosting a public involvement meeting next week to discuss the remote operations of the three lift bridges that cross the ship canal in Sturgeon Bay.  The bridges are currently operating under a United States Coast Guard interim rule this year.  DOT Regional Bridge Engineer Jason Lahm says making the plan a permanent arrangement would be historic.



The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 1 in the Community Room at Sturgeon Bay's City Hall.  A brief presentation will take place at the beginning with an open-house format to follow to address questions concerning the remote operations of the three Sturgeon Bay bridges.



Full Press Release from Wisconsin DOT:

Public meeting scheduled for remote operations of bridges in Door County

Data gathered during Coast Guard test period of remote operations to be discussed

(Sturgeon Bay, Wis.) The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Northeast Region announces a public involvement meeting to discuss remote operations of the three lift bridges crossing the Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal in Sturgeon Bay, Door County.


Sturgeon Bay remote operations public involvement meeting


  • When: Tuesday, August 1, 5:30 p.m.

  • Where: Sturgeon Bay City Hall (Community Room), 421 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay 

  • A brief presentation will take place at the beginning of the meeting, followed by an open-house format


The bridges are currently operating remotely under a United States Coast Guard (USCG) 2017 Interim Rule published in the Federal Register. WisDOT has compiled data on Sturgeon Bay remote operations and are seeking public comment during the interim rule period (calendar year 2017). USCG will evaluate the data and public comments and determine whether to extend the test period, modify the arrangement, or make the remote operation arrangement permanent.


The public can view remote operations data and exhibits at the public meeting. Bridge engineers and members of the USCG will be on hand to answer any questions. You can also provide comments at the meeting that will be included in the final report to the USCG.


If you have any questions or comments, or cannot attend and would like further information, please feel contact bridge engineer Jason Lahm, WisDOT Northeast Region, 944 Vanderperren Way, Green Bay, WI, 54304, or by phone at (920) 492-5998 or email Citizens who are deaf or hard of hearing and who require an interpreter may request one by contacting Mr. Lahm at least three working days prior to the meeting via the Wisconsin Telecommunications Relay System (dial 711).


Door County Fair Hopes Changes Bring Back Attendees

By Tim Kowols

The Door County Fair has been working for close to a year to help make the annual event more self-sustaining. Last October, the Door County Board approved extra money for the fair committee after having to tap into their reserve fund to make ends meet the last few years. Rich Olson from Olson Family Farm in Sturgeon Bay says a lot of work has been done to improve the Door County Fair and hopes the $5 all-inclusive daily admission, special events, and even pig and duck races will bring people back.



The Door County Fair runs from August 2 to August 6 at John Miles County Park. You can see a schedule of this year's fair here.



Sturgeon Bay Waterfront Redevelopment Authority, Settlement Committee To Meet Again Wednesday

By Tim Kowols

The Sturgeon Bay Waterfront Redevelopment Authority and the city's Ad Hoc Settlement Committee for West Waterfront will host another joint meeting on Wednesday. The two committees will be in open session briefly to adopt the agenda before going into closed session to discuss the settlement terms between the city and the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront. During a prepared statement made at the last Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting, Laurel Hauser explained one of the six reasons why she and committee member David Ward were encouraging the WRA and the Common Council to accept the settlement offer of moving the ordinary high watermark, ending current litigation and starting an inclusive process to find developers for the site.



Last week, the WRA voted to table the proposed settlement motion until it could determine the potential of the usable land, find interest from developers, and get special legal counsel at their next meeting. The yes votes for the motion were members Tom Herlache, David Ward, Ryan Hoernke, and Cindy Weber. The no votes were Hauser, John Asher, and Chris Jeanquart. The joint meeting begins at 2:30 p.m.



Even Those Debt Free Can Benefit From Financial Advising

By Tim Kowols

You do not need to be in dire straits to seek financial help. Money Management Counselors routinely meets with people going through major financial hardships, but also some individuals with no debt at all. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says some ask about how to build a non-existent credit score or are sent to her by home buying programs. Debt or no debt, Pustaver says they still come with questions that need to be answered.



Financial windfalls from an inheritance or tax refunds are other strokes of luck bringing people to Money Management Counselors when they need help deciding which strategy is best for them. You can listen to the entire Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver below.


Sturgeon Bay Roads Committee Hosts Second Public Meeting Tuesday

By Tim Kowols

The second of three meetings concerning road quality in Sturgeon Bay is set for Tuesday evening. The Ad Hoc Committee on Funding for Local Street and Infrastructure will consider controlling truck traffic, the road replacement cycle, and the spending needed to extend a road's life. At the beginning of the month, committee chairperson David Ward said the goal was to slowly narrow the focus of the meetings and to eventually draft recommendations regarding how to improve area roads.


Tuesday's meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. inside the community room at Sturgeon Bay City Hall. A third meeting has been scheduled for August 15.

Minnesota Bicyclist Dies In Gibraltar Crash

By Tim Kowols

A 74-year-old Minnesota woman has died after suffering from injuries sustained in a crash in the town of Gibraltar. According to a release from the Door County Sheriff's Department, Lou Branham was traveling eastbound on Juddville Road when she was struck by an oncoming vehicle on County Road A. Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says Branham was wearing a helmet, but the preliminary investigation indicates she failed to stop at a stop sign before the accident took place. Branham was airlifted to Door County Medical Center where she died.  Alcohol and speed do not appear to factors in the crash as the accident remains under investigation.

State Assembly Bill Proposes Limits To Warden Access Of Private Lands

By Tim Kowols

Wisconsin's conservation wardens could have less authority when it comes to private land under a proposed bill in the state Assembly. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the primarily Republican-sponsored bill would require wardens to have reasonable suspicion before they enter private property. Democratic State Senator Dave Hansen calls Assembly Bill 411 a solution looking for a problem.



Opponents to the bill say over 125 years of case law in the state shows the Open Fields Doctrine, which allows a warrantless search of a property owner's surrounding land, does not violate the United States Constitution's Fourth Amendment banning unreasonable search and seizure. Those in favor of AB 411 say wardens from the Department of Natural Resources do not have the right to enter private property if they do not have a good reason.

Community Mosaic Debuts In Ephraim

By Mark Kanz

The tenth annual Community Mosaic Wall opens this weekend at The Hardy Gallery in Ephraim.  Gallery Project Coordinator Ann Soderlund says the project is a partnership between the gallery and the Sturgeon Bay Artists Guild.  She says artists from age 4 and up have been working on their six-inch square tiles for the past several months.



Soderlund says well-known Door County artists like Rob Williams and Rick Brawner have made contributions along with artists you may never hear of.  Visitors to the gallery can purchase tiles, but it is a blind mailing so you don't know what you bought until it comes in the mail after the exhibit is taken apart.  The mosaic wall will be on display until August 27.  The Hardy Gallery is on Highway 42 in Ephraim at Anderson Dock.

Libraries Offer Valuable Tools For Summer Family Travels

By Paul Schmitt

With summer family trips still being planned for the next several weeks, the Door County Library has multiple tools for adults and children to make the travel more entertaining and even educational.  Door County Youth Services Librarian Beth Lokken says the resources available to travelers go beyond hardback and paperback books.



Lokken says it is important for children to avoid what is commonly called the "summer slide".  That is where a child can lose a week's worth of their reading skills for every week they go without reading during the summer, according to Lokken.

Birch Creek Students Develop Life Skills

By Mark Kanz

Nearly 100 of the top musical instructors from around the United States spend part of their summer vacation in Door County as staff members at the Birch Creek Music Performance Center.  Birch Creek Executive Director Mona Christensen says the synergy between staff and the nearly 200 students is what makes the Birch Creek experience unique.



Birch Creek students hail from 15 different states, Canada and Trinidad.  Christensen says music may become just a hobby later in life for the students planning to be engineers, doctors and more.  She believes music has helped them develop skills that will benefit them later in life. Big Band Jazz performances continue weekly Wednesday through Saturday through August 12 at Birch Creek in Egg Harbor.

New Principal Steps In At St. Mary's School

By Mark Kanz

St. Mary's School in Luxemburg welcomes a new principal this week.  Southern Door graduate Marc Vandenhouten leaves his teaching post at his alma mater for his first position in administration.  Vandenhouten says the past six years have prepared him for the next chapter.



Vandenhouten also spent a year working in the Kewaunee district.  He says he feels a little like he jumped into the deep end of the pool, but he's confident in his abilities to keep swimming.  The new leader has been meeting with 3K-6 grade teachers and staff and says he's got a lot to do in the next six weeks.

Kewaunee Fair Turns 100 With Big Acts And Community Fun

By Marissa Hatlen

The Kewaunee County Fair is well underway with a weekend full of fun and community events as the fair turns 100. The centennial fair featured Diamond Rio and Ricochet, hosted a variety of shows and animal exhibits, and held the annual livestock auction yesterday afternoon. Kathy Daul, Chairman of the Auction Committee, said that with the help of volunteers and the generosity of local businesses, auctioned livestock was expected to bring in nearly $250,000 for the approximately 110 students who raised the animals; organizations bid well above market value to help the kids earn money for school or to invest in future livestock projects.

County Fair Board Secretary Al Hoppe said that with perfect weather and a packed audience, Diamond Rio's performance Thursday was a standout moment for the fair, and he's looking forward to a great Sunday to cap it off.



The fair parade starts at 11:30 today, and rides are open until 11 pm; for ticket information, you can visit the fair website below.

Mayor Shares How Millennials Gave Her Tennessee Town A Big Boost

By Paul Schmitt

A mayor from a small town in Erwin, Tennessee has a little advice on how Door and Kewaunee Counties can attract millennials and revitalize their communities.  Erwin, a town of just over 6,000 people, had just completed a $3 million dollar renovation of their downtown district in 2012 when railroad and other jobs were lost in the area.  Mayor Doris Hensley and city officials called for an open house meeting two years ago with younger residents to see what they would like to see done in the community.   Hensley says the younger generation has stepped in and stepped up to have an impact.



About 40 Millennials joined a group after the initial meeting and planned festivals, a farmers market and actively attracted new businesses to Erwin, according to Hensley.  Erwin now holds an Elephant Revival Festival every year to honor a circus elephant named Mary who was publically executed in 1916 after killing her trainer in a parade.  All proceeds go towards an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee.    Hensley says that is another example of a successful "outside-the-box" idea implemented by the millennial group that was formed in 2015.

(photo of downtown Erwin, Tennessee by Wikipedia)

Luxemburg Debuts Refurbished Main Street For Fair Parade Sunday

By Mark Kanz

Luxemburg is celebrating this weekend.  Not only is it the 100th anniversary of the Kewaunee County Fair held in the village, but the community's Main Street enhancement project is complete.  Village officials have arranged a ribbon cutting before the fair parade on Sunday.  Ralph Kline American Legion Post Commander Dennis Langteau has a special request for residents and parade goers.



In addition to reconstructing the storm water system, the village added decorative lighting, sidewalks, benches, colored concrete crosswalks, wayfinder signs and planters on County AB from Highway 54 south to Ash Street.  The street rededication takes place at 11:15 near the Bank of Luxemburg with the parade starting at 11:30 Sunday.

Sturgeon Bay High School Principal Gives Advice To Students For Summer

By Connor Sannito -  Student Correspondent

Sturgeon Bay principal, Robert Nickel, has hopes for students to have a safe and productive summer.

Nickel sees time off of school as important... However, it is how the students make use of the time that is critical. He also wants students to know that what they're doing now over the summer should be prepared for what they want to accomplish after high school.



Whether it be a summer job, volunteering, or applying for scholarships, the Sturgeon Bay principal wants students working hard.

Nickel goes on to stress the importance of preparation which a summer can give you. Relaxing is good and essential, yet you need priorities in order to achieve a successful school year.  In addition, he wants students to be safe over the next couple months. He understands that summer can sometimes be a scary time, so he wants students to make smart decisions and be safe. Simply, be kind to each other.

The Sturgeon Bay school year starts September 5th and schedules should be locked in as the summer progresses.

Senator Johnson Says Immigration Reform, Young Worker Recruitment Crucial To Meeting Manufacturing Labor Shortage

By Marissa Hatlen

Senator Ron Johnson wants to shift our nation's perspective when it comes to boosting the manufacturing industry, saying during a recent visit to Sturgeon Bay that we need to take an honest look at the manufacturing labor shortage hitting local companies. For starters, Johnson said, that means recognizing that the way we talk about career options for young people has a heavy influence on the labor force we develop.



The Senator said our answer to the Manufacturing Institute's projected nationwide shortage of 2 million skilled laborers must also include an in-depth rethinking of a broken immigration system. He said lawmakers need to understand that those who come to America "are willing to work their tails off" and that to live up to our legacy as a nation of immigrants, we need to make it much easier for workers to immigrate legally. While he didn't offer a specific reform plan, Johnson did say his Governmental Affairs committee is slated to tackle the issue.

Young Composer Makes Debut This Weekend

By Mark Kanz

18-year old composer Jacob Beranek from Hartland, WI is debuting his composition called Dangerous Waters this weekend as part of the Midsummer's Music Series.  Beranek's piece is inspired by the story of Death's Door....the area of water between Washington and Gills Rock which has claimed many boats, but no lives over the years.  His nearly 17-minute piece is written for clarinet, cello, violin, French horn, and piano.  Beranek researched Death's Door and wrote a poem to get started. His composition includes three sections.



Beranek says you'll hear the violin sound like seagulls and many other sounds familiar to Door County.  He has 400 hours invested in writing the music and another 100 hours fine tuning it, writing various parts and publishing it.  Saturday's performance is at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Ephraim at 7 p.m.  Sunday's performance is on Washington Island at the Trueblood Performing Arts Center at 6 p.m.

More Beetles, Bigger Threat: Japanese Beetle Population On The Rise In Door County

By Marissa Hatlen

Japanese Beetle populations are on the rise in the Door County area, posing a threat to household, garden, and agricultural plants. The invasive species eats the leaves of a wide variety of plants, and in larger numbers can strip a plant bare to the stem. UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Annie Deutsch says that to manage Japanese Beetle populations and prevent major damage, growers should get the bugs off of plants in the morning.



Deutsch said using this method in the early morning prevents the bugs from attracting more beetles to the plant for feeding.

Japanese Beetles have been present in the US for decades, but until this summer, the pest hasn't posed a major threat to the Door County area. Deutsch said concerned growers can find guides on UW-Extension's website for controlling Japanese Beetle damage tailored to the type of affected plant, and she added that there are resources for many other horticulture-related problems and projects available as well, from pest and disease information to canning and harvesting guides.

Associated Banc-Corp To Buy Bank Mutual

By Paul Schmitt

The recent announcement that Associated Banc-Corp of Green Bay is in the process of purchasing Bank Mutual will likely have an impact in the local banking industry.  According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the $482 million transactions between the largest and third-largest banks based in Wisconsin will eventually lead to closures and job cuts.   Bank of Luxemburg President Tim Treml says the merger means another loss of a community bank and relationships.



Associated Banc-Corp has three branch locations in Sturgeon Bay and one in Baileys Harbor.  Bank Mutual has one location in Sturgeon Bay.

Liberty Grove Antique Tractor Show This Weekend

By Mark Kanz

The Liberty Grove Historical Society is helping to preserve history by holding its annual Antique Tractor and Gas Engine Show this weekend. Show organizer Russell Smith says Ford is the featured brand for this year's event.  He expects about 60 exhibits including a couple of working hit and miss engines that were used on the farm when the windmills weren't spinning.



Smith says they'll also have a demonstration of a 1960's cherry tree shaker that was one of the first developed in Sister Bay.  In addition to the tractors, the historical society's annual art and craft sale will also be going on. Both shows are open Saturday and Sunday and are held on the historical society grounds just south of Ellison Bay on Highway 42.

4-H Members Showing Projects And Confidence At Kewaunee County Fair

By Tim Kowols

Kewaunee County 4-H members showed much more than just their animals Thursday as much of the judging schedule got underway. Whether it was Daria Ahrens showing in her third Kewaunee County Fair or Will Hewett showing his animals for a final time, 4-H members display their knowledge of their animals in the barns and their confidence in the ring.




Becky Schleis has noticed the changes in her daughter, Morgan, since she joined 4-H and began participating in the group's horse project.





After Friday's dairy and poultry shows and round robin showmanship competition, 4-H members will have other opportunities to have their animals judged on Saturday. You can see the projects ranging from baked goods and art projects to steers and pigs at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds through Sunday.

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Door-Tran Survey To Help Reassess Transportation Needs In Door County

By Tim Kowols

For the first time in 10 years, Door-Tran is reassessing the transportation needs of the community. Door-Tran received a grant from the Easter Seals to conduct the survey, which was a major driving force in the creation of its current shared driving programs, van pools, and other services when UW-Green Bay helped with the study in 2007. Transportation coordinator Pam Busch says there has been a lot changes in ten years and hopes the survey can help even more people get to where they need to go in Door County and beyond.


Door-Tran is collecting survey responses through August 11, after which the Easter Seals Project Action Consulting group will assist in compiling the data and forming a plan.


Take the survey by clicking here

Washington Island Lions Club Helping Fund Medical Offices

By Tim Kowols

Some services people take for granted in other parts of Door County would not be possible on Washington Island without its Lions Club. Through fundraising efforts like last weekend's Fly-In Fish Boil, the Washington Island Lions Club is able to fund an optometrist and dental office so local residents and visitors do not need to hop on the ferry every time they need an appointment. Lions Club member and Town of Washington chairperson John Rader says their efforts plug an important hole in the community since attracting a full-time dentist or optometrist is often out of the question.



The offices are located at the Washington Island Community Center, which have been recently renovated by the town.

Door County Tourism Zone Balks At Room Sales Tax Agreement With Airbnb

By Tim Kowols

Unlike a growing list of municipalities across the country, the Door County Tourism Zone will not enter into an agreement with social lodging site Airbnb to collect room taxes. The Door County Tourism Zone collects a 5.5 percent room tax from over 1,000 permit holders with the funds going towards member municipalities and tourism efforts with the Door County Visitor Bureau. Tourism Zone chairperson Josh VanLieshout says while an agreement with Airbnb would make it easier to get revenues from property owners that rent their own buildings for lodging; the commission has balked at the idea because of the lack of information it would be given.



VanLieshout says the commission is talking to Airbnb this week to claim some of the room tax dollars were wrongfully taken after the state of Wisconsin entered into an agreement with the company to collect state taxes. The Door County Tourism Zone collected over $4.5 million dollars in room sales taxes in 2016, continuing an upward trend since the commission first had all 19 municipalities on board in 2009.

Cherry Picking Season Starting Throughout Door County

By Paul Schmitt

Cherry picking season is in full mode throughout the Door Peninsula.  The cherry crop harvesting in orchards began in earnest this past week, according to Steve Wood from Wood Orchards in Sturgeon Bay and Egg Harbor.  Wood says the crop looks to be pretty solid despite the recent storms and heavy rains.



According to the Wisconsin Cherry Growers Association, Door County cherry orchards that offer pick-your-own option have opened this week.  Sweet and Tart cherries are harvested every summer from mid-July to mid-August, according to Wood.

Phone Scammers May Pretend To Be Police, Warns Kewaunee County Law Enforcement

By Marissa Hatlen

Law enforcement officials are warning the public that an old scam is resurfacing, in which individuals receive a call from someone claiming to be a law enforcement or government official. The scammers direct the recipient to send payment immediately, and threaten legal action, IRS audits, or even arrests if the individual does not pay the fake fine. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says that an immediate request for money over the phone is the first clue that you're dealing with a scammer. Legitimate government agencies, he says, will never ask for direct payments without full notification by mail. Scammers hope the threat of legal action will scare their targets into paying quickly without thinking about the circumstances.



Joski advises requesting a callback number, which a legitimate government entity will always provide; scammers, he says, are likely to give up because they haven't found a quick and easy target. If you think you may have fees, fines, or legal action pending, you can contact your local circuit court or sheriff's department to confirm that information. Anyone who receives a scam message like this should report it to their local sheriff's office.

Kewaunee To Host Public Comment Session On Marquette School Demolition Monday

By Tim Kowols

The city of Kewaunee is looking to its community for ideas of how to pay for the demolition of the former Marquette School. Federal dollars from the United States Environmental Protection Agency and a Community Development Block Grant are helping pay for a portion of the estimated $1.2 million demolition project. Mayor Sandi Christman says the city is looking at ways to make up the $100,000 to $200,000 it is currently short of for the demolition.



Christman hopes the site becomes developed after the demolition to bring in tax revenue for the city. The city of Kewaunee will host its second public comment session on the topic on Monday at 6 p.m. inside the city hall building.

Sturgeon Bay Selfie Station Plans On Hold

By Tim Kowols

A "selfie station" near Sonny's Italian Kitchen in Sturgeon Bay has been put on hold after members of the Sturgeon Bay Common Council expressed concerns about the domino effect it could cause. The "selfie station," which is slated to be placed in a public park next to Sonny's Italian Kitchen,  would allow a designated spot for visitors to take a picture of themselves with the waters of Sturgeon Bay as a backdrop. Citing the logos of the city and Sonny's Italian Kitchen, council member Laurel Hauser wonders what could happen next if other businesses wanted to build similar structures on public land.


Sonny's Italian Kitchen owner Jason Estes says it was his idea to create the "selfie station" as a way to further promote Sturgeon Bay as a tourist destination.



According to the agreement that was discussed during Tuesday's Common Council meeting, Sonny's Italian Kitchen would be responsible for the upkeep of the structure and the land immediately surrounding it. The issue now heads back to city's Park and Recreation Committee for further discussion.

Stricter Manure Spreading Rules Could Be Coming To Northeast Wisconsin

By Tim Kowols

Farmers may have to work together to properly spread their manure if new proposals from the Department of Natural Resources are approved. The new rules would apply specifically to northeast Wisconsin where the karst geology and fractured bedrock has led to tainted wells across the region, specifically in Kewaunee County. According to Wisconsin State Farmer, manure spreading on fields with less than two feet of soil, frozen or snow covered ground above less than five feet of soil, and areas within 250 feet of a drinking water well would be prohibited under the proposed rules. Don Niles from the farmer-formed Peninsula Pride Farms says the proposed rules are stricter than what is already in the area and operators will have to be creative and collaborative to properly spread their manure.



Niles says the new rules are reflective of a study presented by Dr. Mark Borchardt from the United States Department of Agriculture last month showing the relationship between water recharge events, soil depth to bedrock, and groundwater contamination. The DNR is currently collecting comments on the subject for review.

Sturgeon Bay Council Members Call for Special Meeting To Settle Waterfront Dispute

By Roger Utnehmer

Two members of the Sturgeon Bay City Council are calling for a special meeting to vote on resolving the long-simmering west side waterfront development dispute.

The city lost a lawsuit earlier this year when Judge Raymond Huber ruled the city could not sell land on the waterfront to developer Robert Papke until an ordinary high water mark was determined on the site.

Papke has since withdrawn from the project and filed a claim with the city asking for more than $500,000 plus legal fees.

Council Members David Ward and Laurel Hauser recently negotiated a settlement with the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront, the group that brought the suit, but it has been tabled by the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority and not considered by the common council.

Allman says Mayor Thad Birmingham is "stonewalling."

She says Birmingham appears to prefer the state legislature determining the ordinary high water mark through legislation than by approving the settlement negotiated by locally elected officials.  She fears Birmingham will have sympathetic legislators secretly slip the ordinary high water mark language into the state budget.

Allman says this could have been settled a long time ago if Birmingham would have allowed the council to vote on the negotiated settlement.

"It's time to get this behind us and unite the community, remove the dirt piles and get the people of Sturgeon Bay moving forward together," Allman said.

By getting the council on record in support of the compromise solution negotiated between the city and Friends group, she thinks the legislature would have a more difficult time justifying legislative language that would negate the will of local officials.

She also supports the abolition of the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority.  "Locally-elected officials, not appointees of the mayor, should be making these decisions," she said.

Former Sturgeon Bay Mayoral Candidate Says Waterfront Redevelopment Authority Shows Lack Of Open Government

By Tim Kowols

The candidate for Mayor of Sturgeon Bay who came within 52 votes of defeating Thad Birmingham believes the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority should be abolished.

Laurel Brooks also told the recent decision by the WRA to table a settlement negotiated with the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront is another example of a lack of open government in city government.

Brooks, a former member of the Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission for nine years, believes the appointed members of the WRA should not have the authority granted by the council to spend the taxpayer's money.



Brooks went on to say she would abolish the WRA and leave that kind of decision making to a collaboration between the Sturgeon Bay Common Council and the city's Plan Commission.

Fish Creek To Overhaul Sanitation System After Sewage Spill

By Marissa Hatlen

A storm overran sanitation equipment in Fish Creek last week, causing approximately 900 gallons of raw sewage to escape the system and flow into Green Bay. It was the first failure of the system in 33 years, according to Fish Creek Sanitary District Operations Manager Joe Burress. But with the help of a public invested in protecting local water sources, the sanitation crew, already working to manage the effects of the storm, quickly contained the leak.



Burress added that anyone who sees water flowing from any manhole can contact a 24-hour hotline to report it at 920-868-3372. The District is borrowing $2.2 million to update its sanitation systems over the next year and a half, an update Burress said will improve Fish Creek's ability to prevent and quickly respond to any future incidents.

Camping Dreams Coming True For Children At Harbour Village Resort This Week

By Paul Schmitt

Dream Camp Wisconsin is helping disadvantaged children experience five days of fun this summer in Door County.  23 youngsters are at Harbour Village Resort in Door County this week are enjoying camping, fishing, hiking, and swimming.  "Sportsmen With Heart" founder James Phillips who organizes the camps says Harbour Village has been great in hosting the camp.



Phillips, who is from Little Suamico, says a friend with frisbee catching dogs will be at Harbour Village Thursday afternoon to entertain the children and anyone staying at the campground.  "Sportsmen With Heart" works closely with Children's Hospital of Wisconsin and the Make-a-Wish Foundation, according to Phillips who says his three-year-old daughter who suffered a brain tumor inspired him to start the dream camps.  You can find more information on Dream Camp Wisconsin with this story online.

Door County YMCA Providing Over 400 Meals A Day For Day Campers

By Paul Schmitt

The Door County YMCA continues to provide healthy meals to children in the area with the Summer Foods Program.  The annual program serves anyone 18 years or younger that lives in Door County.  CEO and President Tom Beernsten says the "Y" uses the program to supply meals to the children attending their summer day camps as well.



Beerntsen says the Boys and Girls Club of Door County is helping the Door County YMCA with the Summer Food Program this year by providing the use of their new kitchen and employing their chef to prepare the meals.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the Summer Foods Program, please contact Sherri Dantoin at or at 920-743-4949.

New UW-Extension Operating Model To Mitigate Effects Of Budget Cuts On County Offices

By Marissa Hatlen

In the wake of a $3.6 million cut to UW-Extension's statewide budget, the organization lost an estimated 80 jobs in 2016 and 2017, according to Extension Chancellor Cathy Sandeen. This led to a call for reorganizing the model on which UW-Extension has operated for 100 years; small groups of counties will now be overseen by an Area Director and will share resources, including some educators. County offices were resistant to the idea, warning it would shift resources to urban areas and provide less local accountability, but as UW-Extension begins the transition, local Area Director Rob Burke says he will work hard to make sure county needs are not forgotten under the new model.



Burke also says the shift will modernize UW-Extension's organization, increasing communication and improving efficiency while also making educational programs and state experts available to larger regions of Wisconsin.

City of Algoma Focusing On Community Safety And Emergency Response

By Paul Schmitt

Algoma has placed public safety on the front burner in preparation for severe weather and emergency response protocols.  City of Algoma Administrator Jeff Wiswell says a recently conducted city wide flood-focused training exercise with local and state agencies prepares the city for a worst case scenario.



Wiswell says the city received a lot of positive feedback for providing shelter to several people during a tornado warning last month in which people utilized the city hall basement.  The City of Algoma also has just completed a workers compensation study to help with safer work habits for employees, according to Wiswell.

Northern Sky Theater Hosts Creative Kids Day

By Marissa Hatlen

Northern Sky Theater in Peninsula State Park held its annual Creative Kids Day last week, inviting children ages 6-16 to half-day theater workshops. Participants learned the basic tools of the trade, as well as a song and dance from one of Northern Sky Theater's productions; this year they immersed themselves in fifties slang and line dancing for Oklahoma in Wisconsin. Kids at Creative Kids day also get a backstage tour and the chance to act onstage alongside Northern Sky's cast. According to Anne Bernschein, Marketing Director and Volunteer Coordinator, by the time they perform for parents at the end of the day, the students have been fully immersed in the world of theater.



That inspiration doesn't stop at the end of the session, either. Bernschein says the exciting hands-on experience with the production company's actors, props, and art often encourages attendees to come back year after year or even dive into theater later in life. This year's intern at Northern Sky, John Brotherhood, got his start in theater through Creative Kids Day, and now plays Billy in Oklahoma in Wisconsin. To learn more about Northern Sky Theater and their shows, you can visit

PUD Agreements For Maritime Tower, Apartment Complex Approved By Sturgeon Bay Common Council

By Tim Kowols

The Sturgeon Bay Common  Council approved two ordinances regarding the Door County Maritime Museum's future plans and a new apartment complex near the corner of Grant Avenue and Sycamore Street, but not without another round of vetting from its members.


During a discussion about the Planned Unit Development agreement for the museum's Maritime Tower, District 1 council member Kelly Catarozoli asked if a land use lease from the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands be a requirement for the PUD to be granted by the city. Comparing the tower to a dock, Door County Maritime Museum Board of Directors President Bill Harder told the Common Council it would be responsible for the lease agreement if it becomes required as the riparian owner of the property.



A lack of a secondary outlet to the planned apartment complex caused major concern to council members Catarozoli and Laurel Hauser after finding a memorandum stating the city may be in violation of an agreement with the Department of Transportation. It required the city to build a connecting road from the highway to Sawyer Drive after several conditions were reached. Even though the DOT has not enforced the conditions for the agreement for several years, Hauser said she hopes the city would do the right thing.



Before the meeting went into closed session, Hauser read a prepared statement on behalf of the Ad Hoc Settlement Committee's recommendation to approve the settlement with the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront. The size of the new lot, the potential rising costs of litigation, and moving the forward from the conflict were three of the six reasons Hauser and committee member David Ward gave to approve the settlement, a proposal the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority tabled on Monday.




Below is the memorandum referred to in the meeting and in the above article:




Christ Child Society Of Door County Helps New Moms Get Off On The Right Path

By Tim Kowols

Members of the Christ Child Society know the difficulties associated with being a new mom, especially when you are on hard times. Operating from St. Peter and Paul Church in Institute, the Christ Child Society of Door County collects items for infants and puts them in bags called layettes, giving new moms a chance to start on the right foot even if they do not have money. Debbie Wegner says members know the overwhelming feeling a mother has when they first bring their newborn home for the first time.



Chartered in 1998, Wegner says the Christ Child Society of Door County has already helped 21 families this year. You can contact the organization if you would like to join their efforts or attend their membership luncheon scheduled for August 2.

Door County's Peninsular Research Station Keeps Fight Against Pests Going While Battling Cuts

By Tim Kowols

While keeping one eye on the crops being grown in Door County, the Peninsular Research Station keeps another on the state budget. The Sturgeon Bay outpost of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has weathered the storm of budget cuts in recent years, often taking away staff members and other resources in its wake. Superintendent Matt Stasiak says their budget has not been cut to the bone like it had previously in the last two years, but it has relied more on the growers it works with, the county, and grants to make up the difference in state aid. He says the work they do at the Peninsular Research Station is very important to the region.



The Peninsular Research Station is one of 13 agricultural research stations under the University of Wisconsin-Madison banner and the only one in northeast Wisconsin.

Government Officials Lining Up In Opposition To Upper Michigan Mine

By Tim Kowols

Local and state government officials are hoping the state of Michigan listens to their call to halt plans for a mine in the Upper Peninsula. Known as the Back 40 Mine, the Menominee, Mich.-based sulfide mining operation is slated to be about 150 feet from its river and could be an environmental hazard for the immediate area and the Great Lakes. Democratic State Senator Dave Hansen hopes to get more support for his measure voicing concern about opening the mine similar to those already passed by the Brown County Board, the Marinette County Board, and the city of Marinette.



The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin is suing the state of Michigan for issuing the necessary permits for the mine due to its environmental and even cultural impacts. Door County officials will weigh in on the issue at upcoming meetings of the Legislative and Land Conservation Committees.

Sturgeon Bay Waterfront Redevelopment Authority Tables Motion To Settle With Friends Group

By Tim Kowols

The Sturgeon Bay Waterfront Redevelopment Authority has tabled a motion to reach a settlement with the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront regarding the ordinary high water mark at 92 E Maple Street. According to a release from the city, members of the WRA debated the matter for nearly two hours in closed session before voting 4-3 to table the motion. By tabling the motion, the WRA is ordering for additional action be taken so the city can have more information on what can be placed in the area for development. The WRA is also asking for legal counsel to ask for additional guidance on what happens next.


While no date or time was mentioned in the release regarding the next WRA meeting, the declaratory hearing regarding the ordinary high watermark with the Department of Natural Resources is scheduled for August. There is no time or location set for that meeting. Sturgeon Bay City Administrator Josh VanLieshout could not be reached for comment, while plaintiff Carri Andersson wanted to speak with her fellow plaintiffs and read the release from the city before responding. The settlement was slated to be discussed in closed session during Tuesday's Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting.


Full Release From Sturgeon Bay City Administrator JoshVanLieshout:

The Waterfront Redevelopment Authority of the City of Sturgeon Bay took action today regarding a proposed settlement agreement reached between representatives of the City Sturgeon Bay and the Friends of Sturgeon Bay and Carri Andersson, Kathleen Finnerty, Christie Weber, Russ Cockburn, Linda Cockburn and Shawn Fairchild.


After nearly two hours of debate and discussion in closed session, the Sturgeon Bay Waterfront Redevelopment Authority went into open session to vote.  There was a motion to table the proposal to settle on the location of the OHWM with the Friends Group.


In their tabling motion, the WRA ordered that additional action be taken to better ascertain the use potential of the area that would be left below the negotiated ordinary high water mark and seek out developers for the remaining property upland from the negotiated OHWM.  Finally, the WRA requested special legal council be invited to the next WRA meeting to brief them more thoroughly on the remaining processes and issues.  The motion passed 4-3 and the WRA promptly adjourned its meeting.


City Staff will begin working on the directive, in the meantime, the next date of significance is a scheduled declaratory hearing with the Department of Natural Resources for August 3, 2017, the time and place of which is yet to be determined by DNR.

Area Gets Economic Boost With 35th Annual K-D Salmon Tournament Starting On Saturday

By Paul Schmitt

The 35th Annual Kewaunee Door Salmon Tournament starts this Saturday and local businesses can expect an economic boost.  The largest summer fishing tournament on the Great Lakes set a record last year in total anglers participating with over 3,000, according to co-organizer Kevin Naze.  He says fishing offers a huge boon to the area economy during the summer months.



The nine-day tournament runs until July 30 and includes over $50,000 in prize money including a first place $10,000 cash prize and mounting of the winning salmon.  You can find more information about the 35th Annual K-D Salmon Tournament with the link below.

Bay Hometown Pharmacy Credits Personal Touch In Capturing "Best Of Door County"

By Paul Schmitt

Bay Home Town Pharmacy may be the newest pharmacy in Sturgeon Bay, but it has quickly grown and was recently recognized in the "Best of Door County" poll this past spring.  Owner and pharmacist Jake Blazkovec says Bay Home Town Pharmacy prides itself on personally focusing on their customer needs.



Blazkovec also credits his employees for making a difference for customers and making his job easier.



Bay Home Town Pharmacy opened its doors in February of 2015 and is located on the corner of Jefferson Street and North 7th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.  It is one of 38 independently owned Home Town pharmacies in the state.  Over 12,000 votes were cast in the Best of Door County poll, with awards being presented in over 80 categories.

Kewaunee County Fair Kicks Off Year 100 Thursday

By Tim Kowols

It is the party a century in the making when the Kewaunee County Fair kicks off on Thursday. Fair officials are celebrating the 100th anniversary with special giveaways on select days in addition to the live entertainment, livestock exhibits, and the other activities that have made the event an annual rite of summer in the area. Fair secretary Al Hoppe says the committee is happy they have helped the four-day event span generations.


Other fair activities, which run through Sunday, include an enduro car race, tractor pull, and parade. You can see a full schedule of the weekend events online with this story.




Tuesday, July 18

Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce Kick-Off Dinner – 7:00 PM


Thursday, July 20

Celebrate our 100th year with FREE ice cream from 7:00-9:00 PM

Family Stage

Located in the Main Exhibition Building
3 Afternoon Shows Daily
Nick's Kid Show
The Magic of James Mitchell
Luxemburg-Casco Community Band – 6:30 PM

Midway Stage

Nick D, Rock & Roll Oldies Show – 5:00 -7:00 PM
Annex – 7:00-11:00 PM


Friday, July 21

Entertainment Building

Senior Citizen Bingo – 10:30 AM – (gate admission applies)
Dueces Wild – 12:30-4:30 PM

Family Stage

3 Afternoon Shows Daily
Nick's Kid Show
The Magic of James Mitchell

Jim Mitchell Hypnosis Show – 6:30 PM

Midway Stage

Branded – 5:00 PM
Diamond Rio – 10:00 PM


Luxemburg Motors Farm Tractor Pull – 7:00 PM
INCLUDING – 2 State-Wide Hot Farm Smoker Classes
Grandstand Admission – Free with Wristband

Barn Area

Round Robin Showmanship – 6:30 PM


Saturday, July 22

Main Gate

Crown & Sash Run 8:30 AM

Family Stage

3 Afternoon Shows Daily
Nick's Kid Show
The Magic of James Mitchell

Jim Mitchell Hyphosis Show – 6:30 PM

Midway Stage

The Gentlemen – 12:30 -3:30 PM
Adam Trask – 4:00-6:00 PM & 7:30-9:00 PM
Ricochet – 9:30 PM


Third Annual Impact Survival Series 150 Lap Stock Car Enduro – 6:00 PM
Grandstand Admission – Free with Wristband

Livestock Barn

Livestock Auction – 1 PM
Dairy Futurity Event – 7:30 PM


Sunday, July 24

Downtown Luxemburg

Fair Parade – 11:30 AM

Family Stage

3 Afternoon Shows Daily
Nick's Kid Show
The Magic of James Mitchell
Wisconsin State Fair Junior Amateur Talent Competition – 1:00 PM


Under The Grandstand

Scott Construction Pedal Powered Tractor Pull 3:00 PM

Livestock Barn

Kiddie Showmanship – 3:00 PM

Midway Stage

Spice – 2:30-6:00 PM


Parent PLUS Loans Give Families Another Way To Help Pay For College

By Tim Kowols

Parents of college students may need to look to other methods if they realize the need for a few extra dollars to pay for tuition. The Parent PLUS Loan is a federal student loan parents with a good credit history can take out to help their dependent children afford the cost of college. With high-interest rates at seven percent currently, Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says parents need to remember they are potentially borrowing against their own retirement.



Pustaver recommends taking a Parent PLUS loan out if you have enough assets through investments and real estate to pay it off if you do not want to spend the money right now. You can hear more about Parent PLUS Loans during our most recent Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver online with this story.


Door County Gets Boost From Coastal Management Grants

By Tim Kowols

Over $162,000 of the $2.4 million in grants awarded by the Wisconsin Department of Administration's Coastal Management Program will help projects in Door County.  Plans include the beach expansion in Egg Harbor, a resource management plan for Bradley Lake in Sturgeon Bay, and three other projects. Governor Scott Walker explained last week the importance of lending a helping hand to Wisconsin's coastal communities.


The funds come from Wisconsin's federally funded Coastal Management program. You can read more about the projects chosen for the grants online with this story.



Project Name Beach Park Swim Beach Expansion
Applicant Village of Egg Harbor
Grant Amount $32,000
This project will develop design and engineering plans for expanding the public beach at Beach Park.


Project Name Coastal Resource Management Plan for Bradley Lake-Sturgeon Bay Connectivity
Applicant City of Sturgeon Bay Grant
Amount $31,260
This project will develop a coastal resource management plan for Bradley Lake that identifies issues and opportunities for sediment removal, fishery restoration, and habitat improvement.


Project Name Lakeshore Coastal Recreation Study
Applicant Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission
Grant Amount $25,161
This project will create a lakeshore coastal recreation study for the counties of Kewaunee, Manitowoc, and Sheboygan.


Project Name Outreach and Education of Door Peninsula Coastal Wetland Ramsar Site
Applicant Door County Soil & Water Conservation Department
Grant Amount $18,620
This project will provide education and outreach to private landowners that are adjacent to the Door Peninsula Coastal Wetlands Ramsar Site.


Project Name Porte des Morts Staircase
Applicant Town of Liberty Grove
Grant Amount $29,500
This project will construct a staircase at Portes des Mortes Park from the top of the bluff to the water below to provide safe controlled access and enhance the use of the park and Lake Michigan waters.


Project Name Water Quality Indicators of Human Impacts to the Wetlands of Door County
Applicant The Nature Conservancy of Wisconsin
Grant Amount $29,998
This project will investigate potential linkages between nonpoint source pollution and wetland water quality and habitat health in five Door County wetlands.

Sturgeon Bay Common Council Slated To Discuss West Waterfront In Closed Session

By Tim Kowols

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council is expected to pick up where the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority and the Ad Hoc Settlement Committee leave off when it meets Tuesday afternoon. Discussion on the contract between the city and Sawyer Hotel Development, LLC and its settlement with the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront is scheduled to take place in closed session one day after the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority and Ad Hoc Settlement Committee bring up the topics in its own joint meeting. The Common Council will also have second readings on ordinances impacting beekeeping, a proposed tower at the Door County Maritime Museum, and a planned multi-family housing complex near the corner of Grant Avenue and Sycamore Street. The meeting is scheduled to begin at noon inside the Common Council Chambers.

Loans For Energy Upgrades

By Mark Kanz

Door County economic development professionals added another tool to their toolbox recently.  Door County became the 20th county in the state to join Property Assessed Clean Energy or PACE program thanks to a vote from the county board.  Jason Stringer of the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation says PACE costs the county nothing and provides businesses with low-interest loans to make conservation improvements to a building.



Stringer says PACE stimulates job creation, reduces the cost of capitalization for improvements, revitalizes older buildings and helps the state to reach sustainability goals.  The program is financed by private lenders. He says the program works best with existing buildings and can even help get some of them back on the tax rolls after sitting vacant for years.

For more information go to or

BUG Assistant Chief Is Legion's Outstanding Firefighter

By Mark Kanz

After 33 years on the Brussels, Union, Gardener Fire Department, not much surprises Jim Wautier.  However, he was surprised to learn several weeks ago that the Wisconsin American Legion would be honoring him as its Outstanding Firefighter for the state.  Wautier accepted the award in Appleton Saturday.  He says events like car accidents and fires are difficult, but it's another way he can serve his community.



Wautier has been assistant chief for 28 of his 33 years with the BUG department.  He says his fellow firefighters are just an extension of his own family.  The American Legion also honored law enforcement and emergency medical personnel this past weekend.

Best Of Door County For In Home Care

By Mark Kanz

Celeste Danek thought she was being "punked" when she learned her United Home Health Services company was chosen as a Best of Door County winner recently by listeners.  Danek and her nine-person staff provide in-home services for people, primarily the elderly,  who may need a little extra help living on their own.  United Home Health staff helps clients with shopping, medication monitoring, meal preparation, light housekeeping and getting them to appointments.



Danek's clients typically are referred by other agencies.  She says demand continues to grow and her group is expanding its services, especially in hospice care and care for dementia patients.  She's always looking for the person with that something special to join her staff.

Fair Parade Vehicle Provides Trip Down Memory Lane

By Mark Kanz

It's been said the only difference between men and boys is the cost and size of their toys.  Leroy Simonar of Simonar's Sports in Luxemburg is dusting off one of his toys to share with the community at next Sunday's Kewaunee County Fair Parade.  Simonar will help the Fair celebrate its 100th anniversary with his 100-year old 1917 Ford Model A.



Simonar no longer drives the 1917 car, but family members will drive it in the parade dressed as people would have looked going to the fair 100 years ago.  One unusual aspect of the car is that it has an electric start, according to Simonar.  He stumbled upon it while delivering an ATV to a customer in Northern Door County in the 1990s.  It's one of a handful of vintage vehicles his family is preserving.  The Kewaunee County Fair parade starts at 11:30 next Sunday, July 23 in downtown Luxemburg.

Animal Communicator Uses Skills To Find Lost Pets

By Mark Kanz

Last week, we introduced you to animal communicator Lynn Schuster.  The Sturgeon Bay woman looks at a picture of an animal and telepathically sees that animal animated in her mind's eye.  See says it almost seems like a dream.  Schuster says living animals aren't the only ones she communicates with.



Schuster has also been called in to help find lost animals.  Last month, she helped a Forestville family find their dog after almost three days of searching.  Nearly 50 people were combing the brush, but Schuster got them pointed in the right direction.  She's also had a few lost animals who have died, but she was able to let the families know what happened to their pet and help them come to terms with the loss and provide some closure.

Plane Crash Victims Not Seriously Injured

By Mark Kanz

The Federal Aviation Administration is expected on Washington Island Sunday to investigate a single engine plane crash that happened just before noon Saturday at the Washington Island Airport.   According to WBAY TV, neither the pilot nor a passenger was seriously injured in the crash, but the plane is a total loss.  Witnesses say the plane appeared to be coming in low and may have contacted some trees before hitting the ground.  As we told you last week, the airport was hosting a fly-in fish boil that was expected to attract more than 100 planes.

Successful Farm Technology Days In Kewaunee County Gives Eberts Plenty Of Good Memories

By Tim Kowols

Clean-up has begun at Ebert Enterprises in Algoma after hosting the three-day Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. According to the event's executive committee, Kewaunee County was the first draw more than its own population to the event and expects to exceed its net profit, which will go towards local causes. It was especially memorable for Jordan and Whitney Ebert, who along with their parents Randy and Renee hosted people from across the country. As memorable as the opening ceremonies were with Gov. Scott Walker and remembering his late sister Britney, Jordan says one of his favorite parts of the show was throwing an appreciation party for the nearly 1,900 volunteers that helped put the event on.



Whitney says it was great to see the community come together for the last week.



Wisconsin Farm Technology Days will take place next year in  Wood County.



-The first day of the show attracted over 10,000 visitors, the highest attendance on day one in several years. The official Opening Ceremony had a record-breaking 550 attendees, including Governor Scott Walker and Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Ben Brancel.


-All 1,000 of the Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days commemorative toy, a Gehl 800 Forage Harvester, were sold out completely before the show opened. The last time the commemorative toy was sold out was 2012, when Outagamie County hosted the event.


-Tram rides to tour Ebert Enterprises farm were enjoyed by over 50 percent of attendees. Nearly 1,500 tram rides were provided for field demonstrations, which only ran for half of the show due to weather conditions.


-15,000 hamburgers and cheeseburgers were served over the three-day period, including 11,250 bowls of ice cream.


-Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days was supported by 67 Landmark Farms located in Kewaunee County and surrounding townships in Door, Brown and Manitowoc Counties. The Landmark Farms were not just dairy-related, but included beef, hog, crop and other kinds of farms.


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Sturgeon Bay High School Students To Build House Through Home Construction Project Next Year

By Student Correspondent Connor Sannito

Sturgeon Bay high school will begin a Home Construction Project at the beginning of the next school year. The project is in association with the Door County Home Builders Association and NWTC; Sturgeon Bay high school will foster the program as it is now a Door County school specific project. It gives students the unique opportunity to quite literally learn to build a home.


Sturgeon Bay high school principal, Robert Nickel, had this to say about the Home Construction Project.



The construction will be led by Seth Wilson as it is broken down into several tech classes offering students dual credits at NWTC. Students will be constructing from 7:30-10:30 a.m. every day for school, including spring break and winter break, until the next school year is over.  The foundation should be poured before school starts and the project is planned to finish sometime in May.

Launching Your Kayak For Door County Smallies

By Bill Schultz

With over 300 miles of shoreline there are plenty of places to launch your kayak to find Door County smallmouth bass.  Here are a few great places to launch where you can find smallies this time of year.  Most kayak anglers stay close to shore, where, in shallower water and around docks you'll always find fish.  Although, they tend to be smaller, but, still fun.  Bigger fish can be found in deeper, 8 to 20 foot depths.


I suggest heading north from Sturgeon Bay and a good starting point is launching at Murphy Park and fishing Horseshoe Bay to the north.  There are many roads in Door County that dead-end at the water making great access points to good fishing.  Along White Cliff road going north out of Egg Harbor there are several these roads that get you onto the east shore of Egg Harbor and south end of Juddville Bay, nice locations to find smallies.


In Peninsula Park, there's a great kayak launch at Tennison Bay, which holds small.  Launching at the Sister Bay Park puts you on smallies both north and south.  There's a great launch at Garrett's Bay that gets you on the bass there and Hedgehog Harbor.  On the Lake Michigan side for a few dollars you can launch at Cole's Rowleys Bay Cabins and get out on Rowleys Bay and the Mink River.  The bays farther south all have places to launch and hold smallies, but, just not in the numbers you see on the Green Bay side.


If you are looking to do some Door County kayak fishing, use these tips, but, also get on Google Maps to find those roads that dead-end at the water and other access points.  The wonderful thing about Door County is that even if the fish aren't biting, you are kayaking in some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable, a real bonus.  If you have any questions, I'm always happy to help at

Farmers Have Options After Alfalfa Crop Declared A Disaster In Door, Kewaunee Counties

By Tim Kowols

Farmers in Door and Kewaunee County are trying to figure out what they can plant in their alfalfa fields after they were declared a crop disaster area earlier this month. Late January and early February played games with the alfalfa underground, being warm enough for the plant to push through the surface only to freeze a short time later. Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agriculture Educator Aerica Bjurstrom says alfalfa is crucial to the diet of a cow and farmers will have to rely on last year's crop to make it through the year.



Bjurstom says there is still time to plant some kind of crop to go in those fields. Farmers wishing to make a claim on a lost alfalfa crop can contact the Farm Service Agency located in Luxemburg.

Door County Emergency Responders Urge Driver Caution On Highways After Friday Crash

By Marissa Hatlen

A two-vehicle crash on Highway 57 between Southern Door High School and Renards Cheese brought weekend traffic to a near-standstill Friday. Emergency responders were able to clear the road in approximately an hour and a half without closing either lane of traffic, and there were no serious injuries. Southern Door Fire Department Chief Chuck Cihlar said this is far from the first time the intersection of Highway 57 and S Cloverleaf Road has been a problem for drivers.



According to the Wisconsin DMV, the state saw a total of just over 129,000 crashes last year, with over 31,000 of those crashes involving injuries. 895 crashes occurred in Door County.

Senator Ron Johnson Discusses Health Care, Tax Reform, Worker Shortages In Door County

By Marissa Hatlen

Senator Ron Johnson met with community members to answer questions on Friday at Northeast Wisconsin Industries in Sturgeon Bay. He discussed a variety of issues, but the topic on citizens' minds everywhere, he said, is health care. It's a frustrating topic for Johnson, who sees the lack of progress as a failure of leadership to work honestly toward building agreement on issues. In particular, his confidence was shaken by a report in the Washington Post that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attempted to sway moderates on the health care vote by assuring them future Medicaid cuts conservatives had worked for would never come to fruition. Johnson described this as a "breach of trust" and said it likely meant the health care vote won't happen.



While visiting his home state, Senator Johnson also spoke to constituents in Brillion and Algoma. He stressed the importance of supporting manufacturing companies like those he visited in Door County as many struggle to fill high numbers of vacancies. He also spoke on a tax reform plan he is working to bring to the floor of the Senate, and said he will continue to bring his tenacity to Washington on behalf of Wisconsinites.

Do-Good Sturgeon Bay Offers Free One-On-One Health Coaching, Collects Donations for Food Pantry

By Marissa Hatlen

Do-Good Sturgeon Bay is moving into the second phase of its community health program, offering free one-on-one health coaching. The organization formed as a partnership between Bellin Health Sturgeon Bay and Lakeshore Community Action Program to encourage community members to do good for themselves and their community. Participants in the health coaching phase will work individually with coaches to set, work toward, and achieve healthy living goals. Jesse Stukenberg, Bellin's Wellbeing Consultant, says fostering healthy lifestyles not only helps participants feel healthier, but also improves treatment outcomes in the future.



You can participate in the program by donating healthy food items or $5 to the Lakeshore CAP Door County Food Pantry; the program has delivered nearly 4,000 pounds of food so far. For tips on good items to donate and more information about the Do-Good Sturgeon Bay program's offerings, you can visit their Facebook page below.

Taproom Regulations In Wisconsin Still Brewing

By Tim Kowols

Area craft brewers are keeping an eye on legislation with major implications for their business operations. According to the Milwaukee Business Journal, a proposal has been circulated to require craft breweries running tap rooms to buy what they make from distributors to be served in-house. While many legislators have dismissed the proposal, River Falls Republican Rep. Shannon Zimmerman told the Fargo-Moorhead Forum it could be included as a last minute, 999 motion in the final draft of the state budget. Ahnapee Brewery owner Nick Calaway says having to buy back the beer small breweries make would eat a large chunk of their revenues depending on the size.



Five microbreweries call Door and Kewaunee County home, which contributes to a combined economic impact of over $2 billion in the state according to the Wisconsin Craft Beverage Coalition, which includes local wineries, distilleries, and breweries.

Washington Island Lions Club Hosts 63rd Fly-In Fish Boil Saturday

By Tim Kowols

For a 63rd time, the Washington Island Lions Club will welcome pilots and other community members when it hosts its Fly-In Fish Boil Saturday. The event is a major fundraiser for the organization, which in recent years has supported the town's dentist and optometrist offices as well contributing to the Wisconsin Lions Club Camp in Rosholt, Wis. for children and adults with disabilities. Lions Club member and Town of Washington chairperson John Rader says the uniqueness of the event and traditional fish boil is what draws people from all over.



You can fly, ride, or walk to the Washington Island Lions Club Fly-In Fish Boil, which runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Washington Island Airport.

Kewaunee County Historical Society Offers Glimpse Into Fairs And Farms Of The Past

By Marissa Hatlen

Richard Dorner, Director of the Kewaunee County History Center, said that rain and clouds did little to dampen their turnout at Farm Technology Days this week. The Kewaunee County Historical Society hosted many visitors at their display throughout the event, sharing video demonstrations of farming techniques from the past as well as farming-related artifacts from the first half of the twentieth century. The Historical Society hopes to build on that large audience to reach more young people in the community as it appears at the Kewaunee County Fair in August.



The Historical Society booth at the Kewaunee County Fair will feature major events in the history of the fair and share points of interest from fairs past, ranging from horse-pulling contests to stock car racing. For more information on the Kewaunee County Historical Society, you can click on the link below.

DCEDC Receives Matching Grant To Help "Grow Door County"

By Tim Kowols

The Door County Economic Corporation's efforts to improve worker shortage concerns received a big boost this week when it received a $50,000 matching grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. The DCEDC's "Grow Door County" Initiative hopes to develop plans to attract and retain new employees to the area, educate local students about the job opportunities close to home, and work with municipalities to develop more housing options. DCEDC Executive Director Caleb Frostman says a big focus of their efforts will be transitioning visitors and seasonal residents into living in Door County full-time.



Frostman says the grant is one piece of the puzzle to attract and retain a workforce in Door County, which includes finding suitable jobs for spouses, affordable housing, and child care for people who are hired in the area.

Birch Creek Symphony Program in Egg Harbor Brings Two Musicians Together

By Marissa Hatlen

The Birch Creek Symphony Program has helped students' love of music bloom since 1975. But in recent years, it's helped bring about another love story. Emmy Holmes-Hicks, a former student of Birch Creek, began dating Piero Guimaraes while both studied music in graduate school. Her connection to the symphony program led them to become instructors there together, where they grew close with their fellow faculty members. One of those faculty members, Jodie DeSalvo, even had a hand in their engagement: Guimaraes, still a graduate student, didn't have enough money to buy a ring, but when DeSalvo heard, she offered a creative solution that added some humor to the couple's engagement.



Guimaraes and Holmes-Hicks continue to teach at Birch Creek, where this summer's music season reaches its finale this week. The two remaining concerts will be held at Dutton Concert Barn at 7:30 tonight and Saturday; tickets are $29 for adults. For more information on the Birch Creek Symphony, you can click on the link to their website; the full interview with Holmes-Hicks and Guimaraes is also available below.



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Sturgeon Bay Waterfront Redevelopment Authority, Settlement Committee To Meet Monday

By Tim Kowols

Sturgeon Bay's Waterfront Redevelopment Authority and the Ad Hoc Settlement Committee for West Waterfront will have a joint meeting Monday to discuss the terms of the development contract with Sawyer Hotel Development, LLC and its potential settlement with the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront.  In early June, hotel developer Bob Papke pulled out of the project due to the ongoing issues with the ordinary high water mark at 92 East Maple Street and sued the city for $550,000 in damages. Later in June, the city's ad hoc settlement committee came to a preliminary agreement with the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront, agreeing to a new ordinary high water mark and an open dialogue for the future of the West waterfront. City administrator Josh VanLieshout says this meeting needed to take place before it went to the Common Council.



The meeting will take place in closed session at 2:30 p.m. inside the council chambers after adopting the agenda and approving the minutes from a June meeting.

Nelson Shares Impact Of Rotary Club's Project At Honduras Hospital

By Paul Schmitt

Rick Nelson of Sturgeon Bay made a presentation on his experiences in Honduras to the Sturgeon Bay Rotary Club on Thursday afternoon.  Nelson, a former member of the club has been working as the Interim Director of the Clinica Evangelica Morava, a hospital in Ahuas, Honduras.  He describes the project which has been in the making the past two years.



Through efforts by Door County Rotary Clubs, Moravian Church members and matching grant requests to Rotary District 6220 and the Rotary Foundation, over $83,000 was raised.  Nelson lived in Honduras with his family for 10 years in the 1980's and returned in 2014 to take his new position at the hospital after leaving as Door County's Habitat for Humanity executive director.  He will be returning to Honduras next month.  You can find video of Nelson's presentation and information on a meeting being held next week for opportunities to participate in a work crew that will be going to Honduras in September with this story online.


A meeting on Thursday, July 20th at 7 p.m.  will be held at Nelson's residence, 78 W. Maple Street in Sturgeon Bay, where Rick will describe the Rotary project and opportunities for participation in a September work crew in Honduras.


For more information on the Clinica Evangelica Morava, Moravian missions or the Rotary Foundation project, contact Rick Nelson at or call (920) 256-1017.

UW-Extension Names Area Director for Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc Counties

By Marissa Hatlen

As the University of Wisconsin-Extension begins implementing its new staffing model across the state, residents will see a new face at the head of Extension projects. Rob Burke, formerly the Community Development Educator for the Door County UW-Extension office, took on the newly created role of Area Extension Director on July 1, overseeing Door, Kewaunee, and Manitowoc County offices. While some details of the new structure are still being determined, Burke said he is confident the change will have a positive impact on Extension's services.



This increased availability of experts and educators from around the state will allow county offices to offer more programming on a wider variety of topics, and while Extension administration will transition to a more centralized model, county offices will remain open, meaning residents will continue to enjoy local access to Extension services.

Phase Two Work Continues At Kewaunee School District

By Tim Kowols

Construction crews continue to be hard at work at Kewaunee School District to finish phase two of its $15.2 million renovation projects. The second phase includes renovations to classrooms and the theater along with upgrades to the building's heating and cooling systems and roof.  While work on the inside of the buildings has been moving forward, Superintendent Karen Treml says the wet weather this summer has hampered some of the outside projects.



Treml says the resurfacing of the campus' parking lots and new sidewalks will also be done this summer after taking a beating from last year's work when a new gym, fitness center, and agricultural building were added.


Rogue Theater Presents Children's Camp Performance Saturday In Sturgeon Bay

By Tim Kowols

Rogue Theater will turn its stage in Sturgeon Bay over to children this weekend for a special performance. The performing arts company is wrapping up its four-week children's theater camp where kids ages 9-15 get to do a little bit of everything from set design and costuming to performing in a play. Director Lola DeVillers says it is great to see the children develop their skills over the course of the camp and gives her an artistic boost as well.


The Rogue Theater's Children's Theater Camp will perform "The Ungrateful Dwarf" at the Jaycee Hall beginning at 2 p.m. The show is free but donations will be accepted to help support Rogue Theater's future children's programming.

Door County Bridges Helps Introduce International Students To American Experience

By Tim Kowols

For over 20 years, members of Northern Door County churches and the business community have opened their arms to J-1 visa students through its Door County Bridges of Friendship program. Along with English lessons and free bikes rentals, the Door County Bridges of Friendship program hosts special events twice a month to introduce students to each other, members of the community, and new experiences in Door County. Bridges Coordinator Dave Detert says it has been very fulfilling work during the nine years he has volunteered.



The Door County Bridges of Friendship program served over 220 students from 36 different countries last year. J-1 Visa students are allowed to be in the country for four months over the summer but are only allowed to work three of those.

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DNR Recommendations, State Budget Leave Eagle Tower Fund Committee Waiting

By Tim Kowols

Fundraising for the reconstruction of Eagle Tower is still running strong despite battling the unknown. The Eagle Tower Fund Committee announced earlier this week it has raised over $580,000 in pledged donations for the project which could cost between $1 million and $1.5 million. Two factors slowing fundraising progress are determining the components needed to make the tower ADA compliant and the state budget that has potentially $750,000 in matching funds for the project currently in it. Campaign Director Rachel Stollenwerk says until the Department of Natural Resources comes through with their recommendations and Governor Scott Walker signs the budget, the Eagle Tower Fund and the Friends of Peninsula State Park do not know where they stand.



Despite the current unknowns, Stollenwerk is still confident a reconstructed Eagle Tower will be completed by Memorial Day 2018.

Farm Technology Days Concludes Thursday

By Tim Kowols

Humid weather and early morning rains are proving not to be deterrent to the crowds attending this year's Wisconsin Farm Technology Days hosted by Kewaunee County. Attendees have been lining up daily to check out the different field demonstrations and for tram tours of the host farm Ebert Enterprises. Mark Dillenburg from Kewaunee last attended a Farm Technology Days 50 years when it went under a different name in Manitowoc County. He says it is amazing to see how far technology has come.



The horse arena has also been a popular spot during the first two days of the event with horsemen Chris Cox and Dan James showing off their skills in addition to helping local horse owners with their own riding issues. James, a native of Australia, says he has enjoyed interacting with the guests checking out his shows.


Nearly 10,000 people attended the first day of the three-day event Tuesday, marking one of the highest attended openings in several years. Farm Technology Days concludes Thursday afternoon.

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Northern Door County In The Dark After Storms Knock Out Power

By Tim Kowols

Over 2200 customers are without power this morning after storms passed through the area last night. According to the Wisconsin Public Service, 11 outages are being reported with most of the issues occurring in Northern Door County where over 1800 customers in Ellison Bay (1293) and Sister Bay (646) are without power. WPS crews worked through the night, but no timeline for when service would return has been set. Door County was under a severe thunderstorm warning last night with 60 mph wind gusts and quarter-sized hail was possible.


Fish Creek Cyclist Reflects On Rides In Tour De France

By Tim Kowols

As he watches this year's Tour De France from his home in Fish Creek, 82-year-old Ken Jones looks back fondly at the three stages he rode with his son a decade ago. Jones, as he puts it, bluffed his into a sponsorship with Trek after only seriously getting into cycling six months before and not familiar with tackling the contours present on the Tour's mountainous terrain. Often starting four hours ahead of the pros on the circuit, Jones says he had a few close calls being forced off the course after riding over 100 miles at a time.



Jones was inspired to ride in the Tour de France as an amateur by his son, who had been competitively cycling since he was 15 years old. This year's 21 stage Tour de France ends on July 23.

Recent National Recognition Bodes Well For Algoma's Future

By Marissa Hatlen

The City of Algoma has garnered national attention recently, with the Chicago Tribune calling it a great destination for travelers and Expedia naming it as Wisconsin's entry for their Most Beautiful Towns in All 50 States ranking. The city also topped Alarm System Reviews' list of the Safest Places to Live in Wisconsin, and it received an A2 rating from Moody's Investors Service, signaling that the value of buildings, workforce earning power, and city finance are attractive for investors. City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says this spells a bright future for Algoma.



But Algoma isn't stopping there. City officials are looking ahead at improving its water delivery systems, upgrading its sanitation facility, and moving forward on its five-year street improvement plan.

Door County Sheriff's Department Nabs Sturgeon Bay Man With Outstanding Warrants

By Paul Schmitt

A 32-year-old Sturgeon Bay man with two outstanding warrants was taken into custody about 6 p.m. on Tuesday evening by Door County Sheriff's Office deputies.   Frank E. Thomas was reportedly in a residence near Brussels when the Door County Sheriff's Department responded.  Sheriff Steve Delarwelle says authorities had to return to the area twice in order to apprehend Thomas which they did without incident.



Thomas had been found guilty of possession of drug paraphernalia and of bail jumping last year.  He had outstanding warrants in both Door and Brown counties.

Family Escapes Garage Fire That Destroys Home In Nasewaupee

By Paul Schmitt

A fire late Monday night in the town of Nasewaupee destroyed a garage and house.  Southern Door Fire Chief Chuck Cihlar says his department responded to 6543 Tagge Road shortly after 10:30 Monday evening.  He describes the scene that required mutual aid from the Algoma and Bug Fire Departments.



A bug zapper ignited the fire when the man renting the house was draining gas from a jet ski in the garage.  Cihlar says that man,  a woman, and child along with a visitor were able to escape unharmed.  One firefighter suffered minor injuries and went to the hospital as a precaution.  The Southern Door Fire Department was at the scene for nearly four hours, according to Cihlar.

Village Of Egg Harbor To Showcase Progress On New Library Facility Saturday

By Tim Kowols

The Village of Egg Harbor and the Door County Library will celebrate the construction of the new library and community center at an event this Saturday. In addition to music and kids activities, attendees can see the progress being made on the $6 million facility that broke ground earlier this year. Village administrator Ryan Heise says it is another opportunity the library is taking to celebrate its future home in Egg Harbor.



Activities will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. across the street from the construction site at the Peg Egan Performing Arts Center.

Farm Technology Days Gets Underway In Kewaunee County

By Tim Kowols

The eyes of agriculture were focused on Kewaunee County Tuesday as Wisconsin Farm Technology Days officially opened to the public at Ebert Enterprises in Algoma. Opening ceremonies included comments from State Secretary of Agriculture Ben Brancel and Governor Scott Walker. After declaring it Farm Technology Days in the state, Gov. Walker said this is a great showcase of the farming tradition in Wisconsin.



Three generations of the Ebert Family were introduced in recognition of their operation being the host farm in 2017, but a humble Randy Ebert made sure he thanked the 1,800 volunteers making the event possible.


You can see pictures and video from Tuesday's kickoff online with this story. Wisconsin Farm Technology Days runs through Thursday.

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Door County Environmental Council Sponsoring Organic Farming Trolley Tour

By Marissa Hatlen

Local sustainable farming is on the menu next week as the Door County Environmental Council offers a trolley tour to Waseda Farm, Emerald Acres Farm, and the Peninsular Research Station on July 20th. Participants will see how local growers produce sustainable meat, fruits, and vegetables on the tour.

Visitors will see Waseda Farms' process for raising organic beef, pork, and chicken, and will tour Emerald Acres Farm to find out how they can support local producers while getting fresh organic produce through Community Supported Agriculture. Jeff Lutsey of Waseda Farms says he hopes to use the trolley tour talks to involve more of the community in sustainable agriculture methods.



David Boyarski of Emerald Acres Farm adds that while organic farming comes with challenges, making vegetables fun and delicious for the community is its own reward.



The trolley will also make stops featuring invasive species research at Peninsular Research Station and a locally-grown organic lunch. You can get tickets to the trolley tour for $12 at the link below.

Sturgeon Bay Students Experience Elite Art Camp In Georgia

By Connor Sannito

Eric Frank, Connor Sannito, Ellie Johnson, and Grace Hubbard return from attending art camp at the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design. (SCAD)


The four Sturgeon Bay High School students came home July second at two in the morning from Savannah, Georgia. They experienced the historic city and the courses at the college. Each day they had two three hour long classes taught by accomplished professors from their specific industry. From 3D animation to interior design, the camp offered varying courses. They were taught hands on and everyone learned a great amount.


One of the students, Eric Frank, had this to say about his experience:



The eighteen-hour-long drive was well worth it: the kids stayed in the actual dorms of SCAD students, they met with other art kids from across the country, and they were able to meet with alumni. The food at the college was even by the same company that caters for Apple and Google.


Overall, it was simply a fantastic experience for the Sturgeon Bay High School students.

Real Estate Transactions Booming This Summer In Door County

By Paul Schmitt

With the recent boom in home sales and the housing market, Door County real estate and title companies are working overtime to keep up with the workload this summer.  Steve Estes of the Harbour Real Estate Group credits the bounce back in the economy since 2007 in freeing up money from lending institutions.



Ellen Ellingsen, a closing agent with Peninsula Title in Sturgeon Bay, says a lot of the local activity is coming from outside the area.



Ellingsen says refinancing, which peaked in the last six months, still is adding to the commercial and private property transactions.  On June 30th alone, Peninsula Title had 31 closings between sales and loans, according to Ellingsen.

Pets Can Make Leaving An Abusive Relationship More Difficult

By Paul Schmitt

According to Safe Place for Pets, up to 65 percent of domestic violence victims are unable to escape abusive situations due to concern over the what will happen to their pet if they leave.  Help of Door County Executive Director Steve Vickman explains what assistance can be done when a pet is used as a bargaining chip.



Vickman says that there are many organizations in Door County to assist you in rescuing your pet.  One in five women and one in seven men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in the lifetime, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.  You can find more information on Help of Door County with the link below.

Renowned Taxidermist Featured At Door County Historical Museum Saturday

By Marissa Hatlen

Master taxidermist Mike Orthober will be displaying his skills at the Door County Historical Museum on Saturday, July 15th from 10 am to 4:30 pm. Orthober has been building the museum's "Season of Life" exhibit for twenty years, mounting a wide range of specimens including birds and mammals; this week, he will show viewers just how he creates his lifelike exhibits.



Orthober says he is continually adding to the museum's collection, and he will give another demonstration on August 26th. Admission for both events is free. You can tour the exhibit and the rest of the Door County Historical Museum in Sturgeon Bay daily from 10 am to 4:30 pm.

Village of Egg Harbor, Door County Library Celebrate Pavilion Construction Saturday

By Tim Kowols


The Village of Egg Harbor and the Door County Library will celebrate the construction of the new library and community center at an event this Saturday. In addition to music and kids activities, attendees can see the progress being made on the $6 million facility that broke ground earlier this year. Village administrator Ryan Heise says it is another opportunity the library is taking to celebrate its future home in Egg Harbor.



Activities will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. across the street from the construction site at the Peg Egan Performing Arts Center.

Gibraltar Historical Association To Host Talk On First Restaurant In Fish Creek

By Marissa Hatlen

The Gibraltar Historical Association is highlighting the first restaurant ever to open in Fish Creek in an upcoming talk on June 20th. The talk will be led by Barb McKesson and will share the story of The Summertime from its construction in 1910, in the wake of the sinking of the Hackley, to its days as an ice cream parlor. Director Laurie Buske says the Association is featuring the storied past of the building as part of their summer programming.



The talk will be held at the Fish Creek Old Town Hall. You can learn more about the Gibraltar Historical Association by visiting the link below.

Britney Ebert's Spirit Lives On As Farm Technology Days Sets To Open In Kewaunee County Tuesday

By Tim Kowols

While the 1,000-plus days leading up to Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Kewaunee County have given the Ebert family plenty of smiles, along the way they lost their rock. Last May, Britney Ebert died suddenly, leaving a void in the lives of her parents Randy and Renee and her siblings Jordan and Whitney. The memories are still fresh in their minds, right down to Britney not always remembering to shut the refrigerator door. It is why Whitney says she and other family members are not afraid to tell a story about her twin sister.



In the year since, Renee says she has noticed the community rally around the family, and not just because of all of the work that needed to be done to make the three-day show a reality.



Britney will be remembered throughout the show, including a street in Tent City, her favorite toy Play Doh being hidden throughout the grounds, and a butterfly release during Tuesday's opening ceremony, which takes place at the Family Living Tent at 9:30 a.m.

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Forgotten Costs Miss Expense Worksheet

By Tim Kowols

Even the most organized can forget a few weird bills when creating a monthly expense plan. While some expenses like car payments can be easy to plan, mundane items like annual or monthly subscriptions and special occasion costs like gifts and donations often creep into the picture unnoticed. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says she has created list of items to help trigger people's memories on their expenses.



According to a 2013 Gallup Poll, two-thirds of households do not have a detailed spending plan. You can learn more about the monthly expense worksheet and listen to the most recent Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver online with this story.


City, Friends Agreement Awaits Sturgeon Bay Waterfront Redevelopment Authority Meeting To Be Set

By Tim Kowols

The city of Sturgeon Bay hopes to cross off a couple items on their to-do list regarding the West waterfront in the coming weeks. Members representing the city of Sturgeon Bay and the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront came out of their negotiations last month with a proposed new ordinary high water mark to the land at 92 E. Maple Street and a list of other items to keep in mind as new potential ideas for the site are drawn. City administrator Josh VanLieshout says there is a lot to accomplish before the new deal gets signed off by a judge.





VanLieshout says a date for the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority meeting still needs to be set while the next Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting July 18. The Department of Natural Resources will host their forum discussing the ordinary high water mark for the site on August 3.

Names From Kewaunee County Crash Released

By Tim Kowols

The Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department has released the names involved in single vehicle car crash that killed a Brussels woman.  Mary Englebert, 78, died after a truck driven by 43-year-old Kevin Englebert left the road and struck a ditch near the intersection of County Highways C and K in the town of Lincoln Saturday morning. According to a press release from the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department, there is no update on the condition of the driver, who was transported to the hospital following the crash with serious injuries. Drugs and alcohol are not believed to be a factor in the crash, but the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department will continue their investigation.

Cherries Survive Severe Weather Ahead Of Harvest Season

By Paul Schmitt

Door County's cherry crop is getting close to market.  Despite some severe weather recently the cherries look to be red and ready to harvesting later this week, according to Steve Wood from Wood Orchards in Egg Harbor and Sturgeon Bay.



Wood predicts that cherries will be at the farm markets by this coming weekend.   Door County is home to more than 2,500 acres of cherry orchards, according to the Wisconsin Cherry Growers Association.

City Of Algoma Working To Improve Efficient Delivery Of Water In Downtown Area

By Paul Schmitt

The City Algoma is busy this summer making improvements to its streets and other infrastructures, especially in the downtown area.  City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says they are currently working with the utility department and the public works jointly to begin projects in the city later this summer after bids are received later this month.



Wiswell says a more efficient delivery of water is needed to fire hydrants as well to residential and commercial businesses in the city.   The City of Algoma is in the midst of a five-year street improvement plan, according to Wiswell.

Miller Art Museum's "42nd Juried Annual" Taking Entries Until July 22

By Paul Schmitt

The Miller Art Museum is looking for some local talent to display work at their 42nd Juried Annual Exhibition.  Local artists are encouraged to submit entries by July 22.  Curator at the Miller Art Museum Deborah Rosenthal describes what type of original works are being sought and the awards to be given out besides three special merit awards.



Last year over 100 entries were submitted with 53 being chosen.  The 42nd Juried Annual exhibit will be open and September 9 and remain displayed through October 30.  Applications to submit artwork can be done online for the first time or by contacting the Miller Art Museum directly, according to Rosenthal.





(Sturgeon Bay, WI) – July 6, 2017 — The Miller Art Museum is pleased to announce a call for entries for the 42nd Juried Annual exhibition. Submissions will be accepted online through the Miller website at through Saturday, July 22, 2017. The Miller's Juried Annual is an open juried competition for regional emerging and established artists living and working in Northeast Wisconsin. Original 2-dimensional work will be accepted for review. Last year, over 100 applicants from across Northeast Wisconsin submitted work and 53 were selected. The competitive exhibit, which is open to visual artists specifically residing in Brown, Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Oconto and Sheboygan counties, includes a total of $1,175 in awards and a top cash award of $175.00. A total of 8 awards will be presented at the opening reception scheduled for Saturday, September 9. The region has been expanded for 2017 to include Sheboygan county. 


The exhibition will be on display at the museum, located in the Door County Library in downtown Sturgeon Bay, September 9 to October 30, 2017The entry deadline isSaturday, July 22. Artists may submit up to two pieces; the entry fee is $25.
Works must be original, completed within the last two years (not created under the direction of a teacher in a class or workshop) and not previously exhibited in Door County. It is entirely the artists' discretion as to whether or not works be listed for sale. Work may not be removed until the close of the exhibition.


A three-member jury panel will select three special merit awards and three honorable mention awards. The Gerhard CF Miller Award of Excellence and the Bonnie Hartmann Award for Outstanding Creativity, chosen by museum staff, are given in memory of Gerhard Miller, the museum's founder, and in honor of Bonnie Hartmann, director from 1991–2014 for her many outstanding achievements during her 23-year career with the museum.
The opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, September 95 – 6:30 pm with the announcement of awards at 5:30 pm.


For full submission guidelines and to apply, please visit Contact Deborah Rosenthal, curator, at or 920-746-0707 with questions.


About the Miller Art Museum

The Miller Art Museum is a year-round public art museum featuring changing thematic, invitational and juried exhibits as well as a stunning collection of 20th c. Wisconsin art, including the work of nationally lauded artist Gerhard CF Miller. The museum's rich legacy of serving the community was launched in 1975 and continues through its mission to foster and inspire the creative life of the community and to be a catalyst for enrichment through cultural, art appreciation, and educational programming for people of all ages.


Location and Hours

The museum is located in the Door County Library in Sturgeon Bay at 107 S. 4th Avenue. Admission is free and the museum is fully accessible; an elevator is available to access galleries on the Ruth Morton Miller Mezzanine. Free parking.


Hours are 10 am to 8 pm on Mon. and 10 am to 5 pm Tues. through Sat. Closed Sundays.

Exposure To Extreme Heat Can Be Dangerous To Your Pets

By Paul Schmitt

Dogs may be Man's best friend, but the hot and humid temperatures of summer are certainly not pet-friendly.  Dr. Jordan Koblica of Door County Veterinary Hospital and Luxemburg Pet Clinic says a few preventative measures can go a long way in protecting your dog in the heat.



Dr. Koblica says if you ever have to travel and leave a pet in a vehicle for a brief time, be sure to park in a shaded area while keeping the air-conditioner on.  Keeping a dish of fresh, cool water available to your pet at all times is advised as well.  If you suspect symptoms of heat stroke, like excessive panting and lethargic behavior from your dog, Dr. Koblica recommends bringing your pet to a veterinarian immediately.

56th Annual Belgian Days And Parade Draws Big Crowds

By Paul Schmitt

The 56th Annual Belgian Days hosted by the Brussels Lions Club saw hundreds of people line the roadsides to enjoy sunny skies Sunday morning for the annual parade.  The two-day event brought people from near and far to partake in the traditional foods, live music, baseball tournament, and other activities.  Brussels Lions Club secretary Penny Wautier says Saturday was a big day leading up to the parade on Sunday.



Proceeds from Belgian Days go towards the Brussels Lions Club's projects including playground equipment at the town park, the lending of medical equipment to those in need and local charity/scholarship programs, according to Wautier.  You can watch video from the Belgian Days Parade online at

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Sturgeon Bay Women Knows What Animals Are Thinking

By Mark Kanz

A Sturgeon Bay woman has been helping animals and their people understand each better.  Lynn Schuster is a telepathic animal communicator and describes her mission as strengthening the bond between animals and their human families.  Schuster says it is important to create a safe environment to connect, communicate and advocate the needs, wants and desires for both animals and their guardians.  She is working with animal owners around the world and says much of her work is done over the phone with just a picture of the animal.



She says the process requires her to be in a meditative state.  Unlike what you may have seen on TV, the sessions are not physically or emotionally draining for her, in fact, it's quite the opposite.  She says she is so centered on the love and gratitude of her exchanges that she is filled with positive energy when she is done with a session.  Schuster believes all animals, including humans, have the ability to communicate telepathically.  Sessions usually last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and many clients return multiple times.  Dog, cat and horse owners are her primary clients, but she has also worked with guinea pigs, rats, and birds among other animals.  A link to her website is included with the story online.


For more information about Lynn's unique skills go to

Predicted Farm Tech Days Impact Has Far Reach

By Mark Kanz

There's little doubt that this week's Farm Technology Days event will be a huge boost to tourism in Kewaunee County, but the economic impact will be felt throughout Northeastern Wisconsin.  Brenda Krainik, director of marketing and communications for the Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau says her organization expects 12,000 room nights to be attributed to Farm Technology Days.



With only a few hundred hotel rooms and another couple hundred campsites in Kewaunee County, visitors are looking for lodging in other directions.  Krainik's estimate of $6.3 million is just for lodging.  Additional impact will be felt by gas stations, restaurants, and other entertainment venues.  She says the total impact for a home Packers game is just short of $14 million combined.  Krainik's staff will go right from the women's golf tournament in Green Bay to Farm Technology Days to provide assistance on-site for visitors.

Kewaunee County Crash Kills One

By Mark Kanz

One person was killed and another seriously injured in a one-vehicle crash Saturday morning around 10:30.  The Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says the accident happened at the intersection of County C and County K in the Kewaunee County Town of Lincoln.



The investigation continues, but Joski says it doesn't appear drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.  Luxemburg Fire and Rescue and the Casco/Lincoln first responders assisted the sheriff's department. The victim's name is not being released at this time.

Door County Garden Hosts Open House

By Mark Kanz

The Door County Master Gardeners held an open house at The Garden Door "show garden" located at the University of Wisconsin Peninsular Agricultural Research Station yesterday.  Event co-chair Helen Bacon says events like this support the master gardener's mission.



Tour guides showed off the fairie garden, a children's play area, the butterfly garden, the annual and perennial beds.  Bacon says people don't always notice the garden because it's off the road.  But once they find it, they return again and again.  You'll find it on Highway 42 just north of the split with Highway 57.  The Garden Door is open daily from dawn until dusk.

For more information on the Door County Master Gardeners Association go to

Education To Take Center Stage At Farm Technology Days In Kewaunee County

By Tim Kowols

There will not be a shortage of educational opportunities for attendees to this year's Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Kewaunee County. Farmers will be able to check out the newest innovations in the demonstration areas while children will be able to follow the path their food takes from farm to table. The UW-Extension office will also have a large presence at the three-day event inside their own tent with a number of specialists lined up to cover a variety of topics including dairy, farm business and marketing, and water quality. Door County Extension Agriculture Educator Annie Deutsch says attendees will have a chance to interact and learn a lot about the industry.



The UW-Extension Education Station and Soil Pit will be located on Britty's Memory Lane inside the Farm Technology Days Tent City all three days of the event, which begins on Tuesday.

Sister Bay Finds Developer For Former Quarry Site

By Tim Kowols

After purchasing the quarry over a year ago, the village of Sister Bay has potentially found a new owner for the land. The village signed an offer from Premier Real Estate to construct over 50 apartment units over the course of the two-phase, $4 million project. Village Administrator Zeke Jackson says this has been in the works since Sister Bay acquired the property after a long legal battle with former Sister Bay Quarry owner Brandon Small.



Jackson expects the preliminary plans to be in next week with construction beginning late this year or early 2018.

Captain's Table Reunion Rekindles Memories

By Mark Kanz

The corner of North Water and Second Street in Algoma was rocking Friday night to the music of The Shy Guys, much like it did throughout the 80s and much of the 90s.  Bryan Neubauer of Ahnapee Construction hosted a Captain's Table Reunion Party across the street from the building that housed his parent's bar and restaurant from 1979-1999.  Former employees and customers were on the guest list.



Neubauer says he was five or six when his parent's opened the restaurant and was a cook there when he got a little older.  He estimates The Shy Guys played 40 or 50 shows at the restaurant during its heyday.

Hall of Fame Coach Remembered

By Mark Kanz

The true measure of a coach is not wins and losses, but whether he is able to make his players better.  Mike Schanhofer's Luxemburg-Casco girls basketball teams won three state championships and finished second once during his storied career, but it's the young lives he touched along the way that he will be remembered for.  Schanhofer died on July 4th at the age of 76 from blood-related cancer.  Sturgeon Bay Athletic Director Pat Blizel coached against Schanhofer's teams and says the Hall of Fame coach had tradition on his side.



Blizel says Schanhofer followed his own path and made people around him better.  He witnessed that first-hand when Schanhofer piloted the Clippers program for three years near the end of his coaching career.  Blizel says there is nothing Schanhofer's teams weren't prepared for.  Schanhofer served as a volunteer assistant to the Luxemburg-Casco team this past season when his health allowed.  Schanhofer's funeral is set for Monday in Sparta.  A celebration of life will be held at The Rendezvous in Luxemburg on Sunday, July 23 from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Youth Getting Ready For Door County Fair Auction

By Mark Kanz

The Door County Fair is still a few weeks away, but many preparations are already underway. Krissy Phillips is a board member for the Quality Market Animal Sale.  Her involvement began when she was in school and continues now with her children.



Phillips says they get some interesting looks from passers-by while walking the lambs along the road.  4-H and FFA members from 3rd grade through a year out of high school will be participating in the auction on Saturday, August 5 at 7 p.m. Youngsters are expected to sell about a dozen steers, about 20 lambs, 40 pigs and several rabbits, turkeys, and chickens.  Many families put the proceeds into a college fund for their kids.

Sturgeon Bay To Host Road Improvements And Funding Listening Session Tuesday

By Tim Kowols

Sturgeon Bay's Ad Hoc Committee on Funding for Local Streets and Infrastructure will open the floor to comment on improving city streets and its funding during a listening session planned for Tuesday. The committee was formed earlier this year after studies showed the deteriorating status of the city's roadways, which due to funding were only getting resurfaced every 55 years. Committee chairperson David Ward hopes residents will come to the general listening session to help the committee answer three questions.



Ward expects there to be at least three more opportunities for residents to voice their opinion on street improvements and funding, with future meetings providing a more narrow focus. Tuesday's listening session begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Sturgeon Bay Common Council Chambers.

Sister Bay Hopes First Independence Day Celebration A Blast

By Tim Kowols

It is better late than never for the village of Sister Bay, which will host its first ever Independence Day celebration on Saturday. The inaugural Sister Bay Freedom Celebration will feature family-friendly activities throughout the day before giving way to music and fireworks show in the evening. Village Administrator Zeke Jackson says he was approached by local businesses to do something special for what has been traditionally a slower weekend following the Fourth of July.



Jackson says the future of the event will depend on the feedback from business community members and the village board. Captain John and the Bedrock Bluegrass Band takes the stage at 6 p.m. before giving way to the fireworks show at dusk.

Peninsular Research Station Helping Orchard With Door County Cherry Pests

By Tim Kowols

As cherry orchard owners are preparing for harvest in the next few weeks, the staff at the University of Wisconsin Peninsular Research Center in Sturgeon Bay is working hard to identify the pests and diseases potentially harming it. Researchers have been keeping a close eye on the spotted wing drosophila, an invasive pest from the coasts since 2013, as they to find treatment and preventative methods to limit their damage. Peninsular Research Station Superintendent Matt Stasiak says he has members trying to identify natural predators of the spotted wing drosophila as an alternative to pesticides.


The Peninsular Research Center works with orchard owners throughout the year on other studies to help them produce their crops more efficiently.

School Districts Seeing Declining Applicant Pools For Open Positions

By Tim Kowols

School district officials are experiencing smaller pools of qualified candidates for their open positions this fall. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last winter, 25 percent of school districts reported an extreme shortage of applicants for positions, especially in areas of special education and technical education. Kewaunee School District Superintendent Karen Treml is confident they will be able to fill their open positions before the school year starts in September despite the smaller, but extremely qualified hiring pool, but says they need to make sure teaching is an attractive profession.



The number of students enrolled in teacher preparation programs statewide has dropped steadily since before the controversial Act 10 rules were put in place dropping from 12,569 during the 2009-2010 school year to 8,867 just a few years ago according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Washington Island Police Tracking Down Counterfeit $100 Bills

By Paul Schmitt

Washington Island merchants should be on the lookout for fake $100 bills.  Washington Island Police received a complaint from a business that a counterfeit bill was being circulated around the community.  Police Chief Tyler McGrane explains what people should do to make sure any currency is authentic.



McGrane says the fake $100 bill had "For Motion Picture Use Only" on the front and back of the Benjamin Franklin.  You can see a picture of the fake $100 bill online with this story.


(From Washington Island Police Department Facebook account)

We have received a complaint involving $100 bills circulating that are counterfeit and marked "For Motion Picture Use Only". The bills look authentic but lack the interior strip and watermarks. Everyone especially local merchants should be careful and alert for these bills.

Image may contain: 1 person

No automatic alt text available.

Kewaunee Fire Museum Looking To Be Completed By Early August

By Paul Schmitt

Kewaunee's new fire museum is nearly complete.  The building, which will house the city's four historic fire apparatuses, should be completed sometime in early August.  Kewaunee Fire Department Captain James Kleiman says community had a sneak peek of how it will look last weekend.



The new fire museum will include an 1884 fire truck, a 1927 American La France engine that is still operational, an 1870 chemical fire truck pumper, and a 1908 hose cart.  Kleiman says the structure will be mostly glass to allow visitors to easily see the historic pieces from the outside of the museum.


(Photo by Randy Schleis)

Brussels Belgian Days Set For This Weekend

By Tim Kowols

The Brussels Lions Club is preparing to host the community once again when its 56th Belgian Days celebration kicks off this weekend. Beginning Saturday morning with a baseball tournament and multiple run/walks, Belgian Days will feature traditional food, live music, and a parade over the course of two days. As its only fundraiser of the year, Lions Club member Penny Wautier says Belgian Days is important for the organization's support of other community causes.



Belgian Days takes place beginning at 7 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday at Brussels Town Park. You can find a complete schedule of events online with this story.

Slow Weekend For Door County Law Enforcement During Busy Holiday

By Tim Kowols

Area law enforcement in Door County had a relatively quiet holiday weekend despite a large number of people visiting. Fireworks, reckless driving, and a few minor accidents were about all the complaints that were reported to the Door County Sheriff's Department over the four-day weekend. Sheriff Steve Delarwelle says it is a good sign to see such a low number of incidents for a busy time of the year.



Delarwelle thanks his staff and the Wisconsin State Patrol for their service over the weekend, which included shutting down Highway 42 and 57 earlier than usual for parades in Egg Harbor and Baileys Harbor respectively.

Civil Discourse: An Occasional Attempt To Restore Civility To Our Civic Discourse

By Roger Utnehmer

Parents and grandparents can be happy that Barbara Allman, Laurel Hauser and Kelly Catarozoli are serving on the Sturgeon Bay City Council.

All have distinguished their civic contribution to good government by being strong advocates for children, families, health, safety and clean, transparent decision-making.

Recent city council discussions on approving a 56-unit apartment complex and simplifying the approval process to keep bees in Sturgeon Bay are examples of their ability to ask good questions and prompt the council to better decision-making. It may make meetings a little longer but it results in a more informed citizenry.

Barbara Allman has been a consistent advocate for the health and safety of children in debate about keeping bees expressing concern about children being traumatized by allergic reaction to a sting.

Laurel Hauser stood up to the pressure of a developer wanting a quick approval of an apartment complex. She stood firmly in favor of better planning for safe streets, sidewalks and bike trails. When Sturgeon Bay is faced with a serious affordable housing problem and a developer wants to start construction in August, Hauser was brave to not back down. Her desire for better planning before approving development is a difficult position

Kelly Catarozoli questioned the Maritime Museum observation tower, arguing for multi-modal waterfront access for families. Her desire to preserve a view corridor makes sense after the city approving former Palmer Johnson buildings that block significant views of the waterfront from Jefferson Street. The observation tower is a positive project for a west-side waterfront. Yet, there is nothing wrong with a council member like Catarozoli wanting assurances that the observation tower will not be as controversial as the failed hotel project with a developer pulling out and suing the city.

Our children and grandchildren will inherit a better community because of the public service of Barbara Allman, Laurel Hauser and Kelly Catarozoli. Sturgeon Bay will be a better community because strong, articulate women serve on the city council. Please join me in thanking them for their service.

Bjurstrom Reflects On Bringing Farm Technology Days To Kewaunee County

By Tim Kowols

As the tents continue to go up in Algoma, what started five years ago is now down to less than 5 days for Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agriculture Educator and Farm Technology Days Executive Committee member Aerica Bjurstrom. It was Bjurstrom's idea to bring the largest farm show in the state to Kewaunee County when she started the bidding process five years ago and helped earn it a year and a half later. After dozens and dozens of meetings over the last 1,000-plus days, Bjurstrom says it has been a lot more than she expected, but also a great experience.



Over 40,000 people including 600 exhibitors and 1,700 volunteers are expected to attend the 2017 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days at Ebert Enterprises, which begins on Tuesday.


Pictures Courtesy of Renee Ebert

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Door County Economic Development Corporation Announces Business Plan Contest Winner

By Tim Kowols

The Door County Economic Development Corporation has selected Laura Harper as its 2017 Business Plan Contest winner. Out of the five judged entries, it was Harper's plan for an art retail store and workspace that stood out in the contest co-sponsored by the DCEDC and the Small Business Development Center at UW-Green Bay. DCEDC Executive Director Caleb Frostman says you could really tell the amount of time Harper put into researching the different factors that could affect her future business.



Harper receives a $1000 prize for winning the contest, which capped off a multi-month entrepreneurial training program also sponsored by the DCEDC.

Picture Courtesy of the DCEDC

Child Safety And Educational Opportunities Dominant Discussion At Sturgeon Bay City Council Meeting

By Roger Utnehmer

The safety of children around a 56-unit apartment complex and the educational opportunities of a ten-story Door County Maritime Museum addition dominated most of the discussion at Wednesday's meeting of the Sturgeon Bay City Council.

Approval of the apartment complex for the city's west side and the Maritime Museum observation tower were both approved by votes of four to two with Council Members Kelly Catarozoli and Laurel Hauser in opposition.

Multiple speakers spoke positively about the value of the proposed addition to the Maritime Museum.  Caleb Frostman, Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director cited significant energy on Sturgeon Bay's west side.

DCMM board chair Bill Harder said the programs to be offered will educate children and inspire young people to explore careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Opponents asked for more time to study traffic patterns while council member Kelly Catarozoli asked to put the approval on hold until a proper lease or permission from the state commissioner of public lands could be obtained.  Her motion was defeated by a 4 to 2 vote.

A more heated debate took place on the request of a Wausau developer to construct 56 apartment units on the west side of Sturgeon Bay at the corner of Grant Avenue and Sycamore Street.

Council Member Laurel Hauser said she is concerned about young families not having access for kids on bikes.

Her motion to make approval of the development contingent upon obtaining an easement for bike paths and sidewalks was defeated four to two.  A representative of the developer, S. C. Swiderski, said if approval was granted with a requirement to provide a secondary access the project could be jeopardized.

Hauser said her role as a council member is to make the community safe for children and families.

Mayor Thad Birmingham said to risk the housing development is just plain careless.  "This is just plain wrong," said Birmingham.

The council also approved an ordinance making it easier to license bee-keeping operations in the city despite concerns about safety expressed by Council Member Barbara Allman.

Short Cuts On Lawns Can Lead To Damage And Weeds

By Paul Schmitt

With lawns growing faster than normal with all the precipitation in the last month, property owners should not take a short cut, literally.  Trevor Marin of Lawn & Landscape Specialists in Door County says it is not a good idea to lower the blade on your lawn mower.



Marin says your lawn will dry out faster this time of year and cutting the lawn too short can cause stress and leave brown or bare-looking spots in the grass.  It can also leave your lawn vulnerable to weed invasion.

Door County YMCA Hosting First Ever DCY Summer Swim Meet This Weekend

By Paul Schmitt

The Door County YMCA is playing host to its first ever summer swim meet this weekend.  The DCY Summer Spectacular will include nine teams and over 170 swimmers will be competing.  CEO and President of the Door County YMCA Tom Beerntsen says spectators are welcome to watch the young swimmers compete on Saturday and Sunday.


Admission to the meet is free and Job sign up for the swim meet can still be done before the deadline Thursday.  You can find details about the first ever DCY Summer Spectacular Swim Meet below.



Sen. Johnson Optimistic Congress Still Can Get A Lot Accompished After Break

By Paul Schmitt

With the United States Congress in a current recess over the Fourth of July holiday, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson is optimistic that legislation can get done after the break with bi-partisan support.  Johnson in an interview with last month says what unites the two political parties is a shared goal of a secure and prosperous America.



Johnson says the issue is that a lot of the bigger problems facing the country like health care and tax reform are extremely complicated and difficult to solve.  The U.S. Senate is scheduled to be back in session next Monday, while the House of Representatives will go back to work on Tuesday, July 11.

Area Dairy Farmers Dealing With Lower Milk Prices Again

By Paul Schmitt

Milk prices for area dairy farmers continue to be a challenge.   A weaker demand for cheese and lower prices for Class III Milk since December has caused a depressed market.  Rich Olson from Olson Family Farms in southern Door County says dairy farmers can only play the waiting game.



As of July 3, milk prices were at $15.68 per hundredweight, according to  The price of Class III Milk did rebound to $17.25 in late May before the recent drop again in June.

City Of Algoma Working To Fill Algoma Hardwoods Void

By Paul Schmitt

With the Algoma Hardwoods plant closing in the near future, the City of Algoma is optimistic that the buildings on the 30-acre campus can be used to some extent by future tenants.   Over 500,000 square feet of space under roof in the old industrial complex is available for use.  City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says there have been inquiries in utilizing the property along the Ahnapee River.



Wiswell says the challenge faced by the city and property owner Whitey Ellsworth is that there are six to seven other closed industrial complexes in Northeastern Wisconsin.  Each of those, including Manitowoc Crane and Brillion Ironworks, are competing to find new factory operations to take over the closed plants, according to Wiswell.


Door County's First Memorial For Veterans and Active Military Members To Be Dedicated Saturday

By Tim Kowols

The first monument honoring both veterans and active military personnel in Door County will be dedicated in Ellison Bay on Saturday. Over 100 of the 170 personalized pavers purchased to make the memorial possible have been installed in the Military Honor Circle, which completed construction last November. Liberty Grove Historical Society member and Vietnam veteran Faith Murray says it was important for all military members, past and present, to be honored in this monument.



The Military Honor Circle will be dedicated this Saturday on the grounds of the Liberty Grove Historical Society with the ceremonies beginning at 1 p.m.

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Door County Shines For The Fourth Of July

By Tim Kowols

Thousands of residents and visitors from as far as New York and California visited Door County communities Tuesday to celebrate at Independence Day events. Festivities kicked off at 10 a.m. in Baileys Harbor with their annual Independence Day parade. Nick Georgiopoulos of Park Ridge, Ill. has attended the parade for at least the last 10 years with his family to visit his in-laws living part-time in Baileys Harbor. Georgiopoulos says the parade keeps him coming back year after year.



His mother-in-law, Ginny Siegel says her home away from home does a great job of putting on the parade.



Following the Egg Harbor parade in the afternoon featuring the University of Wisconsin Marching Band, other communities hosted their own Independence Day activities capped off with fireworks in Baileys Harbor, Sturgeon Bay, Gills Rock and Washington Island.

Click for a video of the parade below:

<iframe width="854" height="480" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Gardeners Adjusting To Cool, Wet Spring In Door, Kewaunee Counties

By Tim Kowols

Gardeners have found this year's weather to be challenging for their gardens depending on what they grow and where they are located. Hanging baskets have had to weather high winds while some garden plants have drowned in the excess moisture in the ground. Along with moving plants to higher ground if possible, Jessica Markham from Anchors Away Garden and Gifts in Sturgeon Bay suggests a little trimming and fertilizer could restore some life into your flowers.


Markham says the cool wet days have also invited pests like bugs and slugs to area gardens much sooner than expected. Gardeners are expected to get some relief as warmer, dryer weather is on the horizon Tuesday and Wednesday.


Jessica talked about some of the challenges gardeners have had to face this year during a recent live broadcast at Anchors Away Garden and Gifts:

Egg Harbor Shows Off Investment To Door County Recreation

By Tim Kowols

The Village of Egg Harbor has made investments in its recreational spots as summer hits its stride in Door County. In addition to its free "Eggy" bike share program, the village has renourished its beach with 25 feet of new sand and made improvements to its marina. Village Administrator Ryan Heise says the improvements have been popular with residents and visitors alike.



The beach is due for more improvements in the near future with phase two of its beach plan projected to start in 2018. Smithgroup JJR presented some preliminary ideas for beach improvements in 2016 according to the village website.

Horsemen Generate Excitement For Farm Technology Days in Kewaunee County

By Tim Kowols

An underappreciated attraction of past Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, the horse area at this year's edition in Algoma is bringing a lot of buzz to Kewaunee County. Two of the country's leading horsemen, Chris Cox and Dan James, are bringing their lifetime's worth of experience as clinicians and demonstrators to Kewaunee County for a unique opportunity to show off their skills and help others with their horses. The prospect of Cox and James doing multiple shows a day at the three-day event and working one on one with other enthusiasts have generated a lot of buzz for their area according to Horse Committee Co-Chairperson Laura Siegmund.



Performers Mounted Justice and the Wisconsin Draft Horse Breeders Association round out the activities going on at the Farm Technology Days Horse Area. Demonstrations begin at 10 a.m. on July 11 and 9 a.m. on July 12 and 13.



Door County Shows Commitment To Broadband With Recognition

By Tim Kowols

Door County leaders have made strides in recent years to make the area friendlier for broadband Internet expansion.  Two years after the Door County Board passed an amendment to a zoning ordinance regulating telecommunications towers, the county was named a Broadband Forward! Community by the Public Service Commission. The certification is given to those communities taking steps to reduce obstacles for private and public investment. Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says broadband expansion is a  key to helping the area grow.



Two towns in Door County, Forestville and Liberty Grove, have teamed up with local contractors to bring broadband Internet to their areas. Broadband expansion has been a key part of the last three state budgets, which helps fund the Broadband Forward! Community program.

Kewaunee County Kids Return To Farm Roots

By Mark Kanz

Brain drain has been something businesses in our area have been battling for years.  It happens when kids are born and raised here and then leave for college.  Many never come back.  Lee Kinnard of Kinnard Farms in Casco says the growth of dairy businesses like his have been bringing local kids back to the farm.



Kinnard employs 86 people and says some of the young talent on his staff have done well in other industries, but jumped at the chance to return home and get back into agriculture.  He says the scholarship program the farm sponsors has helped him communicate with students before they leave for college.  The Kinnards recently won a national award for sustainability and Lee says sustainability can include people too.

Kewaunee County Declared Natural Disaster Area, Door County Seeking Aid As Well

By Mark Kanz

Kewaunee County has been declared a primary natural disaster area by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  It's due to damage caused by winterkill and frost damage to crops during the first five months of the year.  Farmers in neighboring counties, including Door County, are also eligible for low- interest loans if they can prove their crops saw a qualifying production drop or sustained physical losses.  Crop loss is calculated using data from the three previous years.  Loan awards will be based on the allowable cost associated with repairing or replacing the property destroyed or damaged.  Interested farmers need to contact their local Farm Service Agency office for more information.

Divorcing Couples In Trouble "Until Debt Do Us Part"

By Tim Kowols

Couples going through a divorce can often find their issues with debt following them long after their marriage is dissolved. According to, 40 to 50 percent of first marriages and close to 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce, with money trailing only infidelity as a top reason for filing.  Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says the possibility of divorce and debt is even more of a reason to keep the communication lines open between you and your spouse.



Pustaver says because Wisconsin is a marital property state, you could be responsible for the debt incurred by your former spouse if he or she decides not to pay it regardless if your name was on the account or not.


You can listen to the entire Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver online with this story.

Jacksonport Providing A Model For Phragmites Eradication

By Tim Kowols

A group of Jacksonport residents is hoping the rest of the county follows their lead when it comes to containing the invasive species Phragmites. The perennial grass is often found near the shoreline of lakes and streams but can be spread by simply being mowed over and popping up in different spots by traveling underground. After almost a decade of Phragmites taking over their shoreline, Jacksonport residents teamed up in 2004 with the Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department and the Door County Invasive Species Team to walk the shoreline looking for Phragmites and enforce an ordinance requiring homeowners to report and properly destroy the noxious weed. Jo Wahlen says the town's Phragmites is down to three percent of what it was thanks to timely treatment and their efforts are being noticed.



Last year, The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor received a $200,000, three-year grant to control their Phragmites problems along the shores of Lake Michigan and Clark Lake.

PUDs, Beekeeping Ordinance Highlight Sturgeon Bay Common Council Agenda

By Tim Kowols

Two Planned Unit Development (PUDs) agreements and an ordinance regarding beekeeping highlight this week's Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting. The Door County Maritime Museum will have its PUD reviewed for its planned Maritime Tower, which would add exhibit space and an observation deck to the 20-year-old museum building. The other PUD is for four apartment buildings being developed by SC Swiderski that would bring 56 units to the intersection of Grant Avenue and Sycamore Street on the southern edge of the city.  Both PUDs being discussed come with accompanying ordinances needed to be passed so the projects can begin. The Common Council will also look at a new ordinance requiring beekeepers to obtain a permit instead of acquiring a conditional use permit for the hobby.  The meeting will take place on Wednesday instead of Tuesday because of the holiday, but will still begin at noon inside the Council Chambers.

Senator Baldwin Worried About Asian Carp Breach In Illinois

By Tim Kowols

The discovery of Asian carp beyond an electrical barrier in Chicago has caught the attention of legislators from across the Great Lakes region.  The Asian carp is considered to be a highly destructive invasive species for the Great Lakes and has drawn the efforts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers along with local, state, and federal officials.  Senator Tammy Baldwin says the discovery is even more of a reason for the Trump Administration to release the findings of the Brandon Road Study, named after the location of a possible kill zone near Joliet, Ill., so they know what they need to do to fight back.


Senator Baldwin says she has bipartisan support for the Stop Asian Carp Now Act, which would require the Trump Administration to release the study with seven days of its enactment.

Huge Turnout For Sevastopol FFA Alumni Door County Dairy Breakfast Sunday

By Paul Schmitt

An early Sunday morning downpour did not seem to hinder the turnout at the Sevastopol FFA Alumni 36th Annual Door County Dairy Breakfast.  An estimated over 5,000 people attended the event at the Wilke R Organic Farm located on Highway 42 about four miles north of Sturgeon Bay.  Kevin Wilke, who bought the farm in 2004 that became organically certified in 2012, said prior to the breakfast that it was exciting to the first organic operation to host the breakfast.



Besides the breakfast families were able to take hay rides, enjoy a petting zoo and hand-milking a cow.  The proceeds from the breakfast go to scholarships for Sevastopol FFA students.  You can watch a video and see pictures from Sunday's Door County Dairy Breakfast with this story online.

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Strawberry Crops Suffers With Heavy June Rainfall

By Paul Schmitt

The recent deluge of rain in the area has not benefited the strawberry crop this year.  According to, areas of Door County received up to 8.75 inches of rain in June when the normal precipitation is a little more than three inches.  Steve Sullivan of Sully's Produce says the impact of rain and cool temperatures in the spring hurt the crop output and size of the strawberries.



Sullivan says too much moisture can cause berries to get soft after just 24 hours of being picked.  A later variety of strawberries will ripen in the next two weeks before the end of the strawberry season concludes, according to Sullivan.

City Of Algoma Using Study And Grants To Improve Harbor and Cresent Beach This Summer

By Paul Schmitt

The City of Algoma is looking to make improvements to its harbor and beach this summer.  The recently completed second phase of a harbor sediment study took a look at the total daily load that comes in from the Ahnapee River and Lake Michigan.  City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says the study goes further than just determining where the sediment is coming from and the impact to the Algoma harbor.



Wiswell says the city of Algoma has already secured two grants, one from the Environmental Protection Agency and another one from the Fund for Lake Michigan.  Those grants will help fund project engineering to deal with storm water issues facing the city and some minor redesigning on Crescent Beach.

Picking The Right Kayak Paddle

By Bill Schultz--Guest Correspondent

Most people spend more time picking their kayak than picking their paddle.  But, your paddle is the way you move your kayak, so, you should try to buy the most expensive, lightest paddle you can afford.  Lighter paddles are less fatiguing, meaning you can enjoy your time on the water longer and feel less sore at the end of the day.  Also, more expensive paddles use better components and last longer.  The formula is that each ounce lighter paddle equates to 100 pounds per hour you don't have to pull around.  So, a 3-ounces lighter saves you 300 pounds extra per hour.  I would suggest a paddle no heavier than 31 or 32 ounces.


Standard sized blades like the Aqua-Bound Sting Ray Hybrid is perfect for most recreational kayakers.  And, at around 30-ounces is very light, high-quality and surprisingly only costs $139.  The standard sized blade is for a low-angle stroke with the paddle relatively horizontal while paddling.  The oversized blade, like the 31 ounce Aqua-Bound Manta Ray Hybrid is also a high-quality, reasonably priced at $139 and is perfect for those sit-on-top fishing kayaks that need a little more horsepower.  Oversized blades have a bigger bite, more control and high-angle paddling where the shaft is more vertical during your stroke.


Picking a paddle is also dependent on your height and the width of your kayak.  For example, if you are 5'7" tall and your kayak is 24" to 28" wide, then a paddle 230 cm would be best.  You can find sizing charts on most paddle company websites, like Aqua-Bound, a Wisconsin company.  Generally, most touring kayaks are narrower and require a shorter paddle, with recreational and fishing kayaks wider and requiring longer paddles.


If you have any questions about selecting the right paddle for you, email me at and I'd be happy to assist.  Also, check out one of the area outfitters who have knowledgeable staff who should be able to help.

13 Year Old Girl Hits A Hole-In-One At Peninsula State Golf Course

By Paul Schmitt

A thirteen-year-old girl from Evanston, Illinois did something last Friday at a Door County golf course that many life-long golfers who hit the links will never experience.  Sophie Berghammer hit a hole-in-one on the 17th hole at Peninsula State Golf Course.  The incredible feat was witnessed by her father, Joe Berghammer along with two local golfers from Sturgeon Bay who joined them on the course.  Sophie says she initially didn't even realize she had hit the hole-in-one on the 171-yard par 3 hole.



The Berghammers, who have a second home in Ellison Bay, are staying the month of July in Door County and have golfed Peninsula State Golf Course the past two summers.  According to her father, Sophie's favorite sport is hockey, which may now have to take a backseat to golf after her amazing hole-in-one.

Mann Remembered For His Service And Dedication To The City Of Sturgeon Bay

By Paul Schmitt

Former long-time Sturgeon Bay Alderman and Door County Board Supervisor Stephen Mann passed away at the age of 79 last Wednesday.  Mann served as District 5 alderman in Sturgeon Bay from 1979 to 2011.  Current District 5 alderperson Barb Allmann, who served with Mann on her first stint on the city council, remembers Mann fondly for his dedication to the city and his support in her recent election.



Mann, who also served on the Door County Board for District 11 from 2002 until 2004, was born in Illinois and moved to Sturgeon Bay in 1971 where he was a self-employed fiberglass manufacturer and the owner of SCM Plastics.   Funeral services for Stephen Mann will be held on Wednesday evening at Forbes Funeral Home in Sturgeon Bay.  You can read Mann's complete obituary below.



By Forbes Funeral Home

Stephen Clarke Mann, age 79, of Sturgeon Bay, passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday, June 28, 2017.


He was born on January 31, 1938 in Hinsdale, IL to the late Forrest Allen Mann and Sarah Louise Shewell. He was baptized in the Union Church of Hinsdale on August 4, 1938.


He attended Arizona State College and enlisted in the Air National Guard of Illinois on May 26, 1961. He completed training as a jet aircraft mechanic and was stationed at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago until his honorable discharge on December 13th, 1966.


He married Dorothea Maria Nitschke on February 8, 1964 in Hinsdale, IL, where they resided for seven years before moving to Sturgeon Bay, WI.


Stephen was a self-employed fiberglass manufacturer and the owner of SCM Plastics.  His company produced components for ice machines, aircraft, locomotives, turbines, and boat hulls.


Stephen served the city as the Alderman of District 5 for 26 nonconsecutive years spanning from 1979 to 2011. In addition, he served as the County Board Supervisor of District 11 from December 17, 2002 to April 19, 2004. He was the recipient of the Stewards of Safe Water Award, presented by the Wisconsin Water Association and Sturgeon Bay Utilities, a Community Service Award presented by Wisconsin Public Power Inc., and a certificate of appreciation for over twenty five years of service and dedication to the customers of Sturgeon Bay Utilities.


Stephen is survived by wife, Dorothea, his 2 daughters, Margret (James) Coenen, Appleton, and Gwendolyn (Thomas) Bomann, Appleton, 3 sons, Stephen (Laura) Mann, Jr.,  Sturgeon Bay, Christopher (Jennifer) Mann, Grafton, and Father Quentin Mann, Baileys Harbor; twelve grandchildren, Lydia and Vivian Coenen; Blake, Forrest, and Evelyn Bomann; Nicholas (Kaitlyn), Stephanie, David, and Susannah Mann; Sarah, August, and Alyssa Mann; and one great-grandchild Olivia; 2 brothers, Forrest A. Mann Jr., and Frederick "Fred" Mann.  He was preceded in death by his brother, David Mann.


Friends may call at the Forbes Funeral Home on Wednesday, July 5, 2017 from 5:00 – 7:30 p.m. and at the funeral home on Thursday, July 6 from 10:00 a.m. until funeral services start at 11:00 a.m.  Private burial services will be conducted at St. Joseph Cemetery immediately following the funeral.




Door County Offers Back To Back Parades For Independence Day

By Tim Kowols

While it is tough to catch two municipal fireworks displays on the same day, it is not the same case for its parades. Residents and visitors in Door County can catch a duo of parades on Tuesday with Baileys Harbor stepping off on Highway 57 near The Ridges Sanctuary at 10 a.m. and at 1:30 p.m. on the corner of Church Street and Highway 42 in Egg Harbor. Baileys 57 manager Kari Baumann says the prospect of doing both keeps the station and the town of Baileys Harbor busy.



The Baileys Harbor and Egg Harbor parades are just two of the different celebrations happening across the county during the extended Independence Day weekend. You can find a complete schedule of other activities online with this story.  

Rep. Gallagher Tells Congress To Skip August Recess, Suggests Other Reforms

By Tim Kowols

Rep. Mike Gallagher is calling on his fellow members of the United States Congress to work through their scheduled August recess to finish work on a federal budget, reform the tax code, and other important measures.  It is the freshman Congressperson's latest attempt at speaking out against how Washington works. Last month, Rep. Gallagher penned an editorial with California Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna on other reforms including non-partisan redistricting, term limits, and a lobbying ban.  Rep. Gallagher says while he and his Democratic colleagues may not agree on everything, he believes the newer members of Congress on both sides of the aisle want to do their part to "drain the swamp."


If Congress does take its planned August recess, members would have just 30 days to avoid a government shutdown for the second time this year.


UW Discovery Farms Project Look At Soil Health In Door And Kewaunee Counties

By Tim Kowols

Approximately 14 farms in Door and Kewaunee County are a part of two different studies as a part of the UW Discovery Farms program. One project will look at tile drainage, which removes excess water from the ground below the surface and its soil health while a different study will study nitrogen use efficiency so farmers know how much is needed for its crop production. UW Discovery Farms Co-Director Eric Cooley says the farmers are hungry for the information they will be acquiring through the multi-year studies.



Cooley says they are in the process of installing the tile drainage study equipment while the nitrogen efficiency project is in year two of its study. Field days are also being planned for Peninsula Pride Farms and National Resources Conservation Service Demonstration Farms for further explanation of their work.

Helicopter Pilot To Headline Celebrate Women! Luncheon In Sturgeon Bay

By Tim Kowols

Decorated United States Army Black Hawk pilot Elizabeth McCormick will highlight this year's Women's Fund of Door County's Celebrate Women! Luncheon in August. McCormick participated in special missions for the Army as well as transporting high-level government employees. Door County Community Foundation President and CEO Bret Bicoy expects the event to be popular once again this year.



Tickets are on sale now for the Celebrate Women! Luncheon, which will take place August 9 at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay. The Women's Fund of Door County recently announced it increased its endowment to $1 million, which will go towards charities in the area improving the lives of local women and girls.

Milligan Reflects On Time In Sister Bay

By Tim Kowols

After just over a year on the job, Chris Milligan officially ended his tenure as the Sister Bay Advancement Association Coordinator last week to be closer to his parents in Arizona. Prior to being named to the position in charge of developing and putting on several of the village's events, Milligan and his wife owned the Inn at Kristofer's for 10 years before selling it in 2012. A  past member of the SBAA Board of Directors and the Sister Bay Economic Development Committee, Milligan says he will miss Sister Bay and enjoyed seeing it grow in recent years.



Louise Howson took over for Milligan last week as the new SBAA coordinator, previously serving as the president of Liz Claiborne and the founder of The Guilford Road Group.

Friends Curious On Sturgeon Bay's Wait To Ratify West Waterfront Agreement

By Tim Kowols

Despite a preliminary agreement between the city of Sturgeon Bay and the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront and a commitment from the Department of Natural Resources to move forward with the mutually agreed ordinary high water mark, discussion on the topics are nowhere to be found on agenda for Wednesday's Common Council meeting. On June 21, it was announced the OHWM for 92 East Maple Street would be moved 60 feet closer to the water from the original meander line drawn in an 1835 U.S. Government survey. According to Nancy Aten from the Friends group, the DNR said on Friday it would move forward with the determination agreed to during two days of negotiation in Madison. Dan Collins from the Friends group wonders why the city is not moving forward with ratifying the agreement.


Other terms of the agreement between the city and the Friends group include a commitment to an inclusive public process to redevelop the west waterfront site, preserve the views, and for the resolution seeking help from the Wisconsin Legislature to draw the OHWM on the disputed parcel to be withdrawn. The Common Council meeting, which was rescheduled due to the Independence Day holiday, is set for noon inside the Common Council chambers.

Buying Fireworks Locally Does Not Make It Legal To Use

By Paul Schmitt

Fireworks stands are popping up and selling merchandise throughout the area, but buyers should be aware of the law when it comes to purchasing and more importantly setting off any type of fireworks in Wisconsin.  Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says there is one important thing people should know.



Joski says that some rural townships issue fireworks permits but you have the right license to set off the fireworks.  The majority of fireworks injuries happen when people attempt to re-light fireworks that initially does not ignite, according to Joski.  He recommends that with any fireworks all children should have parental guidance and that water sources should be used to extinguish all used fireworks and of course be disposed of properly.

Brussel's Jim Noll Starts As District Governor At Lions Club Centennial Convention In Chicago

By Paul Schmitt

Jim Noll of the Brussels Lions Club begins his responsibilities today as the new District Governor for 27 B2 in Wisconsin.  Noll is attending the Lions Club International Convention this weekend through July 4th in Chicago and estimates a huge turnout with the club celebrating its 100th anniversary.



Noll has been a member of the Brussels Lions Club for the past 24 years and was a past president from 2002-2004.  The Brussels Lions Club's only fundraiser of the year is next weekend's 56th Annual Belgian Days.  According to Noll, proceeds from the event help the Lions Club do area projects like the $8,000 worth of new playground equipment added to the Brussels Town Park last month.

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