News Archives for 2017-09

Two Sturgeon Bay high school students receive National Merit Scholarship Commendation


By Connor Sannito

The two seniors, Liam Herbst and Thomas Renfrew, have been recognized for the National Merit Scholarship Commendation - the initial benchline in the National Merit Scholarship process. Herbst and Renfrew received letters in the mail explaining their outstanding academic promise after taking the practice SAT last school year.

Unfortunately, the two Sturgeon Bay high school students missed the semi-final stage of the scholarship process by one point. Herbst and Renfrew being ranked among the top three students of their class.

Liam Herbst and Thomas Renfrew had this to say about the recognition regarding their future:

In addition, Liam Herbst was recognized as a National Merit Hispanic scholar for meeting the requirements earning a high score on the PSAT.

Pickleball comes to Kewaunee County

By Baxter Colburn

A new sports craze is coming to Kewaunee County. Pickleball, a game part tennis, part ping-pong and part badminton is played on a surface one-third the size of a tennis court. Starting in early October people interested in playing the new sport can attend Pickleball 101 sessions at Kewaunee Health and Fitness. Josh Savoie, a Pickleball enthusiast, and employee of Kewaunee Health and Fitness says the craze is drawing a lot of attention in Kewaunee County.



Pickleball is a low impact sport that started in Florida before exploding nationwide. Savoie and the staff at Kewaunee Health and Fitness are excited to see how people react to the new sport. The first Pickleball 101 class begins October 3rd and those interested are asked to contact the fitness center or come by the events on Mondays at 1:00 pm, Tuesdays at 5:30 pm or Saturdays at 10:30 am.


Phone scammer posing as Northern Door fire department

By Baxter Colburn

A Northern Door fire department has reported unauthorized use of their name as part of a telemarketing scam. A major phone scam plagued Kewaunee County over the summer, but since that time, no further scams have been reported till now. Gibraltar fire chief Jared Anderson says this type of action is completely against the norm of his fire department.



The scammer is calling as part of an inspection program asking for donations and credit card information. Anderson also states the scammer is using the Gibraltar fire department phone number as a callback number. Any calls placed to that line are currently being routed to the scammer. Anyone who receives a scam message like this should report it to their local sheriff's office immediately.  


Local food pantries already preparing for Christmas season

By Baxter Colburn

The coming Christmas season poses a big challenge to local food pantries. Feed and Clothe My People of Sturgeon Bay is preparing to once again tackle the most joyous and often hungriest time of year for residents in Door County. During the month of October the pantry partners with the Boy Scouts to stock up for the holiday season for an annual food drive throughout the Sturgeon Bay area. Pantry coordinator Ashley Madson says the overwhelming support from the community keeps the pantries mission alive.



Feed and Clothe My People serves over 50 families per month in the Door County area. Donations of food, clothing and even monetary gifts are welcome Monday through Friday. More information about how to donate can be found on the Feed and Clothe My People website


Peshtigo Fire "relived" at Belgian Hertiage Center next Sunday

By Paul Schmitt

The Belgian Heritage Center in Brussels is hosting a special presentation called "The Tale  of the Peshtigo Fire" next Sunday, October 8.  The date commemorates the 146th anniversary of the fire in 1871.  Barb Chisholm will tell the story through the eyes of her great grandmother Emmerence Englebert.  Chisholm says the history of the fire and impact on the Belgian community in Southern Door County is an important story to tell.



Presentations by Chisholm will be at 10 am and 1 pm on October 8.  The free event will include the opportunity to view the recently installed exhibits including an interactive picture gallery and video gallery highlighting stories of the Belgian culture and Walloon language.  The traditional soup chicken booyah will be served and available for $4 a bowl with proceeds going to the Belgian Heritage Center.

Sheriff's Corner: Forging relationships between students and law enforcement


By Tim Kowols and Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski

As local schools host their homecoming activities, law enforcement is using this as an opportunity to reach out to students in a variety of different ways. While many look to police officers and sheriff deputies as strictly law enforcement, Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski believes they should be looked to as an educational tool. With years of life experiences behind them, Joski says local law enforcement personnel can help students make good choices.



Joski says he is grateful for teachers and other staff members for their role in educating area youth.



With schools being back in session for another productive and educational year, it is a good time to talk safety and prevention. Just a few weeks ago I wrote an article about the basic back to school safety precautions such as school bus safety awareness and pedestrian safety awareness. This time my message is focused directly at our students and the challenges they may face in making good decisions in the midst of sometimes overwhelming peer pressure.


When we consider the population of our combined school districts when in session, they constitute communities onto themselves in regards to sheer numbers as well as the diversity and dynamics of those "School Communities". While we as parents like to believe that our children are there for strictly academic pursuits, we know full well that there are also social lessons being learned and that many of the decisions that they make can and will have long term impacts to their lives. We are grateful for the educational staff that takes on the daunting role of planting the seeds of knowledge in an environment which all too often is hijacked by distractions ranging from situations at home to situations in social life.


Our message to our children is the same as the message that our parents attempted to send to us; make good choices. I don't know about any other parents, but I feel that our children believe that we are naïve to the pressures they face and the challenges to making good decisions as a young person in today's world. In some ways they are right. We did not have the constant social presence due to the advent of social media and the proliferation of electronic devices in our everyday lives. We did however face consequences for our actions in no uncertain terms. We look at today's society and see the glaring absence of that key element which is essential in maintaining a functional society; accountability.


Over the next few weeks our "School Communities" will be celebrating various events such as homecoming games, dances, and opportunities for social gatherings. These are all wonderful traditions and can be events which will bring fond memories for years to come, or they can become tragic events which will scar both individuals and communities well into the future. The difference will be the choices that are made at critical moments. I for one am not now nor have I ever been perfect, but I have been fortunate to have been raised among great role models and amazing teachers both in the classroom and out in the community.


While many may consider law enforcement's role in raising our children as strictly an enforcement component, I would challenge you and ask that you think of us also as an educational resource. Kewaunee County is fortunate to have men and women who serve not just to enforce our laws and respond to calls for service, but who are willing and able to serve as a great resource in the lives of our children. We have not only our own experiences to share but also a unique perspective as a result of the work that we do. We welcome any opportunity to share our lives and experiences if that sharing helps avoid a tragedy.  I hope that all have a safe and enjoyable school year, and appreciate the privileges you have been given both in the form of our educational system as well as the communities you are fortunate to be part of.

Judicial recusal rules under spotlight during Monday hearing

By Tim Kowols

Judicial recusal rules are taking center stage at a public hearing in Green Bay on Monday. The Wisconsin State Supreme Court voted 5-2 earlier this year to not establish new rules for judges to recuse themselves from cases involving possible contributors to their campaigns. The high court chose to not host a public hearing on the issue despite being urged to do so by 54 retired jurists. With a state Supreme Court election coming up in April, Jay Heck from Common Cause in Wisconsin says the three-city public hearing schedule featuring himself, former state Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske and former Manitowoc County Circuit Court Judge Patrick Willis is coming at the right time for a relatively unknown issue.



The free event takes place at the Christie Theater at UW-Green Bay beginning at 6 p.m. During her visit to the radio stations of, state Supreme Court candidate and current Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Rebecca Dallet says she is in favor of strong judicial recusal rules. She is currently on the ballot with Madison attorney Tim Burns and Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Michael Screnock.

Liberty Grove pushing for better broadband access

By Tim Kowols

The town of Liberty Grove continues to pursue any opportunities they can to expand broadband Internet access in their area. The town board recently passed an ordinance 5-0 limiting the obstacles standing in the way of broadband companies from expanding service in the town.  Town chairperson John Lowry says they have identified five areas in their town, including its gravel pit, where installing new towers would benefit the needs of the community. The unwillingness of some companies and landowners has stalled the process.



Recent studies from UW-Whitewater have shown the economic impact reliable broadband Internet access would provide including millions of dollars in additional economic activity and the creation of more jobs.

Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County searching for more tutors

By Baxter Colburn

Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County is searching for tutors to help people improve their language skills. Training for fall tutors begins in mid-October and runs through early November. Bob Garfinkel, President of Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County, stresses the importance of proper literacy training for adults in the community.



Garfinkel says no teaching experience is required to be a part of the program. The first tutor orientation will take place October 10 at the Algoma United Methodist Church starting at 6:00 pm.

Bellin Health initiative making strides while doing good

By Tim Kowols

Bellin Health's Do Good Sturgeon Bay is having a positive impact on people's lifestyles and a local organization. For the cost of a food item or small fee, residents can get a health-risk assessment and participate in classes focusing on eating healthier and getting more active. The money and items are then donated to Lakeshore Community Action Program for their outreach efforts. Nurse Jesse Stukenberg says the program seems to be gaining in popularity since it made its debut at Bellin Health's Sturgeon Bay Clinic earlier this year.



In addition to helping change lives in the community through their two current classes, Do Good Sturgeon Bay has collected over 4,000 pounds for Lakeshore CAP. We have more information on how you can sign for future classes online with this story.

Breakfast brings structure to children's days

By Kaila Stencil, Food Wise Nutrition Educator Kewaunee County

The start of the new school year brings structure back into the daily routine.  In addition, the school year may bring some added chaos to your routine.  What does your morning routine look like? Do you have a never-ending checklist of tasks such as get the kids dressed, pack the lunch boxes, make sure homework is packed..and the list goes on. Do you make time for breakfast? This is an important meal that we don't want to miss. We all have heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but why? Here are a few of the many reasons why you should start your day off with a nutritious breakfast. First, a nutritious breakfast is the fuel you need to start your day.  Students who eat a healthy breakfast pay better attention at home and school. Breakfast can serve as important time with family and it also helps to maintain a healthy weight.  Which one of these benefits is most important to you and your family?


To achieve a healthy breakfast, include healthy food from one or more food groups. Incorporating more fruits and vegetables during breakfast is a good place to start.  To add more vegetables to breakfast, try adding vegetables to omelets or salsa to eggs. Fresh, frozen, or canned fruit can be added to yogurt or cereal or served by itself! Oatmeal is an inexpensive whole grain that can be part of a healthy breakfast. Add in your own flavor with cinnamon, raisins, fruit, or cocoa powder.


If time is a limiting factor, try a grab and go breakfast option such as a granola bar, an apple, string cheese, peanut butter on toast, or trail mix and yogurt.


What will you do this week to make sure that you have a nutritious breakfast?

Organizations short on volunteers in many communities

By Tim Kowols

Having enough volunteers is a luxury for some communities while for others it is a necessity. Whether it is the local Lions Club or Kiwanis Club looking for help for a service project or special event or the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department making sure they have enough people ready for a fire, many organizations struggle to find enough volunteers to fulfill their mission. Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht says people should not undervalue what they can bring to the community no matter their age or their ability.



To find opportunities in your area to help out, contact the Volunteer Center of Door County or contact the organizations you are interested in directly.

Door County VFW seeing uptick in support from community

By Baxter Colburn

Former service members are receiving extra recognition on Friday. National VFW Day celebrates and honors the men and women who bravely served our country in foreign wars. Bill Graf, a Former Navy submariner, says the support for veterans is growing at an impressive rate nationwide.

With the recent turmoil surrounding protests to the national anthem, Graf says local veterans are showing where they stand on the issue.



Graf says the Sturgeon Bay VFW is looking forward to being a part of the upcoming Door County celebration of Veterans Day at Sevastopol High School on October 10.


Rally for Hope honors Go Bo Foundation

By Baxter Colburn

The Gibraltar Vikings volleyball team is giving back to the community in a major way on Thursday night. Before the Vikings do battle against Stockbridge High School, fundraisers benefiting the Fox Valley Brain Tumor Coalition, Go Bo Foundation and the American Childhood Cancer Organization will take place. Vikings captain Bria Caldecott says while all three organizations are incredibly important, there is one that especially has strong meaning for Gibraltar High School.



Games, raffle prizes and a Miracle Minute will all be available for participants to enjoy before the game at 7:00 pm. With the cancellation of the Homecoming football game Friday night against Bowler/Gresham, Gibraltar decided to play a friendly flag football game between football players and high school staff members at 4:15. 


Homecoming week at Gibraltar is catching fire

By Baxter Colburn

Homecoming week at Gibraltar High School is catching fire. Thursday night marked the annual Gibraltar Homecoming community bonfire at the Baileys Harbor Recreation Park. Local residents, students and fall sports athletes gathered for a night of games and music. Mary Witteborg, a teacher at Gibraltar, said the evening provided something for everyone.



Gibraltar announced this morning their Homecoming football game was canceled due to their opponent, Bowler/Gresham, having too many injuries. The game will not be made-up. At this time, no word about alternative events taking the place of the football game has been announced.


Gibraltar cancels Homecoming game due to Bowler/Gresham injuries

By Baxter Colburn

The Gibraltar Vikings 2017 Homecoming football game, that was scheduled to be heard on 105.1 MORE FM, has been canceled.

Numerous injuries to the Bowler/Gresham Panthers squad left the school no choice but to pull the game Friday night.

Gibraltar did reach out to other schools with off-weeks to fill the game, however, there were no takers according to Vikings head coach Scott Biemeret.

The Vikings travel to Wausaukee for a MONLPC-8 man conference battle next Friday. Hear that game starting with the pre-game show at 6:30 and kickoff at 7:00 pm on 105.1 MORE FM.


Anthem singer shares experience during conflicted times

By Tim Kowols

Conflict over National Anthem protests forced a former Door County performer to think about his approach to the song when he sang it earlier this month. Joel Kopischke has performed the anthem at least once every season at Miller Park over the last several years, but chose this time to make a small statement of his own. Before his scheduled date, Kopischke consulted with one of his friends about the history of racism in the United States. He says he decided to sing the anthem wearing the jersey of Jackie Robinson, who despite never playing for the Milwaukee Brewers paved the way for the integration of baseball in the 1940s.



Kopischke says when it comes to sensitive topics like the anthem protests, it is important to talk to people you know that may have a different viewpoint than your own.



The Green Bay Packers players and staff announced Tuesday they would interlock arms during the National Anthem before their game against the Chicago Bears Thursday night and have invited fans to do the same as an act of unity and love.

Washington Island School District experiences technology bump thanks to grant

By Tim Kowols

For a smaller school district like Washington Island's, a $25,000 grant can make a huge difference. Relying mostly on property taxes to fund its operations, the grant from the Wisconsin Technology Initiative allowed Washington Island School to add state-of-the-art electronic boards to each of its 10 rooms, something many school districts around the state have had for years.  Washington Island superintendent Mati Palm-Leis says the new boards offer new opportunities for teachers and students.



Washington Island School District is in the middle of their Fall Voyage, an all-school experiential learning experience that is focusing on Rock Island this year.

YMCA Summer Food Program huge success

By Baxter Colburn

Over 25,000 meals and snacks were served to Door County children in need this summer thanks to the YMCA. For the sixth straight year, members of the Door County YMCA, not-for-profit organizations, businesses, and churches created a summer foods program which focused on providing nutritious breakfasts, lunches and/or snacks during the three-month summer break. Door County YMCA CEO and President Tom Beerntsen says 11 different sites help serve the community.



Beerntsen says the YMCA remains committed to providing an effective summer foods program in Door County and is working to generate the grants and contributions to sustain the program. Individuals, businesses, and churches interested in supporting the Door County YMCA Summer Foods Program can contact Tom Beerntsen.


Sister Bay Lions Club is a big player for Gibraltar athletics

By Baxter Colburn

A Door County service club is helping parents watch more sporting events. Three years ago the Sister Bay Lions Club began working concessions for Gibraltar High School baseball games. This year they added football to their line of service. The aim of the club is to serve the community says President Doug Van Vorous. Even with their large dedication to serving, Van Vorous says the club isn't looking for recognition for their work at the high school.



Founded 65 years ago, the Sister Bay Lions Club continues to serve the community by giving all their proceeds from events back to the community. 


Recent dry, hot weather impacting harvesting by farmers

By Paul Schmitt

A second week of hot, dry and sunny conditions around Wisconsin gave crops a needed boost in development.  As temperatures rose into the upper 80s and 90s and many areas dealing with record daily highs, area farmers found the unseasonable warm weather a welcome change.  Rich Olson of Olson Family Farm in southern Door County says the impact has been great on his corn crop.



Olson says farmers have been dealing with a cool, moist summer and that the recent hot, dry spell has accelerated the maturing of the corn crop in what he classifies as a "good" season overall for farming in the area.

Republicans outlining new tax reform plan this week

By Paul Schmitt

Republicans in congress are working on the framework for a new tax reform proposal this week after failing in an attempt to change the current healthcare system.  U.S. Senator Ron Johnson in an interview earlier this year with says he believes it is time to simplify the tax code.



Johnson says another key part of his proposal would have the business owners pay the corporate tax rather than employees or consumers.  The proposed plan by Republicans would have current tax brackets for individuals lowered from the high of 39.5 percent to 35 percent.  According to NBC news, the plan would also call for lowering the corporate tax bracket to about 20 percent from the current 35 percent rate.

Door County provides safe place for those with special needs

By Baxter Colburn

Mental health awareness in children is a major focus for the Door County Sheriffs Department. A recent incident in Arizona where an officer failed to recognize a child with autism ended with an attempt to arrest the child due to a failure to recognize the child's disability. Door County officials are providing officers with ample training to avoid such issues locally. Juvenile Investigator Chris Neville says training to recognize the symptoms is not a one-time event.  



Neville credits the friendly community of Door County to the great support shown to those with special needs. According to the National Institute of Health, about 1 in 68 children are affected by Autism.  


Crew begins demolition of Shipwrecked

By Tim Kowols

Over 135 years of history will soon be gone as crews began demolishing the Shipwrecked Brewpub and Inn in Egg Harbor on Tuesday. The historic building was heavily damaged on August 20 when a fire began in one of the upstairs rooms, requiring the assistance of 15 fire departments from across Door, Kewaunee, and Brown Counties to fight the blaze. Egg Harbor Administrator Ryan Heise says the village issued the permit to demolish the building, but he is interested to see what will stand in its place.


Heise hopes the area sitting on the corner of Highway 42 and County G will be cleaned up in time for next weekend's Pumpkin Patch Festival. The owners of Shipwrecked hope to be able to rebuild and be open in time for the 2018 summer season.

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Farmers emphasizing safety as fall harvest hits full throttle

By Tim Kowols

For farmers across the country, last week's National Farm Safety and Health Week was another reminder of the dangers related to their field. According to the Chicago Tribune, there were more than 6,700 injuries on dairy farms with more than 11 employees in 2015. Farm operations like Ebert Enterprises in Algoma make sure their valued employees are in areas they have expertise in and are extensively trained when they are hired to make sure they are comfortable in their role.  Safety meetings for some departments take place during the slower periods of the year, while others like those managing the herd meet almost monthly. Owner Randy Ebert says it is important to make sure their most important assets, their employees, are protected.



The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety recognizes National Farm Safety and Health Week the third week of September every year, corresponding often with the beginning of the fall harvest season.

Door County Land Trust looks to widen its circle

By Tim Kowols

The Door County Land Trust hopes to make more people aware of its conservation efforts on Sunday with a special event in Egg Harbor. DCLT's "Widening the Circle" at the Woodwalk Gallery is an introduction to the organization for many not aware of its land protection work and current projects. With many members of its staff on hand, Cinnamon Rossman from the DCLT says the event is an opportunity to address some of the misconceptions people might have about the organization.



The event runs from 2-5 p.m. and will be followed by a guided hike through the nearby Lautenbach Woods Nature Preserve. You can find ticketing information for the event online with this story.

Sevastopol School District revisits building improvements with new committee

By Tim Kowols

The Sevastopol School District is creating a committee to take a deeper look into its facilities. The school board last year tabled discussion on referendum questions related to additions and upgrades to the over 90-plus-year-old building at cost of approximately $34 million. Sevastopol School Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says the committee will take the next several months to evaluate the building's needs before making any final recommendations.



Luedtke says the district will finalize a committee over the next couple meetings beginning next month, but the public is encouraged to make their opinions on improvements known throughout the entire process.

Department of Natural Resources releases three different Eagle Tower renderings

By Tim Kowols

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources gave the public its first peek Monday at what the future Eagle Tower could look like. The options, which include an elevator, ramp system, or canopy trail, were the results of research and discussions among stakeholders including the Eagle Tower Committee, DNR, and legislators over the last several months.  The estimated costs for the three different options are between $1.65 and $3.3 million with a $750,000 fundraising match grant from the state on the table to use. Rachel Stollenwerk from the Eagle Tower Committee says as it has been throughout the process, public input is important.


The DNR is taking public comment on the three concepts at a meeting to be held in Sturgeon Bay on September 28 at the Door County Library from 5 to 7 p.m. or via an online survey through October 9. The Eagle Tower Committee will host a fundraising auction this Saturday in Fish Creek beginning at 1 p.m.

Suicide prevention workshop Thursday in Algoma

By Paul Schmitt

The Live Algoma Emotional Wellness Work Group is hosting a training workshop this week to highlight the importance of suicide awareness education.  September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and Claire Thompson, Community Development Coordinator at the U-W Extension office which is co-sponsoring the workshop says the event will be held at the Algoma Wellness Center at the high school.



Thompson says the free workshop features Monica Nelson of Prevent Suicide Door County Nathan Wilson Coalition. She says it is recommended for parents, teachers, clergyman, and anyone who has a connection with people who they suspect may suffer from a mental illness, depression or substance abuse and may be susceptible to suicide.  The QPR training workshop will be held from noon until 1 p.m. Thursday at the Algoma High School.  You can contact the Kewaunee County U.W.-Extension office if you plan on attending.

Transportation issue a focus of new bipartisan millennial caucus

By Paul Schmitt

A newly formed bipartisan millennial caucus was formed in Madison last week by Wisconsin Lawmakers.  According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin Future Caucus will be chaired by Appleton Democratic Representative Amanda Stuck and Republican Representative Adam Neylon of Pewaukee.  Caitlin Oleson, a millennial living in Door County who is a 2006 graduate of Gibraltar High School, says the caucus is a great idea and that one key area bi-partisan millennial groups around Wisconsin and beyond are tackling is transportation issues.  She says the challenges faced in rural communities like Door County is that there are many millennials who don't own their own cars.



Oleson says that transportation may seem like "small potatoes" compared to healthcare, but going after small and more manageable wins like transportation help to build trust and allows them to build up those wins to address bigger bipartisan issues.

Bilodeau's story hopes to be example for future Door County Habitat for Humanity families

By Tim Kowols

With just over one month before she has a home to call her own, Kendra Bilodeau is working hard to make sure Door County Habitat for Humanity can find other families that can be just as lucky. Bilodeau gave into her godmother's wishes earlier this and applied to be a partner family with Door County Habitat for Humanity only to find her time on the waiting list would be short: she would be number 40. Since then, Bilodeau has logged 100-plus hours over her sweat equity commitment to the organization as she helps Habitat volunteers build her home and counsel others considering applying. Bilodeau hopes she is the gentle nudge for family number 41 just like the volunteers have coached her through projects at her future home this year.



With painting next on the schedule, Door County Habitat for Humanity's 40th home is about two weeks behind due to a late start and construction restraints. The organization hopes the home is dedicated and ready to be moved into on October 26.

Separating money from families, emotions

By Tim Kowols

For many families, keeping the emotions out of financial discussions can be a tall task. Starting off with just be honest, getting those issues and values out in the open is just part of the equation for many families. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says she knows it is hard to separate money from the emotions, but you have to be aware of it.



Pustaver says overcompensating financially to children during a divorce, spending too much on gifts during the holidays, and the insistence of always picking up the check are examples of letting your emotions get the best of you financially. You can listen to the entire Money Management Interview with Gay Pustaver online with this story.

Kewaunee County set to learn from future Brown County biodigester's successes and failures

By Tim Kowols

Kewaunee County officials will be keeping a close eye on how a biodigester project in southern Brown County takes shape over the next several years. The state Public Service Commission awarded a $15 million Focus on Energy grant to BC Organics LLC to develop a biodigester in the town of Holland, beating out two other proposals including one by U.S. Venture involving farms in Kewaunee County.  Kewaunee County chairperson Robert Weidner believes the private sector could still develop a biogas plant in the area, but until then, officials can learn from what happens in Brown County.



Kewaunee County commissioned a study on developing a potential biodigester system in the area, which was completed by Dynamic Concepts, LLC in 2016.

Attendance at Baileys Harbor's Ridges Sanctuary up 20 percent

By Tim Kowols

The additions of the Cook-Albert Fuller Center and its neighboring boardwalk are proving to be valuable additions to The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor. Attendance is up 20 percent at the nature preserve over the last year thanks to new exhibits installed earlier this summer inside the center and increased accessibility around the grounds. Executive Director Steve Leonard says visitors are showing an interest in the area's natural and cultural history.



Leonard also credits the success of the sanctuary to the number of volunteers helping care for the grounds and leading activities throughout the year. The Ridges Sanctuary will host a fall work day this Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. to work on a variety of projects.

Girl Scouting still go strong in Kewaunee County

By Paul Schmitt

Girls Scouts are still going strong in Kewaunee County.  Kathy Welty, the membership engagement coordinator at the Girls Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes, says the Girl Scout numbers have been steady the past few years.  She says Girl Scouting helps develop leadership skills for girls from kindergarten to seniors in high school.



Welty says that the Girls Scouts is a volunteer-led organization with the volunteers being the heart of the program.  The membership year begins October 1 and dues are $30 per year for girls and $25 for adults.  Financial assistance is offered to girls who need it.  Informational meetings are scheduled for 6 pm in the Luxemburg-Casco Primary School tonight and 6 pm at Kewaunee Elementary School this Wednesday.  Algoma held a successful meeting last week with 13 new members joining, according to Welty.  You can find contact information on the Girls Scouts programs in the area with this story online.




Phone number:  888-747-6945

DNR using recent public input for state park recreational planning

By Paul Schmitt

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recently got input for new recreational opportunities people would like to see in all the state parks.  An analysis and informational open house was held last month in Door County and an online opportunity was also available up until September 8.  DNR Trail and Capital Development Coordinator Cameron Bump says ideas shared by the public then will now be considered in the next few months of planning.





The DNR will come back with a draft analysis in a report later this year as the planners look to 2018 and beyond for future implementation.  Door County features five state parks, the most of any county in Wisconsin.

Aerating in fall is key to maintaining a healthy lawn

By Paul Schmitt

An extremely wet spring and summer before the recent dry spell of weather had grass growing so fast, lawn maintenance businesses could hardly keep up.  Now with fall preparations being scheduled in the area for yards in Door and Kewaunee Counties, Trevor Marin from Lawn & Landscape Specialist some advice for the fall that can help your lawn for next year.



Marin says when mowing, only the top third of the grass blades should be cut and that you should wait until the last mowing of the year to cut your lawn short for the winter.  You can find tips on fall lawn maintenance below.

PGA Pro Dave Spengler returns "home" to Northbrook Country Club

By Paul Schmitt

A familiar face is back in charge of the pro shop at Northbrook Country Club in Luxemburg.  PGA golf professional Dave Spengler returned to Northbrook earlier this month to take over the Golf Pro responsibilities.  Spengler competed in a PGA championship and says that experience brings back some great memories.



Spengler shares the most exciting part of returning to Northbrook after working the past five years as the PGA professional at  Riverside Golf Course in Menominee, Michigan.




Spengler was previously the assistant and then head golf pro at Northbrook Country Club from 1990 to 1999.  Spengler says he hopes to provide more opportunities to golfers and keep the game of golf fun at Northbrook Country Club.


(photo courtesy of PGA)

L-C FFA Alumni hosting "Toy, Vendor & Craft Show" In October for local chapter

By Paul Schmitt

The Luxemburg-Casco FFA Alumni are hosting the 5th annual Toy, Craft and Vendor Show to support the FFA program at the school.  The event will be held in the gymnasium from 9 am until 2 pm on Sunday, October 8.  Member Dennis Kinnard says the opportunities offered to today's FFA members are as great if not greater than when he went to high school in the 1970's.



The displays of toy vendors will include unique toy trains sets and a 1/64 scale farm.  A peddle tractor obstacle course and a bounce house for children will be set up as well.  Admission is $3 for adults.  $2 for children and free for kids under 10.   All proceeds help support the L-C FFA members in premier leadership, personal growth and career success.

Door County Clerk Jill Lau enjoying first year as WCCA president

By Paul Schmitt

The Wisconsin County Clerks Association (WCCA) encompasses 72 counties in the state and the president of the organization is Jill Lau, the Door County Clerk.  Lau was sworn in as president earlier this year when the past president resigned due to health issues.  Lau says her rise to the top of the WCCA came as a whirlwind back in January.



Lau has been the Door County Clerk for nearly 11 years and says her experience of being a municipal clerk for seven years prior to that helps her with the WCCA responsibilities.  The Wisconsin County Clerks Association meets three times a year, including a summer conference every June which Door County hosted back in 2013, according to Lau.

(photo courtesy of WCCA)

Weekend heat increases urgency for apple pickers

By Tim Kowols

Apples and the hard-working people tapped to pick them are feeling the effects of the late September heat wave. With average temperatures usually in the low-60s in Sturgeon Bay for September, the close to 90-degree temperatures over the weekend were a shock. Wood Orchard owner Steve Wood says apples do not like to deal with extremes and the heat could have a negative effect on the fruit still on the trees and head into cold storage.

It has been a tough year to be an apple with many trees in Wood Orchard dealing with a rainier summer and hail storms earlier this season in Egg Harbor. Despite the weather, Wood is confident it will still be a good crop with plenty of apples available for everyone.

Algoma's Haak lauded for career milestone

By Baxter Colburn

An Algoma High School student received national recognition on the volleyball court this week. Senior Mikayla Haak joins an elite class of players nation-wide after surpassing 1,000 digs for the Wolves volleyball program. Haak is a four-year starter who has played the libero position for just three of her years at Algoma.


Libero's may replace any player in a back row position and wear a jersey of a different color or design. While on the court the  Libero may not serve, block or attempt to block.


First-year head coach Eric Dean lauds Haak for her passion and drive on the court that led to her milestone.



At this time Haak has not signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at the collegiate level. Dean says he hopes future liberos and underclassmen learn from the drive and poise Haak brings to each match.


Warm weather keeping northern Door County busy

By Baxter Colburn

Unexpected warm weather is keeping tourism booming in northern Door County. Faith Murray, a certified tourism ambassador for Door County, says leaves have yet to hit peak color and traffic is staying consistent in areas like Sister Bay, Ellison Bay, and Gills Rock. Murray credits the consistent tourism pull to changes Sister Bay has made in recent years.



Destination events like the Sister Bay Marinafest welcome thousands of new tourists to northern door every year. Shops that otherwise close after Labor Day are staying open later to help meet demands of lingering tourists says, Murray. October brings more opportunities for families and tourists to experience northern door including Sister Bay Fall Fest and Pumpkin Patch Festival in Egg Harbor.  


Area student newspapers becoming forgotten art

By Baxter Colburn

School newspapers are a thing of the past for students at Sturgeon Bay and Algoma High Schools. Neither school sponsors a newspaper. Administrators say it is due to a lack of interest and resources. Sturgeon Bay principal Robert Nickel offered his thoughts.



According to Nickel a school newspaper cannot survive without proper dedication from students and faculty. The hope, Nickel said is that students interested in newspapers and journalism will find an avenue to continue pursuing their dream.  


Kewaunee County schools suffering low Fall sports numbers

By Baxter Colburn

Kewaunee County high school athletic programs are challenged by a tough opponent but this one can't be found on a field or court. Participation in all fall sports is down according to reports from Kewaunee County high school athletic directors. Algoma and Luxemburg-Casco face issues with possible shorter seasons or even cancellations for certain JV teams. Varsity cross-country at Algoma cannot field the needed six runners per meet, due to low numbers. Athletic Director of Algoma David Robertson says the dropping numbers are not good for athletic program success.



Consistent fall sports for Kewaunee County schools to cancel or have low numbers are soccer, cross country and for Algoma, football. Luxemburg-Casco Athletic Director Jenny Bandow says the Spartans fall participation does well with major sports but struggles for consistent players in boys soccer. Bandow also highlights that not just Kewaunee County is struggling.



Robertson and Bandow each agree that even with smaller numbers the kids participating in Fall Sports bring a high level of passion and skill to their respective schools. Fall sports seasons in Kewaunee County run till mid-October.


Sturgeon Bay man taken to hospital in after hours bar incident

By Paul Schmitt

A 30-year-old Sturgeon Bay man was taken to the hospital early Friday morning after a reported stabbing incident in a downtown bar in Sturgeon Bay.  According to the Sturgeon Bay Police Department, a 911 call was made at about 2:30 Friday morning.  When officers arrived the man was gone and found later at his residence.  No further details are available at this time and the incident remains under investigation.

New manure application rules OK'd by Kewaunee County Board

By Tim Kowols

The Kewaunee County Board approved a resolution earlier this week supporting region-specific manure spreading rules. The proposed changes to the rules known as NR-151 take in account the studies done by the Kewaunee County Groundwater Collaborative Workgroups and others that have found a correlation between water contamination and the area's karst geology. Kewaunee County Board member Lee Luft says a lot of the concerns lay with smaller farmers, who may not be able to afford to stay in business if they need to find new land to apply their manure.



Residents interested in still making their case for and against the rules can make written comments to the Department of Natural Resources until October 4. Under the DNR's timeline, the new rules could be published as law in the summer of 2018.

Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department hosts open house Saturday

By Tim Kowols

The Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department is opening its doors to the community on Saturday as a part of its second open house. In addition to letting guests check out their own equipment, members from the Door County Sheriff's Department, Door County Emergency Services, and other agencies will be there. Fire Chief Chris Hecht says as a volunteer fire department, the event goes beyond just simple community outreach as people new to the area are curious on the unique nature of emergency services in Door County.



The free event is taking place at the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department's Sister Bay station from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Businesses getting by despite State Highway 57 detour

By Tim Kowols

Businesses along State Highway 57 in Baileys Harbor are thankful residents and visitors are taking the extra time to come to them. Since September 5, the highway has been closed to traffic from the south Highway Q intersection to Canterbury Lane. Businesses within the construction zone like Koepsel's have relied heavily on signage to guide their customers while others hope the detour along Highway Q is not deterring people from visiting the area altogether. Baileys 57 manager Kari Baumann says the Department of Transportation has marked the detour well and she is seeing customers make the effort to visit their favorite places.


The increased traffic and speeding on the detour route have been the only concerns in the early stages of the project.  The current detour will be in place until Sister Bay Fall Fest weekend October 13-15. The project is slated to be completed in June 2018.

Door County manufacturers open doors to students and general public

By Tim Kowols

Nine businesses in the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park including N.E.W. Industries and Hatco Corporation are opening their doors next month for the first Door County Manufacturing Day on October 21. Organized by the Door County Economic Development Corporation, residents will be able to tour the facilities to learn about the businesses and the career choices that are available. DCEDC Executive Director Caleb Frostman hopes this opens the eyes of many in the community, including high school students.



Students will also be able to tour some of the businesses with their classmates and from other Door County High Schools October 20. Tickets for the event are $10 for adults and free for students and children with all proceeds going to benefit the Door County Business and Education Partnership. You can find more information on this event online with this story.

Autumnfest in Baileys Harbor is this weekend

By Paul Schmitt

The lakeside of the Peninsula will be buzzing with activity this weekend as the annual Baileys Harbor Autumnfest is celebrated.    Saturday will feature a 5k run, the Pin Ups & Pistons Classic Car and Motorcycle Show with a photo shoot,  as well as music and arts & crafts. Michael Tafacory of the Baileys Harbor Community Association says there will be plenty of cars and plenty of food for visitors to enjoy.



Sunday's activities include the Farmer's Market starting at 9 a.m. and live music again from 11 until 1.  You can find the complete schedule of events for the Baileys Harbor Autumnfest online with this story.



8am • Hey Hey 5k Run at Door County Brewing Co.

9am-3pm • Baileys Harbor Fire Dept. Open House

9am-3pm • Classic Auto & Motorcycle Show (Day of registration 9am-11am)

9am-4pm • Arts & Crafts

9am-4pm • Food & Beverage Stand at Kendall Park

11am-3pm • Live Music by DR. FREEZE at Kendall Park

12pm-3pm • Pistons & Pin Ups Photo Shoot

3pm • Awards Ceremony

7pm-9pm •  Live Music by Augie's Blues Experiment at Door County Brewing Co.


9am-1pm • Farmer's Market

11am-1pm • Live Music by The Sidekicks

L-C volleyball's "Pink Out" brings "Ribbon of Hope" for breast cancer victims


By Paul Schmitt

There was more going on at Luxemburg-Casco High School Thursday evening than just a volleyball match.  The annual "Pink Out" was held for the ninth year in a row to raise money for the Ribbon of Hope.  The Luxemburg-Casco volleyball program raises funds for the organization that offers financial, informational and emotional resources to patients with breast cancer in Northeastern Wisconsin.   Pink Out organizer and Ribbon of Hope Chairperson Anita Kinnard says the girls on the volleyball team along with their parents make a big difference in the community off the court.



The Pink Out raffle has raised over $62,000 in the last eight years and hopes to eclipse last year's record of $14,000, according to Kinnard.  You can find the complete interview with the seniors on the Luxemburg-Casco girls volleyball team below.  (Photo compliments of L-C volleyball facebook)










Jacksonport holds critical vote for Door County Resolution

By Baxter Colburn

The Town of Jacksonport is holding a major vote that could affect all Door County municipalities later this month. A Resolution from Door County-United to Amend is asking town boards for an amendment to overturn Citizens United state-wide. The amendment also calls on local representatives in Wisconsin to hold a referendum at the state-level in November 2018. Dan Powers is a leader of the Door County chapter and feels Jacksonport's vote could be a major tipping point.



Powers says through the nine townships that have voted the overall total comes out to forty yes, one no, and two abstentions.


Other supporters of the Resolution are the Towns of Bailey's Harbor, Egg Harbor, Liberty Grove, Forestville, Sturgeon Bay and Gibraltar, along with the Villages of Egg Harbor and Ephraim. The City of Sturgeon Bay was the most recent to pass the Resolution on September 4. Jacksonport holds their vote September 26.


Sturgeon Bay High School to further the fine arts

By Connor Sannito

Sturgeon Bay schools are looking to take a special fine arts initiative.


The high school is currently in the works of a plan, or rather steps, to enhance our fine arts programs, so that they are far beyond a normal school. This would make it obvious that the focus on the fine arts at Sturgeon Bay high school is taken seriously and that it's valued tremendously, according to Principal Bob Nickel.


Nickel says the fine arts "push" could entail such possibilities as commissioning a professional piece for the high school band... up to starting a high school string program. Another proposal could be student publication, or maybe even professional local artists coming to help teach.

Whether it be for students thinking about careers in the fine arts, or for personal enrichment, the arts are undeniably invaluable, according to Nickel.  It is preparation and is a way to round students.

The fine arts initiative effort is very new. However, action to enhance the programs seems to be soon.


Rich Olson: Making a difference in Door County

By Baxter Colburn

Five generations of hard work have helped shaped the Door County landscape into what it is today, thanks to Olson Family Farms. Rich Olson's family was one of the first to bring a gas-engine-powered tractor to Door County. Olson Family Farms also introduced the very first robotic milking machines, an addition that Olson says has added incredible benefits for his production and longevity of his farm.



Olson's reach stems much further throughout the community thanks to his work in Southern Door. His work with the Southern Door High School FFA club allows him to advise and teach future agriculturalists while raising money for the school.


Outside the FFA, Olson continues a 26-year adventure as a volunteer firefighter for the Southern Door Fire Department. He's held the role of captain for 16 of those years.


Northern Door County businesses providing ample donations for pantry

By Baxter Colburn

Businesses in Northern Door County are providing a local food pantry with ample donations to help those in need. Stella Maris Care 24/7 Food Pantry in Sister Bay is benefitting from generous food donations thanks to the Main Street Market, Nicolet Beach Store, and Peninsula State Park. Since opening their doors in February 2016, the pantry has never gone without supplies for those in need, according to food pantry coordinator Steve Schultz. Schultz credits the incredible and overwhelming support of the community towards their success.



Schultz says the coming winter months bring the toughest times for all area pantries due to many businesses closing and not having extra food to donate. Canned fruit remains the biggest need for the pantry, along with feminine care products. Those interested in donating can stop by the 24/7 pantry in Sister Bay.


Communities, law enforcement need to work together for crime prevention

By Tim Kowols and Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski

Crime prevention often starts with residents buying into the possibility that bad things could happen in their communities. By reporting suspicious activity and eliminating easy targets, residents can help local law enforcement develop leads and even solve the crimes if not prevent them altogether. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says law enforcement and citizens working together can help make for better communities.



You can read the rest of Joski's Sheriff's Corner online with this story.


A while back I wrote about crime prevention and the role that we all play in keeping our communities safe. We all have a stake in the preservation of the quality of life we experience in our daily lives. Many times we begin to take on a false sense of security believing that crimes could not occur in our communities.

We do however have crimes which are committed and most times, law enforcement is able to develop leads and ultimately solve these cases. I wanted to revisit the issue of crime prevention and hopefully bring to bear the increased awareness of the community in helping to both solve these incidents as well as prevent those in the future.

The first component to Crime Prevention is reporting suspicious activity. Many times we may see something that looks out of ordinary, or is in fact downright suspicious. Unfortunately many times we do not go any further due to our busy lives, or our desire not involve ourselves in someone else's business.  For there to be effective crime prevention, we all need to realize our obligation to our neighbors and our communities, and this may mean that sometimes we get involved by calling in suspicious persons or activity. Once law enforcement responds there are two possible outcomes. The first is that the person or activity has a legitimate purpose and we can wish them well and move on. The second is that the person or activity is in fact suspicious and our contact with them could lead to the solving of a past crime or better yet the prevention of a future crime. The bottom line is we all need to be a part of the solution.

The second part to Crime Prevention is eliminating easy targets. While I would love to say we can live in a community where we do not lock our doors, I would be openly encouraging an environment of easy targets. There is an old saying that locks keep out the honest people, and there is some truth to that. While there will always be those people in our midst who may be inclined to steal, the more barriers we can put before them the more we limit their access to our valuables. If nothing else the barriers will force them to expend more effort in the commission of their crime increasing the likelihood that they will be noticed.

These barriers are very simple. They include preventions such as: Locking doors of buildings and vehicles. Securing valuables, whether that is a piece of equipment in the yard or valuables in your home or vehicle. Making a record of your valuables so that if taken they can be more accurately reported and effectively recovered. The most important barrier is to be part of your community by noticing and if need be reporting those things that seem out of the ordinary. We should be very proud of the high quality of law enforcement we have in our communities, but we would be negligent by saying we can do it all. A community where law enforcement and citizens work together always has been and always will be a better community.

Veteran suicide outpacing national averages

By Tim Kowols

Military veterans are committing suicide at a higher rate than civilians according to a recent report from the Department of Veteran Affairs. In 2014, 133 Wisconsin veterans took their own life, which at 36.1 per 100,000 people is over double the regional and national non-veteran suicide rate. Door County Veterans Service Officer Scott MacFarlane says while it is great many VA Hospitals are increasing their mental health facilities and staff, more needs to be done.


MacFarlane urges veterans to contact their local CVSO to get the help they have earned. Local United States House Representative Mike Gallagher said in a statement earlier this week that the findings "underscore the urgent need to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health care so that veterans in crisis feel comfortable seeking out treatment."

Early Fall colors due to "stressed-out" trees

By Baxter Colburn

Fall tree colors are arriving quicker than many expected. After excessive amounts of rain during the spring and summer months, trees are feeling "stressed-out" says Todd Burke of Dave's Tree Services. According to Burke, Door County has not seen such rainfall since the 1800's, making way for early colors showing through. He says the Door County trees are suffering from overexposure to rain, cooler mornings and shorter windows of sunlight. Burke explains why these play such a vital role within a tree's development.


Other reasons a tree could change colors early is due to it being "under-stress" from either damage or something internally affecting how it grows, says Burke. Often times when a tree is seen changing colors, it is a sign that the tree has given up for the season. Burke is a certified arborist and owner of Dave's Tree Services, a family business he and his wife, Stephanie, recently took over from his father, Dave Burke.


Purinton's new book features unique "Stavkirke" on Washington Island

By Paul Schmitt

Retired ferry captain and author Dick Purinton of Washington Island has come out with a new book about a unique and historic Norwegian church on the Island.  Purinton's fifth publication is called "Island Stavkirke: The Story of Washington Island's Norwegian Replica".  Stavkirke is Norwegian for stave meaning the mast or center pillars and Kirke meaning church.  The history of the wooden structure dates back over a thousand years ago in Europe with the church on Washington Island being built in the early 1990's.  Purinton says the book shares why the church was built on the Island and the collaborative effort to build it.



The "Island Stavkirke"  has well over 100 images inside the soft cover publication that had only 2,000 copies made, according to Purinton.


You can find the list of places the book is available for sale below or visit to order online.



Third Avenue Books (BookWorld) in Sturgeon Bay


Peninsula Bookman in Fish Creek


Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant and Boutique in Sister Bay


Various locations on Washington Island

Kuhn's "Escarpment" movie receives national acclaim

By Paul Schmitt

Roger Kuhn's new movie "Escarpment" is being shown around the country and receiving national recognition.  The Great Lakes Film Festival in Erie, Pennsylvania recently featured the documentary about the Niagara Escarpment.  Kuhns, who is also a writer and geologist in Door County, also received an award for the movie at the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Film Festival.  In addition to that,   "Escarpment" was selected by the Miami Independent Film Festival and was a semi-finalist at the Cine Festival in Los Angeles earlier this year.  Kuhn says he decided to do the movie after many requests and offering classes on the Niagara Escarpment at The Clearing.



"Escarpment" debuted back in April during the Earth Week celebration in Door County.  Kuhn says a companion book of the movie will be made available for purchase in the near future.

Door County Habitat for Humanity Restore helping communities save money and landfills

By Tim Kowols

Door County Habitat for Humanity is helping furnish more homes than landfills thanks in part to its successful Restore. During their most recent audit two years, the Restore in Sturgeon Bay saved 20 tons of building materials, furniture, and appliances from landfills. The sale of such items helps Door County Habitat for Humanity with their mission of providing affordable housing for deserving families. Restore manager Megan Dietz says the organization and its volunteers try to make it as easy as possible for people to find what they are looking for and for others to give new life to old items.



The Restore is open Monday through Saturday with volunteers accepting donations during their posted hours. You can see their newest items online on their Facebook page.

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State Budget threat to trails and sidewalk construction

By Roger Utnehmer

A provision in the state budget awaiting the signature of Governor Scott Walker could make it more difficult to develop bike trails and build sidewalks.  Sturgeon Bay cyclist and biking advocate Paul Anschutz fears the change in state law will be a safety issue because municipalities will lose their ability to use eminent domain, or condemnation, to acquire needed land for trails and public walkways.

Sen Fred Risser, a Madison Democrat with more than sixty years of legislative experience, says he sees no purpose for this amendment to the budget.

The Wisconsin Bike Federation reports cycling supports more than 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin and contributes approximately $2 billion in economic impact.  Anschutz worries about the local impact if it becomes more difficult to construct sidewalks and bike trails.

14-Year Old Southern Door student auditioning for "America's Got Talent"

By Paul Schmitt

A 14-year-old freshman from Southern Door High School will be auditioning for the television show "America's Got Talent" in December.  Brianna Partyka has been singing since she was nine years old and will perform before the famous four judges of the show on December 3 in Milwaukee.  Partyka, who has an operatic voice beyond her years, shares one of the songs she plans on singing at the audition.



Partyka says Howie Mandel is her favorite judge on the show and hopes Simon Cowell will be nice to her.  She credits her voice coach Ann Ellen Boettcher who has been working with her since she started singing.  This year's "America's Got Talent" finale will be tonight on NBC with the 10 finalists performing.  A place Partyka dreams of being one year from now.  You can listen to Brianna Parytka sing "Time to Say Goodbye" a song by her favorite musical artist Sarah Brightman below.

City rejects Papke's plea

By Roger Utnehmer

The Sturgeon Bay City Council came out of closed session and voted unanimously to reject the claim against the city by developer Robert Papke.  See the previous story for details.

Door County Civility Project accepts state education award Thursday

By Tim Kowols

The Door County Civility Project will be honored by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Thursday for making a positive impact on local schools. The volunteer initiative is one of three organizations and two individuals earning a DPI Friends of Education after beginning a program in 2015 entitled "Speak Your Peace" at Southern Door High School to promote a culture of civility among students. Southern Door Superintendent Patti Vickman says she is proud of the work the Door County Civility Project has done for their district.



The Door County Civility Project's efforts have resulted in class projects and musical performances based on the lessons learned from the in-school program at Southern Door.

Sturgeon Bay City Council discusses Papke settlement in closed meeting

By Roger Utnehmer

Discussion about settling a lawsuit brought against the City of Sturgeon Bay by developer Robert Papke was held behind closed doors less than thirty minutes into the regular council meeting Tueseday.  The public and news media are required to leave the meeting when the council votes to go into closed session.

Papke filed a lawsuit against the city and abandoned plans to develop a hotel on the Sturgeon Bay west-side waterfront.  Papke claims the city misled him.  He filed a $540,534 lawsuit plus attorney fees in June.

Papke claims the city was aware of concerns about the location of the ordinary high water mark which determines where private development can take place.  He also claims the city knew about concerns regarding the title to the property but did not inform him of the problem.

Minutes from the October 28, 2013, meeting of the Sturgeon Bay Waterfront Redevelopment Authority indicate the city knew as early as that date the development of the property on which Papke hoped to build a hotel was questionable.

The minutes from that meeting state that the city was "unable to get a title commitment for a large portion to the south and east of the co-op property."  Without a clear title, the property could not be developed.

The minutes indicate that Mayor Thad Birmingham was present at the meeting when questions about title to the waterfront property were discussed. Waterfront Redevelopment Authority Chair Thomas Herlache also attended the meeting at which Community Development Director Marty Olejniczak alerted officials to questions about the title.

The largest item listed in Papke's claim is to pay him $180,000 he lists as "compensation to developer for three years of work at city's request."

Other expenses Papke is requesting payment for include $36,498 for interest on a line of credit at Nicolet National Bank, legal fees of $51,237 and marketing expenses of $7,372.

Observer giving a voice to Washington Island

By Tim Kowols

Six years ago, the Washington Island Observer was on its way to joining the growing list of community newspapers going out of print. It was a group of 20 families pitching in thousands of dollars with no expectation of making a dime that saved the Observer and ultimately the voice of the island. In the years since, a collection of residents have contributed stories and columns to the paper, including 80 people last year, on topics ranging from town and school board meetings to a more recent series on Washington Island's water quality. Managing editor Laurel Hauser has only been on board for just over a year, but says she is proud of how far the paper has come.



The Washington Island Observer is published once a week during the summer months and every other week the rest of the year.

Algoma earns Culture of Health Prize

By Tim Kowols

The city of Algoma received a $25,000 grant and a Culture of Health Prize from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation during a ceremony on Tuesday. The city is one of just eight communities to win the prize, which highlights efforts to promote living healthier lives among its residents. The foundation singled out the high school's garden and fab lab nights, the Live Algoma Initiative, and the community wellness center as some of the innovative ideas leading up to the recognition. Many RWJF Culture of Health Prize communities have been at it for several years if not decades, which makes the award all the more impressive to Algoma Superintendent Nick Cochart, who says their efforts have been nationally recognized after just over two years.



Algoma will spend much of October celebrating the honor as it will join the other 2017 Culture of Health Prize recipients in a New Jersey ceremony October 11 and 12 and host a city-wide celebration at Community Wellness Center October 28. Cochart says no definitive plans have been made for the $25,000 grant.

Kewaunee County waste irrigation ordinance delayed at least one month

By Tim Kowols

The first reading of a draft ordinance in Kewaunee County regarding manure application has been taken off the agenda before Tuesday's board meeting. The draft ordinance would require farmers to use low-pressure methods when spreading liquid manure in contrast to spraying. Despite being in committee for months, Kewaunee County Board chairperson Robert Weidner believes the measure needs more time.



The Kewaunee County Board, which will meet at 6 p.m. at the Administrative Center in Kewaunee, will also discuss resolutions regarding its support for updated NR-151 rules regarding areas with karst bedrock, approving the landfill closing engineering agreement, and recommending funding for a Total Maximum Daily Load study of its impaired waterways.

Door County Uses Undercover Operation To Stop Sex Trafficking

By Paul Schmitt

Local law enforcement agencies are cracking down big time on sex trafficking in the area.  An undercover operation in that started this past spring has led to 25 arrests in northeastern Wisconsin alone, including a Luxemburg man who was arrested in Door County back in July.  Door County District Attorney Colleen Nordin along with Attorney General Brad Schimel announced the arrests late last week.  Nordin says the operation revealed the prevalence of sex trafficking in the area.



The larger scale operation took place on July 21 with the collaboration of the Department of Justice which included special agents,  40 law enforcement officers, U.S. Marshalls, FBI advocates, along with Sturgeon Bay Police and Door County Sheriff's Department.  Nordin deems the operation a success and shows how proactive law enforcement needs to be in the future to deter sex trafficking crimes.

Cub Scout 4124 reactivates under new charter organization in Sturgeon Bay

By Tim Kowols

Cub Scout Pack 4124 has a new home after being in limbo with its chartering organization. As some faith-based organizations and churches disassociated themselves with the Boy Scouts of America after recent policy decisions regarding its membership, the Knights of Columbus began dropping some of its 1,100 charters in 2015, citing the Catholic Church's wish to strengthen the bonds between families and their local parishes, according to Troop 1022 scoutmaster and Pack 4124 committee member Tom Benzshawel says they are thankful for the support they still get from their stable of volunteers and the Knights of Columbus, but also their new chartering organization, the Methodist Men's Club in Sturgeon Bay.



Pack 4124 will host its first "Round-Up" as it recruits new volunteers and scouts September 24 at 6:15 p.m. inside the Sturgeon Bay United Methodist Church.


Washington Island Ferry predicting near-record summer, busy fall

By Tim Kowols

This summer could go down as a record-breaking one for the Washington Island Ferry. Final numbers have not been tabulated yet, but ferry officials say the positive momentum has even carried into the fall, forcing them to run extra ferries to handle the traffic load past their usual posted schedule. Whether it is sunny days or visitors sharing their experiences on social media, Washington Island Ferry Vice President Richard Ellefson says its success does not have a lot to do with what they are doing.



Ellefson says the rain played a big factor in often sluggish days for its Rock Island Ferry service and Cherry Train, but it more than made up for it when the weather would turn nice again. The Washington Island Ferry's current 11 round-trip schedule runs through October 29.

Preparing for life after your spouse financially

By Tim Kowols

It is not an easy topic to discuss, but many Americans are not prepared financially for when their spouse is no longer with them. According to the New York Times, there are more than 14 million widows and widowers, many of which spending more than 14 years without their spouse. With some couples not sharing the ins and outs of their financial situation with each other, Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors recommends spouses having the tough conversation and including their kids in the discussion as well.



Pustaver says reaching out to a confidential professional can be helpful for a family as they grieve the death of a loved one and figure out their next steps financially. You can listen to the entire Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver online with this story.


Waterfront dispute with developer revisits Sturgeon Bay Common Council Tuesday in closed session

By Tim Kowols

As it awaits the decision from the Department of Natural Resources on the ordinary high water mark for the city's west waterfront, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council will revisit another portion of the dispute in closed session on Tuesday. The council will meet with its legal counsel to discuss its lawsuit involving developer Bob Papke, who in June filed suit against the city after pulling out of the hotel agreement. Papke is seeking $550,000 in damages for work already done on the project plus legal fees. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will also discuss borrowing $1.5 million for capital projects and new equipment for its public safety departments. The meeting begins at noon inside the council chambers at Sturgeon Bay City Hall.

Last public meeting for Algoma's Comprehensive Plan is Monday night

By Paul Schmitt

Monday night will be the last chance for the public to weigh in on what the city of Algoma should focus on in the next ten years.  The last of public workshops on the city's comprehensive plan will be held at the Algoma Highs School.  The information received by the city through citizen advisory meetings, surveys and workshops will go to community development committee and the city council for implementation.  City Administrator Jeff Wiswelll explains what the city plans to focus on in the comprehensive study.



The state required comprehensive plan must be done every ten years by municipalities, according to Wiswell.  The comprehensive plan public workshop will be held at the Algoma High School at 6 p.m. Monday in the cafeteria.

Local YMCA does good and does well serving the community

By Cynthia Germain

Over the last 100 years, the YMCA has grown in numbers of facilities and beyond the United States borders to serve each facility's residents uniquely. The Door County YMCA is one of the organization's most successful facility, boasting 8,000 members and offerings that span all ages of residents in the community. Tom Beertsen, CEO and President of the Door County YMCA, is proud of the offerings, including those programs that serve a third of the membership as older adults as well as programs that recognize the need for education related to water safety. Beertsen also attributes the Door County YMCA's success to its ability to remove barriers to serve the needs of all community members.



The Door County YMCA has a focus on young people and has special funding to assure that all families and community individuals have access to meaningful programs. Beertsen believes that this focus on family is integral to not just be a provider in the community but be a part of the community that it serves. With the leadership of Beertsen and the board, the YMCA takes great care with existing and new funding sources as well as the facility's strategic plans. These plans include the development of specialty classes for older adults to maintain wellness and programs geared towards children, particularly character building and social responsibility. Beertsen has been a part of the YMCA organization since a teenager, and he sincerely believes that the YMCA can change people's lives with its core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility.

Bay Shipbuilding Company and local residents come together over lighting concerns

By Cynthia Germain

Alderperson Barbara Allmann, representatives from Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, City Administrator Josh VanLieshout and other city staff, and local residents met recently to discuss the concerns of light trespass on the residents on the west side of the channel opposite the Bay Shipbuilding campus.  Allman, the representative for the 5th district, was pleased with those who attended and the open dialogue that occurred.  



One resident on Duluth Place, David Valentine, also expressed his gratitude of Bay Shipbuilding taking the time to talk about the lighting and its impact on local residents.   Also in attendance was Gary Henkelmann, President of the Door Peninsula  Astronomical Society, who shared the availability of the International Dark Skies Association consulting services to assist with the issues.  Valentine has been active on lighting issues over the last several years and looks forward to Bay Shipbuilding efforts to address them.



All of the meeting's participants well understood the regulatory and safety requirements of the shipyard and also acknowledge the need to be good neighbors.  At the conclusion of the meeting, Bay Shipbuilding representatives agreed to study the lighting with field experts over coming months and have feedback to Alderperson Allmann and local residents after the holidays.

Fall plantings get a needed boost from a local fertilizer producer

By Cynthia Germain

Watch Us Grow was first developed in the 40's  and is comprised of high-quality organic and inorganic materials to fertilize a variety of plants.  The owner, Phil Faustini, has had many years of experience working with plants of every season and considers Fall vegetables and flowers to be an opportune time to boost color and productivity.



The product works not only on outdoor but indoor plants, maintaining the health of these plants enjoyed daily.   As the season passes and Christmas comes quickly, Faustini recommends using Watch Us Grow on fresh cut trees.  Adding the product to the water of the Christmas tree keeps it fresher, longer, and in some cases, has actually shown new growth on the holiday spruces.  The Watch Us Grow fertilizer can be found at the Sturgeon Bay Farmer's Market as well as online.

Local musician at Harvest Fest begins planning 2018 Pride event

By Cynthia Germain

Cathy Grier, a much-traveled musician and activist, now rooted in Door County, entertained Sturgeon Bay Harvest Fest goers on Saturday, playing two sets at host businesses. Audiences plainly see her enjoyment as she shares her love of music and street performance.  Grier is glad to call Sturgeon Bay her home and is very involved in local art and music activities.



One of the other efforts that Grier is spearheading is the Open Door Pride event that was first held this past June in Martin Park.  Grier is co-founder of Open Door Pride, a local organization whose mission is to affirm the community's diversity through inclusion, bringing her world experiences to Door County to offer clarity to what it means to be LGTBQ.  Next year's event will be held Saturday, June 23, 2018.

Benches by the Bay move on to local Sturgeon Bay residents and organizations

By Cynthia Germain

The Sturgeon Bay Harvest Fest and Street Art Auction was well-attended with people of all ages enjoying local vendors, vintage cars and the auction of the Benches by the Bay.  The Benches by the Bay were created by 25 artists with Door County ties and have been seen on the streets of Sturgeon Bay since May.   Pamela Seiler, the Executive Director of the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center, with the help of many volunteers, coordinated the lively auction to bring the iconic benches and their new owners together.



The Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center's new Marketing and Promotions Director, Savanna Townsend, along with the center's other staff and volunteers now look to the continued planning of the next event, the Christmas by the Bay.  This event is held on the weekend before Thanksgiving beginning with a tree lighting ceremony, followed the Christmas parade the next day and wrapping up with a special breakfast with Santa.


New owner of The Grove in Kewaunee bringing back old memories to customers

By Paul Schmitt

The Grove in Kewaunee may not be a truck stop, but the new owner of the historical business, Steve Guerts is using his thirty years of driving semis through every state in the country to know what people want to eat when they stop in.  After being closed for a couple years, The Grove, a well-known restaurant, and bar over the years re-opened under Guerts this past April.  He says he loves the returning patrons sharing all the memories over the decades of visits to The Grove.




Guerts opened The Grove in April which continues the tradition of broasted chicken and homemade pizzas on the menu.  The Grove, located just north of Kewaunee on Highway 42, is open Wednesday starting at 4 p.m. and Thursday through Sundays starting at 11 a.m.


(photo contributed)

Algoma High School considering move to 8-man football

By Baxter Colburn

Algoma High School is considering a move to 8-man football after numbers for players continue to drop. The low numbers for kids going out for football the past two seasons point a direct path towards converting to the small-sided game, says High School Athletic Director David Robertson. Robertson outlines how to possible move would affect the program and school moving forward.


Area schools like Gibraltar and Sevastopol hold successful 8-man programs and Robertson knows that a move down to 8-man would dramatically change the perspective of how people view football and understands the concerns fans and players would have with the switch.


Robertson goes on to state that if Algoma does make the switch in two years, he fully supports the move and believes it would be the best for player safety and program stability.  

Deer damage is preventable in Door County with help from Dave's Tree Services

By Baxter Colburn

Your trees and shrubs could be protected from deer damage this winter because of a special spray developed by a nursery in Connecticut.

Todd Burke, owner of Dave's Tree Services in Jacksonport, has been applying the special spray for years. He says it's the best deer protection he's seen in thirty years.

The best time to apply the treatment, Burke says, is early October. A small investment can save thousands of dollars in landscaping, according to Burke, who is a certified arborist as well as having years of experience putting deer on a diet when it comes to your trees and shrubs.

Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary celebrates 25 years of service

By Baxter Colburn

The Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club celebrates 25 years of service in Door County. As new members continue to join the group, President-Elect Nancy Fisher knows that the title of her club is often misunderstood by many.


While growth for the club is trending upwards, the big issue Fisher and her fellow club members face is reaching a younger demographic. A majority of the club is above the age 40, making the appeal to younger members less attractive.


Before moving to Sturgeon Bay, Fisher was a charter member of the Door County North Rotary Club. Fisher has only been apart of Rotary International for seven years but has now played major roles in two different clubs in Door County.

Department of Natural Resources concerned over Chronic Wasting Disease in Door County

By Baxter Colburn

Concerns over Chronic Wasting Disease in deer cast a shadow over the opening weekend of bow hunting season in Door County, according to the Department of Natural Resources. While the risk is low for humans and animals to contract CWD, the Department of Natural Resources is taking no chances with contamination. Chris Kratcha outlines action steps if you encounter a deer with CWD.


According to Kratcha, the closest registration drop-off sites are in Oconto and Gillett for CWD deer heads. The Department of Health Services and the DNR strongly urge anyone who harvests a deer in an illness zone to not eat the meat. More information regarding CWD can be found HERE

Local political leadership preventing waterfront settlement according to Collins

By Roger Utnehmer


The head of a group opposed to the development on portions of Sturgeon Bay's west side waterfront says "local political leadership" is preventing a solution and it may be time for a change.



Dan Collins says Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront believe portions of the property should be held in trust for public use, not private development.  The Department of Natural Resources held a hearing last week in Sturgeon Bay to determine where the boundary between public and private use will be drawn.


He also says council members have been kept in the dark.



The entire interview is available below.


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Organizations offer youth grants for crime prevention projects

By Tim Kowols

Four organizations are teaming up to turn stuffed dogs into dollars for youth grants for Door County middle and high school students. The Door County Crime Prevention Foundation and Leadership Door County are donating 500 dogs to the Door County Community Foundation and the Door County Service Club Coalition to inspire youth to use their skills and talents for an idea promoting safer communities while possibly earning a $500 mini-grant. Door County Community Foundation President and CEO Bret Bicoy says the two grant programs, Youth as Resources and Youth in Theater, show you can make a difference, no matter the age.



Bicoy hopes to get all middle and high school students in Door County involved with the project, which has its first application deadline on October 2.

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Manufacturers balance growing business with hiring woes

By Tim Kowols

Local manufacturers are hoping hiring can start to catch up with the demands of its customers. Some companies are several people short on staff, forcing management to get creative with recruiting new employees and keeping up with orders. N.E.W. Industries owner Chris Moore says the problem is not unique to the entire country, let alone Sturgeon Bay. He says it has been the most challenging it has been during his time in manufacturing.



Moore says he appreciates the efforts of the Door County Economic Development Corporation, local technical colleges and high schools in helping make manufacturing an attractive career to pursue.

Secret Treasures of Door County: The Garden Door

By Tom Jordan

Periodically, author and photographer Tom Jordan will share with us selections from what he believes are truly Secret Treasures of Door County. You can find some of his work in two of his books, Secret Treasures of Door County and Secret Treasures of Sturgeon Bay. Both books are available with all proceeds benefitting the Door County Community Foundation. 


Right off Highway 42, just north after it splits away from 57 as you leave Sturgeon Bay, you'll find a special part of Door County that few people even know exists, and even fewer people know how to find it. It's called the Garden Door. It first opened in 2005.


This is a joint effort of the Door County Master Gardeners Association and the Peninsular Research Station.


It's open year round. And it's free. There's parking right next to the entrance. When you enter you feel like you are stepping into a magical place. The entire area is lush with flowers, grasses, cactus, trees, colorful chairs and beautiful benches.


Just a few weeks ago my wife and I brought a picnic lunch and set up in the gazebo. This was near the end of August and the weather was being typically schizophrenic; the clouds to the north were ominous and dark while the sky to the south was just white.  We enjoyed our picnic and loved wandering the paths amongst the tall grasses and variety of flowers. We would have brought our little dog with us, but no pets are allowed on the property.


What's really nice is that no matter what time of year you visit, there is always something new to see. And as you walk around you are filled with new ideas of what is possible in your own garden.


It's divided into many different areas that include a cactus garden, a butterfly garden, a dwarf conifer garden, a faerie garden, a tunnel garden, a sundial garden, a gazebo garden, a grass and perennial garden, a pond with koi...and so much more.


And there's a small box on the entrance for donations.  If we all are generous this precious treasure will be here for years to come. J


The Garden Door. One of my favorite Secret Treasures in Door County.


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Proposed Kewaunee County biogas plant falls short

By Tim Kowols

It appears a partially state-funded biogas plant will not be coming to Kewaunee County after the state public service commission selected a proposal slated for Brown County on Friday. The Kewaunee County proposal, according to a memo released by the PSC, was applied for by U.S. Venture, Inc. under the title Gemini Consortium. No specifics on where the plant would have been located, but the over $55 million project would have consisted of seven consortium members and served approximately 30,000 animal units spread out over 11 dairy operations. Kewaunee County Board member Lee Luft says he is relieved the project is not coming because of a lack of input from local officials.



BC Organics, LLC's $60 million Green Pastures Bio Energy Center (291.60 points scored) was chosen among the five government agencies tasked with picking the proposals while considering a number of different factors. The Kewaunee County project (213.1) and an Agri-Waste Energy Operations proposal for St. Croix County did not reach the required score of 235 points to be considered. A representative for U.S. Venture could not be reached. You can read the full memo online with this story.



Local highway crews behind schedule with projects due to wet summer

By Paul Schmitt

The Door County Highway Department is busy taking advantage of the recent drier weather conditions to get their projects done this summer and fall.  Due to an extremely wet spring and summer, the road crews are finding themselves playing catch-up, according to Highway Commissioner John Kolodziej.



Kolodziej says his crews are behind schedule and will be doing paving and construction work into the month of November, rather than the usual completion in late October.  He says if winter weather comes early, the Door County Highway Department can run materials through the asphalt mix that allows crews to work in colder temperatures and finish up the needed work this year, yet.

Bullying impacts 20 percent of all teen-age students

By Baxter Colburn

One in five middle and high school students experience some type of bullying and it's not much different at Sturgeon Bay's TJ Walker Middle School, according to guidance counselor Heidi Bader. Bader says each instance of bullying is subject to that particular child, no two cases can be treated the same way.




A study conducted by the National Center for Education cites spitting, shoving, name calling and being made the subject of rumors as common types of bullying.

Bader says the Sturgeon Bay school district constantly works to prevent bullying and cyber bullying in all schools.

More information on what parents can do to help alleviate bullying can be found below.

Dark Ranger Coming To Door County

By Tim Kowols

The Dark Ranger, also known as Kevin Poe, Park Ranger of Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, will be returning to the area to champion the dark skies efforts of Door County.  Poe created this dark sky hero after attaining an International Dark Skies Association designation for the Bryce Canyon Park, wanting to educate communities on the importance of responsible outdoor lighting and the heritage of our dark skies.  Dr. John Beck of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society knows that this issue is of great importance in Door County as many locals and visitors are drawn here to the night sky viewing.


The Dark Ranger will be visiting Sturgeon Bay, Sevastopol and Southern Door schools, on Friday, September 15th.  The following day a public program will be held at the Southern Door Auditorium at 2:00 p.m.  At  7:00 p.m., the Dark Ranger will be at Crossroads at Big Creek for a special program for the Boys and Girls Club of Door County.  This event is open to all families and will include a brief presentation by the Dark Ranger specifically geared towards children and followed by fun activities at the campfire circle and end with night sky viewing at the DPAS astronomy campus.

Kewaunee County schools making smiles brighter with dental program

By Tim Kowols

Algoma School District hopes by taking away one major concern for families, it will leave their smiles a little brighter. For the third year in a row, the school district and Bridging Brighter Smiles will offer preventative dental care to all families right to the building for participating students. Superintendent Nick Cochart says he was approached by the organization two years ago and believes anything making life a little bit easier on the families the district serves is for the better.



Cochart says there is no out of pocket cost to the students if they are on BadgerCare, but interested Algoma School District families need to fill out the necessary paperwork to be eligible participate.  Last year, Bridging Brighter Smiles served 338 students at Kewaunee County's three school districts, including 123 at Algoma.


Learn more about the program here

Local governments find balancing acts in budget creation

By Tim Kowols

While local governments are making sure their budgets are done for the new year, the town of Liberty Grove has found they have to go against conventional wisdom to make theirs more beneficial.  According to Town Chairperson John Lowry, local governments are almost forced to borrow at least a little money, whether they need to or not. That is because by paying interest on bonds taken out by the local governments, it keeps levy limits and the services that revenue funds stable. Lowry says it is a balancing act.



The town of Liberty Grove has set aside money for several capital projects, including improvements to the Ellison Bay Marina with initial work beginning later this fall. Lowry says the budget committee will meet again before hosting an informational meeting for residents to discuss the budget items, including the possible tax levy override.

Fall harvest also means planting time for farmers

By Tim Kowols

As farmers take crops off the field for their fall harvest, Peninsula Pride Farms hopes its members and other operators are planting something else in its place. Cover crops have been a big focus among members of the farmer-led group over the last year, including the field day hosted by Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farm Network operator Deer Run Dairy in Kewaunee. Peninsula Pride Farms board member and agronomist Zach Sutter says cover cropping is a cost-effective way of controlling soil erosion and nutrient loss.



Sutter says now is a good time to plant cover crops such as red clover, winter wheat, and oats as it is a less expensive seed and easily spreads. Last year, Peninsula Pride Farms members planted 4,000 additional acres of cover crops onto their fields.

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Luxemburg-Casco Schools helping children effected by Hurricane Irma

By Paul Schmitt

With the aftermath of Hurricane Irma wreaking havoc to the state of Florida, the Luxemburg-Casco school district is looking to help children affected by the hurricane by holding a one-week donation drive at the school.  In partnership with the Hometown Heroes "Fluids4Florida" program, the Luxemburg-Casco schools are collecting supplies for children.  Organizer Rebecca Beaumia shares what type of items are needed to "stuff a semi".



Beaumia says she is working along with friends in the Grafton area to help Florida after Hurricane Irma.  Relief efforts include drop boxes at all the Luxemburg-Casco School District buildings.  Items needed include bottled water and personal hygiene products.  The relief drive will conclude at half-time of the Luxemburg-Casco/Marinette football game in Luxemburg on Friday night with donations accepted starting at 5 p.m. in the parking lot.


Children, parents both struggle with early school year jitters

By Tim Kowols

School being back in session can be as big of an adjustment for parents as it is for students. According to, children can often pick up on the nonverbal cues their parents show, which means fear and anxieties one might have could go to the other. Northern Door Children's Center in Sister Bay has parents dropping their children off every year for their first school-like experience, some as young as just a couple months old. Karen Corekin from Northern Door Children's Center says parents should not be afraid to drop in to ease their children's doubts as well as their own.



Corekin says through play and repetition, children become more comfortable with the people they interact with and their surroundings while being assured them that "mommies and daddies always come back."

Culver's Sturgeon Bay donates $700+ to Hurricane Harvey relief

By Baxter Colburn

Culver's in Sturgeon Bay, along with the other 620 franchise chain restaurants in the United States held a fundraiser Tuesday for victims of Hurricane Harvey. Sturgeon Bay's location raised over $700 towards relief efforts. Local United Way representative Katie Smullen was pleased with the overall success and support the Door County community showed in this time of need.



Austin Hildebrand, Sturgeon Bay Culver's co-owner said his location saw great customer traffic for the fundraiser.



Hildebrand stated that he would like to see a similar fundraiser again for those affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida.

New Help of Door County program focuses on men handling domestic abuse issues

By Baxter Colburn

Help of Door County is introducing a new program for men when dealing with domestic abuse issues. Voices of Men aims to turn the conversation from strictly a women's issue to being thought of as a people issue, says Help of Door County executive director Steve Vickman. The new program focuses on what being a man is all about, says Vickman.



Gender violence is not just a women's issue, but more so, men are the issue according to Vickman. The program is a leadership movement in the community that Vickman hopes to bring other leaders around to help keep all people safe and away from the effects of domestic violence. More information regarding Voices of Men can be found online with this story.

Friends Group ready to work for waterfront development: Part 2

By Roger Utnehmer

Dan Collins, a member of the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront, says the best outcome in a dispute with the City of Sturgeon Bay is a Department of Natural Resources determination "based on science."


Then, Collins says, both sides can work on development options.



The DNR held a hearing in Sturgeon Bay last week and is expected to make a determination soon about where private development will be allowed on Sturgeon Bay's west side waterfront and what must be preserved for public use.


Collins said his group and the city reached a compromise agreement on where development could occur but it was thwarted by the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority. According to Collins, the WRA hopes for a "legislative fix."




The entire interview with Dan Collins is available with this story at


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Former Rep. Dave Hutchinson Making Strong Recovery From Brain Surgery

By Paul Schmitt

Former District 1 State Representative Dave Hutchinson is making a strong comeback.  Not politically speaking but with his personal health.  Hutchinson, who served in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1994 until 2000, had brain surgery for an infection in June and has had an incredibly strong recovery since.  Hutchinson says it is almost miraculous how well he feels.



Hutchinson, who was visiting the new Republican offices in Green Bay on Tuesday, says today's politicians could learn from past legislatures on how to get work done.



Hutchinson says he has done many things over the years but politics was the greatest experience in his life.

UPDATE: Matt Joski aiding in Hurricane Irma relief

By Baxter Colburn

Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski and 2,500 members of the Wisconsin National Guard will no longer aid in Hurricane Irma relief efforts. The trip would've marked the first relief effort Joski has participated in since joining the Wisconsin National Guard. Joski notes that although he did not get to Florida, he learned a lot through the preparation process.


An estimated 16 million people are without power and clean water in south Florida, according to multiple reports. People looking to get involved with relief efforts are recommended to participate in local fundraisers and to go online to donate, says Joski.

Bay Hometown Pharmacy purchases their building in Sturgeon Bay

By Paul Schmitt

Bay Hometown Pharmacy can call the corner of Jefferson and North Seventh Avenue a permanent home after purchasing the land and building earlier this month.  Bay Hometown Pharmacy owner Jake Blazkovec finalized the real estate transaction with his previous landlords Terry and Linda Thompson of Egg Harbor on September 1.  Blazkovec explains how the process played out.



Bay Home Town Pharmacy opened its doors in February of 2015.  It is one of 38 independently owned Home Town pharmacies in the state and won the "Best of Door County" online poll earlier this year in the pharmaceutical category on

School budget increase good news for administrators

By Tim Kowols

A boost in education funding is good news for area school districts. The state's Joint Finance Committee announced late last month the $639 million boost for schools over the next two years, which works out to be an additional $200 per student. Sturgeon Bay School District Superintendent Dan Tjernagel says the influx of cash to schools will make it easier to keep programming steady.



The school funding bill also includes the expansion of the state's student voucher program, lifetime licenses for teachers and administrators, and limit referendum votes to general elections.

Eating by the season helps maximize nutrition, dollars

By Tim Kowols

You might be running out of time to get the full value from your favorite fruits and vegetables. The beginning of fall often means many fruits and vegetables are hitting their peak both in quantity and nutritional value while others are on the way out. Jody Anderson from Succeed Health in Algoma says eating with the seasons prepares you nutritionally for the winter, but you can still capture a taste of the spring, summer, and fall in the winter if you are quick about it.



Some fall foods in season right now and in the coming weeks include apples, cranberries, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and squash.

Town of Lincoln places moratorium on large farm creation and expansion

By Tim Kowols

The Town of Lincoln in Kewaunee County took proactive measures Monday night to try to protect their groundwater for the future. The town board voted 3-0 to approve a resolution placing a moratorium on the construction and expansion of confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in Lincoln for the next two years. An amendment will be discussed at its October meeting allowing CAFOs to enter development agreements with the town for projects improving operations without adding animals. Town chairperson Cory Cochart says it is trying to keep matters in their own hands after the Department of Natural Resources approved a permit for a nearby farm to potentially double in size.



Cochart says the moratorium would give the town two years to look over their ordinances and see if additional changes need to be made. Over the last year, the Town of Lincoln has begun a pilot study for whole house water systems and has mapped its area for groundwater contamination.

Mallien tapped as Door County Economic Development Corporation Business and Education Partnership Manager

By Tim Kowols

Monday marked the first day on the job for Korey Mallien as the Door County Economic Development Corporation's new Business and Education Partnership Manager. A Door County native, Mallien comes to the DCEDC after 25 years covering sports in the area and being active in the development of local youth leagues. The connections Mallien already has with the local schools through these experiences and wealth of knowledge about the Business and Education Partnership made it a good fit according to DCEDC Executive Director Caleb Frostman.



Mallien will be tapped with expanding the DCEDC's Career Cruisin' and Inspire modules, which over time gets students interested in local careers while connecting them with area business leaders.

Friends Group to Kitchens: "Please bug out."

By Roger Utnehmer

An active member of The Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront, Dan Collins, does not believe State Rep. Joel Kitchens should be involved in legislating a solution to the long-simmering west-side waterfront development.

In recent news interviews, Kitchens said he would take the determination from a Department of Natural Resources hearing establishing the location of the Ordinary High Water Mark on Sturgeon Bay's waterfront and introduce legislation to codify it in state statutes.

Collins told it is not appropriate for Kitchens to involve himself in a process that should follow normal channels.

Collins says the state deals with several similar cases each year.

"I don't think," Collins said, "that he should be involved in this."

The failure of the parties to settle a recent lawsuit, Collins, predicted, will mean more legal bills, and, potentially, a site not as friendly to development as could have been attained with compromise.

The Friends group won an initial case in circuit court that precludes development on a portion of Sturgeon Bay waterfront without a DNR determination on what land is subject to development and what portions of the property must be maintained for public use.

That DNR hearing was held last week.

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Karl May remembered for his community service

By Paul Schmitt

Long-time businessman and Sturgeon Bay Rotarian Karl May passed away at the age of 75 last Thursday.  May was a life-long resident of Sturgeon Bay and was an active member of the National Association of Realtors and the Door County Board of Realtors for over 50 years.  He also was a real estate appraiser and had a tax preparation business.  Sturgeon Bay High School classmate and close friend John Herlache remembers May as a man of generosity and community service.


Herlache says May, along with Otto Andre and Ralph Herlache, started the Rotary Youth Exchange program in the district.  May also hosted 13 foreign exchange students over the years.  The funeral service for Karl May will be at St. Joseph's Catholic Church at 11:00 am this Friday.  You can find the complete obituary from Forbes Funeral Home below.



Karl S. May, age 75, Sturgeon Bay, passed away Thursday evening, September 7, 2017, following a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.  He was born to Bernard E. and Dorothy May on July 12, 1942.


Karl attended St. Joseph's Grade School, graduated from Sturgeon Bay High School (1960), and graduated from St. Norbert College (1965) with a degree in Business Administration.

Karl married Erika Fleig on September 25, 1965, at St. Joseph's in Sturgeon Bay.  He was a member of Saints Peter and Paul in Institute.


Karl is survived by his wife of 51 years; son, Erik (Shawn) May; daughters, Tia (Scott) Bellisle, and Gretchen (Michael) Cihlar; grandsons: Drew (Kendall) and Derek Kramer (Fiancé, Jenny Mejia), Brody May, and Emmett Cihlar; granddaughters: Sophie May and Lilly, Lucy, and Winnie Cihlar; great- granddaughters: Iris, Jordan, and Hailey Kramer.  He is further survived by sisters, Elizabeth (John) Asher and Suzanne (Charles) Wagner; special friends, Dick and Sue Boes and Merilee Doerr, as well as many nieces and nephews.


Karl was very proud of his achievements in scouting culminating in becoming an Eagle Scout.  After graduation from St. Norbert College, he joined his father, Bernard "Pat" May, and uncle, Leon May, at May Realty.  He was a proud member of the National Association of Realtors and the Door County Board of Realtors for more than 50 years and was most proud of the Gayle E. Zahn Distinguished Service Award.  He was also a real estate appraiser.  For more than 25 years, Karl was a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals. He joined the tax preparation business of his father and uncle, Leon May, and continued participation until his death.  When asked what he was most proud of in his business life, he said the growth of May Tax Service.


Community involvement was also very important to Karl and he was a member of the hospital board for many years.  Karl was also very active in Rotary as President, Board member, and Youth Exchange Officer for many years, hosting 13 exchange students.  He was recognized several times as a Paul Harris Fellow, an achievement he was most proud of.  The Raibrook Foundation was very dear to his heart.  He served that organization as its treasurer and as a board member until the time of his death.


His parents, Bernard and Dorothy May; two sons, David and Patrick May; and brothers-in-law, Thomas Fleig and Arnold Heiskala preceded Karl in death.


Visitation will be Thursday, September 14, from 2 to 7:00 pm at Forbes Funeral Home.  The funeral service will be at St. Joseph's Catholic Church at 11:00 am with visitation starting at 10:00 am.  In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established.


The family sends special thanks to Unity Hospice for outstanding care of Karl during his battle with cancer, with special gratitude to Gwen and Angie.

Teacher shortage sweeping over Door and Kewaunee County

By Baxter Colburn

Enrollment in teacher licensing programs in Wisconsin has dropped 30% since 2010, causing massive shortages statewide in qualified teachers. An estimated 20% of all students studying to become teachers never finish the program and switch to a different career. Luxemburg-Casco Superintendent Glenn Schlender says ACT 10 legislation has played a massive impact on the recent shortage not only locally, but on a state-level as well.


Wisconsin isn't the only state dealing with a shortage of education-based jobs. Neighboring states like Indiana have seen a 60% drop in enrollment, while Iowa has seen only a 23% decrease in interest. The reality is that many teachers feel underpaid, shown no respect and want to be in a career where they feel fulfilled and appreciated for their efforts according to Schlender.


Solutions available for those affected by Equifax Data breach

By Baxter Colburn

Gay Pustaver has advice that can help assure your identity is not compromised as a result of the recent Equifax hacking. With an estimated half of the American population at potential risk, questions about how to protect your account and credit cards are at an all time high, according to Gay Pustaver of Money Management Counselors. She says there is a quick and easy way to find out if your information has been compromised.


Pustaver advises everyone to keep a close eye on your credit card statements. Any risky or unusual activity must be reported immediately to prevent long-term damage to your credit. More information regarding where to check your credit safety can be found by HERE

New manure spreading rules to be discussed at Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee meeting

By Tim Kowols

The Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee will once again weigh in on issues aimed at manure handling in the area. According to one draft ordinance, haulers would be subject to certification and be required to install monitoring devices to make sure the manure is being safely and correctly spread in the right areas. Land and Water Conservation Committee Chairperson John Pagel says about 80 percent of the manure going onto fields are already going through this process.



The committee, which meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday inside the 4-H Room in Luxemburg, will also discuss updates regarding the East Twin River resolution and potential Kewaunee County digester project. Resolutions supporting the NR-151 rules outlining new manure spreading limits for areas with karst geology and Total Maximum Daily Load studies will also be up for a vote.

Sturgeon Bay honors 9/11 victims with tribute service

By Baxter Colburn

Monday marked the 16th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, in New York City. Veterans, police and fire workers and members of the community gathered at the Sturgeon Bay city hall Monday morning to pay tribute to those fallen and left behind. After brief words from Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief Tim Dietman and Pastor Matthew Knapp, a 16-gun salute rang out as a final farewell to the fallen men and women. Members of the community filled the front courtyard of city hall to pay their respects, something chief Dietman expressed great appreciation towards.


The events of 9/11 left eternal impacts on the lives of all Americans, including former war veterans. Roger Blasier served during the Korean War and believes that no amount of time is adequate enough to fully heal from the attacks.


Those affected by the September 11 attacks will always be remembered and honored.


Sturgeon Bay council member looks to progressive developments

By Cynthia Germain

Sturgeon Bay City Council member Kelly Catarozoli is one of many change agents in Door County, having taken action on various issues in her district and looks to improve the community.  She was pleased to have the issue of allowing dogs in the parks passed recently after much work over the last two years.  Catarozoli now looks to assist in the dialogue between the local government and the city's residents and wants to create transparency through good communication.



Catarozoli also wants to see a more progressive community in Sturgeon Bay.  One issue she will be pursuing will be the development of multi-modal transportation opportunities and paths to get people out of their cars.  She considers inclusiveness of different ideas very important in bringing this and other improvements to fruition.  Catarozoli believes that the new diversity in the city council meets this end.



Monarch butterflies are tagged in Sturgeon Bay to track their journey to Mexico

By Cynthia Germain

Karen Newbern, an expert Naturalist, and employee of Door Landscape and Nursery, was special guest speaker at the Crossroads at Big Creek on Sunday afternoon, introducing the tagging of monarch butterflies to the community.  Newbern spoke on the monarch's life cycle, the issues that they face as their population declines and their migration to Mexico.   Krista Schley was in attendance with her two children who have worked with monarch butterflies this summer.



After the presentation, Newbern was pleased to then share the activity of tagging of monarchs with the participants of the program.  They captured the butterflies and then placed tiny adhesive tags on their wings.  The monarch butterflies are then recovered somewhere in their travels, and scientists can then track where they came from and learn more about the migration of these butterfly species.  

Women's league bowling has changed but the fun has not

By Cynthia Germain

The participation in women's league bowling has declined in recent years, and Door County is no exception to this social phenomenon.  There are two inputs into league play which have changed since women's league bowling was nationally organized in the early 1900's.  Certainly, much has changed for women and their roles in society over time.  In addition, smaller bowling houses struggling with supporting league play that requires additional human resources.  Monica Ramirez, a 35-year league bowler, acknowledges that women's role in the workforce is a factor and believes that a way to renew the sport is to promote the fun of bowling.



Angela Nelson, owner of Algoma Pizza Bowl, finds open bowling more popular in her house as families enjoy the food and bowling together.   She also supports the local high school basketball teams as they come to bowl as a activity.  Nelson knows that she would need extra help to operate league bowling as promoting the league's availability and keeping the bowlers happy is vital to a successful league offering.  


For those who find bowling fun, joining a league has an added benefit of making friends and enjoying the camaraderie that comes with a regular sports activity.

Gov. Walker confident in state budget as it moves to Assembly this week

By Paul Schmitt

Wisconsin legislatures are moving closer to approving the two-year state budget.  Joint Finance Committee passed a proposed budget last Wednesday.  GOP Lawmakers dropped several of Governor Scott Walker's broad tax cut proposals, by instead focusing on tax cuts for businesses and narrow groups, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  Governor Walker, earlier this week commented on the budget process and how K-12 education is a key component of it.



Gov. Walker was at the Southern Door schools on Tuesday to tour the fabrication laboratory, known as fab lab, built for this school year thanks in part to a $25,000 state grant.  The proposed $76 Million state budget will go to the assembly this week before potentially being passed by the Senate as soon as later this week.

Local judge endorses Rebecca Dallett for State Supreme Court

By Cynthia Germain

Judge Todd Ehlers of the Circuit Court of Door County has endorsed Rebecca Dallett for Wisconsin Supreme Court.  Ehlers worked with Dallett for over 7 years on a state justice committee which sets down criminal jury instructions used by all criminal courts conducting jury trials in Wisconsin.  Now that Dallett has declared her candidacy, Ehlers has taken note and strongly agrees with Dallet's campaign tenant that judges should be non-partisan.



Although it is not a requirement to have been a trial court judge in order to sit on the state Supreme Court, Ehlers believes this experience is important.  According to Ehlers, Dallett has this background so knows well what is happening in the courts.



There are two other announced candidates in the race, Madison attorney Tim Burns and Sauk County Circuit Judge Michael Screnock, and if all three run, a primary will be held in February before the April 3, 2018 election.

Moisture levels to be checked during Kewaunee and Door Counties Annual Corn Dry Down

By Aerica Bjurstrom, Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agriculture Educator

It's nearly corn silage harvest season and that means Kewaunee and Door County UW-Extension will be holding the annual Corn Dry Down on Thursday, September 14 at Rio Creek Feed Mill in Luxemburg, and Thursday, September 21 at the Door County Co-op in Sturgeon Bay.


Dairyland Laboratories, Inc. will be on hand to test corn moisture on September 14. Drop off your samples and wait for results, or you can opt to receive your results via email or by phone. The September 21 date in Sturgeon Bay is a sample drop off day only.  Those samples will be delivered to Dairyland Labs, and results will be available the following day.


For testing, please bring 4-5 stalks of corn with you, bundled and tagged. Please include the variety, relative maturity, and planting date of each sample. Fields are very uneven this year and stalks submitted should represent the entire field. Samples delivered the day before will not be tested.


Each farm can submit two samples at no charge. Any additional samples will be charged $12 per sample. Nitrate analysis will also be available for a charge of $9. Payment for additional samples and nitrate testing is due upon sample delivery.


For more information regarding the corn dry down testing, contact the Kewaunee County UW-Extension Office at 920-388-7138 or the Door County UW-Extension Office at 920?746?2263. More information can be found at

Hill climb revs up car enthusiasts in Ephraim

By Tim Kowols

Ephraim was the setting for classic cars on Saturday as dozens participated in the hill climb event. Sent out one at a time, the cars tackled the hilly course while letting owners take their vehicles for one last spin before the weather turns. Gary White drove his replica 1925 Mercedes SSK from Fremont, Ind. to Ephraim as one of the 30 car events he does every year. A first timer to the Ephraim Hill Climb, White liked the laid back atmosphere of the event and taking his car out on the course.


Bela Ballo from Green Bay was driving through Door County for his birthday with his wife Frances in their 1965 Mercedes when he saw the collection of classic cars near Highway 42. Ballo scored his spot in the exclusive event by luck of a cancellation.



In its third year, the event concludes Sunday with cars parked along Eagle Harbor as a part of the Concours d' Elegance.

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New software module hopes to "Inspire" students to pursue local careers

By Tim Kowols

The Door County Economic Development Corporation hopes to connect more students with local businesses in its second year. The software module called Inspire allows high school students to connect directly with local businesses after they have gone through the Career Cruisin' program to learn about different careers. After Governor Scott Walker instituted academic and career planning mandates, DCEDC Executive Director Caleb Frostman hopes the program grows even more this school year.


Southern Door became a pilot school for the Inspire module last year, something Frostman hope also expands in the coming year to the other Door County high schools.

Prevent Suicide Door County raises awareness through Monday walk

By Tim Kowols

Prevent Suicide Door County-Nathan Wilson Coalition is inviting the community to walk with them to spread awareness and connection during National Suicide Week.  Organized by Cheryl Wilson and her family, the walk represents the support they hope to provide to those who have contemplated suicide in the years after the sudden death of her son. Wilson says the walk shows those people they are not alone.



About 42,000 people die every year from suicide, a fact Wilson says should not be ignored. The walk takes place on Monday beginning at 5 p.m at Martin Park in Sturgeon Bay. You can find more information on the event online with this story.

Kewaunee County jail study continues as state holds off on prison relocation

By Tim Kowols

Regardless of when or where it gets built, the future of potential state prison in Kewaunee County will not affect the county's plans to build its own jail facility. According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the Joint Finance Committee did not include a proposal to close the Green Bay Correctional Institution in favor of a newer facility in the state budget. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says the uncertain future of the state prison in the area has had no effect on their study of what they would like to include in their facility and how to change their approach to incarceration.



Joski says the timeline for the new county jail will be based on the feelings of the community, the pace the Kewaunee County Board would like to move forward, and the amount of money willing to be committed to the project. Assembly member David Steffen (R-Howard) has introduced a standalone bill in hopes to still close the GBCI and open a privately owned but publicly run state prison.

Northern Door communities, Door County Economic Development Corporation look into workforce housing issue

By Tim Kowols

Northern Door County communities are continuing to struggle with the idea of developing workforce housing in the area. In recent weeks, Donn Dresselhuys has pitched several communities with the idea of building a series of two-bedroom houses to be managed for the sole purpose of workforce housing. Last year, the village of Egg Harbor was discussing building a dormitory-style building, but talks on that project broke down. Egg Harbor Village Administrator Ryan Heise says he knows many northern Door communities are struggling with workforce housing to keep pace with its growth, which is why neighboring municipalities and the Door County Economic Development Corporation are looking into its feasibility.



Further dampening the plans for developing workforce housing are recent developments from the Trump Administration, which could eliminate or severely reduce the J-1 Student Visa program which has contributed close to 400 employees to the area this year.

Rep. Kitchens clarifies his statements on ordinary high water mark legislation

By Rep. Joel Kitchens

While I normally make it my policy not to respond to letters to the editor, I feel it is necessary to clarify my position regarding the Sturgeon Bay waterfront, which Nancy Aten has intentionally misstated.  I have consistently stated throughout this controversy that I would not introduce legislation to set the Ordinary High Water Mark for this property.  The dispute has gone to court, as is appropriate, and the judge ruled that the experts at the DNR should set the OHWM.  Once the DNR has announced their decision, it is my intention to introduce legislation to reaffirm it, saying that the legislature recognizes their determination as the OHWM.  I am announcing my intentions before we know what their determination might be, so that I cannot be accused of taking sides in the dispute.  I am doing this out of concern that one side or the other will appeal the decision and this could drag on for years.  I do not believe that a continued court battle is in the best interest of the citizens and taxpayers of Sturgeon Bay.


Ms. Aten states that the determination should be made by "knowledgeable natural resources professionals" and I could not agree more.  Despite her statements, determining an OHWM on filled land is not a simple matter.  If it were, the DNR would not have taken these many months to make it.  The intent of any legislation I might introduce is to support and reaffirm the decision of these professionals.


To her second point, I did not sit on the board of the Wisconsin Coastal Management Council in 2011-2013 when grants were issued to the city of Sturgeon Bay, but the grants were entirely appropriate regardless of the OHWM determination.  These grants were consistent with the public trust and served to provide public access to the waterfront.


The Public Trust Doctrine is a vital part of our constitution and must be protected.  The framers of the constitution were intent on protecting navigation, however, and clearly did not envision the circumstances we face today, particularly in dealing with historically filled lakebeds.  My goal is to support the DNR professionals in their determination and put an end to the politicizing of this issue.  I love Sturgeon Bay and it is painful to watch the division and bitterness that has arisen.  Our city is not defined by this one little parcel of land.  It is time for a decision is to be made and for the healing process to begin.

Culver's of Sturgeon Bay helping victims of Hurricane Harvey with promotion next Tuesday

By Paul Schmitt

The Culver's in Sturgeon Bay, along with the other 620 franchise chain restaurants in the United States, is raising funds to help support relief efforts in Texas from the devastation left behind from Hurricane Harvey.   Co-owner of the Culver's restaurant in Sturgeon Bay Austin Hildebrand explains the plan for this coming Tuesday.



The total monies raised on Tuesday for the United Way of Greater Houston to help people affected by Hurricane Harvey will be announced on Wednesday morning at 10:30 with a check presentation, according to Hildebrand.  Culver's restaurants are located predominately in the Midwest with the first opening in 1984 in Sauk City, Wisconsin.

Credit Card skimmers met head on by area gas stations

By Baxter Colburn

Gas stations in Door and Kewaunee county are fighting back against credit card skimmers. Two reported cases of active skimming machines were found in Kewaunee County at undisclosed gas stations last Thursday according to the Kewaunee County Sheriff Department. Local gas station owners are jumping at the opportunity to implement a new and effective system to prevent future skimmer machines. Jandu Petroleum owner Parv Jandu says his stations were unscathed by the recent skimming incident, giving him reason to take action for the future.

Preventative seals will be applied to all seven gas stations owned by Jandu, covering over 50 pumps in Door and Kewaunee County. The Sheriff's Department advises all consumers to pay inside at the service counter until all gas stations in the county are properly evaluated for credit card skimming devices.

Public hearings next week carry implications for manure handling, water quality

By Tim Kowols

Two public hearing scheduled for next week could have implications for manure handling and water quality in the region. At UW-Green Bay next Friday at 1 p.m., the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is hosting their hearing on possible changes to manure spreading rules in areas like Door and Kewaunee County that have karst topography. Kewaunee County Board member Lee Luft says he hopes the recommendations he helped make as a member of the DNR-Kewaunee County Groundwater Collaboration Workgroups are taken seriously.



Earlier in the day in Madison, Wisconsin's Public Service Commission will discuss the multi-million dollar manure digester project introduced in Kewaunee County over a year. Luft says he and other Kewaunee County board members have been frustrated with the process.



Both topics appear on the agenda for the Kewaunee County Land and Water Committee meeting slated to take place on Tuesday.

Sevastopol rallies around Peot in time of need

By Tim Kowols

Back in June, Sevastopol farmer Pete Peot found himself in an unfamiliar position: in need of help. Peot sustained major injuries after a farm accident, forcing him to spend a week in a hospital and to stare down a long road of recovery. In the time since, community members have volunteered to help Peot anyway possible, just like he had for them several times before. Close to 30 people have helped him milk cows and harvest fields and while another group of volunteers has organized a benefit for him this Saturday. He admits it could happen in any community, but Peot says he is thankful for those calling Sevastopol home.



The casts are off, but Peot says he begins the rehabilitation process in the coming days. The Sevastopol community will host the benefit at the town park and pavilion from 1 to 7 p.m. You can learn more about the event online with this story.

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Door County Habitat for Humanity builds communties with affordable housing

By Tim Kowols

Door County Habitat for Humanity is hopeful it is doing its part to help families find affordable housing in the area. Multi-family housing developments planned for Sturgeon Bay expect to help alleviate the stress of a rental vacancy rate of around three percent. However, many of those new units still may be too expensive for low to middle-class residents. Door County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director David Van Dyke says the organization is helping improve the affordable housing stock, but there is pressure if those homes ever go back onto the market.



Door County Habitat for Humanity sells the home they help build to the partner family and becomes the lender for the property. Of the 27 mortgages the organization currently services, Van Dyke says only a couple partner families fall behind on paying them back.

A Friend of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront Questions Comments by Kitchens

By Nancy Aten

At the recent public hearing in Sturgeon Bay, abundant facts and evidence were shared to assist DNR staff in determining an Ordinary High Water Mark on the westside waterfront. It is our hope that the result will honor public rights to public land. Such an outcome is what the Friends of Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront have been working for: respect for the process and the Public Trust Doctrine.


The Public Trust Doctrine protects our water and our shorelines. Filled lakebeds are common in urban areas where past maritime uses are being converted to new uses – and public rights to trust land need to be defended. There is an established legal process that municipalities or other property owners can and should follow to determine private versus public land. The City of Sturgeon Bay could have saved time and taxpayer money by doing so here. The Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront held the City accountable to the process, and we hope that it will result in an Ordinary High Water Mark determination that respects the Public Trust Doctrine.


Properly administered, the Public Trust Doctrine is fair. It helps communities achieve lasting and significant economic development returns. When filled lakebed parcels (for example, docks that were built when shipping and rail were crucial transport, or for commercial fishing) convert from past maritime uses, then protecting these "made lands" as the public asset they are broadens the economic opportunity in all surrounding lands. The Public Trust Doctrine is a smart economic development tool that benefits everyone, not just a few.


We also hope that the state legislature embraces its charge to uphold the Public Trust Doctrine. Rep. Kitchens said recently, "Other communities should not have to go through this in the future." This may be his justification for legislation to set the Ordinary High Water Mark along the west waterfront. Remember though, that the City of Sturgeon Bay set out to circumvent the Public Trust Doctrine, asking for political favors, ignoring its obligation as a public servant and creating many of its own preventable problems. Legislation is a solution in search of a problem that doesn't exist with the constitutionally-mandated Public Trust Doctrine. There is an established legal process for DNR to determine the Ordinary High Water Mark, and that is what DNR is doing.


Rep. Kitchens also said that, "The issue is complicated. The basic problem is that there is no definition of OHWM on these filled lands." He also recently quoted someone from the DNR, perhaps not a scientist, saying that "this is an impossible task." These assertions are not true. In the face of the wealth of historical evidence from pre-settlement onward, including detailed maps, taking the position that 'we just don't know' or 'we just can't go back in time and determine the facts' is disingenuous.


Determining an OHWM is not complicated or difficult. Finding a perfect OHWM on altered property may be complicated and difficult, but finding a reasonably approximate OHWM is quite straightforward. Determining the OHWM approximately (within tens of feet) on filled lakebed can be done using readily available online resources.


Michael Cain, who served as DNR's primary attorney in the area of water regulation until his retirement in 2008 (and thereafter was periodically called on by the state to review documents in order to assure continuity in the administration of these laws), provided written testimony, read at the recent hearing. He explained that the DNR performed OHWM determinations in filled lakebed situations in approximately three to ten cases each year, when such boundaries were in dispute. Mr. Cain spelled out the practice and procedure for doing such determinations (three to ten of them each year). He explained that the DNR "sought to identify the natural and historic shoreline of the affected lake or stream at the time of statehood. This process was conducted through a review of cartographic, documentary and physical evidence of the natural and historic shoreline." He spells out numerous historical resources, "routinely sought and collected" by agency staff in this process. Mr. Cain also says soil borings, where available or required to be obtained, would be analyzed by specialists, "in order to determine the boundary of the natural and historic shoreline and to determine whether filled areas located waterward from that boundary resulted from accretion or as a result of legal or illegal filling." Soil borings throughout the west waterfront showing artificial fill have been available within DNR and from the City; these were summarized by another expert at the hearing yesterday. Far from being 'impossible,' this was a regular task performed through an established procedure on multiple sites each year by DNR.


My advice for Rep. Kitchens is two-fold. First, recommend that the DNR review and, as needed, improve documentation of straightforward, science-based guidance in order to increase the consistency, efficiency, and fact-based OHWM determination process. There is good reason to let the system work as it has for over 100 years. We need knowledgeable natural resource professionals – not legislators – to create science-based guidance, and use that guidance to determine OHWM by applying local facts to the local site-specific shoreline. The system does not need fixing. It just needs clarification, good communication and continuity.


Second, as Rep. Kitchens serves on the board of the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program, before the WCMP gives grants for coastal management work, have them ensure that every municipal grant recipient understands the Public Trust Doctrine and obtains an OHWM determination through a standard, transparent process with DNR. I wish WCMP had followed this procedure for the grants it issued to Sturgeon Bay, circa 2011-2013.


The Public Trust Doctrine benefits everyone in Wisconsin. When our state was founded, the United States government required only two things: that any new states created in the Northwest Territory must have the same rights as other states, and that navigable waterways be forever free to the public – i.e., the Public Trust Doctrine. Upholding that public right is our shared bond.


Nancy Aten

Citizen and member, Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront

Northern Door Children's Center to help community train babysitters

By Tim Kowols

Northern Door Children's Center in Sister Bay hopes to extend its goal of providing excellent child care through its babysitting course next Saturday. The course is designed to help young people ages 12 and up learn the basics of caring for children, how to handle an emergency, and how to start their babysitting businesses. Karen Corekin from the Northern Door Children's Center says it is a course they provide to help families trying to thrive in service industry heavy northern Door County.



Space is limited and pre-registration is required for the $25 course. For more information on the course and to register, you can contact the Northern Door Children's Center.



Women's Fund of Door County holding an "ARTrageous Benefit" featuring local artisans

By Paul Schmitt

Original and unique Door County artwork will be up for sale for under $100 later this month with proceeds benefiting one of the area's most dynamic organizations.  The Women's Fund of Door County will be presenting "An Artrageous Benefit" that is to be held on September 23 in Sister Bay.  Founding Board Member B.J. Cassidy says the event is free to attend and the artwork will be affordable to purchase.



Cassidy adds that music and refreshments will be provided.  The Artrageous Benefit will be held at Rehberger's Hidden Acres Farm on Beach Road in Sister Bay starting at 2 p.m. for an art preview with the art sale beginning at 3 p.m on Saturday, September 23.  You can find more information on the Women's Fund of Door County with this link online.

Credit card skimming devices found at Kewaunee County gas station

By Tim Kowols

The Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department is asking drivers to pay for their gasoline at the service counter and for owners to open up their fuel pumps after two credit card skimming devices were found in the area. Shortly after noon Thursday, an unidentified Kewaunee County gas station contacted the Sheriff's Department about the devices after a routine check of the pumps. The gas station owners suggested the devices were most likely installed earlier that morning. Sheriff Matt Joski says it is not important where these devices were found, but rather how many more are still undiscovered.



The Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department has contacted all gas station owners in the area and the Door County Sheriff's Department to keep a look out for other possible cases of skimming devices. Joski says drivers should check their credit and debit card receipts for fraudulent activity.

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Civil Discourse: Please. Raise My Taxes...and Keep Doing It

By Roger Utnehmer

Civil Discourse is an occasional attempt to restore civility to our civic discourse by President and CEO Roger Utnehmer

Here's a message for Governor Scott Walker and members of the Wisconsin State Legislature.

Raise my taxes...and keep doing it every time the consumer price index goes up.

Well, just the gas tax.

Wisconsin faces a more than $1 billion transportation budget deficit.  Roads and bridges throughout our state have outlived their design life.  Construction projects are delayed and maintenance deferred.  The public demands safe roads. Politicians love new highway construction as a reward for "bringing home the pork."

The reality that 99.9% of the tourists who visit Door County get here on a highway means raising the state gas tax is important for our economy.  The need to better fund transportation is irrefutable.  More energy-efficient vehicles compounded by growth of hybrid and electric cars mean even less gas tax revenue in the future, exacerbating budget problems that are getting worse every year.

A gas tax increase is the fairest way to pay future bills.  The more you drive, the more you pay.  And rather than increase registration fees for residents, a gas tax increase will capture tourist dollars from those who do not register vehicles in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin's gas tax was indexed to inflation from 1985 to 2005.  The decision to end matching gas tax automatic annual increases to inflation got the transportation budget in the poor condition it is today.  The result is that twenty-cents out of every dollar in transportation costs now pays interest on the debt incurred to make up for lost gas tax revenue and meet public demand for construction and maintenance.

Like a minimum wage pegged to the consumer price index, matching gas tax increases to inflation will mean an annual meager increase rather than an inevitable much larger one to solve the billion dollar deficit problem.  Republican legislators who control Wisconsin government need to determine if they are "tax and borrow" legislators or "tax and spend" legislators who stop borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars a year for transportation.

Wisconsin's gas tax, stuck at 30.9 cents a gallon since 2006, is above the national average but well below Pennsylvania's 58.2 cents a gallon and well above Alaska's 12.25 cents per gallon.  There is room to raise the gas tax and index it to inflation without inflicting unreasonable economic hardship.  It is a much better alternative to bonding and borrowing.

Do not blame your mayor, city council representative or county board supervisor for the poor conditions of streets, roads and highways.

The fault lies squarely on the "no tax increase" legislators who are borrowing us into future generations of debt.  It's time to end the freeze on automatic gas tax increases pegged to inflation and time for those who use Wisconsin roads to pay just a little more for every mile they drive.

That's my opinion.  I'd like to hear yours.

Peninsula Singers ready for new choral season excitement

By Baxter Colburn

The fall and winter choral seasons are nearly upon us. Entering their 38th year of operation, the Peninsula Singers look to begin their new season starting Monday, September 25th. While there are no tryouts for the group, artistic director Merle Colburn says singers of all levels are welcome to join.



Colburn and The Peninsula Singers kick off their fall concert series on December 9 at the Sturgeon Bay United Methodist Church. A second concert will take place the following day at the Door Community Auditorium in Fish Creek. More information about the concerts and how you can get involved with the group can be found on the group's website

Kewaunee County Food Pantry serving community with food and furniture

By Baxter Colburn

The Kewaunee County Food Pantry serves the community with food and furniture. While most food pantries provide basic food and health necessities, the people at the Kewaunee County Food Pantry also serve the community through their variety of furniture options. Pantry president Ken Marquardt encourages those giving food donations to also consider giving furniture due to the year-round appeal.


The pantry works closely with local businesses to gather donations for families and individuals in need, especially with winter approaching. The U.S. Postal Service also runs an annual donation event that has provided thousands of food and health care products to families throughout Kewaunee County thanks to generous donations to the pantry.


More information about how you can donate to or volunteer at the Kewaunee County Food Pantry can be found on their Facebook page or on their website. or website


Door County Coast Guard pleased by safe Labor Day waters

By Baxter Colburn

The U.S. Coast Guard is pleased with an incident free Labor Day weekend. After recent issues with water safety and lack of life vests being utilized, recent reports indicate many buckled down and took a safer approach to their holiday water enjoyment. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Wahkene Kitchenmaster voiced tremendous praise for those on the water over the weekend.



Boating season is coming to a close following the Labor Day weekend as many tourists begin their journey home according to Kitchenmaster. While fishermen prepare for walleye and salmon spawning season, the U.S. Coast Guard continues their duty of keeping travelers on the Door County waterways safe.  

Emerald Ash Borer continues destruction of Door County ash trees

By Baxter Colburn

The Emerald Ash Borer is spreading rapidly across Door County. Incidents involving the EAB have been reported from Southern Door all the way to Gills Rock according to Todd Burke of Daves Tree Services. At this time, there is no official cure for the EAB and it shows no signs of going away according to Burke.


The EAB is a small bug transported from Asia on shipping cargo and from imported nursery trees from various states. Ash trees, especially those in the 30-60 foot range, are the primary target, and Burke says it takes no favorites when it comes to dealing devastating damage to local foliage.


As we enter the second week of September, Burke says any treatment options for infected trees are too late for salvation if not previously cared for prior to this month. One easy way to detect a possible EAB outbreak on your ash tree is if you see bark falling off due to woodpeckers drilling on the soften wood.


Sturgeon Bay Waterfront Development Now In Hands of DNR

By Roger Utnehmer

After three and a half hours of passionate, articulate testimony from both sides, the Sturgeon Bay's west side waterfront development now appears to be in the hands of the Department of Natural Resources.


When Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront challenged the development of a controversial hotel on land they claim to be filled lake bed and not suitable for private projects they took the City of Sturgeon Bay to court and won.  The judge, in that case, delegated the determination of boundaries for public and private use to be determined by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.


Developer Robert Papke proposed a new hotel on Sturgeon Bay's west side waterfront but has since backed out and filed a legal action against the city, claiming he was misled.


The Wednesday DNR hearing was held to help DNR staff determine where the line between public and private development, the ordinary high water mark, should be designated.  Private development, like hotels, can take place outside of that line and inside property must be held in trust for the general public.


The testimony Wednesday focused on many presenters who are part of the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront, the group challenging city development plans, citing maps, photographs and newspaper articles supporting their contention the land in question was former lake bed, filled by property owners, and not legally available for private development.


The other side, represented primarily by city officials and the chair of the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority, argued the DNR needs to bring certainty to ordinary high water mark determinations in order to protect landowners and spur development. will report in greater detail the comments given at Wednesday's hearing in a series of stories and will provide each side with an opportunity to share their positions.


Three members of the Sturgeon Bay Waterfront Redevelopment Authority attended Wednesday's public hearing included chair Thomas Herlache, Laurel Hauser, and David Ward.  Only four of seven Sturgeon Bay City Council members attended; Laurel Hauser, Barbara Allman, Kelly Catarozoli and David Ward.


Mayor Thad Birmingham attended briefly but left after approximately 45 minutes of testimony.


Dairy farmer group fights back against "fear-based" labeling

By Tim Kowols

The National Milk Producers Federation are calling for a change to how certain foods are labeled. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the group is charging national food manufacturers with "fear-based" labeling when it comes to products involving genetically modified organisms, animal growth hormones, and high fructose corn syrup through its "Peel Back the Label" campaign. Kewaunee County farmer and Ag Advisory Board member John Pagel says many operators use GMOs for the crops used to feed their animals. He believes it is safer than the alternative.


Pagel says growth hormones and GMOs are common questions on tours of his farm and thinks more should be done to help educate people on the products. GMO opponents say such products are responsible for the emergence of "superweeds" and "superbugs" and help plants become herbicide-resistant.

Kelly Tassoul, Brussels Lions Club supporting growing community

By Baxter Colburn

The Lions Club of Brussels looks towards the future with new president Kelly Tassoul. Heading into her 29th year associated with the Brussels Lions Club, Tassoul is the first female president in club history. Tassoul explains how her new position came to be.


When it comes to fundraising, Tassoul credits Belgian Days as the club's only form to raising money to support local community needs.


To find out more information on how you can get involved with the Brussels Lions Club and Belgian Days, visit their Facebook page at

LIVE UPDATES: Ordinary High Water Mark hearing underway in Sturgeon Bay

By Roger Utnehmer

After approximately 90 minutes of testimony, Sturgeon Bay Community Development Director Marty Olejniczak cited the goals of west side waterfront develpoment, emphasizing elimination of blight and economic benefits to the city and adjoining property owners.

He said positive development is on hold because of the lawsuit filed by Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront, stating the litigation is doing damage to the city.

According to Olejniczak, the hotel project was approved by the city plan commission, Waterfront Redevelopment Authority and city council.  Yet, he said, the Friends lawsuit jeopardized efforts to revitalize the property and is negatively impacting the citizens of Sturgeon Bay.  He said any rights under the public trust doctrine have long lapsed.

He asked the Department of Natural Resources to determine that all of parcel 92 be considered to be located above the ordinary high water mark and be available for development.

City Attorney Randy Nesbitt presented information showing the history of title to the property as far back as 1953.  He claimed a circuit court decision then determined this property in question privately owned by Stanley and Lucille Brandeis, who subsequently sold it to the Door County Cooperative.

An expert attorney hired by the city, John Green, testified that a determination may have immense repurcussions around the entire State of Wisconsin for owners of filled lakeed.  He argued that because the city was not party to filling the property in question it should not be prohibited from development on the lakebed.

City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout argued that the DNR adopt an ordinary high water mark based on the 1954 shoreline.  He said development will enhance public access to water and recreational activities.

Thomas Herlache, chair of the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority, said not using the 1955 shoreline designation as the ordinary high water mark would open Pandora's box.  There are many properties in Sturgeon Bay, he said, that could be challenged if the DNR does not stand behind the 1954 shoreline maps.

Former City Plan Commission member Laurel Brooks blamed the current city administration for ignoring the will of the people and forcing a different development than originally presented.  She claimed far too many decisions are made in closed meetings.  Land in original plans dedicated to be public places, she claimed, changed into facilities for private profit.  She said the current city administration has a willful disregard for the will of the people and stonewalled a settlement agreement.

Sturgeon Bay Council Member Barbara Allman, who represents the west side waterfront, argued for adoption of a settlement agreement between the city and Friends group.  That agreement, rejected by the WRA, would provide opportunity for a hotel and other waterfront development while protecting areas under the public trust doctrine as well.

Sturgeon Bay City Council member Kelly Catarzoli called on the DNR to make a decison using history and science, not politics.  She claimed a significant amount of information was kept from council members by city officials.  She said the city officials purposefully avoided asking the DNR for an ordinairy high water mark determination and moved forward with private development plans when the location of the proposed hotel was already under question. She quoted emails between City Community Development Director Marty Olejniczak and the DNR  she claims indicate the city knew the land in question was not appropriate for development but the city went ahead anyway.  Catarozoli also said the current administation prevented a council vote on formally asking the DNR for an OHWM determination, something she says could have avoided controversy and litigation.  Catarozoli concluded her testimony by asking the DNR do not reward our city for making risky decisions and that science and law matter, not politics.


5:08 p.m.
The chair of the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront, Dan Collins, has concluded testimony in which he cited significant maritime work going on in Sturgeon Bay in 1942.  Collins, a licensed engineer, provided evidence indicating six to eight feet of water surrounding the Teweles and Brandeis granary between 1942 and 1955.

Collins was followed by fellow-plaintiff in the Friends lawsuit, Carri Anderssson.  She also shared photos and maps supporting a determination of an ordinary high water mark similar to that affirmed by the judge in the case won initially in circuit court by the Friends group.

A professional geologist is now testifying.  Lori Huntoon just stated she will provide evidence the entire area in question is filled.  She is providing evidence from soil borings that support the position the land in question is filled, not natural accretion.


4:40 p.m.

Shawn Fairchild is testifying now, citing more than 50 newspaper articles dating back to the 1800's that make references to the west side waterfront being artificially filled.  He shared photographs taken of recent excavation showing cinder blocks and other fill, including beer bottles from the early to mid 1950's.

4:26 p.m.

Christie Weber is now testifying.  She introduced herself as the President of the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society.  She is also a plaintiff in the litigation filed by Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront.  Weber is sharing a series of photographs from newspapers and a 1930 Sturgeon Bay High School year book.  The pictures indicate water surrounded the Teweles and Brandeis dock with the water of Sturgeon Bay.  By proving the site of proposed development is reclaimed lakebed, private development is prohibited under the Public Trust doctrine of the Wisconsin constitution.  Reclaimed waters, according to the constitution, must be retained for the use of the general public.

4:09 p.m.
Nancy Aten, a member of the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront, plaintiff in the lawsuit against the city over waterfront development, is citing newspaper articles reporting that owners of the Tewels and Brandeis granary are filling up to 50' around the granary in order to install rail lines to the facility.  She also cites maps and newspaper articles making clear that what is now the intersection of Maple and Neenah Streets were underwater in the late 1800's and early 1900's.

Aten is also providing information that when the property was owned by Door County Co op additional fill was deposited in the immediate area of the granary.

3:55 p.m.
The fourth person is now testifying about the determination of the ordinary high water marks on Sturgeon Bay's west side.

With apologies for possible spelling errors, the four to testify so far include Mary Ann Ewig, Claire Morkin, Laurel Hauser and Kathleen Finnerty.  The testimony is focusing on maps and real estate plats that those testifying support the determination of shoreline and ordinary mark in a position that would preclude private development on city lot 92, current location of the granary building.

Dan Helsel predicted that the first 90 minutes would be used for comments from those who support an OHWM that would limit or preclude development on lot 92 with testimony from the city and other interested citizens to follow.  The hearing is set to adjourn no later than 7pm.

3:47 p.m.
Thomas Herlache, chair of the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority and Sturgeon Bay Mayor Thad Birmingham along with city council members David Ward, Kelly Catarozoli and Laurel Hauser are attending the hearing.  City Attorney Randy Nesbitt and City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout are also attending.

3:19 p.m.

The Department of Natural Resources hearing to determine the ordinary high water mark on Sturgeon Bay's west side waterfront got underway at 3pm in the Door County Library.

The explanation of the process was provided by Dan Helsel of the DNR.

The audio of his opening comment is posted.

More reports will be added to this story as the hearing progresses.

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Sturgeon Bay native lauded as national hero for Hurricane relief

By Baxter Colburn

A Sturgeon Bay native is being lauded as a national hero following the disastrous events of Hurricane Harvey. Marc Moore of the U.S. Coast Guard was deployed with crews from the Great Lakes District 9 headquarters down to Houston. Working in command and control Moore played a vital role in the rescue of over 5,900 victims during his time in Texas. With such devastation and ruin around him, Moore says it is often hard for outsiders to understand what people in Houston went through.





After three days in Houston, Moore transferred to Port Arthur, TX where he made individual rescues by boat around the city. He recalls one rescue that particularly stood out from the rest involving a 94-year old woman.


Even though Moore is now back in Wisconsin, his leadership and relief efforts made a lasting impact on the people he brought to safety. Moore encourages everyone to consider donations of any kind to aid in the recuperation of those affected by Hurricane Harvey.


To listen to Marc Moore's entire interview with Nick Freimuth click on the audio link below:


Door County students break ground on Home Building Project

By Baxter Colburn

Representatives from the Door County mainland high schools broke ground Wednesday morning on the 2017-2018 Home Building Project. Students from Sturgeon Bay, Sevastopol, Gibraltar and Southern Door will spend three hours every morning during the school week working to complete the new house. Seth Wilson, the instructor for the program, believes this opportunity will help fill a void in the local trade job industry.


Sturgeon Bay senior Jaegar Brusky is looking towards a job in carpentry industry following graduation next spring and believes this project will be a valuable asset to his career growth.


Students participating in the Home Building Project will earn 12 credits from NWTC and four credits towards high school graduation. The full list of students participating in this program can be found online with this story.


Gov. Walker gets tour of new fab lab at Southern Door High School

By Paul Schmitt

Southern Door School District hosted Governor Scott Walker Wednesday morning.  The governor toured the new Fab Lab in the high school and addressed students about the opportunities that the technology offers them in the future.  Gov. Walker says the Southern Door fab lab gives students a huge advantage.



School Superintendent Patti Vickman says it was quite an honor for the school to host the governor on the second day of classes.



The Southern Door School District was awarded a $25,000 grant to create the fab lab last April.  Southern Door was one of 21 state schools to receive the grant.  You can see video and pictures from Governor Walker's visit on Wednesday with this story online.







Ephraim Vintage Car Festival This Weekend

By Alfredo Muente

The third annual Ephraim Vintage Festival will be held the weekend of September 8-10, which will feature a hill climb and the Concours d'Elegance, which will highlight rare Pre-War European, American Classics, and post-war sports cars. The festival will begin on Friday with a tour of Door County with stops at multiple boutiques, stops at bay side cafes, and art galleries as well. On Saturday, the hill climb runs will begin at 11:00 for all registered drivers. Later in the day, a technical presentation will convene at the Old Village Hall. Festival Executive Director John Baker Welch has done over 100 similar events across the country and says he wanted to take advantage of the ambiance of Door County, especially Ephraim.



There will also be a dinner dance at 6:00 for all event marshals, judges, and participants. On Sunday starting at 11:00, all classic automobiles will be positioned Bayside along Eagle Harbor in Ephraim where each vehicle will be judged and rated.


Kewaunee County waits on possible projects after busy summer

By Tim Kowols

After a busy summer that included Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Algoma and the 100th Kewaunee County Fair in Luxemburg, government officials are now playing the waiting game on a number of different projects that could bring jobs and revenue to the area. Kewaunee County has been mentioned as a landing spot for state biogas plant and a prison slated to replace the Green Bay Correctional Institution, but both projects have been short on details in recent months. Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Robert Weidner says they are also keeping a close eye on the future of the former Algoma Hardwoods building.



In addition to the summer's two major events, Weidner applauded the county's coordinated tourism effort for growth in other areas, including its charter fishing.

Dogs allowed in Sturgeon Bay city parks following 5-2 vote

By Tim Kowols

Dogs will have access to city parks under the repeal and recreation of an ordinance in Sturgeon Bay. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council voted 5-2 in favor of an ordinance allowing dogs in all city parks with exceptions to beaches, playgrounds, and ballfields. Owners are required to have their dogs on a leash unless they are in an officially designated park and clean up after them. Two residents speaking about the ordinance were split in their support while council member Rick Wiesner offered his thoughts against the proposal as a dog owner himself.



The Sturgeon Bay Common Council also approved taking on additional debt for a variety of capital purchases and the first reading of an ordinance allowing residents near Bay Shipbuilding to park on the street for longer than two hours at a time with a proposed $5 residential parking permit.

Sister Bay experiencing 20-plus percent growth in room tax collection, pacing Door County

By Tim Kowols

More people are choosing to stay in Sister Bay and pay a little extra when they come to visit Door County. While some communities like Egg Harbor are experiencing single-digit gains in room tax collections in 2017, Sister Bay's has grown by over 20 percent, accounting for approximately 40 percent of the net gain in collections for the county according to Village Administrator Zeke Jackson. Those numbers are indicators of the growth going on in Sister Bay, according to Jackson.



Last week, the Sister Bay Plan Commission considered plans to build a 12-unit hotel/condominium building on the north end of the village's downtown.

Civil Discourse: Affordable Housing is a Basic Human Right

By Roger Utnehmer

Civil Discourse

An Occasional Attempt to Restore

Civility  to Our Civic Discourse

By Roger Utnehmer

President and CEO

Affordable Housing is a Basic Human Right

A small, four-year-old boy, swollen bruise on his left cheek, enters a McDonald's in Milwaukee.  He wanders from table to table looking for scraps of left-over food.  A single mother with two kids watches her meager possessions piled on the curb, evicted by her landlord.

Children with no place to sleep dozing off at school, are often hungry, lethargic and truant.

One seventh grade boy is in his fifth school in one academic year, the victim of serial evictions and a couch-surfing lifestyle.

These and other tragic stories are depicted in the best-selling book, Evicted; Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond.  The author follows eight families through Milwaukee's poor south side, embedded in a mostly-white trailer court and from a predominantly-black boarding house in the north-side ghetto.

The author makes a compelling case that stable housing is the foundation of democracy.  He argues that you cannot have stable neighborhoods without stable homes, or stable communities without stable neighborhoods.  The rising eviction rates cited in this book are destabilizing our communities and destroying civic engagement.  People too poor to pay for food have no energy to make a neighborhood safer or a school more successful.

Without a home everything else falls apart.  Eviction, according to Desmond, is a cause of poverty not a condition.  Stories about abused women evicted because they called police to stop a brutal beating or a mother who lost an apartment because an ambulance called for an asthmatic child was considered a "police call" shed a needed insight into poverty.  "The rent eats first," Desmond quotes a source as saying.

Many of today's urban poor are paying up to 70% and more of their monthly income to landlords who profit on off the misery of the poor.

The author argues that affordable, safe, stable housing must be considered a basic moral and human right.  Solutions include housing vouchers that cap rent at 30% of income with the federal government paying the difference up to prevailing rental rates.  He also supports providing legal representation to the poor facing eviction cases in court.  

Here in Door County affordable housing is not as critical in Milwaukee's poorest neighborhoods, yet it is a problem.  As Desmond makes clear, stable homes create stable communities.   

Our communities can be made more stable by assisting efforts to provide clean, safe, affordable housing to more families.  Habitat for Humanity is the organization doing this today with an impressive record of success.  Habitat homes are on the tax rolls.  They generate revenue to support local government.  The sweat equity part of every home teaches hard work and contribution.  The monthly mortgage payments mean families learn to budget and prioritize expenditures.  The pride of ownership results in better neighborhoods, safer schools and more stable employment for parents who worry less about a place to live.  

Many employers in Door County cite a labor shortage as their most critical issue.  Those employers should be Habitat for Humanity's most generous supporters and active volunteers.  An adequate labor pool is only possible with affordable housing.

Habitat for Humanity is in the business of providing it.

Spend a few hours reading Evicted.  Your heart will be touched, your mind expanded and your social conscience deepened.  Even the most conservative of my friends may come to understand that homelessness costs our country much more than affordable housing.  We have a moral imperative to declare safe, stable, affordable housing a human right we embrace for all.

That's my opinion.  I'd like to hear yours.

Miss Door County reacts well to new pageant directors

By Baxter Colburn

After 21-years of service to the Miss Door County Pageant, Shirley Ehlers is stepping down. Taking her place are two former title holders Ashley Cordier and Samantha Baudhuin. This is the first time co-executive directors will take the reigns of the program since it began. Current Miss Door County 2017 Susan Fochs explains what she believes the new directors will have up their sleeves.


The Miss Door County and Miss Door County's Outstanding Teen pageant isn't until February, allowing Fochs to stay active in the Door County community with her platform program Operation Not Alone. Registration for the 2018 pageant is now open. More information on how to sign up or volunteer for the pageant can be found at

Judicial recusal, campaign reform highlights Judge Dallet's Supreme Court bid

By Tim Kowols

A candidate for the Wisconsin State Supreme Court is calling for strong judicial recusal rules when it comes to deciding cases involving campaign donors.  Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Rebecca Dallet says Wisconsin needs a strong recusal rule written by the court and in the public.



Judge Dallet and her opponents, Sauk County Judge Mike Screnock and Madison attorney Tim Burns, are seeking to replace retiring state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman. Judicial recusal was just one of topics discussed during Judge Dallet's visit to the radio stations of last week. You can listen to that entire interview online with this story.

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Door and Kewaunee County students back to work as school year begins

By Tim Kowols

After Washington Island School students headed back to class last Friday, children in Door and Kewaunee counties' seven other districts began their new year on Tuesday. School administrators received some good news last week when the state's Joint Finance Committee approved a $639 million boost to K-12 funding. To Sturgeon Bay School District Superintendent Dan Tjernagel, the first day of school marks the end of weeks of planning his staff has done to get ready for this moment and when his daughter begins lobbying for more snow days. It also marks a fresh start.



The first day of school also serves as a reminder for motorists to be careful driving through school zones as bus, bike, and pedestrian traffic in those areas increase.

Rep. Gallagher hopes to get things done as Congress returns to work

By Tim Kowols

The United States Congress gets back to work on Tuesday after a month-long recess. Despite speaking out against the recess in July so legislators could stay in Washington D.C., Rep. Mike Gallagher spent time visiting local businesses and organizations in Wisconsin's 8th District including the Boys and Girls Club of Door County in Sturgeon Bay and Luxemburg American Legion Post 262. During his Door County visit, Rep. Gallagher says people told him throughout the August recess to get Congress to work together.



Congress expects to have its hands full as they return to work as they debate on how to fund the Federal government and other major issues while also addressing relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey victims.

Highway 57 road construction project begins Tuesday

By Tim Kowols

Tuesday marks the first day of a $4.3 million project to improve a portion of State Highway 57 between Baileys Harbor and Sister Bay. The project will include resurfacing and replacing existing culvert pipes along the highway from the south County Q intersection to Canterbury Lane and replacing a box culvert with a bridge between Ahrens (Cedar) Road and Meadow Road. The highway will be closed and detoured for over a month, but Mark Kantola from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation says that will change ahead of Sister Bay's Fall Festival.



State Highway 57 will be open to traffic from October 12 to their winter shutdown and when resurfacing picks up in 2018. Work is expected to be completed in June 2018. You can learn more about the project and see detour routes by clicking here.



Back-to-School routines are important for emotional health

By Renee Koenig, Kewaunee County UW-Extension Family Living Educator

A new school year means many families will get back into a routine of school, homework, sports, and earlier bed times.  Research shows that family routines support children and their emotional development.  When children have good emotional health they cooperate more and perform better in school.


Children are less likely to get frustrated and argue when they have a routine to follow.  Parents of younger children find it helpful to create a morning routine chart with pictures and drawings that remind children what tasks need to be completed.  Bedtime routines should be consistent and start around the same time each night and go in the same order (e.g. bath, pajamas, brush teeth, read book).  Morning and bedtime routines can also help children learn independence and social skills.  Children can help make lunches, pack backpacks, and pick out clothes.


Parents or family caregivers should include in their routines time for one-on-one connection with each child.  Ending the day with one-on-one time can really make a difference.  Children need time to talk about any fears or ask questions about the upcoming school day.  Making time for each child individually is a good investment in the parents' relationship with their child and their child's emotional health.  It helps children feel more comfortable talking to parents about worries and concerns and can help reduce their anxiety and get a good night's rest.


For communication tips for parents:


For more tips on preparing your child for school, see  or contact Renee Koenig, Family Living Educator, UW-Extension at or 920-388-7137.

Milk hauler crash closes State Highway 29 in Kewaunee County

By Tim Kowols

A 21-year old milk hauler tipped over his truck closing Highway 29 in Kewaunee for several hours yesterday. The single-vehicle accident occurred just after 6 a.m. after the semi left the roadway near the intersection of State Highway 29 and Sleepy Hollow Road. Luxemburg Fire and Rescue and Montpelier First Responder were able to get the trapped driver out of the vehicle and treat him for injuries. Sheriff Matt Joski says Kewaunee County Emergency Management and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Spill Coordinator were also called to the scene.


State Highway 29 was closed for close to five hours Monday morning due to the crash. The name of the driver has not been released as the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department and Wisconsin State Patrol continue their investigation.

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Sturgeon Bay, Algoma open September with busy council meetings

By Tim Kowols

The cities of Sturgeon Bay and Algoma will come back from the Labor Day holiday with their first council meetings of the month.


In Sturgeon Bay, the Common Council will vote on borrowing close to $1.5 million in note anticipation notes and $1.2 million in general obligation refunding bonds for a number of upcoming purchases including an aerial truck, fire chief vehicle, municipal services patrol truck, two squad cars, road work, and other equipment. The Common Council will also look into a Parking and Traffic Committee recommendation to adopt an ordinance requiring a $5 permit to park in the area bounded by Florida Street, North 7th Avenue, Iowa Street, and Third Avenue near Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding.


In Algoma, the City Council will consider a number of resolutions including an application to withdraw the city from the state health insurance program, an amendment to a development agreement with Father Ed, and a contract with Peterson Appraisals, Inc. to provide assessing services.


The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will meet at noon Tuesday while Algoma's City Council will convene at 6 p.m.

Kermis in Brussels helps local parish and residents

By Cynthia Germain

Brussels hosted their annual Kermis this past Sunday.  Kermis is a festival celebrating the harvest with its roots in Belgium and is organized by a local parish.  The President of the Parish Council of St. Francis and St. Mary Catholic Church John Spude, speaks to the meaning of the event.



Originally held in homes and local businesses in the mid 50's, it had lost popularity over time.  The St. Francis and St. Mary Catholic Church brought it back six years ago as a fundraiser for the parish. Sue Johnson, the church's pastoral minister, has been very pleased with the effort.


The fundraiser supports the needs of the parish as well as other activities such as the Older Adults Breakfast held on the second Wednesday of each month.  Funds also provide a helping hand to local residents who are homebound or otherwise in need.


Door County's J-1 Visa program in danger following new Trump initiative

By Baxter Colburn

A Door County staple could soon be taken away due to a new initiative from President Trump. Unfortunately, since the announcement of the President's Buy American/Hire American initiative, it places the popular J-1 Student Visa summer program at high risk.


Phil Berndt of the Door County Visitor Center says his phone hasn't stopped ringing since this new initiative came down. The main callers, concerned local business owners that participated in the J-1 Summer Work Travel program.


Door County's economy ebbs and flows with the season of tourists passing through the summer months and even into early fall. Once those tourists head home, the harsh reality for local businesses begins to settle in. If the J-1 program is officially disallowed, the result could be catastrophic for Door County, says Berndt.


If President Trump's initiative takes effect, Door County could be out almost 440 employees next summer.


Lego blocks helping children build their creativity at Sturgeon Bay Library

By Paul Schmitt

Your kids or grand kids just might be able to establish an interest in a career in architecture with a new Lego program available through the Door County Library. The Lego Builders Club at the Sturgeon Bay Library will start meeting on Saturdays starting on September 9 from 1:00 p.m. until 2 p.m.  Youth Services Librarian Beth Lokken says Legos are a literal building block to learning.



Lokken says it is also an opportunity to take 8,000 Legos to build and create through teamwork with other children.  She says the participants are from preschool to elementary age and build any structures they want with a theme attached to it.  You can find more information on programs offered at Door County Library's eight locations with this story online.


Don't put that kayak away yet!

By Bill Schultz

It's Labor Day Weekend, the unofficial end of summer.  But, fall in Door County can be the best time of the year for kayaking and kayak fishing!


When you take all the beauty of the bluffs and beaches, and add the fall colors, it just doesn't get any better than that.  And, over the next couple of months as the water begins to cool, those big smallmouth bass and other species will start their feeding binge to get ready for winter.  So, from late September through mid-November fishing will improve and you could have a shot at catching, photographing and releasing a real trophy.


During summer, many of those big smallies have gone deeper, but, once the water begins to cool, they will start roaming and coming into shallower water making fishing for them from a kayak easier.  I'll be on the water several times this fall using two presentations I've talked about before.  One is the Ned Rig with the Z-Man Finesse TRD and TRD TubeZ soft plastic lures.  The other is swimming a Kalin's Lunker Grub on a jig.  Both should provide lots of action this fall.


I kayak fish from Jackson Kayaks and use Bending Branches and Aqua-Bound paddles.  If you've been thinking about upgrading your fishing or recreational kayak and paddle, this is a great time to check out one of our local outfitters.  They will be having great sales on un-sold inventory and demo boats and paddles.


On a cautionary note, as the water cools, please be aware of weather conditions.  Always wear your PFD, take your phone in a waterproof bag and let someone know where you are fishing or paddling.


So, don't put that kayak away yet!  As always, if you have any questions please email me at



Lakeshore Community Food Pantry needs your help

By Baxter Colburn

The Lakeshore Community Pantry, formally known as the Holy Rosary Food Pantry in Kewaunee is looking for your donations. Pantry organizer Dan Balch says their needs are small but vital to their everyday success.


Balch and his fellow volunteers know that their hard work serves a much lower status of living than what most people experience on a daily basis.


The pantry is always looking for more volunteers. If you would like to get involved or donate, contact the pantry on Facebook at

Sister Bay's Marina Fest enjoyable for all ages

By Baxter Colburn

While the rain poured down on Sister Bay, visitors to the 2017 Marina Fest were not deterred from having a good time. The streets were filled with music, children played on giant inflatables and people enjoy great food and drink from local establishments. Perhaps the largest draw for fest-goers centered around the children's boat building event. Chunks of wood, tools and a rainbow of paint colors were accessible to decorate and create their own wooden creation.


Dennis Paschke and the Sister Bay Lions Club are an important part of making the boat building a success. Paschke says the event holds special meaning for club members.


Sister Bay continues to become a popular hub for tourists thanks to events like Marina Fest. Those fortunate enough to call Door County home know the economic impact something like this fest has on local businesses. John Kenneavy has spent the past 40 years in Sister Bay and is very pleasured with the cities growth due to the fest.


Marina Fest runs through Labor Day at the Sister Bay Marina.


Water safety top priority for holiday weekend boaters

By Baxter Colburn

The most important life-saving item on the waters of Green Bay and Lake Michigan this fall is a life vest. Sturgeon Bay Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Wahkene Kitchenmaster says a proper life vest is vital to the safety of those participating in water related activities, especially for the upcoming holiday weekend.


Despite the recent dangers many have experienced on the local waters, Kitchenmaster believes most, if not all events could've been prevented.


Kitchenmaster and the U.S. Coast Guard want boaters to enjoy the water while the seasons still allows for it, however, being safe while having fun is the always the goal.


Door County Community Choir ready for new choral season

By Baxter Colburn

What originally started as a fun community project several years ago has blossomed into a tradition in the Door County area. The Door County Community Choir under the director of Cheryl Pfister and Judy Thompson is providing local singers a place share their talents and embrace a family-style atmosphere. Frank Christensen is a dedicated member and head of PR for the choir says the mission of the group is what drew him to join.


One of the many exciting benefits the Door County Community Choir offers its members is the chance to be a part of their "World Tour".


Rehearsals are open to anyone in Door County and begin on September 18th at Saints Peter and Paul in Institute. More information about how to get involved with the choir can be found at

Local U.S. Coast Guard aiding in Houston relief

By Baxter Colburn

Members of the United States Coast Guard stationed in Door County are deployed to disaster relief efforts in Texas. A total of 16 members have traveled down along with two airboats to aid in water rescues. Sturgeon Bay Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Wahkene Kitchenmaster says this isn't the first time local units have been sent to help out in major disasters.


Area Coast Guard members are specifically trained in water rescues, making their presence in Houston that much more valuable. At this time, the members sent for relief will stay in Texas and Louisiana indefinitely. Contact with those sent down has been sparse says Kitchenmaster, but from all accounts, everyone seems to be safe and doing valuable work for the people of Houston.

Door County Medical Center receives another five-star rating

By Baxter Colburn

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS, has given the Door County Medical Center skilled nursing facility it's top rating. A five-star rating system is used to judge and compare nursing homes easier. When a nursing home receives five-stars, they are considered to a cut above the competition. Patient care is what it all boils down to says Door County Medical Center's Jody Boes.


"The CMS five-star rating consistently issued to Door County Medical Center, year after year, is a reflection of a high quality of care, excellent RN staffing ratios, and successful health inspections," according to a  release from the Door County Medical Center.


For more information on the Five-Star Rating System, visit For information on the Skilled Nursing Facility at Door County Medical Center, call 920-746-3719.


Miss Door County pageant welcomes new directors

By Baxter Colburn

A living legend is stepping down. After 21 years serving as the executive director of the Miss Door County Pageant, Shirley Ehlers is hanging up her crown and putting away her glitter. Since the inception of the pageant back in 1997, Ehlers has provided a steady and guiding force for her Miss and Teen title holders.


Now that Ehlers has stepped down, it will take two new ladies to fill her place. Samantha Baudhuin (Miss Door County 2005) and Ashley Cordier (Miss Door County 2007) step into the co-executive director roles with confidence and knowledge to continue growing the program. While the task is daunting, Baudhuin is confident the program will continue to be a success due to both ladies being previous title holders.


According to Cordier, the biggest challenge facing the new directors is likely something many never knew about.


The Miss Door County Pageant has raised over $100,000 in scholarship money for local contestants since their inception and continues to be ranked as one of the top programs in Wisconsin for financial awards to title holders. More information about how you can get involved with the Miss Door County pageant can be found at


Luxemburg-Casco Schools suffering substitute teacher shortage

By Baxter Colburn

Substitute teachers play a vital part in keeping classrooms on task while the regular teacher is away. Kewaunee County boasts some of the best academic success in Wisconsin thanks to hard working teachers. Unfortunately, being able to call upon a dedicated and consistent bank of substitute teachers is slowing the county down. Luxemburg-Casco Superintendent Glenn Schlender says plans are in the works to address their substitute shortage.


The Luxemburg-Casco school district continuously provides high-quality education for their students and ranks in the top 75 districts in Wisconsin with a B+ overall rating. Schlender is confident that bringing in a more consistent base of substitute teachers will alleviate some of the district's recent struggles and provide area youth with the education they all deserve.


Village awaits role in rebuild of Egg Harbor business

By Tim Kowols

With the owners of Shipwrecked Brewpub and Inn still considering their options after a fire destroyed the historic building last month, the village of Egg Harbor is waiting for the role it can play in its future. Village ordinances have changed or been created in the years since the building was built as a saloon in 1882 by George Barringer. According to Village Administrator Ryan Heise, their office is being supportive as structural engineers and insurance adjusters make their way through the building.



Heise pulled one positive out of the August fire, saying the response from firefighters and emergency personnel from all around the area was one of the reasons why Door County is a special place. Representatives from the brewpub say they plan on reopening in 2018.

Naked Radio opens in Fish Creek this weekend

By Tim Kowols

The cast of "Naked Radio" hopes art imitates life when the musical makes its world-premiere this weekend in Fish Creek. The story begins when a snowstorm knocks out power to a county radio station, forcing a pair of local DJs into action to make up for the loss of its programming from its corporate parent. Members from Northern Sky Theater visited the radio stations of earlier this summer to learn about the equipment that is used and potential scenarios. Actor Chase Stoeger, who plays disc jockey Mike Young, says in addition to learning the material and the radio industry, the cast has been experimenting more with instrumentation on stage.



Naked Radio runs now until October 21.

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Kewaunee farm hosts demonstration field day Thursday

By Tim Kowols

Deer-Run Dairy in Kewaunee will host farmers from around the area next week when the Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farm Network hosts its first field day. A partnership between the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, the United States Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Peninsula Pride Farms, the group of farms is a testing ground for different conservation farming techniques to improve organic matter and soil health while controlling phosphorus run-off. Agronomist and Peninsula Pride Farms board member Zach Sutter says farmers can learn a lot from the work being done on the farms since the program started a few short months ago.



The field day, taking place on September 7, will include a soils pit talk, a NRCS rainfall simulator, and discussion on low-disturbance manure applications.



Wisconsin, other states await U.S. Supreme Court reapportionment decision

By Tim Kowols

As the state of Wisconsin awaits its day at the United States Supreme Court regarding how the Legislature draws its district maps, counties are passing resolutions in favor of a more fair process. According to the nonpartisan watchdog group Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, 24 Wisconsin counties have passed measures opposing gerrymandering, which occurs when a party of power draws its district maps allegedly for political gain. Common Cause of Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck says it could be a precedent setting decision.



Heck does not expect a decision from the United States Supreme Court until spring 2018.

Rep. Kitchens will propose legislation after DNR ruling next week on Sturgeon Bay's west side waterfront

By Paul Schmitt

First District Representative Joel Kitchens is planning on passing legislation after the Wisconsin DNR holds their declaratory public hearing next week in Sturgeon Bay.  Rep. Kitchens says he would introduce a bill to end the disputed Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) for the waterfront property on Sturgeon Bay's west side.  He says his intention is to end any future litigation and help Sturgeon Bay move forward.



Kitchens says he is doing this prior to the hearing so people know he is not taking sides and that the dirt piles can go away and the community can move on.  The DNR's declaratory hearing is from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. in the Jane Greene Room within the Sturgeon Bay Public Library.  Kitchens plans on attending the hearing if his schedule allows.

Heavy traffic expected as holiday weekend travel begins today In Door County

By Paul Schmitt

With anticipated heavy vehicle traffic on area highways this holiday weekend, law enforcement is cautioning drivers to wear their seat belts and allow extra time to get to where you need to go.  Door County Sheriff Steve Delarwelle says inattentive driving is the reason behind the majority of accidents.  He warns visitors and locals alike to keep their eyes on the road.



Sheriff Delarwelle also advises travelers to plan ahead and not tailgate vehicles in front of you.  According to Waze, a community-based traffic and navigation app, traffic peaks for the weekend between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Saturday with Sunday traffic peaking between noon and 4 p.m.  Labor Day on Monday sees an increase from noon until 3 p.m.

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