News Archives for 2017-11

Clean up efforts continue after Bay Shipbuilding oil spill in Sturgeon Bay


By Kent Berkley



Clean up crews are still at work trying to clean up a spill that occurred after a hydraulic hose on an overhead crane at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding malfunctioned and spewed 50-100 gallons of fluid onto the shipyard, abutting sidewalk, street and residential houses on North 3rd Avenue.    A homeowner, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, pointed out areas of her home and garage that were sprayed with the fluid carried by the wind.  She stated that as of Thursday morning she had been visited three times on matters relating to the clean-up efforts.  She was initially visited by a representative of Bay Shipbuilding who informed her of the clean- up plan.   The plan included contracting with a professional restoration cleaner to address the fluid stains on her house and garage and a promise to reimburse the cost of a car wash to clean the vehicle that was affected.   The homeowner reported that she believed people were acting in good faith to remedy the situation but is concerned that some of the fluid stains are still visible even after completing two sessions of professional cleaning.    Discussing clean-up plans, a Bay Shipbuilding employee anonymously complained that vehicles were sprayed and "the company only offered one free car wash" as a response.   Ryan Billingham, Communications Director of the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, says that proper clean up in these type of situations can only occur after a credible assessment of the damage is completed.





According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, it is difficult to ascertain the degree of health risk associated with exposure to hydraulic fluids because the fluids are of different types and are made up of different chemical additives which may be the cause of some of the hazardous effects reported on humans, animals, and the environment.   Attempts to reach Bay Shipbuilding to determine the exact type and chemical makeup of the hydraulic fluid that was spilled have been unsuccessful.


Kewaunee alums impressed by continued community support for schools

By Tim Kowols

The passage of a 2015 referendum and the current success of fundraising for other projects are giving more credence to the return home of Kewaunee High School Principal Mark Dax. A 1988 Kewaunee graduate, Dax was hired months after Kewaunee residents approved $15.4 million in renovation and construction for the district, giving students improved facilities not just for its core subjects but also in agriculture, technical, and physical education. The high school is currently undergoing other fundraising to complete some of the projects not covered by the referendum including new seating in the theater. Dax says Kewaunee shows what it takes for a community to raise a child.



An open house this fall caught the eye of 1984 Kewaunee alum Kenlyn Rietz, the president and CEO of Manitowoc-based debt collection agency Americollect. Impressed by the new facilities and commitment of taxpayers, Rietz donated $3,000 towards Kewaunee High School's theater seat campaign and its career and technical education department.

Hauling scrap from Bay Shipbuilding hard on Sturgeon Bay bridge

By Tim Kowols

The timing of the notice and the closure of the Michigan Street Bridge on December 4 is frustrating to Sturgeon Bay's downtown businesses. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced the weeklong closure earlier this week to heat straighten seven of the bridge's beams and replace another due to damage sustained from two separate incidents involving trucks from B&B Metals Processing in Newton, Wis. as they hauled scrap metal from the shipyard. Mark Kantola from the DOT says they usually give seven days of notice before projects and picked next week to do the work to avoid the tourist season and cold temperatures. Heading into the final weeks before Christmas, Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center Executive Director Pam Seiler hopes people are not deterred by the closure.



B&B Metals Processing was cited for operating a vehicle without a permit for excess height on May 31, but there is no report for the incident on June 29. In the incident report, the owner of B&B Metals Processing told Sturgeon Bay Police he has told his drivers not to use the Michigan Street Bridge and did not know why the driver chose to not use the preferred Oregon Street route, according to Captain Dan Brinkman.

Sister Bay addressing workforce housing through new developments

By Tim Kowols

Sister Bay could have over 100 new places to live in the near future thanks in part to some recent development projects getting underway. A second developer is slated to add new life to the Stony Ridge development on State Highway 57 while work is beginning in the village's downtown on a 36 bedroom condominium/hotel project. Village Administrator Zeke Jackson says two additional projects waiting on Plan Commission and Village Board approval will go a long way to addressing the tax increment financing district and housing shortage in Sister Bay.



Jackson will not see the end of these projects as he will be taking on a new administration position in Waterford, Wis. Village official Janel Suppanz will serve as interim administrator beginning December 15.

Rep. Gallagher happy to see bipartisan support for veterans bills

By Tim Kowols

Rep. Mike Gallagher is finding out the one area Democrats and Republicans can agree on is supporting the men and women of the Armed Forces. In the month of November, four pieces of legislation co-sponsored by Rep. Gallagher was passed by the House of Representatives including measures addressing the barriers veterans face when getting an organ transplant and on-the-job training and apprenticeship opportunities for future careers. A Marine veteran himself, Rep. Gallagher says he was proud of the bipartisan support of 15 separate bills, including the four he co-sponsored, that were passed during the week of Veterans' Day.



Another one of Rep. Gallagher's bills passed by the House of Representatives gives lifetime support to Gold Star families so they can attend gravesites, memorial services, and other benefits. All four of the bills are awaiting the approval of the Senate.

Egg Harbor marina receives prestigious clean marina designation once again


By Kent Berkley


The Village of Egg Harbor was pleased to learn that its marina was recently re-certified as a clean marina by the Wisconsin Marine Association.  The award recognizes marinas that effectively implement environmentally responsible practices that protect water quality, public health and the fish and wildlife habitat. Lucienne Fels, Marina Manager, says the process is effort intensive, but the results are well worth the time and energy spent.






Fels says the marina is in a favorable position to maintain the clean marina designation because marina planners had the foresight to design it with green goals in mind when it was rebuilt several years ago.  For example, the design incorporates bioswales to remove silt and pollution out of surface runoff water.  In addition, green practices are integrated into all operations such as fueling protocols and weeding without pesticides.


Advocacy skills of youth and adults are honed during Door/Kewaunee Legislative Days


By Kent Berkley



More than 130 volunteer delegates from Door and Kewaunee County descended upon Madison to meet with each of Wisconsin's 132 legislators, or designees, as part of Door/Kewaunee Legislative Days.  The biannual event is planned to coincide with the legislative budget cycles and involves nearly a year of planning in advance of the face-to-face meetings with legislators.  The 2017 advocacy teams included approximately 30 high school students.   Caleb Frostman, Executive Director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation, says the youth-adult advocacy partnership is not just educational, but also makes the message stronger.






Frostman says that the advocacy agenda presented in Madison must satisfy three criteria. The issues must be non-partisan,  be of local concern to Door and Kewaunee Counties and be tailored to a legislative remedy.   To learn more about the substantive issues and the successes of the advocacy teams, watch for part two in this series at Door County Daily



Gun deer hunt finishes down statewide; up in Door and Kewaunee County


By Paul Schmitt

The numbers are in for the 9-day gun deer season that concluded last Sunday.  According to the Wisconsin DNR website, 106,450 deer were harvested statewide.  That reflects a 4.5 percent decrease in the kill from 2016.  Door County was up 432 deer with 3172 deer taken.  There was 1739 antler-less and 1433 antlered deer killed.  Kewaunee County which was down from last year's numbers after the opening weekend finished up with 132 more deer taken compared to last year.  Of the 2346 deer killed this year, 1383 were antler-less and 963 were antlered.



For the entire county break-down of the 2017 deer gun hunt go to this link from the DNR

Friends of Door County Library holding 10th Annual Holiday Book Sale Saturday


By Adele Douglass

If there are big readers on your holiday shopping list, the Friends of the Door County Library has a deal for you.  The 10th Annual Holiday Book Sale will be held this Saturday in the basement of the Sturgeon Bay Library from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.  Busy volunteers have been organizing books and setting special ones aside all year long.  These are new or like-new books in good condition.  These gift-able books come in all different genres for all interests and all ages, including fiction and non-fiction.  The really great news is that all the proceeds will benefit the libraries throughout Door County.   Children and adults will enjoy the many community programs the income this sale will generate.

Gibraltar Schools use community-based approaches to support students in emergency situations


By Kent Berkley



Educators know it is inevitable that some of their students will experience traumatic events that can happen at home or in the school building.  When emergency situations arise on campus, a large segment of the student body can be affected by the same traumatic event.  Recent advances in school safety practices and in understanding the effects of toxic stress on adolescent brain development have prompted some school administrators to update their safety protocols and build a network of therapeutic interventions to help students recover from traumatic events.  Gereon Methner, Secondary Principal for the Gibraltar Area School District, says his administrative team spends a great deal of time working with staff, faculty and community partners to prepare for any emergencies that may occur.



Principal Methner emphasizes that adolescents, like adults, respond to traumatic events differently, so it is important to develop an array of resources so that each individual situation can be addressed with a specific plan.  He states that it is critically important to plan in advance and collaborate with key partners such as law enforcement, first responders, school counselors and community mental health providers.



Citizens interested in running for mayor or alderman in Algoma can file paperwork next week


By Kent Berkley



The City of Algoma will hold elections in the spring to select its mayor and one of two aldermen in each of the four aldermanic districts.    Mayor Wayne Schmidt announced that he will be running for re-election.    Deputy Clerk Jamie Jackson says the process for entering the race is simple, but time sensitive.






Jackson says candidates for alderman will need 20 to 40 nominating signatures and mayoral candidates require 50 to 100 signatures.   The deadline for submitting the nominating papers is January 2, 2018.  Incumbents choosing not to seek reelection will file notification of non-candidacy papers with the clerk's office by December 22, 2017.   There is no filing fee and the clerk's office will provide all of the necessary paperwork and answer any questions a potential candidate may have.  Alderman Eugene Cleveland of the third district has indicated that he will run for re-election.  The other three aldermen who would be up for re-election have not yet announced their intentions.



In Sturgeon Bay,  Ron Vandertie has not returned two phone calls requesting information about their intention to run for another term on the city council. Stewart Fett is out of town and has been unable to return the calls, while Rick Wiesner told he is unsure if he will run again.  Because believes it is important to share re-election plans with voters we will continue to ask these incumbents council members about their plans for re-election and will share their responses when provided.


Door County Civility Project holding discussion Thursday night in Sturgeon Bay

By Paul Schmitt

The Door County Civility Project is hosting an event on Thursday in Sturgeon Bay to help promote civil discourse.  In collaboration with the National Institute for Civil Discourse's Initiative to revive civility, the Door County Civility Project will be facilitating a discussion to urge one another to make a special effort in two areas.  Diane Slivka who will be one of the facilitators shares the goal of the evening.



The "Setting the Table for Civility" conversation will be at the Blue Front Café in Sturgeon Bay from 6:00 pm until 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.  You can register for the event by emailing

Community members weigh in on five Kewaunee County farm permits

By Tim Kowols

Community members in Kewaunee County weighed in on the pollutant discharge permits of five large farms during a Department of Natural Resources public hearing in Luxemburg on Tuesday. Dairy Dreams, Seidl's Mountain View Dairy, Sandway Farms, Kinnard Farms, and Wakker Dairy are required to have their permits renewed every five years as confined animal feeding operations (CAFO), with the latter two forecasting possible expansions. Farmers gathered at Kinnard Farms in Casco to show their support for one another before the hearing  and their commitment to improve agricultural practices while addressing the area's water concerns. Lee Kinnard says he is proud of the work his fellow members of organizations like Peninsula Pride Farms and the Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farms Network are doing.



Nancy Utesch of Kewaunee CARES attended the hearing to join the majority of those speaking in opposition to the permit renewal, citing the well contamination already present in the county. While she is disappointed in the likelihood that the permits will be granted by the DNR, Utesch is happy the department is seeing a full parking lot with different people voicing their concerns when they do come.



Those who could not attend the hearing or would like to add their thoughts to the discussion can leave their comments with the DNR through December 5.

High lead levels found in water in Sturgeon Bay homes

By Paul Schmitt

Results from recent routine testing of water in Sturgeon Bay found high levels of lead in several homes.  Twenty homes tested in the city have lead lateral pipes that run from the main to the house.  Some of those homes tested above the 15 parts per billion allowed by the EPA.   The current lead lateral pipes are being replaced with copper piping, according to Sturgeon Bay Utilities Operations Manager Cliff White.  All homeowners who had their water tested received letters of the lead level results.   White says the city hopes to have all lead laterals replaced by next year.



White says older homes built prior to the1950's are typically the ones with lead laterals.  He says homeowners with lead laterals were sent letters by Sturgeon Bay Utilities back in 2016 offering to have their water tested.  SBU is required to test every three years at 20 sites for lead content, according to White.  Tested homes were on Georgia Street, Texas Street, Louisiana Street and Madison Avenue and Pine Streets on the west side.   He says homeowners can take precautions by running water a couple minutes before using and to not use softened water for drinking or cooking.  Home treatment devices that are certified for lead removal can be purchased as well.

Brush turns into decorations during Ridges workshops

By Tim Kowols

The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor is making sure old growth has new life during the holiday season. As a part of its own Christmas celebrations, the Ridges Sanctuary hosts a pair of wreath making workshops using materials found in the preserve and its surrounding area. Drew Richmond from The Ridges Sanctuary says the experience allows participants to get together and show off their creative talents while bringing home a little bit of nature.



You can try wreath making for yourself for a small fee at their pair of workshops December 2 and during their Natural Christmas celebration, which also features winter hikes on lighted trails, December 9.

Luxemburg-Casco School District hopes technology helps substitute teacher search

By Tim Kowols

Luxemburg-Casco School District is looking to streamline the way it contacts its substitute teachers when they are needed. To fill in for teachers out of the building for illness, maternity leave, or professional development, clerical staff is forced to call substitutes in to fill in the gaps at its four schools. Superintendent Glenn Schlender hopes a new automated call system will help the district solve two issues.



Despite the expected influx of substitute teachers from the system, Schlender says the district is always looking for more. A Bachelor's degree is preferred for most substitutes, but teachers in some areas like music and foreign language may not even need a teaching degree as long as they have a special permit from the Department of Public Instruction.

Farmers show support for one another before public hearing in Luxemburg on pollutant discharge permits

By Tim Kowols

Local farmers, including those representing the five operations subject to a Department of Natural Resources hearing later in the day, gathered at Kinnard Farms in Casco Tuesday as a sign of their commitment to agriculture, the environment, and their community. Many of the farmers present are members of groups like Peninsula Pride Farms and the Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farms Network, who are working with universities and scientists to find out better ways to use their land while addressing the water quality issues in Kewaunee and southern Door counties. Kinnard Farms owner Lee Kinnard says while his permit under review calls for a possible expansion of his operations through 2022, there are no immediate plans to do that.



Kinnard and representatives from Wakker Dairy Farm, Dairy Dreams, Seidl's Mountain View Dairy, and Sandway Farms will have their pollutant discharge permits reviewed by the DNR through December 5. A large crowd was expected to gather to speak either for or against the approval of the permits during the public hearing, which began at 10 a.m. at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds. This story will be updated later with reaction from the hearing.

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Michigan Street Bridge to close December 4 for more repairs

By Tim Kowols

Over-height vehicles are still causing the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to close the Michigan Street Bridge periodically, including a weeklong span beginning December 4. This will mark the third time DOT officials will close the bridge this year for repairs after a backhoe towed by a semi-truck struck several of its beams. In two separate incidents in May and June, a scrap metal truck from B&B Processing in Newton, Wis. caused additional damage to the bridge, forcing crews to straighten seven beams and replace one more next week. Mark Kantola from the DOT says the drawn-out schedule is because it does not want to interfere with peak travel seasons in Sturgeon Bay.



The DOT was forced to recreate several of the pieces earlier this year using LiDAR technology because of the age of the bridge, which was opened in 1931. Kantola says repairs are estimated to be around $15,000 and will be covered by B&B Processing.

Door County must pay attention to light pollution prevention


By Kent Berkley



Door County has a plethora of natural resources and beauty that make it special. One feature that makes Door County unique is its dark sky. Door County is one the last remaining places in which it is still possible to view details of the galaxy we occupy.  John Beck, Past President and current member of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society, knows the value of this resource and what is at stake.






Beck stated that light pollution is a risk to our environment, safety, and energy reserves, but that measures can be undertaken to mitigate the risk.  He mentioned several examples of good practice in Door County.   The Village of Egg Harbor has enacted a local ordinance to ensure that the benefits of outdoor lighting are maintained but rationally implemented to protect against unnecessary glare and over-utilization.  He pointed to the eastern end of Memorial Drive in Sturgeon Bay as an example of street lighting done well.  The lighting is properly directed and sufficiently bright for the benefit of pedestrians without blinding drivers or filling the sky with misdirected light.  Beck also applauded planners who illuminate flagpoles with downward directed light or have protocols in place for bringing the flag in at the end of the day thereby obviating the need to illuminate the flagpole at night.



Sturgeon Bay couple travels to Virgin Islands to help with Hurricane Relief


By Paul Schmitt

Rudy and Shirley Senarighi from Sturgeon Bay are doing their part directly in helping victims of the hurricanes in the Virgin Islands.  The couple has been there since November 16 and will stay until December 7 helping the Red Cross. As of last week less than one-fourth of the power has been restored to the island, according to Shirley Senarighi.   She says the locals are still reeling from the shock of loss.



Senerighi says the Virgin Islands escaped major damage from Hurricane Irma and even helped neighboring islands in the Caribbean.  Unfortunately, Hurricane Maria hit the island hard two weeks later and the rebuilding process will take a long time, according to Senerighi.

Door County keeping up with deer carcass removal

By Tim Kowols

A statewide switch of responsibility of deer carcass pick-up has had little to no impact in Door County. According to the Associated Press, the responsibility of deer carcass pick-up went from the Department of Natural Resources to the Department of Transportation in September, leading to delays in some counties as roles were sorted out. In Door County, Highway Commissioner John Kolodziej says it has been their job for several years and did not miss a beat when the switch occurred.



Kolodziej says weekly counts vary according to the time of year but estimates his crews pick up around 450 dead deer from county roads and highways annually.

Money Management Counselors Financial New Year's Resolution Series: Checking your credit report regularly

By Tim Kowols

Keeping tabs on your credit report is one resolution to add for the New Year to help improve your financial health. A 2016 survey showed that 26 percent of Americans have never checked their credit report, questioning their importance.  Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says looking at your "adult report card" can have big financial benefits.



Nearly 40 percent of millennials do not even know where they can find their credit report according to the survey, which Pustaver says can be found for free at from the three credit bureaus. This is the first in a series of financial resolutions to keep in mind heading into the New Year.


Algoma investing in employee retention for public safety and health positions

By Tim Kowols

Local communities like Algoma are finding it harder to find employees for their municipal jobs. Employees aging out or moving on is leaving a void in several departments in Algoma as they struggle to find volunteers for their fire department and part-time help for their police department and its nursing facility.  It causes a dilemma for those scheduling workers with a short staff and the budget as lots of resources are required for training. City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says they are looking to address the shortage of the police department and nursing facility workers by investing in new equipment and full-time employees.



Wiswell says they are currently examining and finalizing their emergency management plan by working with other local agencies.

Door County Lions Clubs seeing their impact on local school children through screenings

By Tim Kowols

Students at Door County schools can thank area Lions Clubs for being able to see and hear to the best of their abilities. Since 2006, the Lions Clubs have partnered with the Door County Public Health Department to give free hearing and vision screenings to elementary students after budget cuts caused nursing staff to be cut. Egg Harbor Lions Club Secretary Jim Sanden says last year they were able to save the vision for at least two students.



If a hearing or vision issue is found during the screening, students are referred to a doctor to begin the needed treatment. Sanden says the Lions Clubs are always looking for volunteers to help administer the tests and join the organizations located in Door County.

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Washington Island School District counting on new approaches to drive up math achievement

By Tim Kowols

After tackling its reading scores last year, Washington Island School District is turning its focus to math. By adding additional training for staff, using new classroom materials, and parent involvement meetings, students have been able to see their achievement gaps slowly close. Superintendent Mati Palm-Leis says getting Daniel Jaeger, the first fully-certified math teacher for the school in several years, has been important in the improvement in the subject as well.



Washington Island School District will have Dr. Becky Walker joining the staff to help improve its math achievement as they work to implement a Response to Intervention (RTI) approach to identify students who are especially struggling with the subject. The district adopted RTI for its students struggling with reading last year.

Kewaunee 1st District Alderman Jelinek looks to a second term

By Cynthia Germain


City of Kewaunee First Aldermanic District residents will have a familiar name on the ballot in April. Jason Jelinek now holds the seat and told he will seek re-election to another term.  Jelinek had decided to join the council in the last term in response to his having become more involved in the community on a number of projects including the restoration the city's grandfather clock.  As his first term wraps up, Jelinek is motivated by recent changes and opportunities in Kewaunee.



As a member of the Parks and Recreation committee and a father of small children, he has been pleased to work on projects that keep equipment safe and up-to-date.  Jelinek says that he and his wife are invested in the city and believe that Kewaunee is a hidden gem.  In the next term, Jelinek looks to help homeowners update their properties, keeping property values up and the city looking good.  

Kewaunee County Historical Society adds military artifacts from local Airman

By Cynthia Germain


Lt. Colonel George Anton Swagel, a native of West Kewaunee, recently donated a number of artifacts from his 22 years of service in the United States Air Force to the Kewaunee County Historical Society.  During his career, Lt. Swagel became qualified to fly 14 different types of aircraft and led the RF-101 Voodoo Pilots Association members through some of its more dangerous excursions.  His donation of military artifacts adds to a display of several uniforms from this period. Tom Skubal, a Board member of the Historical Society, is enthusiastic about Swagel's life experience and donation.



The Kewaunee County Historical Society looks to add to its exhibits with other county resident's military relics.  The historical society is located at 217 Ellis Street in Kewaunee and are open during the off-season with the availability of their volunteers.  Those interested in a donation or in viewing Lt. Swagel's exhibit and other historical displays should call first to confirm hours.

Good time of the year to review your estate plan

By Paul Schmitt

As the new year approaches, now may be a good to review your estate plan or will.  According to Bob Ross of Ross Estate Planning in Sturgeon Bay, updating one's estate plan is important when changes occur in your family.



Ross says people may want to make changes to their advance financial and health care directives in the future.  Using charitable contributions for tax advantages and the planning for a nursing home are also two frequent inquiries made in regards to establishing an estate plan, according to Ross.

Barker Center offers child care and teacher opportunities

By Cynthia Germain


The Door County YMCA's child care center supports over 90 children for working families in and around Sturgeon Bay.  Since 2012, the YMCA has offered the program at the Barker Center in response to the need of working parents for safe quality care for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old. The Barker Center is located on Egg Harbor Road in Sturgeon Bay and is the only group licensed Child Care Center in Sturgeon Bay. Tom Beernsten, CEO of the Door County YMCA, is pleased with the support that they provide the community and calls out for teachers in what he considers their best work.



Beernsten knows that there are limited licensed group child care opportunities in the area and feels that this setting is an excellent place not only for care but for learning as the children grow.

There are waiting lists for certain ages as infants require a high child-to-staff ratio and as other children age and move into different classes.  There are subsidies for lower-income families available that make this child care alternative more affordable.  The staff of the Barker Center assists families during enrollment with the application for the state funding.

Algoma 3rd District Alderman wants to return in April

By Cynthia Germain


City of Algoma residents have an opportunity to return Eugene Cleveland to the 3rd District seat in April. He came to the position in the current term as an appointment due to the previous alderman moving out of the area.  Cleveland is enthusiastic about the city, its residents and its  schools.



Cleveland has lived in Algoma for 20 years and has two small children with one on the way.  He is pleased with the many improvements in the community recently, including the Little Algoma program and the new community health center at the local high school.  Cleveland believes that Algoma is a great place to live and expresses his desire to make the community the best it can be.  Nomination papers can be picked up at the Algoma city hall and circulated starting December 1st.  Candidates must return nomination papers to the city before the end of business on January 2nd.

Hot meals for hungry people


By Kent Berkley



The mission is simple, but the impact on the community is large.  Loaves and Fishes of Door County, Inc. is an organization that provides hot meals to hungry individuals and families. It started in 2003 when a single church saw a need and began feeding a dozen people at a sitting.  Now the non-profit organization is able to feed between a 130 and 140 hungry people per meal thanks to the strong support of more than a dozen local churches and community groups and the Door County Community Foundation which provides administrative assistance.  Gary Hollman, Program Coordinator, says the program serves anyone who self-identifies as having a need.






Hollman says that in addition to serving greater numbers in general, the program has been much more successful in reaching out to families with young children.  Loaves and Fishes usually provides meals on the first, third and fourth Fridays of the month.



Southern Door School District hosts holiday party for seniors

By Tim Kowols


The Southern Door School District is carrying on an over three-decade tradition of hosting a holiday party for area senior citizens.  The party will feature food, door prizes and music supplied by high school band and choral students.  Superintendent Patti Vickman says the party offers the School District with an opportunity to express its gratitude for the strong community support it receives.






Senior citizens age 62 and over who are interested in attending the party should call the School District office to make reservations.


Holiday meals bring in potential for food safety concerns


By Kaila Stencil, Kewaunee County UW-Extension Foodwise Nutrition Educator

As we welcome the holiday season we also welcome an abundance of great food at gatherings with family and friends.  Food safety is probably not the first thing you think about when planning your holiday meal. However, if we forget to keep food safety in mind, our holiday gathering may be memorable for all the wrong reasons. Food safety is a concern during all times of the year but can be a particular concern during the holiday season when foods are being left out for extended periods of time while guests graze over spread of delicious snacks. Take the proper steps to protect your guests from food borne illness.


Let's take a look at three common food safety questions:


How can I safely transport foods to family gatherings?


The best thing to remember is to keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Use crock pots to keep things hot and ice trays to keep things cold. Hot items should remain above 140 degrees Fahrenheit and cold items should remain below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.


How long can foods be kept out of the refrigerator?


Leaving food out for too long is one of the biggest holiday food safety problems. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours of preparation. Keeping foods out for longer than two hours allows bacteria to grow at a rapid rate.


What is the best way to thaw meat?


There are three safe ways to thaw meat.  The first option is to thaw in the refrigerator. Remember to place meat in a container to catch any juices. The second option is to thaw in a sink of cold water that is changed every 30 minutes.  Lastly, meat can be thawed via microwave. Never thaw meat on the counter as it will become unsafe for consumption.


Keep the holidays happy.  The last thing we want to do is pass on food borne illness

Granary restoration efforts face costly obstacles once dismantled

By Tim Kowols

Restoring Sturgeon Bay's granary will not be easy if not impossible if it is dismantled as approved by the Common Council last week. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council voted 4-3 last week to dismantle the granary and store it for up to one year while private organizations gather proposals to rebuild it at a later time. Pat Drury from Drury Designs is working with the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society on the potential project and has reconstructed granaries before, but says doing it here would be expensive.



Drury believes the council's action puts the granary on the fast track to being taken down and forgotten. In his opinion, it would be easier and more cost effective to move the structure over, make the necessary repairs to the granary's foundation, and place it right back where it was. The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society had close to $1.4 million available for the restoration of the granary if it could agree on a project with the city, but now it could be the city that is responsible for the dismantling and storage costs.

Chop and Shop with a Cop programs connect youth with law enforcement in Door, Kewaunee County

By Tim Kowols

Law enforcement in Door and Kewaunee County are preparing to make the holiday season a little bit brighter for area children. Both counties sponsor Chop and Shop with a Cop programs next Saturday, pairing a child with a member of the sheriff's department or police department for the day as they cut down a tree and do Christmas shopping for their family. Algoma Police Officer Tyler Tuttle has been involved with the program for nine years, beginning as a student volunteer from Luxemburg-Casco High School. Tuttle says it is an experience he looks forward to every year.



Both Door County and Kewaunee County programs accept donations of gift wrapping supplies and money to help make the day a little more special for the participating children.



Officer Tuttle shares one special story from the Chop and Shop with a Cop program in Kewaunee County


Community Supported Agriculture provides Kewaunee County residents with fresh produce


By Kent Berkley

Folkvangr Farms is a sustainable farming venture which offers fresh produce to local buyers and members of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project it operates.  The CSA is a "farm share" in which members buy shares of the yearly harvest at the beginning of the growing season and then partake of the produce at various times throughout the year.  The contents of the distribution boxes contain different items as determined by seasonal harvest cycles.  Karen Knudtson, co-owner of the venture, says the advantage of eating fresh produce from a farmer with whom the member has a personal relationship is beneficial on multiple levels.






Folkvangr Farms is currently located in Algoma, but is in the process of relocating to another Kewaunee County location near Luxemburg.  Persons interested in becoming members of the CSA can do so by visiting the Folkvangr Farms website found at

YMCA set to roll out new diabetes prevention program


By Kent Berkley

Thanksgiving marks the start of a high-risk period for persons concerned about eating well and maintaining healthy lifestyles. The Door County YMCA is offering several programs to address these concerns. Amy Mueller, Director of Development and Marketing, is especially excited about the YMCA's new Diabetes Prevention Program which is scheduled to begin in January.



Mueller says the program was developed in response to the diabetes health crisis that is developing nationally and in Door County. The program offers a free risk assessment and has intervention approaches that target individuals who are most at risk of becoming diabetic.

The YMCA also launched the Holiday Trimmings Club this week. Participation is available to all members of the community and focuses on maintaining healthy good habits to avoid precipitous weight gain during the holidays. Participants confidentially record their weight at strategic times during the program and receive weekly tips that include recipe ideas, stress reduction recommendations, and other helpful information.



Small Business Saturday is a big day for local retail economy

By Paul Schmitt

Black Friday was yesterday and Cyber Monday is still a couple days away, but a newly promoted day called Small Business Saturday is in the retail store's landscape today.  A shopping day designed to encourage buying local for the holiday season has been gaining momentum.  Ken Batten of Batten True Value in Luxemburg explains why Small Business Saturday is important to consumers as well as local retailers.



Batten also says local small businesses are crucial because they give back to the community and schools with donations and support.  American Express launched Small Business Saturday in 2010 and the day (two days after Thanksgiving) became officially recognized by the United States government in 2011.

Liberty Grove hopes Monday meeting another step towards wastewater treatment plant dispute resolution

By Tim Kowols

The Town of Liberty Grove and the Village of Sister Bay hope to take another step towards resolving their wastewater treatment plant dispute with a joint board meeting on Monday. Liberty Grove officials are looking for the compensation of $140,000 for their portion of the recently sold Larson property, which the town put money towards along with the village and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to spread sludge. Town chairperson John Lowry says they are also looking to remove a requirement for property owners to be annexed by the village for sewer and water service.



Lowry is hopeful the positive momentum continues with their talks with village officials. The joint meeting is slated to take place at 6:30 p.m. at the Liberty Grove Town Hall.

Antlerless harvest lags behind antlered despite bonus tags offered

By Tim Kowols

The president of Whitetails Unlimited hopes hunters take advantage of the extra doe tags they were allowed with their hunting license this year to keep up with deer herd management. Up to five antlerless tags in Door County and three in Kewaunee County were available per hunter to purchase in addition to a single one for a buck. Jeff Schinkten from Whitetails Unlimited said during Wednesday's Deer Hunter's Roundup on 104.1 WRLU that mild winters have caused the deer population to go up in recent years and thinks without going back to an Earn-A-Buck program, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is trying to incentivize doe hunting.



Currently, the antlered deer harvest is slightly outpacing the antlerless harvest in both Door and Kewaunee County. The idea of a doe-only season in Door County was discussed earlier this year, but was nixed in April

Sister Bay Captures the Spirit


By Kent Berkley

The Sister Bay Advancement Association is sponsoring Capture the Spirit, a weekend celebration of the holidays that begins Friday evening at 4:30.  On Friday, the primary venue is Waterfront Park and Saturday's festivities take place at the fire station and village hall.  Louise Howson of Sister
Bay Advancement Association stresses the importance of being present for the opening ceremony on Friday.




After the lights of the village Christmas tree are set aglow, Santa and his reindeer will escort the children to the library for crafts and story time read by Santa himself.   On Saturday,  the Sister Bay Advancement Association will enlist the expertise of local Girl Scouts for cookie decorating at the fire house.  Also on Saturday, the Friends of Gibraltar will hold an Art Fair and host a soup lunch.



For a complete listing of the schedule, visit




Rep. Gallagher hopes tax reform sent in positive direction

By Tim Kowols

No bill is perfect, but Rep. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin's 8th District hopes the House of Representatives' passage of a tax reform bill will be better than what has become the status quo. The partisan-passed bill aims to cut the corporate tax rate, simplify the tax code and allow more people to keep more of their money. Rep. Gallagher from Wisconsin's 8th District says there is plenty of work to do, but something had to be done.



Echoing the sentiments of U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, Rep. Gallagher says one change he'd like to see involves the pass-through tax rate, which according to Cornell University refers to how individual owners of businesses pay taxes on income derived from that business on their personal tax return.



Critics of the tax reform bill say it eliminates too many deductions and unfairly benefits the wealthy. Rep. Gallagher hopes the tax reform bill is signed into law by the end of the year.

Algoma Wolf Tech gaining positive notoriety

By Tim Kowols

Algoma Wolf Tech is proving to be a launching point for students wanting to get involved in technical trades. Since Algoma's fabrication lab expanded over two years ago, students have been exposed to manufacturing both with metals and wood thanks to partnerships with local companies like Precision Machine and technical education teacher Matt Abel. With many students also getting a jump start on the next phase of their life by earning college credits while in high school, Abel says employers are taking notice.



Wolf Tech has reached people outside its walls as well with its Community Fab Lab days and projects in the city including the warming shelter at its ice rink and activity room at the Algoma Long Term Care Unit.

Egg Harbor celebrates Holly Days


By Kent Berkley

The Egg Harbor Business Association is sponsoring Holly Days, a two day festival to celebrate the holidays.  The festival begins Friday morning at 8:30 over breakfast with Santa and concludes Saturday afternoon with the Elf Hunt.  The event includes a variety of family- focused and adult- oriented activities which include games for the kids, carriage rides, wine tasting, music and a historic building tour.  Kim Jensen of the Egg Harbor Visitor Center says the event provides a great way for families to enjoy the holidays and history of Egg Harbor while on a budget.





Kim urges visitors to remember to check in at any event station to qualify for Elf Hunt prizes.  To view a complete schedule of planned events visit

Total Maximum Daily Load study provides another tool for Kewaunee County's water concerns

By Tim Kowols

As Kewaunee County awaits results from its aquatic life survey of the impaired East Twin River, Land and Water Conservation Committee member Lee Luft is looking forward to a more expansive study being done throughout the region. Included in the current state budget is the designation of a fifth Total Daily Maximum Load study, which will include watersheds in Kewaunee, Manitowoc, and Sheboygan County. The study aims to set pollution limits for the waterways. Luft says the information gathered from the study will be crucial to addressing what needs to be done to protect the area's water supply.



The study championed by First District Assembly Rep. Joel Kitchens is expected to take place over the course of a few years but will give all stakeholders more information on how to address the area's water concerns.

Vehicle maintenance tips to avoid winter travel headaches


By Kent Berkley

When it comes to winter vehicle maintenance, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Randy Sahs, President of Sahs Auto in Sturgeon Bay, recommends that all vehicle owners undertake a basic assessment of their vehicle's safety and readiness for the cold and icy days ahead.  He urges drivers to ask their mechanics to run the vehicle through a quick winter checklist and address any concerns that are uncovered.  He states it is critically important to pay special attention to the state of the tires.

Randy believes that a seasonal checkup and preventive maintenance will help keep a vehicle on the road and in good working order.


Robert M. Carmody Park provides haven for fishing and boating--Door County Parks Series 7

By Paul Schmitt

In the seventh in a series on the Door County Parks system, we feature the Robert M. Carmody County Park in the town of Gardner.  Located along the bay of Little Sturgeon, this park offers one of Door County's largest boat launches.  The six-lane launch and fishing pier is a popular destination for anglers from in and outside the area, according to Door County Parks Director Eric Aleson.  He says Carmody Park offers a peaceful, scenic place to visit even in the late fall.



Robert M. Carmody County Park was designed around three mature oak trees and includes a picnic area with plenty of parking. In 2001, the Wisconsin DNR and Door County purchased 4.5 acres of shoreline jointly for constructing the boat launch.  It was the first jointly owned county parks in the county.  You can find more information and maps on all 19 Door County Parks with the link below.

Death's Door no match for hunting on Washington Island

By Tim Kowols

Many hunters are willing to travel a far distance in search of their trophy, and even some are willing to take a ferry to it. In addition to visiting family on and off the island, the Washington Island Ferry does see its fair share of hunters traveling to partake in the gun deer hunting season. An avid hunter himself, Washington Island Ferry President Hoyt Purinton says the weather plays even more of a factor when it comes to deer leaving the island.



Purinton says hunters are always welcome on the island as help is needed to control its deer population. The Washington Island Ferry is currently running its late fall schedule of six round-trips between its docks on the island and in Northport.

Sturgeon Bay Schools look to please families with 2018/2019 calendar

By Tim Kowols

Sturgeon Bay School District is hopeful its 2018-2019 school calendar will be more family-friendly than years past. A four-day Memorial Day weekend and moving four half-days to Fridays are among the changes in store for next school year, which will begin the Tuesday after Labor Day and continue into the early part of June. Superintendent Dan Tjernagel hopes the changes are something families take advantage of next year.



Tjernagel encourages parents to contact him if they have any questions or comments on the 2018/2019 calendar before it is approved by the school board. Washington Island School District has also looked at its school calendar to make more family-friendly as they try to balance with the ferry schedule and booking appointments on the mainland.

"2018 Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair" to be be crowned this weekend at gala

By Paul Schmitt

The Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair Gala will be held this Saturday in Luxemburg.  The event will have the crowning of the 2018 Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair.  Last year's representative Isabellla Haen shares her busy schedule leading up to the big 100th County Fair last July.



Attendees will also witness the crowning of the new Kewaunee County Junior Fairest of the Fair.  The Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair Gala, which is free to attend, will be held at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds Saturday from noon until 3 p.m.  You can find details of the event with this story online.


Deer hunting harvest down statewide so far; up in Door County while down in Kewaunee County

By Paul Schmitt

Over 2700 deer were harvested during the opening weekend of gun deer hunting in Door and Kewaunee Counties.  The Wisconsin Department of Transportation released numbers on Tuesday that showed a statewide decrease of over 13,000 deer compared to last year's opening weekend.  DNR Conservation Warden Chris Kratcha says the hopes are that more antlerless deer are taken this year to thin the herd in the area.



Door County had 1,560 total deer taken compared to 1,417 last year.  840 bucks and 720 antlerless deer were harvested over the opening weekend this year.


Kewaunee County saw a slight decrease in the kill with 1,108 taken this year compared to 1,202 last year.  576 bucks and 532 antlerless deer accounted for this past weekend's harvest.  The nine day gun deer hunt concludes at dusk on Sunday.


Link to statewide numbers for opening weekend by DNR:

Birch Creek doubles down on holiday show success December 2

By Tim Kowols

Birch Creek Music Performance Center will deck the halls twice as much this year when it hosts two holiday concerts next month in Egg Harbor.  "Christmas Around the World" will welcome back Birch Creek faculty members and the Sister Bay Moravian Church's Handbell Choir to Juniper Hall to play an international selection of holiday songs. Executive Director Mona Christensen hopes they can duplicate the success of the center's first holiday concert last year.



On December 2, a family matinee will take place at 2:30 p.m. while an evening performance featuring the handbell choir is set for 7 p.m. You can learn more about the performance and how to buy tickets online with this story.

Tips on handling political talk at Thanksgiving gatherings

By Paul Schmitt

Discussing politics at Thanksgiving gatherings can lead to family arguments and heated exchanges as well as hard feelings afterward.  Shirley Senarighi of the Door County Civility Project says that although some suggest avoiding politics at all cost is the way to go, political topics are important to discuss.



Senarighi says to remember your purpose for starting the conversation.  Is it to change other people's mind, which might not be possible, or is it your goal is to understand the other person's view and have them understand your position.  Doing so can lead to less tension, according to Senarighi.  She recommends that people "breathe" and take time to think of the words they use before engaging the other person.

Busiest Thanksgiving travel days in 12 years projected

By Paul Schmitt

The American Automobile Association expects 50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, a 3.3 percent increase over last year. The 2017 holiday weekend will see the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005.  Locally, Door County Sheriff Steve Delarwelle says drivers should plan ahead and take their time as well as remember the basics.





Delarwelle suggests that you should be one car-length behind the vehicle in front of you for every ten miles per hour you are traveling.  For AAA Holiday Road-Trip Survival Tips, go to link:

Gibraltar Student makes initial court appearance Monday for terrorist threats

By Paul Schmitt

A 17-year old Gibraltar student will make his initial court appearance next Monday after being arrested last Thursday for making terrorist threats.  Juan Jauregui is accused of making terrorist threats on Snapchat on November 15.  A student forwarded the image to a teacher who reported it to authorities.  Gibraltar schools were opened shortly after the student was arrested by Door County Sheriff Department personnel on November 16.  Jauregui was released on a $10,000 bond and is expected to be charged with making terrorist threats, according to the Door County Clerk of Circuit Courts.

Sturgeon Bay City Council snubs more than $1.4 million from donors to save granary

By Roger Utnehmer

The Sturgeon Bay City Council voted Tuesday to dismantle the 116-year-old granary on the west-side waterfront.

Council action came after one benefactor pledged $1.25 million to save the structure.  Other donors offered significant financial support if the granary could have been saved.

The vote was 4 to 3 with Council Members Stewart Fett, Richard Wiesner, Ron Vandertie and David Ward voting in the majority.  Council Members Laurel Hauser, Barbara Allmann and Kelly Catarozoli voted against demolition.

David Ward offered the motion that was finally adopted after both public comment and council debate.  Ward's motion stated that the granary be dismantled and salvaged materials saved for up to one year during which time private organizations could come forward with proposals to re-construct the granary at its current or other locations.

Council member Laurel Hauser attempted to give voice to those supporting the granary but was ruled out of order by Stewart Fett who was filling in for Mayor Thad Birmingham who was absent.  Hauser said she would like to hear from members of the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society before voting but Fett claimed the council "already had public comment and that would be out of order."

Fire Chief Tim Dietman issued an order in November that the granary be razed in thirty days because of unspecified "safety concerns."

Veterans choice health care program still work in progress

By Tim Kowols

Area veterans continue their waiting game when it comes to a private option with their healthcare. The Veterans Choice programs from the Department of Veterans Affairs allows qualified individuals to get the help they need from a private healthcare provider if they are too far or wait too long for an appointment at a local VA facility.  Kewaunee County Veterans Service Officer Jane Babcock says the problem now is figuring out who is paying who and how quickly the VA can pay the bill, often at the expense of the veteran receiving treatment.



Babcock says while the situation is improving, now it is dealing with hospitals, the VA, and insurance companies forcing veterans to have to fill out the required paperwork three times to get their services paid for correctly.

Preparedness key to winter driving

By Tim Kowols

Before heavier snowfall comes to the Door peninsula, law enforcement is encouraging motorists to start planning for the worst while traveling now. In addition to driving slower and giving more time and space on the roads, packing an emergency kit can help make worst-case scenarios more tolerable. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says motorists should keep a close eye on their tires and fuel levels.



According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, last winter's months (November-March) were among the safest in regards to fatalities on state roadways since World War II. You can read the full Sheriff's Corner online with this story.


As we approach the Thanksgiving weekend, we find ourselves with moderate weather and excellent road conditions. I know that many of the deer hunters out there would like to have some snow on the ground for tracking but I think I speak for the rest of us who are just fine with the continued fall like conditions. So far the precipitation has been the type that takes care of itself and does not require my assistance in shoveling; however the white stuff is sure to be arriving soon! It never fails that many of us are caught off guard by the first few storms and the potential dangers that accompany them. Just over the past few years there has been many a situation where motorists have found themselves stranded with little or no resources and many times help can be a long time in arriving.

These past incidents provide us with a stark warning that we too could find ourselves stranded and pre-planning our winter readiness could mean the difference between a mere inconvenience and a tragic experience.

It is a good practice to maintain a full tank of fuel throughout the winter season. This means filling up at the end of your days commute so that you are starting out the next day or next trip with a full tank. As temperatures begin their inevitable descent it may also be a good idea to add fuel treatment to prevent gas line freeze up each time you fill your tanks.

Each vehicle should be equipped with some basic essentials. A blanket and extra set of winter gear is always a great idea. A set of jumper cables or even a portable power pack is also great resource not only for your vehicle but to provide assistance to others. You may want to consider a small kit which may include some bottled water, as well as some snack bars.

As in all travels it is a great idea to let others know where you are going and even more important a travel route you plan on taking. We are fortunate to live in an age of technology where we are only a cell phone call away from assistance. An additional gadget that may aid in the ability to maintain that vital communication would be an adaptor for charging those devices from your vehicle.

It is my hope that we have a record breaking season in that there are very few accidents, and even more important no injuries. Cautious driving and pre-planning are the key to a successful winter traveling season, and I wish everyone safe Thanksgiving Travels!


Opening weekend injuries increase gun safety awareness


By Tim Kowols

Three injuries sustained during the opening weekend of the gun deer season have renewed the call for hunters to practice safety in the woods. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, three separate incidents, including one in Brown County, resulted in leg injuries and hospital visits due to user error. DNR Conservation Warden Chris Kratcha reminded hunters during last week's Ask the Warden show to treat every gun like it is loaded.



While the injury totals from the opening weekend are in, the preliminary harvest numbers were not yet available as of noon on Tuesday. When factoring the archery, crossbow and youth hunt, the DNR reports that 1,158  deer have been harvested in Door County and 816 deer have been harvested in Kewaunee County.





Opening Weekend Gun Deer Season Comparison

Door County had 1,560 total deer taken compared to 1,417 last year.  840 bucks and 720 antlerless deer were harvested over the opening weekend this year.

Kewaunee County saw a slight decrease in the kill with 1,108 taken this year compared to 1,202 last year.  576 bucks and 532 antlerless deer accounted for this past weekend's harvest.

Status of Sister Bay, Liberty Grove wastewater treatment plant dispute finally improving

By Tim Kowols

The icy tension between the Village of Sister Bay and the Town of Liberty Grove over its wastewater treatment plant has been thawing in recent weeks. The two sides have been fighting over ownership and management of the shared wastewater treatment plant for years, leading to the village to take the town to court over the issue earlier this year. Village Administrator Zeke Jackson says while not everything is settled yet, he is encouraged that progress is finally be made.



After agreeing to Sister Bay being the owner of the physical plant, the two sides are now discussing future investment into its operations. The agreement between the two municipalities dates back to 1988.

New owner of Logan Creek Soap enjoying first season at Sturgeon Bay storefront


By Kent Berkley

Lori Kabat was such a loyal customer of Logan Creek Soap, she bought the business from the previous owners when they retired.  Lori wanted to make sure she could keep using Logan Creek Soap, but more importantly, she wanted others to have access to the soaps she loves.  Lori has enjoyed interacting with customers at the Farmers Market, but wanted a permanent and more visible location.



Lori learned the recipes and processes for making the natural soaps from the previous owners.  Lori enjoys making the soap and says it provides an outlet for her creative side.



Logan Creek Soap has moved from a home-based business to a storefront retail shop.  Lori sells her products at 142 South Madison in Sturgeon Bay and plans to continue selling at Farmers Markets and other community events when the weather permits.

Door County Supervisor Don Sitte not seeking re-election

By Paul Schmitt

Door County Board Supervisor for District 19 Don Sitte will not be seeking re-election in April for his seat on the County Board.  Sitte oversees Wards two and three which covers the town of Baileys Harbor and the town of Liberty Grove, respectively.  Finishing his second tenure on the board, after serving six years at the start of the millennium, Sitte says it is time for someone else to fill his position.  He reflects on the people who helped him during his first term as a supervisor beginning back in 2000.



Sitte says the current project of converting the old historic highway department building on 14th Avenue into the new Senior Center/Emergency Services facility is one of the Door County Board's major accomplishments during his final four-year term.

Tips on saving money during the holiday season--"Money Management Mondays"

By Paul Schmitt

The challenge of saving money this time of year may seem hopeless, but Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says there are ways to make sure you are still putting money away for a rainy, or snowy day.  Pustaver shares two ideas to at least save some money the next several weeks.



Putting money in the bank is a good savings plan that prevents paying paycheck-to-paycheck, according to Pustaver.  Earmarking money for specific expenses in the future is also a way to encourage saving and developing a savings plan.  You can listen to the entire Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver below.







LIVE Algoma putting a "Freeze on Gain" for healthier eating

By Paul Schmitt

LIVE Algoma's healthy community challenge called "Freeze the Gain" begins this week.  The challenge is designed to empower people to make healthy choices during the holidays and avoid packing on additional weight.  Community Nurse Activator and Health Coach Jody Anderson says the participants receive support during the weight-control campaign.



The program is a partnership between LIVE Algoma the Algoma Chamber of Commerce.  Weigh-in continues every week until the final weigh-in being held the week after New Year's Day.  Businesses with 10 or more employees interested in scheduling their own weigh-in can get information on the "Freeze the Gain" challenge with this story online.

Younkers store in Sturgeon Bay looks to be safe from national closures


By Roger Utnehmer and Paul Schmitt

The parent company of Sturgeon Bay's Younker's Department Store is not saying if their Door County location is one of 40 scheduled to be closed in 2018, but indications are that they won't be closing.


Bon-Ton, the parent company of Boston Store, Herberger's and Younker's, said in November store closures were needed for the long-term good of the company.


A spokesperson for Bon-Ton declined to say if the Sturgeon Bay store will remain open or close.  The closures, according to the company, will be stores that are leased. found the Sturgeon Bay stores locations are corporately owned under the name K & B Detrick LTD in York, Pennsylvania where Bon-Ton is headquartered.  Younker's is a major retailer in downtown Sturgeon Bay with two locations one block apart.

Southern Door High School hits national "Gold Standard" for Personal Finance courses

By Paul Schmitt

The Southern Door School District has received some national recognition when it comes to offering courses dealing with personal finances.  Southern Door has the distinction of being one of only 600 high school's nation-wide that reached the "Next-Gen Personal Finance gold standard" from over 11,000 schools analyzed around the country.  School Superintendent Patti Vickman says personal finances is something students will utilize their whole lifetime.



School websites were reviewed for courses offered by high schools in the field of personal finance.  Southern Door High School has a graduation requirement for students to take a semester of a personal finance class which is taught by Maree Baumann.

Lienau looks to a new term in 2018

By Cynthia Germain


The Chair of the Door County Board of Supervisors, Dave Lienau of Sister Bay, will run for re-election to the county board and hopes to keep his leadership position as chair. As Chairman, Lienau oversees the administration of the Board's activities. The Board of Supervisors consists of twenty-one members that represent their respective districts in the county. Each board supervisor is charged with serving not only their constituents but also be active on committees, taking part in formulating policy that the county will pursue short and long term. Collectively, the board looks at what is happening nationally that affects state and local governance and its impact on the delivery of county services. As many services and personnel in the county are dictated and funded by the state, special committees in different service sectors have been formed to oversee their activities. Lienau says that this is a vital function of any Board member.



Lienau notes that budget issues and financial review are the bulk of activity of these positions, with the process beginning in January of one year to address the following year, and ultimately looking two to five years down the line on monetary and policy needs. Lienau is excited about the what is shaping these needs as the constituents and economic outlook change over time and looks forward to his continued contributions.

Algoma Mayor runs for his fourth term in April

By Cynthia Germain


Wayne R. Schmidt has confirmed that he is running again for Mayor of the City of Algoma and looks forward to the community's support. He attributes his success in his last three terms to the city council, the city administrator and staff, and as a recent retiree can devote even more energy to the office. Schmidt believes in the adage "come as a visitor, leave as a friend" and says that he is excited about the many positive opportunities in Algoma and his contributions to its growth.



Schmidt is most proud of the collaboration of the city and the school district to implement the Live Well program which he believes has put Algoma on the map. In addition, the City has seen new residential homes and looks to further developing moderate-income housing in the community as well hotel opportunities for visitors. The Mayor and Council have just completed a comprehensive plan for 2018, and Schmidt expresses an eagerness to assist in the process.

Egg Harbor prepares for a special sculpture by a Wisconsin artist

By Cynthia Germain

As part of the Public Arts Initiative of Egg Harbor, Bay View Park will be the home to a unique sculpture set to unveil in May of 2018.  The site platform preparations have begun including landscaping of the surrounding escarpment and most recently the concrete pedestal for the yet untitled sculpture.  Boleslaw Kochanowski from Junction City, Wisconsin, was commissioned to create a sculpture that is approachable and nature-themed with a crane flying, fashioned out of corten steel.  Kochanowski says that he works often with this medium and likes its results.



The colorant that Kochanowski chose for the platform is intended to work well with the inevitable washes of time.  He finds the most challenging part of the project to be visualizing the piece according to the concept drawing and then shaping the hot iron based on the visualization.  Kochanowski has done similar works for Aurora Medical Center in Milwaukee and other Wisconsin organizations as well as private installations.  


Local non-profit offers medical equipment and support to Door County residents

By Cynthia Germain

Neighbor-to-Neighbor gets its name from its mission to help neighbors stay independent through medical equipment loans and other services. Volunteers and donations are key to its activities which include its main program of medical equipment loans and its Peer Companion and Respite for Caregivers programs. Ann Bennett, Executive Director, is pleased with its successes and calls for residents to help in its efforts.



On-call volunteers connect with people in need of medical equipment while other volunteers are matched with homebound clients for social visits and non-medical respite care. Other volunteers staff daily office functions as well as help with special events activities. All services are made based on need, location in Door County and compatibility. There are three offices that provide medical equipment loans located in Sturgeon Bay, outside Fish Creek and Washington Island. Neighbor-to-Neighbor just hosted its annual fundraising event, the 9th Annual Ribfest, and will be holding their annual meeting, open to the public, that reviews financials and honor volunteers on November 28th at the Sturgeon Bay Library.

Kewaunee County shows their Christmas spirit with Holiday Light Contest

By Cynthia Germain

Kewaunee County residents and businesses will enjoy a little healthy holiday competition and light up their cities. Through a collaboration of the Kewaunee County chambers in Luxemburg, Algoma and Kewaunee, this fun, family-focused event is intended to encourage creativity and town pride. This year's themes include "Retro" which can be inspired by 1920's modern, 1960's kitsch or 1940's glam, "Classic" for those who prefer a more traditional approach and "Griswold" if you've got a cousin Eddy or a spare RV to decorate. Sara Krouse, Executive Director of the Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce, says that online registration is quick and easy.



Unlike other lighting contests that have a panel of judges, the Chambers are excited that new technology allows for the public to vote on entries which will open up on December 8th at 5 p.m. and goes through Saturday, December 16th at 10 p.m. For those not online mobily, maps will be available at area gas stations.

Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County tutor students from 20 countries

By Tim Kowols


With the recent addition of a Japanese woman into the program, the Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County have now welcomed students from 20 different countries. Fifty tutors and 60 students currently are involved in the program, which not only helps people get comfortable with the English language but helps them work towards earning their General Education Diploma and even citizenship. Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County President Bob Garfinkel never realized Door and Kewaunee County was so diverse but says their system has produced great results.



Garfinkel credits public events like last month's Hispanic Heritage Night about getting the word out about their organization and reaching new people as both students and tutors. Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County will soon celebrate their tenth student working their way through the program to earn their United States citizenship.

Algoma Pathfinder Academy looks to build on success

By Tim Kowols

With the success of the Algoma Pathfinder Academy, the question now for school officials is how to keep the experience consistent if more students are added. The program is just over a year old and has provided students a place to learn in a different way outside of the walls of the traditional classroom. Algoma School District Superintendent Nick Cochart says other school districts have inquired about the Pathfinder Academy and if they can send kids there. At this point, Cochart says they simply do not have the space.


At under 20 students, Cochart says they will look to them to decide on the direction the Pathfinder Academy takes in terms of its scope in the future.

Construction preservationist wants crack at Sturgeon Bay granary

By Tim Kowols

The Sturgeon Bay granary building may be the next challenge Pat Drury from De Pere-based Drury Designs takes on in his quest to save local history. Drury Designs already has a portfolio full of similar projects, including granaries in Reedsville and Ledgeview. Inspired by the demolishing of Kopp's Restaurant, Drury says he hates communities tearing down historic buildings that could be saved and believes the Sturgeon Bay granary should be too.



Drury admits there were structural integrity issues when he was last in the building in 2014, but he cannot estimate the further problems with the granary and potential solutions until he and structural engineers are allowed back inside to check it out.  If the city and Sturgeon Bay Historical Society can agree on a project, an anonymous donor through the Door County Community Foundation has pledged $1.25 million to rehabilitate and maintain the building.

New tagging rules in effect this hunting season

By Tim Kowols

New tagging laws in Wisconsin could make it harder for you to retrieve a deer you shoot if it goes onto another person's property. Under new regulations, hunters no longer need to put a tag on their harvested deer as long as there is valid proof of a hunting license and it is registered over the phone or online that same day. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Conservation Warden Chris Kratcha says that could cause some issues if you track your deer outside of your own property and you are not allowed to retrieve it.


When the law was passed earlier this year, Governor Scott Walker expressed his confidence in the changes, telling a Green Bay television station in September that "it is making sure we teach the next generation to honor those traditions and that includes doing it an honest way."

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Christmas spirit shines bright through dreary day at Sturgeon Bay Holiday Parade

By Tim Kowols

No threat of rain or cold temperatures would keep hundreds from lining city streets Saturday for the Sturgeon Bay Holiday Parade. Dozens of floats representing local businesses and civic organizations gave the onlookers plenty to look at and candy to eat. The parade is part of the weekend-long Christmas by the Bay celebration in Sturgeon Bay, which kicked off Friday night with the lighting of the city's Christmas tree.

Jacksonport Thanksgiving Parade an example of collaboration for community support

By Tim Kowols

For more than 20 years, the Jacksonport Thanksgiving Parade has held more meaning than just a few floats and another opportunity to see Santa. The Gibraltar DECA Club and Sevastopol Student Council have teamed up for almost a decade to turn the parade into a fundraiser for few good causes and families in need. In addition to Feed My People Clothe My People, the parade this year will benefit one Door County resident suffering from Lou Gerhig's Disease. Sevastopol Student Council advisor Lindsay de Young says it is great to see high school students from two different areas come together for a great cause.



The parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. from the Jacksonport Fire Station.

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Secret Treasures of Door County: Sturgeon Bay Waterfront


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. 


It still amazes me when I talk to people up the Peninsula and they tell me they seldom go to Sturgeon Bay. In fact, so many of the tourists consistently take the big bridge north and bypass the short detour that would lead them to some of the best scenes the entire county has to offer; especially along the waterfront.


The Steel Bridge itself is worth the trip. It first opened on July 4, 1931, and spans about a quarter mile. Because of the need for constant repairs, it was earmarked for demolition in the early 2000's.  But a group of dedicated locals called Citizens for Our Bridge banded (literally banded) together. Their efforts were successful.  It was the genesis for the Steel Bridge Songfest that began in 2004 and continues to bring musicians from all over the country each summer.


At the bottom of the bridge, along with the southern wall, you'll find a bevy of tugboats, including the John Purves. Built in 1919 as an ocean-going tug and was gifted to the Sturgeon Bay Maritime Museum in 2003. You can enjoy an all-access forty-minute guided tour.


One of the most accurate and predictable sounds you'll hear eleven times a day in Sturgeon Bay is the whistle at Bay Shipbuilding Company. It signals the beginning of a shift, the start of a break or the end of the day. This is where most of the large lake vessels come in the winter for repair. At any time you can see these mammoths right from the road. One weekend each year they open their doors to the public for a closer look.


And every now and then we are blessed with the arrival of the Tall Ships. They'll dock all along the waterfront. This is something that you have to be here to see.


And let's not forget the Coast Guard and the incredible sight of the lighthouse, Big Red, just up the canal.


In the summer the sails are full and in the winter the ice sparkles in the sunshine with that beautiful steel bridge in the background.


The Waterfront of Sturgeon Bay. One of my favorite "Secret Treasures" of Door County.


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Tuesday's City Council meeting to untable contracting to raze Granary Building

By Paul Schmitt

The continuing saga over the Granary building in Sturgeon Bay will be front and center again Tuesday at the Sturgeon Bay City Council meeting.   The agenda released Friday afternoon shows item 13 calling for a closed session to discuss the raze order by Fire Chief  Tim Dietman of the grain elevator.  After the closed session, the council will vote on to remove the tabling of the contract to Raze and Remove Structure, Granary building, which was done at the previous meeting.  Then consideration will then be to contract to tear down the building, which was deemed structurally unsafe and a health hazard by Dietman.  Tuesday's Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting will begin at noon in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

Kewaunee County's Alaskan Supper Club Reopens


By Paul Schmitt

The Alaskan Supper Club is back in business.  The one-time staple in Kewaunee County, which has been closed for several years, is currently open with the dining room expected to start serving by December 1, according to owner Sam Williquette.  Williquette started the reclamation project when he bought the building over two years ago.  He says he hopes to bring the magic that former owners  Donny and Rita Zellner did in the 1980's and 90's.



Williquette, who has over 30 years of experience operating supper clubs, also plans on opening the motel after finishing extensive renovations.  He says the Alaskan Motor Inn will be a bed-and-breakfast with rooms featuring different outdoor wildlife themes.

(pictures compliments of Alaskan Motor Inn)



Washington Island School District working with families to improve attendance

By Tim Kowols

Washington Island School District is experimenting with different ways to keep children in the classroom. Errands like doctors appointments that take only an hour or two for students on the mainland are full day endeavors for families on Washington Island. By encouraging parents to bundle their appointments on a single day and strategically placing half and full days off, superintendent Mati Palm-Leis says they have taken great strides this school year addressing the issue.



Palm-Leis says over the last six years, Washington Island School District has cut their absentee rate in half. He also credits some mainland doctors who have been accommodating to the unique schedule island residents face.

Construction materials getting new life at Door County Habitat for Humanity Restore

By Tim Kowols

Contractors and do-it-yourself home remodelers are being reminded that not all of their excess materials need to go to the landfill. While some materials may not be salvaged, the Door County Habitat for Humanity accepts most construction materials if in good shape and plentiful in supply like tile, lumber, sub-floors, and drywall. Door County Habitat for Humanity ReStore Manager Megan Dietz says construction materials for resale have grown into a big part of their operation.



As a non-profit, construction materials donated to the ReStore can qualify for a tax reduction. Door County Habitat for Humanity's Restore has saved over 20 tons of construction materials, furniture, and appliances from landfills.

Marathon hearing for five farms' waste permit hearing planned for November 28 in Luxemburg

By Tim Kowols

Five confined animal feeding operations will have their day in front of the Department of Natural Resources and the communities they live in to discuss their pollutant discharge permits. Dairy Dreams, Seidl's Mountain View Dairy, Kinnard Farms, Sandway Farms, Wakker Dairy Farm will all have their permits reviewed by the DNR, with the latter three including plans of herd expansion. Kewaunee County Board member Lee Luft says many different factors go into the attendance and the length of public hearings regarding waste discharge permit renewals, with some attracting dozens of people and going for hours. Luft wishes they would have spread out the hearings over the course of a few days.



The quintuple farm hearing on the operator's waste discharge permits will take place November 28 inside the Exhibition Building at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds at 10 a.m.

Gibraltar student arrested after making threats against school

By Tim Kowols

A 17-year-old Gibraltar student is in Door County Sheriff's custody after making a violent threat against the school Thursday. The unidentified student posted the threat on Snapchat Wednesday evening when a student forwarded the image to a teacher. The Door County Sheriff's Department was notified of the threat Thursday morning, forcing Gibraltar School buses away from the building and locking down students already present. Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says in this day of age, you have to take every threat seriously.



The school reopened shortly after 8 a.m. when the student was arrested by deputies at his home. The student will be charged with making terroristic threats.

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Door County School's Home Build gives students practical work experience


By Kent Berkley

The High School Home Construction Program provides students with hands-on training and marketable construction skills.  The program, funded by the Door County Economic Development Corporation, was resurrected this school year after a three-year hiatus.  Eleven Door County students representing all four of the mainland high schools are building a 2,700 square foot ranch home in the City of Sturgeon Bay.


The students receive task-specific technical assistance from local contractors and overarching supervision from Seth Wilson, the instructor for the project who also serves as a technology teacher at Sturgeon Bay High School. He says the experience serves as an inspiration for students contemplating future career options.




The home, located at 344 N. 19th Avenue, will be the ninth home completed since the program began in 2007.  The proceeds from the sale of the home will be used to capitalize future projects.

Dr. Binard finds success with his first beekeeping season

By Paul Schmitt

Dr. Joe Binard of Brussels is doing his part to help promote the ecological benefits of bees.    Dr. Binard, who took up the challenging hobby of beekeeping earlier this year, found success in his new adventure by collecting over 60 pounds of honey.  He explains the process to keep the bees healthy during the winter time.



Dr. Binard says he utilizes the new Australian flow method of Beekeeping, in which the bees are not disturbed while the honey is being harvested.  Binard belongs to the Door County Beekeeping Club which meets monthly throughout the year.  For information on joining the Door County Beekeepers Club, go to the link below:

Letters, diligence leaves Sturgeon Bay Historical Society hopeful in granary efforts

By Tim Kowols

The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society is hopeful it can address the concerns of the Common Council when it voted earlier this month to delay the razing of the former granary building on the city's west side. In the last 30 days, the city has received letters from the State Historical Society asking for additional information about the current status of the granary to see if it can be salvaged. The Door County Community Foundation also sent a letter, explaining the donation of $1.25 million towards restoration efforts will be available if an agreement can be reached between the two sides.  From lining up structural engineers and contractors to developing a feasible plan, Sturgeon Bay Historical Society President Christie Weber hopes they have done enough to save the granary.



The city and the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society are both waiting on the Department of Natural Resources to release their findings on an ordinary high water mark for the site after hosting a hearing on the issue over a month ago.


Sheriff's Corner: Trespassing one of the bigger concerns during hunting season


By Tim Kowols and Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski

Hunters are once again being reminded of being safe as they head out into the woods for the beginning of the gun deer hunting season. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, there were 11 hunting-related accidents last year in the state, including five during the nine-day season. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says the biggest source of calls they get is trespassing, which is an ongoing issue that can be easily prevented.


Joski also reminds hunters to make sure they have a clean shot at their target to make sure stray bullets do not hit other hunters or pieces of property.



This Saturday marks the beginning of the week long deer hunting season. While this event has many traditions, and memories which make it special to so many in our community, it also brings with it some re-occurring issues which deserve to be mentioned. The first of these issues is safety. By this I mean the safety of those participating in the hunting season, and those who choose to enjoy the beautiful outdoors as they would any other time of year. It goes without saying that for those who are hunting that there are two basic rules; know your target, and know what is beyond your target. Especially in the era of rifle hunting, the second of the two rules is very important. Although not intended, there always seem to be those few calls involving stray rounds.


If you are one of those individuals who just want to enjoy being outside over the next two weeks, be aware of the increased activity in the adjacent properties, and public lands. Although you are not required to wear it, and it isn't the most stylish color, blaze orange is always a good choice. Also, whether you are hunting, or just going for a walk, always let someone know where you are going, and what route you are taking to get there.


The other issue which seems to become more frequent is that of trespassing. This is pretty self explanatory; if you don't have permission to be there, don't be there. Many property owners allow for others to be on their land for the purpose of hunting. This is not mandatory on their part, if they choose to say no, respect them for that decision and move on. Also don't assume that just because you've hunted there for many years you don't have to ask permission. Circumstances change and it is a good idea to re-establish these relationships each year. Probably wouldn't hurt to bring some venison from last year as a sweetener. I wish everyone a safe and productive hunt.





Door and Kewaunee County communities prepare for holiday celebrations

By Tim Kowols

Communities along the Door peninsula are getting an early start on the Christmas season this weekend. Kewaunee, Sturgeon Bay, Baileys Harbor, and Ellison Bay will all have holiday events featuring breakfasts with Santa, tree lightings, and parades. Faith Murray from the Ellison Bay Service Club says the northern Door hamlet has been gathering in its town square to kick off the season for the last 50 years.




Sister Bay and Egg Harbor will host their holiday festivals next weekend with Ephraim and Carlsville hosting theirs in the following weeks. You can find more details on this weekend's activities online with this story.

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T.J. Walker Middle School electives reaching out to student and teacher interests

By Tim Kowols

Legos and target shooting are just some of the unique programs T.J Walker Middle School students have been able to participate in during the opening months of the school year. The Outdoor Adventures course included environmental studies and safety courses for hunting and recreational vehicles, while Robotics used Legos to create projects to compete in regional competitions. Superintendent Dan Tjernagel says it was exciting to see the staff bring some of their interests into the classroom.



Second-semester elective courses include childcare and digital arts.  T.J. Walker Middle School hopes to continue to add more options for the 2018-2019 school year.

Algoma shows community investment in infrastructure improvements

By Tim Kowols

Many of the improvements Algoma has made this summer are not going to grab headlines, but are important to the overall future of the city. A new dump truck, reconstructed roads and sidewalks, and invasive species removal were just some of the projects tackled by city officials and crews this summer. With help from grants and smart budgeting, City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says taxpayers want to know they are getting the "bang for their buck."



The City of Algoma hopes to address some of their community protection needs in their upcoming budget, including the additions of a new squad car and fifth full-time police officer.

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Burke getting a hold of his new UW-Extension post

By Tim Kowols

Rob Burke is not a stranger to the work the University of Wisconsin-Extension does, but he is still getting used to his new position.  The longtime community development educator for Door County, Burke began transitioning to his new role as the Area Extension Director for Door, Kewaunee and Manitowoc Counties when the UW-Extension started its reorganization efforts. Although he misses the engagement he had in the community as an educator, the more administrative role has suited Burke well.



Changes to the UW-Extension program continue to occur throughout the state since July's reorganization. Some offices like Juneau County are having their budgets cut while UW-Madison absorbed the UW-Extension's divisions earlier this month when UW Regents voted 16-2 to merge the system's two-year colleges with its four-year universities.

Luxemburg-Casco students exploring careers early on with ACP

By Paul Schmitt

The Luxemburg-Casco School District is helping students arm themselves for success in the future.  The Academic & Career Planning (ACP) process is designed to help students explore interests in college and career opportunities.  School Superintendent Glenn Schlender says the Department of Public Instruction initiative is a renewed approach to the work of guidance counselors at an early stage of education.



Schlender says the school is not trying to lock students into a career, but rather get students to start thinking early on about potential careers and future education before they are seniors in high school.  You can find the new Academic Career Planning page on the Luxemburg-Casco School District website with this story online.

Super Kids Fun Night this Friday at Door County YMCA

By Paul Schmitt

The Door County YMCA is hosting a Super Kids Fun Night this Friday at the Door County YMCA in Sturgeon Bay.  While some parents may be heading out to deer camp or to shop at stores, children from grades one through five can enjoy an array of activities this Friday.  CEO and President Tom Beerntsen shares what the evening will entail for the youngsters.



The Super Kids Fun Night will be from 6:30 until 8:30 Friday night.  The special event is $5 for members and $7 for other children from the community.  Beerntsen says if your family is not members of the Door County YMCA due to financial reasons, assistance is available by contacting the Y.

Ducks Unlimited attracting younger members with "Greenwing" program


By Paul Schmitt

Ducks Unlimited in Luxemburg is attracting younger people who love the outdoors with the "Greenwing" program.  The Greenwings are members of Ducks Unlimited that are under the age of 16, according to co-chair Lonnie Vincent.




Greenwings receives the Puddler magazine and also participate in the conservation, restoration, and management of wetlands and associated habitats for North America's waterfowl, according to Vincent.  There are over 450,00 members nationwide.   You can find out more information on Greenwing membership with this story online.

(photo supplied by Ducks Unlimited)

Door County Board passes $77 million budget Tuesday

By Paul Schmitt

A $77 million budget for 2018 was passed by Door County Board on Tuesday.  The vote passed by a 17-4 margin.  Administrator Ken Pabich says the budget was business as usual with only a few major additions.



Pabich says that next year's budget reflects a tax rate increase that is lower than last year's 3.5 percent.  No public comments were made during the open hearing held prior to the board meeting, according to Pabich.  He credits the Door County Finance Director Mark Janiak and the county's department heads in keeping the total spending for next year $1 million below the levy limit set by the state.

Sen. Johnson addresses growing "Opioid Crisis"


By Paul Schmitt

The Opioid crisis continues to grow in Wisconsin.   According to state Department of Public Health Services, the rate of opioid overdose deaths in the state has nearly doubled in the last nine years.  Over 10 deaths were reported per 100,000 residents in 2015.  U.S. Senator Ron Johnson in an interview earlier this month with says he appreciates what President Donald Trump is doing to deal with the problem.



Johnson says you can treat and interdict supply of opioids but the third part to address is the demand issue.



28 counties in Wisconsin recently sued prescription drug-makers.  Hospital visits in the state alone more than doubled in the past ten years for opioid acute poisoning including overdose, according to the state report.

Hunters urged to harvest does this season

By Tim Kowols

Even though many hunters dream of shooting that trophy buck, going after the deer they are often chasing is a more effective way of controlling the herd's population. According to Petersen's Hunting, harvesting does not only eliminates the possibility of more deer, it eases their strain on the habitat they live in and can even cause bucks to be more active as they work harder to find a mate. Dick Baudhuin from the Door County Deer Advisory Council says there is always someone who can use the meat if you do not want it for yourself.



While archers have had the woods to themselves since September 16, the gun deer hunting season begins on Saturday.

New Eagle Tower will have ramp option in woods at Peninsula State Park

By Paul Schmitt

The new Eagle Tower at Peninsula State Park will be a taller tower with a ramp through the trees in the woods.   The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that over 650 public comments were submitted and the option that was preferred was the third option but with a 75-foot tower.  Steve Strucely of the Friends of Peninsula State Park says the process of choosing the tower structure type fit what the public wanted.



The chosen option for the replacement tower is estimated to cost $2.1 million.  The other options ranged from 1.65 million to $3.3 million.  Strucely says the Friends of Peninsula State Park has had a very close relationship with the DNR and the parks group through the process and looks forward to continuing through the completion of the new tower in 2019.  The Eagle Tower Fund Committee has already raised over $650,000 toward a $750,000 goal that would be matched by the state, according to Strucely.

Students start planning ahead for scholarships

By Tim Kowols

While many students have until May 1 to make their final decision for their choice of college, they may only have a couple weeks to apply for ways to afford it.  The common application is open on the Web site for the Door County Scholarship Network, which connects those looking to pursue higher education with more than $400,000 available from over 150 different local awards. Door County Community Foundation President and CEO Bret Bicoy says thousands of dollars more can be distributed if students and prospective donors can get together.



The Door County Scholarship Network also has listings for several other national and regional scholarship awards representing millions of dollars in financial aid.

Door County tourism still big business in winter

By Tim Kowols

It may not be the summer or fall season, but winter still can be a busy time for tourism. According to the Door County Visitor Bureau, over $690,000 was collected through the 0.5 percent sales tax from the months of November through January last winter, averaging over $200,000 a month for the first time since figures were first tracked in 2005. Room tax collections is another indicator of the growth tourism has made in winter, but Jon Jarosh from the Door County Visitor Bureau says the sheer number of open doors is a good sign as well.



Aside from lodging and local businesses, Jarosh says a real focus has been placed on winter silent sports opportunities available such as cross-country skiing and fat tire biking.

Door County organizations teaming up to help citizens advocate their causes more effectively

By Tim Kowols

Three Door County organization are teaming up to help residents communicate with their elected officials and for their causes more effectively. Hosted by the Door County Civility Project, the League of Women Voters of Door County, and Write On, Door County, the workshop entitled, "LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD! How to Advocate Effectively" is designed to teach quick tips on how to find the best audience for your issue and get your thoughts heard in the best way possible. Shirley Senarighi from the Door County Civility Project hopes people get the confidence to make their voice heard.



The workshop will take place November 15 from 1:30-3:00 p.m. in Sister Bay. You can find registration information here.

Door County Reads program will be bringing the chosen author to the area

By Paul Schmitt

The Door County Library will be announcing the book and author of the 2018 Door County Reads sometime in mid-December.  The Door County Reads brings the community together around a single book.  Youth Services Librarian Beth Lokken shares what makes the 11th annual Door County Reads very exciting.



500 copies of the book will be made available to the population along with audiobooks and e-books through the downloadable site called Hoopla, according to Lokken.   Door County Reads is primarily funded by the Door County Library Foundation and Friends of the Door County Library and run for three weeks beginning  January 28th.

DNR hosting open house for master plan of future land management tonight

By Paul Schmitt

The public will have a chance to give the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources feedback at a meeting tonight in Sturgeon Bay.  People are encouraged to attend and share suggestions for future management of properties managed by the DNR in the region.  The open house will cover the department's master planning process for the Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Ecological Landscape.  The region includes Door, Oconto, Marinette and Shawano Counties.  DNR Property Planning Section Chief Diane Brusoe says the hopes are to find out what recreational opportunities people want in the state parks and lands.


The public meeting for the Northern Lake Michigan Coastal regional master plan will be tonight at Stone Harbor Resort and Conference Center in Sturgeon Bay from 5 to 7 p.m.  DNR officials will be on hand to answer any questions as well.

Also on Wednesday, Nov 15, Crivitz: Community Center, 901 Henriette Ave.


In addition to the meetings, people may submit comments to the DNR by mail or email or through a questionnaire to fill out online through the Northern Lake Michigan Coastal region planning page of the DNR website. The public comment period for the first phase of planning is open through Nov. 28, 2017.

For additional information regarding this master planning process, contact Ann Freiwald, DNR planner, at 608-266-2130, via email at, or via US mail at Ann Freiwald, Wisconsin DNR, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI, 53707-7921.

Algoma showing Kindness Matters through new movement

By Tim Kowols

Kindness is less of a phrase and more of a way of life at Algoma Middle School. Inspired by its 7th-grade class, the Kindness Matters Movement rewards students, staff, and community members for being nice to each other and having a positive impact in Algoma. Superintendent Nick Cochart says Kindness Matters gives students a new platform to engage people in a different way.



The Kindness Matters Movement is currently hosting a Mac and Cheese Drive to distribute at Algoma schools during the month of November. You can bring donations to the drive to the Algoma Wellness Center.

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Door County nature preserves offering a spot to hunt

By Tim Kowols

Nature preserves are providing an alternative site for hunters find their trophy buck. The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor and Door County Land Trust preserves are offering their land to hunters to help control the white-tail deer populations provided they follow each property's rules such as staying away from trails. Cinnamon Rossman from the Door County Land Trust says hunters help keep the habitats it protects within its preserves healthy.



Trails at The Ridges Sanctuary will be closed for hunting season, while Rossman says the Door County Land Trust discourages hiking at the properties where hunters might be setting up. You can get more information on hunting at The Ridges Sanctuary and the Door County Land Trust online with this story. The links provide the rules and regulations for hunters to abide by and information on the optional registration form the preserves would like you to fill out so they can keep track of who is on the land and in which areas.

Area Boy Scout with Down Syndrome earns Eagle Scout with live-saving project

By Paul Schmitt

Earning 21 merit badges to become an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts is a difficult threshold to meet for anyone, but Max Tegan from Troop 925 in Two Rivers was honored Saturday as an Eagle Scout ceremony for obtaining an incredible 57 merit badges.  First District Representative Joel Kitchens, a former Boy Scout himself, explains why honoring Tegan with the award was extra special.



Max, 17, is a senior at Mishicot High School and has plans to attend Edgewood College next year to pursue a career in sales and marketing, according to his mother Cathy Tegan. Down Syndrome is not the only challenge Max has faced in his life.   He overcame open-heart surgeries at four-months-old that required him to receive two units of blood and two blood platelets.  Tegan's Eagle Scout program had him organized three blood drives for BloodCenter of Wisconsin that could ultimately help hundreds of people.

(photo compliments of Rep. Joel Kitchens)

High speed chase in Kewaunee ends in fatal accident--UPDATED Name released

By Tim Kowols

A 21-year-old man from Kewaunee died as a result of a single-vehicle rollover accident Sunday night. Just after 11 p.m., an officer with the Kewaunee Police Department clocked the driver, Noah Gum, going over 100 miles per hour on Highway 29 towards the city. The officer pursued Gum's vehicle but was forced to stop once the chase entered First Street in Kewaunee before it turns into Hospital Road. Kewaunee Police found the speeding vehicle rolled over south of Adams Road on Hospital Road.  Gum was found dead inside his vehicle after the Kewaunee Rescue and Fire Department responded. The Wisconsin State Patrol, Kewaunee Police Department, and Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department continue their investigation.


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Kind donor replaces disabled veteran's stolen hunting tent

By Paul Schmitt

A Veteran's Day weekend story of a stolen ground blind from a disabled Vietnam veteran hunter ended well in Baileys Harbor on Saturday.  Thanks to a social media post by Marci Faustini and a generous gift from an anonymous donor, a sad situation was made right.  Faustini explains how it all played out.




Faustini says she arranged a meeting at her home on Saturday afternoon with the gracious donor and the disabled veteran, Larry Ohnesorge. The two men then set up the new tent in the field where the stolen ground blind was taken from public hunting land off Green Road near Baileys Harbor, according to Faustini.  She says a Veterans Day story that started out so awful turned out great with one beautiful act of human kindness.

Algoma's Comprehensive Plan being finalized with approval coming December 1

By Paul Schmitt

After a year of holding several public hearings and workshops to gather data on future community needs, the City of Algoma is getting close to implementing the findings of their comprehensive plan study.  City Administrator Jeff Wiswell shares what the next step is in moving forward.



The comprehensive plan study focuses on the infrastructure improvements, economic development and future housing for Algoma.  Some strategic planning for downtown and business development will also be adopted at the December 1 meeting as well, according to Wiswell.

Sturgeon Bay art students get national college input on projects


By Connor Sannito--Student Correspondent

Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Kansas City Art Institute, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, and Savannah College of Art and Design,  art representatives have come to professionally critique and offer feedback to Sturgeon Bay high school student's art portfolios.

Not only does the interaction help with refining student's artwork, but it also helps with AP Art submission. In addition, it motivates other students and helps ameliorate their creations as they grow. The art representatives not only offer an outside perspective but expose students to the possibility of an art based future as well (usually specific to their school).


Nicole Herbst, the Sturgeon Bay high school art teacher, had this to say about why this opportunity is so important regardless if a student is interested in pursuing an art future.



With this, there has been a noticeable increase in students appeal with this art opportunity.

State Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett hilights Kewaunee County's appeal

By Paul Schmitt

With the busy tourism season of festivals and events wrapping up last month, State Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett reflects on what makes Kewaunee County a prime destination for visitors every year.  She shares her thoughts on what makes the area one of the state's "hidden gems".



Klett mentions the "haunted" Karsten Hotel in Kewaunee as another memorable place to visit in Kewaunee County.  Kewaunee County experienced an increase of $200,000 in visitor spending last year to $17.6 million, according to a report by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.  The report for 2017 tourism numbers will be released sometime next May by the state.

Kewaunee County farmer, activist testifies in front of Congressional committee

By Tim Kowols

Kewaunee CARES founder Lynn Utesch took to Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Friday to speak as a witness to a proposed bill concerning protections for farmers. Under the Farm Regulatory Certainty Act being discussed in the Environment Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, an agricultural operation actively working with the state or Environmental Protection Agency could not have a suit filed against them by a citizen. Utesch testified against the act, stating it does not hurt small farmers as much as it protects polluters.



One of the bill's authors, Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington, testified that he created the legislation "to encourage farmers to be proactive stewards and create a climate to reinforce farmers' ability to trust that as they work with regulators, their efforts to address stewardship issues will result in outcomes that benefit the environment" and not in third-party lawsuits.

Door County Economic Development Corporation hopes Manufacturing Days grows next year

By Tim Kowols

The Door County Economic Development Corporation is happy with the feedback they are receiving about last month's Manufacturing Days in Sturgeon Bay. By an unofficial count, about 270 students from Door County's four mainland schools and 350 to 450 unique visitors took part in the two day event allowing them an opportunity to visit with nine different businesses located within the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park. Executive Director Caleb Frostman hopes they will be able to broaden their horizons next year.



The DCEDC is continuing their efforts to connect students with jobs in Door County through its Inspire program, which is linking schools with close to 40 different businesses through a software module.

"Communicating" with other drivers important to safety


By Tim Kowols and Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski

Without even saying a word, motorists say a lot to each other on area roadways simply by the way they use their cars. Actions like not using turn signals and tailgating are negative non-verbal cues drivers relay to each other while driving, increasing the likelihood of accidents and road rage. Whether you realize it or not, Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says these cues can indicate what kind of driver you are and what kind of person you are on the road.


Joski recommends always using your signal even when there is no one else around and give plenty of space in between other vehicles while driving. You can visit the Sheriff's Corner on these two topics online with this story.




The subject of this week's article is at the request of a member of our community. She shared with me her frustration regarding the use of rather the lack of use of a very basic yet critical component of every motor vehicle, the directional signal also commonly known as "the Blinker"


The actual State Statute which covers this issue is 346.34(1)(b)"Failure to Give Signal" which goes on to state "In the event any other traffic may be affected by the movement, no person may turn any vehicle without giving an appropriate signal"


What is interesting about this topic is that it also gives directions for the use of hand signals both as bicyclists as well as motor vehicles. Where this would pertain is with vehicles which were manufactured before the invention and introduction of directional signals on motor vehicles.


The directional signal or blinker is actually a very unique piece of equipment which unlike any other component of a vehicle is primarily a communication device. There is no other instrument on the motor vehicle which must be intentionally activated as means to tell other drivers what you as the driver are about to do. Just like any other form of communication it can foster good relationships or create a high level of anxiety. There is no greater frustration than following a vehicle that is slowing down, but not indicating whether they are turning left or right. Many accidents have been caused by motorists attempting to pass a slow moving vehicle not knowing it was about to execute a left or right turn. The same goes for vehicles sharing an intersection and the need to communicate so as to facilitate movement through it in a safe manner.


I have been asked many times if a driver needs to use their directional signal if there is no one else in the area of their turn. I would respond yes that even though no one is there to see your signal, you are creating good habits and it is better to use the signals and not need to then slip into complacency and not use them when they are critical.


The way each of us operate our motor vehicles is really an extension of our own personality and communicates to others without ever meeting in person what kind of people we are. Do we want to give the perception of an inconsiderate rude person, or give the perception of a courteous kind human being? As the old saying goes "Actions Speak Louder than Words"




Last evening I received a call from a person I would consider an expert driver. The reason I state this is that this person derives his livelihood from his safe operation on our roadways and even further has met the rigid requirements to possess a CDL or Commercial Drivers License. So when a person of this caliber calls and expresses his concerns with "Tailgating" I take him very seriously.


This topic is actually closely related to last week's topic as both of these actions are forms of communication. The use of or failure to use your directional signal indicates a person's consideration for other drivers, and a person's need to "Tailgate" indicates a high degree of aggressiveness and impatience.


First let's establish the statutory language on this issue. State Statute 346.14(1) Auto Following Too Closely" covers this behavior. It states: The operator of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicle and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway. The fine for this offense is over $200.00 and a 4 point assessment on your license.

While the statute does not give a specific following distance for passenger vehicles, it does state state that for trucks with a gross weight of 10,000 lbs or more they must maintain a following distance of 500 feet.


So the question is: What is too close? This depends on the traveling speed of both vehicles, as well as the conditions of both the road and the weather. In a city or village at low speeds the distance may be less than when traveling on rural roads where the speeds are greater. The primary concern is related to those rural roads and highways. For these, it is prudent to keep the distance of approx. 300 feet between your vehicle and the vehicle you are following. What is significant about 300 feet? It is the distance between utility poles along the road and a great way to gauge your distance at any given moment.


The reason following too closely is of a concern is that it shows absolute disregard for your safety as well as those you are following. If you consider the reaction time needed when a deer or other object presents itself in your lane of travel, you can imagine the results when that reaction time is eliminated due to following too closely. While the vehicle you are following may be able to see, process and respond, all you will have time to do is create an accident which could lead to not only your own injury but that of your passengers and other motorists.


Many drivers think that if they hug the vehicle in front of them it will somehow force that vehicle to speed up. I am here to tell you that is not the case. Following too Closely is a form of non verbal communication which does nothing more than create not only a dangerous environment but communicate to that driver in front of you that you are nothing more than a rude inconsiderate person who is only focused on your needs.


You can avoid the need to follow too closely by planning ahead and leaving plenty of time for your intended travels. This is especially important as we transition into the winter season, not only because the road conditions will be less forgiving but also because those road conditions can change at a moment's notice and a change of just a few degrees in the temperature can be the difference between stopping and sliding.


If you are the victim of an inconsiderate driver following too closely, please feel free to call law enforcement. Most times these impatient rude drivers follow up their tailgating with a passing maneuver which will give you a great opportunity to get their license plate and allow us to "Educate" them. If you are able to call law enforcement in a safe manner, please do so and if you are willing to give a statement it will give us the ability to heighten that educational experience for them through a citation.

Sturgeon Bay High School earns distinction for personal finance course

By Tim Kowols

Financial literacy organization Next Gen Personal Finance has recognized Sturgeon Bay High School for its coursework helping students be better with money. Anchored by teacher Michelle Gibson, Sturgeon Bay is one of only 600 high schools with the NGPF Gold Standard distinction because of its required, semester-long personal finance course. Gibson says the skills learned by students in the course are important for them to know later in life.


Tips for Better Parent-Teacher Conferences

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

At this point in the school year, many parents and teachers are preparing to meet and discuss the successes and opportunities that children are experiencing.  Whether you are about to experience your first parent-teacher conference or feel like you are a professional at them, it's good to refresh yourself to a few tips for making this time with your child's teacher successful.


Talk to your child.  Before attending the conference, ask your child for input.  Ask about any issues they are having, their likes, their dislikes, etc.  Also let your child know that you are their advocate.


Make a list of questions. List topics or questions you would like to discuss about your child's behavior, academics, etc. How does my child get along with classmates?  Is my child working up to his/her ability?  Where could he/she improve?


Give personal insight. Tell the teacher(s) if your child has medical issues, problems with bullying and any emotional concerns or changes at home such as divorce or death.


Be open-minded. Don't get angry or defensive if the teachers says something sensitive about your child. Rather, ask questions and ask for examples.


Work with the teachers. Ask the teacher for suggestions about what you can do at home to support what is being done at school.  Be sure to follow through on any ideas you got at the conference.  Don't be afraid to schedule more time with your child's teacher at a later date if all of your questions or issues are not addressed.


Keep in touch. Become involved.  Research shows that children do better in school when parents talk often with teachers and become involved in the school. (


Become involved in school activities and events. Join the PTA, PTO or Booster Club. Volunteer at the school and find other ways to make an effort to support the education of your child.


By working together, you and your child's teachers can help provide a good education and a happy school experience for your child.

Non-profits net $100,000-plus after volunteering at Farm Technology Days

By Tim Kowols

Three days in Algoma this summer are still having a major impact on communities in and around Kewaunee County after the local Wisconsin Farm Technology Days executive committee distributed $100,913 to local non-profits this past week. Twenty non-profit groups representing a portion of the over 1,900 people volunteering during the event earned the money working the several food tents on the grounds. Thanks in part to a hungry 26,000 visitors and a generous donation of 16 steers by the host farm Ebert Enterprises, executive committee chair Amber Hewett says they were able to exceed expectations by over 20 percent.



Farm Technology Days has already made possible a hoopla swing in Algoma in memory of Randy and Renee Ebert's daughter Britney earlier this fall, but Hewett says they will announce plans for the additional money raised during the event in January.

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Sturgeon Bay family project sews in hope for girls in need

By Tim Kowols

What started as a family tradition for a Sturgeon Bay family has turned into a quest to make a difference for girls around the world. For 25 years, Julie Heroux and her family have spent the Saturday after Thanksgiving making a special creation for their annual craft day. A Facebook post inspired Heroux to learn more about Dress a Girl Around the World, a program of Hope 4 Women International.  Heroux says even though she is not a great seamstress, the sewing skills she garnered in 4-H will come in good use.



Heroux hopes her family will be able to produce 50 dresses for the organization, which has distributed over one million garments to girls in 81 different countries. You can help support the project by making dresses on November 25 at Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church beginning at 9 a.m. or contribute fabric, ribbon, rick-rack, buttons, and bias tape to the cause.

Annual Childrens Book Drive begins collections this weekend

By Paul Schmitt

The 2017 Children's Book Drive for underprivileged kids throughout the area kicked-off yesterday.  The annual drive has collected over 12,000 books since it began in 1999.  Books can be dropped off at Craig's Piggly Wiggly in Algoma or Bayside Home Medical in Sturgeon Bay.  Kewaunee County Food Pantry Director Ken Marquardt explains the importance of having the campaign every year.



Gently used or new books can be donated for the Children's Book Drive until December 16.  The Kewaunee County Food Pantry in Algoma and Door County Feed my People in Sturgeon Bay will then distribute the books to children throughout the holidays and into the new year.

Door County Veterans Day Celebration honored past and present veterans Friday

By Paul Schmitt

The Sevastopol Elementary School gymnasium was packed Friday for the annual Door County Veterans Day Celebration.  The 70-minute ceremony included the Sevastopol band and choir performing patriotic music along with recognizing all branches of the armed forces and individuals from many of the veteran organizations in Door County.  Keynote speaker was Marine veteran and Congressman Mike Gallagher.  Gallagher says it was a special day to pay tribute to our nation's veterans, those living and those who have past.



Gallagher presented a special plaque to Colonel Tim Lawrie's family for his 26 years in the Army where he earned a Silver Star and Purple Heart.  Lawrie passed away in August and was to be the speaker at Friday's Veterans Day Celebration, according to Veterans Services Officer, Scott McFarlane.



Rep. Gallagher presenting special plaque to the Lawrie family



Merry-Time Festival of Trees showcases museum, local businesses

By Tim Kowols

Thirty-eight uniquely decorated trees will line the exhibit halls of the Door County Maritime Museum beginning this weekend when the Merry-Time Festival of Trees officially begins. The annual rite of the winter in Sturgeon Bay began five years ago to showcase the museum during the Christmas season and the generosity of local businesses and individuals, many of which decorated trees to be raffled off to support the museum's mission. Executive Director Amy Paul is happy to see the event grow over the years with the support of the community.


Craft projects, Santa's visit to the Tug John Purves, and the DOORCANcer Holiday Home Tour highlight this year's Merry-Time Festival of Trees, which through December 12.

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Southern Door's "Into the Woods" highlights busy month for high school fine arts


By Cameron Friehe, Southern Door Student Correspondent

Southern Door's very own music program will submerge musical goers  "Into the Woods." This Tony award-winning musical is about a baker (Cameron Friehe) and his wife (Megan Neubauer) who cannot have a child because of the curse that the witch (Anna Lebrun) has placed on the baker's family. Therefore, the baker and his wife must go into the woods in search of four objects. On this journey, they will encounter characters such as the young maiden Cinderella (MaCayla Moore), a sad young lad named Jack (Matthew Martinez-Garcia), and the hungry Little Red Riding Hood (Shaina Skaletski).  Actress MaCayla Moore elaborates that " This is a very complex musical, and the music is challenging but is worth the tears."

Performance dates include November 9th-11th at 7:00 PM and November 12th at 2:00 PM. Ticket pricing for adults is $10 and $7 for students 18 and under. Tickets are available online at or at the Southern Door High School office.

Editor's Note: High schools in Door and Kewaunee County are showcasing their talents on stage this month. Last weekend, Sevastopol High School performed "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," while this weekend features a variety show at Luxemburg-Casco and "Cinderella" at Kewaunee High School. High school and grade school winter concerts usually take place in early December.

Wisconsin lawmakers look to lower drinking age to 19

By Tim Kowols

Three Wisconsin lawmakers hope a bill being circulated in Madison not only lowers the drinking age, but slows the rate of binge drinking in the state. According to the USA Today, Reps. Adam Jarchow, Cindi Duchow, and Rob Swearingen are proposing lowering the drinking age to 19, commenting that the move could save time and money enforcing current laws and potentially limit the rebellious nature in those under 21. Door County Deputy Director of Human Services Cori McFarlane says she sees both sides, but her experience working with those suffering from alcoholism makes it hard for her to support the change.



Alcohol is already prevalent among teenagers according to McFarlane, saying at least 60 percent of students have had a drink and 50 percent have used an illegal drug before their senior year. The bill lacks the support of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and could take a toll on the federal dollars used to maintain roads, which was a factor when Wisconsin decided to raise its drinking age to 21 in 1986.

Algoma Wolf Tech's Fab Lab Series connects students with community

By Tim Kowols

Algoma Wolf Tech is turning its Community Fab Lab Series into Santa's workshop for a set of holiday-themed projects. For over a year, the popular series puts Algoma Wolf Tech students with community members who want to learn how to use woodworking or manufacturing equipment to make a craft to bring home.  Algoma Wolf Tech teacher Matt Abel says both students and community members take away a lot more from the experience than the tool skills they learn.



Beginning next weekend, Algoma WolfTech will host Community Fab Lab Series events nearly every week featuring a holiday project like ornaments and decorations. Reservations are often required with a suggested donation going towards not just materials, but future Algoma Wolf Tech projects and scholarships for students.

Kewaunee County moving and looking forward with liquid manure ordinance

By Paul Schmitt

With the Kewaunee County Board moving forward with this week in approving the Waste Irrigation Ordinance to better control manure spreading in the county, hopes are that the reached compromise will bode well for both farmers and the environment in the future.   Board member Lee Luft, who also serves on the Groundwater Task Force and Land & Water Conservation Committee, says important safeguards were maintained in the ordinance for safe manure irrigation.



Luft says a slight reduction in the allowable wind speed was also kept intact.  He believes all-in-all the changes to streamline the ordinance were good while preserving the needed protections for proper waste irrigation.

Algoma Long Term Care Unit financial picture looking brighter

By Paul Schmitt

The Algoma Long Term Care Unit is only one of two long-term care facilities in the state that is owned and operated by a municipality.  Although the city of Algoma is losing money every year to operate it, they are getting closer to operating in the black.  Mayor Wayne Schmidt says the city is optimistic about next year.




Schmidt says the financials are getting better every month for Algoma Long Term Care Unit.  He says the city is still waiting for Medicare reimbursement from the state.   The facility dropped below 50 beds last year with hopes of higher reimbursement, so when those monies are received it will be a significant financial boost, according to Schmidt.  The Algoma Long Term Care Unit employs over 100 people.

(photo by City of Algoma)

Low numbers, long travel keeps it interesting for Washington Island athletics

By Tim Kowols

Numbers aside at one of the state's smallest school districts, it takes a little extra effort to be a  student-athlete on Washington Island. The school fields teams in five sports including the recently completed seasons of trap shooting, cross country, and equestrian. When it comes to its upcoming basketball season, Washington Island School District superintendent Mati Palm-Leis says he has to be creative when scheduling games, especially when it involves bringing teams to play home games.



Palm-Leis says the school will host a community potluck dinner this Friday night in between their pair of doubleheaders with their special guests and basketball opponent Monroe County.

Sturgeon Bay Administrator explains change of legal counsel for granary dispute

By Tim Kowols

A possible conflict of interest led to the city of Sturgeon Bay to seek different counsel as it works through its issues with the granary. Attorney Randy Nesbitt was forced to recuse himself from the issue as he is the legal representation for the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department, which issued the raze order, and the city, which owns the property the granary sits on. City administrator Josh VanLieshout is confident they have eliminated other possible conflicts of interest in the hiring of attorney James Kalny of the Green Bay-based law firm Davis & Kuelthau.


VanLieshout says the city will dissect the Common Council's decision to table a motion to approve demolition bids for the granary until January while the raze order issued by Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief Tim Dietman expires in two weeks.

Wisconsin approves step towards Constitutional Convention

By Tim Kowols

The road to the first Constitutional Convention in 230 years is one step closer after the Wisconsin State Senate approved its creation earlier this week. By a 19-14 vote, Wisconsin became the 28th state to call for an opportunity to amend the U.S. Constitution, which now needs six more states to make the national convention a reality. While proponents say the process is necessary to force the federal government to add a balanced budget amendment, Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck says there are no safeguards in place to make sure that is the only topic discussed during the convention.



Twenty-seven amendments have passed since 1789, all of which began when the two-thirds majority of the United States Senate and House of Representatives deemed it necessary to send it to the states for approval.

Adopt-a-Soldier founder honored by Wisconsin Assembly

By Tim Kowols

Adopt-a-Soldier Door County founder Nancy Hutchinson was honored on the floor of the Wisconsin State Assembly Thursday for efforts to support local members of the Armed Forces. The recognition is a part of the Assembly's Hometown Heroes program, which seeks to identify and recognize individuals from around the state making a difference in their communities. With over 1,500 packages being sent to 190 local service members annually, United States Marine Sklyar Schopf says Hutchinson's commitment to the troops is special.



Adopt-a-Soldier Door County was founded nine years ago after Hutchinson sent a care package to a family friend and has grown to reach other soldiers and donations from local people to national corporations.

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K9 Charlie completes first big year on the job in Kewaunee

By Tim Kowols

The Kewaunee Police Department's furriest member had an exciting first year on the force. K-9 Charlie and his handler Officer Brian Gale have together helped find 11 missing people, execute six search warrants, and participate in 60 drug-related incidents. Gale says one of Charlie's skills may have also saved a life.



Having a dog as a partner has been a big adjustment both on the job and at home, where Charlie and Gale's other dog have proven to be best pals. He says so far it has been a great experience.



Gale also tries to take Charlie out in the community for various events so they can see what their dollars brought to the city. The Kewaunee Police Department held several fundraisers to help bring Charlie to the force, which amounted to $16,000 for the dog, training, equipment, and upkeep.

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Public comments get hot between mayor and Christie Weber at Sturgeon Bay city council meeting

By Roger Utnehmer

The public has two opportunities to offer comment during meetings of the Sturgeon Bay city council meetings.

People can offer an opinion at the start of meetings on items that will be discussed that day and at the end but only on topics that were not on the agenda.

At Tuesdays' meeting of the Sturgeon Bay city council Mayor Thad Birmingham got into a heated exchange with the president of the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society, Christie Weber, and cut off her ability to comment.

That exchange follows:

Earlier in the meeting, Birmingham threatened to "clear the room" if the crowd continued their applause for comments with which they agreed and expressing displeasure when they did not.

Kewaunee County Board approves budget including $50,000 library bill while approving Waste Irrigation Ordinance

By Paul Schmitt

Kewaunee County is paying over $50,000 to other counties for library material checked out at surrounding county libraries.  The state law has been a major expense in Kewaunee County's budget the past several years.  The Kewaunee County Board approved the 2018 budget that reflects a $52,574 bill from Brown County.  County Board President Bob Weidner says the cost could be eliminated if residents would utilize the local libraries in Algoma, Kewaunee, along with a library station in Luxemburg.



A marketing campaign was launched by the Kewaunee County Library Services Board to inform residents of the expense burden of using libraries from outlying communities.  In other business completed at the two and one-half hour meeting, the Kewaunee County Board approved the Waste Irrigation Ordinance that was finalized last week in a joint meeting between the Land and Water Conservation Commission and Public Health.  It passed with a unanimous 19-0 vote.

Sugar Creek County Park offers everything from boat lauch to disc golf--Door County Parks Series 6


By Paul Schmitt

In our continuing series of the Door County Park system, an old popular tributary for smelt dipping in the town of Gardner is featured.  Sugar Creek County Park, which is named after the creek that runs through it, was purchased in 1945.  Door County Parks Director Eric Aleson says Sugar Creek has had some major improvements in the past few years.



Sugar Creek County Park is a busy access point in the winter time for anglers venturing out to ice fish.  You can find maps and information on all 19 Door County Parks with the link below.

(photo from Door County Parks website)

Sen. Johnson's new whistleblower bill looks to protect employees at federal facilities


By Paul Schmitt

A bill authored by U.S. Senator Ron Johnson was signed into law by President Donald Trump recently with the hopes to protect whistleblowers, like the situation at the V.A. Hospital in Tomah.   The legislation strengthens penalties for those who retaliate against whistleblowers and seeks to improve whistleblower protections at the VA and across the federal government.  Senator Johnson explains why the new law is called the Dr. Chris Kirkpatrick Whistleblower Protection Act.



Johnson says the new law sends a strong message that federal whistleblowers like Kirkpatrick deserve protection and attempts to intimidate or silence whistleblowers are unlawful.  The Senate Homeland Security & Government Affairs Committee, headed up by Johnson investigated the Tomah facility.

Domestic violence abusers account for over half of recent national mass shootings

By Paul Schmitt

Domestic violence has been linked to many mass shooting tragedies in the past as well as the one at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas last Sunday.  According to Everytown for Gun Safety,  an advocacy group, 54 percent of mass shootings in the past eight years have been perpetrated by domestic violence offenders.  Help of Door County Executive Director Steve Vickman says abusers and mass shooters share similar personality traits.



Even though mass shootings have become more common over time, experts say it is hard to put together a specific profile that fits every shooter.  The Texas shooter was jailed for abusing his first wife. Authorities also said he had domestic problems involving his mother-in-law including sending threatening texts prior to the attack on Sunday, according to the Washington Post.

Sturgeon Bay City Council gives endangered granary 60 day reprieve from demolition

By Roger Utnehmer

A motion to approve bids to take down the Sturgeon Bay west-side waterfront granary was tabled until January at Tuesday's meeting of the city council but that does not mean the life of the historic structure is assured.

Even with more than $1.3 million in commitments from members of the public to restore the granary, a council majority was still hesitant to give the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society more time to save the granary.

The public also learned that Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief Tim Dietman, who issued an order in October to raze the granary, has gone to court opposing a motion filed by the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society to delay the demolition.  According to Attorney James Kalny, who is representing the city in the granary dispute, the right of the historical society to be involved in the case is being questioned.

Dietman's order to raze the granary no later than November 18th still stands.

In a twist that may raise conflict-of-interest concerns, Kalny works for a law firm that once was hired by the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront.  That group opposed the west-side waterfront development that included a controversial hotel.  That hotel project was suspended by developer Robert Papke who has filed a more than $500,000 lawsuit against the city.

Kalny's firm, Davis and Kuelthau of Green Bay, worked for the group opposed to the private development of property on the waterfront that includes the location of the granary.  At least one member of the Friends group questioned how Kalny can now represent the same city his firm was hired to sue.

The Friends won a lawsuit in February of this year, temporarily stopping development until the Department of Natural Resources issues a ruling that will determine where it can take place.  That ruling could come any day.

More than a dozen members of the public implored the council to save the granary, including one who pledged more than $100,000 for the effort.  Mary Ann Ewig told council members she has given $53,000 now with that same amount pledged next year in order to save the granary and develop a Center for the Arts.

Before going behind closed doors for private discussion about the granary, the council also heard Kalny state that he believed council member Kelly Catarozoli had a conflict of interest and if he were her, he would not vote on granary issues.  Kalny cited her position as a board member of the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society, a position from which Catarozoli resigned on Monday.  When the council re-convened into open session, Catarozoli left the meeting and no longer participated.

At one point, Mayor Thad Birmingham threatened to "clear the room" if members of the public did not curtail their expressions of support for various speakers and frustration with comments from some council members.  During portions of the meeting, at least three members of the Sturgeon Bay Police Department were in attendance.

Audio from Tuesday's Common Council meeting is below:

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Concrete blocks give direction to Sturgeon Bay's past

By Tim Kowols

Before there was GPS and traditional street signage, concrete blocks near sidewalks were the way people found their way around Sturgeon Bay. The Door County Historical Museum and Archive is asking for help locating these concrete blocks that were rendered obsolete post-1943 as it became harder for people to figure out where they were going in the growing city. Ginny Haen from the Door County Museum and Archive says once the city switched to the familiar signage poles, the concrete blocks with old street names and even prominent businessmen were left unpreserved or destroyed.



The Door County Historical Museum and Archive needs your help in finding the directional relics so they can be photographed and learn what is being done to preserve them. The photos will be used for an exhibit commemorating the 75th anniversary since many of the local streets were renamed and the blocks were replaced.


To assist in these efforts, please e-mail the museum at  If you can't e-mail, you can call and leave a message as the museum is closed to the public for the season.   Someone will get back to you to get your information.  If you have salvaged a block, we'd also like to see what you have done to preserve it.

Northern Door Children's Center prepares for final Holiday Home Tour

By Tim Kowols

After over a decade of showcasing beautiful northern Door County houses decked out in the Christmas spirit, the Northern Door Children's Center is pulling the plug on its Holiday Home Tour. This year's tour will take visitors through five homes in Sister Bay, Ephraim and Egg Harbor decorated for the holidays and, in three cases, boasting views of the water. Community Relations Director Karen Corekin is thankful to all the homeowners who have opened their homes to visitors over the years in the name of supporting the Northern Door Children's Center, but hopes its next holiday event idea will be just as successful.



The final Northern Door Children's Center Holiday Home Tour will take place November 24 and 25. Proceeds from ticket sales of the event and corresponding bake sale will go to benefit the educational programming at the Northern Door Children's Center.

Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief goes to court to block action to save granary

By Roger Utnehmer

An attorney representing the City of Sturgeon Bay informed council members moments ago that Fire Chief Tim Dietman has gone to court asking that efforts by the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society to save the west-side waterfront granary be blocked.  Dietman's motion questions whether the historical society has the right to block his order to raze the granary by November 18, 2017. 


The council heard a legal summary prepared by Attorney James Kalny on behalf of the city.  The council went into closed session at 1:35 p.m. to discuss efforts to save the granary.

Door County hunting instructor against age restriction elimination

By Tim Kowols

A minimum age for hunters could be eliminated if the Wisconsin State Senate follows the lead of its colleagues in the Assembly. By a 57-32 vote, the Assembly voted last week to allow parents the final word on whether or not their children are ready to hunt, eliminating the current restriction of 10 years old if participating with a mentor. Dick Baudhuin of the Door County Deer Advisory Council and an organizer of the area's Learn to Turkey Hunt program is against the measure, saying some parents look past the fact that their kid may not be mature enough to hunt regardless of age.



According to the Associated Press, proponents of the bill say the decision should be left up to the parents as Wisconsin could become the 35th state to lift the minimum age restriction.

High school students continue to build solid homes for class

By Tim Kowols

High school students from Door County's four mainland schools are making big strides on their home build project. The exterior walls have been framed and the trusses will be installed in the coming days as the home is on track to be completely enclosed before winter. Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Caleb Frostman credits Sturgeon Bay teacher Seth Wilson and its business partners for helping students from Southern Door, Sturgeon Bay, Sevastopol, and Gibraltar build such sound homes over the years.



Students participating in the project get course credit and an introduction to a different career path. This is the ninth home built through the Door County Economic Development Corporation's High School Home Build Project program.


See updates on the home build on the Door County Economic Development Corporation Facebook page.



Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director discusses outreach to students, entrepreneurs

By Tim Kowols

Once a month, Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Caleb Frostman visits the radio stations of to discuss the good news coming from the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park and beyond. This month, Frostman discusses the success of the recent Door County Manufacturing Days, the current progress of the High School Home Build Project, the growth of its Inspire module, and registration for its class for entrepreneurs.


You can hear the interview with Frostman the first Tuesday of every month at 9 a.m. on 103.3 FM and online with this story.


More Eagle Tower answers expected this week

By Tim Kowols

Stakeholders of the Eagle Tower Project at Peninsula State Park should know more when the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources releases information from public input sessions about the site later this week. In late September, the DNR released three concept drawings of the reconstructed Eagle Tower, ranging in costs from $1.65 million for an internal ramp structure to $3.3 million for one with an elevator. With a commitment of up to $750,000 from the state in matching grants and over $650,000 raised so far, Steve Strucely from the Friends of Peninsula State Park hopes for more guidance from the DNR.



Regardless of which option is chosen, the earliest a tower structure could open on the site is the summer of 2019.The Friends of Peninsula State Park and the Eagle Tower Campaign are holding an online auction through the end of the weekend featuring pieces from the old tower.

Waste irrigation ordinance, 2018 budget highlight Kewaunee County Board meeting tonight

By Tim Kowols

The passage of the 2018 budget and a new waste irrigation ordinance highlight Tuesday's meeting of the Kewaunee County Board. Chairperson Robert Weidner does not believe there will be major amendments to the budget after debate concerning a raise for Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt lowered the original budget amount. Weidner says the waste irrigation ordinance vote is important after so much work and discussion went into crafting it, especially the height of the low-pressure manure irrigation nozzles.



The Kewaunee County Board will meet at the administration center for its meeting at 5:30 p.m.


Algoma School District students continue to look for ways to improve

By Tim Kowols

Live Algoma cannot be defined as one thing or another, and school superintendent Nick Cochart prefers it that way. The city celebrated its recent Culture of Health Prize recognition from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation last month, which focused on the positive impact the initiative has had on the community's health. "Improvement projects" like the current redesign of Algoma's student council has also been part of the norm over the last few years. Cochart says Live Algoma has changed how people interact with one another.



Cochart says students have been participating in improvement sciences coursework from Harvard University, which creates a framework for how to develop a plan and understand how projects succeed and fail, over the last few years.

Year-end giving provides valuable financial lesson

By Tim Kowols

The end of the year provides a valuable teaching moment regarding giving. According to Giving USA, over $390 billion was given to charities in 2016, with close to a third of it going to religious organizations. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says it is important to keep track of where and how much you are giving.



Pustaver says including charitable donations in your spending plan can help save you some stress down the road as bills pile up during the holidays. According to, nearly one-third of annual giving occurs in December.


Sturgeon Bay Historical Society commits to granary demolition costs pending third-party review

By Tim Kowols

The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society is offering to cover up to $75,000 of demolition costs for the granary if a third-party structural engineer declares the building cannot be saved. The announcement came on the eve of the Sturgeon Bay Common Council's decision on whether to follow through on a raze order issued by Fire Chief Tim Dietman on October 17 or to accept over one million dollars from donors to save it from demolition. Christie Weber from the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society says this offer has both historic preservation and public safety in mind.



The bids being considered by the city for the granary demolition range between $53, 870 and $84,137. Weber says the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society has been in contact with Minneapolis-based structural engineering firm Meyer Borgman Johnson to get an updated opinion on the granary from its original 2013 study. The future of the granary will be one of the subjects discussed during Tuesday's Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting beginning at noon.

British agronomist visits Peninsula Pride Farms members to discuss groundwater concerns

By Tim Kowols

Peninsula Pride Farms welcomed British expertise in late October to share ideas on how to approach groundwater concerns in each other's countries. Tim Stephens is a senior groundwater catchment adviser with Wessex Water, working with farmers southwest of England dealing with similar concerns with nitrates and pesticides in their drinking water. Visiting the United States as a part of a scholarship, Stephens says he was drawn to Door and Kewaunee Counties because of the farmer-led initiative and to look at their practices as it relates to the area's groundwater concerns.



Stephens is also seeing farms in his area drop in number but grow in size as the need to be efficient increases. He reminded Peninsula Pride Farms members they are not alone in their issues.



Wessex Water has 14 catchments, or drainage basins, designated as Drinking Safeguard Zones and keep a close eye on through efforts with farmers.

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New occupancy tax legislation raises concerns in Door County

By Cynthia Germain


Earlier this year, legislation was passed in Wisconsin at the behest of the Hotel and Lodging Association to have the Wisconsin Department of Revenue collect occupancy tax from online home-sharing services such as Airbnb.  Although a boon for state and local income, it comes with issues unique to Door County.  These online sites allow individuals to rent out their homes for short-term stays and have seen a dramatic increase in usage on the local, state and national level.  Although the taxes will now be collected by the service agencies and remitted to the state for distribution, the taxes are typically reported by zip code.   The Door County Tourism Zone Commission collects lodging taxes for the county's 19 municipalities, and Josh VanLieshout, Chairman of the Door County Tourism Zone Commission, says that this creates a revenue accounting quandary as cities and townships share zip codes.



VanLieshout also notes that the zip code reporting also affects the data collected for the Door County Visitors Bureau that measures the tourism growth in areas of the county.  This may ultimately require individual lodging permit owners to voluntarily report their occupancy.  However, the revenue data may also make apparent those individuals who are not properly permitted by the Door County Tourism Zone.  The Commission is working with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue to address and resolve these concerns as the implementation of this important legislation unfolds.

Kewaunee school renovations gets the public eye next week

By Cynthia Germain

The Kewaunee schools recently completed a $16.2 million renovation project and will be hosting an open house on November 15th to show off the new facilities.  One new space completed this summer was the Family and Consumer Sciences area that updated a classroom with a traditional kitchen to a space that looks like a commercial kitchen, giving the students a unique experience in various foods classes.   The science area was renovated into a convertible learning space with non-traditional tables and desks for better collaboration and learning.  The technical education area was also updated with a new fabrication lab including 3D and laser printers as well as other current machinery.   In addition, an innovation lab was created with the help of a $25,000 grant from the Wisconsin Technology Initiative that boasts a telepresence unit, 30 Chromebooks and a portable smart board.  Karen Treml, Superintendent of the Kewaunee School District, is particularly excited about the telepresence unit that will bring the world to the kids of Kewaunee.



Treml is also pleased that the theater has been renovated which includes new seating, a larger stage and backstage area as well as a new band cave off to one side.  The updated theater will host its first show beginning November 9th with the musical Cinderella.   A new online ticket purchasing option is now available for the performances.


Washington Island has a banner year in tourism

By Cynthia Germain


Door County's Washington Island is a unique place to visit and the numbers show that many people agree.  Preliminary room tax revenue shows an 11% increase over last year and the Washington Island Ferry has reported record numbers over the summer.  Washington Island boasted numerous well-attended events this year including The Lavender Festival, Death's Door Barbeque, and Lions Club Fly-In Fish Boil.  John Rader, Town Chairman, contributes the increased tourism to these successful offerings.



The Lavender Festival is hosted annually by a local lavender farm and draws mostly day visitors to see the lavender fields and learn about the distilling process.  The Lions Club Fly-In Fish Boil, an annual event held in July, saw 175 planes come into the island. This year's Death's Door Barbeque was in its fifth year and had a remarkable success with 42 BBQ vendors judged by sanctioned officials of the Kansas City Barbeque Association.  This event was fortunate to have a pleasant day in August and was estimated to have up to 4,000 visitors.  The 2018 calendar of events will be available at the Washington Island Chamber of Commerce website early next year.

The Baha'i religion assembles in Door County

By Cynthia Germain


The Baha'is of Door & Kewaunee Counties recently celebrated an important anniversary in their faith.  This young, independent religion was founded by Baha'u'llah, a title meaning the glory of God, and it was the 200th anniversary of his birth recognized in October.  The Baha'i faith was established in 1863 in Persia, now Iran, and is considered the second most widespread religion in the world, estimating up to 7 million adherents.  Renny Lea, a local practitioner in the faith, says that its structure was set down by the Baha'u'llah, with local, regional, and national levels of  Spiritual Assemblies which run the affairs of the religion, and individuals working at various levels which perform the function of propagating the teachings and protecting the community.  The most important role of all adherents to the faith, according to Lea, is education.



Those in the Baha'i meet throughout the month, and Lea says that the local practitioners meet in various homes primarily in Gibraltar with devotions twice a month, a potluck and games night, and a "feast" every 19 days.



The teachings of the Baha'i faith has a central goal of unity of the human race to ensure the prosperity of all nations, races, creeds, and classes.  More information about this religion and its local assembly can be found online at Door County Baha'is.

SBU recyle 22,000 pounds of electronics in October

By Cynthia Germain


Sturgeon Bay Utilities hosted a recycling event at the utility office in October, with hundreds of Sturgeon Bay Utility customers participated, dropping off a total of 22,000 pounds of electronics, batteries and lightbulbs. The utility worked with Norsec and Lamp Recyclers to ensure that these items were recycled responsibly.


Margie Bscherer, Energy Services Representative, shared this about the effort:  "The recycling event provided a convenient and fun way for people from the community to keep this type of waste out of landfills and do something positive for the environment," said General Manager Jim Stawicki.  


The utility hosts the recycling event which is open to the public twice a year. The next event is scheduled for April 4, 2018. For more information, contact Sturgeon Bay Utilities.

Adopt-A-Soldier's Summer of Support raises nearly $2000 for holiday shipping of care packages

By Paul Schmitt

The Adopt-A-Soldier of Door and Kewaunee Counties raised much-needed funds to help send holiday care packages to local men and women currently serving in the armed forces.  After six months and nearly 2000 sold tickets, close to $2000 was raised in the Summer of Support Kawasaki Mule UTV raffle.  Director Nancy Hutchison who was on hand Saturday for the drawing at Jim Olson Ford in Sturgeon Bay shares the number of care packages that have been sent since starting the program in 2008.



The winner of the Kawasaki Mule 4 x4 UTV, Shaune Cook of Menominee Falls shares his surprise of winning and why he bought tickets to support the Adopt-A-Soldier program.



Cook will now make arrangements with Luxemburg Implement to bring his prize home.  Skylar Schopf, who is serving in the Marines and currently stationed in California, was back in Door County for a week's leave and did the honors of drawing from all the entries for the Kawasaki Mule UTV valued at over $9,500.




Marine Skylar Schopf and Director Nancy Hutchinson ready to draw winner of the Kawasaki Mule UTV.



Winner Shaune Cook picking up the UTV at Luxemburg Implement.

Daylight Saving Time starts today


By Paul Schmitt

If you show up an hour early today for church or other events, you might have forgotten to set your clocks back.  Daylight Savings Time officially occurred at 2 a.m. this morning.  The easy reminder between the spring and fall is to "fall back" one hour or "spring ahead" next March.   According to Wikipedia the common practice originated back in 1916 but was utilized by many counties at various times, especially back in the 1970's during the energy crisis.  Fortunately, most electronic devices adjust clocks automatically but any old school watches and clocks need to manually be set.  The significance of it means that sunrise will be about 6:30 in the morning with sunset at 4:33 p.m.

Phone scammers using bank's caller ID number

By Paul Schmitt

A Phone scam to collect personal data from area customers of the Bank of Luxemburg has been reported in the past two weeks.  Customers from the Bank of Luxemburg reported that a caller who is speaking with a foreign accent is requesting personal information over the phone that shows the banks local number.  Vice-President of Retail DeAnna Tittel says if you receive such a call to react fast.



Tittel says the bank would never request personal information like Social Security numbers or account numbers over the phone.  She says no victims of the phone scam are known and that she advises people to report the incident immediately to local authorities.

Algoma featuring Veterans Day concert on Wednesday

By Paul Schmitt

Patriotism will be running high Wednesday night at the Algoma Performing Arts Center.  The Algoma Community Band and the Lakeshore Singers will present the annual Veterans Day concert.  President of the Algoma Community Band Sue Hepp says the evening will focus on music and the veterans in attendance.



Hepp says a reception will be held immediately after the performance for veterans, band members and singers in the school cafeteria.  The Veterans Day concert will start at 7 p.m. in the elementary school Performing Arts Center (PAC)

Sturgeon Bay student recognized for academic hispanic honor

By Paul Schmitt

A Sturgeon Bay high school student recently was recognized as a 2017-2018 National Hispanic Scholar.  Liam Herbst was one of 5,000 academically outstanding students honored from more than 250,000 Hispanic juniors who take the PSAT test.  Sturgeon Bay School Superintendent Dan Tjernagel explains the criteria that Herbst was able to meet.



Herbst, along with Sturgeon Bay classmate Thomas Renfrew, also were named Commended Students in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program, according to Tjernagel.  Herbst also plays for the  Clipper Soccer team playing at state this weekend.

Fate of granary buiding may be decided Tuesday

By Paul Schmitt

The City of Sturgeon Bay will be considering a resolution to raze and remove the granary building at their next council meeting Tuesday.  The agenda for the meeting shows a closed session planned to confer with legal counsel to determine a strategy in respects to litigation in which it is or is likely to become involved.  The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society is petitioning for a hearing pursuant to the order to raze.  The Contract to Raze & Remove Structure of the Granary Building which is located on East Maple Street on Sturgeon Bay's west side is set to be voted on as agenda item ten.   The Sturgeon Bay City Council meeting is set for noon on Tuesday in the Council Chambers at City Hall.  A Special Common Council public hearing is set for 4:00 p.m. on Monday at City Hall for the tentative 2018 budget with consideration and approval of the resolution for Budget Adoption and Tax Levy.

Planning Commission moves CAFO moratorium resolution to Lincoln Town Board as ordinance

By Paul Schmitt

The planning commission for the town of Lincoln met Thursday night to hold a hearing on the moratorium resolution on the construction and expansion of confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs).  Town Chair Cory Cochart says the moratorium address more than just the water quality issues facing the township.



The planning commission will now turn the moratorium resolution over to the town board who will vote on it as an ordinance to give it more strength, according to Cochart.  The Lincoln Town Board meeting is at 7 p.m on Monday at the town hall.

Southern Door hosting annual Arts & Crafts Fair this Sunday

By Paul Schmitt

Door County's largest craft sale with over 100 booths, the Southern Door Arts & Crafts Fair, is this Sunday.  Southern Door School Administrator Patti Vickman says the annual event sponsored by the Southern Door Athletic Booster Club will have a little bit of everything for visitors.



The 6th annual Southern Door Arts & Crafts Fair will be held from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Southern Door High School this Sunday.  Admission is $2 at the door for the event.

Annual Artisan & Quilters Show this Saturday at Ag Heritage Center

By Paul Schmitt

Quilters and Artisans will be displaying their works this Saturday at the Ag Heritage Center south of Kewaunee.  The annual "Artisan and Quilt Show" will feature unique hand-crafted projects and more.  Kewaunee Artisan Center President Julie Thorson shares what is instore for attendees.



Admission requires only bringing in a non-perishable food item or a cash donation to Kewaunee Lakeshore Community Pantry.  The Artisan and Quilt Show will run from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. this Saturday.

Sen. Johnson proposing internet policing to help prevent future terrorist attacks


By Paul Schmitt

The terrorist attack earlier this week in New York City that killed eight people has lawmakers looking at what can be done to help prevent future acts of terrorism.  U.S. Senator Ron Johnson who chairs the homeland security committee says monitoring the internet is a start.



Johnson says people who are affiliated with Islamic terrorists that are unlawful combatants are not entitled to Geneva rights and fall outside the bounds of lawful warfare.  He says President Trump's comments of sending the suspect to Guantanamo Bay for interrogation to gather information merits consideration.  The suspect who used a rented truck to run over victims in New York City's deadliest terror attack since 9/11 was charged with federal terrorism offenses on Wednesday.

Traffic fatalities continue to increase throughout the state


By Paul Schmitt

The roads in Wisconsin proved to be deadlier last month than in the past.  In October, 58 people lost their lives in traffic-related crashes including three travelers on Highway 57 near Dyckesville last Friday.   According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation DOT), the total traffic fatalities in the state for the year is 506 compared to 485 last year.  Door County Sheriff Steve Delarwelle says drivers need to be aware of their surroundings when driving.



Delarwelle also advises that weather and travel conditions can change quickly this time of year so motorist should be prepared for slippery roads.  According to the DOT, Traffic-related deaths in Wisconsin so far this year include 287 motor vehicle drivers, 85 passengers, 76 motorcyclists, 49 pedestrians and seven bicyclists.

Ducks Unlimited banquet helps preserve shoreline habitat and more

By Paul Schmitt


The local chapter of Ducks Unlimited in Luxemburg held their annual banquet at Northbrook Country Club last night with 130 of the 140 members attending.   Co-chair Lonnie Vincent says about $10,000 was raised at the dinner banquet with the monies going towards preserving shoreline habitat and a special program near and dear to his heart.



Membership to Ducks Unlimited is $35 per year, according to Vincent with the attendees covering the membership cost with their attendance at the dinner Thursday night.  For more information on Ducks Unlimited, go to this story online.



Manure irrigation ordinance finally ready for Kewaunee County Board approval--Pagel steps back as chair of committee

By Paul Schmitt

The fourth time was a charm for the Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation and Public Health committees on Thursday.  The two committees agreed on the fourth writing of the waste irrigation ordinance that began with discussions over five months ago.  The meeting held Thursday ran for four and one-half hours before the joint session reached an agreed proposed ordinance, according to Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee former chair John Pagel.  He says the joint committee went through it line by line to get it done.



Pagel says he only has one regret about how the process played out in committee.



The proposed waste irrigation ordinance will now go before the Kewaunee County Board next Tuesday, November 7 at their monthly meeting, according to Pagel.  If approved, the ordinance will go into effect in 2018.   Pagel is the chairman of the land and water committee and has asked the Vice Chairman to conduct the land and water meeting until the committee appointments expire in April 2018.

Door County to host three ceremonies for Veteran's Day

By Tim Kowols

Door County is planning three different ceremonies to commemorate Veterans Day next week. The Door County Senior Center will host a ceremony on November 9 while Sevastopol School in Institute and the Trueblood Performing Arts Center on Washington Island will hold events on November 10. County Veterans Service Officer Scott McFarlane says the ceremonies provide a great opportunity to say thanks.



Rep. Mike Gallagher will be the special guest speaker at the Door County Veteran's Day Ceremony on the mainland at Sevastopol School at 10 a.m. Washington Island will host their ceremony at 10:30 a.m.

Sturgeon Bay's Friends Community Church to host International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church service

By Tim Kowols

Christian congregations around the world will spend the next two Sundays praying for those persecuted because of their religion. According to, at least 100 million Christians in the world are persecuted for their beliefs, leading to suffering and even death in some countries. Friends Community Church Pastor Nancy Bontempo has commemorated the event the last three with a special liturgy featuring a person who was forced to run from persecution. Bontempo says this year's speaker, James Sayavong, was a Laotian refugee during the Vietnam War when he ran from his enemies and to the Christian church.



Friends Community Church will hold their International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church service this Sunday at 10 a.m. with lunch to follow. You can find more information about the speaker and the service online with this story.

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Home and Community Education a passion for Kewaunee County residents

By Tim Kowols

Kewaunee County residents yearning for the days of their youth in 4-H do not have to look very far. The Association for Home and Community Education (HCE) is a statewide non-profit organization through the UW-Extension office providing educational opportunities for local residents, improving the leadership and decision making skills of its members, and giving opportunities to serve their community. Kewaunee County has one of the most active associations in the state consisting of nine different clubs. From visiting grade schools to read books to sponsoring a number of different scholarships and fundraisers, HCE co-president Mari Fager says she is proud of its members.



As associations across the country celebrate National HCE Week beginning November 5, Fager says one of their next projects will be volunteering at the Kewaunee School District's Holiday Extravaganza December 2. We have information on how you can join HCE and attend one of the club's monthly meetings online with this story.

Pipeline leak cause of gas price hike in Wisconsin

By Tim Kowols

Motorists are in for a rude awakening if they wait to fill up their gas tanks. Jandu Petroleum told its Facebook followers Thursday morning that gas prices are set to skyrocket up at least 35 cents a gallon due to a leak in the pipeline supplying fuel from Texas to the Midwest. Sister Bay Mobil owner Dave Lienau says this comes at a time when gas prices are usually trending in the opposite direction due to lower demand.



GasBuddy predicts the pipeline will be fixed in the upcoming days, but prices may be slow to fall back to normal as gasoline flows get back to its usual level.

Door County Medical Center partners with federal exchange insurance company

By Tim Kowols

Door County Medical Center is trying to make it easier for those reliant on the federal health care exchange to get the care they need. Last week Door County Medical Center announced it was partnering with Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative to serve the health and insurance needs of Door and Kewaunee County residents. About 10 percent of the local population relies on the healthcare exchange, which is one of the highest ratios in the state. Door County Medical Center Chief Administrative Officer Brian Stephens says the partnership is all about serving the community better.



Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative is the only health insurance company offering plans in Door County through the exchange, down from six when the program first started.

Former Wisconsin Governor advocates for caregivers in new book

By Tim Kowols

For former Wisconsin governor Martin Schreiber, the love of his life were two different people living in the same body. Schreiber and his wife Elaine were high school sweethearts that later became husband and wife, parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. Years after his time in Madison as a legislator and governor, Elaine became inflicted with Alzheimer's disease and Schreiber's book, My Two Elaines, details what it is like to give round-the-clock care to the woman he loves the most, but no longer recognizes him as her husband. Schreiber says caregivers need to make sure they take care of themselves as well as the people they are caring for in their time of need.



Schreiber says caregivers have a 35 percent chance of dying before the person they are giving care to does as well as having a higher chance of getting ill and their savings drained as a result of dedicating so much time and energy to caregiving. My Two Elaines is available at online retailers and Schreiber's Website.

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Area apple orchard owner's work is not done yet

By Paul Schmitt

Apple Orchard Owners just completed the final harvest of apples in the area and now look to change gears.  Steve Wood from Wood Orchards in Egg Harbor and Sturgeon Bay says November is a transition time from harvesting to orchard maintenance.



Wood says this year's apple crop finished better than expected considering the extremely wet conditions this past summer.  According to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) last week, over 116,000 tons of apples were harvested already this year.

Peninsula Symphonic Band offering Veterans Day concert Sunday

By Paul Schmitt

The Peninsula Symphonic Band will be performing a special Veteran's Day Concert this Sunday.  The annual concert that is free to the public will be held at Prince of Peace Church in Sturgeon Bay starting at 7:00 p.m.  Peninsula Symphonic Band Director Paula Eggert says this year's concert will include the Door County Community Choir sharing the stage.



The Peninsula Symphonic Band, a non-profit organization, began performing in 1990.  The band includes over 30 local musicians who volunteer and donate their time and talents during the year.  You can find more information on the Peninsula Symphonic Band performances with this story online.

Door County YMCA starts new reciprocal membership program this month

By Paul Schmitt

The Door County YMCA is part of over 800 corporate YMCAs nationwide participating in a new membership-reciprocity program that begins this month.  CEO and President Tom Beerntsen says the Door County YMCA is a popular destination for outside members.



Beernstsen says the only stipulation is that the visiting member must fill out a liability waiver that is kept on file in the YMCA national database.  He estimates that 90 percent of YMCAs nationally are participating.  The Door County YMCA currently has a total of over 8,000 members at the Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek program centers.

Boys and Girls Club of Door County's new Engineering Partnership Program a success

By Paul Schmitt

The Boys and Girls Club of Door County's first ever Engineering Partnership Program this year is getting impressive results and recognition.  This year's partner, Marine Travelift started a curriculum back in January for fourth and fifth-grade students from the Boys and Girls Club of Door County.  Executive Director Julie Davis says the six-week program included hands-on experience and an obstacle course to test the student's newly developed abilities.



Davis says the CEO/President at Marine Travelift was happy to have the manufacturer participate in the venture.



Marine Travelift recently was awarded the 2017 Manufacturing Innovation award from the NEW Manufacturing Alliance for working with children and making a difference in their lives.  The Boys and Girls Club of Door County plans on partnering with Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding next year on a drafting program, according to Davis.

Kewaunee Fire Musuem looks to open by end of November

By Paul Schmitt

The finishing touches are being put on the new Kewaunee Fire Museum.   The 34 by 40-foot building is erected and needs only some lighting, plumbing and landscaping work done before hopefully opening by the end of the month.  Kewaunee Fire Department Captain Jim Kleiman says the fire museum will be easy for people to view through the outside glass windows.


Rotary Club delivering dictionaries to all Door County School students


By Paul Schmitt

Third-grade students in the Door County schools will be receiving a valuable learning resource thanks to the Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club.  Over 250 third-graders from Southern Door to Washington Island will receive a dictionary they call their own.  Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club member George Draeb says the annual program gets positive reviews from the third-grade teachers even after the dictionaries are delivered to the schools.



The Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club will be distributing the dictionaries over the next two weeks to all public and parochial third-grade classes in Door County.  The program has been done every fall for the last several years, according to Draeb.

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