News Archives for 2018-01

County Highway Department's salt in good supply for removing ice and snow from roads

By Paul Schmitt

Area county highway departments are better situated this year than they were last year at this time in dealing with snow and ice covered roads.  Kewaunee County Highway Commissioner Todd Every says there were a lot of rain events last January that put a strain on their salt supply.  He says this year has been a more average winter and his department is utilizing more pre-salting for upcoming storms.



National AODA speaker shares advice in overcoming substance abuse

By Connor Sannito

Prominent public speaker, Mike McGowan, came and presented to the entire Sturgeon Bay High School student body January 26th.


McGowan, an Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) trained speaker, spoke with students and faculty. His focus was encouraging teens to make healthy choices. He used humorous anecdotes and a sincere voice to address making the 'right' decision. Moreover, McGowan spoke with AODA (Project 180) student leaders and discussed strategies on helping other students who struggle with substance abuse.


This is what McGowan had to say after the event:


Law enforcement has to balance First Amendment rights with protecting public spaces

By Paul Schmitt


A recent video posting on social media regarding the exchange between the Green Bay Police with an auditor of the First Amendment is having local law enforcement use it as a teaching tool.  According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, a Oneida man wearing a hoodie and sunglasses was briefly detained after shooting video in and around the Green Bay Police Department.  Door County Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says as long as people are in a public use area they are free to take video or photos.  He compares the Green Bay incident to people testing law enforcement's response to the Second Amendment.



Boudreau retires from Wisconsin Humane Society-Door County Campus

By Paul Schmitt

The former Door County Humane Society director and current shelter operations manager for the Wisconsin Humane Society Door County Campus, Carol Boudreau is retiring.  Boudreau says she is retiring because she accomplished her goals of getting the organization in a solvent position, paying off the mortgage and making sure the staff receives opportunities and benefits.


(photo courtesy of Door County Humane Society)



Rep. Gallagher weighs in on "positive" State of the Union address, looming shutdown

By Tim Kowols

Rep. Mike Gallagher praised President Donald Trump for the positive tone of his first State of the Union address Tuesday evening, but still wishes it contained much of the "drain the swamp" rhetoric from the campaign trail. In his over 75-minute address, President Trump highlighted his accomplishments during his first year while highlighting goals such as $1.5 trillion in spending for infrastructure. Rep. Gallagher appreciated President Trump calling for drug prices to be lowered, something he has been advocating through his transparency act.


Luxemburg Snowmobile dealer remembered as the best in the business

By Paul Schmitt

A pillar of the Luxemburg business community for over 50 years passed away last Friday.  LeRoy Simonar, 77 of Luxemburg and founder of Simonar Sports was a fixture at the snowmobile dealership on Main Street right up until his death.  According to his obituary, he began in the family's gas station business in 1956 before opening Simonar Sports in 1968.  Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce President Alex Stodola says Simonar will be remembered for putting Luxemburg on the map when it came to snowmobiles.



Door and Kewaunee Counties begin discussion on possible consololidated services

By Tim Kowols

Citing the stress of rising costs and levy limits, Door and Kewaunee County officials are discussing ways to possibly save money and improve services for their residents. County administrators Ken Pabich (Door County) and Scott Feldt (Kewaunee County) were among those meeting last week to investigate ways to consolidate some services or share equipment. Feldt says two counties need to identify areas where they can work together and still provide quality services to their residents.


Girls slam through wrestling barriers

By Tim Kowols

As numbers statewide in wrestling drop, one segment that continues to knock down barriers is girls. According to the Wausau Daily Herald, 187 girls are competing at the high school level, including Kewaunee Varsity Wrestler Elena Lewis. Girls, once a novelty in some programs, are becoming more of a commonplace at the younger levels. Southern Door Wrestling Club coach Kyle Veeser says the stigma of boys wrestling girls is finally going away.


Crews fight chimney fire in Egg Harbor

By Tim Kowols

An early morning fire in Egg Harbor served as another reminder of the importance of having your chimney inspected.  At approximately 1:40 a.m. Tuesday morning, Egg Harbor Fire Department responded to the report of a chimney fire. After navigating an icy driveway, crews were able to use a ladder truck to put out the fire from above before departing just before 3 a.m. No injuries or further damage were a result of the fire as it was contained within the chimney itself. The Egg Harbor Fire Department reminded its Facebook followers in a post to have "their chimney cleaned and inspected throughout the year" as a result of the fire.

Photo courtesy of Egg Harbor Fire Department Facebook page


Tossing mittens becomes Kewaunee tradition

By Tim Kowols

A tradition continues in Kewaunee Tuesday night when Kewaunee High School hosts its annual mitten toss game. Started by Kewaunee alumna Paige Kassner when she was in eighth grade, the event has benefited her Warm Hands, Warm Hearts organization for the last 7 years, collecting 965 items last year alone. Teacher Sara Rabas says even though Kassner has moved onto college, she says it is a tradition worth keeping around.

The mitten toss, which also includes hats, gloves, and scarves, will take place during the Kewaunee/Algoma game Tuesday night in Kewaunee at halftime. You can listen to the game and the big halftime toss unfold on 104.1 WRLU.

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Tax refunds not free money for individuals, businesses

By Tim Kowols

Spending all of your tax refund in one spot is a common pitfall for many as the IRS begins accepting returns.  According to CBS News, the average tax refund in 2016 was $2,860 and was often used to pay off debt and splurge on a major purchase. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says it might be a better idea to get an idea of your finances before you start spending.

Pustaver suggests treating the refund as income instead of free money so you can have a better idea on how to allocate the funds on a month by month basis. You can listen to the entire Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver online with this story.

Sister Bay hotel takes step forward as Plan Commission member explains outcry

By Tim Kowols

A member of the Sister Bay Plan Commission understands the public outcry regarding initial rednerings of a planned 40-unit hotel on the former Braun property, but says it is permissible under ordinance and code and believes it will blend in with the village's downtown district. With a hotel on the village's wish list for the site for several years, the initial plans were introduced to the Sister Bay Plan Commission by developer Chris Schmeltz of Jaco Management during its meeting last week. The four-story structure would have retail on the bottom floor and an additional retail building in front of it, part of the reason why committee member MaryKay Shumway voted in favor of the proposal moving forward. As more details come out, Shumway hopes more residents will understand the direction and the scope the proposed hotel will take.

Schmeltz and Jaco Management have several more meetings ahead of them before the village signs a development agreement with the developer. Shumway says she is meeting with residents taking issue with the project, including one couple interested in starting a GoFundMe page to buy the land and keep it as green space.

Fight for redistricting reform continues its march to Supreme Court

By Tim Kowols

A United States Supreme Court case on redistricting reform in Wisconsin could have larger ramifications across the country this year. According to the Los Angeles Times, Republican leaders in Pennsylvania asked for the high court Monday to intervene after the state's Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that its congressional map was the result of partisan gerrymandering last week. Pennsylvania joins North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Maryland as states with pending litigation on the issue following partisan and racial lines. Redistricting reform advocates point to Iowa, which has used a nonpartisan, independent agency to draw its maps. Although the Iowa model does allow the state legislature to draw its own maps after rejecting the agency's plans twice, Jay Heck from Common Cause Wisconsin says that would be unlikely regardless of which party is in power.


Collaboration celebrated as Peninsula Pride Farms hosts its second annual meeting

By Tim Kowols

A panel discussion featuring farmers and other agriculture and conservation professionals will highlight the second annual meeting for Peninsula Pride Farms this Wednesday in Luxemburg. Farmers Tony Brey, Don Niles, and Randy Ebert, Steve Richter from The Nature Conservancy, Davina Bonness of the Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Department, Nick Guilette of AgSource Laboratories, and Dennis Frame from Timber Ridge Consulting will discuss the role agriculture has to protect its environment through innovative and collaborative means.  Niles says the annual meeting is not just for farmers, but for those wanting to learn more about what Peninsula Pride Farms is doing through its Natural Resources Conservation Service demonstration network and other initiatives.

The annual meeting takes place beginning at 9:30 a.m. at The Rendezvous of Luxemburg and is open to non-members until 1 p.m. We have registration information posted online with this story.

Luxemburg-Casco School District moving forward on two referendums seeking new gym and middle school

By Paul Schmitt

The Luxemburg-Casco School District Board approved two referendum resolutions this month so they will appear on the April 3 ballot this spring.  The two referendums total nearly $27 million with question one allotting $16.9 million towards a new gymnasium, according to L-C High School Athletic Director and Dean of Students Jenny Bandow.

Question two would be up to $11.9 million in adding and moving the middle school students from Casco to the high school in Luxemburg.  Bandow says one or the other referendum questions may pass and are not contingent on both passings.  The current high school gymnasium was built 50 years ago when the Luxemburg and Casco schools combined.  The L-C Middle School which was the old Casco High School currently serves 7th and 8th graders.

Luxemburg-Casco School District moving forward on two referendums seeking new gym and middle school

By Paul Schmitt

The Luxemburg-Casco School District Board approved two referendum resolutions this month so they will appear on the April 3 ballot this spring.  The two referendums total nearly $27 million with question one allotting $16.9 million towards a new gymnasium, according to L-C High School Athletic Director and Dean of Students Jenny Bandow.



Crews fight chimney fire in Egg Harbor

By Tim Kowols

An early morning fire in Egg Harbor served as another reminder of the importance of having your chimney inspected.  At approximately 1:40 a.m. Tuesday morning, Egg Harbor Fire Department responded to the report of a chimney fire. After navigating an icy driveway, crews were able to use a ladder truck to put out the fire from above before departing just before 3 a.m. No injuries or further damage were a result of the fire as it was contained within the chimney itself. The Egg Harbor Fire Department reminded its Facebook followers in a post to have "their chimney cleaned and inspected throughout the year" as a result of the fire.


Photo courtesy of Egg Harbor Fire Department Facebook page

Tossing mittens becomes Kewaunee tradition

By Tim Kowols

A tradition continues in Kewaunee Tuesday night when Kewaunee High School hosts its annual mitten toss game. Started by Kewaunee alumna Paige Kassner when she was in eighth grade, the event has benefited her Warm Hands, Warm Hearts organization for the last 7 years, collecting 965 items last year alone. Teacher Sara Rabas says even though Kassner has moved onto college, she says it is a tradition worth keeping around.


Tax refunds not free money for individuals, businesses

By Tim Kowols

Spending all of your tax refund in one spot is a common pitfall for many as the IRS begins accepting returns.  According to CBS News, the average tax refund in 2016 was $2,860 and was often used to pay off debt and splurge on a major purchase. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says it might be a better idea to get an idea of your finances before you start spending.


Sister Bay hotel takes step forward as Plan Commission member explains outcry

By Tim Kowols

A member of the Sister Bay Plan Commission understands the public outcry regarding initial rednerings of a planned 40-unit hotel on the former Braun property, but says it is permissible under ordinance and code and believes it will blend in with the village's downtown district. With a hotel on the village's wish list for the site for several years, the initial plans were introduced to the Sister Bay Plan Commission by developer Chris Schmeltz of Jaco Management during its meeting last week. The four-story structure would have retail on the bottom floor and an additional retail building in front of it, part of the reason why committee member MaryKay Shumway voted in favor of the proposal moving forward. As more details come out, Shumway hopes more residents will understand the direction and the scope the proposed hotel will take.


Collaboration celebrated as Peninsula Pride Farms hosts its second annual meeting

By Tim Kowols

A panel discussion featuring farmers and other agriculture and conservation professionals will highlight the second annual meeting for Peninsula Pride Farms this Wednesday in Luxemburg. Farmers Tony Brey, Don Niles, and Randy Ebert, Steve Richter from The Nature Conservancy, Davina Bonness of the Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Department, Nick Guilette of AgSource Laboratories, and Dennis Frame from Timber Ridge Consulting will discuss the role agriculture has to protect its environment through innovative and collaborative means.  Niles says the annual meeting is not just for farmers, but for those wanting to learn more about what Peninsula Pride Farms is doing through its Natural Resources Conservation Service demonstration network and other initiatives.


Local homeowners and renters can get help conserving energy

By Cynthia Germain


Door and Kewaunee residents can get extra help to weatherize their homes and take steps towards energy efficiency. We Are HOPE in Sturgeon Bay may be known for its employment and career services but it is also home to energy conservation programs available to individuals who qualify for the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program. The commonly known WHEAP provides assistance for heating costs, electric costs, and energy crisis situations. Its companion program, the Weatherization Assistance Program, offers help in a number of ways including insulation, furnace, water heater and refrigerator repair or replacement as well as updated light fixtures. Kim Carley, Employment Services Director at the We Are HOPE Center, says that this program is available to homeowners and renters alike.



The program contracts with local providers to make energy assessments and deliver the weatherization services. The assistance does not cover the entire cost of the weatherization activities but offers long-term savings in dollars and energy.

"Once in a blue moon" has its occasion this week

By Cynthia Germain


A past president of the Door County Astronomical Society is shedding light on the meaning of "Blue Moon" and shares information about one occurring at the end of January. The saying "once in a blue moon" gets its roots from a lunar event that typically occurs only once a year, with the next showing on January 31st. The modern definition of a Blue Moon is the appearance of a full moon in the same month. A full moon occurs approximately every 29.5 days and on the rare occasions when the full moon falls at the very beginning of a month, there is a good chance a Blue Moon will occur at the end of the month. The Blue Moon of January 31st will share added sights of a supermoon which happens when the moon is closest to Earth in its orbit and a blood moon which is a lunar eclipse that will create a reddish hue. Dr. John Beck, past-president of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society, says that this rare occurrence is certainly a sight to see and adds that full moons have other aspects worth viewing.



This year is unique in that there will be a second Blue Moon occurring at the end of March, although without the added spectaculars of the January moon. Beyond March, a Blue Moon will not occur again until October, 2020.

The University of Wisconsin Extension host education on composting

By Aerica Bjurstrom, Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agriculture Educator


Composting organic materials is popular with home gardeners, but more recently a manure management alternative for farmers. Whether you create compost in a barn, or outside in rows, both methods require precise management. Don't miss an exciting opportunity to learn more about composting and how to implement it on your own farm.

Join UW-Extension bio-systems engineering specialist, Dr. Becky Larson, and Senior Outreach Specialist Dr. Jamie Patton on Thursday, March 8 at 10:00 am to learn about managing compost on the farm and in the field.
The meeting will take place at Junion Homestead Farm, E1939 County Rd. K, Casco, WI. The meeting is free to attend, and lunch will be provided by Greenstone Farm Credit Services.

Please register by March 2 by calling Kewaunee County UW-Extension at 388-7138.

Anglers learn from the experts in the 2018 Winter Salmon School

By Cynthia Germain


Anglers can learn how to polish their salmon and trout fishing techniques from the experts in the 2018 Winter Salmon School in Kewaunee. The educational event being held on February 3rd at Accurate Marine will host regional experts Captain Dan Keating from Winthrop Harbor, 35-year veteran and author and Captain Arnie Arredondo, prominent charter captain and multi-tournament champion, as well as local angler authority Captain John Pollock. The program is full at 100 participants but a wait list is available. Merrick Malach, owner of the sponsoring Blue Door Tournament Series and board member of the Algoma-Kewaunee Great Lakes Sport Fishermen Club, says that the decrease in salmon in these waters has prompted them to include tips and tricks to get trout in the boat.



Malach notes that the Algoma-Kewaunee Great Lakes Sport Fishermen Club works to increase salmon numbers with the care of salmon net pens, a new age trial stocking system for Lake Michigan. There are two net pens in Kewaunee and the club is looking to put one in Algoma in the Ahnapee River in the spring.

Local radar run brings out vintage snowmobiles

By Cynthia Germain

Vintage snowmobiles and more get a showing at the 10th Annual Radar Run on West Alaska Lake in Kewaunee. The Lakeshore Vintage Snowmobile Association host its annual winter event on February 3rd with a dozen different divisions competing and include not just vintage snowmobiles but also modern snowmobiles as well as four-wheelers, motorcycles and ATVs. Participants purchase a ticket for three opportunities to run 800 feet to log in the fastest speed on a radar gun. Rick Siebold, member of the Lakeshore Vintage Snowmobile Association, says that many enjoy racing, showing and restoring vintage snowmobiles which are generally considered to be 1985 and older.



As the association is a non-profit, the majority of the proceeds from this and other hosted events are donated to various charities and local people in need.


New changes with an old school theme await Cherry Lanes


By Eric Fischer


Cherry Lanes in Sturgeon Bay will be seeing some new changes with an old-school concept.  On top of renovating the bowling alley, Cherry Lanes will become an arcade bar highlighting owners Kevin and Erin Bosman's pinball machine collection.  Erin mentions that the decision to buy the iconic building was easy when they saw that Cherry Lanes was for sale.  Erin and Kevin want it to be a fun place for friends to come hang out and spend an evening.



In keeping with the nostalgia theme, Bosman adds that they want to ask the community for any old pictures of the bowling alley and of the area.  She also would appreciate hearing any memories of the old bowling alley.  The couple is aiming for a March grand opening.


Northern Door first responder believes profession is ripe for influx of women



By Kent Berkley



Amanda Larson was co-recipient of the 2017 First Responder of the Year award presented by Sister Bay Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht.  Amanda says that she has never had a problem working a field traditionally held by men.  According to the American Community Survey (ACS) Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) database, approximately 30 percent of emergency medical technicians & paramedics in the US are women.  Amanda says that in her experience Gibraltar, Ephraim, and Sister Bay-Liberty Grove have cultures of gender inclusivity that affirm her role and value.





Amanda welcomes the opportunity to provide advice or support to women who might be considering a career in emergency response.   She acknowledges that it can be a stressful profession, but adds that training provides workers with the tools and resources to cope with challenging situations.  She adds that it is a great job for those who find meaning in helping people through difficult times.



Local musician and producer rediscovers an old favorite


By Eric Fischer

Hans Christian, a Sturgeon Bay musician, has seen it all in the music world, or so he thought. Christian had been running out of copies of his 1998 CD, The Lake, and decided to remix and remaster the album as a tribute to his friend and Door County music legend, Fred Alley who appears on the album alongside him.  Christian went into his recording studio, Studio 330, to start the work to remix and remaster.  That's when the musician was stunned that the twenty-year-old album did not need any touching up.  Christian credits that to the music chemistry he shared with Alley and vocalist Ira Stein.


Lawyer priest from Sister Bay provides advice on how to overcome toxic conflict



By Kent Berkley



Barb Sajna, a priest at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Sister Bay, says she does not enjoy conflict but found it tolerable when she practiced law because it was tightly regulated by rules and procedures.   Sajna says she is distressed by the trend toward discord that is prevalent in our institutions, communities, and families.  She fears cultural dysfunction is setting in regarding matters of disputation, negotiation, and resistance to compromise.  She believes it is possible to overcome this cultural pathology if we are willing to change our mindset about how to approach conflict.




Sajna believes that a shift in thinking and behavior toward conflict resolution will require society to repudiate what is typically modeled in politics and the media.   She believes things will improve when we are able to address issues without infusing personal animus into the equation.



Door County YMCA to host 30th annual community appreciation breakfast


By Eric Fischer

The Door County YMCA is celebrating their 30th annual community appreciation breakfast on Valentines Day.  Tom Beernsten, CEO of the Door County YMCA, says that these breakfasts serve multiple purposes.  First, it shows appreciation to the community for their support and memberships.  The event also serves as an avenue to showcase plans for the next year.  The big news this year is a $23,000 grant for character development programs.  Beernsten says that Door County is one of the few YMCA's across the country to receive the grant.

Beernsten adds that Dr. Tasha Nicole Johnson, Senior Director of the Character Development Project, will speak at the event regarding the grant.  The breakfast will be held February 14th, at 8:30 AM at Stone Harbor Resort.  There is no cost to attend, but Beernsten asks that you call the Door County YMCA to reserve your spot.


Door County DHS utilizes advances in brain science to develop treatment plans that address adverse childhood experiences



By Kent Berkley


Door County Department of Human Services relies on recent developments in adolescent brain research to assess needs and implement treatment programs for juvenile offenders.  Childhood experiences, both positive and negative, can impact likelihoods of future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and wellness.   Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are stressful or traumatic events that have been shown to be risk factors for substance use disorders and other harmful behaviors including delinquency.  Mark Hill, Juvenile Justice Social Worker with the Door County Department of Human Services, says it is important to understand a young person's ACEs in order to help them build resiliency to overcome the risks associated with adverse experiences.




Hill says that even though adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) are risk factors for negative outcomes, they are not determinative.  Hill says that preventing ACEs and engaging in early identification and treatment of people who have experienced them can help young people build resiliency and achieve positive outcomes.


Investors advised to stay consistent as stock market ends another impressive week of growth

By Paul Schmitt

As consumer confidence continues to rise, the stock market wrapped up another big week Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 220 points higher on Friday.  Tech and health care stocks rallied, according to but the fourth quarter GDP was weaker than expected.  Casey St. Henry from Thrivent Financial in Sturgeon Bay says there is no telling where the bullish stock market will go from here.



Ice Anglers should take extra cautions with warmer temperatures this weekend

By Paul Schmitt

The United States Coast Guard is warning that the warmer temperatures this weekend can pose safety concerns for those planning to recreate on or near ice. Fishing Guide JJ Malvitz says you should use common sense and take precautions if you plan on venturing on the ice.



"Curious George" appearance highlights Sturgeon Bay Library's Book Character Program Saturday

By Paul Schmitt

There will be some monkey business going on at the Sturgeon Bay Library this Saturday.  The Door County Library's Book Character Program will feature three children's book classics from the "Curious George" series by R. A. Rey.    Sturgeon Bay Library Youth Services Librarian Beth Lokken says the program is geared towards preschoolers but with the inspiration behind the book goes back to World War II and relates to every generation.



Transferring college credits bill heads to Governor's desk

By Tim Kowols

Wisconsin college students could save time and money under a new bill heading to Governor Scott Walker's desk. Senate Bill 407, which was passed by the Assembly earlier this week, will allow students taking college-level courses in high school and can show they have mastered the material get the credit they deserve. Rep. Joel Kitchens asked Sturgeon Bay Teacher Barry Mellen and two Clipper alums last December to testify in favor of the bill and says this will help keep college affordable for students.


Premier Resort Area Tax goes to referendum in Sister Bay February 20

By Tim Kowols

Sister Bay voters will have their chance to decide on whether a new tax is instituted in the village in the February primary election. A Premier Resort Area Tax of 0.5 percent would be added to items sold, leased, or rented from tourist-related retailers. Village Finance Director Tasha Rass says the money collected from the tax would make a big difference in funding future infrastructure improvements.


Sunrise Elementary's therapy dog program aims to make school less rough for students

By Tim Kowols

Sunrise Elementary School in Sturgeon Bay will go to the dogs later this year when the district introduces a therapy pet pilot program. A committee has headed up the study to bring the therapy dogs to class, which included a site visit to Shawano and a presentation to the school board. Superintendent Dan Tjernagel says he has been working with Julie LaLuzerne from the Wisconsin Humane Society Door County Campus for three years and believes this will be a positive for students.


"Service above Self" scholarships by Sturgeon Bay Rotary Club focuses on giving back to community

By Paul Schmitt

Seniors from the Door County high schools looking towards a four-year college degree can begin applying for scholarships provided by the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay.  The scholarships that range from $1,500 to $2,500 have awarded in excess of $20,000 in the past.  Jeff Ottum, chair of the Rotary "Service above Self" Scholarship program, says the idea is to have students share an essay on what they are doing to give back to the community



KCEDC looks at possible reorganization after executive director resigns

By Paul Schmitt

The executive director of the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation (KCEDC) Jennifer Brown is leaving her position to pursue new opportunities.  According to board member Lynn Kroll, the KCEDC is going through a strategic visioning process to determine how the organization will look like in the foreseeable future.  Kroll says Brown will stay until mid-February to finish some projects.



Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days Committee to distribute remaining funds in March

By Tim Kowols

March will be when the Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days Committee will release thousands of dollars in scholarships and grants to local individuals and communities following a successful 2017 event. The announcement made during Tuesday's Kewaunee County Board meeting comes months after the committee donated over $100,000 to local groups that volunteered during the three-day show. Executive Secretary Aerica Bjurstrom says there are no specifics yet, but the committee has decided how the funds will be divvied up.


Hatch Distilling Company cracks ground in Egg Harbor February 9

By Tim Kowols

Hatch Distilling Company owner Chris Roedl will be one step closer to having his dream realized next month when ground breaks on his 7,250 square foot distillery and tasting room in Egg Harbor. Construction is expected to be brisk as contractor Keller, Inc. has been pre-fabricating the building while Roedl and his father Russ make sure they have the equipment and other materials needed to fill it. Roedl says it will be exciting to see the walls starting to go up.


Alumni create Algoma Education Capital Fund to fund schoolarships, special projects

By Tim Kowols

Algoma High School alumni are taking it upon themselves to make sure the Wolves of tomorrow continue to have great opportunities. Patrick Robinson, Kevin Naze, Jeff Lee, Jaris Briski, Dean Blahnik, Teal Van Lanen, and Robyn Harper led the way to the creation of the Algoma Education Capital Fund, which hopes to raise money to fund scholarships for students and drive other projects within the school district. Algoma Superintendent Nick Cochart says it is great to see the support from alumni for their current students and their goals moving forward.


State of Wisconsin Natural Resources Board gives unanimous approval for stricter manure handling changes in sensitive regions

By Tim Kowols

The State of Wisconsin Natural Resources Board unanimously approved changes to the state's manure handling rules in sensitive areas Wednesday in an effort to address groundwater contamination concerns. Over 20 members of the public spoke in favor of the changes, including Jodi Parins, Lynn Utesch, Dick Swanson and Don Niles of Kewaunee County and Bill Schuster of Door County. The new NR-151 rules for areas of shallow soils and fractured bedrock will limit where and when manure can be spread. Kewaunee County Board Member Lee Luft says it was important to see large farmers like Niles and conservationists like Utesch agree on an issue in the public's eye.


Welfare reform highlights agenda presented during State of the State Address

By Tim Kowols

Governor Scott Walker laid out his agenda for his re-election year during his State of the State Address Wednesday afternoon in front of both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature. Highlighted in his over 60-minute address were increased investments in education, changes to the state's welfare system, and improvements to health care. Governor Walker touched on a few of the goals during his visit to Gibraltar Area Schools earlier this month, especially the need for welfare reform.


State Senate rejects appointments of Ethics and Elections leaders

By Paul Schmitt

The Wisconsin State Senate voted Tuesday to reject the confirmations of the Ethics Commission Administrator Brian Bell and Elections Commission administrator Mike Haas.  The vote was down party lines and Jay Heck from Common Core says no public hearing was held to discuss the appointments.



St. Paul Lutheran School celebrates Lutheran School Week with special activities


By Eric Fischer



One of several hundred schools across the country celebrating Lutheran School Week, St. Paul Lutheran School in Luxemburg is directing a week of fun to its students.  Pastor and Principal Daniel Olson shares that the school has many fun events for the students such as this year's Social Studies fair, dress up days, the annual Grandparent's breakfast, and the main event: bowling and pizza on Friday afternoon.  Olson speaks highly of the success of the students enrolled in the school and says there are ways for parents to get help with the financial side of sending their kids to a private school.


Olson adds that for over 100 years, the school has been giving students from 4k-8th-grade quality educations within a Christian context.  The school welcomes and serves students and families from diverse religious backgrounds and denominations.  For a full list of events and more information on the school, go to their website,


New owner of Sister Bay business will preserve goals, mission and core operations


By Kent Berkley



Craig Coursin purchased a business he admired so much that he has changed virtually nothing about it.  The new owner and President of Carlson & Erickson Builders, Inc. in Sister Bay, has known John Sawyer, the previous owner, for many years.  Sawyer built two houses that Coursin designed nearly two decades ago.      Coursin, a registered architect, previously operated two construction companies for 11 years in the Milwaukee area.  He says he expects a seamless transition under his ownership with minimal disruptions to the existing business model.







After vacationing in Door County for twenty years, Coursin became a homeowner in the area seven years ago.  He and his wife now live in Little Harbor, Town of Sevastopol.  He mentioned that his firm is always recruiting quality people and skilled craftsmen.


Brussels fire destroys barn and claims lives of animals inside



By Kent Berkley



A late afternoon Tuesday fire in the town of Brussels destroyed a barn and equipment stored inside.  BUG Assistant Fire Chief James Wautier says his department responded to the property of Dale and Sue Crass at 8878 School Road in the Town of Brussels.  The barn was engulfed in flames when the firefighters arrived.  He describes the scene that required mutual aid from the Southern Door, Algoma, Luxemburg, Sturgeon Bay and Casco Fire Departments.




The family lost two horses and pet cats in the fire.  Three horses were successfully rescued from the barn.  Firefighters battled the blaze for five hours before extinguishing it.  No firefighters were injured and no damage was caused to the surrounding property.  Property owner Sue Crass provided the photo attached to this article.


Dairy Deans in Algoma opens again after two month hiatus

By Paul Schmitt

A Kewaunee County landmark restaurant reopened earlier this month and is back serving their long-time customers.  Dairy Deans Restaurant in Algoma, which closed at the end of last October, opened its doors again on January 5. Owner Dean Tenor had hoped to sell the restaurant last fall, but the transaction fell through after he closed the doors.  Tenor says business at Dairy Deans the last couple weeks has been brisk and he is thankful that nearly all his employees came back as well as his patrons.



Ice and thawing in fields can damage future crops

By Paul Schmitt

The recent rain and ice storm was not only bad for the conditions of area roads, but was not good news to area farmers concerned about their fields and the potential to negatively affect future crops.  Jim Wautier from Church Site Farms in Brussels explains the worse case scenario.


Door County Reads explores Hmong culture

By Tim Kowols

Door County Reads will kick off another year Sunday as residents and visitors officially dive into this year's book, The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir. The book, written by Kao Kalia Yang, tells the story of her escape from war-torn Laos to Thailand and eventually the United States. The Hmong culture will take center stage at several different events over the course of the county-wide reading celebration including dancing, music, and food at the Kick-off celebration Sunday and a discussion with military veterans February 3. Door County Library Director Tina Kakuske says the activities planned during Door County Reads will help open eyes to a relatively unknown culture despite its population growth in the area.


Sheriff's Corner: Prevent accidents and fines by keeping items secured

By Tim Kowols

With the Kewaunee County Landfill down to its last few months of operation, Sheriff Matt Joski is reminding residents to make sure they have their items tied down while traveling. While the call to check your cargo in transit is not exclusive to hauling trash to a landfill site in or out of the county, traffic is expected to increase in the coming months before its expected closure in June. Joski says debris flying off does not just litter, it could cause accidents.


League to host candidate forum for Door County Supervisory District 19

By Tim Kowols

The League of Women Voters Door County will host a second candidate forum in the area next month, this time focusing on Door County Supervisory District 19. Bob Bultman, Hugh Mulliken, and Kate Lindsley will speak to the issues facing the county and specifically Baileys Harbor and portions of Liberty Grove currently represented by retiring supervisor Don Sitte. Barb Graul from the League of Women Voters explains why the forums they host are not debates.


Farmers worried about the effects of immigration reform

By Tim Kowols

Uncertainty in immigration reform still weighs heavy on area farmers dependent on the labor. According to the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, more than half of dairy workers nationally are immigrants, with farms employing them producing 79 percent of nation's milk. While the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is getting the headlines, Dave Jauquet from Jauquet Farms in Luxemburg is worried about some of his employees and their families that may not fall under the program. His employees have the proper I-9 forms filed, but Jauquet would still like to see a permanent solution reached while finding a middle ground.


Weather causes delays in Door and Kewaunee County

By Tim Kowols


Luxemburg-Casco public-private: Opening 2 hours later, no AM Pre-K or Early Childhood

Kewaunee public- private: Opening 2 hours later, no AM Pre-K or Early Childhood

Southern Door School District: Opening 2 hours later, no AM or PM Pre-K or Early Childhood

Algoma public-private: Opening 2 hours later, no AM Pre-K or Early Childhood

Gibraltar Area Schools: Opening 2 hours later

Northern Door Children's Center: Opening at 9 a.m.


Flu epidemic spreading throughout Door and Kewaunee Counties

By Paul Schmitt

One of the biggest outbreaks of influenza continues to run rampant across the United States and locally.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu has spread to an epidemic status due to the circulation of H3N2, an influenza strain that is very aggressive and is successfully targeted by vaccines in about 30 percent of the cases.  Door County Public Health Director Rhonda Kolberg says this year's flu can be more dangerous for the people with underlying health issues, pregnant women, and the very young and the elderly.  She says washing your hands regularly can help prevent transmitting or contracting the virus.  If you do catch the flu, Kolberg says quick action can help.



Door County Maritime Museum in Gills Rock renamed "Death's Door"

By Tim Kowols

The Door County Maritime Museum is changing the name of its Gills Rock campus to better reflect the history of the area. Open during the summer and fall months, the newly named Death's Door Maritime Museum will reflect on the area's commercial fishing tradition and the shipwrecks that call the passage between the tip of Door County and Washington Island home. Executive Director Amy Paul hopes the rebranded museum brings additional excitement to the community.



Kewaunee County to discuss Algoma land swap during Tuesday meeting

By Tim Kowols

A land swap between the Department of Natural Resources and Algoma manufacturer CTI Properties, LLC could be a win-win for Kewaunee County. The land subject to the resolution during Tuesday's meeting is owned by the DNR, administered by the county and is located next to the current CTI Properties, LLC site. Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Robert Weidner says the deal would benefit the manufacturer if it decides to expand and residents and tourists looking to recreate in the area.


Students, parents prepare for financial aid letters

By Tim Kowols

College bound students are already beginning to look towards next year on ways to afford their education. According to the College Board, the average full-time student in 2015-2016 received over $14,000 in financial aid, but ended up graduating an average $28,000 in debt just a few years later. As the letters with those financial aid awards begin to come in, Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors reminds parents and students to make sure they understand what all the numbers mean.


Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department crosses generations with awards

By Tim Kowols

Firefighters across the generations were honored this weekend in Sister Bay as the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department held its Christmas and Wives/Husbands Appreciation Party. Two of the honorees represent the third generation of their families to serve for the department with Mitch Olson Jr. earning the Chief's Choice Award and Captain Kurt Knudson, who is retiring after 39 years.  Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht says the event not only thanks those who serve the community with the department but also recognizes the tradition it creates.


Grants pivotal to Peninsula Pride Farms' stewardship progress

By Tim Kowols

Peninsula Pride Farms continues to earn grants to fund their programs aimed at helping farmers become better stewards of their land. The latest received by the farmer-led initiative is a $10,000 Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grant from the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. The grant helps farmers willing take on conservation efforts with the financial support needed to make changes. With farmers taking on new practices and new equipment as commodity prices continue to tumble, Peninsula Pride Farms President and Dairy Dreams owner Don Niles says every dollar matters to make sure they stay sustainable.


Door County Medical Center Foundation to bring hospice care into the skilled nursing facility with 5 million dollar capital campaign

By Cynthia Germain


The skilled nursing facility of the Door County Medical Center will get a new addition of onsite hospice services through a large capital fundraising campaign by the DCMC Foundation. Mike Herlache, Executive Director of the Door County Medical Center Foundation, states that at this time they are working with local partners for funding and will be launching the community campaign in April. Herlache says that this effort will build a 30,000 square foot addition onto the facility that will provide hospice care services.



Herlache is pleased that The Door County Medical Center Foundation has been successful in raising over $25 million for various capital projects and program funding over the last 20 years. With the ongoing support of the community businesses, grantors and supporters, he is excited about bringing this important service area to the Center.

Dreamers get support from local organization serving Hispanics in need

By Cynthia Germain


With changes to the Deferred Action to Childhood Arrivals policy looming, local Hispanics look to a resource center in Sturgeon Bay for help. DACA had allowed for some individuals who entered the country as minors, termed as Dreamers, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and to be eligible for a work permit. Imelda Delchambre, Executive Director of the Hispanic Resource Center of Door and Kewaunee Counties, says that in addition to the personal assistance that the center provides in employment, social services, healthcare and lifestyle concerns, they work with families regularly to address DACA and immigration matters. Delchambre notes that many Dreamers in the area are children of immigrants having worked on local farms for many years who want their children to have better education and work opportunities.



Studies show that there are no known major adverse impacts from DACA on native-born workers' employment while most economists say that DACA benefits the U.S. economy. Delchambre says that the changes to DACA has split families with forced deportation and that the uncertainty has dramatically increased stress in Hispanic young people. She adds that citizenship application is a legal process requiring an attorney, the cost of which is over $2000. Delchambre says that the resource center balances their financial help with DACA and immigration matters with the myriad of other services provided to help Hispanics thrive in the counties.

Churches strive to lessen the loneliness of local seniors

By Cynthia Germain


At least one Sturgeon Bay Church is helping senior citizens deal with loneliness.  Research has shown that a fair percentage of seniors experience loneliness and local churches are the first defense in filling the gap. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 11 million, or 28% of people aged 65 and older, lived alone at the time of the census. Living alone however does not necessarily translate to loneliness as a UCSF study demonstrated with two-thirds of the older adults who said that they were lonely were either married or living with a partner of some kind. This finding lends credence to the belief that it's not about how many relationships you have, it's about how meaningful they are. Richard Feyen, minister of Hope United Church in Sturgeon Bay, says that their church, like many in the area, bridge the need with in-home visits as well as hosted group activities.



In 2016, a report based on community conversations about aging in Door County was released and some of the most notable outcomes were the need for connection with neighbors and social opportunities that are diverse and intergenerational. Feyen says that his church also strives to bring their youth ministry together with other church activities towards this effort but more can be done in the churches and the community in general to offer opportunities for older adults to lessen social isolation and maintain meaningful relationships.

Door County Pond Hockey Tournament grows to 45 teams with women in the mix

By Cynthia Germain


Although not new to the game, the numbers of women participating in pond hockey tournaments have risen along with overall participation. This popular competitive sport's local contest can be found on Kangaroo Lake on February 10th. The Door County Pond Hockey Tournament has grown over the years with this year's entries topping out at 45 teams. There are three men's open divisions as well as an over 40 and over 50 division with each team guaranteed to play three games. Although advertised as men's divisions, all women teams have previously participated and some teams are co-ed. Jordan Burress of the Peninsula Pacers, the organizer of the event, says that they would like to grow the participation of women and offer a women's division in the future.



Women have long broken through the barriers of what was predominantly men's sports, ice hockey being no exception. Notable in the coming 2018 Winter Olympics, the U.S. Women Ice Hockey team will compete against teams from seven other countries, hoping to gain gold over the long-winning Canadian women.

Sister Bay food pantry gets help from a local group to feed pets

By Cynthia Germain


Pets can also get the food they need thanks to the help of a local group's donations. Heidi Penthoff, who coordinate the efforts of the Door of Life Food Pantry in Sister Bay, says that a group known as the "Peninsula Pet Pantry" keep their shelves stocked with dog and cat food. Penthoff notes that she has seen an increase in the pantry's usage this winter and these donations address an often overlooked need of the pets in the family.



Like all pantries this time of year, the Door of Life Pantry continue to need donations of dry food products that can be mixed easily with water as well as personal care items. They also can provide refrigerated items and have been fortunate to receive donated venison, fish and other staples. The Door of Life Pantry is a small pantry housed in the Door of Life church and is open 24/7 to everyone regardless of income status, without obligation or explanation, in times of crisis and seasons of need experienced by families throughout Door County.

Guided snowshoe hikes at unique land trust in Bailey's Harbor

By Cynthia Germain


The Ridges Sanctuary in Bailey's Harbor boasts unique all-season hikes and offers guided snowshoeing on its trails this winter. The Ridges is named for its distinctive topography of a series of 30 ridges and swales formed by the movement of Lake Michigan over the past 1100 years. Founded in 1937 as Wisconsin's first land trust to preserve the original 30 acre parcel, it has grown to 1600 acres and considered to be the most biologically diverse ecosystem in Wisconsin. Steve Leonard, the Executive Director, is pleased to provide naturalist-guided snowshoe hikes that cover the cultural and natural history of the ridges and swales and highlight the peace and beauty of the winter woods.



The guided snowshoe hikes are offered on Friday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., weather permitting. There is a small fee for the guided tours with snowshoe rentals available. The Hidden Brook Boardwalk and all Sanctuary trails are available to hiking and snowshoeing enthusiasts alike.

Door County uses community-based and evidence-informed approaches in dealing with juvenile offenders



By Kent Berkley



Except in extraordinary cases, delinquent offenders from Door County get treated in the community rather than being shipped off to the much-maligned Lincoln Hills correctional facility.  Door County takes a multidisciplinary approach with juvenile offenders.   Treatment teams rely on resources from the police, courts, community-based providers, private business representatives, and informal family and community supports to help young people build on their strengths and overcome their challenges. Mark Hill, Juvenile Justice Social Worker with the Door County Department of Human Services, says he tries to help young people find prosocial ways to provide restitution to the community while also building positive connections with peers and caring adults.





Mark says it is important to build trusting relationships with young offenders in order to understand their stories.  He says by understanding the adverse childhood experiences and traumas to which an offender has been exposed, he is better able to help implement evidence-based approaches that increase the chances of the young person becoming an appreciated and valued member of the community.


Income inequality and poverty to be focus on Tuesday's workshop in Egg Harbor

By Paul Schmitt

The community conversation on income inequality and possible solutions are coming up again next Tuesday in Egg Harbor.  The first workshop this past Tuesday had 39 participants share their experiences and ideas in solving the income inequality and poverty that exists in the area.  Jim Black, who co-leads the workshops, explains how the first session shared some diverse ideas addressing the problem.



Sister Bay priest shares ideas for setting and implementing spiritual goals



By Kent Berkley


Barb Sajna's first career was rooted in conflict and adversarial-based relationships.  She started as an attorney but redirected her life path after a health crisis prompted her to take stock of her past and revision her future.  Barb says she undertook a lengthy spiritual search that led her to seek training for the priesthood.  After more than two decades serving in her role at St. Luke's Episcopal Church she has observed different pathways people take to embark on spiritual journeys.





Barb says people can set and implement spiritual goals within or outside the framework of traditional religious disciplines.   She says that the framework within which the spiritual journey occurs will influence how a person measures progress on their individual journey.   Within traditional spiritual disciplines, there is often a structured format with steps to follow for spiritual growth.  She says that those who undertake a spiritual journey outside tradition may have fewer outside tools and resources at their disposal, but can achieve spiritual growth through reflection and developing a sense of compassion that will enhance the common good.  She recommends that all spiritual journeyers regardless of framework write their obituary early so they can live into the kind of life they are called to have.


Third Avenue Playhouse offers diverse performances and entertainment opportunites in 2018



By Kent Berkley



The Third Avenue Playhouse recently completed its 2018 theatre schedule which begins with the Winter Play Reading Festival in February.   The playhouse is a year-round professional theatre company that presents contemporary and modern classic plays and musicals.  It occupies space that was previously home to the old Donna movie theater in downtown Sturgeon Bay.  Amy Ensign, Director of Marketing and Development says the playhouse is able to attract some of the most talented performers in the country, whether local based or nationally recruited because artists are especially drawn to the unique beauty of the area.




Ensign says the playhouse has something fun and entertaining to offer no matter the time of year.  In addition to the theatrical productions, it is home to concerts, comedy, films, StageKids productions, acting classes other educational experiences.  She encourages people to take advantage of Film Noir classes currently being offered on Sundays.  For more information on future events visit





Northern Door to host storm preparedness training


By Eric Fischer


For some, being prepared for a storm can be a matter of life and death, at least according to Aaron LeClair.  This is why LeClair, Deputy Director of Door County EMS, will be hosting an event regarding "Emergency Preparedness".  The event is sponsored by the Northern Door Health & Wellness Ministry and scheduled for Sunday, January 28th at 4 pm at First Baptist Church in Sister Bay.  LeClair says he loves the opportunity to inform people about how to prepare for severe weather.




LeClair adds that people should always be prepared to fit their needs, whether that's generators, full portable oxygen tanks or pocket cellphone chargers.  The discussion and demonstrations will highlight medical emergencies, winter preparedness, severe weather, and disaster preparedness.  For groups wanting to schedule their own training session contact Door County Emergency Services.


Free ice fishing weekend offers excellent opportunity for novice and advanced anglers


By Kent Berkley



The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is providing its annual Free Fishing Weekend on January 20 and 21.  For the entire weekend, Wisconsin residents and non-residents of all ages are allowed to fish on the frozen waters without a license, with the exception of spring trout ponds.  JJ Malvitz, Fishing Guide at JJs Guide Service in Sturgeon Bay, says everyone seems to appreciate the beauty of Door County in the summer, but too few take in its spectacular winter scenery.  He says ice fishing is a great way to see a different type of beauty while enjoying the thrill of adventure fishing.



Malvitz says the free weekend is a great opportunity for first-timers to explore whether ice fishing is a sport they might enjoy.  He says it is a relatively inexpensive sport that requires little equipment for beginners.  He also says inexperienced anglers may want to go out with a professional guide to make sure they find a spot that is safe and likely to render the species of fish they are pursuing.


Kewaunee businesses being targeted by phone scam

By Paul Schmitt

Numerous Kewaunee businesses have been targeted by a phone scam in the past few days, according to the Kewaunee Police Department.  The caller identifies themselves an employee of Wisconsin Public Service and says that the business has an outstanding balance that must be paid immediately because a WPS truck will come and disconnect their power in 45 minutes.  Police Chief Frank Salentine explains what you should do if you receive a suspicious call.



Weinke's Market recall Jams and Jellies for undeclared allergan on label

By Paul Schmitt

Wienke's Market in southern Door County is voluntarily recalling all of their lines of jams and jellies, according to a news release from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) on Friday.  The jams and jellies contain a butter added during the processing that has a known milk allergen that is undeclared on the label.  Milk can cause serious reactions in people with allergies or severe sensitivities. Director of Bureau of food and recreational businesses Pete Haase says only people with allergies to milk should be concerned.





There have been no known reports of illnesses from eating the jams or jellies.  Wienke's Market sells the products in grocery stores and specialty shops in the state as well as through internet sales. The recall is classified as a Class II recall meaning the probability of serious adverse health consequences is remote.



Contact:   Wienke's Market, Inc. at (920) 743-7014 or at

Permit for Jacksonport campground approved by county's Resource Planning committee

By Tim Kowols

A new campground in Jacksonport could be operating as soon as September after the Door County Resource Planning Committee approved the conditional use permit for the site by a 3-1 vote. Under the conditional use permit applied for by Cary Cherie Lauritzen, the campground would have 130 campsites, a two-story "check-in" building, and facilities for bathrooms, showers, and laundry on a 21-acre lot near the town's entrance at Highway 57 and Bagnall Road. While 10 to 12 people spoke at Thursday's hearing against the campground, Jacksonport Town Chairperson and Door County Board Supervisor Randy Halstead says no one spoke out against it before then and expects it to have a positive impact on the area.


Birch Creek to begin live streaming performances for parents

By Tim Kowols

Parents will not have to worry about missing their children's concerts at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor thanks to new technology. A camera and fiber optic cables are being installed inside the performance barn so families can watch a live stream of their kids performing during their two-week sessions. Birch Creek Music Performance Center Executive Director Mona Christensen says with students arriving on campus from 15 states and a couple different countries, it will be great to connect parents with their students during their stay.


Democratic Senator calls for special election for vacant District 1 Senate seat

By Tim Kowols

Democratic State Senator Dave Hansen is joining others in a call for a special election for a pair of seats in the Wisconsin Legislature, including one representing Door and Kewaunee County. In December, Keith Ripp left his seat representing the 42nd Assembly District and Frank Lasee vacated his role in the 1st Senate District, which covers Door and Kewaunee County, for jobs in Governor Scott Walker's administration. Since then, constituents have called Senator Hansen's office in addition to others to have their concerns heard until new legislators are elected in November and sworn in to office in January. Sen. Hansen says constituents should not have to go close to a year without full representation.


Potential for Kewaunee County herd expansion moratorium hangs with Natural Resources Board decision

By Tim Kowols

Kewaunee County will wait on the Natural Resources Board's decision on new manure handling rules for sensitive area before discussing instituting a moratorium on herd expansion. The modified rules, known as NR-151, would limit where and when manure could be spread in areas like Kewaunee County where the fractured bedrock and thin soils makes the region susceptible to groundwater contamination. The Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee took up the issue at its Tuesday meeting after recent  permit hearings renewed the call for operations to stop expanding until the county can get a grasp on its water concerns. Committee member Lee Luft requested the discussion and says they want to see what NR-151 changes and its own recently passed ordinance do for improving water conditions first before instituting more rules.


Wisconsin Historical Society looking to negotiate with city over Granary

By Paul Schmitt

The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society is leaning on the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) to be able to negotiate with the City of Sturgeon Bay before the dismantling of the Teweles and Brandeis Grain Elevator.  The Sturgeon Bay City Council voted earlier this week to approve a bid from Kiesow Enterprises to dismantle, salvage and store the over 100 year old structure.  The Wisconsin Historical Society sent a letter to City Administrator Josh VanLieshout requesting a meeting to discuss the preservation of the Granary building.  Kelly Avenson of the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society says they are hopeful the city will at least meet with the WHS.



Algoma High School's "Hands Only" CPR students train over 3,000 people

By Paul Schmitt

Students from Algoma High School hit a milestone recently in training people for the life-saving procedure called "Hands Only" CPR.  As of last week, 3000 individuals have taken the training since the program began in 2015.  The students who are in Erin Ballone's Family and Consumer Education (FACE) class reach out throughout the community and beyond to teach people the proper technique for "Hands Only" CPR.  Senior Courtney Guilette says it only takes a little time to learn this potentially life-saving technique.



Democrats hope to build on special election success locally

By Tim Kowols

Local Democrats got an extra boost of enthusiasm and hope this week after the party had two positive showings in special elections Tuesday. Patty Schactner captured the 10th District State Senate seat over Republican Rep. Adam Jarchow by 11 percentage points in an area that elected President Donald Trump in 2016 by 17 percentage points and her predecessor, Wisconsin's new Agriculture Secretary Shelia Harsdorf, by 26 percentage points. With many federal and state offices on the ballot this fall, Kathleen Finnerty from the Democratic Party of Door County is confident the momentum can continue.


Smooth winter for Washington Island Ferry passengers

By Tim Kowols

The winter weather has not slowed down the Washington Island Ferry. Even with two snowstorms this season, there have been no canceled trips since November when high winds made it a little more treacherous to cross Death's Door. Washington Island Ferry President Hoyt Purinton says a strong ice bridge has been crucial for smooth rides for crew members and travelers.



The United States Coast Guard Cutter has been in the area cutting additional lanes for ships to make their way through the bay and the lake. The Washington Island Ferry will be running two round-trips daily through March 22 with vehicle reservations required.

Safety a major concern for snowmobilers

By Tim Kowols and Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski

Law enforcement in Door and Kewaunee County are reminding snowmobile riders to practice good safety on area trails as they could be open for an extended period for the first time in a couple years. Snowmobilers are expected to yield to other traffic, especially when traveling on a route that crosses a street or shares space with other users on the popular Ahnapee Trail. While intoxicated riding and excessive speeding are often what causes accidents on the trails, Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says all bets are off especially when you leave the posted route.


Number of farms continue to decline in state

By Paul Schmitt

Wisconsin is continuing to lose dairy farmers in the state.  According to the numbers from the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (Wis-DATCP) reported by Wisconsin Public Radio, there are 500 less dairy farms than last year.    Jim Wautier of Church-Site Farms in Brussels says he believes the decline in small dairy operations is attributable to lower milk prices and challenging debt faced by some farmers.



According to the WDATCP, just over 8,800 dairy farms were shown licensed in the state at the start of 2018.  That reflects a more than 20 percent drop of dairy farmers in the past five years.

New Senior and Community Center debuts today in Sturgeon Bay

By Tim Kowols

After years of discussion and months of building, Door County's seniors and other community members have a new place to call their own. Thursday marks the grand opening of the new Door County Community Center, which will serve as the home for the area's Aging and Disability Resource Center. The former highway shop building, located on 14th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay, has transformed into an expansive dining hall, a number of activity spaces, and a collection of offices where seniors and other individuals can get the help they need. ADRC Program Director Jake Erickson says the new facility gives them the space to do things they simply did not have the room to do before.


Group seeks to intervene on behalf of beleaguered chief staffers of the state ethics and elections commissions



By Kent Berkley

A diverse and bipartisan group of concerned individuals, community organizations, civil rights advocates, and election reformers have made a public plea to Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald and Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Vos to discontinue their efforts to oust Elections Commission Administrator Michael Haas and Ethics Commission Administrator Brian Bell.  The group jointly published an open letter requesting that Senator Fitzgerald and Speaker Vos discontinue their campaign to pressure Haas and Bell to resign.  In the alternative, they request Fitzgerald and Vos to forego any action against Haas and Bell without giving them the opportunity to defend themselves in an open hearing.  Matt Rothschild, Executive Director of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, suggests that the targeting of Hass and Bell is unfair, politically motivated and rooted in retaliation for their previous associations with the now-defunct Government Accountability Board.







The Government Accountability Board previously investigated Governor Walker's alleged circumvention of campaign finance laws, an issue that became moot when the Wisconsin Supreme Court invalidated the laws as being in contravention of the state constitution.  Rothschild stated that Bell and Hass had limited involvement in that particular investigation and subsequent reviews of the Government Accountability Board only provide additional evidence that Haas and Bell are nonpartisan public servants whose actions and character are above reproach.

Local youth group undertaking food drive as part of "Souper" Bowl of Caring



By Kent Berkley


Green Bay Packers fans are trying to pick a substitute team for which to cheer in the upcoming Super Bowl.  The young people at Hope United Church of Christ in Sturgeon Bay are channeling their fanaticism into tackling hunger in Door County.  As part of the national Souper Bowl of Caring campaign, the youth group is working with local merchants and the Sturgeon Bay library to collect canned soups and food products for Lakeshore CAP, the local food pantry.  Moises Zahler, Family Life Coordinator at Hope Church, says it is a national campaign that has local impact.






Moises says the project has helped raise the awareness of young people that during times of celebration and excess there are people in our community who are hungry and hurting.  He says the youth group will use this event as a spiritual springboard for a larger mission trip later this year.

BUG Fire Department salutes staff with "years of service" and Golden Axe Award

By Paul Schmitt

The Brussels-Union-Gardner (BUG) Fire Department announced award winners last week during their annual Christmas Party.  Besides years of service awards that included 30 years by Galen Baudhuin and Dan Vandertie, the department recognized Joshua Kipp with the annual Golden Axe Award that goes to an outstanding firefighter.  BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says Kipp was well deserving of the award.



Door County Highway Department turns corner in battle to clear highways after storm



By Kent Berkley


The Door County Highway Department reports that highways and secondary roads should be in good condition as work crews wrapped up at the end of day Tuesday.  Highway workers pulled double shifts to prevent a complete travel shut down during the storm.  Thad Ash, Patrol Superintendent for the Door County Highway Department said the volume and pace of the snowfall presented a challenge for his crews.





Ash stated that because the precipitation was unrelenting and windswept it eliminated the opportunity to use salt as a key element in clearing the roads.  The positive aspect of that challenge was that the storm did not disproportionately expend their material and salt supplies.


Kewaunee Schools mentoring other districts with building improvement needs

By Tim Kowols

Kewaunee School District's new facility upgrades have drawn attention from other area schools on what to do for their own building upgrades. The district is just months removed from completing its two phase, $15.2 million overhaul of everything from classroom and system upgrades to the construction of new athletics and agriculture facilities. Now, school officials from areas like Wittenberg-Birnamwood and Sevastopol have planned visits to Kewaunee to learn how to approach the journey the district started even before the improvements went to referendum in 2015. Kewaunee Superintendent Karen Treml says she is happy to share with others how much the staff and students are enjoying their new learning spaces.


City bypasses second donation facilitated by Door County Community Foundation regarding the granary

By Tim Kowols

An anonymous family was willing to donate the necessary funds to contract Meyer Borgman Johnson to determine the structural integrity of the granary according to the Door County Community Foundation. Before walking out of the meeting during the vote to dismantle, salvage, and store the granary, Council Member Laurel Hauser distributed the letter to members of the media, stating the family "understands the need for the City of Sturgeon Bay to protect the safety of its citizens, but also recognizes the City's obligation under Wisconsin law to negotiate in good faith with the State Historical Society regarding the preservation of structure."  The gift would allow the analysis to be done at no additional cost to taxpayers and "provide incentive for the City's leadership to move beyond the current impasse and work together for a better future for us all." The Door County Community Foundation has not taken a stance on the fate of the granary, but President/CEO Bret Bicoy says whether the money is in the hands of the city or not, his organization is good for it.


State Parks digging out for winter fun

By Tim Kowols

Door County's state parks are digging out from Monday's snowfall so visitors can get a full extended winter experience for the first time in a few years. Roads were being cleared on state park properties Tuesday as the area received well over a foot of snow in most areas. Peninsula State Park Superintendent Brian Markowski says it takes a lot of work to get it ready for winter hikers, skiers, and snowmobilers.


Kewaunee County 4-H Teen Association forming leaders of tomorrow through service

By Tim Kowols

Kewaunee County is home growing its leaders of tomorrow through its 4-H Teen Association. In addition to their regular club meetings, members from 7th grade through one year post-high school graduation participate in the group doing community service and developing leadership skills. Kewaunee County 4-H Teen Association Advisor Debbie Olson says the group has allowed members to stay involved and find their voice.


Time runs out for granary as Sturgeon Bay Common Council approves contract

By Tim Kowols

With council members Barb Allmann, Laurel Hauser, and Kelly Catarozoli walking towards door, the remainder of the Sturgeon Bay Common Council voted to approve the bid to dismantle, salvage, and store the grain elevator. Catarozoli attempted to delay the vote twice: first by requesting the item be moved to the end of the meeting and then by making a motion to table the decision.  The fate of the granary moved quickly from there after City Attorney Randy Nesbitt and Mayor Thad Birmingham decided Council Member David Ward's motion to approve the bid was made before Catarozoli's motion to table the decision.


High School Home Build on track despite weather

By Tim Kowols

Weather is not stopping the crew at the Door County High School Home Build from staying on target. December's snowstorm which dumped eight inches in Sturgeon Bay came just as the students were putting final touches on the home's roof. After digging out, concrete was poured for the front steps and the garage before work begins to head inside. Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Caleb Frostman says despite the hiccups coming out of a three-year hiatus, he is happy everything remains on track.


League of Women Voters Door County to host forum for Sturgeon Bay Common Council candidates

By Tim Kowols

City residents will have a chance to meet all eight Sturgeon Bay Common Council candidates at once when the League of Women Voters hosts a forum next month. District 2 candidates David Hayes, John C. Lodl, and Bob Starr, District 4 candidates Kelly Avenson and Richard Wiesner, and District 6 candidates Stewart Fett, Lauri Fish, and Seth Wiederanders are all invited to answer written questions from the audience and share their views on a variety of different topics. The expanded field means not as many questions can potentially be answered during the non-debate format, but Barb Graul from the League of Women Voters says it is important people come to listen.


Algoma High School's classic "Beauty and the Beast" show offers unique challenge to students

By Paul Schmitt

The Algoma High School's upcoming musical production will challenge the band and drama students to replicate a theatrical masterpiece.  "Beauty and the Beast" will be performed at the Algoma Performing Arts starting on January 26.  Band Director Jennifer Massey says the show is written for vocalists to sing at their lowest note and their highest meaning the musical pit crew must be up able to play at a near-professional level.





Algoma High School Drama Director Melissa Scheck says "Beauty and the Beast" requires a range of talent beyond the main characters.





Algoma High School's musical "Beauty and the Beast" will have showtimes on Friday, January, 26 at 7 pm with two performances on Saturday, January 27 including a 2 pm matinee.   Tickets are available at the Algoma High School or may be purchased at the door prior to each show.



(contributed photos)

Fresh snow offers renewed activities for winter silent sports participants

By Paul Schmitt

With some areas of Door County getting over 18 inches of snow Monday, outdoor enthusiasts will have an opportunity to get out and enjoy the winter wonderland this week.  The Door County Silent Sports Alliance (DCSSA) encourages people to get out and partake in outdoor activities.  President Bob Richards shares some of the activities available in the area.



Weather postponements and cancellations for Tuesday

By Paul Schmitt

Due to the snowstorm on Monday, the following postponements and cancelations have been issued for Tuesday activities.

Kewaunee County Senior Meals and meals on wheels

Gibraltar sophomores put real life experience to work in DECA District Competition

By Tim Kowols

Saturday's success by Gibraltar's DECA Chapter at its Northeast Wisconsin District Competition is a sign for things to come for the future of northern Door County's tourism industry. Sophomores Connor Duffy (2nd place, Principles of Hospitality Series) and Brandon Stillman (3rd place, Hotel and Lodging Management Series) placed in their respective categories, earning a state berth for their high scores in the 100 question examination and role-playing scenarios. Gibraltar DECA advisor Mary Witteborg says the students are blessed to have the opportunity to learn and grow in the tourism industry and put those skills to work.


Monthly expense worksheets provide teaching moments for kids

By Tim Kowols

Even kids can get a handle on their finances early with a modified monthly expense worksheet. While bills and income may not be on the same level as their parents,' kids can still keep track of their allowance and what is being spent on them. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says the tool is a great way to introduce children to adult life.


Farmers tighten up as milk prices expected to continue its slide

By Tim Kowols

Farmers are being reminded to keep an eye on their expenses in 2018 as another year of low milk prices is expected.  According to Dairy Herd Management, the United States Department of Agriculture has lowered its milk price projection for 2018 by 80 cents down to $15.80 per hundredweight as oversupply continues its effect on farmers' pocketbooks. Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agriculture Educator Aerica Bjurstrom says one thing helping farms is other costs associated with milk production are also down.


Bay Shipbuilding expects busy 2018 in the shipyard

By Tim Kowols

With two years of work still on the backlog, Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay expects it to be a busy 2018. After Winter Fleet concludes, Bay Shipbuilding has a tug and a barge among its deliveries along with any other new construction, conversion, and maintenance jobs they may pick up along the way. Bay Shipbuilding Vice President and General Manager Todd Thayse says the goal for the near term is to get the backlog up to where it was in previous years.


Winter storm forces cancellations across Door and Kewaunee Counties

By Tim Kowols

A winter storm dumping as much as a foot already in some areas is forcing schools and other buildings to close Monday. Below is a list of closings and cancellations that we will update throughout the day. Do not travel if you do not have to, but make sure you give snowplows plenty of space if you have to use area roadways.

The Sturgeon Bay Waterfront Redevelopment Authority meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. is canceled


Luxemburg-Casco Schools: CLOSED
Sturgeon Bay Schools: CLOSED
Gibraltar Schools: CLOSED
Algoma Schools: CLOSED
Sevastopol Schools: CLOSED
Kewaunee Schools: CLOSED
Southern Door Schools:  CLOSED
St. Peter's Lutheran School: CLOSED
St. John Bosco: CLOSED
St. Mary's Algoma: CLOSED
Washington Island Schools: CLOSED


NWTC: Sturgeon Bay and Luxemburg CLOSED
Zion Lutheran School and Early Childhood Center: CLOSED
Northern Door Children's Center: CLOSED
Adventures Child Care: CLOSED
Boys and Girls Club Door County: CLOSED
Door County Finance and Law Enforcement meetings postponed until tomorrow
Door County Library: Baileys Harbor, Forestville, Sister Bay branches CLOSED...Sturgeon Bay closing at 5pm

Door County Library Board meeting tonight  CANCELED


Sunshine House: CLOSED
Door-Tran: CLOSED
United Way of Door County: CLOSED
Corpus Christi Church Parish: CLOSED including no mass
Stella Maris Parish: No AM Prayers in Fish Creek, Egg Harbor offices closed
East Shore Industries: CLOSED
ADRC of the Lakeshore: Meals on Wheels canceled, Senior Dining Center CLOSED
We are Hope, Inc.: CLOSED
Funeral Services for Gordon Falk: Postponed until tomorrow
Journeys Club of Kewaunee County: CLOSED
Door County 4-H: New Volunteer Orientation and robotics canceled
Main Street Market: Closing at 10 a.m.
Garbage collection postponed
Town of Gibraltar offices: CLOSED
Door County Tavern League meeting: canceled

YMCA: All classes at the Northern Door and Sturgeon Bay program centers will be cancelled from 8:00 am- 3:00 pm. Decisions regarding classes after 3:00 pm will be made this afternoon. Kid-care at both facilities will also not be open this morning. Both facilities will remain open and the SOUP DAY event at Northern Door will run today and possibly be extended throughout the week due to weather. Please stay tuned to our Facebook page and website for more information and updates!

-All classes are cancelled for the remainder of the day at both Northern Door and Sturgeon Bay program centers.

-Both program centers will close at 7pm today.

-Barker Child Care Center is closing at 3pm today.

-All after school kids club programs are cancelled for the day.

Young parents in Door County can tap into resources to improve quality of life

By Cynthia Germain

Young parents in Door County can tap into resources to improve their quality of life through the Cradle to Career Program. The Lakeshore Community Action Program oversees this effort to provide seamless supportive services to county residents who are pregnant or are parents of children under five. Kris Miller, Case Manager for the Door County Cradle to Career Program, says that the intent of the program is to support parents through family goal setting, career planning and connecting them to resources in the community. Miller is pleased that this program supports young families not just in crisis but over time to work towards self-sufficiency.


The process of the program first looks at how basic needs are met and then works towards stability with programs and agencies that can improve a family's quality of life such as health resources, WIC, legal advice, Head Start, housing assistance, energy assistance, counseling, continuing education and job training. The program was born out of previous program supporting teen parents which had been defunded as teen pregnancies dropped in the county. Volunteers and stakeholders in the community saw a new need for young parents to receive coordinated services and, through a process of assessment and fund sourcing, enabled the Cradle to Career program in 2015.

Door County Sheriff supports Marsy's Law

By Cynthia Germain


Door County Sheriff Delarwelle has signed on with more than 100 law enforcement personnel in communities across the state to bring Marsy's Law to Wisconsin. Marsy's Law is named after Marsalee "Marsy" Nicholas of California who was stalked and killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Only one week after her death, Marsy's mother and brother, Henry T. Nicholas, walked into a grocery store where they were confronted by the accused murderer. The family, who had just come from a visit to Marsy's grave, was unaware that the accused had been released on bail. Marsy's Law for Wisconsin, a grassroots coalition to bring similar crime equal rights legislation to Wisconsin, recently announced that more than 100 Chiefs of Police from communities across the state have joined the effort to update Wisconsin's constitution. Sheriff Delarwelle says that supporting this effort is important to securing the rights of crime victims.



Prominent endorsements from leaders within the law enforcement community have proven integral to the bipartisan statewide coalition of support which now boasts over 200 key endorsements. In addition, Marsy's Law for Wisconsin has earned the support of all of the state's prominent law enforcement organizations as well as a growing bipartisan coalition including survivors, victims' rights advocates, legal experts, and others supporting equal rights for crime victims. With broad support from lawmakers of both parties, the legislation passed through the State Senate and Assembly in 2017 and will now move forward to second consideration in the next legislative session.

Ice fishing in the waters of Washington Island gets competitive in February

By Cynthia Germain


Ice fishing in the waters of Washington Island gets competitive in February, keeping an over forty year tradition with the island's annual fish derby. Ice fishing is a popular winter sport in the lakes and Washington Island boasts a unique experience for locals and visitors with a week-long competition with prizes for top weight fishes. Jeff Heal of the supporting Lions Club says that this is a fun event that begins on February 10th with daily weigh-ins leading up to the announcement of winners at a lunch banquet on February 18th.



There is a small entrance fee for this opportunity to catch the local fish such as northern pike and perch all around the island. Washington Island has places to eat and stay for the week and the ferry, which normally runs twice a day at this time of year, will have a later ferry on the 18th to bring visitors back to the mainland after the festivities.

Families can build their secret spy headquarters at Family Fort Night at Kewaunee Public Library

By Cynthia Germain


Families can have fun together building their secret spy headquarters at the Kewaunee Public Library on January 19th. The library is hosting their Family Fort Night with a spy theme this year, giving an opportunity for parents and children to build a fort and participate in a number of themed activities. Carol Petrina, Director of the Kewaunee Public Library, says that in addition to the competition of the best spy headquarters, families will be working together to solve their secret mission.



Families will also be sharing stories in their headquarters and have a chance to learn about the books in the spy/mystery genre available in the library for all ages. Prizes and snacks will be also provided. Participants will bring their own materials to build the forts and due to limited space, advanced registration is required.

Maple/Oregon Street Bridge to close for repairs starting this Monday

By Tim Kowols

The Maple/Oregon Street Bridge in Sturgeon Bay is set to close daily beginning Monday morning for scheduled maintenance. Crews will replace various rusty and corroded shims under the deck while the bridge is closed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the four-day work schedule this week. Mark Kantola from Wisconsin Department of Transportation says there is no danger driving on the bridge now but explains the role the shims play in its operation.



Long time Luxemburg business owner offers thoughts for start-ups as their doors close

By Cynthia Germain


Rocks of Ages owner Sheila Nimmer shares her experiences in owning a small business as she reflects on its closing at the end of December. The Rocks of Ages Jewelry and Bead Store was mainstay in Luxemburg for 10 years in a refurbished Lutheran church that she and her husband were married in 40 years earlier. The jewelry business was not new for Nimmer as she helped with her parents' jewelry store previously just around the corner. For all the experience and education that she had industry, Nimmer says that she found some new challenges in business operation including technology and bookkeeping as well as business promotion but more so maintaining a life balance.



The decision to close Rocks of Ages was a long, deliberate process according to Nimmer. As she saw the internet's impact on the business over time, it prompted not just financial forecasting but also a life review of her needs for health, family and leisure. For those considering opening a business, she recommends that a person visits with owners of like businesses to get an understanding of all the working parts and learn how time can best be balanced with the commitment. Nimmer found that her business, like many in Door County, was cyclical but appreciates that this community was supportive throughout each year, all through the years.

Door County birds are hearty but can use a little help in extreme cold



By Kent Berkley


Door County is one of the best places in the country for bird watching.  Bird lovers often get concerned about the well-being and viability of local birds when the temperatures reach extreme lows.   Rob Hults, Executive Director of Open Door Bird Sanctuary, says that birds have great abilities to adapt to harsh conditions.




Rob says that birds will take advantage of bird seed and food sources provided by homeowners.  He says the birds can use the bounty to store calories during bouts of extreme cold.  Rob says that in some cases the greater gift would be to put out a heated bird bath.  Finding unfrozen water to drink and use for bathing is often the greatest challenge during extreme weather.  Bathing in the winter is important because clean feathers provide better warmth for the birds.



Sex Trafficking Victim Advocate for Door County says public can play important role in prevention efforts



By Kent Berkley


Shelby Mitchell, Sex Trafficking Victim Advocate for Door County, says that human trafficking occurs in every county in Wisconsin, including the idyllic towns and villages of Door County.  One focus for Shelby during Human Trafficking Awareness Month is to educate the public about indicators and warning signs that someone might be a victim.   Shelby concurs with Wisconsin Attorney General Schimel's statement that "the greatest resource is the everyday citizen who is fueling up at a truck stop, shopping at the mall, or staying at a hotel."  Shelby says it is important to understand the warning signs of human trafficking and report it when you see it.





Preventing human trafficking requires coordination among citizens and professionals from multiple disciplines.  Wisconsin DCF and DOJ are in the process of launching a web-based training tool to combat human trafficking for the hospitality industry that will be available in English, Spanish and Hmong.


New Year is good reminder to update estate plans

By Paul Schmitt

Keeping your estate plan updated is as important as getting your personal taxes prepared in the New Year.  Reviewing and updating one's estate plan should be done when changes occur in your family, according to attorney Bob Ross of Ross Estate Planning in Sturgeon Bay.  He says one should take note of life-changing events that may affect their estates.



Kewaunee County answers call from residents for herd moratorium, discussion slated for Tuesday's Land and Water meeting

By Tim Kowols

A possible herd expansion moratorium in Kewaunee County takes its first step Tuesday when its Land and Water Conservation Committee takes it up for discussion. The moratorium has been a common theme at recent Department of Natural Resources meetings and workshops with residents citing large farms as a culprit for the area's poor groundwater quality. Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy owner and Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee Member John Pagel says it is good to have the discussion even if a moratorium might not be necessary if surface and groundwater can begin to improve.


Secret Treasures of Door County: Why I Love Winter

By Tom Jordan

On January 1st of this year the temperatures across the Midwest dropped to levels so low that nearly every city in every state issued severe warnings and were forbidding residents from engaging in the traditional Polar Bear Plunge. About 200 people at Jacksonport shrugged off those dire predictions of thermal damage, ignored the wind chill cold of almost 30 below, and plunged headfirst into the nearly frozen waters. To say the residents of Door County are a hearty lot would be like saying that a Grizzly bear can be a tad aggressive. We play golf when it's a balmy 30 degrees and cross country ski, no mater how low the temperature because, c'mon, the trails are groomed.


The first winter my wife and I spent here as full-time residents was the year of the Polar Vortex. Remember that? Each night on the news the weather forecaster would show how all the unbelievable cold was swooping down from the north. That same forecast was given night after night after night. It lasted for months. We went well over a month with every day below zero.  I got photos of the famous ice March.


It was the winter when I took my first photography class up here. The instructors, Dan Anderson and Suzanne Rose were complete pros, not just with the incredible quality of their work, but with how they handled the weather. They acted like Over the course of several days we traveled from Bjorklunden to Cave Point, Sturgeon Bay to the lighthouse at the ship canal. On that Sunday morning at the lighthouse it was 15 below zero. But because the temperature was so cold, the mist coming off the lake as the sun was rising provided some amazing photo ops.


But that why I love it here in the winter. Because it is simply, and dramatically, beautiful. And every few minutes the vista will change. The sun might sneak behind a cloud over Lake Michigan and shoot golden-red rays skyward. Or the Steel Bridge will be the backdrop for a gigantic ship heading to Bay Ship Building for winter repairs. Every day at Cave Point is like being inside a crystal palace with the sun shining on the ice as it clings to the branches. Of the trees and bushes.  And on a rare day, when the circumstances are just get hoar frost, one of the most dazzling tools in Mother Nature's paint box.


And on your way up the Peninsula to take in Gills Rock or the Anderson Dock, it's nice to know there are some places open year-round to accommodate your winter cravings.  Grab a cup of coffee and a sweet at Door County Coffee in Carlseville . They are open all year and the coffee is fresh, hot and amazing. Czarnuzca Soups in Ephraim can warm the coldest day with the hottest, most robust soups around. BaysideTavern in Fish Creek serves up one of the best burgers I've had...anywhere. The White Gull Inn has an unreal coffee cake and the BEST corned beef hash. And you can ever get Swedish Pancakes at Al Johnson's


Years ago, when my wife and I decided to make Door County our year-round home, a lot of our friends questioned our sanity. They had settled in Arizona, California, Florida, New Mexico, Nevada...even Mexico.  To them, warmth was found in the temperature, not in the souls of friends and neighbors sharing a common bond and a common cause; collectively surviving the harshest of element in a Door County winter.


I post a lot of my winter photos on Facebook. And the comments I get from my friends who are spending their lives on a warm beach are almost always the same: "Okay, now I see why you live there. Thanks for sharing."

Stalking taking on a different face with new technologies--National Stalking Awareness Month

By Paul Schmitt

The explosion of social media and instant communications has led to increases in harassment that borders on stalking and subsequently restraining orders and law police interaction.    Steve Vickman of HELP of Door County says his organization frequently gets referrals through law enforcement agencies to get anti-harassment notices through the courts.  He says new technologies can have unfortunately negative consequences.


Kewaunee takes first step to forming waterfront plans

By Tim Kowols

Kewaunee residents got a peek of what is possible for its city's waterfront Thursday when the UW-Extension office and Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation co-facilitated a community meeting and charrettes presentation. Through an online survey, close to 1,000 adults and children weighed in on what they would like to see in future waterfront and downtown plans before the two organizations brought in experts from across the state that took the ideas and put them to paper as a part of a charrettes group. Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jennifer Brown was impressed with what they were able to learn in particular from the over 300 youth surveys.


Waterfront Redevelopment Authority to meet Monday to plan strategies for west side parcels

By Paul Schmitt

The City of Sturgeon Bay Waterfront Redevelopment Authority will be meeting on Monday to discuss strategic plans for development on the west side.  Tom Herlache, Chair of the WRA, says the authority plans Monday to look at redevelopment strategies for the West Waterfront parcels pending the DNR determination of the Ordinary High Watermark.



Door County Habitat for Humanity continues search for partner family

By Tim Kowols

With strong support from the community in a variety of different ways, Door County Habitat for Humanity's main struggle is finding the perfect family for the homes they build. Since partner families actually buy the home from the organization, a number of different financial considerations are made before the board picks one. Often times, families have to be turned away because they do not have an ability to pay the mortgage or they are actually doing too well financially to qualify. It is a tough conversation to have, but Door County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director David Van Dyke says there are a number of reasons why they have to deny a family a home and refer them to financial counseling.


Snowmobilers hopeful in losing battle against nature

By Tim Kowols

Snowmobilers in Door and Kewaunee County cannot catch a break again this year after many trails were closed or remained closed this week. In Kewaunee County, riders have had less than a week's worth of time to enjoy the trails on their snowmobiles over the last two years. As much as they would like to control the weather, Tom Kleiman from the Kewaunee Moonriders says snowmobilers have to be respectful of the land they are allowed to use for their trails.


Haen named Kewaunee County's first Wisconsin Fairest of Fairs

By Tim Kowols

For the first time in almost 50 years, Wisconsin's Fairest of the Fairs calls Kewaunee County home. Earlier this week, 2017 Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair Isabella Haen earned the title, beating out 36 other contestants after going through a series of workshops and question/answer sessions. Over the next year, Haen hopes she can make Kewaunee County and the state of Wisconsin proud as the Fairest of the Fairs while learning some things along the way.


Rep. Gallagher's counterterrorism bill passes Congress unanimously

By Paul Schmitt

A bill introduced by 8th District Representative Mike Gallagher to strengthen the United States' counterterrorism efforts by making information more easily shared between the military and federal agencies passed Congress unanimously this week.  Rep. Gallagher, who is a member of the House Homeland Security Committee and is the Chair of the Task Force on Denying Terrorists Entry into the U.S., says time was spent the last year looking into pathways on how terrorist might get into our country.  He says the new bill is a common-sense step toward combatting the threat of terrorism.



Governor Walker touts student success and school aid at Gibraltar

By Tim Kowols

Governor Scott Walker visited Gibraltar Area Schools Thursday afternoon to promote his latest plan to help schools in rural areas. It was the last stop on his statewide tour promoting a plan that would provide additional Sparsity Aid and raise the Low Revenue Ceiling implemented on rural schools 25 years ago, adding approximately $300-400 per student in qualifying districts. Governor Walker says K-12 education is a fundamental building block to getting more people into the workforce.


Dairy industry becoming more appealing to women

By Tim Kowols

From animal science classes across the state to farms in Kewaunee County, the dairy industry is seeing more women becoming an integral part of it.  According to the Associated Press, women are making up the majority of animal science major applicants at schools like UW-River Falls and others are heading back to the farm after giving a different career a try. Julie Siegmund from Siegmund Farm in Kewaunee started working full-time on the farm in 2013 and says some jobs like caring for calves just come natural to women.


Southern Door to host 10-week fab lab workshop

By Tim Kowols

Southern Door School District residents will finally get their chance to use some of the new technology previously only available to students when it hosts a 10-week open fab lab workshop. Community members had been asking officials when they could experience some of the facilities included in Southern Door's Fabrication Lab, which received a $25,000 grant from the state and was visited by Governor Scott Walker last year. Superintendent Patti Vickman says interested people can experiment with some of the different software and equipment currently used by students.


Egg Harbor building on positive momentum

By Tim Kowols

From the destruction of a prominent landmark to the birth of a new one, 2017 was a year of changes in Egg Harbor. The village lost Shipwrecked Brewpub and Restaurant in August when it was destroyed by a fire that started in one of the rooms. Blocks away, residents and visitors were able to see the construction of the Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion, which will host the community's library, historical society, and various events when it officially opens to the public next month.  Village administrator Ryan Heise says Egg Harbor businesses and local non-profits also invested in public art.


Sheriff's Corner: Tavern checks key to keeping compliance in communities

By Tim Kowols and Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski

Local law enforcement departments are cracking down on bars serving alcoholic drinks to minors and other possible violations. State Statute 125 covers everything from operating hours to the different types of licenses to owners. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says many establishments his department does compliance checks on are following the law, but they do use minors on occasion to attempt to buy alcohol just to make sure. Joski says they are not focusing on particular businesses or trying to trick anyone, but hopes the situation becomes a teaching moment for bar owners and their employees.


Bay Shipbuilding hitting full steam with Winter Fleet

By Tim Kowols

Over half the ships slated for winter maintenance at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay have pulled into port. The Winter Fleet makes up a large portion of the business Bay Shipbuilding does every year, which includes building new vessels and converting old ones. Bay Shipbuilding Vice President and General Manager Todd Thayse says the 200 to 300 seasonal employees they bring on every year between early December and late March provide important man hours to the business and steady work for the unemployed and underemployed in the community.


Northeast Wisconsin battling influx of flu cases

By Tim Kowols

Hospitals across the country are struggling to keep up with the rising number of flu cases. The influenza virus got an earlier start this year in northeast Wisconsin compared to last with some cases beginning in October. Hospitals and clinic have also seen an influx of cases over the last two week. Door County Medical Center Infection Preventionist Leanne Pinkert describes the key symptoms to look for to determine if you have the flu.


Door and Kewaunee County Fire Departments meet to work on MABAS and K-9 unit use

By Paul Schmitt

The Kewaunee Fire Department will be playing host to the Door/Kewaunee Fire Association meeting on Thursday evening.  Over twenty area fire departments are expected to participate, according to Kewaunee Fire Chief Greg Hlinak.  He says the evening will include two programs including a K-9 unit visit from man's best friend.



Door County YMCA starts new diabetes prevention program

By Paul Schmitt

The Door County YMCA just began a new Diabetes Prevention Program to take a proactive approach in dealing with one of the nation's worst epidemics.  According to a recent Center for Disease Control and Protection report, 84.1 million Americans have prediabetes that is a condition, that if not treated, often leads to type 2 diabetes in five years.  Door County YMCA President and CEO Tom Beerntsen says the new program which just started this month is a key partnership in curbing the problem.



Growing number of reported elder abuse cases in Door County

By Paul Schmitt

Domestic abuse of older people is a growing concern in the area.  Nearly 200 cases of elder abuse in Door County were reported last year.  HELP of Door County Executive Director Steve Vickman puts the number in local perspective.



New bill to help smaller, rural schools gets additional funding introduced in Madison

By Paul Schmitt

A new bill was introduced this week in the state legislature to address the funding for smaller rural school districts suffering from budget challenges.  First District Representative Joel Kitchens, who co-authored the bill, says the legislation would increase the maximum that qualifying low spending districts can spend on a combination of local property taxes and state aid from $9,100 to $9.400 per student for the next school year.  He says it took some negotiations to get it done.



Waterfowl populations thriving in the area with help from local Ducks Unlimited programs

By Paul Schmitt

Ducks Unlimited in Luxemburg is working with other clubs around the state to keep waterfowl thriving in the area.  According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, last year's continental breeding duck estimate was at a near record high of 48.4 million ducks.  Lonnie Vincent, president of the Luxemburg chapter of Ducks Unlimited, says the population of ducks and geese in the area is increasing significantly.


Beekeeping in Door County growing and making impact in environment

By Paul Schmitt

The popularity of beekeeping has people buzzing in Door County.  The Door County Beekeepers Club, a relatively new club that started about three years ago, already has about 80 members and continues to grow.  Member Mark Lentz of Brussels explains why local beekeepers took up the hobby.



Health care, welfare reform among 2018 goals on Capitol Hill

By Tim Kowols

Senator Ron Johnson see his proposed block grant plan as a way to properly repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The plan, also being championed by Republican Senators Lindsay Graham, Dean Heller, and Bill Cassidy, would distribute federal health funding into block grants for individual states to divvy up for their own programs. Sen. Johnson believes the approach would work better than what is currently being done.


Late Photographer featured in Door County Maritime Museum Exhibit

By Tim Kowols

The Door County Maritime Museum is honoring the work of the late photographer Steve Reinke with an exhibit in his honor opening this weekend. Reinke volunteered his time to capture the maritime happenings of the area, much of which takes place just outside the museum's doors. Door County Maritime Museum Executive Director Amy Paul says Reinke took pictures of lots of different topics but believes his best work was on Sturgeon Bay's working waterfront.


New facilities, Middle School move on tap for potential Luxemburg-Casco referendum

By Tim Kowols

The Luxemburg-Casco School District Board could approve two referendum resolutions accounting for approximately $26 million for various projects, including moving students currently attending classes in Casco, as soon at its meeting on January 15.  Potentially two questions could be on the ballot, with approximately $15 million heading towards the construction of a new gymnasium, relocating the high school office, and updating the family and consumer education and technical education facilities. The second question would dedicate approximately $11 million to moving middle school students currently attending classes in Casco to a new wing at the high school, making it a grades 7-12 building. Superintendent Glen Schlender says the school board and others working on the request are sensitive to taxpayers.


Wisconsin Restaurant Association hopes letter grades for establishments stop in Milwaukee

By Tim Kowols

The Wisconsin Restaurant Association is hopeful a new grading system for Milwaukee food establishments does not spread to the rest of the state. Beginning this month, Milwaukee restaurants can voluntarily post their letter grade based on their most recent inspection by the city's health department on the front window before they are forced to in 2019. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the health department hopes the added transparency helps cut down on food-borne illnesses and force more operators into compliance. Wisconsin Restaurant Association Executive Vice President Susan Quam says the group opposes the measure because it is oversimplifying a complex inspection report and food code.


Door County Medical Center Auxiliary impacting community with over 200 volunteers

By Paul Schmitt

Volunteers from the Door County Medical Center Auxiliary are making a huge impact while learning new skills.  Over 200 volunteers have worked the monetary equivalent of $287,000 for the Auxiliary in 2017.  Cheryl Wederquist, public relations officer for the Auxiliary, says the volunteers are invaluable ambassadors for the hospital and clinic.



Sturgeon Bay waterfront granary lives for another day

By Roger Utnehmer

Destruction of the Teweles Brandeis granary on Sturgeon Bay's west waterfront was delayed by lack of a quorum at a special city council meeting called for 7PM Monday.

As expected, council members Kelly Catarozoli, Barb Allman and Laurel Hauser did not attended, depriving the council of a quorum.

At least five members must be present and voting to expend funds.  The removal of the granary would incur city expense, requiring five votes.

Kewaunee County UW-Extension to host waterfront development meeting Thursday

By Tim Kowols

Residents in Kewaunee will get insight on the possibilities for its waterfront and downtown area when the county's UW-Extension office hosts a public meeting on Thursday night. Over the last few weeks, residents and guests had the opportunity to fill out an online survey to give their thoughts on improving the waterfront and the amenities they would like to see. Community Development Educator Claire Thompson says the survey results will go a long way to help shape the future of the recently restored Kewaunee Harbor.


Financial resolutions begin with credit report

By Tim Kowols

The first step to achieving your financial resolution is taking a look at your "report card." Your credit report gives you a look at the information received from the country's three credit bureaus regarding your financial history. After making sure that your personal information like name, address, and social security number are up to date and correct, Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors suggests taking a look at your account history.


Dehumidifier fire brings caution to home owners

By Tim Kowols

A fire late last month in southern Door County provided a good reminder for dehumidifier owners to check their units to make sure they are keeping up and up to date. The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department responded to a home two weeks ago on County Road DK in Brussels with a smoke filled basement due to a malfunctioning dehumidifier. BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says when you are using extra equipment like dehumidifiers and space heaters to keep up with the demands of winter to take the extra steps to be cautious.


Three Sturgeon Bay Common Council members issue joint statement regarding granary bid proceedings

By Tim Kowols

Three Sturgeon Bay City Council members issued a statement Monday explaining their walk-outs and several recent meetings. In the statement, the three council members explain why they have avoided voting on the bids to tear down the granary sitting on the city's west waterfront. Council member Laurel Hauser explains one of the major concerns.





The lack of an ordinary water high water mark determination from the Department of Resources and the refusal of putting plans submitted by the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society and Center for the Fine Arts on the agenda are among the reasons given for four meetings going without a decision on a bid contract.

A special session of the Sturgeon Bay Common Council is scheduled for Monday night, but Hauser has already said via email that she has let City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout know she will not be attending. You can read the entire statement by the council members below.


A joint statement from Alderpersons Allmann, Catarozoli and Hauser regarding the Teweles & Brandeis Grain Elevator


We believe our constituents, and the greater Door County community, deserve to understand the reasoning behind our recent actions to avoid voting to tear down the Sturgeon Bay granary.


  1. We believe that the raze order, or the actions that precipitated it, are politically motivated. The raze order was issued within days of the City learning that money had been raised to stabilize the building. The raze order was issued based on an anonymous call and with no opportunity given to repair or rectify. No structural engineering study has been done to substantiate the claim that the structure moved one-eighth of an inch, although baseline measurements exist from a comprehensive study done in 2013.


  1. The City's own Historic Preservation Commission, made up of citizen representatives, passed a resolution in support of preserving the granary. Minutes from that meeting were left out of subsequent Common Council board packets. The Common Council voted on dismantling the granary before seeing those minutes or considering the resolution.


  1. State law requires the City to negotiate in good faith with the Wisconsin Historical Society and to discuss alternative options before tearing down a structure that's listed on the state registry. The majority of our council voted against complying with that law, even after our attorney advised us it was the best way to avoid legal challenge. This leaves us vulnerable to legal action and perpetuates a "just sue me" mentality that has cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars and has mired the City of Sturgeon Bay in multiple, ongoing, costly lawsuits.


  1. We are still waiting for an Ordinary High Water Mark determination from the Wisconsin DNR. That determination will be the basis for all future plans for what can and cannot be built on the westside waterfront property.


  1. The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society has raised nearly $1.5M to stabilize, renovate and endow the grain elevator and has submitted a Letter of Intent to the City. SBHS has asked to be placed on multiple Common Council agendas in order to discuss its offer. The mayor has refused to give them that opportunity. The Council has not been able to consider a $1.25M donation.


  1. Two organizations that add great value to our community – the Miller Art Museum and the Third Avenue Playhouse – formed an Exploratory Committee for a Center for the Arts to be built on the westside waterfront, incorporating a restored granary. The group has expressed its readiness to make a presentation to the necessary committee and the Common Council.


The Center for the Arts and the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society deserve to have their proposals heard. The community deserves to hear them. We all deserve good leadership and governance that is inclusive, that seeks to follow its own policies and state law.


For the above reasons, we believe it is premature, foolhardy and disrespectful of our community to vote to tear down the Teweles & Brandeis granary at taxpayer expense. We are in favor of working with the Department of Safety and Professional Services to stabilize the structure in a way that satisfies safety concerns and we strongly request that our City Administrator host and facilitate good faith, open and honest dialogue between council members and the public over options for the westside waterfront.


We care deeply about the Sturgeon Bay community, are excited by Sturgeon Bay's future, and appreciate your willingness to keep informed about this situation.


Barb Allmann

Kelly Catarozoli

Laurel Hauser

Group hosts weekly workshop on income inequality in Egg Harbor beginning Tuesday

By Tim Kowols

A community conversation at a northern Door County church will grow to six weekly conversations about income inequality in Egg Harbor. According to an Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) Study by the United Way of Door County, 33 percent of the area's population are either at or below the ALICE line, which are households that earn more than the Federal Poverty Level but less than the basic cost of living. Jim Black saw similar things as an attorney in Rockford, Ill., and hopes the workshop generates a dialogue about income inequality similar to those he helped lead at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County in Ephraim.


First time homebuyers get needed help

By Cynthia Germain

Buying your first home just might be easier than you think, thanks to help from a program available from Lakeshore Community Action Program in Sturgeon Bay. The Lakeshore CAP Home Buyers Program offers educational workshops on home buying as well as one-on-one counseling on the process. The counseling begins with a consultation by Consumer Credit Counseling Services professional on good budgeting practices, and participants then complete an online financial literacy course. Chris Loose, Program Manager, then guides first time home buyers through options for further education required to ultimately get help with down payments. Loose says that funds for help with a down payment can come from a number of sources.




The intent of the program is to first educate and then assist the buyer with finding the right source for financial assistance based on income eligibility. Loose notes that this is a coordinated effort with local, state and federal agencies and organizations to help people move forward with buying a home, planting roots in the community.

Special session set for tonight for granary bid vote

By Tim Kowols

The fifth time might be the charm for the City of Sturgeon Bay when it hosts a special Common Council meeting at 7 p.m. Four Sturgeon Bay Common Council, including three special sessions, have featured the agenda item for the members to consider bids to dismantle, salvage, and store the grain elevator to comply a raze order for the building issued by Fire Chief Tim Dietman last year. Three times a quorum for the meeting could not be reached and council members Laurel Hauser and Barb Allmann walked out of the meeting before a vote could be taken on December 19. The item was removed from the agenda on January 2.

Local blues artist heads to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis

By Cynthia Germain


Sturgeon Bay blues artist Cathy Grier will be traveling next week to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge, a competition of blues professionals worldwide. Grier will be representing the Paramount Music Association based in Port Washington, having won the regional IBC challenge. The Paramount Music Association has its roots in the Paramount Record Company which has historical significance in the blues world as the company produced Victrolas with acetate record giveaways of blues artists from the south, amassing a unique collection of this genre. Grier says that the legacy of women blues artists through the Paramount Record Company is what attracted her to this association.



Similar associations around the world send one single or duo and one band to represent their members and area to compete in the blues challenge. The judged competition is rigorous with multiple levels of performances and point systems. Grier says that she not only looks forward to the challenge but also the great opportunity for networking and sharing a common love for blues music. She played to a local crowd over the weekend at the Tambourine Lounge in preparation for the challenge, with both nights being sold out. Grier hopes to share her experiences from the IBC later in the spring with another concert at the venue.

The Algoma Library brings winter fun indoors for kids

By Cynthia Germain


The art of fort-making and snowball fights will be the focus of a children's program this week at the Algoma Public Library. The library is hosting their Kids Winter Party in the afternoon of January 11th, with fort making, snowball fights and other games. Dylan Rummel, the Children's Librarian, says that the snow, of course, will be cotton, paper and other materials, and forts of cardboard boxes, that should make for good contests and games with snowballs.



The library will have all the items needed for the party but welcomes parents to bring cardboard boxes or other similar games to join in the fun. The age range is kindergarten through fifth grade and will include music and sing-along geared to the ages of the children who attend. Rummel adds that this is one of the events that they do over the winter to engage children in the library and make it fun.

Baileys Harbor Winter Market offers fresh vegetables and local crafts

By Cynthia Germain


A winter produce market in Baileys Harbor means an opportunity for healthier eating for area residents. Baileys Harbor has been hosting a winter market for the last three years leading up to Christmas. Brynn Swanson, Community Coordinator for the Baileys Harbor Community Association, says that they wanted to extend this opportunity to local residents over the next three months with a variety of greenhouse vegetables, meats and eggs as well as crafts and clothing.



Swanson is pleased that the Winter Farm Market gives local year-round greenhouses an outlet for their produce and allows for Door County vendors that do not have storefronts to offer their wares during the off-season. The Baileys Harbor Winter Farm Market will be held on January 13th, February 10th and March 10th at the Town Hall.


Kewaunee Rescue is hosting the Second Annual Pushin' the Cushion

By Cynthia Germain


Kewaunee Rescue Auxiliary will be hosting a unique outdoor event that will bring their third ambulance up-to-date with life-saving equipment. The Second Annual Pushin' the Cushion will be held on January 20th at Hanly Park in Kewaunee with fun, food and prizes. Deb Pribek, EMT for the Kewaunee Rescue Squad, is pleased that funds from this event will go towards the purchase of a Zoll Auto-Pulse and Zoll Defibrillator for their third rig, matching the other two ambulances in their system. Pribek says that this current technology makes a difference in how they respond to cardiac emergencies.



The Kewaunee Rescue Squad created this fun contest by placing skis on their old stair chairs that teams of three, one in the chair seat, push to race on the snow. There are prizes for first and second place as well as a prize for best dressed. Pribek says that last year's costume winners were the "Russian nurses". Local vendors with food and drink will also be available.


Sex Trafficking Victim Advocate for Door County is educating the public during Human Trafficking Awareness Month



By Kent Berkley



Shelby Mitchell, Sex Trafficking Victim Advocate for Door County, is working to dispel myths and increase community understanding during Human Trafficking Awareness Month.  Shelby says that thanks to increased media attention and educational campaigns the public is starting to become better informed about the prevalence of, and harm caused by sex trafficking.   She says that sex trafficking occurs when an individual is put into a sexual situation as a result of force, fraud or coercion.  She says that underage youth cannot legally consent and coercion is presumed.  Shelby says that young people who are in dysfunctional homes or have run away are particularly at risk.





Shelby says that sex trafficking has been reported in all of Wisconsin's counties.  She says sex trafficked individuals can be of any gender or sexual orientation.   Victims often blend into general society and are more likely to be the person next to us in the grocery line than the person who is kidnapped, drugged and handcuffed as depicted in the "Taken" movies.   For information about how to participate in fundraisers for the Sexual Assault Center during January visit


Desire to serve the community is still strong for Judge Ehlers as he announces he is running for re-election



By Kent Berkley



Judge D. Todd Ehlers has announced his intention to seek re-election to the  Circuit Court in Door County.    Judge Ehlers is looking to serve his fourth six-year term on the bench.  He says that after eighteen years he still finds the work rewarding and challenging.



Judge Ehlers takes pride in managing his docket efficiently and knowing that citizens can have their day in court within a reasonable amount of time.  In addition to his work on the bench, he says he is also pleased that he was chosen by his colleagues to serve on committees.  He is on the committee that monitors and modifies criminal jury instructions as the law changes and evolves.  He also enjoys his work on the Judicial Conduct Advisory Committee in which he and his committee members provide clarification and guidance related to judicial ethics and conduct.   Judge Ehlers will run unopposed in April.


Make jokes if you must, but fruitcakes are no laughing matter to Door County Habitat for Humanity


By Kent Berkley


Door County Habitat for Humanity puts the underappreciated fruitcake at the heart of its holiday season fundraising efforts.  Since early in their existence,  Habitat for Humanity has sold fruitcakes to raise money.   For some, however, fruitcakes are viewed merely as fodder for comics as evidenced by the fact that December 27th is national fruitcake day -- a day to celebrate the gift of fruitcakes -- and January 3rd, a mere seven days later, is national fruitcake toss day.  Megan Dietz, Manager of Restore and Habitat for Humanity, is an enthusiastic supporter of the fruitcake and expects them to remain the centerpiece of future holiday fundraising efforts.






Dietz encourages people to keep an open mind about fruitcakes.  She says that quality ingredients and good recipes produce tasty treats that also have value as a flavorful energy food to power through physical workouts.  Megan says she has heard all the jokes about fruitcakes and appreciates the fun that some have at their expense.  She has heard the stories about bad tasting fruitcakes being regifted for decades as an ongoing holiday prank.   Afterall, Irma S. Rombauer the author of "Joy of Cooking" once wrote that "a fruitcake, properly soaked in liquor, could be stored and eaten 25 years hence."

Local mechanic shares tips on the proper way to warm a vehicle before heading out on frigid days



By Kent Berkley



Frigid winter temperatures can hamper the functioning of machines as well as people.  Vehicles will perform poorly if pushed without properly warming the engine.  Car owners warming their vehicle on a cold day should be like Goldilocks -- not too little, not too much, but just the right amount.  Randy Sahs from Sahs Auto Collison and Repair in Sturgeon Bay says that warming the car for three to five minutes can save problems down the line.






Randy mentioned that letting the car idle too long when warming it just puts unnecessary wear and tear on the vehicle and wastes fuel.  He also stresses that it is wise to drive slower for a bit before accelerating to interstate speeds.


Topics set for 2018 seminar series at Björklunden



By Kent Berkley


Björklunden is a 441-acre estate on the Lake Michigan shore just south of Baileys Harbor.  The estate is part of Lawrence University which annually offers a popular series of week- long, adult-education seminars at the facility.  The seminars are open to the public as well as Lawrence students.    Björklunden recently completed plans for the 2018 seminar series which will be published and posted on their website on January 22.  Bailey Koepsel, Assistant Director at  Björklunden, says the goals of the seminars are two-fold.






Bailey says that the first seminar will be in June and topics for the summer will include: Art and the Cocktail; The Trump Revolution; The Ecology, Economics, and Politics of the Great Lakes; The Niagara Escarpment; and Birding.  Koepsel says it is likely that some classes will fill early and recommends registering as soon as possible to ensure a spot.   She says this advice is especially important for those wanting onsite lodging during the seminar.  For more information about the entire list of seminar offerings, lodging and registration fees visit the Björklunden website at

Door County architect advocates for gender equity in the construction industry



By Kent Berkley


Door County architect Virge Temme is well known for her advocacy to bring sustainable architectural design into the mainstream.  She has an equally strong passion to promote gender equity within the construction industry.  One reason Temme received the Women in Sustainability Leadership Award from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2017 is that she is using her leadership status to support younger women who are trying to break into the field.  Temme reports that less than nine percent of people in the construction industry are women and less than one-half of one percent of general contractors are women.  As one among few of the female general contractors, Temme looks for male and female contractors who are competent in understanding gender equity issues and enthusiastic to mentor young women.






Temme says that it is important for high schools and technical schools to engage in targeted recruitment of females into classes that promote careers in the construction industry.  She emphasized that there is a shortage of workers in the industry and promoting access for girls will not displace opportunities for boys.  She also believes that having more girls in programs will bring benefits that cut across gender lines such as more using more intelligent materials and safer construction practices.



Winter tourism offers unique opportunities in Door County

By Paul Schmitt

With the extreme cold weather expected to subside in the next day according to weather forecasts, visitors to Door County may find more opportunities for outside winter activities while experiencing the beauty of Mother Nature.  Wisconsin Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett says the shoulder seasons in Door County offers locals and visitors great chances for a winter get-away.



Long-time Sturgeon Bay youth coach remembered for being "all about the kids"

By Paul Schmitt

The Sturgeon Bay area youth sports community lost a legendary coach and contributor this past week.   John "Hoot" Utnehmer, 77, passed away on Wednesday evening at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King where he had been living in recent years.  "Hoot" coached youth basketball, football, and baseball for over 40 years in the Sturgeon Bay area.  Mike Taylor of Bismarck, North Dakota who coached with and had three sons play for Utnehmer when he lived in Sturgeon Bay, says "Hoot" taught children life-long skills beyond the court or field.



Resolutions tough to keep without commitment

By Tim Kowols

The odds of keeping your New Year's resolutions are usually against you without a solid plan and commitment to keeping it. According to U.S. News, approximately 80 percent of resolutions are written off as failures before the second week of February. Jody Anderson from Succeed Health in Algoma suggests people making goals for the New Year to put things into perspective and try not to get overwhelmed with the big picture.


Water quality, budget forecast tops Kewaunee County to-do list in 2018

By Tim Kowols

Kewaunee County is looking ahead to 2018 when it comes to addressing its budget and water quality concerns. April 2017 marked the beginning of the county-wide sales tax of 0.5 percent, which is on track to collect the expected $750,000 in its first eight months. The county board also unanimously passed the first manure irrigation ordinance in the state and had the majority of its 20 supervisors sign onto a letter to the Department of Natural Resources urging new rules regarding spreading manure on sensitive areas like those found in the area to be approved. Kewaunee County Chair Robert Weidner says they will continue to bear down on the water quality issue where they can.


Tax reform could change the way money is given to charities

By Tim Kowols

Giving to local charities in the New Year is expected to change thanks to the new Tax Cut and Jobs Bill passed by the United States Congress last month. Under the new law, standard deductions doubled for individuals and joint tax filers to $12,000 and $24,000 respectively. While the changes will not have that much of an effect on smaller donors, Door County Community Foundation President and CEO Bret Bicoy says bunching several large donations and beginning a donor advised fund could give you the break on taxes you may no longer get under the new standard deduction numbers.


NWTC Learning and Innovation Center in Sister Bay is taking shape



By Kent Berkley


Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) expects to open its doors in April at the new Learning and Innovation Center that will be located in the former Nicolet National Bank building in Sister Bay.  Construction is underway to transform the former bank into a campus that will house a state certified kitchen, traditional classrooms and a multipurpose space that can be used for seminars and community learning events.  Lisa Tetzloff , LIC manager, says the design and programming for the Center is being developed in collaboration with the community.






Lisa says programming will focus on supporting existing businesses and aiding new business start-ups.  She expects that community surveys and needs assessments will uncover new areas of need that will be a catalyst for developing new class offerings inthe future.


Southern Door Fire Chief says extra precautions are necessary in the winter



By Kent Berkley


Area fire departments have been extra busy fighting fires during the holidays.  This does not come as a surprise to Southern Door Fire Chief Chuck Cihlar.  Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths and half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February.   Fire Chief Cihlar says we tend to push our heating devises to the limit during these months and that this practice can cause problems.






Fire Chief Cihlar says it is wise to take some simple precautions such as keeping flammable items away from heaters and turning portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.  He emphasized that smoke alarms save lives, but only if the batteries have life and the alarm is functional.


Kewaunee looks to acquire former Marquette school, hope to demolish in summer

By Tim Kowols

The beginning of the end for the former Marquette School in Kewaunee is expected to begin at the end of the month. That is when the city of Kewaunee hopes to be able to acquire the building and distance itself from possible litigation that could occur when the demolition begins potentially in the summer. The city is currently working with an attorney and engineering firm to figure out an exact timetable and best practices for the future of the site. Kewaunee Mayor Sandi Christman says it has received positive support from the community about the project's potential.


Gibraltar hosts honors band musicians Saturday

By Tim Kowols

Some of the best high school musicians in northeast Wisconsin will descend on Gibraltar's campus in Fish Creek this Saturday for the Bay Area Music Association Honors Band Concert. Students from Algoma, Denmark, Luxemburg-Casco, Kewaunee, Gibraltar, Sevastopol, Southern Door, and Sturgeon Bay apply to be a part of the nearly 100-person ensemble, which will go through a day of clinics and rehearsals before performing in the afternoon. Gibraltar Band Director Charlie Eckhardt has seven members involved with the BAMA Honors band and says collaborating with other area students and working with a college director like UW-Whitewater's Dr. Glen Hayes is a great opportunity.


Sturgeon Bay farmer visits operations in Norway, Sweden

By Tim Kowols

Sturgeon Bay farmer Rich Olson took advantage of his time overseas to see how his European counterparts do similar types of work. Over the holidays Olson and his family traveled to Norway and Sweden at the invitation of the foreign exchange student they hosted last year. Their host owns a sheep farm and works together with a dairy farm to do their cropping. Olson says the biggest difference outside of the breed of cow most used (Norwegian Red) is how they have to adjust their practices to their more northerly climate.


Democratic legislators still cautious about Foxconn

By Tim Kowols

As the wheels begin to churn for the Foxconn development in southeastern Wisconsin, Democratic state legislators like Senator Dave Hansen continue to be wary about the impact it may have.  Work began on a frontage road near the proposed site to accommodate the widening of I-94 and according to the Wisconsin State Journal, Foxconn has received environmental exemptions on the land where their $10 billion plant will be built. Senator Hansen is worried that the $3 billion in incentives to Foxconn is taking the state in the wrong direction.


Winter brings different challenges for local firefighters

By Tim Kowols

Fighting fire is hard enough, but the recent cold snap has made it even harder for local firefighters. Departments in Door and Kewaunee County have responded to at least five fires in the last two weeks when the average temperature struggled to hit the double digits. Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht says fighting fires in the winter bring up a whole new different set of challenges.


Sheriff's Corner: Staying warm during the arctic blast

By Tim Kowols and Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski

Cold weather is giving people extra things to worry about when they head outside. Spending extended periods outside can increase your chance of catching hypothermia or frostbite while using gasoline or propane heaters inside to quickly warm you up could leave you gasping for fresh air because of carbon monoxide. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski even suggests being mindful of the cold temperatures while driving by making sure you have a winter weather kit in your car.


Maple/Oregon Street Bridge set to close January 15

By Tim Kowols

The Maple/Oregon Street Bridge in Sturgeon Bay is set to close daily beginning January 15 for scheduled maintenance. Crews will replace various rusty and corroded shims under the deck while the bridge is closed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the four-day work schedule. Mark Kantola from Wisconsin Department of Transportation says there is no danger driving on the bridge now but explains the role the shims play in its operation.


Door County Master Gardeners set to kick off 2018 Gardening Education Program



By Kent Berkley


The Door County Master Gardeners will kick off the 2018 Gardening Education Program on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at 7:00 PM in the Collins Learning Center at Crossroads at Big Creek.  Members of the public are invited to attend all of the educational offerings in the series free of charge.  The first session will feature Kori Zawojski, co-owner of Sunnypoint Gardens & Gift Shop, who will share new ideas and pictures about annuals and perennials to consider for local gardens.  Sarah Freyman, volunteer master gardener on the education committee, describes the content for each session as targeted and relevant for local gardeners.






Sarah says that sessions typically run 90 minutes and include visually stunning power point presentations.  The standard format allows for an intermission with time to socialize and snack and usually includes a question and answer session when time permits.  The programs include a range of topics from the traditional such as lawn care, to the obscure such as the spread of jumping worms in Door County.  For more information about future events and topics visit

Races in Kewaunee, Algoma, and Kewaunee County include write-in intrigue



By Kent Berkley


The City of Kewaunee will have contested races for mayor and council representative for District 1.   Incumbent mayor Sandi Christman will face challenges from Joe Mills and James Kleiman III.  The District 1 race will be between incumbent Jason Jelinek and challenger Jeffrey Vollenweider.  Incumbent Janita Zimmerman will be unopposed in District 3 and newcomer Daniel Stangel will run unopposed in District 4.  No candidates are registered to run in District 2 and the position will be determined by write-in vote.   If the person accumulating the most write-in votes declines the position, it will be filled by appointment.

The City of Algoma will have no contested races.  Incumbent mayor Wayne R. Schmidt will return.  Incumbent council members Kevin Schmidt and Eugene Cleveland will be unopposed in their bids to return and serve Districts 1 and 3 respectively.  Newcomer Jake Maring will run unopposed in District 4.  No candidates have entered the race for District 2.  The position will be filled by write in vote.   If the person accumulating the most write in votes declines the position, it will be filled by appointment.

The Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors will have nine contested races and one vacancy that will be determined by write-in votes. Five incumbents filed notice of non-candidacy.   Candidates in 10 of the 20 districts will run unopposed.

In each case in which no candidacy paperwork was filed, no name will appear on the ballot and the seat will be determined by write in votes.  No minimum number of write-in votes is required by the person with the most write-in votes.  If the individual with the most write-in votes declines the office, the position will then be filled by appointment.  Write-in candidates need not register in advance of the election, but it is recommended for candidates that want to mount a write in campaign.


Three Sturgeon Bay council races set for spring election; four Door County supervisor races


By Paul Schmitt

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will have three contested races for this April election.   Richard Wiesner will be running for another term in District 4 and be opposed by Kelly Avenson who took out papers and returned them in the last week.  John Lodl will run for the District 2 seat being vacated by Ron Vandertie who filed a notice of non-candidacy. He joins Robert Starr and David Hayes in the race.  District 6 will have incumbent Stewart Fett facing challengers Seth Wiederanders, and Lauri Fish.  A primary election will be held February 20th in districts with more than two candidates.  The general election will be held April 3, 2018.


The Door County Supervisors will have four contested races for the Spring elections.  In District 3, Rov Englebert will face off against Lora Jorgenson.    The District 14 race will include Linda D. Wait and Kathryn Shepard-Utzinger.   District 18 will pit Steven Sohns against Vinni Chomeau.  District 19 will be a three-person race with Bob Bultman, Hugh Mulliken, and Kate Lindsley all vying for the seat currently held by Donald Sitte who filed papers of non- candidacy.   District 12 Supervisor Mark Moeller was the only other incumbent to file papers of non-candidacy.

Sturgeon Bay granary demolition removed from council agenda

By Roger Utnehmer

The most controversial item on Tuesday's Sturgeon Bay city council agenda got pulled at the start of the meeting.


Scheduled for action after four failed attempts, the meeting agenda included acting on bids to dismantle the Teweles & Brandeis grain elevator located on the west-side waterfront.


Five council members are required in order to take action.  In four previous meetings, those working to save the granary either left the meeting or did not attend, eliminating a quorum necessary for taking a vote.


The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society and several council members have been trying for several weeks to allow a presentation at a council meeting about preservation plans and financial commitments of approximately $1.5 million to save the granary.

Those efforts have been thwarted by Mayor Thad Birmingham.


Birmingham gave no reason for removing the controversial item from the agenda at the start of today's council meeting.


Administrator Josh VanLieshout after the meeting said a majority of all the members of the common council is necessary for a passage of an ordinance, resolution, and motion for money to be appropriated,  which would not have been possible Tuesday.

Sturgeon Bay to vote on tax increase in April

By Roger Utnehmer

The Sturgeon Bay city council today authorized an April referendum that would raise the sales tax by one-half percent with the money going to improve streets.

The unanimous vote gives taxpayers an opportunity to start the process of implementing a Premier Resort Area Tax on tourist-related taxable expenditures.  If approved by voters in the referendum the Wisconsin state legislature would have to approve enabling legislation before the tax could go into effect.

Council member David Ward said a typical family with household income of $75,000 a year would pay $15 dollars a year more than now for dining out, $9 a year on apparel and $14 more dollars on entertainment.  He pointed out the tax would not apply to automobile purchases or groceries.

The Premier Resort Area Tax is projected to bring in approximately $800,000 a year to fund Sturgeon Bay street construction, repair, and maintenance.  A wheel tax, according to City Administrator Josh VanLieshout, would generate about half that amount.

Public comment request at Sturgeon Bay city council gets watered down

By Roger Utnehmer

The refusal of Sturgeon Bay Mayor Thad Birmingham to allow public comments at council meetings came closer to being overturned Tuesday.  Birmingham ended the long-standing practice in December.

Council member Laurel Hauser, an advocate of open government, asked that the period of public comment at the beginning and end of each meeting be restored.  Rather than support Hauser's proposal, council member David Ward suggested the council and mayor "consider" implementing a 30-minute public comment period at the start of each meeting.

Even the proposal to simply "consider" public comment was opposed by council member Stewart Fett.  He was the only vote against the suggestion by Ward.

Birmingham said he's "evaluating" giving the public the right to speak at council meetings in the future.

Most public comments in recent years have been critical of Birmingham and the council majority.

Hauser said that, as a council member, she thinks it's important to a democracy to have public input.

Senator Johnson cites regulatory reform as a big success in 2017

By Tim Kowols

It did not get many headlines like the recent tax law, but Senator Ron Johnson believes regulatory reform passed by the United States Congress may have played the biggest role in the Trump Administration's success in the past year. According to the White House, it has issued 67 deregulatory actions like ending some environmental protections and net neutrality while only instituting three new regulations. When paired with the new federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Senator Johnson says it is a winning combination for continued economic growth.


Griffith drops bid for Kewaunee Mayor

By Tim Kowols

Kewaunee 3rd District alderperson John Griffith announced hours before Tuesday's filing deadline that he will drop his bid to become the city's mayor. Griffith was one of the earliest to pick up and file his nomination papers, but began having second thoughts over the last week. In the end, Griffith believes he can have a larger impact as an alderperson than as mayor.


Structure fire, serious accident makes for busy Saturday night for local fire departments

By Tim Kowols

Members of Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department had their choice of incidents to respond to Saturday evening that left a garage and its contents in Brussels completely destroyed and one person injured in a vehicle accident. Just after 10:30 p.m. the fire department responded to a residence on Swamp Road with a fully engulfed garage near other structures on the property. Within 10 seconds of getting the fire call, the department received word on a vehicle crash with injuries at County XC and Rabbit Road also in Brussels. BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says with calls that close and temperatures that low, he had to be proactive with both incidents.


Jacque announces bid for State Senate

By Tim Kowols

Days after Senator Frank Lasee announced his resignation to take on a different role with the Walker administration, De Pere Republican Andre? Jacque became the first to announce his candidacy Tuesday morning for the 1st State Senate District. Jacque currently serves in the State Assembly for the 2nd District, which covered a little bit of Kewaunee County before redistricting moved his area to cover southern Brown and northern Manitowoc Counties. Years after frequent trips to the Door Peninsula as a child, Jacque looks forward to the opportunity to serve the area on the issues most important to them like water quality.


Inbound students enjoying their Rotary Youth Exchange experience in Door County

By Tim Kowols

Packer games, snow removal, and other winter mainstays of Wisconsin culture are all brand new for inbound students Shriyans Saxena of India and Lucie Rajalova? of Chechnya. The two represent half of the students calling Door County home for a portion of the year as a part of the Rotary Youth Exchange program, which gives high school-aged children a chance to travel to a specific country for a year to immerse themselves in school, service projects, and a new culture. For Rajalova?, the experience is giving her an opportunity to learn more about the United States and herself.


Kress Pavilion takes step forward towards February 17 Grand Opening

By Tim Kowols

Egg Harbor rang in the New Year with a new place to call home. The Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion, home to Egg Harbor's Door County Library branch and community center, had a special event New Year's Eve to celebrate the project reaching substantial completion last Friday. With a first floor maker's space and business center for residents and visitors to connect with and a second floor Great Hall space for special events, Village Administrator Ryan Heise says with the New Year's Eve Party a dress rehearsal for hundreds of future events, it is time for the building to speak for itself.


Swimmers' spirits thaw event record cold for Jacksonport Polar Bear Club Swim

By Tim Kowols

Two hundred people ignored pleas from the Door County Emergency Services and record low temperatures to line the Lakeside Park beach for the 32nd annual Jacksonport Polar Bear Club Swim Monday. While the water temperature hovered just above freezing, an air temperature of 1 degree and a wind chill of between -15 and -20 caused Door County Emergency Services Deputy Director Aaron LeClair to discourage swimmers from going in and to make it quick if they decided to take the plunge.  Kaden Vaneperen participated in his 2nd swim, saying the fun and exhilaration of last year brought him back.


Old Glory Honor Flight taking on bigger costs to give special experience to veterans

By Tim Kowols

Old Glory Honor Flight's upcoming Green Bay mission is expected cost the organization substantially more to run as the organization looks to chip away at its 700-plus person waiting list. The one-time flight out of Austin Straubel Airport on November 1 is in commemoration of not just the sacrifice of the area's veterans, but also Brown County's 200th anniversary and the Green Bay Packers' 100th season. The change of flying out of Green Bay instead of Appleton International Airport is expected to cost the organization at least $25,000 more due to its Thursday departure date and plane availability. Old Glory Honor Flight President Drew MacDonald says it relies a lot on the local community to make the trip special for all of its veterans.


Students make superintendent proud of Algoma

By Tim Kowols

Algoma School Superintendent Nick Cochart points to its students for the main driver of its success in 2017. Many of the stories are born from the Live Algoma Initiative, which was recognized earlier this year by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with its Culture of Health Prize. The award made Algoma one of eight communities in the country to earn the distinction thanks to the community's involvement to make the city a healthier place to live, work, and play. From mentoring programs to initiatives promoting kindness, Cochart likes that it is the students taking the lead.


Public comment periods disappear again as granary bid approval, Premier Resort Area tax decision get Sturgeon Bay Common Council agenda encore

By Tim Kowols

Aside from some minor changes in the consent agenda and a couple other items, it could be déjà vu for Sturgeon Bay Common Council members and attendees of Tuesday's meeting. The December 19 meeting ended abruptly when Council members Laurel Hauser and Barb Allmann left the chambers just before a vote could take place to approve a bid to dismantle, salvage, and store the granary, depriving the meeting of a quorum. That item returns to the agenda for a fifth straight meeting after a quorum could not be reached in three consecutive special sessions. The Common Council will also consider a resolution designating Sturgeon Bay as a Premier Resort Area, which would enact a 0.5 percent sales tax on tourist-related expenditures to raise money for infrastructure. The removal of two public comment periods and a raise for part-time firefighters also highlight the agenda for Tuesday's meeting, which begins at noon.

League of Women Voters encourages new voters and provides candidate forums in 2018


By Cynthia Germain

The Door County League of Women Voters major activity in the New Year will be hosting candidate forums for those running for local offices. To help young people understand their new voting rights, the League members send birthday cards to residents turning 18 to encourage and instruct in registration as well as educate high school and college students on the election process and law. Shirley Senarighi, co-President of the League of Women's Voters of Door County, says that a major activity going into the new year is conducting candidate forums which require many inputs and resources.



Senarighi indicates that they have had a lot of positive feedback from the candidate forums as they are made available online and on local access channels, providing an opportunity for those who cannot attend to learn about local issues and candidate positions. The League of Women Voters of Door County is a volunteer organization with their activities supported solely with membership fees and contributions. Senarighi encourages everyone to sign up for their newsletter and stay aware of upcoming forums and events as elections unfold in the spring.


Help with rent is available for those at risk of becoming homeless

By Cynthia Germain


For those who find themselves literally homeless or at immediate risk of becoming homeless can find help through the Lakeshore Community Action Program. Whether a qualified individual or family needs a one-time payment to help prevent becoming homeless or longer term rental assistance and security deposit, a system of assistance is in place that includes access to financial help as well as case management to identify barriers to move towards self-sufficiency. Kate Markwardt, Supportive Housing Supervisor of the Lakeshore Community Action Program, says that the Homelessness Prevention program which provides a one-time rent payment has specific qualification criteria related to income and other factors.



For those at immediate risk for being homeless, the Lakeshore CAP can also provide up to 12 months of assistance with rent and utilities but has additional participation requirements. These programs also benefit landlords by reducing vacancy numbers, providing guaranteed rent payments and offering support with tenant conflict resolution.

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