News Archives for 2018-03

Banner embodies movement to save Granary

By Eric Fischer

As the granary moved across the Oregon Street bridge Thursday morning a banner across the building saying "A new spirit of cooperation" managed to spark conversation from those in attendance and watching on Facebook Live.  The phrase was found on a grain bag inside the building and inspired those who have volunteered to adopt it as a motto for the move.  Christie Weber, president of the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society says that she believes the sentiment fit the project.



Weber adds that she would like to thank all who have volunteered to make the historic move possible.  Weber and other volunteers with the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society are still sorting through a small amount of the leftover wood and metal from the ground floor and will continue to update the public on the progress of the restoration.

Neighbor to Neighbor announces 2017 impact

By Eric Fischer

One thousand four hundred thirteen people benefitted from Neighbor to Neighbor services in 2017, saving over $400,000 in medical expenses.  The group rents out medical equipment for free to those in need, offers companion programs for homebound people, and hosts a monthly support group for cancer survivors and patients.  Ann Bennett, the Executive Director of Neighbor to Neighbor says these programs are available for everyone.



Bennett adds that in 2017, 94 people volunteered a total of 2,873 hours for the program.  Those wishing to use these services or volunteer can call or visit the Sturgeon Bay location for further information.

Anschutz calls PRAT language "misleading". Urges NO vote Tuesday

By Roger Utnehmer

A founder of the Door County Silent Sport Alliance and long-time advocate for bike paths and sidewalk improvements has come out against the Sturgeon Bay Premiere Resort Area Tax, calling its wording "misleading."

Paul Anschutz also questions the financial management of Tax Incremental Districts and says hundreds of thousands of dollars are being directed to bail out under-performing TIDS rather than being available to street repair.   He urges voters to defeat the PRAT and elect new council members.

"Beware voter," Anschutz says.  Passage of the Sturgeon Bay sales tax, as written, "opens up a whole new checkbook for our council."

Anschutz says "We've been taken to the cleaners far too many times by our councils."  He says "TID 2 is being bailed out to the tune of roughly $400,000 a year from TID 1 monies, that should be going into the general fund for road repair are being spent for mistakes by mayors, staff and councilmen, past and present."

The one-half percent sales tax increase, proposed as a means to fund city streets, is on the ballot Tuesday is only advisory.  Another vote would have to be taken, as well as action by the state legislature, to allow Sturgeon Bay to impose the tax.

The entire statement by Paul Anschutz can be found with this story at

Letter to the Editor: Vote no on PRAT: "And" opens up a whole new checkbook

By Paul Anschutz

The city of Sturgeon Bay is asking residents to approve a 0.5 % (1/2cent on the dollar) on tourist related goods to improve the roads. After doing a great deal of investigation, through phone calls to Rhinelander and La Crosse County who have adopted the prat.I have come to a conclusion. Sturgeon Bay's PRAT question is misleading.  Beware voters. I will list Rhinelander's question to its voters, then La Crosse County's and lastly Sturgeon Bay. Read carefully as a word will totally change what Sturgeon Bay can use the monies on if approved.

Rhinelander: Should the city of Rhinelander levy a 0.5% sales tax on the dollar on tourist-related items sold, leased or rented through tourist related retailers to pay for transportation infrastructure.

LaCrosse: To pay for transportation infrastructure, should La Crosse County levy a 0.5% (½ cent on the dollar) sales tax on tourist-related items sold, leased or rented through tourist related retailers.

Sturgeon Bay: To pay for Street and infrastructure expenses as defined in Wi. Stats.66.1113 (1) (a), with revenue from tourists and visitors, as well as residents, should the City of Sturgeon Bay impose a levy of 0.5% (1/2 on the dollar) sales tax on tourist-related items sold, leased, or rented through tourist related retailers.

See the difference? Look close, it's the word" AND" that opens up a whole new checkbook for our council.

Wis.Stats.66.1113(1)(a) states what is considered to be infrastructure expenses, please read carefully

Paragraph (a) of the statute says "'Infrastructure expenses' means the costs of purchasing, constructing, or improving parking lots; access ways; transportation facilities, including roads and bridges; sewer and water facilities; exposition center facilities used primarily for conventions, expositions, trade shows, musical or dramatic events, or other events involving educational, cultural, recreational, sporting, or commercial activities; parks, boat ramps, beaches, and other recreational facilities; fire fighting equipment; police vehicles; ambulances; and other equipment or materials dedicated to public safety or public works."

Again" AND" allows the use of Premier Resort Taxed Monies to be used for the above-mentioned expenses.

We have been taken to the cleaners far to many times by our councils. TID 2 being bailed out to the tune of roughly $ 400,000.00 a year from TID 1 monies, that should be going into the general fund for road repair, are being spent for mistakes by mayors, staff, and councilmen past and present.

Let me remind you of the $180,000.00 grant monies given back to the government for Safe Routes to School sidewalks that A FEW councilmen DID NOT WANT.  Now they say sidewalks are important only because it is election time.  BEWARE

There have been far too many lawsuits on so-called "good developments" from mayors past and present, including previous councilmen and staff. TID 4 is currently tied up in a lawsuit.

Please go to the polls and vote for change in the council and VOTE NO ON THE PRAT.

Still time for families to participate in the March STEAM mystery bag challenge

By Eric Fischer

Kids can put their mind to the test with the Baileys Harbor Library March STEAM Mystery Bag Design Challenge.  Those wishing to participate have until March 31st at 1 pm to pick up the bag and April 6th to complete the experiment.  In the bag will be a challenge and various items that go with the activity. Door County Youth Services Librarian Beth Lokken says that this is a fun activity for families and that the entries will be displayed throughout the month of April.



Lokken adds that those who complete the challenge and bring it to the library will receive a certificate of completion.  For further questions call the Door County Library, Baileys Harbor location.


Sheriff Delarwelle not seeking re-election, will retire

By Eric Fischer

Door County Sheriff Steve Delarwelle has decided to not seek re-election and will retire from the department at the end of his term.  Delarwelle was elected Door County Sheriff in 2014 and at the end of his term will have served with the department for twenty seven and a half years.  Delarwelle says it has been an honor to serve the community he grew up in and loves.



Delarwelle adds that he thinks there are very qualified officers to replace him in the fall and that it's time for some younger officers to get the chance to serve.  Delarwelle plans to stay in the community after retiring.

Youth in Government leads to Kitchens success in Washington,D.C.

By Paul Schmitt     

STURGEON BAY, WI (Paul Schmitt) – The Youth in Government program through the Door County YMCA has set the political wheels in motion for many past high school students, including 1st Representative Joel Kitchen's daughter.  Caroline Kitchens, a 2008 Sturgeon Bay High School graduate who now lives in Washington D.C., says the program was a defining part of her high school years and had a huge impact in where she is today.


Kitchens says the Youth in Government experience gave her the confidence she needed to know she could make it in our nation's capital.  A 2012 graduate of Duke University, Kitchens is currently working on the federal affairs team at the R Street Institute which is a non-profit organization that is a free think tank advancing solutions to complex policy problems.

Southern Door's EPCOT team focusing on keeping schools safe

By Delilah Rose

Southern Door High School has taken on the initiative to raise their safety preparedness in light of the recent school shootings. Four students involved in EPCOT have approached this new plan with the intent to assist and protect. EPCOT is an Emergency Planning Calibration Operation team. Southern Door EPCOT representatives, Jared Bodwin and Austin Vandertie, plan to pursue this safety career. These seniors have been involved in EPCOT for two years, and said that they both want to continue their generation of firefighters in their families. Their main job is focused on keeping schools safe, along with assisting their community in and out of school. Being stationed in Brussels, they invite anyone who is interested in following in their footsteps, come to the station and please say hello.

Belgian Heritage Center adding improvements before opening in May

By Paul Schmitt

The Belgian Heritage Center is working to make the experience for visitors even better this year as they plan on opening again in May.  The Belgian Heritage Center near Brussels has a mission to preserve and promote the area's unique culture, history and architecture.  Co-president Joe Alexander explains some of the new improvements.


The Belgian Heritage Center is located on County DK in Namur just west of Brussels.  The first event of the year is the annual booyah and bread set for Sunday April 22 from 11 am until 2 pm.

Area Destination Imagination teams heading to Knoxville in May

By Paul Schmitt

Thirteen area Destination Imagination (DI) teams will be moving on to the global competition in Tennessee after the Wisconsin State tournament last weekend in Stevens Point.  Sevastopol led the way with five teams heading to Knoxville in May.  Robyn Harper, Baylake Regional DI Director, shares the area teams that placed in the top three and will be moving on.



You can find a listing and photos of the BayLake teams that placed in the top three in each Challenge along with the 1st place IC award winners that will be moving on to  the globals in Knoxville below.

Technical Challenge
Elementary Level
1st: Something's Fishy, Denmark
3rd: Officially Outside the Box, Sturgeon Bay

1st place Instant Challenge: The Mad, Imaginators, Luxemburg-Casco

Middle Level
1st: We The Carry-On Luggage, Denmark (also 1st place Instant Challenge)

Scientific Challenge
Elementary Level
2nd: The Chain Reactors, Sevastopol

Middle Level
2nd" The King and D.I., Sturgeon Bay

Secondary Level
3rd: Last Raps, Algoma

Fine Arts
Elementary Level
2nd: Cotton Candy Monsters, Algoma

Improvisational Challenge
Secondary Level
1st: Omega Improv, Pacelli Catholic Schools

Engineering Challenge
Elementary Level
1st: The Ultimate Ninjas, Sevastopol

Middle Level
1st: The Salty Crackers, Sevastopol  (also 1st place Instant Challenge)

Secondary Level
1st: The United States of Lamyrica, Sevastopol

Service Learning
Middle Level
3rd: Mo & the Blue Footed Boobies, Sevastopol

(Sevastopol team pictured above)


Sturgeon Bay team


Algoma team

Washington Island Ferry still dodging ice through Death's Door

By Tim Kowols      

Warm temperatures are eliminating snow piles on the mainland, but Washington Island Ferry captains are continuing to battle ice conditions on their 4.5 mile journey.  The ferry line continues to run ice breaking boats ahead of their normal trips, especially in the area between Door Bluff and Chambers Island. After a broken chunk of ice delayed one transit by almost an hour, Ferry President Hoyt Purinton expects "ice cakes" to be sticking around on the water for another couple weeks.



The Washington Island Ferry expanded their service to six round-trips daily last week before expanding to 11 at the end of April.

Door County Maritime Museum excited for expanded learning opportunities at Cana Island

By Tim Kowols      

Following the Door County Board's approval of $365,000 from the general fund and an additional $75,000 earmarked for Cana Island restoration efforts, the Door County Maritime Museum is excited for the opportunities that will exist in the near future. The joint effort between the museum and the county calls for the construction of an interpretative center, which will combine a store, admission area, and exhibits into one building. Executive Director Amy Paul says the interpretive center will be a great addition for visitors.



Paul says this will allow the Door County Maritime Museum to begin fundraising for Phase 4 of their Cana Island Restoration efforts, which includes restoring the lighthouse. Cana Island opens May 1.

Algoma's Olson Park ready to see improvements

By Tim Kowols         

A new kayak launch pad is one of several future improvements planned for Algoma's Olson Park. The popular fishing and boat launch spot received donations to install the new feature this summer. Algoma Parks Director Sara Robertson says that could be the beginning of other improvements on the way.



Robertson says planning for other improvements to Olson Park is expected to begin this summer. The city of Algoma is also in a similar process with its Crescent Beach and some of the improvements being planned there.

Renard ready to run as special election race begins

By Tim Kowols       

Alex Renard of De Pere hopes to bring his experience in the private sector to Madison after formally announcing his special election bid for the Senate First District on Thursday. Governor Scott Walker announced his decision to drop his attempt to halt the special election Thursday morning, making nomination papers immediately available with an April 17 filing deadline. Renard says one area of focus for him is job training.


Assembly member Andre Jacque announced his candidacy for the state Senate seat in January. Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Caleb Frostman announced his Democratic bid for the open seat Thursday.

Egg hunts highlight Easter festivities in Door, Kewaunee Counties

By Tim Kowols     

Kids of all ages will grab their baskets Saturday morning for a number of Easter egg hunts planned for residents in Door and Kewaunee Counties. While Easter egg hunts date back to the time of Martin Luther according to CBS News, many local events have developed strong traditions spanning more than a decade. Louise Howson from the Sister Bay Advancement Association says the Easter egg hunt is a great way to get kids out.



Shining Stars 4-H leader Melissa Norton says the Easter egg hunt her club puts on in Brussels teaches their kids great skills.



With the National Weather Service expecting rain and snow on Saturday, some egg hunts may have indoor options. You can see a full schedule of Easter egg hunts online with this story.


LUXEMBURG: March 31 from 9-10 a.m. at Luxemburg Community Center
KEWAUNEE: March 31 at Hollyhock House and Gardens from 1 to 3 p.m. to benefit Lakeshore Community Food Pantry
ALGOMA: March 31 at Algoma Long Term Care Unit from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
ELLISON BAY: March 31 from noon to 2 p.m. at Fitzgerald Park
SISTER BAY: March 31 beginning at 10:30 a.m. at Waterfront Park
JACKSONPORT: March 31 beginning at 11 a.m. at Lakeside Park
BAILEYS HARBOR: March 31 beginning at 10 a.m. at the town hall
BRUSSELS: March 31 beginning at 9 a.m. at Brussels Town Park

Frostman looking to make bigger economic impact as state senator

By Paul Schmitt   

Caleb Frostman, the executive director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation, has announced that he will run for the State Senate's 1st District seat.  Frostman will be running as a Democrat in the special election looming on June 12, after Governor Scott Walker's announcement Thursday.  Frostman explains why he decided to run for office.


Raised in Green Bay and having worked nine years in the banking sector, Frostman has been at the Door County Economic Development Corporation since November of 2016. Frostman says he is still fully committed to his current role as executive director at the DCEDC.

Youth in Government leads to Kitchens success in Washington,D.C.

By Paul Schmitt     

STURGEON BAY, WI (Paul Schmitt) – The Youth in Government program through the Door County YMCA has set the political wheels in motion for many past high school students, including 1st Representative Joel Kitchen's daughter.  Caroline Kitchens, a 2008 Sturgeon Bay High School graduate who now lives in Washington D.C., says the program was a defining part of her high school years and had a huge impact in where she is today.


Kitchens says the Youth in Government experience gave her the confidence she needed to know she could make it in our nation's capital.  A 2012 graduate of Duke University, Kitchens is currently working on the federal affairs team at the R Street Institute which is a non-profit organization that is a free think tank advancing solutions to complex policy problems.

Dry and warmer weather a friend to farmers as planting season approaches

By Paul Schmitt

Area farmers are eagerly preparing for the upcoming planting season.  Recent warmer and drier weather has improved field conditions considerably, but Rich Olson of Olson Family Farm in Southern Door and a member of the Ag Advisory Board says farmers are still about a month away from planting crops.


Olson says in the meantime, farmers are busy making mechanical repairs and maintenance of farm equipment.  Soybeans and Corn crops will be planted any time between late April and early May, according to Olson.

The Swinery ready to expand operations in 2018

By Tim Kowols      

Improvements being made at The Swinery for their first full year of operation will leave Kewaunee barbeque fans squeal with excitement. In addition to expanding their hours for the spring and summer and installing a wheelchair ramp for its special needs patrons, The Swinery's new smoker will allow them to quadruple their current output. Chef Jeremy Willett says he is happy to be a part of the optimism growing in Kewaunee and other lakeshore communities.



The Swinery, located just south of Kewaunee city limits on Highway 42, is also looking to expand the number of people it can feed at its restaurant later this year, including tables and a special menu for its canine guests.

Historic granary move successful

By Eric Fischer

History was made on Thursday morning with the move of the Teweles and Brandeis Granary across the Oregon Street bridge.  The 58-foot, 320,000 pound building got moving at 5:15 am and finished with a blessing ceremony of the new site with dirt from the old location at 11 am.  Jason Devooght, CEO of Devooght House Movers, the company contracted to do the move, said everything went well and he is glad to save a piece of history.

Devooght adds that there were plenty of safety precautions taken, and that the Granary was only half the weight that his company's equipment is able to handle.  Jason also wanted to thank Pat Drury of Drury Designs and his crew, along with the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society for making this happen.  Click the Facebook videos below for full coverage of the move.

History of the Baileys Harbor Range Lights continues on thanks to volunteers

By Tim Kowols      


Close to 150 years of history reside in the walls of the Baileys Harbor Range Lights with volunteers doing everything they can to keep it alive for generations to come. Work continues on the Upper Range Light six years after the neighboring Lower Range Light underwent its own complete restoration in 2013. Ridges Sanctuary volunteer Ed Miller says the most interesting part of restoring the historic lighthouse is the research behind bringing it to its former glory.



Miller says they are currently removing the wallpaper and hope the restoration efforts will be completed when the Range Lights celebrate their 150th anniversary next year. The Baileys Harbor Range Lights were installed in 1869 to aid navigation into the town's harbor.

Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County to host information session April 4th

By Tim Kowols       


Looking to take a bite out of its waiting list, the Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County is recruiting new tutors beginning with an informational meeting next week at the Kewaunee Library. With 45 tutors active in the organization, Bob Garfinkel from the Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County expects they need 20 more to satisfy the need in the community as individuals with limited English work towards earning General Education Diplomas, passing citizenship tests, and getting jobs. Garfinkel says tutors with compassion are key to the organization's success.



The informational meeting will begin inside the back room at the Kewaunee Library at 11 a.m.

Council Candidate David Hayes urges NO vote on PRAT, cites "downward financial spiral of city"

By Roger Utnehmer     

Sturgeon Bay City Council District 2 candidate David Hayes issued a statement today urging a NO vote on the proposed one-half percent sales tax that will be on the April 3rd ballot.


Hayes says the Premier Resort Area Tax (PRAT), which has been promoted by city officials as a mechanism for funding streets in Sturgeon Bay, can also be used for "infrastructure expenses."  The statutory definition of "infrastructure expenses," Hayes says, includes recreational facilities, fire-fighting equipment, police vehicles, ambulances and other expenditures.


"Did the city administration purposefully add the 'infrastructure expenses' to the referendum so they could continue moving funds, 'stealing from Peter to pay Paul?'", Hayes asks in his statement.


Hayes also cites a report from Moody's Investors Service, a firm that rates the financial stability of municipalities.  In earlier remarks Hayes said that Moody's no longer rates Sturgeon Bay because of the current fiscal condition and debt of the city.


The entire press release from David Hayes is printed with this story at  The other candidate for the District 2 city council seat is former council member and mayor Robert Starr.


City officials predict the PRAT would raise approximately $800,000 a year.  The referendum on April 3rd is not binding.  Before the tax could be implemented in Sturgeon Bay the state legislature would have to pass legislation permitting Sturgeon Bay to levy the one-half percent tax.




Sturgeon Bay PRAT Referendum Misleading.

At first glance the referendum question for Sturgeon Bay residents appears rather harmless and a solution to the city's crumbling roads. Take a closer look, and you'll see that two words change everything about the small 0.5% levy tax. Those words being "infrastructure expenses", followed by the statute where you'll find the definition for infrastructure expenses. When you google Wis. Stats. 66.1113(1)(a) you'll see that the city is attempting to levy a tax allowing the city to spend the tax income on a whole slew of items beyond the streets.

Infrastructure expenses, as defined in the statute states firstly transportation facilities, including roads and bridges - no surprise, great. However, the definition continues with "sewer and water facilities; exposition center facilities..or other events involving educational, cultural, recreational, sporting or commercial activities; recreational facilities; fire fighting equipment; police vehicles; ambulances; and other equipment or material dedicated to public safety or public works." If the street levy tax (PRAT referendum) is passed, the projected $800,000 collected per year could be spent on a lot of other things than our degraded roads and streets. Thus putting our road maintenance schedule further behind than it already is. Did the city administration purposefully add the "infrastructure expenses" to the referendum so they could continue moving funds, "stealing from Peter to pay Paul?" - I hope not. I want to trust our city administration, but when I see wording and actions like this, I wonder, do they really have the best interests in mind for the whole community, or are they doing the same old thing, causing the potential downward financial spiral that is referenced in the Credit Score Report from Moody's. Vote "NO" on the City of Sturgeon Bay PRAT Referendum.

Frostman, Renard join Senate race as special elections are called for 1st District

By Tim Kowols   

Special elections to fill two vacant seats in the state, including the Senate district covering Door and Kewaunee Counties, will take place on June 12 following Governor Scott Walker's announcement Thursday. Special legislation was sought to block the elections, with many Republicans calling it "meaningless" and "a waste of money" according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Democrats countered by saying special elections could have occurred sooner. Only Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Caleb Frostman and Republican Alex Renard have announced their candidacy for the special elections. Prospective candidates can begin circulating their nomination papers today to beat the filing deadline of April 17. A primary, if necessary, would take place May 15.

Green Door Thrift moving in the mall

By Eric Fischer

Green Door Thrift is moving two doors down from the current location.  The resale store in the Cherry Point Mall is moving to the corner store in the complex between Anytime Fitness and Dunham's Sports.  With the upcoming move, the store is asking for a donation freeze to ease the burden of moving locations.  The current location will close after business hours on March 31st, with early May as the target for reopening.  Co-owner Charr Oswald says the new location has a better layout and will increase product selection.



Oswald adds that until the close, there is a sale on everything in the store to help clear out inventory.  Oswald and her sister, co-owner Jennifer Daubner want to thank the community for shopping and donating items to the store and money to the local charities partnered with Green Door Thrift.

Kewaunee High School to host drug awareness presentation

By Tim Kowols     

A Hartland family hopes to send a wake-up call to Door and Kewaunee County families next month when they host their drug awareness program at Kewaunee High School next month. After son Tyler Lybert was able to complete treatment for his struggles with drugs and alcohol in 2008, the Lybert family created Your Choice to Live, which travels across the region to help parents and teachers learn the signs of possible substance abuse in children. Using a replica bedroom as a conversation piece, Sandi Lybert says the presentation is a real eye-opener for adults.



"Wake Up Call: Stairway to Heroin Educational Series," will take place at Kewaunee High School on April 16 beginning at 6 p.m. We have information on how you can register for this free, adults-only event online with this story.

BUG Fire Department finding its members of tomorrow at Southern Door School District

By Tim Kowols     

A program getting high school students involved in volunteer fire departments is paying off big dividends for the Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department. Of the eight new members the BUG Fire Department has been able to recruit over the last 12 months, half of them went through a joint program at Southern Door School District starting as juniors. BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says it is a trend more volunteer departments should look into in the future.



Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department has a similar program with Gibraltar Area School District as both organization battle a nationwide trend of volunteers aging out with not enough people stepping up to replace them.

Kewaunee County Fair lining up big musical acts for 101st edition

By Tim Kowols     

An 80s arena rock tribute group and the former lead singer of country act Trick Pony are some of the early headliners announced by Kewaunee County Fair officials earlier this month. Hairball kicks things off the night of July 20 as they go full costume to pay tribute to bands like Kiss and AC DC while Heidi Newfield brings her solo and Trick Pony hits to the stage July 21. Throughout the fair, attendees can find music and other activities of all different styles to enjoy, something Al Hoppe of the Kewaunee County Fair committee says is by design.



Also returning to the Kewaunee County Fair beginning July 19 is the farm tractor pull, enduro stock car race, and talent competition.

Editorial Comment: Time to kick politics out of county treasurer position

By Roger Utnehmer      

Wisconsin voters are being asked on April 3rd if they would like to see the office of state treasurer abolished. Another question to be asked in the future is should the office of county treasurer also be abolished.

Several county positions are more administrative than political. Being a good county treasurer is not a Democrat or Republican issue. A better system of government would be to have the functions of county treasurer handled by a professional with an accounting background appointed by the county board rather than the winner of a partisan popularity contest.

When the current Door County treasurer, Jay Zahn, was asked to comment on charges he was conducting personal business on county time his response was "no comment" and a phone hang up. The accusation that he was doing work for the Republican Party, Miss Door County pageant, the Sevastopol school board and his bridge club on county time using a county computer deserved a better answer than "no comment."

A private business would not put up with an employee conducting personal business on company time. And many businesses would fire an employee for personal use of a company computer.

Government needs to be more like the private sector. If a business with a budget the size of the office of the county treasurer was looking to hire a manager you would expect a degree or background in accounting at the very least. Yet, because Wisconsin makes the office an elected political position, it becomes a popularity contest rather than merit selection.

If Wisconsin voters eliminate the office of state treasurer the next step should be to amend the constitution and do the same on a county level. Professional administrators make more sense than politicians.

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

Common Cause seeking stronger recusal rules with election nearing

By Paul Schmitt       

Common Cause in Wisconsin is working to have stronger recusal rules for judges at all levels throughout the state.  Jay Heck of Common Cause says strong recusal rules are important if you ever go before a judge and want a fair and impartial hearing.


Heck says Wisconsin is the third weakest state in the country regarding recusal rules.  You can watch a video of retired Wisconsin State Supreme Court Judges Louis Butler and Janine Geske commenting on recusal rules with this story below.

Local grocers ready for busy weekend as food prices stay stable

By Paul Schmitt      

With the Easter weekend approaching, consumers will be heading to area grocery stores and see food prices comparable to a year ago.  According to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, the 16 basic food items to prepare meals totaled $50.14 which was only $1.16, or  2.4 percent higher than last year.  Econofoods Store Manager John Calhoun says an early Easter and stable prices bode well for a busy weekend.


Milk prices dropped from $3.25 a gallon to $2.96 a gallon while white bread and sliced deli ham decreased slightly.  The USDA estimates that Americans will still spend about ten percent of their disposable annual income on food, the lowest in the world.

Help of Door County shares "red flags" of domestic abuse

By Paul Schmitt      

Giving advice to someone you believe is in a domestic violence situation can be difficult for a person who is close to the victim.  According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner.  Help of Door County Executive Director Steve Vickman says there are signs that are typically shown in relationships.


Vickman also says you need to listen, believe and not judge victims that are confiding in you.  Let them know you are there for them if they fear for their own safety.  One in three women and one in four men have been victims of some type of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime, according to the NCADV.

Door County Board approves next step in Cana Island Restoration project

By Paul Schmitt      

The third phase in the Cana Island Restoration project is moving forward after the Door County Board of Supervisors met on Tuesday and approved the plan set forward by the Door County Maritime Museum.  A new Interpretive Center Building would be built on the Baileys Harbor property.  Door County Administrator Ken Pabich explains what would be done in the future.


The resolution will advance $365,000 from the general fund and an additional $75,000 that was earmarked for the Cana Island Restoration project.  In other business, the Door County Board also recognized one of their outgoing supervisors who was present.  Mark Moeller from District 12 was thanked for his 13 years of service to the county by Door County Board Chair Dave Lienau.

Sister Bay Lions Club holding 39th Annual Packer Night next Wednesday

By Paul Schmitt    

The Sister Bay Lions Club Packer Night is next Wednesday with the plan to have Green Bay Packer Ty Montgomery be the special guest player to speak to Gibraltar high school sports students as well as Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts.  According to Mark Kuntsman of the Sister Bay Lions Club, this is the 39th annual event that has brought some famous Packer greats with powerful messages.


Kuntsman says speakers are subject to change but past special guests have included Packer greats like Hall of Famer Bart Starr.  The Sister Bay Lions Packer Night will be held on April 4 starting at 6:30 pm at the Sister Bay Bowl.

Green Door Thrift moving in the mall

By Eric Fischer


Sturgeon Bay (Eric Fischer)- Green Door Thrift is moving two doors down from the current location.  The resale store in the Cherry Point Mall is moving to the corner store in the complex between Anytime Fitness and Dunham's Sports.  With the upcoming move, the store is asking for a donation freeze to ease the burden of moving locations.  The current location will close after business hours on March 31st, with early May as the target for reopening.  Co-owner Charr Oswald says the new location has a better layout and will increase product selection.

Oswald adds that until the close, there is a sale on everything in the store to help clear out inventory.  Oswald and her sister, co-owner Jennifer Daubner want to thank the community for shopping and donating items to the store and money to the local charities partnered with Green Door Thrift.

Gov. Walker speaking at Door County Lincoln Day Dinner April 7

By Paul Schmitt    

Governor Scott Walker will be the keynote speaker at the Door County Lincoln Day Dinner in Sturgeon Bay next Saturday.  The evening will include local elected officials that include U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher and 1st District Representative Joel Kitchens.  Door County Republican Party Chair Bill Berglund says the crowd will include some young faces.


Berglund says you can still contact him for tickets to the Door County Lincoln Day Dinner at the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club that starts at 5:30 pm with a social hour followed by a meal at 6:30 pm.  You find Berglund's contact information below.

Bill Berglund:  (920) 493-8492

Gibraltar Historical Society featuring four special talks this coming season

By Paul Schmitt   

FISH CREEK, WI (Paul Schmitt)-- The Gibraltar Historical Society is planning their four special talks for the upcoming season.  According to Director Laurie Buske ::BUS-KEY ::  the presentations will feature Lautenbach's Farm, Bird Migration, the first Door County residents, and the fourth one is about the Fish Creek Yacht Club in September.


Buske says the Living History Demonstration will be held in August at Noble Square again.  The Gibraltar Talks are held at 7 pm at the Old Town Hall in Fish Creek beginning on June 21 with the Lautenbach's Farm story.  You can find the complete schedule online with this story.


(photo compliments of Gibraltar Historical Society)

Handling emotions key aspect of resiliency

By Tim Kowols      

Controlling emotions in trying times is another key component of building resiliency according to Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski. Whether it is getting pulled over by a deputy or responding to a tragedy, taking a moment to think your thoughts through could generate or more positive outcome. Joski, who has undergone resiliency training in recent months, says your response to the world is one of the few things you can control.



Even though controlling your behavior is not a skill you are born with, Joski suggests it can be developed and maintained through practice. You can read the rest of Joski's Sheriff's Corner online with this story.



Each of us can look back on events which have changed the course of our lives. In some cases we have experienced joyous events which have propelled us forward in our personal or professional lives, while other events have been tragic which created struggle and stymied our growth as individuals. Although we have little to no control over the many and varied events which we will undoubtedly face throughout our lives, we can control our response to them by managing the thoughts they generate.

Why is this important? Because by controlling our thoughts we ultimately determine what emotions we will allow to surface, and subsequently what type of reaction we will exhibit. The ability to manage our thoughts and thus our reactions to events both good and bad can make the difference between success and failure in our personal and professional lives. We have all witnessed situations where we witnessed individuals effectively manage a critical event while in other cases struggle or seemingly over react to a not so significant event. In many cases this is due to the ability or inability to control their initial thoughts as the event was unfolding.

I have witnessed this behavior unfold in so many ways throughout my years in law enforcement. I have seen people become unhinged at the prospect of receiving a minimal citation for speeding, while others have responded to unbelievable tragedy with an amazing level of calm and composure. I would submit that the difference has been the ability or inability to manage their thoughts and thus self regulate their responses. This skill is not inherent; it must be developed and maintained through practice. Each of us has the choice at any given moment in our lives to take the events which lie before us and do one of two things; use these events to make us stronger and grow our relationships, or use these events as a crutch and blame them for any and all shortcomings we perceive in our lives. I choose the former over the latter.

So the next time an event occurs in your life, whether that be the realization that the red and blue lights behind you are in fact intended for you, or maybe that your teenager arrived after their curfew, please take a moment to think of the thoughts you are generating and whether those thoughts will ultimately lead to a positive outcome or a negative outcome.

In the world we live in, there are very few things we actually have control over, but what we can control is our response to the world. Having the ability to manage our thoughts and use those thoughts to improve the quality of our lives and that of our community is another example of the power of resiliency.

Fire danger still exists despite recent wet weather

By Tim Kowols     

Overnight rains on Tuesday gave some relief to Door and Kewaunee County, but there is still some risk for fires in the area. Much of the state was downgraded from high fire danger to moderate or low levels following the wet weather that swept through the area. Dead vegetation from the winter still exists in the area and Gibraltar Fire Chief Jerrad Anderson says a threat for unintended fires remains.



Anderson reminds fire bearers that burn permits are required in many communities and proper precautions should take place before igniting the flame.

Countdown to Sturgeon Bay granary's big move begins

By Tim Kowols     

Thursday morning the Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator will be on the move as it makes the close to half-mile journey across the Maple/Oregon Street Bridge to its future home near Sturgeon Bay's Graham Park. Devooght House Movers has had the structure on eight 50-ton dolly wheel units for the last several days in preparation for the move. Drury Designs general contractor Pat Drury says he has no concerns about the bridge being able to handle the weight and size of the building.



Lights and powerlines will be moved to accommodate the structure and roads will be closed in two phases to limit traffic interruptions. The move is slated to begin at 2:30 a.m. Thursday.


Red-flag laws get support from local lawmakers

By Tim Kowols      

A law that would mark people as potentially too dangerous to possess a firearm has bipartisan support in Wisconsin. Red-flag laws, which are pending in 22 states according to the USA Today, would allow family members or law enforcement to restrict people from buying guns if they believe they are a threat to others' safety. Republican State Assembly member Joel Kitchens says a red-flag law would be a good step towards keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people, but points to the opioid crisis in the state and the 30 bills it has passed on the topic as how complex the issue is to tackle.



Democratic State Senator Dave Hansen also agrees with red-flag laws but says other gun safety measures should be discussed as well.



Both Hansen and Kitchens say it is unlikely the issue will be taken up by the Legislature anytime soon barring an extraordinary session since both the Senate and the Assembly concluded their floor periods last week.

Editorial Comment: Even More Reasons to Vote NO on Sturgeon Bay's Premier Resort Area Tax

By Roger Utnehmer

A "YES" vote on the April 3rd Sturgeon Bay Premier Resort Area Tax will give those in charge of city government another $800,000 a year of your tax dollars to spend.

The question to ask before giving them that much money is, do you trust their judgment with another $800,000 a year?

The track record of the current administration and council male majority has been one of condoning conflicts of interest, too many closed-door secret meetings, unnecessary and costly litigation, questionable development decisions and financially challenged Tax Incremental Districts. Giving those who created the current conditions another $800,000 a year of local tax money is not wise.

The best predictor of future behavior is past practice. The past practices of the current administration and male majority do not evoke trust.

City government is led by a mayor who appointed someone guilty of using his position of public trust for personal gain to the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority. Condoning corruption does not engender trust. Appointments like that create the perception of the insider "good old boy" network you often hear made about the male majority and mayor.

The frequent response to questions about the west-side waterfront from Mayor Thad Birmingham was "no comment." Birmingham's removal of opportunity for public comment from council meetings and his refusal to allow council discussion of efforts to preserve the Teweles and Brandeis granary are also reasons to not give him spending authority over another $800,000 a year.

Several developers have sued the city. A lawsuit challenging the tax assessment of Stone Harbor Resort has been filed by its owner. The allegation of non-disclosure in the suit filed by former developer Robert Papke is another reason to be skeptical about providing the city with even more money to spend. Papke claims he was misled. Taxpayers should know how he was misled, by whom and what it will cost the City of Sturgeon Bay before giving those responsible for the lawsuit more money to spend. There is a lot of explaining to do about a lot of lawsuits filed by a lot of different people against the City of Sturgeon Bay.

One can only wonder how the council majority and mayor would spend the additional $800,000 a year in tax revenue. There is no guarantee it would not be spent relocating tugboats, building a festival pier for another hotel developer, constructing a docking facility or pathway to property owned by a current WRA board member, or given to Bay Shipbuilding Company as more corporate welfare.

A YES vote should be earned by building public confidence and trust. The long list of lawsuits, a pattern of too many secret meetings, disregard for public input, condoning the behavior of someone guilty of using a position of public trust for personal gain and no guarantee money from an additional sales tax will not be spent benefiting the "good old boys" are all reasons to vote NO on the PRAT tax April 3rd. The council male majority and mayor have not earned the trust more open, transparent and inclusive government would provide.

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

Two Local Judges Endorse Dallet for Supreme Court

By Roger Utnehmer   

Judge Peter Diltz and D. Todd Ehlers have endorsed Rebecca Dallet for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Voters will select a replacement for retiring Justice Michael Gabelman April 3rd.

In a joint statement, Diltz and Ehlers cite Dallet's ten years as a criminal prosecutor and ten years as a circuit judge as a reason for endorsing her.  "She is committed to a fair, impartial and non-partisan third branch of government," their statement of endorsement said.

The complete statement is posted with this story below.

On April 3rd Wisconsin voters will elect a new Supreme Court Justice who will begin a ten year term on that Court in August. We write to express our support for Judge Rebecca Dallet for this important position.

We believe Judge Dallet's experience makes her extremely qualified to serve on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. That experience includes over ten years as a criminal prosecutor and the past almost ten years as a circuit court judge. During those tenures, she has proven her commitments to upholding the law, to making our communities safer and to protecting the rights of victims. 

Judge Dallet also shares our beliefs regarding the independence of the judiciary and all the courts of this state. She is committed to a fair, impartial, and non-partisan third branch and has vowed to bring those attributes to the highest court in Wisconsin. 

We urge all voters here in Door County to exercise their right to vote on April 3rd. 

Peter C. Diltz, Fish Creek, WI

D. Todd Ehlers, Baileys Harbor, WI

Proposed plan for Sunset Park improvements to be shared at Wedneday meeting

By Paul Schmitt      

The city of Sturgeon Bay will be hosting an informational meeting Wednesday evening to receive feedback on a comprehensive plan for Sunset Park and Bradley Lake.  Foth Infrastructure & Environment and Applied Ecological Services will present a draft plan on phase two of the project that is based on information gathered last fall at a public meeting, according to City Engineer Chad Schefchik.


The meeting on the Bradley Lake and Sunset Park project will start at 6:00 pm in Council Chambers at City Hall.

New Razor's Edge Barber Shop opening April 2

By Paul Schmitt     

The Razor's Edge Barber Shop is making a short, but big move to their new location on Madison Avenue in Sturgeon Bay next Monday.  Dennis Anschutz started his barber business 43 years ago and was joined by his daughter Missy Torp twenty years later.  Misty says the move from 22 North Madison Avenue to the completely remodeled building at 210 South Madison Avenue may be only a couple blocks but it will offer an exciting layout.


The new Razor's Edge Barber Shop building is approximately the same size as the present location, according to Torp, but will offer more parking and will operate regular business hours from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

(photos compliments of Missy Torp)

Public involvement meeting on Highway 42 project set for April 4

By Paul Schmitt   

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDot) has announced a public meeting to discuss the resurfacing project planned for 2020 on Highway 42 between Forestville and the intersection at Highway 57.  The meeting is set for next Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:30 pm at the Forestville town hall.  DOT Project Manager Jeremy Ashauer explains the project improvements that are in store for Highway 42.


There will be a brief ten-minute presentation followed by an open-house format that includes WisDOT staff on hand to discuss the Highway 42 project with individuals that are at the meeting.

Two vacancies on Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors look to be filled by write-ins

By Paul Schmitt     

The Kewaunee County board is looking to have write-ins decide who will be the next supervisor in District 5 and District 13.  Both the village of Luxemburg and the town of Casco will have no candidates on the ballots next Tuesday.  Kewaunee County Clerk Jamie Annoye explains the scenario for the upcoming general election.


Annoye says having the vacancy for an elected position is uncommon but did occur for a municipal position in last spring's election.  You can find a complete listing of candidates for the other 18 districts in Kewaunee County below.


Race for Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors

District 1 – Town of Ahnapee

Gerald Paape (I)

District 2 – Town of Lincoln

Cory Cochart

Mark Kusniesz

District 3 – Town of Red River – Wards 1 & 2

Charles Wagner (I)

District 4 – Town of Luxemburg – Ward 2, Town of Red River Ward 3

Robert Weidner (I)

District 5 – Village of Luxemburg – Wards 4 & 5


District 6 – Village of Luxemburg – Wards 1 & 2

Donna Thomas (I)

Daniel Olson

District 7 – Town of Casco – Ward 2, Village of Casco – Ward 1

Charles Schmitt

Kenneth Secor

District 8 – Town of Luxemburg – Ward 3

Douglas Doell (I)

Frank Madzarevic

District 9 – Town of Montpelier – Wards 1 & 2

Scott Jahnke (I)

District 10 – Town of Franklin

John Wochos

Thomas Cretney

District 11 – Town of Carlton – Wards 1 & 2

Richard Schleis

Aaron Augustian

District 12 – Town of West Kewaunee – Ward 1

Mary Ellen Dobbins (I)

Milton Swagel

District 13 – Town of Casco – Ward 1, Town of West Kewaunee – Ward 2, Town of Luxemburg – Ward 1


District 14 – City of Algoma – Wards 2 & 3

Thomas Romdenne (I)


District 15 – City of Algoma – Wards 4 & 5

Linda Teske (I)

District 16 – City of Algoma – Wards 1 & 5

Virginia Haske (I)

District 17 – Town of Pierce – Ward 2, Town of Casco – Ward 3

Patrick Benes (I)

Joseph Lukes

District 18 – City of Kewaunee – Ward 1, Town of Pierce – Ward 1

Lee Luft (I)

Jeff Cmejla

District 19 – City of Kewaunee – Wards 2 & 5

John Mastalir (I)

District 20 – City of Kewaunee – Wards 3 & 4

Kaye Schillin (I)

Ships depart as Bay Shipbuilding begins to wrap up winter fleet projects

By Tim Kowols     

Sturgeon Bay residents and visitors can say good bye to big ships over the next week as Bay Shipbuilding's Winter Fleet begins to wrap up another season. After five ships left their Sturgeon Bay winter home over the weekend, another four of the six remaining are scheduled to depart over the next nine days. Vice President Todd Thayse says they were able to stay on target and on schedule.



Thayse commended the hundreds of temporary workers Bay Shipbuilding brings on every year to take the heat off the company's labor needs as they transition into more new boat building and conversion projects.

Divorce creates financial obstacles for couples

By Tim Kowols       

Going through a divorce can be a stressful time, especially when the financial details come out during the process. Couples often do not learn what kind of impact mortgages, unpaid bills, and credit card debt can have until the divorce papers are being signed. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says it can be an unsettling time.



Pustaver says financial counselors can offer a non-judgmental, professional third-party to rely on to help navigates some of the common pitfalls that may come up.


Spring break still presents learning opportunities for area students

By Tim Kowols     

Spring break at area schools is a good time to recharge before the stretch run of the academic year, but still presents opportunities for students to learn. The extended time off could cause kids once begging for time away now find themselves for looking for something to do. Karen Corekin from Northern Door Children's Center says there are ways to still stay engaged over spring break.



If the weather is not great, Corekin recommends moving around inside or cracking open a book. Schools on spring break this week include Sturgeon Bay, Sevastopol, Washington Island and Algoma.

Local organic farms could begin feeling the pinch from Texas megadairies

By Tim Kowols      

Farmers in Door and Kewaunee County hope large-scale organic dairies in Texas do not begin eating away at their bottom line or the quality of their product.  According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, six organic dairy farms in western Texas produced over 480 million pounds of milk in 2016, which was almost 25 percent more than Wisconsin's over 450 operations combined. This could lead to some dairy product producers to lean towards buying the cheaper product from Texas over local farms. Organic Valley has over 2,000 farms nationwide it gets its milk from, including seven in Door and Kewaunee Counties, and farmer Kevin Wilke of Sturgeon Bay says their concern is that everybody plays by the same rules.



Organic farmers are also seeing the price of their milk drop, which according to was at approximately $40 per hundredweight in 2016 and went down to $27 per hundredweight by the end of 2017.

Sturgeon Bay resident calls proposed housing development a threat to groundwater, archeological site

By Tim Kowols          

A former Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources archeologist says a proposed 162-unit apartment complex on a 14-acre parcel at County U and Tacoma Beach Road in Sturgeon Bay could be bad news for her groundwater and the area's history. Victoria Dirst, who owns a home a third of a mile from the proposed site, says a wetland on a part of the parcel is the source of her groundwater and could be contaminated or disappear as a result of the development of the Ahnapee Trail Apartments. She also says it could destroy some of the history associated with the site dating back to 8000 B.C.



Dirst and her neighbors also cite traffic at the intersection as a cause for concern as well. The Ahnapee Trail Apartments proposal is expected to be on the Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission agenda April 18.

Sister Bay Moravian Church chronicles Jesus' final week with nightly readings

By Eric Fischer


Sunday was the official start of Holy Week, the week leading up to Easter, and Sister Bay Moravian Church will host readings every night this week examining a chronological look at the final week of Jesus' life.  Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday will have shorter readings, all beginning at 7 pm, as they page through the Gospels to try to piece together what happened each day.  Reverend Kerry Krauss says that Holy Week teaches many lessons but also shows the rising tension between Jesus and the leaders of the temple.

Krauss adds that this week is meant to be a reflection of the struggle Jesus went through to get to the promised salvation that we know as Easter Sunday.  Sister Bay Moravian Church will have Maundy Thursday service with Holy Communion at 7 pm, and Good Friday readings at 2 pm.  The church is then vacated in silence until Sunday morning for the "Sunrise Service" at 7 am, with Breakfast at 8 am, and another worship service at 10.

Sturgeon Bay Historical Society asking for volunteers in search for artifacts

By Eric Fischer    


The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society is asking for volunteers to help sort through the remaining pieces of the Tewels and Brandeis granary building in search for artifacts for restoration.  The granary is scheduled to make its historic move Thursday morning, but sorting through the piles of wood and metal could take a few weeks.  Sturgeon Bay Historical Society President Christie Weber says that it's not every day that people get a chance to preserve a historic building.

Weber adds that those wishing to volunteer can either call her or that she will be on-site every day during the week.  The preserved and restored artifacts will be prominently featured when the restoration project is complete.  For a video of today's tour of the granary site, click the video below.

Reminder to bring photo ID to the polls

By Eric Fischer


With elections just over a week away, voters are reminded that to vote they must bring their photo ID with them.  Acceptable forms of photo ID include a Wisconsin driver's license, US Passport, a Military ID card issued by U.S. Uniformed Services, a Wisconsin DOT-issued identification card, and a student identification card issued by a Wisconsin accredited university, college, or technical college, that has date the card was issued and the signature of the student.  These ids must be unexpired or have expired after the previous general election.  Voters must also register to vote and can do so at any time, including Election Day.  Sturgeon Bay city clerk Stephanie Reinhardt explains what to do if you aren't currently registered.


Reinhardt adds that any government-issued form such as a utility bill or fishing license will work, however hospital bills do not.  Election Day is April 3rd and polls are open 7 am until 8 pm.

Sturgeon Bay Math Team has eyes on one more prize after successful season

By Eric Fischer


It's been another successful year for the Sturgeon Bay High School math team, after winning another conference title and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Academic Competition, they now have their eyes on the Wisconsin High School State Mathematics Contest.  Unlike other competitions, the State contest is proctored at each individual school and the tests are sent to the Wisconsin Mathematics Council.  Sturgeon Bay took second in last year's contest and has won as recently as 2014.  Math coach Cliff Wind says the long-term success is a credit to the kids and teachers at Sturgeon Bay.


Wind adds that regardless of how the team does in the State contest that he is proud of the students he gets to work with every day.  The results will be announced in the next Wisconsin Mathematics Council Newsletter.

Vietnam Veteran's Day celebration planned in Ellison Bay

By Eric Fischer


Vietnam era veterans will be honored and remembered as part of Vietnam War Veteran's Day on March 29th at the Military Circle of Honor, part of the Liberty Grove  Historical Society in Ellison Bay.  Vietnam War Veteran's Day was established by President Trump on March 28th,2017 and honors those who served from November 1st,1955 to May 15th,1975 across the world in the armed forces, as well members of supporting groups such as the USO and Red Cross Combat Nurses.  Vietnam-era nurse veteran Faith Murray says she sees this as a way to honor the veterans who weren't properly recognized when they came home.


Murray adds that veterans and families who are planning to attend should contact her so she can order the proper amount of pins and certificates.  The ceremony will start at noon.

Hundreds march in Green Bay as part of nationwide effort for gun reform

By Eric Fischer


Hundreds of people gathered in Green Bay on Saturday for the March for Our Lives walk and rally, as part of a student-led nationwide effort to spark change and end gun violence.  The March for Our Lives website reported that there were over 800 events coordinated with the group across the world, with the main march taking place in Washington DC.  The Green Bay march started at the City Deck on Washington Street and concluded at the Brown County Courthouse, which is just less than a half mile walk.  Wisconsin State Senator Dave Hansen joined the rally and says it was an honor to join the cause.


Hansen adds that he feels a need to make changes so that his grandchildren can feel safe in school. For further information on the March For Our Lives national campaign, or to sign their petition calling for gun reform visit their website


To hear Hansen's full speech click the video below. (Courtesy of Bill Laundrie)

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County Highway C reconstruction project starts March 26th

By Eric Fischer


Sturgeon Bay residents can expect to have to find alternate routes around town as the County Highway C/Duluth Avenue reconstruction project is set to begin March 26th.  The project will consist of several phases with the first phase being the installation of a new storm sewer beginning with the intersection of West Hickory and North Joliet Avenue, going block by block until it reaches County Highway C. Highway C will face more work with the excavation of the road, the installation of the storm sewer, as well as a new aggregate base, new curb and gutter, and new asphalt. Door County Highway Commissioner John Kolodziej says besides the weather, he doesn't expect any delays with the project.

Kolodziej adds that residents along the construction should have their mailbox moved by April 8th.  Motorists are reminded to use caution in construction areas and obey all signage.  For continuing updates during the project, people can contact Sturgeon Bay City Engineer, Chad Shefchik.

Celebrate EGGStravagaza at Crossroads at Big Creek

By Eric Fischer


On March 31st, Crossroads at Big Creek will be taking a different approach to celebrating Easter with the EGGStravagaza, where instead of hunting for eggs, families will crack, break, throw and drop eggs out of a window.  Each family will also dissect an egg, along with a chance to view two videos about a chick's development inside the egg.  Coggin Heeringa, Director of Crossroads at Big Creek says people will be amazed how strong eggs truly are.

Heeringa adds that the symbolism of eggs with Easter and spring has several ties, from rebirth in Pagan cultures to the opening of the tomb in Christianity.  The event is free to attend and starts at 1 pm at the Collins Learning Center.

Removal of Kewaunee's Marquette School could get pricier with discovery of PCBs

By Tim Kowols

        The bill could keep growing for the city of Kewaunee's plans to demolish the former Marquette School. A recent analysis of the building found PCBs, an environmentally persistent and hazardous chemical that could have an adverse effect on people's health. This means the demolished materials will have to be trucked to an approved location in Illinois or Minnesota, which adds to the cost depending on the levels. The city is currently accepting bids for the demolition of Marquette School so officials can get a better idea of the costs, but Kewaunee Mayor Sandi Christman says the public will have to ask itself "if not us who, and if not now when?"



The city will host a pre-bid meeting and walk through on April 3, with final bids due April 12.

Jaeger takes on another term as Washington Island Chairperson

By Tim Kowols

           It was not how he thought it would happen, but Gordon Jaeger will sit as the chairperson of the Washington Island Town Board for the first time in 15 years. Jaeger was appointed to the post following the death of town chairperson John Rader earlier this month. He would have preferred people apply to take on the role, but the town had meetings in the near future and had no one to sign checks for town business. Jaeger served on the town board before in the past after stops in four different states as a city manager. Reflecting on a lifetime of public service, Jaeger is happy serving the people on the island he and his wife fell in love with many years ago.



Jaeger says one of his first meetings as the town chairperson will be Monday as they discuss the island's wastewater treatment plan.

Local musician teaching new minds

By Eric Fischer


Local musician Josh Gregory is trying his hand at teaching, offering half-hour piano lessons to kids.  Gregory has played with a number of groups including Little Marsh Overflow and is currently playing in the Adam Haste Band.  Gregory says the kids he is teaching are excited to learn and are finding that the piano can be a cool instrument too.

Gregory adds that music teaches traditional skills such as math and rhythm but also creativity and improvising to add a unique twist to a piece.  To register your child for lessons, contact Josh Gregory.

Lakeshore CAP looking for donations

By Eric Fischer


Lakeshore CAP food pantry is looking for donations of soup, tuna, oatmeal, and peanut butter as the popularity of these items make it hard to keep them on the shelves.  The pantry is available for those in need from 11-4 on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Lakeshore CAP manager Sandi Soik explains what to bring if you plan on receiving food.

Soik adds she wants to thank the community for all the donations of food and money, and that money goes a long way as the pantry purchases food at 19 cents per pound.  Donations can be made during Lakeshore CAP's business hours Tuesday through Thursday from 11 am to 4 pm.

Sturgeon Bay Common Council Candidates head into final weeks of campaign


             The radio stations of played host to the six candidates vying for three seats on the Sturgeon Bay Common Council this past week in a series of candidate forums. Below you will find complete audio from those three forums that aired live on 104.1 WRLU and Facebook and the candidates' answers to our questions before their February primary. Election day is April 3 and 96.7 WBDK will carry live coverage beginning right after the polls close.

Please begin by sharing some basic background information that qualifies you for the city council

Rich Wiesner: I know how to represent the people of District 4 and I will represent the people of this district. I live on the Westside, I was raised on the Westside, I work on the Westside – I know what happens here and what this area needs. Advancement and promotion of the Westside matters to the residents and businesses alike.

Kelly Avenson: I am a working millennial mother with an entrepreneurial drive that has chosen to invest in and plant my roots in Sturgeon Bay.  I own and operate two business in our historic downtown, sit on multiple boards and volunteer for other nonprofits such as the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center board and the Women's Fund of Door County.

David Hayes:  I've been a civil servant for 25 years - 4 years in the US Navy and 21 years in the National Park Service (NPS). While in the NPS, I sat for 6 years on the Metropolitan DC Council of Governments representing the Department of Interior. This is an equivalent to our city council but with appointed officials from municipalities, county, state and federal agencies. We reviewed and approved multi-billion dollar projects within the Capital.


Bob Starr: I've lived in District 2 of Sturgeon Bay for most of my life. I've worked in the real estate business for about 35 years and mostly focus on helping our realtors solve problems with transactions. I served as Alderman for the District from 1994-1998 and then served as Mayor from 1998-2001. I feel it is time to serve again since our current Alderman has decided to retire from city service.

Stewart Fett: I have served as Alderman for the city of Sturgeon Bay for seven years, Sturgeon Bay Utilities President for ten years and a member of the Sturgeon Bay Utilities Commission for thirteen. I am chairperson of the Finance/Purchasing & Building Committee and the Board of Public Works. I serve on the Parks Committee, Recreation Committee, Loan, Review/Revolving Loan Committee and Personnel Committee.  Past Government Experience: Chair, Cable Communication System Advisory Council, Chair, Community Protection & Service Committee, Member, Parking & Traffic Committee, Member, Harbor Commission, Member, Waterfront Redevelopment Authority. I am a member of the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Door County and on their executive board. I volunteer on The Boys & Girls Club facilities committee. I serve the community as a member of Loaves and Fishes and the Sturgeon Bay Lions Club. I am a member of St. Joseph Parish where I assist as an usher and Eucharistic Minister. I, along with my wife Theresa, conduct communion services at several assisted living facilities in Sturgeon Bay on a monthly basis.

Seth Wiederanders: 45, male Single, never married, Proud uncle, Class of 1991, SBHS, Resident of District 6 since 2001, Certified Peer Specialist and Resource Coordinator at JAKs Place(A program of Lakeshore CAP), Board member of League of Women Voters of Door County, Comprehensive Community Services Regional Steering Committee, Lakeshore CAP Board and Executive/Finance Committee 2009-2016, Comprehensive Community Services/Coordinate Services Team/Children's Community Options Committee


Why do you want to serve in public office?

Rich Wiesner: I am running for office to represent the people of District 4. I'm not looking to help a special interest group nor do I have predetermined stance on any issue where the facts are still being assembled. My constituents' needs and views will always come first. The Westside to poised for some major advancements and would like to help it happen.

Kelly Avenson: I am running for City Council because I want to build a Sturgeon Bay that is vibrant and sustainable so when my son is grown and is finding his way, he is not looking at a city that is in debt, all its history erased, and with nothing but seasonal or low paying jobs to show for it.  I want to be sure the City of Sturgeon Bay invests in its people - making our roads pedestrian and bike friendly and repaired in a timely manner; maintaining streetlights for the safety of our residents; embracing our heritage and history to deepen our town's appeal and stability; encouraging development and creatively and proactively bringing in businesses that pay a living wage; and truly addressing the housing issue that plagues us.  It is time to invest in us, the people that live and work in this town year-round.  I feel a fresh and younger perspective is needed in City Hall.  I also feel it is my time to take on the responsibilities that come along with being elected to represent not just District 4 but all of Sturgeon Bay.

David Hayes: Public service can be a very rewarding and productive process - I've seen how it can and should work for the public, the infrastructure, resources and our future as a community. I have not seen it working here in Sturgeon Bay. My experiences outside of Sturgeon Bay have given me an insight on how to build consensus, address controversial issues and find common goals and strategies so that Sturgeon Bay and its citizens can improve and move forward together. That is why I want to be City Council Alderman.


Bob Starr: I always thought the circumstances were right I would consider running for public office again. I am ready to use my experience to help our city government run in a more effective manner.

Stewart Fett: I believe I am the best candidate to serve district 6 on the City Council for the following reasons. First, I have been a resident of the city of Sturgeon Bay for 33 years.  Second, through my positions as Alderman on the city council and its various committees, my involvement in community organizations and the volunteer positions I hold, I have witnessed many different perspectives of the city.   Third, I have gained significant experience being a member of the city council. During the past 7 years I have worked hard to provide increased economic opportunity to the citizens of Sturgeon Bay by cultivating a climate where existing businesses like Cadence Inc., Therma-Tron-X, Wire Tech, Hatco, and Pro Products Inc. were able to expand their business.  Overall, the value of the Industrial Park grew by 9.2 million dollars from 2014 through 2017, a 28% increase.  Fourth, I served on the Parks Committee which invested in the waterfront parkway that extends from Memorial Drive to Stone Harbor and from Sawyer Park to Obtumba Park for our citizens and tourists to have easy access and enjoy our many city parks. Lastly, I listen to the people who live in this fine city and I will continue to do so. I use their input to form my decisions on what is needed, so we as a community continue to grow, prosper and enhance our quality of life.

Seth Wiederanders: I am a long time student of politics and policy. I believe that we are currently misrepresented at every level of government. My generation and younger people need to get involved. Social media is a great way to get new ideas out but change will only happen when younger people choose to act. I would like to do my part at the local level by representing District 6 on the City Council.



Will you support evening meetings of the Sturgeon Bay City Council? Why or why not?

Rich Wiesner: I will support meeting to occur anytime the council chooses to have them, but I believe the city council meeting should be held during normal business hours. We have better attendance at the current noon meeting then we had at the 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. meetings in 2012 and 2013. I don't believe that the time matters as much as the subject matter does.

Kelly Avenson: Yes, absolutely.  There are people that would like to participate and attend the meetings and share their voice but are unable due to the timing.  I do not agree that Council meetings are to just conduct business, I believe it is also to hear from the people of this town so we can gather their input and make sure we take in all views and opinions before making decisions.  We are not only limiting people's voices -- we are limiting those who can run for office or serve on committees, and we are limited to a City Council that doesn't represent the people it serves.  We need to open the door so working citizens of all backgrounds and ages can run and be heard or we are failing an important portion of our population.

David Hayes: I will support evening Council meetings - public engagement is not easy but it makes for a better informed community and projects that benefit the majority.


Bob Starr: I would support evening meetings as well as noon meetings and have no strong feelings either way. If it were decided to return to evening meetings, I would only request a starting time of 6:00 so everyone can be at home a bit earlier.

Stewart Fett: I have served on both the city council and the Sturgeon Bay Utilities Commission. I have attended morning, noon, afternoon, and evening meetings. Sturgeon Bay has a full service hospital, a vibrant manufacturing base and active tourist industry; all work around the clock. Unfortunately, there is no meeting time that will accommodate all of our citizens. However, I understand our citizens want to be able to attend the meetings so they can be more involved in the direction the city is going.  If a change in the meeting time will increase the opportunity to be involved in the way that they want, I would support changing the meeting time.


Seth Wiederanders: I support evening meetings so that more working people can attend, observe, and participate.



Would you support a study to evaluate the combination of the city fire and police chief positions into a public safety director?

Rich Wiesner: I would not support such a study. These roles are too important and specialized to consider a singular leadership position. To jeopardize the safety of a single person by eliminating a chief position is a risk I'm not willing to take. I would rather eliminate paying the council members.

Kelly Avenson: Yes, I believe evaluating and considering creative ideas and promising scenarios to help the City's efficiency and improve service to the community is the only way to make the best decision for our City.

David Hayes: I would support a Study that looks at all positions in the City Government - we call that in the Federal Government a Position Management Plan. The crux is to interview each employee and their job description and determine the "value added" element; the connectivity within the bureaucracy and with the public; and any redundancy.


Bob Starr: I would not be opposed to reviewing what other communities our size do relating to staffing of police/fire departments.  I would only support spending the tax monies for a "study" should we find that many other communities our size consolidate such positions. Consolidating these positions may be difficult due to the need to stay on top of increased mandated regulations. However, it is always a good idea to review how a more efficient way of operating might take place, especially, in the 0% percent levy increase environment we are now living in.

Stewart Fett: Today's police force deals with many types of crimes, including fraud, theft, physical abuse, an opioid epidemic, just to name a few. This requires them to be experts in their field. Our Fire Department deals with fire, water, high angle, confined space rescues and modern firefighting techniques. I believe adding a level of administration is not what the taxpayers expect.

This idea comes around every few years.  Most recently the City examined this concept in 2011.  If there were cause to investigate and explore the concept then I might be amenable to such a study.


Seth Wiederanders: I assume the study would be to evaluate the current Chiefs positions in order to cut costs. I am in favor of streamlining to save money. I would  suggest a study to look at combining of the positions of SB Police Chief and Door County Sheriff and the possible combining of the Fire Departments of Door County under one Chief. Streamlining and reducing administration costs are tactics I would support.


What will you do to get rid of the ugly dirt piles on the Sturgeon Bay west-side waterfront?

Rich Wiesner: I will continue to work to find a financially self-sufficient development project for this area. These dirt piles are staged to fill the site with clean fill when development occurs. To spend city funds to move these piles isn't fiscally responsible right now.

Kelly Avenson: The dirt piles represent the lack of communication and lack of a plan for the Westside.  It is my understanding the city doesn't want to spread them out as it is currently valuable clean fill needed to cap off any area that will be developed, since that area has previous contaminants.  Now that we have an ordinary high water mark, it is time for the City move forward with the approved remediation plan, spread and cap the fill -- since the dirt piles aren't appealing to the current businesses and residents and certainly not attractive for future developers. I am running for Council to proactively move forward with positive westside waterfront plans that truly incorporate the community's voices.

David Hayes: First thing would be to level them (within 4 months), keeping in mind storm water run-off. Then I would conduct a "design charrette" workshop with the public to see if there are any imaginative ideas out there about landscaping, so that the area does not look like a dumping ground, but rather a place to "come together". This phase could take a year or two to complete.

Bob Starr: The dirt piles are not a pretty site and I'm sure the city never envisioned they would still be there in 2018. However, at this point I feel they can stay in place and be utilized for or removed once a new development plan is put in place for the property.  I don't support spending monies to remove them before that takes place.

Stewart Fett: The dirt piles are a result of litigation preventing the redevelopment of the former Co-op property.  The piles were originally placed there in anticipation of the cap required by the DNR as part of the voluntary party liability exemption, as well as flood plain protection.  While it is easy to say the piles should be moved, it would be at a significant expense and could mean that the materials couldn't later be reused without significant environmental testing.  Likewise, spreading the piles out on the site without knowing precisely where they should be could make the clean fill become mixed with the existing soils, which would result in the clean fill becoming dirty.


Seth Wiederanders: It is inexcusable that this issue persists. Clean fill is an asset to the city and I think it could be used elsewhere. Maybe we could move it to the Municipal property on 14th Ave for storage until it can be utilized.


What can you do to as a city council member to bring factions of the community together?

Rich Wiesner: I'm not sure that anyone can bring these side together. The factions would need to be willing to compromise with each other in order to make that happen. Right now, it appears that the factions have a winner take all mentality. I have always been willing to talk to, listen to and discuss any problem with any constituent. These discussions are the basis of the representation that I provide.

Kelly Avenson:  Bring back night meetings, bring back public comment at Council meetings, hold listening sessions when needed to gather more public input and to be able to have dialogue, and encourage the appointments of diverse viewpoints and ages to committees.

David Hayes: Open up the dialogue first. As a facilitator for the NPS in the highly contentious US Capital I've had lots of experiences bringing people together to figure out a future where every voice is heard, respected, and developed into a plan that has multiple strategies reaching a mutually agreed common goal or vision. This can only work if people leave their egos outside, listen, speak and have patience with each other and themselves and listen some more. It also helps to bring in someone from the outside who does not have a personal agenda and can help see through the muddy backgrounds/egos/opinions and help all the participants clarify their thoughts and ideas.


Bob Starr:  I will work to help establish respect for citizens and elected officials alike. Improved communication and explanation of thoughts and positions will help to create a better understanding of decisions that are being made. When I was Mayor, I would do a monthly radio show and allow call-ins so that citizens could interact directly and hear my positions more thoroughly. Things like that can go a long way towards mutual understanding. With that said, everyone should respect each other's opinion when discussing the issues of the day.

Stewart Fett: Our city is made up of diverse people with diverse ideas. One of the greatest challenges in modern city governance is communication with the public. For years, newspaper, television and radio were the principal means of mass communication, all that has changed. For interested people, residents can now watch a council or plan commission meeting from the comfort of their own home, via both the City's cable access channel and live streaming on the City's website. Minutes and recorded meetings are posted on the website as well and current updates are given on the city's social media Facebook page. The city has invested monies in public communications infrastructure. Continued investment in modern communication technology and methods is imperative for engaging the citizenry and delivering the best possible services. Also, civility is an important factor if strong commitments and ideas are going to be communicated and considered. I will make the point that the citizens of Sturgeon Bay agree on 90% of issues; such as the need for street improvements, economic development, community fire and police protection and the need for a nice business district spanning the east and west side.


Seth Wiederanders: I would encourage each council member to actively seek out interested constituents in their districts and make the effort to meet with them. I believe that accurate and honest representation is possible and that transparent governing will bring the community together.



Do you share the belief expressed by some that city government is wasting money on legal fees?

Rich Wiesner: I don't believe the city is wasting fund that could be used on the roads on legal fees. I and the westside businesses believe that the city should have been using these funds to work on the redevelopment of the westside waterfront area.

Kelly Avenson: I believe the city has wasted time and money on unnecessary litigation.  They were made aware of the issue with Lot 92 back in 2013 but they continued anyway.  Then when the public was aware of that issue and brought it to their attention again in early 2015 they again continued as if they not need to worry about it.  From what I have gathered, they have wasted time and money by not taking the advice of their legal counsel multiple times during that last few years.  There is roughly $200,000 in interest debt services that the city has incurred via the borrowing of the TID dollars, money borrowed without a plan for the westside, that is frivolous and it is costing us as taxpayers.

David Hayes: A lot of the legal fees are paid from other sources not our general fund. What I do think is being wasted or lost is time and energy. Time from city staff hours even some county staff hours. Energy also from city staff, this is energy that could be applied to ""community- building" and our infrastructure. It is draining to the spirit of Sturgeon Bay, when there is so much negativity and mistrust between the citizens and the administration and between the citizens themselves.


Bob Starr: Although the city has insurance coverage for most legal expenses, I think it would be ideal if the city did not have to spend any monies on defending itself in lawsuits.

Stewart Fett: Civil society and hence governance is based on the rule of law, and sometimes the legal issues can become very complex, very quickly and adequate legal counsel is needed to avoid further complications or worse, violating the law itself.  The City's general annual legal expenses are under $45,000 per year. Legal fees and street maintenance are generally born out of two separate funds, or pots of money, if you will; they are the General Fund and the Capital Fund. Sometimes, in special circumstances special legal counsel is required, but that is the exception, rather than rule.  With respect to street maintenance and improvements expenses, the City currently spends about $750,000.0 on streets and needs to increase that by $720,000.00 per year to get streets from a 55 year replacement rate down to 25-30 year replacement rate. The underlying need for additional street improvement funding is not only in Sturgeon Bay but across the State of Wisconsin as well.


Seth Wiederanders: Yes. I don't think the lawsuits would have been filed if the city government had been more cautious in its decisions concerning the west side waterfront. There were clearly steps in the process that were not taken in the hopes that no one would dig into the legal implications of building on protected land and without waiting for the determination of the Original High Water Mark.



What are the major issues facing the City of Sturgeon Bay?

Rich Wiesner: My opinion of the major issues of the city are the lack of affordable housing, lack of proper road funding, lack of local workforce for local businesses/manufacturers and the aging population of our citizens.

Kelly Avenson: What I have heard from talking with many citizens: residents are most concerned with the quality of our roads, the affordable housing shortage and lack of year-round living wage jobs. I believe that open discussion, creative city planning, and collaboration with partners like the Door County Economic Development Corporation, the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center and the Door County Community Foundation can lead to effective solutions.

Bob Starr: Bringing our road conditions back to acceptable levels and maintaining services to the citizens are the major issues I would concentrate on if elected.

David Hayes: The City needs to renew trust between the citizens and the administration. To do this the administration needs to open up as many channels of dialogue, encourage different opinions, ask for understanding from the citizens and ask the citizens to be clear about their thoughts - provide constructive criticism not just venting and personal attacks. When the citizens trust their local government, good things will happen that benefits the community not just the folks who have a personal connection to the administration.


Stewart Fett: Providing  economic opportunities to families must be our number one priority.   My service on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Door County has raised my awareness of the alarming number of children who qualify for free or subsidized lunch.  To provide better paying job opportunities we must build an environment that enables our businesses to succeed and grow.  Many of our hard-working citizens are now reaching retirement age.  This will provide opportunities for our youth.  We must do all that we can to ensure that our youth recognize and are prepared to seize these opportunities. Along with the idea of attracting young people to relocate or stay in Sturgeon Bay, the city must continue to address the housing shortage.

Seth Wiederanders: We need to fix our roads and find someway to increase funds so that we can maintain our roads in the future. We need more affordable housing and childcare. We need more living wage jobs that will draw younger people with families to our city. We need to make the West Side Waterfront into a destination that draws in tourist dollars and at the same time provides long term, family sustaining jobs.


What are your views on west side waterfront development?

Rich Wiesner:  The westside is ready and wanting for the redevelopment of the Coop parcel. Now that the city knows where the high-water  mark is, staff can work with developers to best utilize this area for public and private use.

Kelly Avenson: I believe that the City has missed opportunities over the past 3+ years that would've already yielded a hotel and possible other development.  I believe they are missing further opportunities to embrace a 1.25 million dollar investment into an area that they currently have no plan for, and in doing that they are also completely overlooking the possibility for another development, that of a brewery for that area.  It is time to stop fighting and start working together, otherwise we all lose.

David Hayes: It is clear to me that the Westside Waterfront Development is focused on economic development - how much money is generated directly by the development of the waterfront. That approach is short-sighted, narrow and typically not sustainable for the larger community. That approach also misses any indirect economic improvements outside the developed area. When a community develops only for direct capital improvements they typically do not look at any indirect community improvements. Folks visit and move here for the clean air, water resources and quiet neighborhoods not just for a job that may or may not pay a living wage.


Bob Starr:  My views on the west side waterfront have not changed since it was brought forth several years back. The redevelopment needs to include some type of commercial tax-paying project such as a restaurant, hotel, or retail so that significant taxes are generated to provide funding for public improvements along the waterfront. This is by far the part of the process most people do not understand. The commercial project needs to work in support of the West Side business community so that customers have more options and reasons to shop and stay on the West Side. The law suit and recent change to the OHWM by the DNR, which is quite a change from their initial position expressed to the city in 2013 has certainly made the planning for the site more difficult and complicated.

Stewart Fett:  It is my opinion that the undeveloped portion of the West Waterfront is a great opportunity for the City of Sturgeon Bay, which is why I voted to purchase the property in 2012. This property presents an opportunity to construct great public space connecting Sawyer Park to the south and the Maritime Museum to the north without increasing the property taxes of the residents and business owners in the City of Sturgeon Bay.  The other pieces of the redeveloped West Waterfront, from Sawyer Harbor to Obtumba Park are a great testament to the City's successful use of tax incremental financing and an asset to the businesses and residents of the west side and all of the Sturgeon Bay and Door County.


Seth Wiederanders: We don't need another hotel. We need something that draws people in and makes the west-side waterfront a tourist destination that competes with the rest of Door County. I really like the idea of building a satellite college campus linked to an established university already in Wisconsin.


Would you support or oppose the elimination of the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority and the assumption of its responsibilities by the council or planning commission?

Rich Wiesner: I'm not sure that I understand the desire to eliminate the group and I do not support eliminating the WRA. This group was commissioned to help develop the waterfront areas of the city. Should we eliminate every group that doesn't support the view of one group.

Kelly Avenson: I would like to have open discussion to understand in depth its formation, history, and whether there is ongoing need or whether they have fulfilled their job and it is time to dissolve.  If upon evaluation we found some of their responsibilities are still needed but could be merged into that of another commission or to that of the council to be more effective and efficient, then I would support dissolving of the WRA.

David Hayes: The concept is good - the name is wrong. I don't think the WRA is an authorizing body but an advisory body.  Change it to Waterfront Community Board - that would make it clear that it is advisory, its focus is on the waterfront and the community. The Board would then look at economic development that is a subset of Community Development, Infrastructure Development, and Social/Cultural Development. When all three subsets of Community Development (Economic Development, Infrastructure Development, Social/Cultural Development) are engaged and explored by the community, the administration and the Board, then the outcome or goal is almost always a positive experience for the community and a brighter uplifting future for everyone.


Bob Starr: The Waterfront Redevelopment Authority is made up of (4) appointed citizens and (2) elected Alderpersons and such citizen involvement should not be given up. It has overseen the redevelopment of all downtown waterfront areas for many years and I support the structure of that committee. Further, most of their decisions are ratified by the City Council so there is adequate review and confirmation.

Stewart Fett: The Waterfront Redevelopment Authority serves an important role in the City of Sturgeon Bay.  Originally established in 1990, the WRA has been the vehicle to help the City identify, analyze and pursue redevelopment opportunities in the City.  The City's WRA authority is significantly less than what is authorized by statute, making them more of an advisory board than independent authority.  Eliminating the WRA would mean reducing the opportunity for citizens to serve, provide valuable input, and reduce opportunities for participation in decision making in the City of Sturgeon Bay.  I would not support any move to reduce opportunity for citizen participation in local government and oppose the concentration of power in an elective body subject to the political whims of the day.


Seth Wiederanders: I think we need to review the rules under which the WRA operates. The WRA should be only an advisory committee to the City Council if it is to be kept in place. I think elected officials would represent the will of the people better than the unelected officials that now comprise the WRA.

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L-C School District looking to pass combined $26 million referendum April 3

By Paul Schmitt

Luxemburg and Casco voters will be facing two big referendum questions on April 3rd.  The Luxemburg-Casco School District will have two questions on the ballot impacting the future of the school.  Question one request funding  for building additions, remodels, and other improvements at the Primary, Intermediate and High School including a three-station gymnasium.  That calls for no more than $15.9 million.  The second question, which would not exceed 11.9 million, calls for a new Middle School at the south end of the High School by accommodating the relocation of seventh and eighth grade classes from the existing Casco Middle School and utilizing it as an Alternative High School.    Matt Piesler, a member of the "Vote Yes " committee, says having a brand new Middle School makes long-term sense.


Dave Delain, who served on the Luxemburg-Casco School Board from 2006 to 2015, says he is not against question number one but he does not see a need to move the Middle School.


Delain also cites safety concerns of middle school students crossing County AB in Luxemburg for outdoor activities.  The two referendum questions put forward by the Luxemburg-Casco School District requires question one to pass first in order for question two to be relevant.  You can watch a 22-minute video presentation on the L-C School referendum with this story below.


Granary on schedule for "historic" trek next week

By Paul Schmitt   

A historic building in Sturgeon Bay will be making history next week.  The Teweles and Brandeis Grain Elevator is less than one week away from its new home on the Sturgeon Bay Waterfront's east side.  The structure was moved from its original foundation on Wednesday and is being prepped to journey across the Maple-to-Oregon Street Bridge early next Thursday morning.  Sturgeon Bay Historical Society President Christie Weber says the 117-year-old building will be making history on its ride over to the new location.



Webber estimates that the granary's trip across the bridge will take two hours and start at about 7 a.m. on Thursday.  The gravel pad has been put in place at the new location just off South 1st Avenue and the granary will be wheeled on to a position facing the channel to maintain its integrity to the water, according to Weber.  She says engineers are working on drawing plans to place the granary on pilings which will be located on private land behind the public area known as Graham Park.


Assembly adds gun control measures with school safety bills

By Tim Kowols

              Buyers of rifles and shotguns would go through the same background checks as handgun purchasers in a bill passed by the Assembly Thursday as a part of a larger school security package. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the new rules would make sure no prohibited buyers would be missed as the federal government improves its background check system. The Assembly supported school safety measures in a 78-6 bipartisan vote that included $100 million in grants for districts to upgrade their security and require safety drills.  First District Rep. Joel Kitchens says the bill does not solve all of the issues but believes it will be good for the state.



While many of the school safety measures will head to Governor Scott Walker's desk for his signature, the gun control bill heads to the Senate, which ended its general business floor period for the year on Thursday.

Door County family fighting to keep small farm from disappearing

By Tim Kowols


Lagging milk prices are driving smaller farms out of business nationwide, forcing one Door County couple to go through unconventional means to keep their operation. Dale and Karen Cihlar's farm has been in the family since 1873, but a streak of bad luck with cows has decimated its milking herd to 23 while a new manure storage area to keep up with county ordinance nearly wiped out their savings. With lending institutions denying loans to small dairy farms due to low commodity prices like milk, the Cihlars joined several other families across the country relying on social fundraising sites to raise the necessary funds to keep their operations running. Dale Cihlar says he is not sure the best route to go to help farmers out, but knows something needs to be done to help close the gap between the price of milk and the cost of production.



Cihlar estimates milk prices need to be at least three dollars higher than the current $14.00 price per hundredweight for his operation to make a profit. According to the Associated Press, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection says the number of dairies has fallen 20 percent in the last five years, many of which had herds of 50 cows or less.

Door County Medical Center continues plans for new skilled nursing center

By Tim Kowols

            Door County Medical Center is in the early stages of its structural plans for a new skilled nursing care facility at its Sturgeon Bay campus. Currently located on its top floor, the Skilled Nursing Facility would move its 30 beds to the ground level of a new building to be located on the campus' southwest corner. The project had to be scaled down when Door County Medical Center did not receive extra beds above the statewide limit of 30 in the last biennial budget. Door County Medical Center CEO Jerry Worrick expects the facility to be ready in just over a year.



Worrick hopes to break ground this summer and says it will take close to 11 months to build.

Algoma Youth Club building undergoing changes

By Tim Kowols

                The home of the Algoma Youth Club is undergoing some changes to better serve the community that rents its spaces. The turn-of-the-century factory now community center is getting a new door entrance to serve as an emergency exit for Knudson Hall in the building's upstairs. Algoma Parks and Recreation Director Sara Robertson says it will also provide access to the building for other events when the Algoma Youth Club is not open on the ground floor.



In addition to some other small cosmetic changes, the Algoma Youth Club plans to next improve their lighting system with more energy efficient technology. The Algoma Youth Club host several events throughout the year and is open for teenagers to have a safe place to hang out on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Editorial Comment: More Reasons To Vote NO on PRAT Tax

By Roger Utnehmer

Sturgeon Bay taxpayers are footing a $12,000 bill to turn city government into a propaganda machine. Council members voted to hire a Green Bay public relations firm to promote passage of the one-half percent Premier Resort Area Tax. The $800,000 a year raised with the PRAT tax would be used to finance street construction and maintenance.

Spending taxpayer dollars to promote propaganda is a waste of money that would be much better spent patching potholes.

Hiring a Green Bay firm to handle the city public relations campaign also insults those who promote the Door County Buy Local Initiative. This money was spent without even asking for proposals or giving local public relations firms an opportunity to do the work.

So, in addition to the PRAT tax on the ballot April 3rd being a short-term local solution to a long-term state-wide problem these are two more reasons to vote NO. There are better ways to pay for streets, roads and highways than a bigger Sturgeon Bay sales tax.

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

Dyckesville and Algoma Lions Clubs' huge "Roar off the Shore" is this Saturday

By Paul Schmitt   

Two Lions Clubs in Kewaunee County are working together again on the ever-growing "Roar off the Shore" this Saturday.  The Kewaunee and Dyckesville Lions Clubs are hosting the event at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm.  Kewaunee Lions Club member Mike Walston says they anticipate a crowd of over 850 based on pre-ticket sales.  This is the 12th annual beerfest, which was originally called "Roar on the Shore" when it was held in Kewaunee.  Walston says the Luxemburg location has made for a bigger and better event.



The afternoon will include beer and wine sampling, food and music with free public transportation of bus shuttling from Algoma and Kewaunee to Luxemburg and back during the event.  All Proceeds raised are donated to charities, other local non-profits and help with natural disaster relief.   You can find ticket information on the Lions Clubs' "Roar off the Shore" with the link below.

Algoma's big waterfront plans moving forward

By Paul Schmitt    

A day of meetings in Algoma Wednesday will go a long way in making improvements to the already impressive Crescent Beach in Algoma.  A kick-off meeting between the city's management team and JJR Consultants covered the future projects that are planned over the next four to five years, according to City Administrator Jeff Wiswell.  Wiswell describes what the city has in mind.



Wiswell says after a discussion and tour of the beach site, a public dialogue session was held getting feedback from about 20 local attendees.  Many of which stated positively about the impressive length and depth of the beach while others requested better parking and handicap accessibility, according to Wiswell.   The consulting firm will return to Algoma in four to eight weeks to give their conclusions for the Crescent Beach plan.

E-mail could provide potential link for west side waterfront dirt pile removal

By Tim Kowols

                A 2015 e-mail from former Sturgeon Bay City Engineer Tony Depies could provide clarity for the future of the dirt piles on the west waterfront. During Tuesday's Common Council meeting, District 1 alderperson Kelly Catarozoli discussed the email in question, stating Depies said Bayland Builders made the request to store the fill on the site for the proposed hotel and would remove it if it was not used. City administrator Josh Van Lieshout said during the meeting he had not seen the agreement between the city and Bayland Buildings after Catarozoli requested a copy of the agreement. With the city tangled in a lawsuit with developer Bob Papke over the nixed project, Catarozoli says determining the ownership of the piles could help move things along.



Placing the fill on the property was never voted on by the Sturgeon Bay Common Council according to Catarozoli, who says a lawsuit with the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront was imminent when it occurred.

Judge orders special elections for Senate District 1, Republican Renard ready to run

By Tim Kowols and Paul Schmitt

                Dane County Circuit Judge Josann Reynolds ordered Governor Scott Walker Thursday to call special elections for both Senate District 1 and Assembly District 42 by next week, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Senate District 1, which covers Door and Kewaunee County, was represented by Frank Lasee until he resigned in December to take a job in Governor Scott Walker's administration. Campaign advisor Dylan Lange told that Alex Renard, who announced his candidacy earlier this month, would run for the post if a special election is called.

Senator Dave Hansen, a vocal opponent of the decision to not host a special election, said in a news release "The decision by Judge Reynolds that Governor Walker should immediately call special elections in the 1st Senate District and 42nd Assembly District is a victory for anyone who still believe in democracy and that the people deserve to have their concerns represented in the Legislature."

Door County Maritime Museum hopeful shipwrecks exhibit provides boost to area

By Tim Kowols

              The Door County Maritime Museum is hopeful the May opening of its new Shipwrecks of Door County exhibit provides a boost to not just its mission but to the Sturgeon Bay area. The museum received a $39,550 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant from the Department of Tourism for a statewide rollout promoting the exhibit, which will feature water physics experiments, a reimagining of the shipwreck Louisiana, and other interactive exhibits. Executive Director Amy Paul says the new exhibit should bring extra excitement to the museum.



Paul hopes the exhibit gives the community a preview of the types of displays it hopes to host inside its planned Maritime Tower, which is still in its fundraising stage.

District 6 candidates weigh in on Sturgeon Bay resort tax during forum on 104.1 WRLU

By Tim Kowols

                      Sturgeon Bay Common Council District 6 candidates Stewart Fett and Seth Wiederanders both gave their support for the half-percent Premier Resort Area Tax during their candidate forum on 104.1 WRLU Thursday morning. Wiederanders likes that the city can expect a certain amount of money from it, but would want to see it capped.



Fett says he is in favor of it because of the community input that went into going with a referendum on the PRAT.



Fett and Wiederanders also touched on the hiring of a Green Bay public relations firm to promote the PRAT locally, pedestrian and cyclist safety, and other issues facing Sturgeon Bay during their 60-minute forum available online with this story. You can also visit the Web site to listen to our other forums held this week with the Sturgeon Bay Common Council candidates for District 2 and District 4.

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Democratic senator renews case for special election as Legislature weighs in on school safety

By Tim Kowols

             With the Wisconsin Legislature's school safety debate as its background, State Senator Dave Hansen renewed his call for a special election for Senate District 1, which covers Door and Kewaunee Counties. According to a release from Sen. Hansen, the district represents over 170,000 people, including 26,000 children affected by the Senate's passage of a $100 million school safety bill Tuesday that provides schools with one-time grants needed to make security improvements, train staff, and put police officers in schools. Sen. Hansen was one of four dissenting votes on the bill and says in some degree it is taxation and school safety without representation.



The vacant seat in Senate District 1 was created when former state senator Frank Lasee resigned last December to take a position in Governor Scott Walker's administration. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the Assembly will take up the school safety bill on Thursday.

Washington Island Ferry service grows this week, adds Rock Island trip this summer

By Tim Kowols

              The Washington Island Ferry Line not only expands its service this weekend in time for the spring season, it also plans on adding an additional trip from Washington Island to Rock Island this summer.  The service from Northport on the county's mainland to Washington Island increases from two roundtrips daily to six beginning at 7 a.m. Friday and will lift the requirement of advance vehicle reservations until next winter.  The ferry line will also add an additional Saturday night trip to Rock Island at 6 p.m. beginning June 23. Washington Island Ferry President Hoyt Purinton says they are just responding to the demand for the service.



Purinton says this summer will determine if the extra trip to Rock Island from Jackson Harbor will be kept for next year. The Washington Island Ferry will increase the number of round-trips it makes from six to eleven beginning April 28.

Kewaunee residents weigh in on waterfront plans

By Tim Kowols

                       Kewaunee residents were given another opportunity to weigh in on plans to make its lakefront and downtown more of a destination earlier this week. Hundreds of students, residents, and visitors first gave their opinions via a survey before the UW-Extension and Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation held a public charrettes presentation in January. The public meeting Monday was an opportunity to see the plans again, with a focus on connecting the marinas and the waterfront with the rest of the city. Kewaunee Mayor Sandi Christman says feedback has been positive so far because the waterfront steering committee was able to take all the feedback they have received and put into the plan.



Christman says the city would like to get help from a planner to help streamline which projects get done first and finding the necessary funds. You can learn more about the plans and find a link to submit your own feedback online with this story.

New jail location decision awaiting Kewaunee County board members after elections

By Paul Schmitt    

The Kewaunee County Board held their final meeting prior to next Tuesday's election and Chair Bob Weidner says one issue that will be awaiting the new board this year will be a new jail building.  Weidner says a Jail Needs Assessment Study will be the first step.



Weidner says a new building site is needed since the current courthouse location does not provide sufficient space for a jail.  He says the county owns five or six acres in the city of Kewaunee which may or may not be big enough to for the project.  The Kewaunee County Board did approve unanimously the two resolutions Tuesday to urge the Department of Natural Resources to hire a conservation warden to fill the vacancy left open for the last six years and to assist snowmobile and ATV trail rehabilitation projects for next year.

Help of Door County shares advice on confronting sexual harrassment

By Paul Schmitt    

Help of Door County is working to prevent sexual harassment in the area by offering ways to confront it.   A recently released EEOC study showed that at least one in four people are affected by workplace sexual harassment.  Executive Director of Help of Door County Steve Vickman offers some advice in dealing with the problem of sexual harassment and domestic abuse.



Vickman says anytime offensive comments are made about women, even when they are not present, the person needs to hear that it is not tolerable behavior.   He added that men can be victims of sexual harassment as well.  According to a Washington Post survey, ten percent of men have experienced sexual harassment at work.

Wiesner, Avenson discuss options for west side development during Sturgeon Bay District 4 forum on WRLU

By Paul Schmitt     

The Sturgeon Bay candidates for District 4 on city council spent an hour Wednesday morning on 104.1FM WRLU answering questions impacting the future of the city.  Incumbent Rick Wiesner and challenger Kelly Avenson discussed issues ranging from the west side waterfront development to the razing issued by Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief Tim Dietman.  Avenson says the west side waterfront is the "jewel of Sturgeon Bay" and she would like to see a unique village setting there.



Wiesner says the legal matters of the property must be resolved before anything can be accomplished but investors need to step forward.



The entire interview is archived on with this story.  Tomorrow, candidate Stewart Fett and Seth Wiederanders will join Nick Freimuth at 8:00 am.


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Sturgeon Bay adding Montessori school program next year for 4K students

By Paul Schmitt   

The Sturgeon Bay School District will be hosting two informational meetings for parents on the new 4K Montessori-based classroom beginning in the next academic year at Sunset School.  The Montessori approach is a discovery model for early childhood education using a mixed-aid classroom.  Elementary Principal Ann Smejkal says students learn concepts by using materials rather than straight instruction.



Smejkal says the Montessori-based classroom plan was approved by the school board for a pilot program next school year.  She says if successful, the program may be offered to children up to 12 years of age in the future years.  The informational meeting for parents with children who will be four years old by September 1 will be held on April 3 and April 16 at 5:30 pm at Sunset School.

Door County 8th graders explore DCEDC's "Career Day"

By Paul Schmitt   

Some area students had a chance Tuesday morning to look at what job opportunities may await them in a few years from now. The Door County Economic Corporation sponsored the annual 8th grade career day Tuesday for the four mainland schools.  Over 30 area businesses and employers participated in the event.  DCEDC Executive Director Caleb Frostman says the day was a huge success.



Frostman says the morning offered students a chance to think about their upcoming high school curriculum and have an idea what they may be interested in pursuing in the future.  The 8th Grade Career Day was held at Stone Harbor Resort from 9am until 11 am.  You can find a video link to Tuesday's event below.

Sevastopol reflects on security one month after viral threat

By Tim Kowols

             It has been nearly a month since a viral threat against schools with the initials "SHS" forced lockdowns across the country and forced districts like Sevastopol to re-evaluate their security procedures. The threat was reported just as students were entering the school, a time of the day Sevastopol Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says many schools are vulnerable because at that time students are still arriving and not necessarily in classrooms yet. It was Luedtke's call at the time to organize the students and staff into four separate areas to try the control all the moving parts occurring.



Luedtke would not detail the changes being made to its security protocol as to not provide a blueprint for future threats but says he was proud how students, staff, and law enforcement all responded.



The district collected feedback from their staff members in the week following the February 22 incident and was able to review the comments and their protocol at their monthly security meeting held on the first Monday of each month.

Waiting game for sex offender's placement continues in Door County

By Tim Kowols

             Townships and District Attorneys have a limited basis to provide legal reasons to deny the placement of sex offenders according to a Brown County Assistant District Attorney in the wake of a Forest County man possibly being relocated on a temporary basis to Door County. 51-year-old Jeffrey LeVasseur's future residence has been questioned since he was approved for supervised release in September 2016, where not much success was found until last December in Forest County. After objections came to the site, alternative placement locations in the town of Egg Harbor and in Jefferson County have been proposed. The placement can be objected to by the town, the county, and the District Attorney's office, but Brown County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Greene, who also works in Door and Forest Counties in cases of sexual and violent persons, says realistically their only option is to provide alternative residences.



According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette Sunday, Door County District Attorney Colleen Nordin has responded with an informal objection, stating LeVasseur should live in Forest County where the crimes were committed. Greene says the Jefferson County location is still pending law enforcement review.

Papke claims ownership of Sturgeon Bay westside waterfront dirt piles

By Roger Utnehmer    

Ownership of a lingering eyesore on the Sturgeon Bay westside waterfront is being claimed by former developer Robert Papke.

Sturgeon Bay city administrator Josh VanLieshout told council members at today's meeting that Papke is publicly claiming not only ownership of the dirt piles but also development rights for the west side waterfront.


Papke proposed a hotel on the property but withdrew his plan and filed a lawsuit against the city of Sturgeon Bay. He is suing the city for more than $500,000 claiming he was misled by officials who encouraged him to propose the hotel development while withholding information about obtaining title to the property.


Van Lieshout said any development plans for the waterfront site will be tied up in court for some time.  He outlined several options for the city to consider regarding the dirt piles.  Those include ordering the dirt removed from city property if it is owned by Papke, removing it at city expense, forming berms and reconfiguring the piles where they are now located or taking no action.



City staff will research options and report back to council members of costs associated with each.

Hayes, Starr share opinions on tugboat future during Sturgeon Bay District 2 forum on WRLU

By Tim Kowols   

The future home of the tugboats was just one of the issues Sturgeon Bay Common Council District 2 candidates David Hayes and Bob Starr discussed during their over 60-minute forum aired on 104.1 WRLU Tuesday morning. Hayes says he did not read the report on other locations for the tugboats prior to the forum but believes the tugs should stay put as a reminder to visitors of Sturgeon Bay's working waterfront.



Starr says the city bought the property near where the tugs are docked with the hope that one day it would be redeveloped and has leased the area to Selvick Marine Towing as a short-term solution for the business.



The entire interview is archived on with this story.  Tomorrow candidates Richard Wiesner and Kelly Avenson will join Nick Freimuth at 8:00 am.  Thursday morning candidates Stewart Fett and Seth Wiederanders will be featured.

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Sturgeon Bay Common Council District 2 candidates talk issues on 104.1 WRLU

By Roger Utnehmer

Two candidates for one seat on the Sturgeon Bay city council spent more than sixty minutes answering questions with no time limit this morning on 104.1 FM WRLU.  David Hayes and Robert Starr explained why they are running, what qualifies them for public service and positions on issues ranging from the conduct of Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief Tim Dietman regarding his controversial order to raze the waterfront granary to visions for the future.

The entire interview is archived on with this story.  Tomorrow candidates Richard Wiesner and Kelly Avenson will join Nick Freimuth at 8:00 am.  Thursday morning candidates Stewart Fett and Seth Wiederanders will be featured.

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Names released in Egg Harbor murder plot case

By Tim Kowols       

             A Town of Egg Harbor couple is in jail on charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and bail jumping according to a release from the Door County Sheriff's Department Tuesday.  Elizabeth R. Huettl and Michael J. Estevez were originally brought in last month on charges for delivering heroin to a confidential Drug Task Force informant. In the following days, Door County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says investigators learned Estevez allegedly sought out a contract to kill who he thought was the informant. McCarty says not only was the department concerned for the informant, but for other people that might be connected to the case.



According to the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access page, Estevez is due back in court April 10 while Huettl is slated to return April 26. McCarty credits investigators with sticking with the case even when they felt it was falling apart.

Sen. Dave Hansen wants Gov. Walker's school safety plan to go further

By Paul Schmitt

A $100 million legislative package to improve school campus safety in the state was revealed last week by Governor Scott Walker and a local legislator says it does not go far enough.  Walker's safety bill would not impose any gun restrictions and State Senator Dave Hansen says the Governor's plan is a good start but common sense gun control laws are needed.



Hansen says that everyone needs to listen to the children who staged walk-outs all around the country last Wednesday to memorialize the victims of the Parkland, Florida shooting last month and a call for action.  According to the Capitol Times, Gov. Walker's proposal focuses primarily on security upgrades and the forming of an Office of School Safety that would allocate grants to provide building improvements, school officers, and training opportunities.

NBC's The Office's Wilson, wife Reinhorn to highlight Door Kinetic Arts Festival in Baileys Harbor

By Tim Kowols

                 Star of NBC's "The Office" Rainn Wilson and his wife Holiday Reinhorn will take up residency in Baileys Harbor this summer as a part of the third Door Kinetic Arts Festival. Wilson will be working on his screenplay based on the life of writer Stetson Kennedy and his mission to bring down the Ku Klux Klan, while Reinhorn will lead a writer's workshop and host a book signing. The six day event offers artists across the spectrum an opportunity to collaborate on different projects, but festival producer Alan Kopischke admits Wilson and Reinhorn are the biggest names to attend the event that is growing with prestige.



Founded by Oscar-winning director and part-time Fish Creek resident Eric Simonson, the Door Kinetic Arts Festival runs from June 10-15 at Bjorklunden. The festival features short films, play readings, and dance pieces.

Intergenerational living scenarios begin conversations on finances

By Tim Kowols

            Intergenerational living is becoming more common across Door County and around the country.  Limited income, student loan debt, and health are just some of the reasons why kids, parents, and grandparents might find themselves living together. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says every situation is unique, but they still need to start a conversation.



Pustaver says having the conversation and identifying value systems in advance makes it easier for all sides to come together to sort through potential issues.

Kewaunee County Board to discuss recreation trails, warden opening during Tuesday meeting

By Tim Kowols

                  The Kewaunee County Board will weigh in on two options involving the Department of Natural Resources when it meets Tuesday evening. It will first weigh in on a resolution from the Land and Water Conservation Committee urging the DNR to hire a conservation warden for the county to fill a position that has been vacant for at least six years. The board will also ask the DNR for its annual assistance for 2018/2019 county snowmobile and ATV trail rehabilitation projects. Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Bob Weidner says the money gets spread out among several organizations.



Tuesday's meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Kewaunee County Administrative Center in Kewaunee and marks the last session before April's general election brings at least five new members to the board.

All candidates for Sturgeon Bay city council have confirmed their participation in interviews starting Tuesday at 8am

     Sturgeon Bay voters will have an unedited opportunity to listen to candidates in each of the three races on the ballot April 3rd.

The six confirmed their participation in interviews that will be conducted Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings between 8:00 and 9:00 am on WRLU 104.1FM.

Nick Freimuth will conduct the interviews that will consist of candidates answering questions about their backgrounds, interest in government and issues facing Sturgeon Bay voters.

District 2 candidates Robert Starr and David Hayes will join Freimuth Tuesday, District 4 candidates Kelly Avenson and Richard Wiesner on Wednesday and Stewart Fett and Seth Wiederanders on Thursday.

In addition to being aired live on WRLU 104.1FM, the interviews will also be archived through the April 3rd election on

Room tax collections up in Door County over last year

By Tim Kowols

                  Room tax collections in Door County were up 4.2 percent in 2017 according to the Door County Tourism Zone. Close to 561,000 rooms were filled last year (560,968), compared to just over 553,000 in 2016 (553,470). It continues a rising trend since the Door County Tourism Zone was established in 2009 to collect a 5.5 percent room tax to fund marketing efforts of the Door County Visitor Bureau. During the last 10 years, the percentage of occupied rooms has grown 26.88 percent, the daily rate 21.39 percent, and occupancy rate 20.51 percent.  Jon Jarosh from the Door County Visitor Bureau says the numbers are indicative of the overall growth in tourism they have seen in the last decade.



Jarosh says they will release more tourism-related numbers, including the county's sales tax collections and overall spending, in May.

Editorial Comment: Vote NO on Sturgeon Bay PRAT Tax April 3rd

By Roger Utnehmer
President and CEO

City of Sturgeon Bay taxpayers will vote April 3rd on a short-term local solution to a long-term state-wide problem. A "yes" vote will raise their cost of living. A "no" vote will send a message to the legislature that it's time to deal with the state-wide issue of financing streets, roads and highways.

The proposed Premier Resort Area Tax (PRAT) would raise about $800,000 a year through a one-half percent sales tax added to the 5.5% people are already paying.

The primary reason to vote "no" is because it is simply a short-term local solution to a long-term state-wide problem. Wisconsin legislators need to fix how transportation dollars are raised, not push off tax increases onto local governments. Governor Walker has recently expressed flexibility on a gas tax increase.

That means when legislators finally come up with a state-wide solution to highway funding, Sturgeon Bay will still be stuck with not only the legislature-imposed funding increase but also a local one-half percent additional sales tax. That could come as a higher gas tax indexed to inflation, higher registration fees and a payment per mile annual assessment.

A "no" vote will make sure Sturgeon Bay residents are not taxed twice for solving the same problem.

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

Violent sex-offender may be placed in Egg Harbor

By Door County Daily News

A violent sex-offender with a mental disorder could be housed in Egg Harbor as early as May.

The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported Sunday that Jeffrey LeVasseur, 51, was convicted of first-degree sexual assault of children.

After objections to placing LeVasseur in a Forest County location, a Vilas County judge assigned to the case approved moving him to a duplex at 5073 Monument Point Road in Egg Harbor.

According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette report, Door County District Attorney Colleen Nordin has objected to the placement of the sex offender in Egg Harbor.  Nordin says the sex offender should be placed in Forest County.

Sturgeon Bay Schools band concert mixes music with Disney magic

By Eric Fischer


On April 7th you'll be able to re-discover your inner childhood at Sturgeon Bay Schools POP Concert as this year's theme is Disney Happily Ever After.  With music from Disney favorites such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Fantasia, and an 18 song medley of Disney movie magic, Sturgeon Bay band director Heidi Hintz all but guarantees you'll find something you like.  Hintz says this year's theme was inspired by the band's upcoming trip to Disney.

Hintz adds the concert is cabaret style and there will be food and refreshments for sale, as well as a silent auction and raffle.  Tickets cost $5 for table seating, that you must reserve ahead of time, $4 for adult bleacher seating, $3 for student bleacher seating, both of which can be purchased at the door, with children 6 and under free.  All proceeds go towards band activities, scholarships for summer camps, and band travel costs.

Volunteers gather at Granary to sort wood for restoration

By Eric Fischer


Around 25 people gathered on Sunday afternoon at the Teweles and Brandeis Granary to sort wood for the preservation effort.  Volunteers started at 9:30 Sunday morning and worked throughout the morning and early afternoon separating the wood into different piles based on its intended use.  The effort to keep the local history intact led to a couple small discoveries on Sunday as volunteers said most of the wood came from Marinette, Wisconsin and that one of the grain cleaning bins was called the Clipper.  Sturgeon Bay City Councilperson Laurel Hauser explains what was accomplished today.

With nearly two full weeks until the move, more work is still to be done on site.  Stay up to date with for Granary updates.

View the Facebook Live video of Sunday's coverage of the volunteer sorting effort.

Pet owners are reminded to start flea and tick prevention

By Eric Fischer


With warmer temperatures and snow melting, pet owners are reminded that as spring approaches fleas and ticks will soon be back.  Pet owners should also be on alert for mosquitos which can act as carriers of potentially deadly heartworms.  Dr. Jordan Kobilca from Door County Veterinary Hospital recommends that pets should be on heartworm prevention year round and that flea and tick prevention should go until the first snowfall of the winter.

Kobilca adds that veterinary prescriptions are safer for pets and tend to work better than over the counter products.  Common signs of flea and tick presence on your pet include excessive scratching, licking or biting at skin, hair loss, scabs and hot spots, and/or pale gums.

Local band How Bout No is on the rise after EP recording

By Student Correspondent Connor Sannito

Local band, How Bout' No, has made successful strides - creating an EP - after professionally recording music in Nashville, Tennessee with All Time Low drummer Rian Dawson.


The week-long experience has arguably legitimized the alternative rock band comprised of Reid Stevenson, Sean Sannito, and Robert Desotelle. According to Stevenson, Rian Dawson was impressed by the band's ability. Dawson now looks to possibly send in How Bout No's work to several labels - just so they're on the radar.


This is what Stevenson had to say about what makes How Bout' No unique.


Within only 24 hours of their single release, they've already had well over a thousand views. Now, the band plans on playing release shows in Madison, Milwaukee, and subsequently Sturgeon Bay. This leads to their album "Mad" releasing April 13th.

Their EP will be available on iTunes, Apple Music, and Spotify.

Their music video can be seen below.

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Gallagher sees positives in youth activism movement

By Tim Kowols


Rep. Mike Gallagher says it is positive that the nation's youth are getting engaged in politics, but also hopes they become more open to other opinions as well. The first-term Congress member representing Wisconsin's 8th District admits time in the military and college caused some of the thoughts and opinions on certain topics he had as a 17-year old to change. Rep. Gallagher blames people opting into their own reality with only people that agree with their views instead seeking constructive debate with people that may disagree with them for the nation's polarized politics.

Since he cannot dictate what the administration and other congress members say, Rep. Gallagher says he meets with people in the district to get their views on certain topics instead of relying on self-proclaimed experts in Washington D.C. On Wednesday, thousands of high school students walked out of the classroom to promote school safety and denounce gun violence.

Violent sex-offender may be placed in Egg Harbor

By Door County Daily News

A violent sex-offender with a mental disorder could be housed in Egg Harbor as early as May.

The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported Sunday that Jeffrey LeVasseur, 51, was convicted of first-degree sexual assault of children.

After objections to placing LeVasseur in a Forest County location, a Vilas County judge assigned to the case approved moving him to a duplex at 5073 Monument Point Road in Egg Harbor.

According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette report, Door County District Attorney Coleen Nordin has objected to the placement of the sex offender in Egg Harbor.  Nordin says the sex offender should be placed in Forest County.

St. Patrick's Day parade draws hundreds in Sturgeon Bay

By Eric Fischer

Hundreds of people donned in green gathered on the streets of Sturgeon Bay to watch the annual St. Patrick's Day parade.  On a bright, sunny day local politicians gave out campaign information, the fire and police departments showed off some of their vehicles, the Sturgeon Bay High School band played, and kids got plenty of candy from the floats of local businesses.  Grant and Levi said it wasn't just candy that got them to come to the parade, although it's their favorite part. had live coverage of the parade on Facebook and you can find the video below.

Midsummer's Music names new executive director

By Eric Fischer

Midsummer's Music will have a new executive director, Allyson Fleck, as current executive director Russ Warren is stepping down to relocate to Portugal.  Fleck will officially take over the position on April 1st, but Russ will still contribute and work with the company from overseas in a different role.  Warren says that Allyson is a great candidate to fill the position, having been with Midsummer's Music for years.

Midsummer's Music starts its summer season on June 15th with the Opening Night Gala.  For Tickets and the full performing schedule information email:

Team Smejkal wins 15th annual Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club Trivia Night

By Paul Schmitt

The 15th Annual Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club Trivia Night came down to the last round and Team Smejkal won the contest for the first time with a winning score of 80 points.

Ten teams of up to eight players competed Saturday night at the Jaycee Clubhouse with five teams finishing with over 75 correct answers out of 100.

Team Smejkal did not have a perfect round but they did score nine out of ten in five different categories showing consistency in claiming the championship.

Members of team are pictured below and include Ann Smejkal, Erv Smejkal, Greg Smith, Mary Ellen  Smith, Molly Smejkal, Kris Head, Curt Wilke and Julia Smith.

The proceeds from the Trivia Night benefit local and youth programs sponsored by the Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club.

Annual cookbook exchange set for March 24th

By Eric Fischer


A popular event makes its yearly appearance on March 24th, the cookbook exchange at the Door County Library in Sturgeon Bay.  The event takes place at nearly the same time every year and comes the weekend after the used book sale, another popular event at the library.  Youth Services Librarian Beth Lokken explains how the exchange works.

Lokken adds that for her finding one good recipe makes it worth taking the cookbook and that her she plans to try to find cookbooks on baking this year.  The library will be open 9 am- 1 pm for the event.

Gems of Sturgeon Bay: Options

By Tom Jordan



Over in the corner of the salon is an ancient perm machine with a tangle of about forty electrical cords dangling from the top. It looks like something that would be in a Frankenstein movie. As I'm getting my hair cut by Abby, I overhear the owner, Linda Kurz, explain its function to the woman whose hair Linda was styling right next to me.


"Oh, that old monstrosity? They called it a "pocket perm." They would roll your hair up and hook each braid to one of those wires, turn the juice on and it would curl your hair. But it was so damaging that after your perm your hair would fall out in clumps. You were supposed to put those clumps of hair in your pocket."


At this point I had to join the conversation. "Are you serious? I added. "Who would do that?"


Linda responded, "Throughout history people have always done crazy stuff. Especially when it comes to trying to improve their appearance."


Option Hair Studio, which began about twenty years ago in this location on Louisiana Street in Sturgeon Bay, is run by Linda and her husband John. In addition there are two other stylists, Abby and Cassi. But besides providing incredible haircuts, colors, manicures and pedicures this one-hundred year old building is almost a museum for hair styling.


"I just stated collecting things years ago and people added to that collection," said Linda. That, plus the art deco couches and chairs around every corner makes the entire salon feel like a cool, funky mixture of nostalgia and that old show "Pee-Wee's Playhouse". Each stylist has an antique credenza and mirror. Old hair dryers decorate the shelves.  You can find boxes with old hair-care products. Of course the salon is completely up to date and filled with all the latest products and potions but seeing all the old stuff creates a special vibe.


"We get comments all the time from people who come in our shop," Linda offered. "Some of them even ship us some stuff they found antique hunting."


I started coming here about a year ago. I had been going back to Milwaukee, even though we moved up here full time five years ago. It was my wife's suggestion. "Let's see," she began, "you have your doctor up here and your dentist up here and you drive all the way to Milwaukee for a haircut?"


Good point. And I'm sure there are plenty of other great places throughout Door County. But how many have a bright red barber chair with a booster seat?

Students organized walkout to have voices heard, hope for change

By Eric Fischer


Sturgeon Bay High School was one of hundreds of schools around the country participating in the student walkout this past Wednesday, with the goal of sparking conversation and igniting change.  Sophomore Jadacey Teska organized the walkout with over 50 students participating.  Teska says that she organized the event because she feels that students don't have many opportunities to speak out and haven't been taken seriously when they do.

Teska adds that the focus was not anti-gun and that mental health is another issue that needs more awareness.  Teska plans to take part in a walk in Madison near the end of the month that students from across the state are organizing with the movement as well.  Students at Sturgeon Bay also wrote letters to their representatives as part of the demonstration.

Ice fishing nears end with Ice Shanty removal date set for March 17th

By Eric Fischer


With spring approaching, the end of the 2017-18 ice fishing season is near, as Lake Michigan and Green Bay ice shanties must be removed by Saturday, March 17th.  Anglers will still be allowed to use a portable shanty, if they feel the ice is safe enough to use, as long as it is removed daily.  Director of Vessel Traffic Services for the US Coast Guard, Mark Gill, says anglers are reminded to remember ICE (information, clothing, equipment).

Gill adds that anglers should stay close to the shoreline and stay away from the commercial shipping tracks.  If you cannot remove your shanty due to frozen slush there are several options, such as renting equipment or calling the DNR to inform them of the situation.

Dirt piles on waterfront up for discussion during Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting Tuesday

By Paul Schmitt

The dirt piles on Sturgeon Bay's west side will be addressed at the next city council meeting.  The agenda calls for discussion regarding the West Waterfront Development dirt piles that could mean them being finally moved, according to City Administrator Josh VanLieshout.


Other items on the agenda for the Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting on Tuesday include the second reading of an ordinance regarding the rezoning for the 64-unit family apartment complex development located on just off Egg Harbor Road and final authorization of sidewalks that will be installed near the Door County Medical Center.


A resolution for a three-year harbor development statement of intentions is also on the agenda Tuesday when the Sturgeon Bay city council meets at noon at City Hall in council chambers.

Scenic Shore Inn broke ground on an expansion of the Algoma motel on Friday

By Paul Schmitt

Scenic Shore Inn in Algoma broke ground to expand the motel and add a conference center on Friday morning.  The new facility will feature an indoor swimming pool, sauna and a large outdoor deck that will be available for public use.  Scenic Shore Inn co-owner Bob Davis says the indoor pool will be something everyone in the community can enjoy.



Davis was on hand for the groundbreaking along with his business partners Laurie and Kristina Griffin, and representatives from the City of Algoma.  The Scenic Shore Inn's new motel and conference center is expected to be completed by end of July, according to Davis.

(photo and rendering submitted)

Students inspire Senator Baldwin's pursuit of gun control measures

By Tim Kowols

                Wednesday's student-led walkout across the country left Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin inspired to continue her fight for gun control. Senator Baldwin praised the students for creating change on the local level, which included gun and school safety measures in Florida. A gun owner in her own right, she believes in universal background checks and other safety measures. Senator Baldwin says passing such legislation has been a tough challenge even in the wake of shootings in Newtown, Conn., Orlando, and Parkland, Fla.



Less controversial on Capitol Hill according to Senator Baldwin was addressing school safety, which the House of Representatives passed a bill on earlier this week. According to CNN, the bipartisan bill would provide more training for school officials and local law enforcement to respond to mental health crises and money to support more security measures.

Sheriff's Corner: Optimism key component of resiliency

By Tim Kowols and Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski

             A simple dose of optimism can go a long way in aiding someone's resiliency in adverse situations according to Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski. People often look at the negative parts of a situation without looking at the positives like the courage of the people who stormed into the World Trade Center on 9/11 or volunteers coming to an area affected by a natural disaster. Joski says using optimism in such cases is an important skill to learn.



Optimism is part of a larger framework of training Joski attended earlier this year. You can read the rest of the Sheriff's Corner online with this story.




As I continue to share information on how we as a community can build greater resiliency to adverse situations, I would like to share what I believe has been one of my greatest gifts; Optimism. This is a gift I no doubt received from my parents. Unlike the many material gifts, I have received throughout my life this gift was provided not through purchase, but rather through struggle. As a young man I watched my parents struggle through tragedies ranging from medical to financial and everything in between. We grew up with the basic essentials that our 38 milking cows could provide along with the various jobs my parents would do to make ends meet. Make no mistake about it, I had an amazing childhood and it was for this reason; we always found the good in any situation.

Being able to search out and enjoy the good things is no doubt a skill. It requires us to look past current events and find that silver lining which may at first elude us in our focus of events in time. It does not mean that we hide from the reality that we face, but rather to counter what may be a struggle with thoughts of a better tomorrow or even fond memories of yesterday.

By always looking for the best we can amaze ourselves by how often it occurs and how near it is to us. We can also begin to hardwire our minds with optimism to counter the ingrained pessimism which many of us develop as we travel through life.

Even in some of the greatest tragedies we as a country have faced, we don't have to look far to find the good. On Sept. 11,2001 we witnessed the selfless courage of those men and women who ran into the buildings in an attempt to save lives. During recent natural disasters, we could see armies of volunteers pouring into the affected communities even as the storms where still raging. Locally we experience this by the outpouring of support in the aftermath of events such as the death of a loved one or the loss of property due to fire.

Although the tragedies always seem to get the greatest attention, we should never be content to let the negative lead our conversations or occupy the front of our minds. We should always take the extra effort to look for the good in everything and everybody.

This is an especially important skill to impart to our children. While we have no way of knowing what they may face in their lives or the events to come, we can equip them with the tools to not just cope, but to thrive regardless of the adversity they may experience. Again, this will not happen by accident, we must deliberately and purposefully identify positive examples and more importantly share them so that we can help each other in building optimism in our families, communities and maybe just maybe even the world.


Avenson gets endorsement from John Hauser for District 4 seat

By Paul Schmitt     

The president of the Sturgeon Bay school board has endorsed Kelly Avenson for a seat on the Sturgeon Bay city council.  John Hauser in a letter to the editor sent to said "it's time for a change".  Hauser says Avenson's background would benefit her constituents on Sturgeon Bay's west side.



Hauser says he knows Avenson is a hard worker that will take a thoughtful, positive approach to address the needs of the residents in her district and the broader Sturgeon Bay community.  Avenson will be running against incumbent Richard Wiesner for District 4 aldermanic seat.

Honduras mission trip leaves lasting impact on Stephens, Starr

By Tim Kowols

            For a week, the impact Door County Medical Center's Chief Administrative Officer Brian Stephens and Materials Management Manager Andrew Starr made in the world stretched farther than the walls of the hospital. Stephens and Starr joined a combined effort of the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay and the World Mission of the Moravian Church on a mission trip to make improvements for a clinic serving the local Miskito Indian community in Honduras. Helping make sure the clinic had a reliable water supply every day by installing tanks and checking for leaks, Stephens says the struggle for that community to have the resource was an eye opener when he returned home on Monday.



Starr believes the things they did in one week were not life-altering for the people living in rural Ahus, but thinks they did enough little things to make a difference.



The Honduran clinic Stephens and Starr served has been the focus of Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church member and former Door County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Rick Nelson the last several years. Both men say the best thing people can do to support the clinic's mission is to donate money where it can serve local people with services at under two dollars a day.


Pictures provided by Brian Stephens


Last of old Eagle Tower's steps being sold as new tower plans continue

By Paul Schmitt    

The last of the steps from the iconic Eagle Tower are being sold to people wanting to own some history and help raise money for the new tower.  Friends of Peninsula State Park is closing in on their overall goal of $750,000 and Steve Strucely, the business manager, says the plans for the new tower are going according to schedule.



The Friends of Peninsula State Park group has already raised over $700,000 to date nearing the goal which will trigger a state matching grant.  You can find more information about the remaining steps available and Friends of Peninsula State Park with this story online.


(photo courtesy of Friends of Peninsula State Park)

Baby boom good news for kids attending Northern Door Children's Center

By Tim Kowols

          Northern Door Children's Center in Sister Bay is experiencing a baby boom, which is a good news for the development of the kids in the class. Six infants recently "graduated" to the next level at the center while at least three more slated to begin in the near future. Karen Corekin from the Northern Door Children's Center says they have been doing their "looping program" for 16 years and the research shows the importance of secure attachment when it comes to brain development.



Corekin says allowing infants in the center is important because it provides a safe place for kids to be educated and young families to work and support themselves in the area.

Local efforts lead to increase in Eastern bluebird population

By Tim Kowols

             Nest boxes like those made by guests and volunteers at The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor are leading a comeback for the Eastern bluebird. The small birds often call cavities found in wooden fence posts and trees home, but some of those hard-to-find places are disappearing and subject to more competition from other birds. Ridges Sanctuary volunteer Ed Miller works with famed naturalist Charlotte Lukes on the project and says some more traditional birdhouses may be too large for the Eastern bluebird.



Miller advises nest box owners to check on them every six to eight days to monitor the activity of the birds taking up residence. You can make your own nest box at a special workshop this Saturday at The Ridges Sanctuary.

Northern Door fire departments respond to Ellison Bay house fire

By Tim Kowols

        A stray ember from a chimney may be to blame for an Ellison Bay house fire Thursday morning. The Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department responded to the blaze on North Berry Lane just before 9 a.m. after the home's owner called 911. The owner was moving his car when he noticed flames climbing up the side of the home next to the chimney. The fire spread and the roof had dropped into the living room as crews arrived. Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Assistant Fire Chief Mike Goldstone says it is impossible to tell for sure if the fire originated through the fireplace all the way to the roof.



No one was injured in the fire. Goldstone thanked the department's mutual aid partners in Jacksonport, Gibraltar, Egg Harbor, Baileys Harbor and Ephraim for their help saving most of the home and helping bring in water since no fire hydrants were available.

Maple syrup producers hitting stride in sap collection season

By Tim Kowols

                Maple syrup producers are off to a good start in Door and Kewaunee County as trees have been tapped and sap has been flowing over the last two weeks. Cold nights and warmer days have aided sap collectors in getting a little bit more than their average amount at this point of the season. Bill Roethle from Hillside Apples in Casco says the sugar content in the sap has been about average as well, making it not as hard for syrup producers to make their product.



Roethle expects higher than normal amounts to be collected this weekend as temperatures are expected to reach the high 40s to low 50s this weekend. Producers usually can collect sap until the beginning of April.

Sturgeon Bay city council candidates invited to interviews on WRLU 104.1FM

By Roger Utnehmer

                The six candidates for three seats on the Sturgeon Bay city council have been invited to answer questions on WRLU 104.1FM next week.

Nick Freimuth will host the interviews starting Tuesday at 8 a.m.  Invited to participate on Tuesday are two candidates for the District 2 seat now held by Ron Vandertie, Robert Starr and David Hayes.  Vandertie is not running for re-election.

District 4 candidates Kelly Avenson and Richard Wiesner have been invited to participate on Wednesday and District 6 candidates Seth Wiederanders and Stewart Fett on Thursday, both at 8 a.m. also.

Freimuth will ask candidates about their backgrounds and positions on various city issues.

If you would like to have a question asked of the six candidates you can email them to

All interviews will be recorded and archived at until the April 3rd election.

Granary aims for March 29th move date

By Tim Kowols

The Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator could make its way across the canal as soon as the early morning hours March 29 after work on the structure entered its second week.  New Jersey-based Devooght House Lifters planned on lifting the structure up six inches Thursday in advance of the move while they work with city, county, and state officials on closing roads and removing the necessary power lines and lighting standards to make the journey across the bridge possible. General Contractor Pat Drury from Drury Designs says without Devooght House Lifters, rehabbing the granary to what people remember it as would have been hard to do.



Drury says after the granary is moved, crews will close off the cupola and fix the roof to prevent further damage and begin laying the groundwork for its next stage of life.

(Video compliments of Ame Grail)

Editorial Opinion: Sturgeon Bay School District wrong to ban media access during student walkout

By Roger Utnehmer     

Sturgeon Bay is one of few school district in America that banned news reporters from covering Tuesday's student walkout and protest against gun violence.

Gagging news coverage of a protest is not a very good civics lesson school district personnel are teaching students.

The protest at Sturgeon Bay High School included several members of the public who appeared in support of students who staged the walkout. Only news reporters were told to get off school property, not parents standing in support of students or others on school property observing the protest.

A public protest on public property with public participation is newsworthy. No school district administrator or high school principal should have the power to stop reporters from doing their jobs. No school district administrator or high school principal should have the power to prevent ideas expressed at a public forum, on public property, with members of the public in attendance from being reported.

In hundreds of school districts across America, students learned a valuable lesson about their freedom of speech. They also learned about the role of the news media covering legitimate news events. Responsible reporters interviewed articulate students. The coverage has stimulated discussion and engaged generations in a dialogue about gun violence. That is basic civics at its best. But not in Sturgeon Bay.

Sturgeon Bay students were denied that opportunity. District Administrator Dan Tjernagel and Principal Robert Nickel prevented voices from being heard and dialogue from taking place. Hopefully, this shameful abuse of power by Tjernagel and Nickel will teach them a lesson in civics so they never gag media coverage of legitimate news again.

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

Area schools host walk outs Wednesday in memory of Parkland victims, in protest of gun violence

By Tim Kowols and Roger Utnehmer

                     Students across the country walked out of classrooms Wednesday in protest of school violence, including three local events at Gibraltar, Sturgeon Bay, Sevastopol, Algoma, and Southern Door. At Gibraltar, approximately 90 students participated in the 17-minute walk-out while they read the names of those killed during last month's shooting in Parkland, Florida. Principal Gereon Methner says it provided great conversation regarding school safety and student expression.




At Sturgeon Bay, a reporter was banned from covering a student protest this morning at Sturgeon Bay High School. Eric Fischer was told by a Sturgeon Bay police officer that news reporters were not allowed on school property.  Although reporters were prohibited from covering the student protest, members of the public were allowed to participate.  About a dozen adults were on school property, some holding signs supporting students. Sturgeon Bay District Administrator Dan Tjernagel told that he and High School principal Robert Nickel did not want to grant news media access to the school.

Kewaunee County UW-Extension turns attention to women's health on the farm during April session

By Tim Kowols

                       The growing stress of operating a farm is the inspiration for a first-time event for women next month being held by the Kewaunee County UW-Extension. According to a 2016 report by the Centers for Disease Control, people in agriculture have the highest suicide rate among other professional groups. Commodity prices and family obligations are often to blame for women in particular not taking care of themselves according to Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agriculture Educator Aerica Bjurstrom. It is her hope the county's first Heart of the Farm event on April 11 is the first of many events creating a network of women going through the same struggles in the agriculture industry.



According to the St. Cloud Times, U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer has sponsored a bill to support mental health services, which could be a part of a future, larger Farm Bill. You can learn more about the Heart of Women workshop taking place at the Rendezvous of Luxemburg next month by following this story online.

Hawking's scientific theories of physics remembered at area schools

By Paul Schmitt    

A renowned British scientist is being remembered by local high school physics teachers for his famed work with black holes and relativity.   Stephen Hawking, who died early Wednesday morning at the age of 76, wrote several popular science books on theoretical physics.  Sturgeon Bay High School Physics teacher Rob Tess says he uses Hawking quotes is in his classroom to make a point to his students.



Hawking was the Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge and lived most of his life living with ALS, known as Lou Gehrig's disease.  Tess says it was quite the coincidence that Hawkings passed away on National PI day, which is the annual day scientists and mathematicians celebrate the value pi being 3.14.

Luxemburg-Casco High School Physics and Math teacher Jim Moss referred to Hawking as the "Einstein" of theoretical physics.

YMCA over 70% the way to hitting annual campaign goal

By Paul Schmitt    

The Door County YMCA is working to make a difference for community members who would like to utilize the facilities in Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek but may not be able to afford membership.  As of the end of February, the YMCA's annual campaign had raised over $350,000 towards its goal of $500,000.  CEO and President Tom Beerntsen explains the mission behind the annual campaign.



The YMCA will be sponsoring a 17th annual "Dining around the Door" on May 20 at Alpine Resort to raise much needed additional funds.  The Door County YMCA financially assists over 1,800 individuals or approximately 15 percent of their membership, according to Beerntsen.  You can get more information on how to apply for assistance by contacting the YMCA directly.

Help of Door County meeting with "CCR" team to stop domestic violence

By Paul Schmitt


Help of Door County is working with other agencies to better understand what law enforcement has to deal with when confronting domestic violence in the area.  The Coordinated Community Response team (CRRT) is made up of area police officers, judges, court commissioners, social workers and others concerned with stopping domestic violence.   Steve Vickman, executive director of Help of Door County, says the meeting helps all parties understand what is like to walk in the other's shoes.





Help of Door County offers a Domestic Violence Advocacy Services 24 hour hotline along with programs for victims and their families.  You can find videos of Domestic Violence Prevention Education below.

Reporter banned from covering student protest at Sturgeon Bay school

By Roger Utnehmer

A reporter was banned from covering a student protest this morning at Sturgeon Bay High School.

Eric Fischer was told by a Sturgeon Bay police officer that new reporters were not allowed on school property.  Although reporters were prohibited from covering the student protest, members of the public were allowed to participate.  About a dozen adults were on school property, some holding signs supporting students.

Today students through America held at seventeen-minute walk-out at 10:00AM to commemorate the school shooting one months ago at a Florida school.

Sturgeon Bay District Administrator Dan Tjernagel told that he and High School principal Robert Nickel did not want to grant news media access to the school.

Sturgeon Bay student Jadacey Teska also submitted an image of a sign she held at the event.

The video below was filmed from the sidewalk of the student walkout.

US Coast Guard icebreaking begins in Sturgeon Bay canal

By Paul Schmitt   


The United States Coast Guard has started ice breaking operations this week in the Green Bay area including Sturgeon Bay.  The process will take several weeks as Coast Guard Cutters Mackinaw and Mobile Bay will do the majority of the work, according to Mark Gill, director of traffic services for the United States Coast Guard in Sault Ste. Marie.  He says the process is crucial for the winter fleet to head out on Lake Michigan this spring.



Gill says after this weekend the Mobile Bay will be replaced by the Hollyhock which is a buoy-tender that has some ice-breaking capability to keep the track open in the canal and provide assistance to local commercial tugs until the ice is no longer a threat to navigation.  He expects the operations to continue until mid-April.


Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade set for Saturday in Sturgeon Bay

By Paul Schmitt     

Sturgeon Bay will again be turning green for the annual St. Patrick's Day parade this Saturday.  Although the bay will not be turned green like in Chicago, the city will have plenty of green represented in the parade route that starts at Sawyer Park on the west side and proceeding over the Maple-to-Oregon Bridge through downtown on Third Avenue.  One of the original organizers over twenty years ago, Mike Taylor who now resides in North Dakota says the parade has grown in popularity over the years.



Taylor says he along with Dan and Mark O'Hern, John Scanlon and Brian Cofou came up with the idea to get the community engaged and enjoying an outdoor activity before the tourism season begins.  The St. Patrick's Day parade will begin at 11 am Saturday.  You can find more information on entering a float in the parade with the link below.

Kewaunee Library teaching a science lesson with "Slime-brary" event

By Paul Schmitt    

The Kewaunee Library is turning the facility into a chemistry lab Thursday evening to entertain and educate children.  The first-ever "Slime-brary" event will be held at 5:30 p.m. after the teen advisory board meeting.  Teen and Adult Services Librarian Cambrie Kolka says she has come up with a special recipe for the messy evening.



The event is for children from 12 years of age to seniors in high school.  You can find out more information on the Kewaunee Library and the "Slime-brary" event with the link below.

Kewaunee to host public input session on waterfront plans

By Tim Kowols

        Kewaunee residents will have their chance to weigh in on proposed plans for its waterfront at a public meeting next week. The 47-page report compiled by the UW-Extension and the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation looks at the process of forming the plan along with listing specific preservation priorities and recommendations to not just enhance the newly finished waterfront but the city's downtown as well. After the UW-Extension collected surveys from residents and hosted a design charrette presentation in January, Community Development Educator Claire Thompson hoped people see the work that went into the plans and the attention it made to the residents' wishes.



The public input session will take place at Kewaunee City Hall on March 19 beginning at 6 p.m.

New Sister Bay boutique hotel and market set to be village's first LEED certified commercial building

By Tim Kowols

             A Door County architect hopes her plan to build an inn and coffee shop in Sister Bay earns the distinction of the first commercial building with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design credentials in the village. The nine-room Goose and Twigs Inn and Market is slated to break ground this spring at the corner of Mill and Spring Roads and will feature environmentally friendly features like low-flow plumbing, porous paving, and a water reclamation system. Architect Virge Temme is no stranger to designing LEED-certified homes, but says applying the same principles to a business like this provided some different challenges.



Temme hopes the coffee shop portion of the business open by the end of June and the boutique hotel could be partially opened by August. The Goose and Twigs Inn, which will be owned and run by Gustavo and Renata Gallardo, would be the second LEED building in the county after the Cook-Fuller Center opened at The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor in 2015.

Kewaunee students not among those planning walkout Wednesday; Sturgeon Bay scheduling morning break

By Tim Kowols

As high school students across the country plan to walk out of their classrooms Wednesday in protest of violence at schools, you will not be seeing that at Kewaunee. Student leadership teams met with their principal Mark Dax in recent weeks and decided against an organized walkout in efforts to continue the conversation about school safety. Kewaunee Superintendent Karen Treml says she appreciated the dialogue with students before action was taken.



Treml says they will be monitoring the situation Wednesday and will have staff available to talk if students need to speak with someone. Kewaunee County law enforcement has reached out to their local school to address their concerns regarding safety.

Sturgeon Bay High School arranged their morning break for students at 10 a.m. to allow the students the opportunity to participate in a walk-out while not disrupting class schedules, according to Superintendent Dan Tjernagel.

Gibraltar students plan on going ahead with the walk-out Wednesday morning.

Caregiving focus of community conversation at Door County ADRC

By Tim Kowols

                          The Door County Aging and Disability Resource Center and other local organizations are joining forces this Wednesday to put caregiving in the spotlight. The community conversation will feature an airing of the PBS documentary "Care!" as well as discuss the basics of caregiving including costs, demand, and available resources. ADRC Director Jake Erickson likens caregivers to superhumans with all the challenges they face and says it is important for them to be around individuals experiencing the same thing.



Caregivers are becoming increasingly more important in Door County as seniors are projected to make up half of the area's population in the coming years according to Erickson. The community conversation on caregiving will take place at the ADRC's Door County Community Center beginning at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Local Beekeepers combating winter losses

By Paul Schmitt     

Some preventative measures last fall have protected some area beekeepers from losing high numbers of bees this past winter.  According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin beekeepers have reportedly lost a high number of bees because of a parasite that infests hives and kills bees that are developing.  While some beekeepers prefer to be treatment free, Dr. Joe Binard of Brussels describes the procedure he tried last fall to protect his bees last year.





United States beekeepers lost one-third of their bees in 2016-17 from April to April, according to a University of Maryland study.  Dr. Binard, who took up the challenging hobby of beekeeping last year, found success in his new adventure by collecting over 60 pounds of honey.

Fernandez, WPS workers return after helping restore power in Puerto Rico

By Paul Schmitt         

A Southern Door resident was one of about 50 workers from Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) and We Energies returned from Puerto Rico last Friday after eight weeks of restoring electricity on the island.  Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Irma and Maria over six months ago.   Chris Fernandez, a lead lineman with WPS in Door County, stayed an extra two weeks to complete the mission of fully restoring electricity to San Juan area.



Fernandez says the Puerto Rico residents held a big pig roast every other week to show their appreciation as well as a universal sign to overcome any language barrier.



Coming away from his once-in-lifetime opportunity, Fernandez says it's a reminder that people should not take for granted what they have in this country.  The restoration project in Puerto Rico was We Energies and WPS's longest assignment ever outside the continental United States.

(photo contributed by WPS)

Local dairy farmers feel the squeeze as milk prices reach historic lows

By Tim Kowols

             The lowest milk prices by some metrics in 10 years are forcing Door and Kewaunee County dairy farmers to tighten their belts even more. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the average price nationwide for a gallon of milk at $2.96, which is down over 90 cents from 2008. This forces some farmers to operate at a net loss as milk prices have not kept up with the cost of production. Rich Olson from Olson Family Farms in Sturgeon Bay says they are not spending money if they do not have to for the operation.



Olson says it is important for farmers to keep a little bit of a reserve fund when milk prices find themselves trending upward like they did when they reached record highs in 2014. Dairy farmers did get some good news last month as several varieties of cheese increased in price over 2017 numbers according to the Dairy Market News.

Using home equity loan to pay off credit card debt spells trouble for financial picture

By Tim Kowols

           Paying credit card debt with a home equity loan could spell trouble for new homeowners down the road. According to, homeowners are tempted to use a home equity loan to pay off the debt due to the lower rates  and the deductibility of the interest payments. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors warns against this route, saying you are turning unsecured debt into secured debt.



Pustaver recommends relying on a management plan to address credit card debt because often people who use a home equity loan to pay off the outstanding amount end up in more trouble later down the road. You can hear more from this week's Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver below with this story.


Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation committee to urge for DNR warden hiring Tuesday

By Tim Kowols

              After five years without one, the Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation committee will make their feelings known about hiring a Department of Natural Resources Warden for the area when it meets on Tuesday. A DNR warden handles complaints, responds to environmental and spill issues and participates in field work among other duties in their given region. In the past, the DNR has told Kewaunee County it has lacked a warden because of a lack of qualified candidates and a lack of interest in working in the county. Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation committee member Lee Luft says every county is required to have a warden and hopes a resolution passed by the group adds urgency to the search.



The committee will take up the resolution as a part of its discussion during their monthly meeting beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Land and Water Conservation Department in Luxemburg.

Teweles descendant praises efforts to save granary as crews prepare for its big move

By Tim Kowols

           A descendant of the Teweles and Brandeis families is happy the granary that bears their name will be saved. DeVooght House Lifters is preparing the upper stories for a move across the canal via hydraulic dollies where it will sit near Sturgeon Bay's First Avenue until future plans are finalized.  Brewer Ryan Schabach is meeting with city and Sturgeon Bay Historical Society officials in two weeks about possibly using the rehabbed building as a part of a planned Belgian-style brewery. Tracy Teweles says she thinks her ancestors would be happy to see the building they built on the city's west side be used in such a unique manner.



Teweles Seed Company controlled the grain elevator until the business was sold in the 1970s. Crews continue to work at the granary site to prepare for the move date, which is tentatively scheduled for between March 26 and 30 according to Jason Devooght in a Sturgeon Bay Historical Society video.

US Senate working on giving DACA recipients certainty

By Eric Fischer


Weeks ago immigration reform, specifically the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), was the hot-button issue, trying to figure out how to handle the DREAMers whether it be deportation or an easier path to citizenship.  However, the most recent deadline has passed with no action on either side due to an increased focus on gun control laws, as well as other aspects of immigration policy such as sanctuary cities.  US Senator Ron Johnson says he believes that President Trump's policy proposal for bipartisan support was generous and the DACA recipients need certainty.


Johnson adds that nobody is proposing to completely eliminate DACA and that reasonable limits to family members would help pass the proposal.  DACA recipients must renew their application every two years, which allows them to obtain work permits, social security cards, and driver's licenses without fearing deportation.  The next government funding deadline is March 23rd.

League of Women Voters of Door County hosting water quality experts

By Eric Fischer

The League of Women Voters of Door County has announced the second event of the Eileen Bohn Speaker Series, a talk called "Protecting Our Groundwater".  Speaking at the event will be UW-Oshkosh Geology professor Maureen Muldoon and USDA Agricultural Researcher Mark Borchardt, who combine to work on many projects.  Maureen and Mark will give an overview of the unique geology of Door County and discuss their work in the area.  Muldoon says that while politics tend to be divisive as a whole, water quality is an issue that brings people together.

Borchardt says he has worked with many hydrogeologists but Maureen is one of the best.


The talk will be at Sturgeon Bay High School on Saturday, April 28th at 9 am.  A panel of local experts will also talk after the guest speakers.

Academic excellence leads to full scholarship for Sturgeon Bay student

By Connor Sannito, Sturgeon Bay High School student correspondent


Sturgeon Bay High School student, Liam Herbst, earns a full-tuition scholarship to Iowa State University.


The high school senior was awarded the George Washington Carver full tuition scholarship proving outstanding academics and drive. On top of that, Herbst will uniquely be attending Iowa State's APEX Program this summer. He will take actual classes, get to know the professors/campus, and receive special access. This eight-week program is intensive. In fact, Herbst will be leaving the day after high school graduation.


Hard work was undeniably required in order to attain this feat. This is what Herbst had to say about his efforts.

Liam Herbst has taken AP Chemistry as well as AP Calculus 1, 2, and 3. He currently is working on Ordinary Differential Equations. In addition, Herbst received a 35 on the ACT.


He will major in Chemical Engineering at Iowa State University where he plans to ultimately help others.

Care 24-7 Food Pantry asking for donations

By Eric Fischer


The Stella Maris Care 24-7 Food Pantry is looking for donations so they can continue their mission to serve the community.  Care 24-7 sets itself apart from other pantries being open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, no questions asked.  The design is to allow people to come take what they need to get by without having to stress over qualifying because of financial background checks.  Steve Schultz, Care 24-7 Food Pantry coordinator says that he thinks sometimes people get distracted by the perceived wealth of Door County and the pantry can serve everyone.



Schultz adds that the most popular items that they need help keeping on the shelves are cereal, oatmeal, canned fruit, and tuna.  Food and money donations can be made at Stella Maris in Fish Creek at 4019 State Highway 42.   You can also donate money online at

Local effort to hire disabled workers can have financial and social benefits

By Eric Fischer


A nationwide effort to increase hires of disabled Americans is being echoed locally by the Door County Human Services Department.  With the increase of people with disabilities entering and re-entering the workforce, Social Security and welfare reliance is shrinking.  That's not the only benefit either, as  Cindy Zellner-Ehlers, the recently retired Developmental Disabled Program Manager for the Door County Human Services Department says that the value of work is also social.



Cindy adds that even 10-15 hours a week can be incredibly gratifying for these individuals. She also says that she would like to see business owners continue to champion the focus on the abilities instead of the disabilities.

Local veterinarian concerned over potentially harmful dog food

By Eric Fischer

The J.M. Smucker Company, maker of dog food brands Gravy Train, Kibbles N' Bits, Ol'Roy and Skippy has issued a voluntary recall of some shipments of wet dog food after low levels of the drug pentobarbital was found in the products.  Pentobarbital is a drug that can lead to death if consumed in high amounts and is typically used to sedate and euthanize animals.  Dr. Jordan Kobilca, owner of Door County Veterinary Hospital in Sturgeon Bay and Luxemburg Pet Clinic says that the dosage in these foods is unlikely to cause serious issues but there are specific symptoms to look for.


Kobilca adds that if you think your pet is experiencing these symptoms to bring them to a vet as soon as possible.  For a full list and more details visit the FDA website at this link. (

Used book sale at Sturgeon Bay Library March 17th

By Eric Fischer

The Door County Library in Sturgeon Bay will be holding their annual book sale on Saturday, March 17th.  The book sale includes a large variety of books such as newer titles by best selling authors like Clive Cussler and Sue Grafton to childrens' books for as low as a quarter.  Other popular genres such as history and baseball will be featured.  Youth Services Librarian Beth Lokken says she is excited that the book sale is coming up because of how popular it is.

Lokken adds that all small paperback books will be just 25 cents.  All the proceeds from the sale go back to the library to help fund programs and materials that benefit all the Door County libraries.

BUG's South Station nearing completion

By Eric Fischer


Contractors are putting their final touches on the new south station for the Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department and Door County EMS. Delayed by wet weather last year, the station will feature more room for the department's equipment and members when they are on duty and in for meetings. BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says the department likely will not move equipment until some of the outside landscaping is finished and its lot is paved. Vandertie is excited for the department and the community to see what has been built.



According to Vandertie, the station should be fully operational by May with a goal of a June date for an open house.

Self-Care for Stressed Parents

By Renee Koenig, Family Living Educator, UW-Extension


Parents have a lot of demands on their time, energy, and attention. This means that parents often neglect their own needs, which can strain your mind, body, and relationships.

The American Psychological Association's Stress in America survey shows that parents who have a child under 18 at home report having higher stress levels than other adults. Chronic stress is associated with increased risk of long-term health problems, such as anxiety, heart disease, insomnia, and weight gain. Stress can also impact your parenting. For instance, feeling stressed and not practicing self-care can make parents less sensitive, patient, and responsive to their children. Nearly half of parents say they lost patience with their children in the past month when they were feeling stressed. 

There is a bright side to this story! Even though stress is unavoidable, it can be managed! Parents can care for themselves and simultaneously model for children that self-care is important. This doesn't necessarily mean self-care is a weekly trip to the spa or lavish vacations. Rather, self-care involves building healthy and rejuvenating physical, emotional, mental, relational, and spiritual practices into daily life. For some this may simply involve turning off all electronics an hour before bed. Others may find taking a walk with a friend or neighbor to be key for increasing well-being. You can't stop being a parent, but you can incorporate small, daily practices that keep you sane and happy in the midst of the parenting whirlwind.

Here are more ideas of how you can incorporate self-care into your life.

  • Care for your Body – get enough sleep, exercise and nutrition

  • Take a hot shower or long bath

  • Give and get hugs and kisses everyday

  • Spend time with friends

  • Laugh and find things that make you laugh

  • Attend a local place of worship

  • Spend time outdoors

  • Ask for help – no one can do it all alone.

  • Make something (paint, do crafts, sew, knit, make jewelry, build something, do woodworking)

  • Try to disconnect from work when not at work

  • Listen to music

  • Read a book or magazine

  • Volunteer for something not connected to your children, like the local food bank, a community garden, or the Humane Society

  • Keep a journal -  Write down one thing you are grateful for each day

No single self-care idea will work to eliminate all your parenting and life stress, but combining several practices will help decrease your stress, improve your parenting, and make your daily life more satisfying.

Subscribe to our parenting newsletter for more parenting support:

Sturgeon Bay athletic training programing is growing

By Carson Talbert

Alyssa Lee's Athletic Training Aid program at Sturgeon Bay High School is thriving with nine high schoolers participating. The program is in its second year and Lee says exposing interested students into the field of Athletic Training gives them firsthand experience.



CPR and first aid certification is a baseline requirement. Participation in this program includes 120 hours each semester of monitoring games, learning taping and rehabilitation, in addition to weekly assignments on body functions, according to Lee. Completion of these tasks results in a varsity letter.  (Photo credit to Alyssa Lee's Facebook)

Kress Pavilion proving its popularity during opening weeks

By Eric Fischer


The Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor has proven to be a busy place in its first months since opening earlier this year. In addition to being the home of the Egg Harbor branch of the Door County Library, it has hosted several events in its second-floor space and even has held yoga, food and drink pairings, and arts and crafts nights. Deputy Administrator Megan Vandermause says the space is proving to be a great addition to the community.


The Kress Pavilion is located just off of Church Street across the street from the Peg Egan Performing Arts Center, which Vandermause says will release their 2018 schedule in the coming weeks.

Hundreds gather for Southern Door FFA fundraiser

By Eric Fischer


Over 350 people attended the Southern Door FFA Alumni Cheese and Wine Gala on Friday night, surpassing last year's attendance.  All the proceeds from the event go back to the Southern Door FFA program for scholarships, leadership conferences, and other programs designed to help Southern Door students become better leaders.  Southern Door FFA advisor Ann Glowacki says she appreciates the alumni association's efforts.


Rich Olson of Olson Family Farms and the Southern Door FFA Alumni President, was kind enough to show us around the event with the various prizes, wines, and cheeses.  Check out the video below.

Door County Clerk/WCCA President Jill Lau focusing on proposed legislation

By Paul Schmitt


Door County Clerk Jill Lau is approaching the last three months of her presidency of the Wisconsin County Clerks Association (WCCA), after being sworn into the position last January.  Lau, who has been the Door County Clerk for over 11 years, says the association was engaged in many proposed legislation in the past year including one regarding possible in-person absentee voting.



Lau also says the WCCA has also been involved in other legislation regarding recounts, school referendums, issuing passports and an amendment to marriage law license.  The presidential term for the WCCA will finish for Lau at the end of June.

Door and Kewaunee County cheesemakers medal at World Cheese Championship

Door and Kewaunee Counties are becoming known for not only cherries, fish boils and wineries but award-winning cheese as well.  The 2018 World Cheese Championship in Madison earlier this week saw  Door Artisan Cheese Company in Egg Harbor awarded the Best in Class for the Cave-Aged English Cheddar in the Natural Rinded Cheddar category.   Mike Brennenstuhl, the owner of Door County Artisan Cheese, says they feel very fortunate to place this year.



Agropur in Luxemburg and Ponderosa Farms in Kewaunee also were recognized for award-winning cheeses.  Pat Doell of Agropur took Best in Class in smoked provolone cheese and says it was a team effort.



Ben Shibler of Ponderosa Dairy in Kewaunee took second and third place in the Natural Cheese category for the Ponderosa Farmstead Whips and Mini-Whips.  Shibler says it was a surprise to win in the world-class caliber competition.



Door Artisan Cheese Company also placed third with his Crema Pressato in the fresh asiago category.  You can find the complete listing of the 121 cheese class categories from the World Cheese Championship with this story online.

Layoff worth the wait for Schabach's Sturgeon Bay brewery dream

By Tim Kowols

As the Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator slowly gets dismantled and prepares for a move across the Sturgeon Bay canal, Ryan Schabach's brewery dream begins to rebuild. Schabach first presented his idea to turn the granary into a brewery back in 2015, but a proposal from Titletown Brewing Company and Smet Construction was chosen over his. Things have changed, not only for the current Lakefront Brewery employee, but the status of the people he was planning on bringing aboard and the building itself. Schabach says as events unfolded, he would ask for status updates from Sturgeon Bay Community Development Director Marty Olejniczak and the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society just to keep in touch. Now he is spending time getting things back on track.



Schabach will be in Sturgeon Bay in two weeks to have more conversations with the city and the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society, but believes there are still more hurdles for the two sides to take care of before his venture can take off.

Gallagher places focus on margin protection program, immigration for area farmers

By Tim Kowols

Wisconsin farms are expected to make approximately six percent less money in 2018 than last year according to a University of Wisconsin-Madison report, and Wisconsin District 8 Rep. Mike Gallagher hopes elements of a new farm bill can provide much-needed aid. The primary focus is on a margin protection program, which farmers buy into to protect themselves from lower than expected milk and feed prices. Rep. Gallagher says the formula does not make sense and does not necessarily insure against a "rainy day."



He also points out that the immigration debate also has an impact on area farmers.



According to the Farm Journal, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives will likely weigh in on a new farm bill in April or May.

Sevastopol weighs options for new facilities plans

By Tim Kowols    

Tight hallways and classrooms, cracking walls and floors, and non-ADA and code compliance issues are forcing Sevastopol School District and its residents to take a deeper look at its facilities plan. The district's Citizens Facility Advisory Committee (CFAC) has narrowed the field of choices to three ranging from two different plans calling for a mix of renovations and additions in the $39-41 million range to constructing a brand new building with an estimated price tag of $54 to $56 million. Balancing the evolving needs of students and the battles of a building that has portions dating back to 1924 has been tough according to Sevastopol Superintendent Kyle Luedtke and says now is the time to address them.



If no renovations or additions took place, Luedtke pointed to over $3 million in needed repairs that would still need to take place. The CFAC meets again Monday night and the public is encouraged to attend the meeting and to request tours to learn more about the building's needs before a survey is sent out in the coming months.

Door County Medical Center's Worrick credits staff with most recent national recognition

By Tim Kowols

Jerry Worrick from Door County Medical Center was recognized by Becker's Healthcare once again earlier this week for being one of the top 50 rural hospital CEOs. It marks the third year in a row Worrick has earned the distinction,  which honors those making a positive impact on their organizations as they recruit physicians, expand service, and implement new technology in the name of improving the patient experience. When asked about the recognition, Worrick deflected the praise to all of Door County Medical Center's employees.



National recognition is nothing new for Door County Medical Center, which has consistently ranked among the country's top rural hospitals overall and in several different metrics such as patient care and cleanliness.

Algoma Rescue relies on mutual assistance to deal with "hectic day" this week

By Paul Schmitt


The Algoma Rescue's resources were stretched earlier this week with emergency calls but mutual assistance from neighboring rescues saved the day.  On Monday, over a twelve hour period, Algoma Rescue responded to six emergency medical incidents in their coverage area.  EMS Director Kelly Koss says his volunteers helped Luxemburg Rescue when they were out on two calls, and Kewaunee Rescue covered Algoma Rescue when they were called out on two other calls later that day.





Koss says certain protocols are set up amongst departments in the area that they know when assistance will be needed.    He added that he is very proud of the Algoma Rescue personnel that have always stepped up when necessary in times of peril while serving Algoma and Kewaunee County.


(photo from Algoma Fire & Rescue Facebook)

Drunk Driving continues to plague Wisconsin and local roadways

By Paul Schmitt

Local law enforcement would like to see more severe penalties for drunk driving.  When it comes to heavy and binge drinking, Wisconsin ranks second in the country behind only North Dakota in the highest percentage of adults who drink excessively.  According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), nearly one in four adults (24.7%) in Wisconsin report binge or heavy drinking.  Wisconsin also is the 8th highest state with alcohol-related driving deaths at 36.9%.  Door County Sheriff Steve Delarwelle says he would like to see Wisconsin make Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) first-time offenders face criminal charges.






The study also showed that the drunkest city in both the state and the United States was Green Bay with 26.5% adults reporting binge or heavy drinking.  Green Bay is one of only five nationwide metro areas where more than half of all driving deaths involve alcohol.

Gibraltar Schools, Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department boast strong relationship

By Tim Kowols

The relationship between Gibraltar School District and the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department is something both sides equally benefit. For  the school district, all staff members were able to participate in CPR training with help from instructors at the fire department, while the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department has been able to have positive encounters with students, recruiting a couple volunteers in the process. Fire Chief Chris Hecht says partnering with the local schools is something all volunteer fire departments can appreciate.


Hecht commended the several Gibraltar students who worked hard to address their graduation requirements so they could spend their afternoon at the station for what amounts to be an internship in firefighting.

"Singing Farmer" returning to his passion

By Tim Kowols

Forty years after a career that included shows impersonating Elvis in Las Vegas and appearing on the Don Ho Show in Hawaii, Egg Harbor farmer Don Kuehn is beginning his comeback to music. Recording mostly covers at Studio 330 in Sturgeon Bay, following his passion for music was one of the last wishes made by Kuehn's late wife. Kuehn says that now was the time to get back into the studio to give music another shot.



Calling Kuehn "the singing farmer" and a Door County original, Studio 330 owner Hans Christian says working with Kuehn has been a joy.



Kuehn performs throughout the county, including a benefit for Neighbor to Neighbor in Institute next weekend. He is also an alternate for NBC's The Voice.

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Marine Sanctuary in Kewaunee County may be nixed after Governor Walker pulls support

By Tim Kowols

Hope for a boom in maritime-related tourism in Kewaunee County was dashed this week when Governor Scott Walker rescinded his support for establishing a National Marine Sanctuary in Lake Michigan. The inclusion of Kewaunee County was part of two plans floated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the planned sanctuary, which would have added federal protection for over 100 miles of eastern Wisconsin shoreline where several shipwrecks exist. According to the USA Today Network- Wisconsin, Governor Walker wrote in a letter that he believed the sanctuary would "create further unnecessary bureaucratic red tape" and the restrictions would be "too much of a tradeoff for the negligible benefit to protect shipwrecks."  Kewaunee County Tourism Coordinator Jennifer Schneider says she was hopeful the designation would have brought new people to the area.



NOAA officials had been working on the designation for three years after Governor Walker originally nominated it in 2014. Kewaunee County Board member Lee Luft called worries of federal interference unfounded last month, saying many of the concerns would still fall under state control.

Late winter a perfect time to start addressing fruit tree health

By Tim Kowols

Months away from bearing fruit, the Door County UW-Extension is hosting a course later this month to help keep the trees healthy through pruning. Late winter proves to be a great time to cut excess branches because it is dormant and it is easier to see the overall structure of the tree. Door County UW-Extension Agriculture Educator Annie Deutsch says there are a few things to keep an eye on as you snip through your fruit tree.



The UW-Extension presentation and demonstration on pruning fruit trees will take place March 22 at Emerald Acres Farm in Sturgeon Bay. You can find registration details online with this story.

Renard joins First Senate District race

By Tim Kowols

De Pere resident Alex Renard will force a Republican primary this fall after entering the First Senate District race on Tuesday. The 24-year-old Renard is currently the operations manager at his family's Renco Machine Company, which serves several different industries across the nation. Renard says he would like to help address the state's infrastructure needs and the area's water concerns.



Renard is slated to face state Representative Andre Jacque in the Republican primary. No Democrats have announced a bid for the First Senate District seat, which was vacated by Frank Lasee after he left to take a role in Governor Scott Walker's administration.

Jacksonport campground clears hurdle after town board hears appeal

By Tim Kowols

A plan to build a campground in Jacksonport will make its next stop at an upcoming Door County Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting after the town board gave it their blessing for a conditional use permit earlier this week at a special session. The meeting was needed after a group of Jacksonport residents made an appeal against the 130-plus site campground, citing safety and noise concerns. After residents opposing the development spoke, Jacksonport Town Chairperson Randy Halstead says Steve Parent of Baudhuin Incorporated, who worked with the prospective campground owners Cary and Cherie Lauritzen on the plans, spoke to address many of their concerns.



No timetable has been set for when the Door County Zoning Board of Adjustment will hear the plans. The campground has already been approved by the county's Resource Planning Committee.

Southern Door schools constantly looking at security while hoping for state funding

With security a major concern for school districts around the country after last month's attack on a Florida school, area educators and administrators are looking for ways and funding to better secure their facilities.  Southern Door High School Principal Steve Bousley says he is hopeful that school districts like Southern Door will get help from the state legislature.





Bousley says whether you have a school campus, or a private business, or a manufacturing factory, every place presents unique problems and situations that need to be addressed.  Southern Door is continually updating their security protocols based on best practices and recent incidents.

Summer Day Camp registration begins at Door County YMCA next week

A staple of the Door County YMCA programs begins registration next week.  Summer Day Camp for children at the YMCA is designed for fun and educational opportunities that help in youth development by mastering skills and building relationships.  CEO and President Tom Beerntsen says the impact of day camps on the youth is great every year.





Day camp registration begins on March 12 for members and March 14 for community members, according to Beerntsen.  You can find more information on day camps and other programs offered at the Door County YMCA locations in Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek.

Kewaunee County Food Pantry seeking more canned goods as demand begins to lessen

By Paul Schmitt

The pallets of donated foods have the Kewaunee County Food Pantry in Algoma stocked well for the upcoming spring season.  Kewaunee County Food Pantry President Ken Marquardt says although the demand has leveled off after the past three months, the food pantry could always use more canned goods.






Marquardt says the pantry also takes in used furniture that they resell all year long.  The Kewaunee County Food Pantry holds a huge rummage sale twice a year with the next one coming in April.  If you are interested in donating items to the pantry, you can do so by dropping off donations on Mondays or Wednesdays from 10 am until 1 pm.

Zellner-Ehlers retires after 35 years with Door County Human Services

By Paul Schmitt

After 35 years with the Door County Human Services Department, Cindy Zellner-Ehlers has recently retired as the Developmental Disabled Program Manager.  Zellner-Ehlers decided at the end of 2017 to retire and spend more time with her family and her one-year-old grandchild.   She started in a managerial role in the department and then working for people with mental health difficulties and finally those affected with developmental disabilities.  The biggest challenge being addressed now is children's mental health needs, according to Zellner-Ehlers.





Zellner-Ehlers' last day on the job was February 23 and she was formally recognized for her years of service at the Door County Board meeting last week.  She lives with her husband Door County Circuit Court Judge D. Todd Ehlers on Kangaroo Lake and has two adult children.

NTSB preliminary report on Pagel Ponderosa airplane crash

By Paul Schmitt

The National Transportation Safety Board Aviation Accident Preliminary Report on the Cessna airplane crash in Indiana on February 22 that killed all three people onboard including Pagel's Ponderosa owner John Pagel has been released.  Pagel along with his son-in-law Steven Witcpalek and pilot Nathan Saari were killed when the plane crashed 60 miles outside of Indianapolis enroute to Green Bay.  The report says "shortly after takeoff the pilot deviated from the assigned heading and altitude.  When questioned by the departure controller, the pilot replied that the airplane was out of control."

The preliminary report goes on to say after a short time of re-directing the flight's elevation and direction, communication and radar contact was lost.   Several witnesses reported hearing the airplane flying overhead and described the airplane as being very loud and that the engine sound was steady until they hear the impact.   You can see the entire NTSB report online below.


Door County Highway Department up to challenge of Tuesday's heavy snow

With areas on the Door Peninsula reportedly picking up as much as eight inches of snow Tuesday, the Door County Highway Department started early and finished late but was able to keep up on clearing roadways.  Door County Highway Commissioner John Kolodziej says crews started out at 3 am on Tuesday morning and were able to keep the roads passable with a little help from Mother Nature.





Kolodziej says the highway crews were out early again this morning to push back any roadside snow and drifted snow.  He says there were no major breakdowns of equipment during the storm and that the Door County Highway Department has plenty of salt and sand material for the balance of the winter season.

City approves granary building storage on eastside of Sturgeon Bay

By Roger Utnehmer

Sturgeon Bay's westside Waterfront granary may be moving across the channel.  The city council voted Tuesday to allow the soon-to-be-dismantled structure to be stored for up to one year on property near First Avenue and Oregon Street owned by Shipyard Development LLC.  Council approval was required to permit temporary storage for up to one year.  The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society has reached an agreement with the firm dismantling the granary and Peter Moede, a partner with Shipyard Development LLC, that could result in the granary being re-constructed across from its current location to the east side of the channel.



A 64-unit multi-family housing plan for Egg Harbor Road was also approved by the Sturgeon Bay city council Tuesday.


The proposal prompted discussion about who should pay for paths and sidewalks with Mayor Thad Birmingham and Council Member Kelly Catarozoli agreeing it should be developers.


City Attorney Randall Nesbitt informed council members the recently-released Department of Natural Resources ruling establishing an ordinary high watermark for the west-side waterfront may be appealed by Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront.  The council voted in closed session to prepare for the appeal in such a manner that if the Friends group does not, neither will the city.


Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront won a lawsuit filed against the city with the result of limiting where commercial development can take place on the west side waterfront.  At issue is the location of the line, called the Ordinary High Water Mark, between property that must be held in public trust and where commercial development can take place.

East Twin River aquatic life survey coming soon from DNR

By Tim Kowols

Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee member Lee Luft hopes the Department of Natural Resources presents the final results of its aquatic life survey of the East Twin River as soon as its next meeting on Tuesday.  The DNR completed the study last year after the Water Action Volunteers found acute levels of chloride in the East Twin River in previous studies. Luft hopes the DNR findings corroborate with those of the WAV so meaningful action can begin to take place.



The presentation was on last month's agenda for the Land and Water Conservation Committee meeting but was delayed. The committee will meet again next Tuesday in Luxemburg.

"Raising of America" documentary series to be featured during Sturgeon Bay, Baileys Harbor events

By Tim Kowols

Raising children to lead a healthier, safer, and more prosperous life is the focus of a pair of events hosted by the Door County Partnership for Children and Families. The group will a host a pair of events in Baileys Harbor and Sturgeon Bay showing the premiere episode of "The Raising of America," a five-part documentary series that dives into what communities can do to ensure the best start they can for their children. Door County UW-Extension Family Living Educator Tenley Koehler says children are important to the success of their community and hopes this starts a dialogue on how to uplift them.



The documentary will be shown at the Door County Government Center on March 20 and at the Baileys Harbor Town Hall March 22. You can find additional details on these events and "The Raising of America" documentary series online with this story.

Broadband Internet concerns being addressed for underserved communities

By Tim Kowols

Efforts in the public and private sector to make reliable broadband Internet more widely available in rural areas is picking up steam. According to the USA Today-Wisconsin Network, Microsoft and Packerland Broadband are working together to expand rural broadband access to 82,000 customers in northern Wisconsin counties and upper Michigan through unused TV frequencies. Broadband access has also been a hot topic for groups visiting the Legislature, including the Wisconsin Farmers Union just last week. Liberty Grove Town Chairperson John Lowry says he has been keeping a close eye on the trends and appreciates the effort being put into the issue.



Lowry hopes the town hears back on a Wisconsin Public Service grant they applied for that would provide funding for two new towers in the area in April.

Door County Economic Development Corporation, local communities look to address housing concerns

By Tim Kowols

The Door County Economic Development Corporation and local municipalities are working together on a study in hopes it will address the area's housing concerns. The Attainable Housing Taskforce will divide the county into three geographic areas (Southern Door, Sturgeon Bay area, Northern Door) and focus on senior, seasonal, and year-round affordable housing to try alleviating some of the pressures people have trying to find a place to live. Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Caleb Frostman says they hope to generate the information needed to put a plan into action.



Frostman hopes the comprehensive housing study will be completed and delivered in the early part of the summer this year.

Drivers cautioned about slippery roads as wintery weather returns

By Paul Schmitt

With wintry weather expected throughout the day Tuesday, snow-covered roads may cause some slippery driving conditions.  According to the National Weather Service, Door and Kewaunee Counties are expected to have accumulations of up to five inches of snow with winds gusting up to 24 miles per hour.  Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says if you must travel, be cautious and think ahead.





Sheriff Joski says drivers should have an emergency kit in their vehicle and keep a close eye on tire and fuel levels during winter driving. The winter weather advisory is in effect until 6 pm tonight.

Winter weather forcing Tuesday cancellations, postponements

By Tim Kowols

Door County YMCA

- All classes will be canceled for the remainder of the day

- Both Northern Door and Sturgeon Bay Program Centers (facilities) will be closing at 8pm tonight

- There will be no Kids Club or drop-in Kids Care

- Barker Child Development Center will close at the regular time of 5:45pm


Algoma School District: Closed Tuesday, Childcare available.

Door County Library: Forestville is closed, storytime at Sturgeon Bay is canceled, but the building is open. Ephraim Book Club canceled.

Knights of Columbus Baileys Harbor #4896: Meeting canceled

Kewaunee County Dining and Meals on Wheels canceled

Kewaunee School District: closed, career night canceled

St. Mary's Algoma: closed

Kewaunee Meals on Wheels: closed

We Are Hope, Inc.: closed

Southern Door School District: closed

Door County YMCA: The Door County YMCA Barker Child Development Center will be opening at 7:00am today due to weather conditions. Program Classes are cancelled until 3:00pm today at both Sturgeon Bay and Northern Door Program Centers. Facilities will remain open!

NWTC: Sturgeon Bay and Luxemburg campuses closed.

Sturgeon Bay School District: Closed

St. Peter's Lutheran School: Closed

Northern Door Children's Center: Closed

Zion Lutheran School: Closed

Gibraltar School District: closed

Sevastopol School District: closed

St. John Bosco: closed

No Meals on Wheels in Door County

ADRC Door County: Closed

Adventures Child Care: Closed

Sunshine House: open one hour later, only the Sturgeon Bay routes will be run

East Shore Industries: Closed

Stella Maris Parish: No services in Sister Bay

Granary finding a new home on Sturgeon Bay's eastside waterfront

By Paul Schmitt

The granary building looks to be saved.  The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society announced over the weekend that a private donor agreed to purchase portions of the Teweles and Brandeis granary which is currently being dismantled by Kiesow Enterprises.  Plans are underway to move the structure across the bay to the east side near the foot of the Maple to Oregon bridge.  Kelly Avenson of the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society explains where the granary would be restored.






Avenson says the waterfront location would hopefully keep the granary on the State Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places.  The Sturgeon Bay City Council will be discussing a consideration Tuesday afternoon of storing the building on the proposed new site along South 1st Avenue.

(photo submitted by SBHS)

Kewaunee County emergency personnel recognized for lifesaving response

By Tim Kowols

Emergency personnel in Kewaunee County were among those recognized over the weekend by the American Heart Association's Heart Ball at Lambeau Field for their lifesaving response almost two months ago in Casco. Luxemburg Rescue, Casco-Lincoln Area EMS, Kewaunee Coun ty Sheriff's Department, and Green Bay Fire Department worked together to help save a life, providing critical attention within minutes of the initial call. Brad LeGrave from Casco-Lincoln Area EMS says the recognition shows the importance rural and volunteer emergency departments.



According to the National Volunteer Fire Council, nearly 85 percent of the nation's 30,000 fire departments are either all or mostly volunteer.

Keeping track of property tax bill important step to take in homebuying

By Tim Kowols

Bills like property taxes and utilities are part of the equation to consider when buying a home. The total property tax bill can change from year to year and still needs to be addressed even if your home or land is completely paid off.  Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says paying your property tax bill through escrow with your lender helps keep the money put aside until you need it.



The Door County Real Estate records Web site can give you a look at the property tax costs for any home or land you are considering purchasing. You can listen to the entire Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver online with this story.

Algoma Superintendent confident in staff's training in crisis situations

By Tim Kowols

Although students do not go through active shooter drills, Algoma School District Superintendent Nick Cochart is confident his staff is prepared for when the time comes. Recent events around the country have forced school districts to look into the protocol they have when suspicious activity comes to their doorstep. Cochart says staff is trained twice a year on what to do in crisis situations and believes it is reassuring for them to sit down in a room with their colleagues and work through some things.



Speaking up in circumstances that do not feel right is one thing Cochart encourages more people to do, saying residents should join together to see what kind of resource changes need to take place locally and to make sure those who need help get it at the right time and for the right reasons.

Granary storage solution to be discussed during Tuesday's Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting

By Tim Kowols

Finding a home for the dismantled granary will be among the items discussed by the Sturgeon Bay Common Council when it meets Tuesday at noon. The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society has agreed to purchase salvageable parts of the granary currently being dismantled by Kiesow Enterprises. The hope is to move the parts across the canal and stored on its possible future home near First Avenue until a plan can be finalized. According to a memo from Community Development Director Marty Olejniczak, The Common Council would have to authorize the site to be used for temporary storage in the meantime since doing so now would be in violation of current municipal code. The Common Council will also revisit two closed session items from its last meeting when it discussed amending its contract with Kiesow Enterprises and weighing in on the Department of Natural Resources' Ordinary High Water Mark determination for Parcel 92, the current resting place of the granary.

Pagel, Witcpalek services set as community remembers

By Tim Kowols

Farmer Don Niles will not just be paying his respects to his business partner and Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy owner John Pagel Friday and Saturday, he will be remembering a dear friend. Pagel, his son-in-law Steve Witcpalek, and their pilot Nathan Saari died last week when their plane crashed in rural Indiana on their way from Indianapolis to Green Bay. Niles first met Pagel as his farm's veterinarian in the late 1980s and soon they traveled to farms around the country learning new ways of handling cows, people and facilities. He credits Pagel with innovations now commonly used across the state.


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