News Archives for 2018-05

Altrusa begins work on upcoming Back-To-School Fair

By Tim Kowols       

Students are still in session at many area schools, but that is not stopping Altrusa Door County from beginning their plans for their marquee event in August. The Back to School Fair has grown over the last 20 years, going from 125 children at the start to serving over 600 last year. Altrusa Door County registers families in need during the spring before they host the event to take an accurate of what they will need to buy. Donor liaison Nancy Kexel-Calabresa says members enjoy the personal fulfillment associated with creating the Back to School Fair.

Kexel-Calabresa says the organization fundraises year-round to help purchase the items needed based on area schools' supply lists. Altrusa Door County is the local chapter of the international civic-minded organization.

Newport State Park hosts bat monitoring event Friday

By Tim Kowols       

Known as an International Dark Sky Park, Newport State Park visitors will be asked to keep their eyes a little bit lower Friday night as they monitor the activity of the area's bat population. The activity is as simple as counting bats as they leave their houses located in the park. The information gathered, however, is crucial to keep track of the effects of white-nose syndrome in the area. The fungal disease has killed nearly seven million bats nationwide since it was first discovered in 2006. Naturalist Beth Bartoli says the bats are harmless unless you are a bug.



Visitors can meet at Newport State Park's Nature Center for the event beginning at 8 p.m.

Kewaunee County Sheriff thankful for State Patrol presence

By Tim Kowols       

Every county has at least one, but Kewaunee County, in particular, appreciates the role the Wisconsin State Patrol has in their area. Trooper Logan Christel recently took over the Kewaunee County post from Trooper Bryan Ashenbrenner, who was reassigned to Manitowoc County earlier this year. With the limitations, a small department has when it comes to traffic enforcement and investigative work, Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski appreciates the role Christel and the Wisconsin State Patrol provide for the area.



In addition to enforcing traffic and criminal laws, the Wisconsin State Patrol also helps motorists in need, inspects trucks, school buses, and ambulances, and assists local law enforcement in times of heavy need. You can read the rest of Sheriff Matt Joski's Sheriff's Corner online with this story.



In keeping our communities safe, the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department relies on a close relationship with many other local, state and federal agencies.

On a daily basis we interact and support our local law enforcement agencies within our county through mutual aid requests, sharing of resources and combined training events. In a time of concern over budget limitations and an ever-increasing demand on the services we provide, there is no room for territorial pride or agency exclusion.

The Wisconsin State Patrol is one of the organizations that we work very closely with and rely upon for the unique skill set and resources they are able to bring to the table.

For the past few years we have been fortunate to have Trooper Bryan Ashenbrenner as our assigned state patrol officer for Kewaunee County. Recently Ashenbrenner was assigned to Manitowoc County, which has resulted in Kewaunee County being assigned a new state patrol officer.

Our newly assigned trooper's name is Logan Christel. We welcome Trooper Christel's presence here in our county and appreciate the focus that he brings to our local traffic enforcement.

While the deputies and officers of county law enforcement do write traffic tickets and repair notices for defective equipment, we also respond to many calls for service and are involved in investigative work as follow-up to those calls, which limits our ability to provide the attention to traffic law that is paramount in maintaining safety on our roadways.

Due to the fact that many times we cannot provide a consistent and sustained focus on traffic law, the continued presence of a resource which can focus their attention on speed, failure to yield right of way, failure to stop at a stop sign and the many other traffic laws is a welcome addition to our law enforcement team.

In addition to traffic law, Christel also brings with him a wealth of knowledge on motor vehicle code, which will bring additional attention to issues such as tinted windows, defective exhaust systems and the many other vehicle equipment code statutes which we must all abide by.

We are very fortunate and grateful to have Trooper Christel as part of our law enforcement family and he has our full support in all that he does to keep our roads safe.

I have had the opportunity to visit with Logan, and I am impressed with his approach to law enforcement and his appreciation for the type of community policing that is the foundation of our local law enforcement mission. Welcome to Kewaunee County, Logan!

Kids experience free flight for Aviation Day

By Tim Kowols       

Children ages 8-17 can see Door County from a different perspective Saturday during Aviation Day activities at the Ephraim-Gibraltar Airport. Thanks in part to the EAA's Young Eagles programs, licensed pilots will take kids on an approximately 20-minute flight while teaching them the basics of airplanes and flying. Ephraim-Gibraltar Airport volunteer John Neville says it is a great learning opportunity.



The free event for Young Eagles, their parents, and military veterans runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

New Door County Medical Center skilled nursing facility named after $2 million donation

By Tim Kowols       

Weeks before ground is broken, Door County Medical Center announced the name and released the plans of its new skilled nursing center Wednesday. The facility will be named the Pete and Jelaine Horton Skilled Nursing Center and Hospice Care Center after the Sturgeon Bay couple donated $2 million to the project.  The building will feature two wings offering private skilled nursing resident rooms and space for end of life care.  It will also share a kitchen, dining room, spa area and a communal space for activities. Door County Medical Center CEO Jerry Worrick says the concept is to make it more home-like.



Fundraising for the project is currently underway for the $9.5 million facility which hopes to be open by next summer.

Six seniors earn perfect GPAs at Kewaunee

By Tim Kowols       

While most schools name just one student as its valedictorian, Kewaunee High School can claim six graduating seniors as the top of their class. Cam Hanrahan, Gabby Czech, Thomas Gallenberger, Devin Ihlenfeldt,  Travis Miller, Alexandra Rueckert, and Adrianna Tupper all earned 4.0 GPAs throughout their high school careers to highlight the 78 member class. Kewaunee High School Principal Mark Dax says many of the graduates plan on taking advantage of the technical fields.



Dax says 59 students earned over $700,000 in scholarships from Kewaunee Area Scholarships as they prepare for their next step. Kewaunee will host their commencement exercises on June 3.

Art, gathering space focus of Ellison Bay Beautification Project

By Tim Kowols       

A group of Ellison Bay residents are taking it upon itself to make their village a more beautiful place to be. Members of the Ellison Bay Beautification Project have already approached the Town of Liberty Grove Board to add features like crosswalks and speed boards to make it safer for non-motorized traffic. The focus is now to establish a town center where people can congregate and to improve its overall look and feel. Ellison Bay business owner and lifelong resident Carol Fitzgerald Ash is proud to be a part of a larger effort to improve the place they call home.



Currently in the works for the Ellison Bay Beautification Project is a large mural honoring the area's love for art and nature and a green space featuring a butterfly garden.

Wednesday's groundbreaking a long time coming for Habitat for Humanity, Purdy family

By Tim Kowols       

Wednesday's groundbreaking ceremonies for Door County Habitat for Humanity's 41st Home Build could not come soon enough for the organization or its partner family. The Purdy's were named the partner family just over two weeks ago, putting the build close to two months behind according to construction supervisor Chuck Stone. Executive Director David Van Dyke says the excitement has been picking up.



Jacob Purdy says after three previous attempts, he is happy for his wife Amanda and their five kids to see the beginning of their first family home.



Volunteers from Door County Habitat for Humanity hope to get the home built sometime this fall, but extra days may be required. Excavation crews are not due to the site for another two weeks.

Luxemburg's Dairy Days Dash for Best Buddies Saturday

By Paul Schmitt    

The streets in Luxemburg will be taken over by walkers and runners this Saturday with a specific cause in mind.   The Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce's Dairy Days Dash 5K Run/Walk will again benefit a local non-profit, this time the Luxemburg-Casco Best Buddies program. Best Buddies is a national volunteer movement created to foster one-on-one friendships and employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  Chamber President Alex Stodola says the event, which has attracted up to nearly a thousand participants in the past, will offer a unique photo-op this year.


The run/walk will begin and end at the Luxemburg Village Hall with the race starting at 8 o'clock Saturday morning.  You can find registration information for the Dairy Days Dash 5K run/walk below.  Late registration will be accepted right up until the run/walk.

Milk prices take a bump up as dairy farms dwindle

By Paul Schmitt    

Although the suppressed milk prices continue for area dairy farmers, they did get a little bit of good news this past week.  According to Hoard's Dairyman, the June Class I (fluid milk) price went up 81 cents in May to $15.25 per hundred weight.  Despite being six cents lower than a year ago, Jim Wautier of ChurchSite Farms in Brussels says he doesn't expect milk prices to change much this summer.


According to the USA Today, Wisconsin lost about 500 dairy farms last year with the milking herd of cows being down twenty percent from five years ago.  The retail price of a gallon of whole milk is $2.81, which is down from the high of $3.87 in 2007.

DNR Master Plan draft proposes moving Peninsula State Park entrance

By Paul Schmitt    

The proposed future move of the Peninsula State Park entrance in Fish Creek has a local community activist calling for Door County residents to take action to make sure it does not happen.  Christie Weber says plans to construct a new Park Entrance Visitor Station (PEVS) as listed in the Long Term Prescriptions in the newly released Department of Natural Resources' Draft Master Plan and Environmental Analysis for the Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Ecological Landscape would be devastating to Fish Creek.


The Wisconsin DNR draft released this month, states that the exact location for the new entrance has not been determined, but the current location is not a likely candidate due to natural resource concerns there.  DNR official James Dick told that federally protected Water Iris plants near the park entrance would prevent expansion and improvements in making for a safer entry into the park.    You can find the entire Master Plan draft online below.

Kewaunee County begins summer beach testing again after successful 2017

By Paul Schmitt    

The beach testing in Kewaunee County along Lake Michigan begins this week.  Selner Beach in Kewaunee and Crescent Beach in Algoma will be tested twice a week during the summer for the presence of E. coli bacteria.  When water samples are above certain levels, advisory or closure signs are posted at the beaches.  Kewaunee County Public Health Director Cindy Kinnard explains the procedure if levels reach a point necessary to disclose an increased health risk.


CFUs stand for colony-forming units.  Kinnard says that the Kewaunee beach had only one advisory last year while Algoma's Crescent Beach had two advisories and just one closure.  She credits the good work done on the beaches in the past for the positive testing results.

Town of Gardner hosting recycling event to benefit environment and community

By Paul Schmitt    

The Town of Gardner is holding their first-ever Electronics Recycling Event next Thursday.  All Door County residents and businesses can drop off items over a three-hour period.  Items like Computers, laptops, printers, microwave ovens, appliances, and anything metal can be dropped off at no charge.  Plan Commission member Mark Lentz explains why the Town of Gardner is hosting the event.


Items that will require a slight fee include monitors and televisions.  The Electronics Recycling Event is Thursday, June 7 from 4:00 until 7 pm at the Gardner Town Hall on County C in Brussels.

Side Pork Festival is back this weekend in Sturgeon Bay

By Paul Schmitt    

A popular festival that features a unique cultural delicacy and music will again be featured at Martin Park in Sturgeon Bay this weekend.  The annual Side Pork Festival is this Saturday.   Organizer Ryan Hoffman explains how the side pork will be cooked on the day of the event.


Side Pork Festival 2018 will be from 9 am until about 6 pm Saturday at Martin Park and include over 30 vendors, as well as a, featured a "kids zone", according to Hoffman.  Proceeds from the event will go towards programs at the Door County Sheriff's Department like the K-9 project and other causes.

Northern Sky Theater breaks ground on new campus

By Paul Schmitt    

The ceremonial first step in a two-building campus for the Northern Sky Theater started this past weekend.  One of Door County's oldest and best-known outdoor performance companies broke ground on Sunday on the corner of County A and F in Fish Creek.  Artistic Director Jeff Herbst says the new campus, as well as improvements at the Peninsula State Park venue, are critical to the long-term future of Northern Sky.


Construction on the production and storage facility has started with the second building, a creative center that will house administrative offices and a 250-seat theater that should be open in the fall of 2019.  Northern Sky Theater's 2018 shows begin on June 13.

(Photo submitted)

Senator Baldwin calls out opioid overdose antidote manufacturers for "taking advantage of taxpayers"

By Tim Kowols       

Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin says the rising cost of opioid abuse antidotes is preventing communities from turning the corner on the crisis. According to Bloomberg, prices on Naloxone have been climbing in recent years to as much $4,500 for two injections of Evizio or $150 for the nasal spray Narcan. Law enforcement officials from Door and Kewaunee County met with Senator Baldwin in Sturgeon Bay Tuesday about the impact the opioid crisis is having on their communities and how Naloxone is just as important to protect their first responders as it is to save lives during an overdose. Senator Baldwin says she fears drug manufacturers are taking advantage of the situation.



The Democratic Senator hopes the federal government can be better partners with local governments to help stem the associated costs with the opioid crisis after being told Tuesday the impact on city and county budgets the epidemic could have if it gets worse.

All options on the table for transportation fund woes for Jacque, Frostman

By Tim Kowols       

With a $1 billion shortfall expected for transportation funding, Wisconsin Senate District 1 candidates Andre Jacque and Caleb Frostman are up for any suggestions. Gas tax hikes, registration fee increases, and tolling have all been ideas floated by the Wisconsin Legislature over the years. Jacque, currently a Republican Assembly member for the state's 2nd District, does not believe tolling is viable but says he supports a plan that could increase fees and taxes while eliminating the burden in other places.



Democratic candidate Frostman says all options have to be considered as his frustration builds with roads not conducive to tourism or manufacturing, which is a worry of area manufacturers with products that could be damaged in transit.



Neither candidate has explicitly taken a "no tax increase" pledge. You can listen to the entire interviews with both candidates ahead of their June 12 special election showdown online with this story.

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Excitement building for Door Kinetic Arts Festival

By Tim Kowols       

Entering its third year and adding online ticket sales was bound to help attendance at the Door Kinetic Arts Festival in Baileys Harbor, but hosting Rainn Wilson from TV's The Office and his wife Holiday Reinhorn for the week certainly does not hurt either.  The Door Kinetic Arts Festival will host a cocktail competition prior to its official June 11 kickoff which includes writing workshops, viewings of Oscar-nominated short films and documentaries, and performances of plays and dances. Festival producer Alan Kopischke says people are excited about the full slate of activities, but having the star power of Wilson and Reinhorn is what has people talking.



Passes for the festival, which include a reading of Wilson's new screenplay and a writer's workshop with Reinhorn, are available online and at the door. The Door Kinetic Arts Festival will take place June 11 through June 15 at Bjorklunden.

Door County Community Foundation awards over $77,000 in scholarships

By Tim Kowols       

Local high school students received a boost for their post-secondary education thanks to the Door County Community Foundation. The organization distributed approximately 40 scholarships at a worth of $77,000 to students through its Door County Scholarship Network. President and CEO Bret Bicoy says they have tried to make it easy for students to apply for more than just a couple different scholarships.



Bicoy hopes the program will be able to expand even more next year, anticipating over $90,000 could be distributed through its scholarships.

High School Seniors played heavy role in Live Algoma's start

By Tim Kowols       

From its inception to its national recognition last year, the senior class at Algoma High School will always have their fingerprints on the Live Algoma Initiative. The students were underclassmen when the Live Algoma Initiative was created, with some of the students moving on through the years to present the program at a global youth summit in Colorado earlier this month. Algoma High School Principal Nick Cochart takes a lot of pride in how far many of the students have come.



Fifty-five students, led by valedictorian Corrina Naze and salutatorian Khloe Williams, will collect their diploma when Algoma hosts its commencement ceremonies on June 3 at 2 p.m.

Students get hands-on experience through youth apprenticeship

By Tim Kowols    

For graduating seniors Caleb Sansom of Sturgeon Bay High School and Kale Jauquet of Southern Door, their one-year youth apprenticeship at N.E.W. Industries only confirmed their future plans to join the manufacturing industry in the future. The two attended classes in the morning before heading to their shifts for the afternoon. Jauquet spent his time in N.E.W. Industries' turning department and says his youth apprenticeship helped set his mind on what he hopes is a lifelong career.


Sansom worked as an apprentice for the toolmakers and the engineers at the manufacturer and believes it was an experience more students should take on in the future.


With tuition assistance from N.E.W. Industries, Sansom and Jauquet will continue on with the company as they pursue degrees in engineering and CNC operation from Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

Bass fishing heated up fast over the weekend

By Paul Schmitt    

Water temperatures, as well as small-mouth bass fishing, heated up this past weekend.  Door County Fishing Professional  JJ Malvitz says the recent hot weather along with the calming of winds added to productive days on the water.  He says the bass definitely like the warmer water temperatures and anglers are taking advantage of the timing.


Malvitz says the smallmouth bass are not in the all-out spawning mode yet, but they are searching out the shallow water areas that they traditionally go to eventually spawn.  He says water temperatures Monday ranged from the low 50s in northern Door County to the low 60's in southern Door County.  The largest bass in the history of the Sturgeon Bay Open Bass Tournament was caught last weekend weighing nearly nine pounds.

Singer Ruby James featured on Music Mondays

By Paul Schmitt    

Music Mondays began this week at Donny's Glidden Lodge in Door County.  Local musician Ruby James who is a solo artist and the lead singer of Wifee and the Huzz Band will be providing a weekly blend of her favorite songs on Monday evenings during the season.  James says her music influences include two iconic women of rock and blues.


James, who has performed around the United States, began playing guitar and writing songs while she was attending college.    She attributes a lot of her love for this area to songwriter pat Macdonald, who she considers one of the greatest of all time.

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Public packs Sturgeon Bay Fire Department for Memorial Day Ceremony

By Paul Schmitt    

Over 200 people gathered at the Sturgeon Bay Fire Station bay Monday morning to honor fallen soldiers during Memorial Day ceremonies. Door County Veterans Affairs Officer Scott McFarlane emceed the event while music was provided by the Peninsula Symphonic Band.  The Guest speaker and Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Daniel J. Zimmerman shared his thoughts on what Memorial Day means to him.


The Memorial Day ceremony concluded with local post commanders reading the names of the fallen from Door County dating back to the Civil War, a rifle salute and the playing of taps.  You can watch a video of the Door County Memorial Day ceremony below.

Farmers, motorists asked to share the road as planting season hits high gear

By Tim Kowols       

Farmers rushing to get crops in while motorists try to get to where they are going are making commutes a little tenser.  The planting and harvest seasons can make for crowded roadways as farm equipment makes it out to the fields. According to the Great Plains Center for Agricultural Health, farm equipment crashes are most likely to occur on roads experiencing higher speeds and traffic density. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says it is the responsibility of motorists and farmers to make the road safe for each other.


Joski reminds farmers traveling through muddy fields to pick up after themselves if they drag excess dirt onto roadways or risk a citation.

Door County Habitat for Humanity sets groundbreaking for May 30

By Tim Kowols    

After months of waiting, Door County Habitat for Humanity will finally get to break ground on its 41st home this week. The organization had been struggling to find a qualifying partner before it named Jacob and Amanda Purdy and their five children as this year's family last week. Megan Dietz from Door County Habitat for Humanity says even though they are a month behind schedule compared to last year, their volunteers are ready to go.


The community is invited to congratulate the Purdy family and witness the home's groundbreaking on 6th Place in Sturgeon Bay May 30 beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Casco Marine memorialized with 9th annual softball tournament

By Paul Schmitt    

As Memorial Day ceremonies were celebrated throughout Door and Kewaunee Counties Monday morning, a 1997 graduate of Luxemburg-Casco High School will be memorialized this coming weekend.  The 9th annual Lance Corporal Dean Opicka Softball Tournament will be held at the Casco Village Park from Thursday through Sunday.  Opicka served in the Marines and Operation Iraqi Freedom and was one of three L-C graduates who died in the Iraq War.  Dennis Opicka says the softball tournament and motorcycle ride on Sunday is a perfect way to remember his brother.


The softball tournament begins at 6:15 Thursday evening with the motorcycle ride on Sunday beginning at 10:30 in the morning.  All proceeds from the events benefit the Lance Corporal Dean Opicka Memorial Fund that supports local academic scholarships and local hardship gifts.

Late planted crops benefited by heatwave

By Paul Schmitt    

The recent hot weather spell has area farmers quickly moving on from the late planting season.  After one of the later spring crop plantings of corn and soybeans, Mother Nature has helped local agriculture make up for lost time.  Rich Olson of Olson Family Farms and a member of the Ag Board, says along with the heat, added moisture will help recently planted crops to really start growing.


According to farmer Greg Letter in Southern Door County the corn is already sprouting in the fields.  He says that the corn is well on its way to hitting the "knee high by the fourth of July" measuring stick typically used to gauge the crop progress.

Lions Club hosts Sister Bay annual Memorial Day Car Show

By Eric Fischer



Over $5,000 was raised Sunday afternoon at the annual Sister Bay Lions Club Memorial Day Car Show fundraiser.  The show was free to attend and featured a 50/50 raffle, kids' model car building contest, and a brat fry with all proceeds going to the Sister Bay Lions Club, which they use to support the community. Butch Schramm, Lions Club Vice President, says he loves giving back to a wonderful community.

More than 60 cars were on display at the car show, which Schramm believes to be an event record.  You can watch a video from the car show below.

Powers award-winning thesis calls for compromise on granary

By Eric Fischer


Sara Powers used the ability to compromise as the theme for her award-winning Master's thesis project at the University of Minnesota.  Powers, an architecture student, used her project as a proposal for the Teweles and Brandeis Granary building to be renovated at its former site, combining the efforts of those trying to save the building with those wishing to develop the waterfront property.  Powers describes her project as a community center that could facilitate future growth.

Powers won the Faculty Choice award for having one of the top thesis projects in her program.  Powers was a Sturgeon Bay High School Graduate in the Class of 2011.

Crews thankful for less traffic on County C

By Eric Fischer



As the construction on County Highway C continues, construction crews are thankful fewer cars are going through the work zones.  This had been a problem early in the project that resulted in increased police presence in the area to watch for through traffic and motorists not obeying new speed limits.  Sturgeon Bay City Engineer Chad Shefchik says cars avoiding the area allow crews to work faster to get life back to normal.


Shefchik says West Maple Street should open early this week and that West Hickory Street is open to all traffic.  You can sign up for weekly email updates on the project by contacting the Sturgeon Bay Engineer department.

Local coach concerned kids are overworking themselves

By Eric Fischer

As the school year comes to an end, a local coach is concerned about the number of kids signing up for sports.  With the increasing amount of specialization, kids only playing one or two sports, spring and summer workout programs are seeing declining numbers, as well as an increase in injuries.  Neil Seering, head coach of the Luxemburg-Casco track team and assistant football coach says kids are being pulled in too many directions.


Coach Seering advocates for a return to multisport athletes, having been a former three-sport athlete himself, as each sport trains the body to work in different ways, preventing injury.  A USA Today High School Sports study recently showed 29 of the first 32 players selected in the 2018 NFL Draft were multisport athletes, which Seering hopes continues going forward.

Gibraltar inducts nine students to National Honor Society

By Eric Fischer


Earlier this month, Gibraltar High School held its annual National Honor Society (NHS) induction ceremony, honoring nine students who have gone above and beyond inside and outside the classroom.  To be eligible for the group, students must possess a minimum of a 3.5 GPA, be active in school activities as well as extracurricular activities, perform community service hours, and have held leadership positions in clubs and activities.  Anne Kifer, Gibraltar math teacher and NHS sponsor, says the National Honor Society allows community members to see the positive things teens do in the community.

Kifer adds that she wasn't in NHS herself as a student but thinks it is a valuable organization and is proud to advise these individuals. Photo courtesy of Anne Kifer.

Gallagher praises Speaker Ryan

By Eric Fischer


With the upcoming retirement of House Speaker Paul Ryan, a local representative praises Ryan for stepping up when no one else would. When Ryan announced in April he would not be running for re-election this fall, US Representative Mike Gallagher praised him for stepping up when approached by colleagues and accepting one of the most difficult positions in Washington D.C. In an interview earlier this month, Gallagher wanted to thank Ryan and says he deserves time with his family.

Gallagher says he isn't sure who will replace Ryan as Speaker of the House in January, and hopes other congressmen will hold off actively campaigning for the position so they can continue to get work done. Earlier this week Gallagher voted to support Senator Ron Johnson's "Right to Try" bill which passed in the House 250-169.

Military Circle of Honor recognizes Ellison Bay veterans and founders

By Eric Fischer


The Liberty Grove Historical Society museum opened earlier this week, however, it is a new attraction people are coming to on the holiday weekend. The Military Circle of Honor was dedicated last summer, honors veterans from the area and has already hosted military appreciation events such as Vietnam Veteran's Day in March. Nancy Kurtz, co-chair of the Liberty Grove Historical Society, says the Circle of Honor also remembers the founders of the community and recommends people see it for themselves.

The museum will host their grand opening party on June 23rd beginning at 10 am. The Liberty Grove Historical Society also hosts a monthly meeting the third Monday of each month.

Door County Maritime Museum cuts ribbon on new exhibit

By Eric Fischer


The Door County Maritime Museum opened its newest exhibit Saturday morning in an effort to get people of all ages interested in maritime history. The new exhibit, "Shipwrecks of Door County" features artifacts and information from some of the 275-plus vessels that crashed near the coastline. Bill Harder, President of the Door County Maritime Museum's Board of Directors says the new exhibit aims to get kids interested in local history.

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, the museum hosted guided tours and guest speakers, as well as a scavenger hunt and kayak raffle. For coverage of the Ribbon cutting ceremony, click on the video below.

Wisconsin DNR announces Lake Trout open season

By Eric Fischer


A recent population spike will allow Wisconsin anglers to take home more trophy fish this summer following a Wisconsin DNR rule change. The new rule change allows anglers to now catch five Lake Trout on Lake Michigan instead of the previous bag limit of two. Wisconsin Conservation Warden Jordan Resop says the new bag limit will include a multi-year open season.

Resop reminds those fishing on the Great Lakes and Green Bay to carry the paper copy of their license. To purchase a license, as well check regulations you can visit the DNR Website at the link on this story.

The Miller Art Museum announces its next "Our Water Stories" exhibition

By Eric Fischer


The Miller Art Museum is hosting a Milwaukee artist as part of the county-wide Celebrate Water Door County initiative. As part of the "Our Water Stories" exhibit focusing on water, artist Melanie Ariens will be speaking at the museum on June 14th, sharing her passion for the Great Lakes and how it inspires her artwork. Elizabeth Meissner-Gigstead, Miller Art Museum executive director, says there will be diversity in the type of works on display in the exhibit.

Meissner-Gigstead adds Ariens also uses her passion for art to inspire local leaders and community members to engage in environmental issues, especially the water we all share. There will also be an opening reception for the exhibit on June 2nd that's free to the public beginning at 6:30 pm.

300 Miles of Shoreline:  Another Fun Year of Kayaking and Kayak Fishing in Door County!

By Bill Schultz




It's Memorial Day Weekend, the kick-off to summer.  I'm looking forward to another season of kayak and kayak fishing reports for Door County Daily News.  I want to start by reminding all of you kayakers that the air temps may be in the 70's and 80's, but, water temps on Green Bay and Lake Michigan are still cold, so, be sure to never go out in your kayak without wearing your Personal Flotation Device (PFD), and, if out alone, let someone know where you are and when you plan to be back.


This season I'll again be talking about great places to launch your kayak, different types of fishing kayaks, paddles, chasing those big Door County smallmouth bass, kayak fishing gear and more.  Speaking of those big smallies, this is a great time of year to get out on Green Bay and Lake Michigan with many fish in shallower due to spawning activities. One of the major reasons we have such an outstanding smallmouth bass fishery is due to so many anglers understanding that practicing catch and release with this wonderful fish is the only way to keep the fishery strong.  If you catch a big smallie, take a quick picture and then "Free the Fighter".


Also, part of the spawning process is for male bass to make the bed where the female lays the eggs, and then the male guards that bed.  It's important to let that male do its job and not try to catch bass guarding those beds.


OK, now let's look at a few great locations on the peninsula for launching and then having a beautiful Memorial Day Weekend kayak outing, which is so good for the mind, body and spirit.  Using the kayak launch on Tennison Bay in Peninsula park puts you on the water for a great outing along the park's beautiful shoreline. Further north is the launch on Garrett's Bay and exploring this spectacular bay.  To the south, launching at Murphy Park and heading north or south is great fun. All these launches have plenty of parking. If you don't have a kayak, but would like to give kayaking a try, you can rent at kiosks in Ephraim across from Wilsons, the Sister Bay Beach and Nicolet Beach in Peninsula Park.

Have a safe and great Memorial Day Weekend and I'll look forward to giving my kayak and kayak fishing reports all summer.  And, as always, if you have questions you can email me at

Mental health awareness continues as Mental Health Month ends

By Eric Fischer


As Mental Health Month comes to an end, an Algoma group is hoping people take the steps to continue their wellness going forward. Live Algoma and the UW- Extension Kewaunee County has partnered all month to provide workshops and social activities to promote physical and mental wellbeing in the Algoma area. Jody Anderson, the Community Nurse Activator for Live Algoma encourages people to do one thing every day to improve their mental health.

Live Algoma still has some programs as May concludes, including a Discover Zen Gardens workshop on Tuesday at the Algoma Public Library at 5 pm. Live Algoma will continue to post healthy lifestyle tips on their Facebook page.

Door County Libraries preparing for summer reading programs

By Eric Fischer


The Door County Libraries will be rocking this summer as June 1st is the kick off to the summer reading programs. This year's theme "Libraries Rock" will combine reading with music-themed activities throughout the summer. Youth Services Librarian Beth Lokken says she strongly encourages kids to sign up for the program to avoid the "Summer Slide".

Sign up begins June 1st for both kids and adults, with the first programs varying by location. For a full list of activities at your favorite library visit the Door County Library website or stop at the branch for more information.

Door County YMCA announces new summer classes

By Eric Fischer

To continue its mission to engage and connect individuals in the pursuit of healthy wellbeing, the Door County YMCA has announced the launch of several new summer classes. The Fish Creek location revealed at this week's Wednesday from the Y they will be hosting an Ultimate Fit class, a Beginner's Yoga Class, and Zumba this summer with a demo day scheduled for June 11th. Megan Schneider, the Adult and Health and Wellness Director says she thinks there's something for everyone at the YMCA. will be hosting a live morning show from the Fish Creek location of the Door County YMCA every Wednesday morning, with upcoming events and health and wellness tips from YMCA staff. You can listen live on 105.1 WSBW.

Door County Sail and Power Squadron reminds boaters the importance of life jackets

By Eric Fischer


As summer unofficially begins Memorial Day weekend the Door County Sail and Power Squadron has a simple reminder that could save lives.  The group wants to remind boaters that having life jackets on the Great Lakes is mandatory and strongly encourages people to wear them while on the water.  Lou Pasquesi, Lieutenant Commander of the Door County Sail and Power Squadron shares the importance of life jackets.

According to the US Coast Guard, 80 percent of all deaths on the water were caused by drowning, and 83 percent of those people were not wearing life jackets.  Pasquesi also encourages having your boat inspected and taking a boaters' safety course.

Exposure To Extreme Heat Can Be Dangerous To Your Pets

By Paul Schmitt    

With temperatures soaring into the eighty-degree range this holiday weekend, pet owners are reminded that the return of hot, humid weather is not a friend to our four-legged friends.  Dr. Jordan Kobilca of Door County Veterinary Hospital and Luxemburg Pet Clinic says a few preventative measures can go a long way in protecting your dog in the heat as you enjoy outdoor activities.


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

Kindness Matters program 'spreading' throughout Algoma

By Paul Schmitt    

A special education aide at Algoma School District is working with students and the community to show that "Kindness Matters".  Amy Schoenberger, who started the Kindness Matters program at the beginning of the school year, says the idea stemmed from middle school students being compassionate to other students.  Taking the initiative Schoenberger ordered special stickers, pencils, and magnets that students would receive for doing random acts of kindness.  She explains the success of a recent "spread Kindness like peanut butter and jelly" drive and subsequent voucher program through Craig's Piggly Wiggly that has customers indirectly donating loaves of bread.


The bread voucher program has already brought in nearly 100 loaves of bread for students.  Schoenberger says the passing of a former student, Britney Ebert, originally led her to pursue the passion of getting students to feel special in giving back.  She says the movement has really grown throughout the school year thanks to a couple food drives done earlier this year.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Door County keeps bond throughout the summer

By Paul Schmitt    


Connections from Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Door County is staying strong in the summer.  With area schools letting out for the semester, the Big Brothers Big Sisters participants at Southern Door and other area schools are working to keep the relationship connected the next three months.  Patty O'Rourke, the Door County coordinator, says the "bigs" and "littles" work to keep in touch during the summer.


O'Rourke says, in the past six years, Southern Door has gone from 20 matches in 2012 to 65 this year.  You can find contact information on becoming a Big Brothers or Big Sisters in Door County and/or volunteer for upcoming events online with this story.  $$

Thursday, June 7 – Big Brothers Big Sisters Brat Fry at Marchant's Meats, Sturgeon Bay – serving from 11am to 1:30pm – enjoy a yummy brat for lunch, and proceeds will benefit our Door County program
Saturday, June 16 – The Red Putter turns "purple" for the day – 10am to 10pm – $1 per game AND $1 per hole-in-one will be donated to our Door County program
Monday, June 25 – Door County Tavern League 4 Person Scramble at Maxwelton Braes, Baileys Harbor – 11am shotgun start – our Door County program is one of the charity partners for this event. Form a team, and enjoy the day, including raffles, betting holes, and a picnic supper around 5pm.
Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15 – Help needed, passing out water and Gatorade to runners in the Door County Triathlon – All volunteers receive a free t-shirt, and are welcome to stop down to Murphy Park before or after their shift for free food in the food tent (pulled pork sandwiches, corn on the cob and beer/soda). Door County BBBS is one of the charity partners.
For more information about these, and other ways to volunteer, call Patty O'Rourke: (920) 489-3545.

Kress Pavilion showcasing Midsummer Music and Pro Arte Quartet Saturday

By Paul Schmitt    

Midsummer's Music will be kicking their festival concerts beginning June 15, but a special performance by Wisconsin's famed string quartet will be featured at the new Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor Saturday evening.  New Executive Director Allyson Fleck, who will remain as the assistant creative director, says the Pro Arte Quartet brings a world-class performance to the audience.


Fleck says the Kress Pavilion offers an incredible venue with outstanding acoustics.  The Pro Arte Quartet performance is Saturday evening starting at 7pm in Egg Harbor.  You can find the complete schedule of Midsummer's Music concerts with this story online.

TMDL meeting set for Luxemburg June 21

By Tim Kowols       

Tempering the expectations of a planned Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study by the Department of Natural Resources will be part of the goal when a meeting on the topic is held in Luxemburg next month. The study of watersheds located in Kewaunee County and neighboring areas was included in the most recent budget to take a look at the maximum pollutant a body of water can receive while still meeting quality standards. Kewaunee County Board Supervisor Lee Luft says residents need to know the details and understand it is a long-term process.



The public meeting will take place at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds Expo Hall on June 21 at 1 p.m.

Rogue Theater comes off the road to have "Beer for Breakfast"

By Tim Kowols       

After a month of being on the road doing mystery dinner performances, Rogue Theater returns to its friendly confines at the Jaycee Clubhouse to perform a new show. "Beer for Dinner" is about a group of middle-aged buddies reuniting for a "guys weekend" before the appearance of the wife of an absent friend sets off a battle of the sexes. Rogue Theater's Stuart Champeau has high hopes for the show, which debuted on Thursday.



"Beer for Dinner" playwright Sean Grennan will be in town next week for a performance before Rogue Theater ends its run on June 3.

Gibraltar students get a first-hand look at consequences of drunk driving

By Tim Kowols       

Emergency personnel along with some students and staff members played the role of actors and teachers Thursday when they simulated a fatal drunk driving crash for the Gibraltar Secondary School body. Members of the Gibraltar Police Department, Ephraim Fire Department, Gibraltar Fire Department, Door County Emergency Services, Door County Sheriff's Office and a funeral home walked students through the events associated with a crash from removing people from their cars to notifying loved ones of their death. Principal Gereon Methner hopes it was a powerful experience for his students.



Methner says the drill is usually associated with prom season but was canceled in April due to weather. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, alcohol-related crashes killed 190 people and injured another 2,900 in 2015.

Broadband grants key to future economic development in Kewaunee County

By Tim Kowols       

The announcement of broadband expansion grants for Kewaunee County last month expects to provide a major boost for economic development in the future. The Public Service Commission awarded the county a $40,000 grant to build a wireless tower and install fixed wireless service for a yet to be determined place in Kewaunee County. The hope is to acquire more grants to duplicate the process countywide over time. With customers expecting more from their Kewaunee County suppliers in less time, Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation chairperson Lonnie Vincent says the lack of quality broadband Internet prevents businesses from moving forward.



The state awarded more than $5 million in broadband expansion grants in April and is already accepting applications for its next round in 2019.

"Shipwrecks" exhibit makes debut Saturday

By Tim Kowols       

The newest exhibit at the Door County Maritime Museum makes landfall Saturday as it takes a look at the ill-fated ships of the Great Lakes. "Shipwrecks of Door County" will allow visitors to get up close to artifacts from the damaged vessels as they learn about the over 275 located near the coastline. Executive Director Amy Paul says she loves how great the exhibit will be for people of all ages.



A full schedule of activities is planned for the opening day of "Shipwrecks of Door County" including guided tours and speakers. The exhibit received a Joint Effort Marketing grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism to help kick off its expected three-year run.

Record travel expected this holiday weekend

By Paul Schmitt    

With a record number expected to travel over the Memorial Day weekend, drivers are being advised to allow more time to get to their destinations.  According to AAA, nearly 42 million drivers are planning to travel during the holiday weekend.  Door County Sheriff Steve Delarwelle has some tips to make the roads safer the next few days with heavy traffic coming into the Peninsula.


Sheriff Delarwelle also reminds drivers to buckle up as the annual "Click it or Ticket" campaign is being strictly enforced by local law enforcement officers.  Despite the highest gas prices since 2014, traveling is projected to be increased by 2 million more people taking planes, trains and automobiles this weekend than last year, according to AAA.

Door County Board Chair Lienau shares details of White House Conference

By Paul Schmitt    

Some members of the Door County Board had the unique opportunity to meet with federal government officials this past week.   Five members, including Door County Board Chair Dave Lienau attended the Wisconsin County Executives and County Supervisors White House Conference on Wednesday.   Lienau explains what his takeaway were from the Washington, D.C. visit.


Lenieu adds that trade issues, especially with Canada, for agriculture was a concern for the supervisors being that the cherry and apple producers in Door County are facing some challenges in exporting products. He says all the supervisors were surprised at the openness of the administration and the efforts put into creating an inter-governmental relationship at the local level.

Door County Memorial Day services set for this weekend  

By Paul Schmitt    

All of Door County will have plenty of opportunities this weekend to pay their respects to fallen soldiers.  On Sunday, members of the local American Legion will perform ceremonies at twenty-two different cemeteries throughout Southern Door County.  On Monday, Sturgeon Bay, Sister Bay, and Washington Island will have ceremonies with special music performances and keynote speakers.  Door County Veteran Service Officer Scott McFarlane says Memorial Day marks one of the few times we can pay tribute to those that have passed away or were lost.


McFarlane recommends bringing a chair if you plan on attending any of the ceremonies on Sunday and Monday as seating is limited.  You can find the complete schedule of ceremonies in Door County for this Memorial Day weekend with this story online.


Tour of 22 Southern Door cemeteries begin at 7:20 a.m.

7: 20 am Forestville Twon (Maplewood)

7:30 am  Namur (Pit Road)

7:40 am Brockhausen

7:50 am Miesere

7:55 am  Brown

Kolberg    8:05 am

Brussels  8:20 am

White Star 8:30 am

Precious Blood 8:40 am

Stevenson 9:00 am

Geises  9:10 am

Maplewood  9:55 am

Carnot 10:10 am

Clay Banks Town 10:25 am

Vignes  10:35 am

Mount Olive 10:45 am

Shiloh Moravian 10:55 am

Schumacher 11:05 am

Hainesville 11:15 AM

Salem-Schulties 11:35 am

Forestville 11:50 am

Old Catholic (between Maplewood and Forestville  12:10 pm

12:15 pm  -  Assemble at Forestville town hall where 24 flags will be displayed representing those legion members who have passed away in the last 10 years and a special service for those members.



At 8:30 AM we will meet at Hendrickson Park on the corner of State Highway 42 and Mill Road in the Village of Sister Bay.  We will honor all deceased Veterans for their service to our country.  A wreath will be placed at the veterans memorial marker in the park.


At 10:30 AM  --assemble at Little Sister Cemetery on Little Sister Road next to Bay Ridge Golf Course in Sister Bay.


Sturgeon Bay:
8:30 a.m., Bayside Cemetery
9 a.m., St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery
9:30 a.m., Sturgeon Bay Health Services,
10 a.m., ceremony inside Fire Department


Washington Island: 10:30 a.m., Bethel Church with a march to Schoolhouse Beach where there will be laying of a wreath in the water for sailors lost at sea.

New owner takes over at Dairy Deans Restaurant

By Paul Schmitt    

Dairy Deans Family Restaurant in Algoma has changed ownership but the business will keep the name.  Gustavo Armana purchased the restaurant last Wednesday from Dean Tenor in a turnkey transaction.  Armana says the plan is to keep everything from the menu to the name Dairy Deans the same.


Armana has opened three other restaurants in the state over the past eight years in Glen Flora, West Salem, and Elkhorn.  He says new items will be added to the menu in the future and that the business has expanded the daily hours from 5 am until 9 in the evening.   Dairy Deans is located at the triangle intersection of 4th Street and Lake Street in Algoma.

Regional judging contest coming to Kewaunee County

By Tim Kowols       

Kewaunee County came through in the clutch for the state's upcoming Area Animal Science Day in June. After one host fell through, Kewaunee County stepped up to host the multi-county event for the second time in three years. Over 400 youth are expected to come to the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds in Luxemburg to judge a slate of animals and be scored on their knowledge through breeding and market evaluation. Kewaunee County 4-H Educator Jill Jorgensen says it is a great opportunity for kids to get the other side of the experience they receive during fair season.



Area Animal Science Day, which is also happening at two other sites across the state, will host a number of different workshops, including ones focused on small animal projects like rabbits, poultry, dogs, cats or llamas. Interested youth have until June 1 to register with their respective county extension offices for the event on June 14.

Corner of the Past Museum prepares to celebrate 20 years

By Tim Kowols       

The Sister Bay Historical Society will celebrate its Corner of Past Museum's 20th season of displaying the area's history when it opens on Friday. What started as a single historic house, the Corner of the Past Museum has expanded to 15 buildings all filled with historical pieces from Sister Bay and the surrounding area. Curator Roberta Kutlik says volunteers are hard at work getting the museum ready for its 2018 debut.



The Corner of the Past Museum opens for the season Friday at 10 a.m. and will be open Tuesday through Saturday through the month of October. Their weekly farmer's market begins on Saturday at 8 a.m. and also runs through October.

Jandu's donation a home run for local baseball

By Tim Kowols       

Youth baseball players in Brussels have Jandu Petroleum president Parv Jandu to thank for recent renovations made to their baseball fields. Jandu donated $15,000 to the Brussels Big Dog Youth Baseball program to replace the fencing for its field. Jandu says the donation is a thank you to the community for accepting him after he took over the Brussels General Store and Marathon gas station in 2016.



The field will be named in Jandu's honor as it prepares for another season of baseball, softball, and other events in the area.


Picture from Brussels Big Dog Youth Baseball

Barker named new Sturgeon Bay Municipal Services Director

By Tim Kowols       

It will be a homecoming of sorts for James "Mike" Barker after he was announced as the new Sturgeon Bay Municipal Services Director on Thursday. A 23-year veteran of the United States Coast Guard, Barker and his family decided to make Sturgeon Bay their home after he was stationed in the city from 2004 to 2006. The city received 22 applicants for the position after former director Bob Bordeau resigned from the post in February. City administrator Josh VanLieshout was not available via telephone for comment, but said in a press release that "Mike's prior career, education, and leadership skills are the traits that will help make Mike a success in Sturgeon Bay." Barker's first day is June 4.

Sevastopol senior class defined by its leadership

By Tim Kowols       

It may be one of its smallest graduating classes in recent years, but Sevastopol seniors are leaving a  big mark on their school. Just thirty-five students will cross the stage of the elementary gym in just over a week, led by the valedictorian Stephanie Benton and salutatorian Claire Brauer. Sevastopol Principal Adam Baier says the senior class has shown great individual leadership skills in a variety of different ways, including helping restart its multicultural club.



Baier says 91 percent of the graduating class took college-level courses during their time at Sevastopol and 94 percent of them will continue their education after they graduate on June 3.

Ridges' Festival of Nature touching every corner of Door County

By Tim Kowols       

From its most popular Plum and Pilot Island tour to a visit to Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farm Network member Brey Cycle Farm, The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor continues to expand its popular Festival of Nature. A Memorial Day weekend tradition, tours take visitors to different locations across the county by foot, boat, bus, and bike to show off the area's unique ecology. Drew Richmond from The Ridges Sanctuary says its group of 62 different tours really puts the county on display.



While some tours have been sold out for months, others are available for a fee by heading to The Ridges Sanctuary. The Festival of Nature runs through Sunday.

Retirees coming back into the fold for area businesses

By Tim Kowols       

Businesses across the country like NEW Industries in Sturgeon Bay are working hard to hold onto their older workers and even trying to attract new retirees. In both the public and private sectors, organizations are facing the challenges of retirements and a worsening labor shortage to meet their demand. While some retirees are looking to have more money above their fixed income, others like CNC machinist Karl Erickson just wanted to get back to work. The former Geneva, Ill. locomotive maker retired to Door County just over a year ago and now works afternoons at NEW Industries three days a week. Erickson says with plenty of time to do other things, it has been a nice change.



Erickson says people his age should not be afraid of coming to a place like NEW Industries to work because of the training that is provided to get you up to speed. According to the USA Today, the percentage of workers 65 and older either employed or looking for a job is up over seven percent from 18 years ago to 19.6 percent.

Kewaunee County third-graders get tips during rural safety days

By Tim Kowols       

Over 280 third graders shuffled from station to station inside the barns at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds learning tips on how to protect themselves during the annual Rural Safety Day on Wednesday. Safety tips ranged from how to be cautious around animals and equipment on the farm to sun protection and staying home alone. Cindy Kinnard from the Kewaunee County Public Health Department says it is a great day of learning for everyone heading into the summer.



Algoma third-grade teacher Chuck Bretl has taken kids every year to Rural Safety Day and says it is a worthwhile experience for those students.



A joint venture of the Kewaunee County Public Health Department and UW-Extension office, the annual Rural Safety Day has been taking place since 1997.

Fine Art Fair celebrates 20th anniversary this weekend

By Paul Schmitt    

Sunset Park in Sturgeon Bay will play host to the annual Fine Art Fair this Saturday and Sunday.  The event that started as a one-day happening twenty years ago with about 40 artists has grown to nearly 100 exhibitors.   Sturgeon Bay Visitors Center Executive Director Pam Seiler says the array of artists displaying their work will be diverse.


The Fine Art Fair will also have a "paint your own sturgeon" for children to participate in as well, according to Seiler.  Cathy Grier will be providing live music along with strolling musicians all weekend long. The Sturgeon Bay Fine Art Fair will be held Saturday from 10 am until 5 pm and Sunday from 10 am until 4 pm at Sunset Park on North Third Avenue and is free for the public to attend.

Help of Door County reaching out to Northern Door with annual meeting

By Paul Schmitt    

The Help of Door County is using the newly built Kress Pavilion as the backdrop for its annual meeting this June.  The meeting is being held a little later than usual, but Executive Director Steve Vickman says the opportunity to continue outreach to the northern parts of the peninsula was important.


The Help of Door County annual meeting will be from 5 pm until 7 pm on Thursday, June 21 in Egg Harbor.  You find information on services offered by Help of Door County to support victims of domestic violence with the link below.

Sen. Johnson gets his Right to Try bill passed in the House

By Paul Schmitt    

A bill that will allow terminally ill Americans to try experimental therapies and drugs is close to becoming law.  After months of deliberation and bouncing back and forth from the House of Representatives and the U.S Senate, the "Right-To-Try" bill was approved late Tuesday by the house.   The legislation was approved by the House by a 250-169 margin.  U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, who co-sponsored the bill, says that the patients and families who fought for the bill on a state level deserve the credit.


The Right-to-Try bill will now go to President Donald Trump's desk for signing.  Johnson stated earlier this month that the President had previously promised to sign the Senate's version of the bill.  Critics of the bill argue that the law would lessen the Federal Drug Administration's power and not make it easier for terminally ill people to access drugs.

Bruemmer Park Zoo adds "giraffe" to park as remodel continues

By Paul Schmitt    

The Bruemmer Park Zoo in Kewaunee is getting a makeover.  The historic zoo is starting a master plan that will be implemented over the next few years.  The plans will be revealed at the upcoming celebration event on June 3rd.  Zoological Society of Kewaunee County President Pam Zander explains the rebuilding project that will start in earnest this summer.


Zander says that the zoo is waiting to add animals until after the renovation plan is completed.  Besides the Bobcats, the zoo houses peacocks, arctic foxes, sheep, goats, deer, and pheasants.  The Bruemmer Park Zoo will also be unveiling an 80-foot high metal giraffe called "Melvin" at the event on June 3rd with a ribbon-cutting at 12:30 pm.

Door County native Adams stars in political docu-thriller movie

By Paul Schmitt    

A Door County native is featured extensively in a new documentary film that was released earlier this year.  John Adams, founder and editor of the Montana Free Press, is featured in "Dark Money" a documentary about the impact of the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision that essentially opened the door for anonymous political spending on elections by big corporations.  Adams, 39, says his investigative reporting on dark money spending during primaries where challengers were being backed by big money groups is prominently shown in the film.  He shares how he connected with the movie's director Kimberly Reed to star in the documentary.


"Dark Money" premiered at the Sundance Festival in March and will be in select theaters this summer.  It will be also shown on Public Television this fall, according to Adams.  You can watch the movie trailer of "Dark Money" below.

Luxemburg Casco High School seniors recognized for community involvement--Graduation tonight

By Paul Schmitt    

The Luxemburg-Casco High School is celebrating the graduation of their students Wednesday evening to honor a class that made a big impact in and around the school.  Over 150 seniors will receive their diplomas at the commencement ceremony, but Superintendent Glenn Schlender says it's the work they've done outside the classroom which is really impressive.


Schlender says graduation is the crowning moment of the school year.  He noted the state championship wrestling team and state-runner-up volleyball team as highlights of the past school year.  You can watch the graduation ceremony with the link below.

L-C High School Facebook Page

"Super Heroes" a popular read at Algoma Public Library

By Paul Schmitt    

Super Heroes a popular read at Algoma Public Library

With area schools letting out in the next couple weeks, children will be able to trade in their textbooks for some leisurely fun reading.  The Algoma Public Library carries a large selection of educational books, but Youth Librarian Dylan Rummel says the popular reading material checked out in summer usually covers the entertainment end.


Mo Willems is a writer, animator, voice actor and creator of children's books like the Elephant and Piggie books.  The Algoma Public Library is open weekdays from 10 AM until 7 PM and Saturdays from 10 AM until 3 PM.

Maifest in Jacksonport highlights weekend activities in Door County

By Paul Schmitt    

The unofficial start of the summer of festivals begins in Door County this weekend.  The 46th annual Jacksonport Maifest is Saturday and Sunday.  Sponsored by the Jacksonport Advancement Corporation, the event with multiple activities begins at 10:30 Saturday morning with the parade followed by a Flag Ceremony to honor servicemen and women.  Committee Chair Ann Sheridan says something new this year includes the Open Door Bird Sanctuary bringing some of their birds of prey this Saturday.


Maifest includes a juried art fair, midway activities and plenty of food along with a car show and live music.  Sunday activities include a 10K run and two-mile fun run in the morning and a 4-H Horse and Pony Drill Team and Frontier Farmers horse pull at 1 pm.  You can find the details of Jacksonport Maifest activities with the link below.

Jobs common denominator for Jacque, Frostman on campaign trail

By Tim Kowols       

They may be in different parts of Wisconsin State Senate District 1 when they are campaigning, but both Republican State Representative Andre Jacque and Democrat Caleb Frostman are hearing the same theme when talking to constituents. Despite an unemployment rate hovering at around three percent, Jacque and Frostman have been asked about the quality of the jobs available. Jacque says it is an issue he is proud to have done some work on in the Legislature.



Frostman says people are spinning their wheels as they work two to three jobs just to get by.



The two will meet in the special election on June 12. The winner will take over for Frank Lasee, who departed the seat in December. You can listen to full interviews with Jacque and Frostman online with this story.

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Grant keeping unemployed people on the road

By Tim Kowols       

Door-Tran is offering another way to help people struggling with transportation to stay on track. In their conversations with clients, Door-Tran learned its current vehicle repair loan program did not meet all of their needs due to its 20-plus hour work week requirement. It left the currently unemployed and individuals on a fixed income without a ride if their vehicle needed repairs. Nikki Voight of Door-Tran says reliable transportation is something many take for granted.



The Repair Grant Program, which has been partially funded with help from the Door County Community Foundation, can assist with up to $500 towards maintenance costs for eligible households. You can contact Door-Tran for more information on eligibility and how you can apply.

Presentation takes deep look at invasive species in Kewaunee County

By Tim Kowols       

Landowners can learn how the Environmental Protection Agency can help with their invasive species concerns when the Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission hosts a conversation Wednesday in Luxemburg. Plants like phragmites, wild parsnip, and Japanese knotweed have taken a hold of the area while landowners figure out what it is and how to treat it. Natural Resources Planner Angela Kowalzek-Adrians says a grant acquired from the EPA could help manage the problem better.



"A Conversation on Invasive Species in Kewaunee County" will take place Wednesday evening at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds Expo Hall beginning at 6 p.m.

Southern Door grads earn close to $1.7 million in scholarships

By Tim Kowols       

This year's graduating class at Southern Door High School will be receiving plenty of help to chase their dreams following their commencement on Sunday. Southern Door's 89 graduates earned approximately $400,000 in single-year scholarships and an additional $1.3 million in multi-year scholarships. Principal Steve Bousely says it is a testament to the hard work the students and the staff members have put in over their academic careers at Southern Door.



Led by valedictorian Deseree Dufek and salutatorian Zoey Kohler, Southern Door will host their graduation ceremony Sunday at 2 p.m.

VFW placing flags at cemeteries this week to honor veterans

By Paul Schmitt    

The tradition of placing the American Flag on the graves to honor the veterans buried in Door County and around the country will continue this week before Memorial Day.  The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 3088 will canvas Sturgeon Bay area cemeteries this Thursday to put out nearly 1,000 flags on grave sites.  Post Quartermaster Bill Graf shares Thursday's schedule.


Graf says the little-known Southside Cemetery is located behind the White Birch Inn in Sturgeon Bay.  Anyone willing to help the VFW out on Thursday should meet at the Bayside Cemetery chapel at 9 AM.  A pizza lunch at the VFW clubhouse will be provided at noon for volunteers.

Local Kayakers to protest the Back 40 Mine in Michigan Thursday

By Paul Schmitt    

A flotilla of colorful kayaks will be launched this Thursday in Sturgeon Bay to raise awareness of the perceived dangers of the proposed Back 40 Mine in Stephenson, Michigan.  Paul LeLine of the Door County Environmental Council says the event is designed to let people know that the action across the Green Bay could negatively impact the waters in this area.  He explains the environmental dangers of mining for gold, zinc, copper, and silver.


The proposed open-pit mine would be located 150 feet from the banks of the Menominee River and cover 83 acres of land.  Aquila Resources of Toronto, Canada has obtained three of the four final permits required through Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality (MEQ), the equivalent of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  The final permit ruling will be made by June 8th, according to LeLine.

Area Farmers hopeful Corn and Soybeans make up for low milk prices

By Paul Schmitt    

As area farmers are dealing with a suppressed milk market, global demand for corn has increased and offers optimism that corn prices will move upward.  According to the Des Moines Register, corn prices for this fall's harvest continue to trade at a near two-year high of $4.20 per bushel.  Jim Wautier of Church-Site Farm in Brussels says area farmers usually plant at least two different crops to increase the chances of a good return on their investment.


Wautier says despite the late spring he was able to get the last of his corn and soybeans planted in the last week.  Corn was up two to three and soybeans were up 15 to 20 on Monday, according to

 "Click It or Ticket" enforcement amps up this week

By Paul Schmitt    

Area law enforcement officers started this week patrolling in greater numbers for unbuckled drivers.  The annual Click It or Ticket mobilization is being done statewide to help prevent traffic-related injuries and deaths.  Door County Field Services Lieutenant Bob Lauder says although more drivers are buckling up today, the program is still an important reminder.


According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, about 90% of Wisconsin motorists currently wear safety belts.  The 10% of drivers who fail to buckle up accounts for almost half of all fatalities in Wisconsin traffic crashes annually.

Roof damage endangers artifacts at Deaths Door Maritime Museum

By Tim Kowols       

The Door County Maritime Museum hopes to raise $67,000 for a new roof in order to protect the artifacts and exhibits worth millions of dollars inside its Gills Rock campus. The newly renamed Death's Door Maritime Museum celebrates its 50th anniversary next year, but the roof is showing its age due to years of severe winter weather on the peninsula, including this April's record-breaking snowstorm. Artifacts inside the museum include pieces of Death's Door shipwrecks, dug-out canoes dating back to the 17th century, and the Plum Island Fresnel lens. Executive Director Amy Paul says having to take out a loan to do the necessary repairs could have an effect on future programming.

The Death's Door Maritime Museum, which usually opens in time for the Memorial Day weekend will be closed until further notice. You can find details on how you can help online with this story.

Sports gambling decision paves the way for possible financial concerns

By Tim Kowols       

The recent Supreme Court decision allowing states to decide whether or not sports gambling will be allowed is good news for those who want to save a trip to Las Vegas, but bad for those struggling with addiction. According to, over 80 percent of American adults gamble annually, with three to five percent of those people described as having a problem. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says she does not deal a lot with problem gamblers nor does she tell people how to spend their money, but does advise people to keep an eye on how much they win and lose.

Pustaver says incorporating how much you gamble into your monthly spending plan can help you identify whether or not you have a problem. You can listen to the rest of this week's Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver online with this story.

Technology, popular culture create change for law enforcement

By Tim Kowols       

Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski is proud of the relationships his deputies have forged in the community, but that does not mean the game has not changed for the 25-year law enforcement veteran. Social media and television have forced departments across the country to be more active in educating the public and getting to know what is happening in their communities. It also causes deputies and police officers to be critiqued with every step they take. Joski says while policing itself has changed over the last hundred years, the connection between law enforcement and the community must exist.

While criticism of law enforcement may have had an impact on the number of applications his department receives to join, Joski believes the quality of those applicants is only going up. You can read the rest of Joski's Sheriff's Corner celebrating Law Enforcement Appreciation Month online with this story.



May has historically been Law Enforcement Appreciation month. Last week at our state capital members of law enforcement from around the state joined together to pay tribute to those currently serving as well as to remember and honor those law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their community. It is not only appropriate that we take time to honor and appreciate these men and women, but necessary as well so that we can bring attention to the work and sacrifices which are made on a daily basis to maintain the quality of life we all are so fortunate to enjoy.

It is unfortunate that we are celebrating this awareness during such times of conflict and turmoil throughout our country. It is difficult to see the breakdown between any community and those who have taken an oath to protect them, their families and their property. I cannot judge either side, or give insight into events which I have not experienced or realities I am not exposed to. All I can speak to is the reality that I know here in Kewaunee County.

I know that I serve alongside some of the highest quality people I have ever met. Men and women who put on the uniform not to become rich, or famous, but to make a difference in the community they have sworn to protect. They leave their families each morning, afternoon, or evening not knowing the calls or circumstances they will be placed into. They respond to emotionally charged situations and must maintain their composure, and steadfast application of our laws. They must put aside personal opinions and conduct themselves in a professional manner always showing respect even in when confronted with utter disrespect.

They do this knowing that every step they take and decision they make will be critiqued both internally by management and externally by society. They do the best with the limited information they are provided and the dynamic circumstances which they respond to. They do this 24 hours a day 7 days a week, missing birthdays, holidays, and other special events. They do this job in the hopes that at the end of their shift they can say they made a difference. Let's all take the opportunity to make sure that each and every one of these dedicated professionals know that they have made a difference, and we appreciate them for their service. On behalf of Law Enforcement in Kewaunee County, Thank you for allowing us to serve such a wonderful community!

"Quiet and engaged" seniors set to depart Washington Island School

By Tim Kowols       

With a graduating class of just four people, the seniors at Washington Island School are more like family than classmates. Ben Johnson earned valedictorian honors while Bradley Jordan was named salutatorian. Washington Island School District Superintendent Mati Palm-Leis says despite the seniors' quiet demeanor, they were also there for their school when they were needed.

Graduation at Washington Island School will take place June 8.

Fundraising for Eagle Tower continues

By Eric Fischer

Fundraising continues for the Friends of Peninsula State Park as they inch closer to their goal of $750,000 for the new Eagle Tower. The group remains $45,000 short of the goal and plans to make a large push for donations in the upcoming months. Steve Strucely of the Friends of Peninsula State Park says some preliminary drawings of the new tower will be unveiled soon.

Late last week the group announced a concert to benefit the new nature center is being planned for July 6th and will have a silent auction of Eagle Tower items. The concert will take place in the new Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor.

Door County Sail and Power Squadron offers safety tips during National Safe Boating Week

By Eric Fischer


Proper boating safety measures can be the difference between life and death according to Lou Pasquesi, Lieutenant Commander of the Door County Sail and Power Squadron. National Safe Boating Week began Saturday and groups such as the US Power Squadrons and US Coast Guard are advocating for boaters to take boating safety courses, have your boat inspected, and always wear a life jacket while on the water.  Pasquesi says that a confident and educated boater will have more fun and be safer.

The Door County Sail and Power Squadron offers boat inspections and will be hosting a boaters' safety class June 11th-14th.  The class will take place at NWTC in Sturgeon Bay and costs $20.

Crossroads and Master Gardeners partner for fundraiser

By Eric Fischer


Reliant on fundraising, Crossroads at Big Creek will close the Collins Learning Center Friday, May 25th and Saturday the 26th to help with the Door County Festival of Nature and the Master Gardener Plant Sale. The Master Gardeners are partnered with Crossroads and sponsors lectures in the Nature Center. Coggin Heeringa, director of Crossroads at Big Creek, says volunteering and donations are very important to the organization.

Although the learning center will be closed the 25th and 26th, trails and restrooms will remain open. Crossroads will host a Walk to the Dock event Monday May 28th at 1 pm instead of the usual weekend time.

Shefchik gives County C/Duluth Avenue Update

By Eric Fischer



Sturgeon Bay's largest construction project of the summer continues this week as the focus shifts to the stretch of road between Barrick Road and West Maple Street.  Late last week, the work on West Hickory Street wrapped up as the asphalt pavement was rolled.  Sturgeon Bay City Engineer Chad Shefchik says it's hard to place a percentage of the amount of work done but the project remains on pace to be finished near the estimated date.

Shefchik adds that there have been fewer complaints from the contractor about cars traveling through work zones.  He also wanted to remind residents along the construction zones to not move the wooden stakes as it could cause improper installations.

Kewaunee County Democrats hosting annual Jack Kennedy Dinner

By Eric Fischer


Looking to keep the "blue wave" energy and momentum going, the Kewaunee County Democratic Party will host their annual Jack Kennedy Dinner Monday, May 21st. 1st Senate District candidate Caleb Frostman and 8th Congressional District candidate Beau Legois will be in attendance to greet guests and discuss their respective campaigns. Following the dinner, a non-partisan speaker, Sara Geers, who is an attorney for the Midwest Environmental Advocates, will give a presentation about the county's environmental issues and pending solutions. Mary Ellen Dobbins, chairperson of the Kewaunee County Democrats, says the annual dinner honors President Kennedy's legacy because of the cooperation and open-minded thinking that occurred under his administration.

The dinner will be held at the Hotel Stebbins in Algoma beginning at 5 pm. The dinner is sold out, but those interested in the presentation are invited at 7 pm at no cost.

Pastor Ruby prays for safety on the water at Blessing of the Fleet Festival

By Eric Fischer


The Blessing of the Fleet Festival held in Baileys Harbor over the weekend has centuries-old roots according to Stella Maris Parish Pastor David Ruby. The third annual event is one of the first festivals held in the spring in Door County and celebrates the connection the area has to the nautical industry. Pastor David Ruby blessed the fleet, praying for safety on the water for all.

Ruby notes that the praying for a blessing of the fleet goes back to the early days of Christianity and the relationship between Jesus's disciples and fishing. In addition to the blessing, the festival had live music, lighthouse and boat tours, and the Door County Scottie Rally parade.

Armed Forces Day breakfast benefits local vets

By Eric Fischer



An estimated two hundred people attended the annual breakfast benefitting Door County veterans on Saturday morning.  The Door County Veterans Service Council's Armed Forced Day breakfast held on Armed Forces Day, the third Saturday of May, in the Corpus Christi gymnasium allows military members to reconnect with one another and the public with 100% of the ticket sales staying in the community to benefit local veterans.  Scott McFarlane, Door County Veterans Service Officer, says people don't always realize there are veterans in need in the community.

McFarlane wanted to thank all the volunteers who made the day possible as well as Econo Foods for donating the food and supporting veterans. Armed Forces Day was created in August 1949 to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days.

Egg Harbor comes together for Kress Pavilion ribbon cutting

By Eric Fischer

Unity and a focus on the future were the themes of the day, as the Village of Egg Harbor and Door County Library officially cut the ribbon to the Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion on Saturday morning. Librarian Holly Cole started the event with a story of a community coming together to build a library, with speeches by Door County Library Director Tina Kakuske, Nicolet Federated Library System Director Tracy Vreeke, Wisconsin Library Association Executive Director Plumer Lovelace, and Donald Kress. Kress says he didn't donate the money to have his name on a building, but to see the joy the building will bring to the community.

Village Administrator Ryan Heise also spoke at the event, documenting how the community came together to make this idea into reality. For full video coverage, click the video below.

Idlewild Golf Course named "Best of Door County"

By Eric Fischer


Their website says "finest golf in Door County", but now it is official, Idlewild Golf Course has been named the 2018 recipient of the "Best of Door County" best golf course honors.  Offering an eighteen-hole course, bar and grill, and golf lessons are all part of the reasons readers selected Idlewild for the category.  Owner Phil Riddle says they like the recognition and golfers can expect a challenging but beautiful course.

The course opened late this year due to Winter Storm Evelyn, with walkers only, beginning at the end of April, and opening for carts in early May.  You can book a tee time by calling the course or visiting their website.

Local reaction to Scouts name change

By Southern Door High School Correspondent Delilah Rose


With the recent name change for The Scouts of America, Southern Door's Scouts address the subject head-on. The Scout organization of America have adjusted their Boy Scouts to the name of Scouts, having the name change officialized in February of 2019. This name change provides a gender-free club for youth from 11 to 17 who participate. The Scout organization has had a 108-year history of representing the name of Boy Scouts, thus has made leaps and bounds to comply with this centuries non-assumption on gender. Southern Door's Scouts are embracing the transition to this new concept.

Southern Door High School has a few students who are involved with the Scout program who shared their side of the story and what this new name change means for Southern Door.

The school's Senior Patrol Leader, Trae Kluth, and 8 years standing Scout member shared that the past separation of boys and girls created conflicts outside of the clubs. Trae is a Sophomore and is soon to be moving on from the Scout program. In Trae's opinion, he has mixed feelings about this name change and said that the integration could result in a variation of ways.

The School's Junior Scoutmaster and recent Eagle Scout, Alex Quigley, with 9 years standing of his Scout membership, feels that this change is a definite stand out for the many that he has experienced while in Scouts. He is sure that this will be a hot topic of Southern Doors Scout's upcoming meetings. Alex agrees with the set-up of this change and thinks that it will be good for youth to be themselves around the opposite gender. Schools all over America, just like Southern Door, are experiencing this recent Scout update and are taking their own actions.

Door County Fair entries go electronic

By Tim Kowols       


The Door County Fair is catching up with the times when it comes to how projects are entered. Community residents must now submit their entries for Junior Fair and Open Class divisions online. The move follows the changes Kewaunee County Fair and Brown County Fair officials made for some of their categories at their events. Dawn Vandevoort from the Door County UW-Extension says this process will hopefully make it easier for everyone.

The Door County Fair is offering two help sessions for entrants with issues with the online form on May 30 at the County Government Center from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and on June 2 from 9 a.m. until noon at the Jacksonport Town Hall.

Therapy Dogs becoming staple at Door County Library

By Eric Fischer


A nationwide trend is becoming a staple in Door County.  Every Thursday, at the Sturgeon Bay branch of the Door County Library, kids can read to therapy dogs Barley and Igloo to practice reading skills.  Beth Lokken, Youth Services Librarian at the Door County Library, says reading out loud to a patient listener, such as Barley and Igloo, gives kids confidence in their reading skills.

The weekly program runs from 4-5 pm at the Sturgeon Bay branch and is scheduled through May 31st.  Therapy Dogs International and the American Kennel Club have both backed similar programs across the country.

Door County Medical Center Auxiliary announces House and Garden Walk date

By Eric Fischer


A long-standing tradition now has a date for 2018. The Door County Medical Center Auxiliary has announced the date for the 58th Annual House and Garden Walk as July 31st from 9 am to 5 pm. The "walk" will make five stops starting in Sturgeon Bay and this year's route will showcase homes and gardens up the peninsula to Ellison Bay. Gloria Heck, the coordinator of the event, says the annual affair draws people to Door County from all over the Midwest.

People wishing to attend can buy tickets in advance for $30 or for $35 on the day of the event. All proceeds from ticket and t-shirt sales will benefit the Door County Medical Center's Skilled Nursing and Hospice Facility Project.

Hearing loops advocate hosting informational talks in Door County

By Eric Fischer


Door County residents can learn about the latest technology for helping those with hearing loss on Wednesday, April 23rd.  The Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) and Rotary Club Door County North are partnering together to host Dr. Juliette Sterkens, an audiologist based in Oshkosh, to discuss hearing loops.  Hearing loops are a technology that can connect directly to speaker systems at events for those with hearing aids, making the hearing aid more effective.  Cathy Keller, Activities and Volunteer Coordinator for ADRC, says the talk will feature some important information on hearing aids.


There will be two talks about hearing loops, the first being at 8 am at the Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor hosted by the Rotary Club Door County North.  The ADRC in Sturgeon Bay will host their presentation at the Community Center at 1 pm.  Both events are free to attend.

Door County Fair entries go electronic

By Tim Kowols       

The Door County Fair is catching up with the times when it comes to how projects are entered. Community residents must now submit their entries for Junior Fair and Open Class divisions online. The move follows the changes Kewaunee County Fair and Brown County Fair officials made for some of their categories at their events. Dawn Vandevoort from the Door County UW-Extension says this process will hopefully make it easier for everyone.



The Door County Fair is offering two help sessions for entrants with issues with the online form on May 30 at the County Government Center from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and on June 2 from 9 a.m. until noon at the Jacksonport Town Hall.

Sturgeon Bay graduate earns Faculty Choice Award at University of Minnesota

By Eric Fischer

A Sturgeon Bay graduate's project involving the granary earned top honors at the University of Minnesota last week. Sara Powers, a graduate of the Sturgeon Bay class of 2011, was named one of the recipients for the Faculty Choice Award by the University of Minnesota School of Architecture, designing a plan for preserving and restoring the granary building, turning it into a music venue as part of her Master's thesis project. Powers says it was an honor to win the prestigious award.

She also wanted to thank those that helped her get involved with the project, including Laurel Hauser and Hans Christian. Powers received her Master's Degree last Saturday from the University of Minnesota.


(Image Courtesy of Sara Powers, from the project)

Algoma Community Garden hosting open house

By Eric Fischer



Aspiring gardeners can head to Algoma on Sunday afternoon for an open house at the Algoma Community Garden.  Members of the Community Garden group will have information for interested people looking to join the garden, as well as gardening tips and seed packets.  Dorry Wilner, a member of the Algoma Community Garden Team, says gardening can have several health benefits.

The event is part of the Live Algoma Mental Health Month campaign.  Garden beds are still available, with more information at the open house.

Tourism spending in Door County continues a healthy trend

By Paul Schmitt    

Two key indicators of tourism have Door County excited for the upcoming tourism season. Recent numbers released by the state of Wisconsin reflects an $11 million increase and 237,000 more visitors to the county last year.  In an earlier interview with, State Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett shared what stands out for her when she visits Door County.


The $358 million spending in Door County last year was the seventh highest in the state.  Jon Jarosh from the Door County Visitor Bureau says the numbers are especially impressive when you consider the small year-round population and being the only true seasonal destination in the state's top ten.

Gallagher proposing military budget boost for shipbuilding and more

By Paul Schmitt    

Rep. Mike Gallagher is pushing for the full funding of three Littoral Combat Ships that are part of the FY 19 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  The funding would include three more of the ships being built by Fincantieri Marinette Marine.   In an interview with earlier this month, Gallagher stressed that the rebuilding of the U.S. military is critical for the country.


Gallagher, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, also says the military funding has been going in a hole for the past six years and that it will take at least that long to get out of it.

Wisconsin Child Sales Tax Refund runs through July 2

By Paul Schmitt    

Parents or guardians of children under 18 can claim a $100 Child Sales Tax Refund.  The tax rebate came about from legislation signed last month by Governor Scott Walker.  Help of Door County Director Steve Vickman says the idea is to have parents use the money for much-needed school supplies children may need in the fall.


To file a claim for the Wisconsin Child Sales Tax Refund, applicants can go online before July 2nd and fill out the rebate application.  Most rebates will be issued within three weeks of filing the claim.  You can find the link to apply for the refund below with additional information from a news release by Help of Door County.

Beginning May 15th through July 2nd, parents or guardians of children under 18 in 2017 are eligible to file for a $100 Wisconsin Child Sales Tax Refund. To qualify, a child must be:

  • Under age 18 on December 31, 2017

  • A dependent of the claimant for tax year 2017

  • Wisconsin residenton December 31, 2017

  • A United States citizen

Applicants can apply at:

To file a claim, applicants will need to provide:

  • Your Social Security number and Wisconsin residency for tax year 2017

  • Your qualified child's Social Security number and date of birth

  • If you choose direct deposit, we'll need your bank routing number and account number

  • If you are a nonresident or part-year resident that moved out of Wisconsin in 2017, you must submit additional proof

Most rebates will be issued within three weeks of filing the claim. For additional questions regarding this program, please e-mail:

Former Sturgeon Bay man convicted for sexual assault of a child

By Paul Schmitt    

A former Sturgeon Bay man could face up 60 years in prison for sexually assaulting a 12-year old girl.  According to Door County Circuit Court records, Stacey-Terrill Broadway was found guilty Thursday of two counts of sexual assault of a child and three counts of bail jumping.  Broadway, 41, was arrested over a year ago for a warrant in a case where he was wanted for child sexual assault.  A sentencing date of August 3rd has been set and Broadway remains in custody.

Gibraltar Area School District looks toward secondary school improvements

By Tim Kowols       

Plans to improve the secondary library media center and classrooms at Gibraltar Area School District are being resurrected. Former Superintendent Stephen Seyfer first introduced the plans in 2012, but they were shelved when he retired and other projects became the primary focus. The plan calls for an update to the 1970s-era space, which has seen its fair share of wear and tear in addition to losing functionality due to its setup and technology. Superintendent Tina Van Meer says funding the potential $4.5 million project is still up for discussion by the school board.



Other parts of the secondary school improvement project include the installation of windows to allow more natural light into the space and a new security entrance.

Door County Medical Center hopes for July groundbreaking for new skilled nursing facility

By Tim Kowols       

Providing a more convenient, home-like atmosphere for residents is part of the goal for Door County Medical Center when it opens its new skilled nursing facility next year. The addition had its conditional use request approved by the Sturgeon Bay City Plan Commission on Wednesday, a necessary step before ground can be broken in July. The $9.5 million facility to be built on the center's southwest corner will have all the rooms on the ground level and feature updated equipment and more of a "neighborhood "feel. Door County Medical Center President and CEO Jerry Worrick  says the biggest change will be for those who require hospice care.



The new addition expects to take 11 months to build. Worrick says the future of the current skilled nursing facility in the building's upper floors is still being discussed, but the rooms will most likely be converted into much-needed office and meeting space.

Ahnapee Trail work pushes forward

By Tim Kowols       

Ahnapee Trail users are expected to be able to reach Michigan Street by the end of June after work on the extension hits full throttle this month. Work on the half-mile extension began April 30 by clearing the path near Crossroads at Big Creek before putting in the multi-modal path. Other than Mother Nature having her say, Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says the project should be done with limited interruptions.



Pabich is thankful for the recent good stretch of weather as two other county projects hope to wrap up in June. The former Senior Center building expects to be razed in the coming weeks so crews can finish the parking lot and begin working on a new stormwater facility. The shared Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department/Door County Emergency Services facility also expects to be ready for occupancy once their parking lot and driveways are paved.


Photo by Chesla Anschutz

Spring starting to blossom in Door County

By Tim Kowols       

The emerging colors on area apple and cherry trees show the official first signs of spring in Door County. A later than expected winter pushed back the flowering buds back a couple weeks, but a warm stretch has helped the trees pick up the pace. Steve Wood from Wood Orchard says things are getting back on track.



Wood says the late winter storm caused no damage to the trees and only delayed their spring maintenance. Cherries are usually ready to be picked by the middle of July, while apple fans have to wait until the middle of September to October.

Kress Pavilion hosts grand opening Saturday

By Tim Kowols       

Although it has already been open for a few months, the village of Egg Harbor and Door County Library make it official Saturday with the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion. The home of the library's Egg Harbor branch, the facility's second floor Great Hall has already been host to several events. Village administrator Ryan Heise says the Kress Pavilion and other neighboring construction projects are part of the positive vibes heading into the spring and summer.



Grand opening festivities, which include food, activities in the library, and music, begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and continue through the afternoon.

Storm Drain Stenciling project sending message for clean water

By Paul Schmitt    

Some new artwork will have an important message on the streets of Sturgeon Bay starting on June 18.  The Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department is working with the Boys and Girls Club of Door County to do Storm Drain Stenciling throughout the city.  Conservationist Brian Forest says the project is designed to create awareness that stormwater drains feed directly into surface waters and the channel of Sturgeon Bay.


The stencils will read "Dump no waste.  Drains to lake".  Forrest says there can be a big negative environmental impact if grass clippings, pet waste, and fertilizers are not disposed of properly.  The Strom Drain Stenciling is part of the Celebrate Water campaign being conducted all around Door County.


(photo compliments of Storm Drain Stenciling program)

Area farmers planting crops after late spring delay

By Paul Schmitt    

With spring temperatures finally rising above normal the past two weeks, area farmers have recently had the opportunity to get into their fields to start planting corn.  Rich Olson of Olson Family Farm and the Ag Advisory Board says he is excited to get into the fields as soil temperatures rise.


Olson says the later than normal spring set area farmers about two weeks behind planting schedule at this point.  According to, Northeastern Wisconsin's Crop Progress shows that only nine percent of corn and none of the soybeans crop acreage have been planted so far this spring.

Trauma Informed Care Open House next Tuesday

By Paul Schmitt    

The Door County Department of Human Services is offering an open house to educate the public on Trauma-informed care.  Governor Scott Walker has declared May 22 Trauma-Informed Care Day in the state. Human Services Director Cori McFarlane says that the day will include information on how people can deal with toxic stress and Adverse Childhood Experiences.  She says her department is making progress in community outreach.


The Trauma-Informed Care Day will include a therapeutic drumming circle demonstration and art therapy group display by JAK's Place as well as a hands-on sensory relaxation project.  The free community open house next Tuesday will be from 1:00 until 3:00 pm at the Peninsula Room at the Government Center on Nebraska Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.

Less is more when it comes to cutting your lawn

By Paul Schmitt    

Having a lush and healthy lawn can be a challenge for some property owners.  A few helpful tips can go a long way in keeping your grass green and thriving.  Trevor Marin from Lawn and Landscape Specialists recommends setting the blades of your mower high enough to ensure a healthier lawn.


Marin says you never want to cut your lawn too short.   Once the hot summer months are here, it is a better idea to leave grass a little longer to prevent damage to your lawn.  Preventative weed care and fertilization of your lawn are two maintenance applications that should be done this time of year as well, according to Marin.

Fourth time the charm for Purdy family as Habitat's partner family

By Tim Kowols       

Door County Habitat for Humanity announced Thursday that Jacob and Amanda Purdy and their five children would be the partner family for its 41st home build. The organization had been struggling to find a family that qualified for the home, having been forced to send many away to seek additional financial counseling and apply at a later time. Megan Dietz of Door County Habitat for Humanity says this was the fourth time the Purdy family had applied to be a partner family and made the necessary changes in their lifestyle to be selected this time around.



Dietz says the organization will now grab the permits needed to start construction and will hopefully start working on the Sturgeon Bay site in the coming weeks. You can contact Door County Habitat for Humanity about possible volunteer opportunities associated with its 41st home build.

Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation not giving up the fight

By Tim Kowols       

When the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation lost almost half of its funding from the county and its executive director last year, many of its investors told its chairperson the same thing: do not give up. KCEDC chairperson and NEW Plastics co-owner Lonnie Vincent quoted author Mark Twain and reassured investors of its future during its annual meeting held earlier this week in Algoma. Vincent hopes a series of roundtable discussions with local CEOs and county government officials can help set the course for the KCEDC towards something great.



There is no timetable set for the meetings, but Vincent is hopeful the KCEDC will continue to connect area businesses to the tools they need to succeed.

Sturgeon Bay comprehensive plan sticking point for 134-unit housing development

By Tim Kowols       

The Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission is sticking with their current comprehensive plan in their decision to approve one project and not another in their meeting Wednesday. Both the 34-unit Phillips development on Amity Field and the Duquaine development near Tacoma Beach and Clay Banks Roads had their planned unit development agreements approved, but the commission only approved amending the city's comprehensive plan for the smaller project. Plan Commission member Laurel Hauser says the Duquaine development not being in line with the city's comprehensive plan and citizen concerns about the traffic led to the decision.



Hauser says the developers for the Duquaine development could come back with a plan that is more palatable for the Plan Commission or wait to see what the new one looks like when it is developed in 2019. Pending the approval of the Sturgeon Bay Common Council at their next meeting in June, groundbreaking for the Phillips development could take place this summer.

Jacksonport businesses laying groundwork for sidewalks

By Tim Kowols       

Fed up with the pace of its town board, Jacksonport businesses are taking it upon themselves to address its need for sidewalks. The Jacksonport Area Business Association have addressed their need for sidewalks over the last several years with the town board, with those efforts picking up in steam since the town established a plan commission in 2015. JABA has collected over $5600 through different means to help pay for the sidewalks, which is something its president Bob Geitner says will make the town more safe and friendly for its visitors.


Geitner added he hopes JABA, which has a goal of $80,000 for its sidewalk project, can work with the town to address the issue in the near future.

Kewaunee County landfill in its final days

By Tim Kowols       

Users of the Kewaunee County landfill only have just over a week to use the site before they have to potentially go elsewhere with their trash. After it was learned that the expansion of the landfill would not be cost-effective, the Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors decided in 2015 to get out of the solid waste business and cap it at an estimated expense of $1.1 million. Kewaunee County Highway Commissioner Todd Every says there are no future plans for the site.



The last day Kewaunee County will accept solid waste at the landfill is May 25. Riverview Transfer, which is leasing a building and five acres of land at the site, will offer waste and recycling services beginning May 29.

Two adults arrested in Kewaunee drug bust

By Tim Kowols       

Two adults are behind bars after the Door/Kewaunee Drug Task Force uncovered a drug trafficking scheme in the city of Kewaunee. On Tuesday, the Door/Kewaunee Drug Task Force concluded their three-month undercover investigation by arresting the two unnamed individuals on several drug charges including the possession and intent to deliver methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, and other narcotics and non-narcotics. They were also charged with felony bail jumping, delivery within 1000 feet of a school, and maintaining a drug trafficking place. In a release from the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department, Sheriff Matt Joski commended the Door and Kewaunee County Sheriff's Departments, the Kewaunee County SWAT team, Kewaunee Rescue, and Kewaunee Police Department for their efforts.

Baileys Harbor parades Scotties, blesses fleet during weekend celebration

By Tim Kowols       

The town of Baileys Harbor will host one of the first festivals of the spring this weekend when it hosts its Blessing of the Fleet and Scottie Parade. The annual celebration honors the area's link to the fishing and maritime industries with a blessing by Stella Maris Parish Pastor David Ruby. Along with guided lighthouse and fishing boat tours is the Door County Scottie Rally, which brings over 100 dog owners for a themed parade. Baileys Harbor Community Coordinator Brynn Swanson is proud of how much the event has grown.



The Blessing of the Fleet celebration runs Saturday and Sunday. You can see the full schedule, which includes the 11:30 a.m. Scottie parade, online with this story.


Schedule of Events:
9am-4pm Arts & Crafts on the Town Hall Lawn

10am-2pm Guided Lighthouse Tours • Sorry no dogs allowed

10am-4pm Lighthouse Society Stamps available at Visitor Center

11:30am Door County Scottie Rally "Parade of Scots"

12pm Blessing of the Fleet Ceremony with Father Ruby at the Town Marina

12:30-3:30pm Live Music by Water Street Hot Shots at the Town Marina

11 am - 5pm

Food & Drinks at Marina

Tour the Charter Boats & Commercial Fishing Boats

Commercial Fishing & The Health of the Fishery in Baileys Harbor - Dennis Hickey of Hickey Bros. Fisheries & Baileys Harbor Fish Company
Lake Michigan Commercial Fishing Board - Charlie Henriksen of Henriksen Fisheries
Wooden Boats and Iron Men and Through Waves and Gales Come Fishermen's Tales - Trygvie Jensen, Author
5pm-Close: Lake To Table: A Taste of Baileys Harbor Culinary Event at various local restaurants. See below for details
9am-1pm Kick off of the Sunday Farmers Market at Town Hall

10am-2pm Guided Range Light Tours every 30 minutes

Students get first hand look at conservation efforts in Kewaunee County

By Tim Kowols       

Over 250 Kewaunee County sixth-grade students were shuttled to six different locations Wednesday to learn more about the conservation practices happening in their own area. Kinnard Farms, Wagner Tree Farm, Rosiere Wind Farm, N.E.W. Plastics, a UW Discovery Farm, and the C.D. Buzz Besadny Fish Hatchery hosted the students as a part of the Kewaunee County UW-Extension Conservation Tour. Through demonstrations and tours, students were able to learn more about wildlife management, agricultural regulations, and renewable technology. Lee Kinnard from Kinnard Farms in Casco says it is important for people to see what others are doing for conservation first hand.


Luxemburg-Casco Middle School science teacher Ben Alexander-Wolf says the conservation tour gave his students a chance to apply what they are learning in class to the real world.



The Kewaunee County UW-Extension will give local students another learning experience next Wednesday when it hosts its annual Rural Safety Day at the fairgrounds in Luxemburg.

Negotiations may start after DNR withdraws high water mark ruling

By Paul Schmitt    

The attorney for the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront is hopeful that Tuesday's DNR withdrawing of the ordinary high water mark (OHWM) declaration may lead to a potential settlement.  The Wisconsin DNR withdrew the ruling from February based on a material factual error.  Friends group attorney Mary Beth Perenteau says the Department of Justice could not ascertain the basis for the mapping of the meander line that was used to determine ordinary high water mark after she questioned the validity of process months ago.  She says this may be a good time to revisit a potential settlement that was approved by both parties but was rejected by Sturgeon Bay's Waterfront Redevelopment Authority last year.


Peranteau says that neither party expected the ruling to be withdrawn and that some members of the Friends group have already reached out to the city. Sturgeon Bay City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout says he was surprised at the ruling but could not comment on which direction the city may pursue.

New dock for handicapped anglers built at Carmody Park

By Paul Schmitt    

A handicap-accessible dock for anglers is being installed at the Carmody Park boat launch in the town of Gardner.  The Sturgeon Bay Open Bass Tournament working collectively with two other organizations raised more than $3,600 for the project.  President JJ Malvitz explains the benefits of the new dock.


Wheelchair Whitetails and Walleyes for Tomorrow were the other two groups to donate towards the handicapped access at the dock.  Malvitz estimates the total cost of the improvement to be about $7,000.  The handicap-accessible dock is in place right now with the final touches being conducted to it, according to Malvitz.


(photo submitted:  (L-R) Ben Nelson and Wayne Spritka of Door Count Parks; SBOBT President JJ Malvitz and Dan Austad of the Door County Board)

City to purchase foreclosed property on Egg Harbor Road

By Paul Schmitt    

The Sturgeon Bay City Council voted to purchase a parcel of land at 1048 Egg Harbor Road during Tuesday's common council meeting.   A close 4-3 vote to acquire the Simon parcel passed.   The foreclosed property was offered to the city by Door County before putting it up for bids. The city will purchase the land for just over $19,000 that is valued at $81,000 with improvements valued at $56,000, according to City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout.  A portion of the parcel could be used for stormwater detention while another part could be sold or used for public street access. Council member Kelly Avenson asked that the city revisit the status of the property before the end of the year.


The council adjourned into closed session to discuss consideration of hiring a new Municipal Services Director and litigation with the Sawyer Hotel Development and developer Bob Papke.  The Sturgeon Bay City Council did not return to open session to take any further action.

Sturgeon Bay Common Council may add special meetings as New Business is added to agenda

By Paul Schmitt    

The Sturgeon Bay City Council met Tuesday evening and added a new agenda item for future meetings. After twenty minutes of discussion before adopting the agenda, Laurel Hauser made a motion to add New Business to agenda items at all meetings.  The motion carried by a 6-1 vote with council member David Ward casting the only no vote citing agenda items are specifically funneled through the council by committees anyway.


Numerous agenda items were added during the New Business.   Possible special sessions between regular meetings to cover the additional topics were suggested by Hauser as well after Mayor Thad Birmingham interjected that City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout will need an assistant to handle the preparation of agenda items in the future.

Door County Board members making official trip to Washington, D.C.

By Paul Schmitt    

A handful of Door County Supervisors is taking advantage of an opportunity to see how the federal government operates.  Five county board members along with the county clerk and register of deeds will be attending the Wisconsin County Executives and County Supervisors White House Conference on May 23.  Joel Gunnlaugsson, who represents Liberty Grove and Washington Island, shares what he is looking forward to most at the conference.


Gunnlaugsson says each supervisor receives a $450 per person expense allowance for two days and must make their own flight and accommodation bookings. Other supervisors making the trip include Nancy Robillard, Helen Bacon,  Jon Koch, Door County Board Chair Dave Lienau.

Highway 29 road construction underway

By Paul Schmitt    

Motorists traveling from Kewaunee to Green Bay on Highway 29 will be encountering lane closures for the next several weeks.  Road crews started resurfacing operations Tuesday on a nearly eight-mile stretch from US 141 to the Kewaunee County line.  Wisconsin Department of Transportation Communications Manager Mark Kantola says the road will remain open to traffic, but drivers should expect some delays.


The paving and milling work on Highway 29 should be completed by the end of July.  It is the continuation of a two-year, almost $3.3 million project by the Wisconsin DOT.

Jacque edges Renard in primary for state senate race

By Paul Schmitt    

In the Republican Party primary race for a special election to fill the vacant state senate seat in District 1, Andre Jacque narrowly defeated Alex Renard.  With all 93 precincts reported, Jacque won with 52 percent  of the vote winning by only 330 votes of the over 4400 total ballots cast.  Jacque, who currently serves in the assembly in District 2,  will now face Democratic candidate Caleb Frostman in a special election in June.  Frostman was unopposed on the Democratic side.

Luxemburg readies for annual Rummage Sale

By Paul Schmitt    

The streets around the village of Luxemburg will be buzzing with activity this Saturday.  The 29th annual  Luxemburg Rummage Sale will be held with 76 residences participating.  The organized village-wide sale is sponsored by the Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce.  President Alex Stodola says the community always looks forward to interacting with their neighbors, especially this time of year.


A map of the 76 locations involved in the Luxemburg Rummage Sale is available through the Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce Facebook page or website.   You can find a link to a digital map below.

DNR withdraws earlier declaration of Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) for Sturgeon Bay west side

By Paul Schmitt    

The Department of Natural Resources declared the ruling of the ordinary high water mark that was issued back in February will be withdrawn due to a material factual error.  According to the DNR news release, the department decision rationale was based on information obtained from the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands.  The information was in regards to the meander line that the DNR used to evaluate the location of the OHWM for Parcel 92 which is part of the land along the Sturgeon Bay west side at 92 East Maple Street where originally a proposed hotel development was to be built.  The petition that brought about the withdrawal of the OHWM ruling showed that the location of the 1835 meander line, as superimposed onto the current map of Parcel 92, was inaccurate.  You can find the complete DNR decision with this story below.

DNR OHWM withdrawl

Democrats host town halls as Foxconn prepares to break ground

By Tim Kowols       

State Democrats are hosting town hall-style meetings concerning tech manufacturer Foxconn this month, including one in Green Bay Wednesday afternoon. State Republicans tout the economic impact Foxconn will have on the state with an estimated $51.5 billion being added to Wisconsin's gross domestic product over 15 years along with up to 13,000 jobs according to a Metropolitan Association of Commerce report. Democrats in the state paint a different picture, saying the estimated public cost of $3 to 4.5 billion is the largest state taxpayer giveaway to a foreign corporation in the nation's history.  State Senator Dave Hansen hopes attendees get the information they need that was omitted in the past.



The public is invited to attend the town hall event at the Brown County Public Library's Southwest branch beginning at 3:30 p.m. Foxconn plans to break ground on its $10 billion plant on June 28, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Door County businesses feel hiring crunch ahead of tourism season

By Tim Kowols       

With just under two weeks to go before Memorial Day and the unofficial start of summer, Door County businesses are hoping they can find enough people to run their operations. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Door County businesses relied on over 400 J-1 student visa employees and several others on H-2B visas to get by last year. Door County Visitor Bureau officials were forced to lobby federal officials last fall to keep the programs intact after President Donald Trump's immigration reform policies threatened their future. Jon Jarosh from the DCVB says they have even stepped up their efforts in other seasonal markets to attract workers to come to Door County for the summer.



According to the DCVB, tourism supported 3,225 jobs in Door County last year, generating $78.5 million in labor income.

Mosling Recreation Center celebrates 30 years

By Tim Kowols       

Washington Island's Mosling Recreation Center hits a major milestone when it celebrates 30 years of operation this weekend. The building was gifted to the Island from John and Jane Mosling in 1988 and has grown to include an indoor pool, a fully equipped fitness center, and multipurpose community room. The center acts not just as a gathering space, but also a place where community members can also take a variety of educational classes. Recreation Center manager Katie McGrane says she hopes they can grow even more in the future.



The Mosling Recreation Center will celebrate 30 years with an open house and health fair this Saturday from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Its popular Rec Run is also reaching a major milestone this year as it celebrates its 25th running on July 28.

Kewaunee County farmers slowly getting out to their fields

By Tim Kowols       

Farmers in Kewaunee County are planting where they can after melting snow and recent rains turned their fields into puddles in some spots. According to the Mankato Free Press, only about 30 percent of Wisconsin's corn and eight percent of its soybeans are in the ground, which is well behind the pace of last year. Kewaunee County UW-Extension agriculture agent  Aerica Bjurstrom says the heavy clay soils in some areas of county are not doing anything to help the patience of farmers but believes there is some good news waiting for them in the fields.



Bjurstrom says area farmers are used to having to wait until June some years to finish planting their crops.

Sturgeon Bay Police seek light pole damage suspect

By Tim Kowols       

An unidentified man is to blame for damaging a light pole on Sturgeon Bay's 3rd Avenue last Friday night. Sturgeon Bay Police reported to a spot located near Third Avenue Playhouse where it was reported a man jumped into the light pole and snapped it at its base. The individuals involved in the incident had already fled the scene before police could arrive. According to the Sturgeon Bay Police Department, they are looking for a slightly overweight man in his early 20's. Anyone with information concerning the incident should contact the Sturgeon Bay Police Department.

Grants will determine scope of Bradley Lake and Sunset Park project

By Paul Schmitt    

The city of Sturgeon Bay is still looking to receive two big grants to help offset the cost of restoring Bradley Lake in Sunset Park along North Third Avenue.  Bradley Lake, more commonly known as Little Lake, was once the hub of fishing and community enjoyment.  David Ward, chair of the Finance, Purchasing and Building Committee says the city is still waiting on the grants that are crucial for the complete project of improvements to the Park.


Ward says one of the grants is for $1.9 million.  The final phase for Bradley Lake would include a dredging of Bradley Lake which could range from $1.5 million to over $3 million in cost.

Isabella Haen keynote speaker at June Dairy Breakfast

By Paul Schmitt    

The Kewaunee County annual June Dairy Kickoff Breakfast next month with be having this year's ambassador to Wisconsin county fairs as their keynote speaker.    Isabella Haen, who was the 2017 Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair and was selected as the 2018 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fair back in January, will have the honors at the Rendezvous of Luxemburg on June 7 when the program is held.  In an interview earlier this year, Haen, a Luxemburg native,  says she is looking forward to her busy schedule this summer.


Haen says her mission is to inspire youth and promote agriculture throughout the state.  The kickoff breakfast event in June will announce the Knorn family of Junion Homestead Farm as the 2018 Breakfast on the Farm hosts.

Big Brothers Big Sisters in Door County making a big impact on youth

By Paul Schmitt    

A site-based program developed six years ago at Southern Door schools has grown to impact dozens of children's lives.  The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Door County offers weekly visits by high school students during the school year with elementary students as young as second grade.  Patty O'Rourke, the Door County coordinator, says the program has really taken off and participants stay connected over the summer.


O'Rourke says community-based matches outside the school setting can have activities like a grocery store visit, a cookout, a bike ride or going to a movie.  She says there are over 100 matches all over Door County right now.  You can find contact information on becoming a Big Brothers or Big Sisters in Door County and/or volunteer for upcoming events below.

Thursday, June 7 - Big Brothers Big Sisters Brat Fry at Marchant's Meats, Sturgeon Bay - serving from 11am to 1:30pm - enjoy a yummy brat for lunch, and proceeds will benefit our Door County program
Saturday, June 16 - The Red Putter turns "purple" for the day - 10am to 10pm - $1 per game AND $1 per hole-in-one will be donated to our Door County program
Monday, June 25 - Door County Tavern League 4 Person Scramble at Maxwelton Braes, Baileys Harbor - 11am shotgun start - our Door County program is one of the charity partners for this event. Form a team, and enjoy the day, including raffles, betting holes, and a picnic supper around 5pm.
Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15 - Help needed, passing out water and Gatorade to runners in the Door County Triathlon - All volunteers receive a free t-shirt, and are welcome to stop down to Murphy Park before or after their shift for free food in the food tent (pulled pork sandwiches, corn on the cob and beer/soda). Door County BBBS is one of the charity partners.
For more information about these, and other ways to volunteer, call Patty O'Rourke: (920) 489-3545.

Door County Environmental Council hosting free seminar on water pollution impact

By Paul Schmitt    

A 32-year veteran from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will be the speaker at the Science, Economics, and Politics of Water Management presentation Wednesday in Egg Harbor.  Bob Martini, a retired water resource scientist with the Wisconsin DNR, will address the effects of water pollution on the environment, public health, property values and tourism in Door County.  Martini led the team that cleaned up the Wisconsin River and was also instrumental in implementing the Clean Water Act in the state. The free program will begin at 7 pm at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor Wednesday evening.   The presentation is sponsored by the Door County Environmental Council.

Sturgeon Bay looks to acquire foreclosed property

By Tim Kowols       

A parcel of land near Egg Harbor Road in Sturgeon Bay could provide the city several different options if it chooses to acquire it during Tuesday's common council meeting.  Door County officials foreclosed on the property owned by Yvonne Simon back on March 30 due to back taxes owed. The city has been working with the county since then to acquire the land for just over $19,000 with $809 coming back as a part of an outstanding special assessment. According to the executive summary included in the common council agenda packet, a portion of the parcel could be used for stormwater detention while another part could be sold or used for public street access. The action is being reconsidered after the common council voted 4-3 on April 17 to get more information on whether or not the parcel would be beneficial for the city. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will meet inside its chambers for the meeting beginning at 7 p.m.

Emergencies part of the financial savings planning process

By Tim Kowols       

Just because emergencies are usually not expected does not mean it should be omitted from your spending plan. An emergency savings account helps you put money aside for things like a major illness or job loss that can cause havoc on your finances. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says establishing a separate account for such expenses could be very important.



Pustaver suggests double income homes to set aside at least three months of required expenses for emergencies and six months for single earners. You can listen to the final part of our Money Management Monday Series on Savings online with this story.

Life experiences give Joski perspective during his time with National Guard

By Tim Kowols       

Since Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski rejoined the military as a member of the Wisconsin Army National Guard in November 2016, he has found that he has fulfilled a fatherly role to many of his fellow soldiers. Joski recently wrapped up his month-long Non-Commissioned Officer's Course at Fort McCoy where he was given another reminder of the importance of perspective. The United States Marine Corps veteran says working with younger soldiers is helping him learn more about what they are going through and how it is different than his own life experiences.



When it comes to developing perspective, Joski suggests more people consider the actual worst-case scenarios and then apply the best possible outcomes before arriving at a logical conclusion for an event. You can read the rest of Joski's Sheriff's Corner online with this story.



My apologies for the absence of my articles over the past few weeks.  I have just returned from the Army's Non-Commissioned Officer's Course which was held out at Fort McCoy Wisconsin. It was a great experience and as always I am amazed by the quality of the young men and women I get to serve alongside in the service of our State and Country. One of the few attributes I bring to my presence in the military is the perspective of being among the more "advanced in age" Soldiers. I found myself filling the role of "Dad" to many of the others in the course.

For most of us, we don't realize or appreciate the importance of perspective, until we find ourselves on the giving end. As children and teenagers we resist the notion that anyone could possibly know more than we do. We tend to approach events in our lives engulfed in the emotion that we feel in the present tense. Many times this leads us to a fatalistic view of what we believe are the outcomes of a given situation. You can take a simple event like failing a test as a student. In your mind you play out the worst case scenario, believing that your shortcoming is just the first step in what may be your ultimate doom. This could apply to the loss of a job or the ending of a relationship. In reality these are just events that many times we have no control over and in the big picture will most likely be a "Speed Bump" in our journey through life and nothing more.

As parents we know the frustration when we try to share our perspective with our children or anyone for that matter who is going through an event that we ourselves have already experienced.

A valuable tool in getting through the many challenges we face, is to always put things in perspective. This is easier said than done I know. It requires us to step back from the event and apply some simple steps which will allow us to bring logic rather than emotion to our reactions. The first step is to allow ourselves to consider actual worst case scenarios, and then apply best possible outcomes (Even those that may seem unrealistic). The final step is to arrive at the most logical outcomes of the event and thus bring a more realistic perspective to the situation we are facing.

When we look at the many resiliency skills, perspective is for most of us a skill that we need to apply on a daily basis. Our responses to the many events that unfold in our lives can be tempered in most cases by simply putting things in perspective. In order to do this however, we also need to establish what is most important in our lives. Without a firm grip on what really matters in life, it becomes very difficult to have a healthy perspective no matter what the situation. In contrast once we determine solid healthy values, perspective is a natural outcome.

Presentation kicks off Door County 4-H's 100th anniversary

By Tim Kowols       

A group of Vignes community members learning about canning in the fall of 1918 is to thank for an enduring youth movement in the area being celebrated by the Door County Historical Society on Sunday. That group would become the county's first 4-H club, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Door County UW-Extension 4-H Educator Dawn Vandevoort will discuss how the organization has evolved to meet the needs of their youth over the years through photos and historical accounts. Vandevoort says while the focus has changed for some of the groups, she is proud of the impact Door County 4-H's seven clubs have had on their communities.



Vandevoort hopes attendees to Sunday's Door County Historical Society dinner bring their 4-H memorabilia and photos along to show off. You can learn more about the event by visiting this story online.

Renard and Jacque relying on different experiences to win primary

By Eric Fischer


When Alex Renard and Andre Jacque square off in the Republican primary for the First Senate District, both say previous experiences will help them earn the seat in Madison.  Tuesday will be the first of potentially four elections the two could have to battle through, following Governor Walker's announcement of the special election for the vacant seat in late March.  Renard, who has been as a conservative outsider thinks he can help solve problems facing the state.

Jaques will be relying on his experience while campaigning, as he currently serves in the Assembly representing District 2.

The winner of Tuesday's race will face off against Caleb Frostman on June 12th for the seat.  Possible primaries in August could lead to a third election, with the seat being up for grabs in the general election in November.

Sonny's Italian Kitchen and Pizzeria to open microbrewery

By Eric Fischer


Sonny's Italian Kitchen and Pizzeria will be seeing some changes in the upcoming weeks.  Owner Jason Estes officially announced plans to open a microbrewery in the lower level of the restaurant in the space that used to house the coffee shop.  Estes says brewing craft beer offers unique opportunities.

Estes is expecting the beer will be ready before the end of June.  At this time plans include four different recipes: three beers, and a cider.

Former Brewer Jerry Augustine reflects on growing up in Kewaunee

By Eric Fischer


A former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher and Kewaunee native credits growing up in the area as a driving force of his success.  Jerry Augustine is one of five Kewaunee residents to ever play professional sports and the only Kewaunee High School graduate to make it to the MLB.  Augustine says growing up in Kewaunee meant a lot to him and he cherishes the memories he made.

Augustine still keeps in touch with family in the area and pays extra attention to Storm athletics.  Augustine currently lives near Milwaukee and works as an analyst for Fox Sports Wisconsin.

(Photo courtesy of Jerry Augustine's Twitter page @jaugie46)

Wisconsin Humane Society hosting open house for foster kittens

By Eric Fischer


The Wisconsin Humane Society is offering a unique opportunity on Tuesday, May 15th, hosting an open house for people interested in fostering "bottle baby kittens."   Bottle baby kittens refers to orphaned kittens ranging from one day to four-week-old cats that have been orphaned and cannot survive on their own.  Angela Speed, vice president of communications at the Wisconsin Humane Society warns that fostering these kittens is a lot of work, but encourages people to attend.

Speed emphasizes the importance that foster parents have on these kittens, as they wouldn't survive due to the amount of care they require.  The open house will be held at the Door County Campus of the Wisconsin Humane Society and beings at 1 pm.

HELP of Door County spotlights teen dating abuse

By Eric Fischer


While many may think relationship violence only affects adults, HELP of Door County is shedding light on an increasing problem, young adult dating violence.  A nationwide study conducted in 2014 revealed as many as 1.5 million high school students admitted to being physically harmed by their significant other.  Steve Vickman, the Executive Director of HELP of Door County, says if you suspect your child may be in danger to avoid knee-jerk reactions and call an advocate.

HELP of Door County is available 24/7/365 and offers crisis intervention and emotional support hotlines.

High school correspondent puts down pen as he prepares for college

By Eric Fischer

Sturgeon Bay High School student correspondent Connor Sannito will be stepping away from his role at as he goes to college in the fall.  Connor plans to attend the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and study Industrial Design.  On Friday, he was named as one of the recipients of the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay "Service Above Self" academic scholarship, adding on to the $96,000 scholarship he received from the college.  Sannito says that his favorite part of writing was making connections and giving a voice to students at Sturgeon Bay High School.

Connor adds that his dream job would be drawing cars which he believes allows him to show his creation on a direct scale.  You can view some of Connor's artwork at this link.

Paper fishing licenses still mandatory in some local waters

By Eric Fischer

With fishing season in full swing, one reminder could help anglers avoid fines and penalties.  The Wisconsin DNR is reminding anglers that even with the prevalence of digital licenses to still always carry the physical copy while out on the water and that it is mandatory on Lake Michigan, the Sturgeon Bay shipping canal and Green Bay.  Wisconsin DNR Conservation Warden Jordan Resop says the digital license does have some drawbacks that carrying the physical license can solve.

Wisconsin residents are also reminded they can use the Wisconsin DNR Go Wild website to buy licenses, permits, report harvests and find safety classes.

Crossroads celebrates Earth Week in May with schools

By Eric Fischer

Crossroads at Big Creek is celebrating Earth Week a month late, by design, and will be hosting several schools in the upcoming week.  Crossroads has made a tradition of celebrating Earth Week in mid-May, after years of cancellations due to weather.  Coggin Heeringa, the director of Crossroads at Big Creek says she will be incorporating the "Celebrate Water" theme into each school's visit.

Coggin adds the kick off to the year of "Celebrate Water" which was held May 5th, went very well and is excited about the upcoming celebrations.  Crossroads will be hosting a nature walk on Sunday, May 20th at 1 pm.

Walker optimistic on campaign trail

By Eric Fischer


As Republicans from around the state gather in Milwaukee over the weekend for the 2018 Wisconsin GOP convention, Governor Scott Walker says he is proud of Wisconsin's accomplishments.  Governor Walker has been traveling the state, attending more than three dozen grassroots events, more than double he had attended prior to the convention in the 2014 campaign.  Walker says he believes optimism and spreading the good news of Wisconsin will be crucial to his re-election.

This year's convention also saw US Senate candidate Leah Vukmir receive the GOP Convention endorsement over Kevin Nicholson ahead of the August 14th primary election, where she received 72% of the vote.  Wisconsin Democrats will also be in Milwaukee in an attempt to continue the "blue wave" momentum started with the Wisconsin Supreme Court election.

Southern Door successful at State Solo and Ensemble

By Southern Door High School Correspondent Delilah Rose


This year, Wisconsin's state Solo & Ensemble was held on May 9th. Southern Door was
represented by 44 choir and band students. Southern Door High School music departments are
conducted by Naomi Files for band and Bonita Weydt for the choir. Mrs. Weydt was very
pleased with the results of her students. She said that she enjoys working with all of these
talented youth and that seeing them improve with the growth that they have made over this
school year.
Southern Door's state chorus consisted of 14 students. A few of the choir students stated that the
challenging aspects of their state pieces were making sure that they do not forget the words and
staying calm. After learning their songs, they said that it is tricky to maintain the quality of the
The state band consisted of 30 students, many of them participating in both solos and duets. The
band students positions entailed both percussion groups, woodwind ensemble, saxophone choir
and flute choir.
After talking with the Southern Door High School music department, Southern Door is very
proud of their successful musically inclined students. Just as last year, they believe that these
students have held up Southern Door's good reputation and achievements for Solo & Ensemble.

Sevastopol student journalists impress at NEWSPA

By Eric Fischer


Sevastopol student journalists earned high praise at the Northeastern Wisconsin Scholastic Press Association (NEWSPA) Convention in late April. Sevastopol took home seventeen awards in total, sixteen for journalism including first-place finishes in the News Story-General, News Story-Academic/Class Related, and Editorial categories, as well as the blue ribbon for yearbook design. Barbara Benish, the Executive Secretary for NEWSPA and Journalism Instructor at UW-Oshkosh says the judges' comments on the submitted stories were very positive and the students show potential as good journalists.

Benish also praised Sevastopol graduate Monica Salmeri who graduated Saturday from UW-Oshkosh with a Public Relations degree. The NEWSPA Convention is held every April at the University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh and will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary next year.

South Madison Avenue to close Monday morning

By Eric Fischer


Drivers will have to take alternate routes through Sturgeon Bay as the intersection of South Madison Avenue and Pine Street closes Monday morning.  The area was temporarily closed on Thursday and re-opened for the weekend.  As Chad Shefchik, the Sturgeon Bay City Engineer, explains, this project is a smaller contract that should be completed before the end of the week.

Shefchik also gave an update on the County C/Duluth Avenue project, saying the storm sewer line is completed and Hickory Street is close to being repaved.  Shefchik reminds drivers to avoid the construction zones if they can, as fewer cars means safer zones for construction crews.

Ending Stigmas in Mental Health Month

By Eric Fischer


Starting a conversation about mental health can be a helpful tool for reducing the negative stigmas surrounding mental illnesses, according to a local nurse.  May is Mental Health Month and Jody Anderson is leading Live Algoma Well-being Workgroup to raise awareness on an issue that is widespread in the area. Anderson says that active listening and having knowledge of available community resources are helpful when discussing mental health.

The group is also encouraging people to be proactive in their mental health care by doing something to improve mental health every day.  For ideas on improving mental health, you can visit Live Algoma's Facebook page for daily events and tips.

ReStore benefits from rising upcycling trend

By Tim Kowols       

The popularity of turning the old into new is directly benefiting thrift shops and resale stores like the Door County Habitat for Humanity's ReStore. Known as upcycling, consumers buy older items and give them new life as either a refinished product or something completely different. Door County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director David Van Dyke says he first noticed the trend last year when it hosted its Reclaim for a Cause event, where items from its Restore were repurposed than auctioned off to benefit the organization.



Van Dyke says not only is the trend helping support Door County Habitat for Humanity's mission to help provide affordable housing in the area, the ReStore is keeping hundreds of tons of items out of landfills. The organization is allowing people to pick out pieces for free to repurpose for their rebranded Door County Vintage Home and Garden Fair to take place September 1.


Picture from ReStore's Facebook page of Claire Wick's piece from last year's Reclaim for a Cause event.

Egg Harbor Library to host grand opening party

By Eric Fischer



Although it has been open for a few months, the Egg Harbor branch of the Door County Library in the Kress Pavilion will officially host its grand opening party Saturday, May 19th.  There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9:30 AM, with activities beginning at 10 am.  Youth services librarian, Beth Lokken, says there will be something for everyone who attends.


Lokken also mentions some high-profile guests will be in attendance, including Plumer Lovelace, the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Library Association, as well as Donald and Carol Kress.

Teweles visiting Sturgeon Bay in June for granary presentation

By Paul Schmitt    


The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society announced this week that Nicole Teweles, 91, and her daughter Tracy, will be coming to Sturgeon Bay to share the history of the granary in June.  Their family built the Teweles & Brandeis grain elevator that dates back to 1901 and was recently relocated.  Christie Weber, president of the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society says it will be a special presentation on June 27.


Weber says details are still being worked out for a location and time of the granary presentation.   The  Sturgeon Bay Historical Society was instrumental in saving the historic building and moving it to its current location on Sturgeon Bay's east side waterfront on South 1st Avenue.

Peninsula Singers holding free Spring Concerts

By Eric Fischer


The Peninsula Singers invite you to join them for their annual Spring Concerts Saturday, May 12th, and Sunday, May 13th.  Saturday's performance will be held at United Methodist Church in Sturgeon Bay at 7 pm and Sunday's matinee is at the Door County Auditorium at 3 pm.  This year's theme for the group will be "How Can I Keep from Singing" and as Peninsula Singers Board Secretary, Mary Lou Schroeder says, will feature a variety of music styles.

The concerts are free to attend but the group appreciates donations.  Schroeder adds the Peninsula Singers are always looking to add new members.  

Rotary Club awards $28,000 in scholarships to Door County students

By Paul Schmitt    

Seventeen graduating seniors from area high schools were awarded scholarships totaling $28,000 from the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay.  The Rotary Club presented the scholarships at their luncheon meeting the past two Thursdays.  Member Jeff Ottum says the basis of the evaluation of the scholarship applications was having students write an essay on how they made an impact to someone else, either an individual or a group of people.  He says the students in Door County are remarkable when it comes to community involvement.


In addition to scholarship awards, 29 high school seniors were honored with  Rotary Vocational Awards.  The Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay was chartered in 1920 and is dedicated to the motto of "Service above Self".


(Photo compliments of Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay)

Recipients of Service Above Self Academic Scholarships were:


  • Sarah Kifer and Mackenzie Straub of Gibraltar High School

  • Jillian Jorns of Sevastopol High School

  • Austin Vandertie and Jennifer Vandertie of Southern Door High School

  • Allison Alberts, Nathan LeRoy, Sara Pabich and Connor Sannito of Sturgeon Bay High School

  • Nathan Ewaskowitz of Gibraltar High School and Jared Baudhuin of Southern Door High School were selected as alternates



Recipients of the Rising to the Challenge Scholarships were:


  • Collin Duffy of Gibraltar High School

  • Bennett Rabach of Sevastopol High School



Recipients of the Robert Muckian Service Above Self Vocational Scholarships were:


  • Mercedes Zayac of Gibraltar Door High School

  • Luke Bieri of Sevastopol High School

  • Phoebe Kennedy, Nathan Lenius, and Kimberly Letter of Southern Door High School

  • Jacob Lefeber of Sturgeon Bay High School

  • Bradley Jordan of Washington Island High School

Lights on bikes make for safer travels

By Paul Schmitt    

Bicyclists are becoming more and more visible on the roadsides this time of year as spring temperatures return this weekend.  Randy Sahs of the Door County Silent Sports Alliance says that bright colored clothing is becoming more popular and is a great way for bicyclists to be seen more easily by drivers on the roads.  He also adds that having lights on your bike is important.


Sahs says you should always wear a helmet that is properly fitted.  He also suggests carrying a water bottle on your bike to stay hydrated, especially during the hot summer months.  May is "National Bike Month" and next week is "National Bike to Work Week".  You can find bicyclist safety tips with this story online.

Sturgeon Bay declines proposed land acquisition in committee

By Paul Schmitt    


The proposed purchase of property on Sturgeon Bay's west side by the City was shot down in committee earlier this week.  The Finance, Purchasing & Building Committee voted earlier this week against the consideration of land located off of Ashland Avenue.  The committee met in closed session briefly before voting unanimously to turn down the offer.  Chair David Ward says the consensus was that the City of Sturgeon Bay did not need the property at this time.


The parcel of land is owned by Jeff and Barb Uecker.  Ward says the city may revisit a purchase of the land in the future if other private development is done around the area and the city sees a need for land.

County and city team up to demolish Kewaunee's Marquette School

By Tim Kowols       

After years of sitting dormant, Kewaunee's Marquette School will finally meet its day with the wrecking ball. The Kewaunee City Council awarded the demolition contract to New Berlin-based Dakota Intertek Corporation at its Monday meeting. The estimated $1.1 million project will be aided by $600,000 in grant funds the city received from the state and federal government. Before the city officially takes over, Kewaunee County will briefly own the site to forgive the years of back taxes on it before transferring the deed for $1 and assurance it will not be held liable for any issues with the building. Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt says movement on the site is good news for everyone involved.



The Kewaunee County Board will decide whether or not to take the school on a tax foreclosure when they meet on May 22. If approved, Dakota Intertek Corporation would have 10 days to begin and four months to complete the demolition of Marquette School according to the city of Kewaunee.

Trueblood Performing Arts Center continues to amaze guests, performers

By Tim Kowols       

Even after 14 years of operation, the Trueblood Performing Arts Center surprises performers and guests from the moment they walk through the doors. As one of Washington Island's few year-round facilities, the home of two arts festival and the Island Players also doubles as the town's movie theater and an auditorium for Washington Island School District activities during the offseason. Managing Director Betsy Wallman says it is able to give students the opportunity to perform on a real stage with state of the art equipment while giving other artists a break from the routine of a usual tour stop. After some community members questioned the need for such a facility, she believes the Trueblood Performing Arts Center is winning more people over every year.



The Trueblood Performing Center will celebrate their "greatest hits" over the last 14 years with acts like Janet Planet and the Tannahill Weavers when their season kicks off next weekend.


Photo by Don Buntman


Friends of Gibraltar plays big role in out of classroom experiences

By Tim Kowols       

Students at Gibraltar Area School District have at least one organization to thank when it comes to world-class speakers coming to visit and field trips to places around the county. For over 30 years, Friends of Gibraltar has worked with teachers to provide unique learning opportunities for students while also promoting the arts. Membership fees and fundraisers like Fish Creek's Hairpin Run 5K on July 4 provide the funding to help bring in special guests and buy materials for projects. FOG Coordinator Vinni Chomeau says its partnership with Gibraltar's staff is important.



Chomeau says FOG is currently planning special activities for next year's 100th anniversary of the district.

All polling places to be open for Tuesday's special election primary

By Tim Kowols       

Door and Kewaunee County voters will get their chance to weigh in on the candidates they would like to see face off on Tuesday in the June 12 special election for Wisconsin Senate District 1. Republicans have the only contested race with State Representative Andre Jacque facing businessman Alex Renard. Former Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Caleb Frostman is the only Democrat in the race. All polling locations in Door and Kewaunee County will be open Tuesday, including three in Sturgeon Bay. City clerk Stephanie Reinhardt says there were talks to consolidate polling locations like other communities in the district but ultimately decided against it.



The special election called for by Governor Scott Walker is to fill the seat vacated by Frank Lasee last December. Voters can head to the polls between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Showcase of Homes featured this weekend in Door County

By Paul Schmitt    

From Gardner to Gills Rock, seven featured properties will be participating in the Door County Home Builders Association's annual Showcase of Homes starting this weekend.  The showcase includes new spacious ranch-style homes as well as waterfront cottages.  The open houses will be held this Friday and Saturday as well as next weekend, May 18- 20.  Jeff Dorner, Treasurer for the Door County Home Builders Association, describes what visitors can look forward to touring.


Dorner says the past fourteen years of the event have been great exposure for the building industry in Door County.  Tickets are $10 and are available at the door or in advance at the visitor center, area banks, and area businesses.  You can find a map and description of the seven featured homes with the link below.

Dying without a will can cause family strife over property

By Paul Schmitt    

ALGOMA, WI (Paul Schmitt) -- When one dies without having a will, the legal term is called "intestate".  That means the intestacy laws of the state where you reside will determine how the property will be distributed upon your death.  Attorney Jim Downey of Blazkovec, Blazkovec & Downey says the issue over personal property is where he sees the most disputes.


According to Forbes, over half of all people between the age of 55 to 64 don't have a will or estate plan.  Downey says if you don't have a will, the intestate succession statue will dictate exactly where your belongings and assets will go without your input.  Wills can distribute your property, name an executor, name guardians for children, forgive debts and more, according to Downey.

Door County Conservation Congress looks for lakeside safe harbor to benefit all parks users

By Paul Schmitt    

A proposed safe harbor located between the Whitefish Dunes State Park's office and Cave Point County Park may not have the backing of the parks' Friends group, but a member of the Door County Conservation Congress still believes the positives outweigh any concerns.  Dick Baudhuin, a long-time member of the Conservation Congress, says the location makes sense because it is state-owned property already.  He says safety is the number one reason the safe harbor is needed on the lakeside.


Baudhuin says the 25-mile stretch of shoreline needs public boating access for rescue personnel in case of an emergency on Lake Michigan.  Parking can be expanded without detracting from the beauty of Whitefish Dunes State Park and Cave Point County Park, according to Baudhuin.  He adds that the cost factor is always a consideration but funding sources are available and the popular Stone Quarry launch ramp on the bayside did not come cheap either.

Groups catching up with clean-up efforts of area parks and beaches

By Tim Kowols       

Local conservation-minded organizations in Door and Kewaunee counties are catching up with cleaning efforts after heavy snow at the end of April delayed their efforts. Friends of Wisconsin State Parks groups in Door County and The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor were forced to postpone or even cancel their spring clean-up events due to the wet and muddy conditions. Cathy Pabich from the Friends of Crescent Beach in Algoma is thankful for local Boy Scouts and other volunteers for helping them play catch up in their beach clean-up efforts that occur throughout the year.



Friends of Crescent Beach will host clean-up days on Friday and Saturday while Newport State Park will also host their own rescheduled Work Play Earth Day for volunteers on Saturday.

PFLAG celebrates 21 year milestone

By Tim Kowols       

For 21 years the Door County chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) has met on the third Sunday of every month to make sure people do not feel they are alone. PFLAG Door County celebrates its milestone this month as the national organization enters its 45th year of being an ally for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and queer community. Sandy Brown helped create the chapter out of concern for others who needed support in the community, including a young gay man who wrote to the organization after contemplating suicide because he felt alone. According to Brown, that letter caused PFLAG's founding members to meet on a more regular basis.



PFLAG Door County is one of 400 chapters across the country. The chapter has monthly meetings on the 3rd Sunday of each month at 5 p.m. at Hope Church in Sturgeon Bay and the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship near Sister Bay from September to May.

Town of Gibraltar business files notice over "unconstitutional" ban on food trucks

By Tim Kowols       

The owners of White Cottage Red Door call the Town of Gibraltar's ordinance against food truck operators "unconstitutional" and threaten to take their fight to court. With assistance from the Institute for Justice, White Cottage Red Door owners Kevin and Lisa Howard and Chris and Jessica Hadraba filed the official notice to the town on Wednesday, which is the first step towards a potential lawsuit. The owners charge the town with creating an ordinance to strike down the business' new food truck venture despite it having the proper approvals from the state and county. The town fines violators of the ordinance up to $500 a day for operating.  Lisa Howard says the food truck has always been a part of their business plan and called the ban difficult and disheartening during their first year of business.



Lawyers for the Institute for Justice, which has a history of representing food truck owners across the country, says it is against the law for a town board to ban what the state has already approved. The Town of Gibraltar has 120 days to respond to the claim or risk going to court.

Kewaunee County students get up-close look at environmental practices during conservation tour

By Tim Kowols       

Over 270 sixth grade students will travel to six different stops next week as a part of Kewaunee County's annual Conservation Tour on May 16. NEW Plastics, Kinnard Farms, Rosiere Wind Farm, an UW Discovery Farm project operation, Wagner Tree Farm, and the C.D. Buzz Besadny Fish Hatchery are all stops during the annual event, which has focused on the need to protect and preserve the environment for over 20 years. Kewaunee County UW-Extension agriculture educator Aerica Bjurstrom hopes kids learn how prevalent conservation practices are everywhere in the area.



Students will specifically learn about monitoring the fish population, wildlife habitats, wind energy, plastics recycling, and tree and soil management practices during the six-hour tour.

Sex offender to be released in Sturgeon Bay

By Tim Kowols       

For the second time in a month, a registered sex offender will be released from prison to live in Sturgeon Bay. The police department announced Thursday that 27-year-old Zachery Barta will be released following serving time for a 2010 conviction on several charges of sexual assault of a child. Barta will be under the supervision of the Department of Corrections, which includes an electronic monitoring device and travel restrictions.  On April 16, the Sturgeon Bay Police Department announced Anthony Paschke was set to be released to live in the city following his own sexual assault convictions. According to a post from the department, Act 440 allows law enforcement to share such news with the community but reminds residents that abusing the information to threaten the person will not be tolerated.

Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee Chairperson calls East Twin River study findings "disheartening"

By Tim Kowols       

Warm summer water temperatures and higher than acceptable state levels for phosphorus are to blame for the continued deteriorating health of the East Twin River and neighboring streams according to a study presented to the Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee earlier this week. Committee Chairperson Chuck Wagner told that the report contained no surprises, but was disheartened to see the East Twin River's outlook worsen from previous tests done in 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2013. The river will remain on the state's impaired waters list due to the high phosphorus levels and other factors. Wagner suggests there are ways to improve the water quality with a little patience.



Comments at the meeting were directed at chloride discharges from the nearby Agropur cheese plant and its impact on the East Twin River, but Wagner says a Department of Natural Resources engineer told the committee of possible plans by the company to install a chilling tower to cool down the discharge before it is released into the stream.

Local athletes prepare for busy Thursday

By Tim Kowols       

With just a couple weeks remaining before postseason action begins, local athletes are preparing for the stretch run of their weather-shortened seasons.

On the baseball diamond, Algoma travels to Peshtigo, Luxemburg-Casco heads on the road to face Clintonville, Sturgeon Bay hosts Sevastopol, and Gibraltar plays at home against Southern Door.

The Packerland Conference hosts a golf outing for its seven teams at Little River Country Club in Marinette.

Softball action for Thursday includes Gibraltar hosting Southern Door, Sevastopol traveling to Sturgeon Bay, and Algoma heading to Peshtigo.

In track, Sturgeon Bay meets Southern Door while Luxemburg-Casco hosts North Eastern Conference foes Denmark, Little Chute, Fox Valley Lutheran, Oconto Falls, and Waupaca.

On the soccer pitch, Luxemburg-Casco heads to Clintonville, Sturgeon Bay hits the road to NEW Lutheran in Green Bay, and Kewaunee hosts Gibraltar/Sevastopol.

Chaudoir ready to help bridge gap to next Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director

By Tim Kowols       

Bill Chaudoir had been enjoying retirement exploring the country with his wife in their new motorhome when he got the call to return to his post at the Door County Economic Development Corporation. Chaudoir rejoined the DCEDC earlier this month as its interim executive director after Caleb Frostman resigned at the end of April to pursue a seat in the Wisconsin State Senate. Since then, Chaudoir has been thrown into the latter stages of a comprehensive housing study for the county and a preliminary look at the future of the Younkers buildings in Sturgeon Bay's downtown. Chaudoir says while he tries to be a resource to the organization's new staff members and keeping other projects going, he feels his top priority is to help find his replacement.



Chaudoir served as the DCEDC's first executive director beginning in 1989 before retiring in 2016.

Fire Department's CPR classes an enduring resource in Northern Door

By Tim Kowols       

An annual goal has become a monthly necessity when it comes to the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department's Community CPR classes. The department has partnered with the American Safety and Health Institute to educate residents about the proper techniques of performing CPR and using an automated external defibrillator for the last few years with initial hopes of hosting a four-hour class four times a year. The department now hosts three to four classes monthly and Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht is proud they have been able to meet the community's demand.



By taking the $25 course, students receive training materials and a two-year certification in infant, child, and adult CPR. The next course hosted by the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department is May 19.

Ohio's vote gives more fuel for fight against gerrymandering in Wisconsin

By Tim Kowols       

Seventy-five percent of Ohio residents voted in favor of new rules Tuesday to end the practice of partisan gerrymandering, adding more momentum for other battles on the issue in states like Wisconsin. The binding referendum forces state legislators to work together by requiring sixty percent of House and Senate members, including half from the minority party, to agree on a fair map in order for it to last 10 years. Wisconsin does not have a process for a binding referendum, but Jay Heck from Common Cause Wisconsin says Tuesday's result shows voters do not like their districts rigged for one political party or another.



As Wisconsin waits for the United States Supreme Court to weigh in on its own gerrymandering case, the issue has become a major issue in eight other states.

Many domestic abuse victims deal with depression --National Mental Health Awareness Month

By Paul Schmitt    

There is a real intersection many times between mental health issues and domestic violence.  According to World Health Organization, over three million people worldwide suffer from some type of depression.  Help of Door County Executive Director Steve Vickman says there is a greater need to understand depression and its effect on victims.


May is National Mental Health Awareness Month which started in 1949.  According to Mental Health America, there are more than 200 classified forms of mental illness and one out of five Americans is affected.  Help of Door County provides a 24-hour helpline at 1-800-91-HELP-1.

Sen. Johnson wants pressure kept on Korea; three U.S. detainees released

By Paul Schmitt    

With the release of the last three known American Citizens imprisoned in North Korea, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson is cautiously optimistic that President Donald Trump's upcoming summit talks with the North Korean leader will lead to the country to denuclearize.  In an interview with last week, Sen. Johnson credit the President's hardline with getting results.


Johnson says the United States cannot afford a miscalculation.  He says a military conflict would be a horrific slaughter but the United States must make North Korea completely, verifiably, and irreversibly dismantle their nuclear weapons before letting up on any sanctions.

Kewaunee Chamber Choir performs National Anthem at Miller Park

By Paul Schmitt    

The Kewaunee High School Chamber Choir had a unique opportunity to sing at one of the major venues in the state in front of over 35,000 people Tuesday evening.  Miller Park was the setting for the choir to perform the Star Spangled Banner prior to the Milwaukee Brewer game.  Choir Director Amy Smejkal says the opportunity is one that really challenges the singers'skills.


This is the eighth consecutive year that the Kewaunee High School Chamber Choir has performed at Miller Park, according to Smejkal.  She says that the eight-member choir had to send an audition tape to the Milwaukee Brewer organization before the season began in order to be selected to sing the National Anthem at Miller Park.  You can watch a video of their performance with this story online.

PRAT to help offset cost of repairs to Maple-Oregon Bridge approaches

By Paul Schmitt    

The City of Sturgeon Bay Finance/Purchasing & Building Committee discussed the state of Wisconsin's original agreement with the city for extending the lifespan of the approaches to the Maple –Oregon Bridge.  Committee Chair David Ward says the Premier Resort Area Tax that is still seeking legislative approval would offset some of the $250,000 cost the committee is recommending to the city council.


The approaches to the bridge require a thin polymer overlay every eight to twelve years to protect the pavement from deterioration caused by chloride salts.  Ward says the city had agreed with the Department of Transportation that the cost would be at the city's expense when the Maple-Oregon Bridge was built in 2007.  Final approval for the expenditure will be dealt with at the next Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting on May 15.

Luxemburg Police looking for stolen railroad padlock culprit

By Paul Schmitt    

The Luxemburg Police Department is still looking for assistance in a railroad tampering incident.  A CN Railroad rail switch near Luxemburg Milling was tampered with on April 25 and the person responsible is still at large.  A silver metal padlock mechanism and chain is missing.  Police Chief Chris Gulbrand says safety is not a concern but the railroad incurred a loss.


The description of the individual is a white teenage male about 5'5" tall with short blondish hair.  Anyone having an idea who the person possibly could be or saw the missing lock should contact Luxemburg Police.  The police department wants to recover the lock and talk to the young man, according to Gulbrand.

Photo of similar padlock and chain stolen compliments of Luxemburg Police facebook.  Facebook post is below:

<iframe src="" width="500" height="405" style="border:none;overflow:hidden" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowTransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media"></iframe>

Birding Festival on Washington Island occurring at peak migration

By Paul Schmitt    

Washington Island is going to the birds in May with a special Birding Festival May 18th -20th.  The first-ever Washington Island Birding Festival will give attendees the opportunity to get up close and personal with our fine feathered friends.  Coordinator Chari Rutledge says registration for the event is sold out already but shares how the weekend will unfold.


Rutledge says that mid-May is considered the peak time for migration and hopes are for that popular Warbler to make an appearance.   The Washington Island Birding Festival is sponsored by the Art & Nature Center, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, and the Washington Island Ferry.  A link to photos and a blog of past birding events on Washington Island is below.

(Photo by Joel Trick)  

Ellsworth Peterson remembered worldwide for shipbuilding, locally for philanthropy

By Paul Schmitt    

An iconic shipbuilder and philanthropist from Door County is being remembered in the Sturgeon Bay community this week. Ellsworth Peterson, 94, passed away last Wednesday. Peterson was Chair of Peterson Builders in Sturgeon Bay which was known globally for building naval and private ships. He and his wife Carla were instrumental in the two Door County YMCA program centers being built in the late 1990's. President and CEO Tom Beerntsen says the state-of-the-art facilities would not have been possible without the Peterson's generosity.

Funeral Services for Ellsworth Peterson will be held next Friday, May 18 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Sturgeon Bay. You can find complete details and the obituary from Huehns Funeral Home below.


Ellsworth L. Peterson, 94, of Sturgeon Bay, passed away Wednesday, May 2, 2018 in the comfort of his home, surrounded by his family.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, May 18, 2018 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Sturgeon Bay with Fr. Ron Colombo and Fr. Robert Stegmann officiating. Burial will be in Bayside Cemetery.

Friends may call from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at Huehns Funeral Home in Sturgeon Bay and at the church, Friday morning, from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services.

A complete obituary will be available in the near future.

Door County Judge issues injunction to stop sex offender from residing in Egg Harbor

By Paul Schmitt    

The Egg Harbor Town Board has received a copy of an injunction from Judge David Weber to prevent a convicted violent sexual predator from moving to the town. Town Clerk Pam Krauel told DoorC that the injunction was received on Friday that would prohibit allowing the house on Monument Point Road to be used for commercial purposes. Krauel says an amended letter has been sent to Judge Ehlers to correct the exact address of the location. The home at 5073 Monument Point Road is owned by Leon and Tammy Servaes who intended to rent the location to Jeffrey LeVasseur from Forest County who was convicted of first-degree sexual assault of children. A Vilas County Judge had ruled in March that LaVasseur was be placed at the Egg Harbor location on May 14 under supervised release.


Injunction Letter to Depart. of Health 05-03-18

amended order for injunction signed 05-08-18

Friends of Whitefish Dunes State Park oppose proposed safe harbor

By Tim Kowols       

A proposed safe harbor located near Whitefish Dunes State Park is getting a chilly reception from its Friends group. The idea was one of several resolutions brought forward during last month's Door County Conservation Congress hearing. Unpredictable weather on the lake makes the development of a site tricky but possibly needed for boaters traveling between Sturgeon Bay and Sister Bay by placing it between the park's office and Cave Point County Park.  Friends of Whitefish Dunes State Park President Lynn Zawolski says it is the location of it that makes it hard for the group to support given the day-trip nature of its guests.



Even if approval for the project is awarded, Zawolski says funding it would be tough due to cuts to the state park system and the current fundraising efforts for other plans being spearheaded by the Friends of Whitefish Dunes State Park. The Wisconsin State Conservation Congress could make the request for a feasibility study to the Department of Natural Resources during their convention this week.

Catching new board members up first priority of Kewaunee County jail study

By Tim Kowols       

Last month's election will require Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski to get some of the board's newest members up to speed on the progress made on its jail study. Chaired by John Mastalir, Douglas Doel, Scott Jahnke, Joe Lukes, and Charles Schmitt make up the Law Enforcement and Emergency Management Committee. Joski says filling them in on the work that has already been done is the focus for now.



Kewaunee County currently has the state's oldest and smallest jail, but Joski says he sees the building as more than just a place to hold criminals but to rehabilitate people.

Lamas wins Certified Tourism Ambassador of the Year award

By Tim Kowols       

Mi Casa Door County owner Gabriela Lamas has only been a Certified Tourism Ambassador for just over a year, but that did not stop her from winning the top award at this year's National Tourism Week Breakfast hosted by the Door County Visitor Bureau. Prior to her and her husband starting their cleaning and property management business, Lamas worked in the tourism field in her native Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and in Door County. Lamas says the seasonal nature of both locales has helped her adjust to life in America and that her award shows that hard work pays off.



Tourism officials and local business owners packed the conference room at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay for the annual celebration of the industry. In addition to Lamas and four other CTA of the Year nominees being recognized, Sevastopol student Lamyra Adams and Southern Door student Austin Vandertie were awarded $1,000 scholarships from Carole Counard Scholarship Fund.

Former Baylake Conference Center acquisition a sign of Door County Community Foundation's commitment to Sturgeon Bay

By Tim Kowols       

The Door County Community Foundation is moving closer to the area's largest business district after acquiring the former Baylake Conference Center.  Nicolet Bank and the Door County Community Foundation announced the agreement last week for the organization to take over the center and the neighboring clock tower property. Door County Community Foundation President and CEO Bret Bicoy says in addition to housing its offices, the new space hopefully will house meeting space for other non-profits while showing its commitment to downtown Sturgeon Bay.



Renovations are currently underway with Bicoy hoping the Door County Community Foundation can move into its new offices by August. Nicolet Bank hopes to move into its own new facility later this year.

Econofoods claims supermarket title in Best of Door County

By Paul Schmitt    

A grocery store with history throughout Northeastern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula has been chosen as the "Best of Door County" in the supermarket category.  Econofoods in Sturgeon Bay won the distinction in a recent poll on  Store Manager Jon Calhoun cites his loyal staff and product selection as two keys in winning the award.


Calhoun also credits Econofoods owner and founder Jim Tadych who started in the grocery business 50 years ago by opening a T & C Markets in Brillion.  The first Sturgeon Bay location was opened in 1981 as the first warehouse-style store in the area.


(photo from Door County Adopt-a-Soldier broadcast last year)

Area farmers looking to plant crops by end of the week

By Paul Schmitt    

Recent above normal temperatures and sunnier skies have area farmer more optimistic about finally getting their tractors in the fields and their crops planted sooner than later.  Door and Kewaunee County received over 20 inches of snow just three weeks ago that set planting schedules behind this spring.   Jim Wautier of Church-Site Farm in Brussels says farmers are finally prepping their fields.


Wautier says normally the last week of April is when area farmers begin planting corn for the season with 50-degree soil temperatures.  He estimates that area farmers are roughly two weeks behind in their planting schedule.

Algoma teen's pet project gets her rescue dog "Bandit"

By Paul Schmitt    

A conversation that was centered about getting a family pet has turned into a project that will benefit an entire community.    One couple in Algoma has turned the pet discussion into a learning experience for their daughter.  Marty and Sara Olejniczak of Algoma told their 16-year old daughter Sadie that she could have a dog if she found a job and got involved in a community project.  After contacting the Algoma animal impound and visiting with Cathy Pabich of Friends of Crescent Beach, Sadie found a cause to get behind.


A microchip scanner was needed in the city of Algoma to help identify lost dogs faster than taking the animal to a pet clinic.  Sadie established a GoFundMe page for raising money for the scanner and has raised $300 so far towards the $500 goal.  A  free Leash Manners Clinic is planned for May 19 from 12:30 until 1:30 pm at the Algoma Youth Club with a suggested $5 donation going towards the microchip scanner.  Sadie also found a couple jobs too, as a cashier at Craig's Piggly Wiggly in Algoma and walking dogs.

(Photo submitted:  Sadie and "Bandit")

Door County high school students honored Sunday at Rotary Fine Arts Awards Program

By Paul Schmitt    

Twenty-four area high school students were recognized Sunday at the Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club's 17th Annual Fine Arts Award Program at Crossroads at Big Creek.  Door County's four mainland Schools were represented in areas of instrumental music, choral music, journalism, drama, forensics and visual art.  Students are nominated by their teacher for the well-deserved recognition.  President Greg Dietz says the Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club wanted to do something special for the schools in honor of the student's achievements.


You can find the complete list of 2018 Rotary Fine Arts Award of Excellence recipients from Sunday's program below.


(photo compliments of Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club)


Gracie Richards, Art

Cassidy Stark, Choral Music

Isabele Austen, Drama

Maggie Parzych, Forensics

Spencer Berndt, Instrumental Music

Ava Hitzeman, Journalism


Jada Lauscher, Art

Bennett Rabach, Forensics

Elizebeth Fiscus, Choral Music

Natalie Meikle, Drama

Alexandra LeClair, Instrumental Music

Lamyra Adams, Journalism-Yearbook

Jillian Jorns,  Journalism-Newspaper

Southern Door

Megan Neubauer, Choral Music

Cameron Friehe, Drama

Olivia Baker, Forensics

Krysta Rouer, Instrumental Music

Emily Koelpien, Journalism

Sturgeon Bay

Connor Sannito, Art

Mikayla Elihya, Journalism

Elizabeth Price, Choral Music

Kekoa Bicoy, Drama

Grace Hubbard, Forensics

Kendra Ploor, Instrumental Music

DOT looks to foot Sturgeon Bay with $250,000 bill for bridge approach repairs

By Tim Kowols       

The Sturgeon Bay  Finance/Purchasing and Building Committee will weigh in on an over $250,000 expense to extend the lifespan of the Maple-Oregon Street Bridge. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the city agreed in 2008 that Sturgeon Bay would be responsible for the approaches to the four-lane bridge while the DOT would be in charge of the structure itself. The DOT is now asking the city to install a thin polymer overlay on the approaches to protect it from further damage and extend its lifespan another 8-12 years.  Alderperson Barb Allmann was a member of the Sturgeon Bay Common Council at the time of the agreement, saying the bridge was built at a height so it would not need to be opened as frequently and the approaches were created on more affordable land in the nearby Tax Increment Financing district. Ten years is not a long lifespan for a road and Allmann says she has plenty of questions before she signs off on an expense this large.



Allmann says the bill has her second-guessing her call for a six-month enforcement of a Premier Resort Area Tax as this is a sign that more funds would be necessary to keep up with road repairs. The Finance/Purchasing and Building Committee meets at 4 p.m. Tuesday inside the Sturgeon Bay Council Chambers.

Savings made easier with goals

By Tim Kowols       

Having a goal in mind can make it easier for those battling bills and debt to save their money. A report shows 69 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account. According to financial experts like Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors, it is often easier to have something in mind for what you are saving for than just saving for the sake of it. Pustaver says having such targets makes it easier for when you have to "do without" something.



Saving for a reason can also make decision making more focused and puts you in control of your money according to Pustaver. You can listen to part two of our Money Management Monday Series on Savings with Gay Pustaver online with this story.

Learning and Innovation Center cuts ribbon in Sister Bay

By Tim Kowols       

Already open for over a month, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College officially cut the ribbon on its new Learning and Innovation Center in Sister Bay Monday morning. The Learning and Innovation Center features classrooms and meeting rooms for a wide array of offered courses in addition to a food processing kitchen. Learning and Innovation Center manager Lisa Tetzloff says the facility is the product of great cooperation with local businesses and listening to the needs of the community.



Tetzloff encourages residents to check out the facility to use its services and take some of their community education courses that they have available. NWTC has three campuses and six regional learning centers including facilities in Sturgeon Bay and Luxemburg.

Door County tourism spending increases by $11 million

By Tim Kowols       

It was another banner year for Door County as it saw direct tourism spending in the area increase by over $11 million dollars in 2017 to $358.7 million. Ranked seventh among the state's 72 counties, it was the ninth year in a row Door County saw an increase, dating back to the creation of a room tax to help boost tourism marketing efforts. Jon Jarosh from the Door County Visitor Bureau says the numbers are especially impressive when you consider the small year-round population and being the only true seasonal destination in the state's top ten.



The state of Wisconsin released its tourism spending figures on Friday, showing tourists spending 12.7 billion last year, an increase of 3.2 percent. Kewaunee County saw an increase of over 13 percent in direct tourism spending, totaling around $20 million.

The Ridges Sanctuary continues mission for accessibility

By Eric Fischer


As part of The Ridges Sanctuary's continuous effort to be more accessible, visitors may notice something new this spring, the hearing loop system.  In both the Cook-Albert Fuller Nature Center, and on the guided hikes, individuals with hearing aids will better able to hear the exhibits and guide using the loop systems as audio goes directly into the hearing aid.  Executive Director Steve Leonard says making the outdoors more accessible is exciting.

The loop system comes just two years after the Hidden Brook Boardwalk was finished to allow guests in wheelchairs greater accessibility to the park.   For a list of upcoming events at The Ridges Sanctuary visit their website.

City engineer offers reminders for County C construction project

By Eric Fischer


As construction continues along County Highway C in Sturgeon Bay, city engineer Chad Shefchik has a few reminders for residents and motorists.  Shefchik wants to remind those living on the route of the project to avoid the wooden stakes, as they are placed at specific points and depths and tampering could lead to improper installation and costly delays.  He also wants to remind motorists that Highway C is closed to through traffic and says that reports from the contractor and homeowners of cars continuing to use the road, sometimes at high speeds, has led to increased police presence in the area.

The city will continue to release progress reports of the project.  To register for the updates contact the City of Sturgeon Bay Engineering Department.

Gallagher skeptical on denuclearization talks

By Eric Fischer

With talks of denuclearization in North Korea, US Representative Mike Gallagher says he is skeptical of Kim Jong Un's intentions. The former Marine turned congressman gives credit to the Trump administration for getting North Korea to the negotiating table by turning up the pressure with economic sanctions and military presence but also points to past restrictions placed on the country that have been violated over the last twenty-five years. Gallagher says the differing definitions of denuclearization could be a key factor in these talks.

Gallagher adds that he is hoping the conflict can be resolved diplomatically and Trump's willingness to step away from the negotiating table and increase pressure will result in the best possible outcome for the US. Sunday morning, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the US boasting about the effectiveness of sanctions were misleading and further provocation could halt all progress to peace.

Max Level Hoops basketball camps announced in Gibraltar

By Eric Fischer


Some of the state's top high school, college, and professional coaches are coming to Door County to teach basketball camps at Gibraltar High School.  There will be 4 camps total, June 16th for high school girls, June 23rd for middle school girls, July 14th for high school boys, and July 21st for middle school boys.  Justin Burress, Gibraltar boys basketball head coach and founder of Max Level Hoops says he brings the camps to Door County so local athletes can receive the best instruction possible and make the area more competitive.

Each camp will be a single day, from 8 am to 4 pm and costs $85 that includes a t-shirt and multiple gift certificates to local businesses.  For more information on the camps or to register visit their website.

Baylake ATV Club offers safety tips and reminders for ATV season

By Eric Fischer


Not having the necessary permits and equipment while riding ATVs could lead to fines and/or injury, as ATV trails open soon.  ATV and UTV riders born after January 1st, 1988 must have completed an ATV safety course and all ATVs and UTVs must display the side decals from the DNR as well as a license plate on the rear of the vehicle.  In terms of safety, Kelly Froelich of the Baylake ATV Club, says wearing the proper clothing and equipment can be a major factor in preventing injuries.

Froelich also mentions the Riverview ATV Park with 20 miles of trails will open May 12th.  There is no charge to use the trail but there is a donation drop to cover trail maintenance costs.

Northern Door YMCA to host Senior Health and Wellness Day

By Eric Fischer


People over the age of 50 can get a preview of the Fish Creek YMCA at the Senior Health and Wellness Day on May 16th.   Beginning at 8 am, the event will offer two classes geared towards older individuals and four presentations on various health topics given by local doctors.  Participants can pre-register for cholesterol and skin cancer screenings as well as sign up for chair massages and blood pressure readings at the event.  Megan Schneider, the Adult Program Director at the Northern Door Program Center, says the program will allow seniors to see all the options designed for them at the Y.

Schneider adds that it is a free event, but asks those planning to come to call ahead of time to register so they can have accurate numbers for lunch.  Participants can also arrange free transportation through the YMCA.

DOT closing Sturgeon Bay bridges for cleaning

By Eric Fischer


Drivers will have to plan alternate routes through Sturgeon Bay this week, as the Department of Transportation has announced several bridge closings for cleaning.  All closings will be from 7 am to 3 pm, with the Michigan Street Bridge closed Monday, May 7th, the Maple-Oregon Street Bridge on Tuesday, and the Bayview Bridge on May 9th.  Mark Kantola, the Northeast Regional Communication Manager for the Wisconsin DOT, says the project is standard yearly maintenance.

With the proximity of the bridges, Kantola doesn't expect too many issues with traffic.  Drivers are reminded to plan their route accordingly.

Crowds gather for rare look inside Bay Shipbuilding

By Eric Fischer

Saturday was a rare opportunity for the community as the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay partnered with Fincantieri Bay  Shipbuilding for the 25th Annual Shipyard Tour.  The annual event allows members of the community to tour the shipyard once a year, and see the all the work that goes into building ships.  CenterPointe Yacht Services, the US Coast Guard, and the Door County Maritime Museum also contributed with various tours of ships and maritime history.  Scott Bader, co-chair of the event for the Rotary Club, explains why he thinks this is such a popular event.

Early estimates expect this year's attendance to surpass the 1,500 ticket record-setting attendance last year.  The event takes place the first Saturday of May every year.

Randy and Renee Ebert named "Persons of the Year" by Kewaunee County Rotary Club

By Eric Fischer

Saturday night the Kewaunee Rotary Club named Randy and Renee Ebert as its "Persons of the Year" for their contributions to the community.  The Eberts hosted the Wisconsin Farm Technology Days on their farm last June, an event that drew more people to the farm than the population of Kewaunee County over the 3-day span.  In an interview when he learned they would be recognized, Randy said he and Renee are humbled to receive the award.

Randy also wanted to thank the nearly 2,000 other volunteers who helped make the Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days possible.  This year's Farm Technology Days will be held in Wood County.

Svalhus Research Library to open May 16th

By Eric Fischer


A popular building on the Ephraim Historical Foundation will serve a new role for visitors this spring. The Svalhus building that has been part of the Ephraim Historical Foundation since 1996 will now serve as the Svalhus Research Library when the Anderson Barn Museum property opens May 16th. Emily Irwin, curator of the Ephraim Historical Foundation, says the building will hold the archives of the community.

The building opens May 16th and will be open Wednesday-Friday from 11 am to 2 pm until October 12th.  An open house of the property is scheduled for June 15th at 11 am.

Live Algoma celebrates Mental Health Month

By Eric Fischer


An Algoma group is offering programs and activities in May for Mental Health month to promote wellbeing and end stigmas.  The Live Algoma Well-being Workgroup and UW-Extension Educators of Kewaunee County are partnering together to encourage coming together as a community and healthy lifestyle choices.  Jody Anderson, the Community Nurse Activator for Live Algoma, says active lifestyles can create positive social interaction which is important for mental health.

While Anderson has a passion for mental health, she adds that she is thankful so many organizations wanted to partner for this cause.  Anderson and Live Algoma challenge everyone to do one thing a day to improve their mental and physical health.

Spring awakens new projects in Door County

By Tim Kowols       


Now with Winter Storm Evelyn far out of the minds of Door County officials, the last touches on a few area projects and the start of others can finally begin. Road crews have started their projects with resurfacing currently underway in the towns of Gibraltar and Baileys Harbor. Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says he is excited about two other projects to begin as well.

Pabich says to be aware of road closures and other types of delays in those areas while work is being completed.

Another Secret Treasure of Door County: Cherry Hills Golf Course

By Tom Jordan       


Door County is blessed with some fabulous golf courses. But some are too challenging. Some are not challenging enough.  Some are so popular it's hard to get a tee time. And some are just too expensive. Which is why my favorite eighteen-hole course is Cherry Hills.  Challenging, without being too tough and yet surprisingly affordable and accessible.


About ten years ago the course was not in the best of shape. In fact, some of the greens resembled a lunar landscape. That all changed four years ago when Jon Martell took over the operation. He has invested a lot of time, effort, energy and money into improving the course, the clubhouse, the overnight accommodations...even the driving range.


Jon Martell has a long history of being around golf courses. When he was eleven-years-old he got his first job as a caddie. Over the years he has worked at some of the most prestigious courses in the country, including Whistling Straits, Redstone Golf Club, and most recently, Liberty National. "I've been in love with golf my whole life," Martell said. "Having the opportunity to make major improvements here at Cherry Hills is like a dream come true. It's been a lot of work but it's really paying off."


The improvements go beyond carefully refining and grooming the golf course. Every room in the lodge has been updated and the restaurant/bar had a complete makeover. "On a Friday night we'll often get a big crowd for our fish fry," Martell adds. "And the pub can be very active after a round of golf."


More and more people are booking rooms for the week, playing a lot of golf and then using Cherry Hills as a "home base" for visiting the rest of Door County. With a staff of nearly twenty, Cherry Hills is a vibrant, hustling place that just seems to get better and better.


"I've worked at some very prestigious golf courses, so I know we're on the right path," Martell said. "If you haven't played Cherry Hills in the past few years, I guarantee you'll be pleasantly surprised."

Crossroads to offer family programs on Mother's Day weekend

By Eric Fischer


Families will have a couple chances to explore nature together on Mother's Day weekend at Crossroads at Big Creek.  Crossroads will be offering the "Walk to the Dock" on May 12th and the Mother's Day Hike on May 13th for families to spend time together and learn about the importance of caring for nature.  Coggin Heeringa, director of Crossroads at Big Creek, says working with families is one of the most rewarding parts of being involved with the program.

Educating kids at a young age also seems to set a path for further conservation efforts according to Coggin.  Both programs will be free to attend.

Door County to host boaters' safety class

By Eric Fischer

Door County Sail and Power Squadron is offering the boaters ABC class June 11-14thh to those wishing to sail this summer.  Those wishing to operate a boat on Lake Michigan and/or Green Bay born after January 1st,1989 are required to take a Boaters' Safety course under Wisconsin DNR requirements.   Lieutenant Commander of the Door County Sail and Power Squadron, Lou Pasquesi says the class is also helpful for those who are grandfathered in and don't need to take the class don't need to take the class as a refresher on the rules.

The class will take place at NWTC in Sturgeon Bay from 6:30-8:30 pm and costs $20.  Pasquesi also strongly recommends boaters to wear a life jacket while on the water, as most deaths on the water are from drowning.

Sturgeon Bay council member suggests six-month Premiere Resort Area Tax

By Roger Utnehmer


Sturgeon Bay city council member Barbara Allmann supports the recently-approved one-half percent sales tax to fund street repairs but she would rather see it imposed for only six months each year. Allmann told that Sturgeon Bay needs the revenue a Premiere Resort Area Tax would generate. The PRAT was overwhelmingly approved in an advisory referendum April 3rd. However, she would like to see the tax imposed from spring, through summer, and into fall. That would generate less than the $800,000 a year the twelve-month tax collections would generate but would capture more tourist revenue and less from local year-round residents. Allmann says the initial study supports the idea.


The Wisconsin legislature must pass legislation that would permit Sturgeon Bay to impose the tax. That action is not expected to be considered until 2019.

Stamp Out Food Drive Gives Lift To Local Food Pantries

By Paul Schmitt    

The 26th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive will be a welcome event for area food panties next weekend.  The National Association of Letter Carriers has collected food from mailboxes the last 25 years and donated over 75 million pounds of food nationally.  Ken Marquardt from the Kewaunee County Food Pantry says that they are grateful for the boost this time of year.


All resident in Kewaunee and Door County are encouraged to set out non-perishable food items by their mailbox next Saturday before 9 am.  Last year over 26,000 pounds of goods were collected in Door County alone.

Anglers ready to hit the water for game fish opener

By Paul Schmitt    

With the fishing opener this weekend, area anglers are finally hoping for some nice weather to enjoy the outdoors.  Northern Wisconsin is still experiencing some ice on the open waters, but locally, the boat launches are clear, according to Department of Natural Resources Conservation Warden Jordan Resop.  He reminds anglers the limits on walleyes, as game fishing returns.


Resop says that one change this year that occurred on March 17 is a continuous open season for Lake Trout with a limit of five instead of the previous limit of two.  You can find more information on fishing licenses and regulations with the link below.

Sen. Johnson urging House to approve Senate's Right-to-Try bill

By Paul Schmitt    


U.S. Senator Ron Johnson is looking for the House of Representatives to step up and approve the "Right- to-Try" bill that has bounced back and forth from the House to the Senate in the past few months.  "Right-to-Try" would allow terminally ill Americans to try experimental therapies and drugs that have passed Phase 1 testing but not the final FDA approval.  Sen. Johnson, in an interview Thursday with, says he is frustrated that the House has not approved the Senate bill.


Johnson says the Right-to-Try bill in the Senate passed unanimously and the House has been fumbling the legislation that he says has become a partisan effort.   President Donald Trump has already said he would sign the bill, according to Johnson.  38 states already have Right-to-Try laws on the books.

Kewaunee County second in the state in direct visitor spending growth in 2017

By Tim Kowols       

Credit a successful Wisconsin Farm Technology Days and the implementation of a half-percent sales tax for boosting Kewaunee County's direct visitor spending growth in 2017. Only Florence County in northern Wisconsin boasted a higher percentage increase than Kewaunee County, which went up 13.41 percent or $2.4 million over 2016 totals. Tourism Coordinator Jennifer Schneider is hopeful their "stay and play" emphasis during the three-day show that attracted 27,000 people to the area last July pays dividends in the future.



Schneider says improving some of its parks facilities in 2018 could help Kewaunee County carry its positive momentum. The state released its tourism figures on Friday, which also showed Door County's direct visitor spending increased by just over three percent over 2016, accounting for more than $11 million dollars.

Summer programs help keep kids' minds sharp

By Tim Kowols       

Whether it is additional courses, a reading program or a camp experience, local organizations are making sure kids have the opportunity to keep learning all summer long. According to Oxford Learning, summer learning loss is often to blame for lower achievement scores in several subjects and up to six weeks of re-learning at the beginning of the following school year just to make up for the knowledge lost. Karen Corekin from the Northern Door' Children's Center says programs like theirs also help kids in other ways.



According to, high-quality summer learning can also be responsible for improving school attachment and motivation.

Public gets update on Door County Economic Development Corporation Housing Study

By Tim Kowols       

Approximately 40 people got their chance Thursday to learn more and voice their opinion on the housing study being conducted by the Door County Economic Development Corporation. Consultant AECOM opened the evening with a presentation on what they have been able to take away from community interaction before the crowd dispersed into breakout group. Each group got a chance to discuss different questions regarding affordable, seasonal, and workforce options. Egg Harbor Village Administrator and DCEDC Housing Study workgroup member Ryan Heise says he was able to take away a lot from the public meeting.



Heise says the workgroup and AECOM will continue their study until they release their findings sometime in June.

Anticipation building for girls' entry into Boy Scouting

By Tim Kowols       

Door and Kewaunee County's seven Boy Scout and six Cub Scout chartering organizations will be the ones to decide if girls will join their ranks. Girls can join Cub Scouts beginning June 1 and Scouts BSA, formerly known as Boy Scouts, February 19 with all the opportunities of their male counterparts but in gender-separated dens and troops. Bay-Lakes Council Scout Executive Jason Wolf says the program changes have been well-received from families currently enrolled and those looking to join.



Wolf says families interested in joining can contact the Bay-Lakes Council or individual cub and scout masters to learn which units will have dens or troops available for girls.

Door County Habitat for Humanity adjusting to delays

By Tim Kowols       

The lack of a suitable partner family and the weather could force Door County Habitat for Humanity to add extra work days each week or go deeper into the fall for its home build. The organization is waiting on the final review of several potential partner families after close calls forced them to direct others to financial counseling before they would be eligible. Executive Director David Van Dyke says they are four to six weeks behind where they usually are in the process.



Despite the delays, Van Dyke is still confident they can get the home built before many volunteers leave the area and winter returns. Door County Habitat for Humanity is still lining up volunteers for what will be their 41st home build.

Sturgeon Bay Historical Society looking to keep Potawatomi State Park tower upright

By Paul Schmitt    

The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society President Christie Weber is looking to keep hope alive for saving the Potawatomi State Park observation tower.   The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources decided that the tower was unsafe and needed to be dismantled after a Forest Product Laboratory report this past February.   Weber, who attended the public hearing held this past week in Sturgeon Bay, says she is skeptical that the tower has to come down.


The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society has set up a committee to find architects that will look at other options to restore the existing tower, rather than tearing it down.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources did not return calls as of Thursday afternoon.  The 75-foot Potawatomi State Park observation tower was built in 1931 with a life expectancy at the time of 40 to 50 years.

Citizen proposes plans to get truck traffic off Third Avenue in Sturgeon Bay

By Roger Utnehmer     

Sturgeon Bay resident Hans Christian lives across from Bay Shipbuilding Company in Sturgeon Bay and he's tired of trucks rumbling through the downtown business district.  Christian has proposed signs for a truck route that would steer Bay Shipbuilding traffic around the city.  He also suggested that Bay Shipbuilding post signs for trucks leaving their property that would direct drivers to take a left turn on Third Avenue and proceed to Gordon Road rather than driving through the business district.


Christian made his comments at a recent meeting of the Sturgeon Bay city council.

Bus road trip gives Algoma Visitor Center staff the tourist treatment

By Paul Schmitt    

To become better ambassadors to the area, Algoma Visitor Center volunteers played tourist last Friday in their hometown.  Over 30 dedicated volunteer staff traveled by bus, around the Algoma area to visit the newest sights and places that are special to tourism.  Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sara Krouse says she came up with the idea a few years ago.


The bus tour included stops at a winery, an art gallery, a brewery and the Belgian Heritage Center in Namur.  Krouse says she hopes to expand the tour in future years to include more sites, including lodging facilities and campgrounds.

(photo submitted)

Judge rules that sex offender will be temporarily housed in Egg Harbor

By Paul Schmitt    

A violent sex-offender with a mental disorder will begin temporarily living in Egg Harbor starting May 14.  According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Jeffrey LeVasseur, 51, will be under supervised release in a duplex in Egg Harbor until a permanent residence is established in Forest County.  Judge Neal Neilsen III from Vilas County ruled the temporary housing placement for LeVaseur who was convicted of first-degree sexual assault of children.  The duplex in Egg Harbor is located at 5073 Monument Road.  Door County District Attorney Colleen Nordin has said that LeVasseur should be housed in Vilas County.  Egg Harbor Town Supervisor Dale Wiegand did not have any comment on Thursday morning saying the board has not met to discuss the ruling yet.

Thompson says good-bye to Kewaunee County UW-Extension

By Tim Kowols       

Friday marks the final day in the office for Kewaunee County UW-Extension Community Development Educator Claire Thompson. She is leaving her position to become the Executive Director of The Farmory, an indoor non-profit aquaponics farming facility based in Green Bay. For over 11 years Thompson has helped Kewaunee County small businesses and non-profits grow and thrive. One of her favorite projects was helping revamp the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds.



Thompson says community leaders, Kewaunee County, and the UW-Extension will determine the future of her position through a needs assessment and visioning session.

Northern Sky Theater experience leads to "Best of Door County" designation

By Tim Kowols       

Even taller than the trees its stage is nestled in, Northern Sky Theater was able to stand out from other performing arts facilities in the area to earn 2018 "Best of Door County" honors. While their name has changed over the years, the theater group has been performing in its outdoor setting inside Peninsula State Park since 1970. Artistic Director Jeffrey Herbst says the award is a testament to its setting.



Northern Sky Theater's  2018 season, which includes two world premiere musicals and a sing-a-long version of its popular Lumberjacks in Love, begins June 16.

Door County names first Emergency Management and Communications Director

By Tim Kowols       

Daniel Kane will break new ground Monday when he heads into work as the county's new Emergency Management and Communications Manager. The position was created to follow a statewide trend of having a person focused on emergency management plans and communications. Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says Kane's experience with the City of Appleton and Brown County makes him a great fit for the position.



Pabich says Kane will be able to allow Door County Emergency Services Director Aaron LeClair to focus more on the day-to-day operations of the department. The new Emergency Management and Communications Department will be housed at the Door County Justice Center.

City of Sturgeon Bay working on Younkers replacement

By Roger Utnehmer     

A local group comprised of interested citizens and elected officials is working to find a tenant for the soon-to-be-vacant Younkers department store properties in downtown Sturgeon Bay.


City Administrator Josh VanLieshout told members of the common council Tuesday that the Younkers properties were owned by a holding company and leased to Bon Ton.  That company recently declared bankruptcy ending more than 100 years of doing business as a department store in Sturgeon Bay.  Liquidation sales are in progress at the two Sturgeon Bay locations.


VanLieshout said the Sturgeon Bay Visitors Bureau organized a group that includes several members of the city council.  The group is working on options for the Younkers properties.  He said the lease agreement is now controlled by the liquidator who purchased the assets of Bon Ton and that there is interest in what the local group can bring forward.



VanLieshout told council members the city will be "ready and willing" when the time comes.

Algoma Mayor encouraged by new members to city council

By Tim Kowols       

As local governing bodies get comfortable with their new members and roles, Algoma Mayor Wayne Schmidt is happy to see new blood in his chambers. The Algoma City Council was left with big shoes to fill when Jan Dart and Janice Mueller announced they would not run for re-election after years of service. Political newcomers Scott Meverden in District 2 and Jake Maring in District 4 were sworn in last month and assigned to their new committees during the council's organizational meeting. Schmidt says he gave them some advice before they took office.



The Algoma City Council meets on the first Monday of every month.

Campgrounds preparing for busy season

By Tim Kowols       

Campgrounds are getting ready for what hopes to be another busy year in Door and Kewaunee County. According to the 2018 North American Camping Report, popularity is growing in the United States with an increase of 2.6 million camper households in 2017. Requests for campsites and rental units have been hot since they started taking reservations in December, but it was the cold and snow that Harbour Village Resort Manager Judy Pfister blames for many area campgrounds getting a slow start in their preparations for the season.



According to Forbes, 42 percent of campers stay in national/state/municipal campgrounds while 25 percent stay at private facilities.

The Clearing brings old trades back to life

By Tim Kowols       

Hidden in the trees of Ellison Bay, The Clearing Folk School continues to give students an opportunity to experience activities often forgotten. Through week-long and day classes, courses include everything from painting and smartphone photography to the fiber arts and blacksmithing. The Clearing Executive Director Michael Schneider says for over 80 years visitors have been able to learn in a relaxing atmosphere.



Schneider says last year's installation of The Clearing's forge was one of the most exciting moments in the campus' history since he took over the executive director post 19 years ago. The first weeklong summer courses begin May 6 while day workshops begin June 11. Both options continue through October.


Photo Credit for program's cover art to Dan Eggert

A&W Restaurant coming to Algoma

By Paul Schmitt    

The oldest fast food chain restaurant in America is coming back to Algoma later this year.  Graf's Mobil Mart is bringing A&W Restaurant to the corner of Jefferson Street and Lake Street.  Owner Jim Graf says he is excited to bring the classic restaurant that has a near century of history to Algoma.


The new development in Algoma is part of a nation-wide expansion effort of the iconic American brand A&W Restaurants.  Graf says the menu will include the famous Root Beer Floats and burgers.  The renovations to the building will take place this summer with an opening planned for October, according to Graf.

Conditional Use Permit approved for Jacksonport Campground

By Paul Schmitt    

The Door County Board of Adjustment approved a permit to build a campground in Jacksonport Tuesday night with one condition.  Mariah Goode , Director of the Door County Land Use Services Department, says the board Tuesday night granted the conditional use.


According to Gay Pustaver , one of two people who issued an appeal of the Door County Resource Planning Committee decision of approving the campground on a vacant parcel in Jacksonport last week, the Department of Transportation must state if they will or won't put in a turn lane on Highway 57.    Goode says anyone feeling aggrieved by the Door County Board of Adjustment's decision may appeal to the circuit court within 30 days of the conditional use issuance.

Sturgeon Bay's Waterfront Redevelopment Authority lives another night

By Roger Utnehmer          

The Sturgeon Bay city council moved forward on efforts to dismantle its controversial Waterfront Redevelopment Authority Tuesday.

City Attorney Randy Nesbitt informed council members he could not offer legal advice on the WRA because he represented both the city council and the authority.



As a result of Nesbitt's ethics concern, the city will seek legal advice on dismantling the WRA from Green Bay attorney James Kalny.


Council member Kelly Catarozoli said she does not see much use for the WRA in the future.  She also pointed out that some members of the WRA have not provided the public with their phone numbers or email addresses.  That, she said, means citizens cannot even contact members of the authority.




Council member David Hayes suggested the city could simply dissolve the WRA without needing additional legal advice.


The authority is entangled in litigation over the west-side waterfront hotel project.  Members of the WRA voted to oppose a compromise settlement approved by the city council that would have settled a lawsuit brought by Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront.

The Friends won a case in Door County Circuit Court that prevented Sturgeon Bay developer Robert Papke from building a hotel on the waterfront.  That action prompted some council members and citizens to call for the abolition of the WRA.

Sturgeon Bay City Council unanimously votes to move forward PRAT

By Roger Utnehmer


A unanimous Sturgeon Bay city council voted Tuesday to move forward implementing a Premiere Resort Area Tax to fund street improvements.  The vote means the city will ask state legislators to consider legislation that would allow Sturgeon Bay to charge an additional one-half percent sales tax on certain items.  Funds generated from the tax would be allocated for street improvements, sidewalks and bike paths.  State Rep. Joel Kitchens (R) says he will introduce legislation to permit the tax in Sturgeon Bay.  Kitchens says getting Gov. Scott Walker to sign a tax increase may be a challenge.  Legislative action will not be considered until 2019.


Council member Kelly Catarozoli amended the language to make certain the funds generated by the tax are allocated for "creation" of "transportation" infrastructure.



According to council member David Ward, the PRATT will generate about $800,000 a year.  He said 38% of city streets, or 28 miles, are in poor condition.  The additional PRATT revenue will allow the city to double the street paving to approximately two miles a year.


The tax was overwhelmingly approved in an advisory referendum by Sturgeon Bay voters April 3rd.



(above photo L to R- Nancy Aten, Hans Christian, Council Members Kelly Catarozoli, David Hayes and Seth Wiederanders)

Road construction on Highway 57 begins today in northern Door County

By Paul Schmitt    

The resurfacing project on Highway 57 between Baileys Harbor and Sister Bay began Tuesday.  The $4.3 million improvement project began last September and now will continue through the end of June when construction is expected to be finished.  DOT Regional Communications Manager Mark Kantola says traffic will still be allowed through the construction area.


The roadwork of paving Highway 57 will be done from County Q in Baileys Harbor to Canterbury Lane in Sister Bay.  Sister Bay Advancement Association Coordinator Louise Howson says she does not expect any negative impact on the business community during the road work and Highway 57 should be completely finished before the Fourth of July weekend.

Door County flunks air quality report

By Paul Schmitt    

In a recent "State of the Air" report,  the American Lung Association gives eight counties in Wisconsin, including Door County, an "F" for ozone air quality.  According to, the report is comprised of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Data and measures ozone as well as particle pollution.  Other Wisconsin counties receiving a failing grade in air quality were Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Rock, and Walworth.  The report also says that more than four-in-ten Americans live in counties with unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution.  You can find ALA's complete listing of the most polluted cities in the United States with the link below.

ATV trails look to open May 12 in Kewaunee County

By Paul Schmitt    

The Riverview ATV Park in Kewaunee County, the only public ATV park in Northeastern Wisconsin, is getting a late start on opening the trails this year.  Due to late spring weather, the Baylake ATV Club is still busy getting the trails cleaned up and ready for the season.  Kelly Froelich says the organization is working to clear and ready the trail that needs to dry out before opening on May 12.

Froelich says there is no charge to use the twenty miles of trails around the landfill but users must have a registered Wisconsin sticker on their vehicle.  A suggested donation drop is at the park to help offset the cost of trail maintenance.  Anyone interested in helping with clean up this Sunday can contact the Baylake ATV Club on Facebook.

Bay Shipbuilding featured during Rotary Shipyard Tours this Saturday

By Paul Schmitt    

The Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay is presenting the 25th Annual Shipyard Tours this Saturday.  Maritime lovers and visitors will have the opportunity to see first-hand the operations of the shipbuilding industry in Sturgeon Bay.  Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding President Todd Thayse says it's a special day to host the public.


CenterPointe Yacht Services will also be offering tours along with the US Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay at Graham Park.  Door County Maritime Museum will also feature artist Lee Radkte and his oil paintings of the tugs and ships.  Proceeds from the Rotary Shipyard Tours benefit the Door County Rotary Youth Interact program through the YMCA.  You can find ticket information for this year's shipyard tours with this story online.


Tickets will be available before the event at the Door County Maritime Museum and at the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center. You can also purchase tickets the day of the event at all three locations. Ticket prices are $15 per adult and $6 for students ages 11-17. Guests ages ten and under are free.

Liberty Grove looks to improve pedestrian safety

By Tim Kowols       

Taking a nod from other communities, the Town of Liberty Grove is looking at ways to improve the safety of its pedestrians. Concerned citizens petitioned the board last month to add signage and more permanent speed boards to the town, which currently has only one Department of Transportation-designated crosswalk and a mobile speeding alert system. Town chairperson John Lowry says the issue of pedestrian safety will only grow in the coming years.



The Liberty Grove Town Board authorized the installation of electronic speed boards at either end of Ellison Bay and will consider installing the equipment in Gills Rock if the project is successful in slowing down motorists.

Communities, businesses hope for minimal impact with Highway 57 work

By Tim Kowols       

Construction crews head back to work on Highway 57 Wednesday with its eight-mile improvement project between the South County Q intersection and Canterbury Lane. It is a continuation of last fall's project that replaced culvert pipes and a bridge over a tributary to Mud Lake. Brynn Swanson from the Baileys Harbor Community Association says even with the full road closure for a short period of time last fall, the roadwork had very little impact on area businesses outside the work zone and in fact, some people even enjoyed the detour.



Motorists will experience flagging operations as crews work to repave the stretch, but Swanson recommends taking County Highway Q and side roads to travel to and from Baileys Harbor from the north and businesses inside the work zone. The project is expected to be finished by the end of June.

Kinnard recognized by Nature Conservancy for innovative farm practices

By Tim Kowols       

Recognizing his use of no-tillage farming and cover crop planting, The Nature Conservancy has named Lee Kinnard of Kinnard Farms in Casco as one of five agricultural innovators in the country. According to its magazine's spring issue, The Nature Conservancy, an Arlington, Va.-based conservation non-profit organization, is working with farmers, ranchers, and fishers who want to reduce their impact on the environment while still doing what they love. KInnard says working with The Nature Conservancy has brought scientists and quantifiable metrics concerning soil health to the farm to learn what the best practices are moving forward.



The Nature Conservancy was a part of a judge's panel that awarded Kinnard Farms last year with a national award for outstanding dairy farm sustainability from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. Kinnard and his family's operation is one of four Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farms focusing on practices to reduce erosion and runoff while improving soil health.

Door and Kewaunee County in high fire risk

By Tim Kowols       

Two weeks after thirty inches of snow blanketed the area, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials are alerting counties like Door and Kewaunee to take extra caution when it comes to setting fires. With exception of two northern Wisconsin counties, the rest of the state is in an elevated level of fire danger due to high winds and dry conditions. Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht is asking people to understand that conditions can change very quickly and fire departments are available to answer questions.



Wet weather slated for Wednesday could cause the fire danger level to drop, but Hecht reminds people that fire permits are still required in many communities regardless.

Jacksonport residents await decision regarding proposed campground

By Tim Kowols       

The Door County Board of Adjustment can decide to approve, deny, or make changes to a plan to create a campground in Jacksonport when it meets Tuesday night. A group of residents has been vocal in their opposition to the campground, stating the influx of visitors to the town would create traffic concerns near the intersection of Bagnall Road and State Highway 57 along with smell and noise concerns. Proponents of the campground point to the revenue potential it can bring to the town and its businesses. After 10 hours of testimony last week sent one of the two meetings into the early morning hours, Gay Pustaver, who along with Kathy Navis filed the appeal against the campground decision, can only wait.



The Door County Board of Adjustment will make their decision following discussion inside the Peninsula Room at the Door County Government Center beginning at 6:30 p.m. Pustaver says the group of 150 full and part-time residents will decide their next step following the board's ruling.

L-C School District forming teams and groups to help design new gym

By Paul Schmitt    

The Luxemburg-Casco School District is organizing core teams to work on the design phase for the new gymnasium and middle school that will be built in the next few years.  After the two referendum questions passed last month, the school district has been forming a "pyramid-like" organizational structure with planning groups for each school.    L-C School Superintendent Glenn Schlender says there will also be a planning group for the new gym, fitness center and wrestling area.


Schlender says at the base of the planning will be "user groups" with staff members, including Physical Education teachers and coaches.  After a summer of discussions, recommendations will move to the core team including administrators who then will finalize everything with the school board. The Luxemburg-Casco School District is working with Nexus Solutions, a consulting company, to help organize a way for the community to give input in the process as well.  Plans are to have the construction of the new gymnasium begin sometime later this fall, according to Schlender.

Daily guided spring hikes begin today at the Ridges Sanctuary

By Paul Schmitt    

Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor has expanded hours from 9 am to 5 pm starting today.  Although the late spring and late snowfalls in April have delayed the hiking season, Executive Director Steve Leonard is hopeful the last remnants of snow will melt soon and visitors can start enjoying the trails around the nature center Mother Nature intended this time of year.


The Ridges Sanctuary's Cook-Albert Fuller Nature Center which was built three years ago is the first LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified commercial building in Door County.  The building also hosts many workshops, classes, and user groups.  You can find more information on the Ridges Sanctuary's hikes and facility rental with this story online.

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