News Archives for 2018-06

Open Door Pride focuses on being year-round advocacy

By McKenzie Konop       

Open Door Pride is working to have Pride Month become a year-round celebration.  Beyond the annual events, Open Door Pride wants to create a positive community that can openly show support for one another in the entire Door County LGBTQ community.  Cathy Grier, the Event Organizer, says she wants pride to be an annual celebration to create a safe space in LGBTQ communities everywhere.

LGBTQ resources and services can be found at Open Door Pride's website.  The organization held its first annual Open Door Pride Week June 19-23 to celebrate Pride Month.

Peninsula State Park hosts summer activities

By McKenzie Konop       

Peninsula State Park is making summer a little more fun by celebrating the stars and stripes early.  One upcoming event includes the Gettysburg Address and Flag Raising event with an appearance of Smokey the Bear.  The event includes the recitation of the Gettysburg Address by Charles Dickson during the flag raise and prizes being offered to people who can recite Smokey's fire-fighting message, "Only you can prevent Wild Fires!"  Kathy Harris, Peninsula State Park Naturalist, says the event is being held to express a patriotic message.

Stars and stripes art activities will follow after and donations are greatly appreciated.  The event is being held in the park at the Nature Center on July 3 from 10:00 to 10:30 a.m.

Local veterinarian gives advice on pet safety

By McKenzie Konop       

With temperatures rising this summer, it is important to keep our pets safe.  Dr. Jordan Kobilca, a veterinarian from the Luxemburg Pet Clinic, shares tips on how to keep pets cool in the summer heat.  Kobilca says keeping water on hand for your pet is a must along with never leaving them in a parked car.    Kobilca advises owners should also apply baby sunscreen to their pets to prevent sunburn.

Kobilca adds dogs who are excessively drooling or look lethargic may be suffering from heat stroke.  Other pet tips can be located on the clinic's website or you can stop by their office in Luxemburg.

Violence Intervention Project talks about abuse assessment

By McKenzie Konop       



The Violence Intervention Project is helping abuse victims in more ways than one.  In collaboration with local law enforcement, the Violence Intervention Program is taking part in the Lethality Assessment Program, which is dedicated to helping prevent future domestic violence.  The Lethality Assessment Program helps identify victims of domestic violence who are at risk of being seriously injured or killed by their intimate partners and after the victims are identified, they are connected to the local community-based domestic violence service program.  Only providing a first name to remain anonymous, Laura, the Agency Advocate for the Violence Intervention Program, says the lethality assessment is helping abuse victims recognize and gain access to their services.

Resources and services the Violence Intervention Project provides can be found at their office in Algoma and also on their website.

Algoma planning for major bridge work and street repairs in 2019

By Paul Schmitt    

The city of Algoma has many infrastructure projects going on this summer, but plans are already being made to do some major street improvements in 2019.  Algoma City Administrator Jeff Wiswell explains some of the work being planned for next summer.


Wiswell hopes to have a public survey completed later this year to look at all city sidewalks, catch basins, and driveway aprons to maximize the municipality's capital improvement plan.

Dangerous extreme heat will challenge area this weekend

By Paul Schmitt    

With high temperatures and humidity expected throughout the area in the next several days, Public Health officials are asking residents to make every effort to stay cool during this heat wave.  Extreme hot temperatures can be dangerous and even deadly.  Door County Health Department Public Nurse Katie Van Lanen shares some tips to beat the heat.


Van Lanen adds that you should watch for symptoms of heat stroke or dehydration like dizziness, nausea and vomiting.  She says no pets or children should ever be left in vehicles for any amount of time.  You can find a complete list of tips to stay safe during extreme heat with this story below.


Follow these tips to stay safe during extreme heat:

  • Stay in air conditioning. When possible, stay in air conditioning on hot days. If you don't have air conditioning, head to libraries, malls, and other public spaces to keep cool.

  • Check on loved ones. Be sure to check on older friends and neighbors who live alone and don't have air conditioning.

  • Avoid the hottest part of the day. If you have to be outside, stick to the cooler morning and evening hours. Wear light, loose clothing and take frequent, air-conditioned breaks.

  • Beware of hot cars. Never leave a person or a pet in a parked car, even for a short time. On an 80 degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes.

  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water on hot days. Avoid alcohol and hot, heavy meals.

  • Stay informed. Watch your local weather forecasts so you can plan outdoor activities safely. Pay attention to any extreme heat alerts.


If you start feeling overheated, weak, dizzy, nauseated or have muscle cramps, you could be experiencing heat illness. Move to air conditioning, drink water, get under a fan, and put on cool washcloths. If your symptoms worsen or don't improve, go to the emergency room or call 911.

Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting filled with closed session discussion

By Paul Schmitt    

It could be another long evening for the Sturgeon Bay City Council members when they meet Tuesday.  The past three regular meetings have exceeded three hours in length, including closed session.  There are four issues listed on the agenda that will be in closed session this time.  According to the set agenda, after public comments and consent agenda items, the council will go behind closed doors.  The four key pieces of business include the lawsuit from the Sawyer Hotel Development, The Friends group litigation, the legal action and disposition of the dirt piles, and finally, consideration of dissolving the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority in favor of creating a Community Development Authority.  The council will then reconvenes with the possibility of taking action on any or all closed session items.  The Sturgeon Bay City Council meeting will begin at 7 pm on Tuesday at City Hall.

DCEDC names new Executive Director--VIDEO

By Paul Schmitt    

The Door County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) has selected a new Executive Director.  Jim Schuessler will replace Caleb Frostman who resigned earlier this spring to run for the State senate.  According to a release by the DCEDC, the Board of Directors chose Schuessler after a search throughout Wisconsin and neighboring states.  Schuessler has served as the Executive Director of the Forest County Economic Development Partnership and most recently as the Business Development Manager for the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation.


DCEDC Board Chair Darren Voigt stated in the release that the organization had a highly qualified pool of applicants and feels fortunate to be able to bring a leader of Scheussler's caliber to Door County and the Door County Economic Development Corporation.

L-R  Jim Schuessler, Darren Voight, Bill Chaudior



The Board of Directors of the Door County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) selected Jim Schuessler to be the next Executive Director of the organization, following a search throughout Wisconsin and surrounding states. Schuessler will replace DCEDC Executive Director Caleb Frostman, who resigned earlier this spring. Schuessler will assume his duties July 16.


Prior to his emphasis in economic development, Schuessler, a graduate of University of Wisconsin-Platteville, spent two decades in television, working up the ladder from sales to group president of a company with $400 million in revenues. Upon the sale of the television group he and his wife Karla, who works in education, moved home to Wisconsin in order to rear his three children in the positive educational environment offered here. After serving as the Executive Director of the Forest County Economic Development Partnership, he most recently served in the role of Business Development Manager for the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation, focused on business retention and expansion, entrepreneurial development, non-traditional finance, and workforce development solutions.


"For many years, DCEDC has been highly regarded for providing best practices in achieving economic development excellence on behalf of their stakeholders," stated Schuessler. "It is a privilege to join a talented team focused on executing the mission of the organization. Working with the DCEDC board and team, it will be my goal to understand the needs of the business community and execute strategies that will nurture a vibrant and expanding economic ecosystem."


DCEDC Board Chair Darren Voigt (Bank of Luxemburg) stated, "We had a highly qualified pool of applicants and feel very fortunate to be able to bring a leader of Jim's caliber to Door County and DCEDC. His business background and demonstrated unique solutions to economic development issues really impressed the search committee. Special thanks go to my fellow Board member and Personnel Committee Chair Patti Vickman (Superintendent, Southern Door School District) for leading the search and to Diane Biersteker from Human Resources Consultants LLC, who helped guide the process. The Board also appreciates the leadership provided by retired DCEDC Executive Director Bill Chaudoir who served the organization in the interim."

DOT details Highway 42 resurfacing project

By Tim Kowols       

Six different phases and a summer break were just some of the details officials from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation shared about next year's Highway 42 resurfacing project at Thursday's public meeting in the town of Gibraltar.  March 2019 will mark the beginning of the multi-month project, which will see Highway 42 get a facelift from Bluff Lane in Gibraltar to Country Walk Drive in Sister Bay. With each phase comes a new set of detours and restrictions, but Mark Kantola from the DOT says they will not work during the months of July and August.

Work is expected to be finished in September 2019. You can learn more about the Highway 42 resurfacing project including detours and detailed schedules online with this story.

Communities collaborate to make Independence Day last all week

By Tim Kowols       

Fireworks lovers in Door County can conceivably catch three different displays during the holiday week thanks to crafty scheduling. Egg Harbor kicks off the celebrations on July 3 with their fireworks while Gills Rock, Sturgeon Bay, Baileys Harbor, Washington Island and Maplewood have their displays on Independence Day. On Saturday, Sister Bay and Fish Creek take their turn celebrating the holiday with festivals during the day and fireworks at night. Sister Bay Advancement Coordinator Louise Howson says communities are working together to promote their bigger holiday celebrations.

In Kewaunee County, visitors can catch fireworks on two different nights. The Kewaunee Chamber of Commerce will host a day-long celebration and fireworks on July 3 while Luxemburg residents can enjoy dirt track racing and fireworks on July 4 at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds. You can see a full schedule online with this story.

Egg Harbor: Fireworks on the 3rd, Parade on the 4th
Kewaunee: Parade and Fireworks on the 3rd
Baileys Harbor: Parade and Fireworks on the 4th
Sturgeon Bay: Fireworks on the 4th
Washington Island: Fireworks on the 4th
Gills Rock: Fireworks on the 4th
Maplewood: Fireworks on the 4th
Luxemburg: Fireworks on the 4th
Sister Bay: Fireworks on the 7th
Fish Creek: Fireworks on the 7th

Click on the link for more detailed information

Two Kewaunee County accidents renew call for motorcycle safety

By Tim Kowols       

The nicer weather is bringing more motorcycles to area roadways and renewing the call for all motorists to pay closer attention and travel safer. Motorcyclists were involved in two separate incidents in June in Kewaunee County, sustaining injuries due to inattentive driving and not wearing a helmet. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski advises motorists to give each other enough room on the road.

Joski says motorcyclists can help be more visible by driving with their headlamps all the time or installing a flashing relay on their bike. You can read the entire Sheriff's Corner with Matt Joski online with this story.





As we continue to enjoy our beautiful summer weather many have taken to the open road whether for family trips or just a tour around the county to take in the sunshine and warmth. In addition to the passenger cars, pickup trucks and other four wheeled modes of transportation, there are also many motorcycles on the road as well.

Unfortunately, these two wheeled vehicles pose somewhat of a challenge when it comes to traffic safety. The first issue is the fact that any accident involving a motorcycle is most likely going to result in injury to the person or persons on the motorcycles and the second is that these vehicles are much more difficult to see if we are not paying attention.

In the past week we have had two significant motor vehicle accidents which have involved motorcycles. In one incident, a vehicle was stopped in its lane of traffic waiting to make a left turn. It was struck from behind by a motorcyclist who did not notice that the vehicle had come to a stop. In this incident the driver of the motorcycle sustained substantial head injury, but those injuries were not life threatening. In this incident, had the driver of the motorcycle been wearing a helmet they would have most likely walked away with very limited injuries.

In the second accident a motor vehicle failed to yield Right of Way to a motorcycle at a controlled intersection. Even though the driver of the motor vehicle was at fault in causing the accident, the driver of the motorcycle paid the price in the form of physical injury. Again in this accident, the driver of the motorcycle would have sustained fewer injuries had they been wearing a helmet.

My point to all of this is twofold. For those of us operating motor vehicles during these warm months of spring summer and fall please be aware that we are sharing the roads with motorcycles. These units present a much smaller profile than what we are used to seeing. Take the time to look both ways at intersections as you may miss them in your first glance. Give them plenty of space as they have to respond and react to things we don't in our four wheeled vehicles such as wind gusts, debris on the roadway or even changes in road surface conditions.

Second, for those who are operating the motorcycles be aware of your obligations. First and foremost; wear a helmet! I understand that it is legal to operate without a helmet, but your chances of survival are greatly increased when wearing one. Second; drive defensively. This is always good practice for all motorists, but you have much more to lose if you are not paying attention and anticipating the potential risks. I recently read an article of a motorcyclist who experienced a blow out of the rear tire resulting in the passenger of the motorcycle sustaining life threatening injuries. Another good practice is to have your headlamps on while in operation even in day light conditions. I have even seen some take this to a new level of installing a flashing relay which definitely increased the visible presence of their motorcycle.

Let's all work together to keep this summer as safe as it can be for all travelers!

Fish Creek entrance staying put at Peninsula State Park

By Tim Kowols       

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is dropping plans of closing an entrance into Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek. DNR spokesperson James Dick told in May that the federally protected Water Iris plants near the park entrance would prevent expansion and other improvements to make it safer for those entering the popular state attraction. Rep. Joel Kitchens says after discussions with DNR officials that he believes they underestimated the impact the entrance change would have had on Fish Creek.

Kitchens says it is likely new buildings will be located deeper inside the park to limit the impact of possible backups.

Milk prices staying low

By Paul Schmitt    

Area farmers are looking for milk prices to make a quick comeback, but some are not too optimistic that it will happen anytime soon.  The July Class one fluid milk price is $15.36 as announced on June 20 which is an 11 cent increase over last month but down $1.23 as compared to a year ago.  Jim Wautier of Church-Site Farms in Brussels and a member of the Ag Advisory Board says he does not see a big change coming this summer.


According to United States Dairy Association (USDA), the national weighted average advertised price of a half-gallon of conventional milk is $1.71 as of June 22.

New Kewaunee Fire Station Museum being celebrated Sunday

By Paul Schmitt    

The Kewaunee Fire Department Auxiliary will be showcasing and celebrating the new Fire Station Museum this Sunday.  Music at the Museum will be held all day Sunday and visitors will have a chance to see the fully completed museum while taking in the music and food provided by the Kewaunee County Fire Department.  Captain Jim Kleiman shares the details of the celebration.


The Kewaunee Fire Station Museum project was started over two years ago by the auxiliary to showcase their antique fire apparatuses.  The museum was officially turned over to the City of Kewaunee at a council meeting earlier this month.

Frostman officially takes Senate seat--VIDEO

By Paul Schmitt    

Caleb Frostman was sworn-in as Senator of the First Senate District on Thursday afternoon.  Door County Circuit Court Judge D. Todd Ehlers performed the official ceremony in his courtroom at the Door County Justice Center.  Frostman says he hopes to use his track record in finance and as the head of the Door County Economic Development Corporation to accomplish bi-partisan work in the Senate.


Frostman, a Democrat, defeated Republican Andre Jacque in the special election earlier this month to fill the vacated seat left by Frank Lasee last December.

Personnel committee to continue evaluation procedures

By Tim Kowols       

Sturgeon Bay Personnel Committee Chairperson David Ward says he does not believe open meetings laws were violated when discussion about city administrator Josh VanLieshout transitioned to an overhaul of its evaluation procedures. Ward could not give specifics about the discussion that occurred in closed session but says the original request by two alders for the consideration of VanLieshout was broad. An evaluation of the city administrator had not been done in several years, leading to the discussion about establishing new procedures. Ward says evaluations for administrator positions are often included in contracts but are not usually performed the way they should.

Developing the evaluation process will likely take several meetings, according to Ward, and will be applied to other select city positions.

Small businesses turning to cyber insurance for extra protection

By Tim Kowols       

Almost thirty years after the concept was first introduced, businesses are starting to look to cyber insurance to protect their digital footprint. According to, the cost of global cybercrime was between $445 and 608 billion last year. Types of cybercrime include ransomware stealing important files and data breaches taking personal information. Paul Stoneman from Stoneman-Schopf Agency in Sturgeon Bay says small businesses are becoming a likely target for cybercriminals.

Stoneman says many cyber insurance policies address recovering data, repairing damaged systems, and protecting from additional liability costs.

Farm Technology Days suggest Moore Cabin improvements as legacy project

By Tim Kowols       

On the heels of the announcement of thousands of dollars for area students through scholarships and grants for local organizations, Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days has set their sights even higher for their legacy community project. Committee members detailed their wishes to rehabilitate the Ransom Moore Cabin, currently located on the Dana Farm at Kewaunee's Winter Park. Moore is credited with founding the University of Wisconsin Agriculture Department and the state's 4-H program. If matched by the county, the committee would contribute $28,000 towards the project to make it a year-round destination for meetings and other events. FTD committee executive secretary Aerica Bjurstrom says it is a great way to honor the impact of a Footbridge native and the community event.

Bjurstrom says plans will be fleshed out more in the coming months while the Kewaunee County Board and other committees decide to either match the funds for the project or to partner with another idea.

Granary may return to west side

By Paul Schmitt    

The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society is looking to possibly move the granary building back to its original location.  After the special presentation of the Teweles Family Talk Wednesday evening in Sturgeon Bay, President Christie Weber gave an update on the granary.  She says a meeting with property owner of the granary building's current location, Peter Moede is planned for this weekend to possibly purchase the land.  Moving it back to the west side is another option, according to Weber.


Weber says it was required to uproot the 118-year-old building off its pilings because the base floor was twisted.  She says the cost of moving the granary back on the original pilings would cost about $100,000, approximately the same cost of installing pilings at the current east side location.  Total restoration of the granary will cost about $1.75 million, according to Weber.

By Paul Schmitt    

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New NR-151 rules go into effect on Sunday

By Tim Kowols       

Farmers spreading manure onto fields with less than two feet of soil to bedrock will have to find a new place for their nutrients starting Sunday. New NR-151 rules will include smaller operations in 15 Wisconsin counties including Kewaunee and Door in its manure spreading procedures after the Natural Resources Board passed the changes in January.  Owners of larger farms have already had to follow similar rules. Kewaunee County Board member Lee Luft is hopeful the new changes will have a positive impact on the area's groundwater, but says it will have a negative effect on some farmers.

Luft says farmers negatively affected by the new NR-151 rules can speak with their local land and water conservation offices on what they can do to stay within the regulations.

Teweles share granary founder's family history

By Paul Schmitt    

History was on display Wednesday as members of the Teweles family reflected on its namesake granary.  Nici and Tracy Teweles spoke at the Door County Fire Company for 40 minutes, sharing stories about the Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator and unique connections to the family.   Famous people, as well as events, included Nici's interactions with Anne Frank and a Teweles family member who was aboard the Titanic when it sank.  Tracy Teweles says she is proud that the Sturgeon Bay community has stepped up to preserve an important part of her family's history.


The presentation was sponsored by the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society who is in the process of restoring the granary at its new location on Sturgeon Bay's east side along South 1st Avenue.  You can watch the video of the Teweles and Brandeis, an American Story program below.

(photo: Tracy and Nici Teweles)

Fireworks expected to keep local public safety personnel busy

By Tim Kowols       

Despite 10 different fireworks displays in Door and Kewaunee counties during the Independence Day holiday week, local public safety personnel still expect people to launch a few of their own. According to ABC News, fireworks caused an estimated 13,000 injuries last year, two-thirds of which occurred in the month of July.  Many fireworks like bottle rockets and mortars are illegal without a permit. Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht says whether people choose to ignore the laws or not, he wants everyone to be safe.

Illegal use of fireworks can carry up to a $1,000 fine for each instance according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. You can see a complete list of fireworks regulations from the Door County Sheriff's Department online with this story.

Deadline for Door County Fair exhibit registration

By Eric Fischer


For the first time ever, the Door County Fair is using an electronic registration for fair entries.  There are two categories for registering, the Junior Fair, open for school-aged kids in 4-H and FFA, as well as the Open Fair which does not have any age restriction.  Sara Mueller, Secretary of the Door County Fair Board, says the registration deadline is coming soon.

To register, go to the Door County Fair Website, click the "Exhibits" tab and select the Junior Fair Link or Open Class link. If you do not have access to a computer, you can register at the UW-Extension office until the Friday before each deadline.  The Door County Fair is August 1-5 at John Miles Fair Park in Sturgeon Bay.

Kewaunee County Emergency monthly warning siren test falls on July 4

By Paul Schmitt    

Loud sirens will be blaring during the parade routes this coming Fourth of July in the area, but Kewaunee County residents are reminded that the monthly siren test conducted by the emergency management will be done the same day.  Kewaunee County Emergency Management Director Tracy Nollenberg says the monthly alert just coincidentally falls on the fourth of July.


Nollenberg says when people hear an actual emergency siren they should immediately go indoors and turn on a television or radio station to get further details.

Boy arrested after gun incident at Sturgeon Bay elementary school

By Tim Kowols       

A boy was referred to Door County Social Services earlier this month after he was arrested for bringing a pair of BB guns near Sunset Elementary School in Sturgeon Bay. According to a release from the Sturgeon Bay Police Department on Tuesday, officers were sent to Sunset Elementary at around 11 a.m. on June 11 after school staff reported the boy had tried to enter the building. The boy tried getting rid of a black BB handgun after noticing the officers, but the weapon was found after he was arrested. Officers also found a BB rifle in the vicinity of where the arrest was made. Captain Dan Brinkman and Sturgeon Bay School Superintendent Dan Tjernagel could not be reached for comment Wednesday on any possible developments in the two weeks since the incident.

Door County Medical Center wins several Excellence in Healthcare Awards

By Paul Schmitt    

The Door County Medical Center was recognized last month by a national research leader for providing superior care in healthcare.  The Professional Research Consultants (PRC) honored the facility with ten Excellence in Healthcare Awards at a national conference in Charleston, South Carolina.  DCMC's Chief Nursing Officer Christa Krause credits teamwork for the success achieved by all the departments.


The Excellence in Healthcare Awards recognize organizations and individuals who achieve excellence throughout the year based on patient surveys about improving patient experiences, healthcare employee engagement and/or physician alignment and engagement.  You can see the list of awards won by Door County Medical Center below.


  • 5-Star Inpatient Services for HCAHPS – Care Transition

  • 5-Star in Inpatient Services for HCAHPS – Discharge Information

  • 5-Star in Inpatient Services for Overall Hospital Rating (HCAHPS)

  • 5-Star in Outpatient Surgery for Overall Quality of Care

  • Top Performer in Medical Surgical for HCAHPS

  • Top Performer in Inpatient Services for HCAHPS – Communication with Nurses

  • Top Performer in Inpatient Services for HCAHPS – Hospital Environment

  • Top Performer in Inpatient Services for HCAHPS – Overall Rating

  • Top Performer in Inpatient Services for HCAHPS – Responsiveness of Staff

YMCA hosts summer events for the community

By McKenzie Konop       

The YMCA is kicking off the summer with two upcoming events.  The first event is called Broadway on the Bay and is located at the new Kress Library Center on July 12.  Broadway on the Bay will include a dinner and a reception before along with a performance by local Peninsula musicians.  The second event is a golf outing at Horseshoe Bay on July 30.  According to the CEO of Door County YMCA, Tom Beerntsen, says the events signify the start of a new fiscal year for the organization's campaign to help raise money for the community.


Beerntsen says the previous YMCA campaign raised about $508,000 which exceeded the original goal of $500,000.  The YMCAs in Door County are located in Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek.

Higher lake levels; good for shipping, bad for shoreline erosion

By Paul Schmitt    

Higher water levels on Lake Michigan have not only affected some summer activities but are eroding some shorelines in the area.  Last week, Algoma canceled their fireworks display that was planned for Shanty Days in August.  Melissa Kropfreiter, a hydraulic engineer with the Army Corp of Engineers puts the higher lake levels in historical context.


Kropfrieghter adds that the lake level in 2013 was at a record low before a significant rise came in the last five years due to snowier winters, ice cover, and heavier rainfall.  She says one benefit to higher water levels are that commercial navigation can load in their ships and transport more cargo.  Coastal erosion and shoreline issues are two common issues facing many lakefront property owners, according to Kropfreighter.  She says the current lake levels are still 14 inches lower than the record high in June of 1986.




Fireworks expected to keep local public safety personnel busy

By Tim Kowols       

Despite 10 different fireworks displays in Door and Kewaunee counties during the Independence Day holiday week, local public safety personnel still expect people to launch a few of their own. According to ABC News, fireworks caused an estimated 13,000 injuries last year, two-thirds of which occurred in the month of July.  Many fireworks like bottle rockets and mortars are illegal without a permit. Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht says whether people choose to ignore the laws or not, he wants everyone to be safe.

Illegal use of fireworks can carry up to a $1,000 fine for each instance according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. You can see a complete list of fireworks regulations from the Door County Sheriff's Department online with this story.

Summer picnic food prices remain stable as local demand increases

By Paul Schmitt    

The cost of hosting a summer picnic will be only cost families a little bit more than it did a year ago.  According to the latest Wisconsin Farm Marketbasket survey, the food prices for 14 picnic-related items increased 33 cents to $54.63.  Alex Stodola, store manager at Stodola's IGA in Luxemburg, says that his deli department has seen an increase in the demand for cold salads.


Items that had the largest price percentage decrease during the past year were ground round and chocolate milk.  The biggest increases were found in watermelon and pork spare ribs.  Wisconsin's survey price came in slightly less, 44 cents, than the American Farm Bureau Federation's national survey of the 14 picnic-related items.

Loaves and Fishes meal program provides food for community

By McKenzie Konop       

Local churches are making sure families in need are able to get a free, hot meal. Loaves and Fishes of Door County serve family style meals three Fridays a month at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College's Sturgeon Bay campus from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  The program is not run through government funding but is financed by local churches, businesses, individuals and the community.  While there is not an increase in demand, Gary Hollman, the Controller and Head Chef for the Loaves and Fishes program says there is still a need for donations and volunteers to keep the event going.

Loaves and Fishes will serve their next meal on July 6.

Personnel Committee moves on "written review process" for administrator and department heads

By Paul Schmitt    

The City of Sturgeon Bay Personnel Committee took action Tuesday morning to have a written review process in regards to evaluating the job performances of the different department heads and city administrator.  After going into closed session, the personnel committee came out into open session to vote on the matter.  City Clerk Stephanie Reinhardt explains what was decided.


Reinhardt says no time frame has been established for implementing the written review protocol.  The recommendation will now go to the city council for discussion and approval at the next meeting which is scheduled for Tuesday, July 3.  The personnel committee is made up of council members David Ward, Barbara Allmann and Laurel Hauser. 

Door County Invasive Species Team making progress on noxious weeds

By Tim Kowols       

Door County is starting to win its battle against noxious weeds like phragmites and wild parsnip. The Door County Invasive Species Team, made up of local conservationists and natural resources professionals, officially formed in 2003 after creating a strategic plan that would lead to more proactive measures and municipalities creating local noxious weed ordinances. In the years since the entire coastline of Door County has received some kind of treatment and has been 95 percent effective against phragmites. County conservationist Crista Lutzke says its series of presentations at local town and village meetings is giving residents the education needed to be proactive.

Lutzke will lead an upcoming presentation on invasive species at the Town of Forestville meeting on July 9.

Kewaunee County Dairy Futurity adds different spin on showcasing animals

By Tim Kowols       

Youth in Brown, Door, and Kewaunee County are starting to pick their dates for Saturday night of the 2020 Kewaunee County Fair by going out to their calf hutches. Entering its 11th year, the Kewaunee County Dairy Futurity pits youth against Father Time as they try to predict which calves will become great cows in three years. Once the calves grow up, their owners dress in formal wear and show their cows to a full audience. Futurity organizer Amy Koenig says the popular fair event is quite the commitment.

Based on the state event entering its 32nd year in August, Kewaunee County was one of the first to introduce the dairy futurity at a local level.  The Kewaunee County Dairy Futurity will take place July 21 at 7:30 p.m.  You can find more details on how you can participate in future years online with this story.


Picture courtesy of Kewaunee County Futurity's Facebook page

Ratajczak honored as Philanthropist of the Year

By Tim Kowols       

Lolly Ratajczak was recognized for her local philanthropy efforts during the Door County Community Foundation's Celebration of Giving Monday in Egg Harbor. Ratajczak was honored for her role sitting on the board of directors at Birch Creek Music Performance Center, YMCA, and the Door County String Academy. With Sandy O'Brien speaking on her behalf, Ratajczak expressed her thanks to the community.

Ratajczak has also in the past volunteered for the Door County Hospital Auxiliary and Feed My People in addition to being a founding member of the Women's Fund of Door County.


Photo Courtesy of the Door County Community Foundation

Washington Island Electric Cooperative working hard to get town power

By Tim Kowols       

Getting Washington Island off of diesel-powered generators is making headway as crews begin to make repairs to the damaged electric cable off the coast of Plum Island. According to last week's update from the Washington Island Electric Cooperative, the electric line feeding the town power may have been damaged by years of ice shoves. Making matters worse, one of the town's generators failed due to mechanical issues as it tried to meet the demand of the area's residents and businesses. Washington Island business owner and cooperative board member Joel Gunnlaugsson says the temporary fix to the cable is not the only thing costing the town money right now.

Gunnlaugsson says he is happy how everyone is holding their own and understanding the situation on the island despite the crisis. A new electric cable connecting Washington Island to the mainland is expected to cost around $2 million.

Streetscape project workshop planned Thursday in Ephraim

By Paul Schmitt    

A public workshop on the streetscape project will be held at the Ephraim Village Hall this Thursday.  Representatives from the contracted engineering company will be on hand to explain the plan in detail to residents.  Village Administrator Brent Bristol shares some of the engineering plans that were added and will be available for review.


The public workshop for the streetscape project will be from 2 pm to 8 pm on Thursday.  If you have any questions about the workshop or if you cannot attend but still want to participate, you can contact Bristol at the Village Office.

Domestic abuse causes increase in homelessness

By Paul Schmitt    

The impact of domestic violence can go much deeper than the physical and mental toll it takes on its victims, according to Steve Vickman of HELP of Door County.  National statistics show that fifty percent of all women cite domestic violence for the immediate cause of their homelessness.  It is also the third leading factor in all homelessness cases.  Vickman says anyone could fall victim to domestic abuse.


Vickman says every nine seconds in the United States a woman is beaten and one out of four women nationally will experience domestic violence sometime in their lifetime.  You can find contact information on HELP of Door County the link below.

Door County Silent Sports Alliance gaining in popularity

By Paul Schmitt    

The growing popularity of the Door County Silent Sports Alliance (DCSSA) has more people connecting with the outdoors and gaining a new perspective on the peninsula's beauty.  DCSSA member Randy Sahs says Door County has many scenic country roads for bicyclists to travel even though there may not an abundance of mountain bike trails.


The Door County Silent Sports Alliance, which has over 600 members, offers morning and evening bike rides weekly that leave from Market Square in downtown Sturgeon Bay.  You can find information on becoming a member of the Door County Silent Sports Alliance with this story online.

Queen for a Day golf outing enjoys another big successful event

By Paul Schmitt    

Over 140 women participated in the 11th Annual Queen for a Day Golf Outing at Idlewild Golf Course on Monday afternoon.  Thirty-six foursomes hi the links to enjoy a nine-hole scramble with a dinner after the round under a huge tent.  Committee member Barth Guilette says the weather and turnout were exceptional.




Guilette says the golf outing has raised well over $300,000 over the past ten years.  All proceeds from the Queen for a Day benefits both Door CANcer and the David Spude Cancer Center Fund.  You can find video and photos from Monday's event below.


Algoma Book Corner celebrates its first year

By Tim Kowols       

The Friends of Algoma Public Library will reach a major milestone Saturday when its Book Corner store celebrates its one year anniversary. Located on Third Street, the Algoma Book Corner has replaced an August lawn sale with a year-round destination for bargain hunters searching for that perfect book. Manager Sue Hass says she has seen the store grow in several ways.

Proceeds from the book sales go to benefit the Algoma Public Library and other local non-profits. The Algoma Book Corner will host an anniversary celebration this Saturday beginning at 9 a.m.


Photo Courtesy of Algoma Book Corner

Leasing carries financial ramifications

By Tim Kowols       

Renters can find themselves in a lot of trouble if they do not read the fine print on their contracts. The costs for utilities, damage, and other services provided by your landlord could vary from development to development. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says it is good to ask questions whether you are renting alone or with other people.

If rooming with multiple people, Pustaver recommends making sure you decide on how you are paying different bills before signing a lease. You can listen to the rest of this week's Money Management Monday interview online with this story.



Cholesterol screenings give a glimpse of overall health

By Tim Kowols       

Without regular cholesterol screenings, many people may not learn they are in bad health before it is too late. High cholesterol has no symptoms, but according to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 95 million Americans suffer from it. Katie Van Laanen from the Door County Public Health Department says it is good to get a screening to check your risk for heart disease and give a picture of your overall health.

Door County Public Health hosts cholesterol screenings twice a year for a small fee. The test, which will next occur on July 19, tests for total cholesterol, glucose, triglycerides, and high and low-density lipoproteins.

Staats' FFA support continues at annual Dairy Breakfast

By Tim Kowols       

Even when they are not hosting thousands of people at their farm for the Sevastopol FFA Dairy Breakfast, there is a good chance you have experienced Ed and Deb Staats' commitment to the organization during it. Sunday marks the fourth time Country View Farms near Carlsville has hosted the annual event. The farm milks over 400 cows three times a day and annually crops around 2,000 acres. Every other year, it is their syrup that gets the spotlight as it gets drizzled on pancakes during the all-you-can-eat breakfast. Deb Staats says they volunteer every year to support the organization that provides so many scholarships and programs to local students.

Staats says the Sevastopol FFA Dairy Breakfast is a great introduction to farming for Door County's out-of-town guests and for old friends and neighbors to catch up. The event takes place this Sunday beginning at 6:00 a.m.

Rising gas prices not affecting Door County travel

By Eric Fischer



The rising price of gas does not appear to be affecting travel to Door County, according to a local gas station owner.  The price of gas has increased to nearly $3 per gallon over the first half of 2018, with the average price of $2.82 per gallon in Wisconsin, up almost sixty cents from this time last year, according to AAA.  Dave Lineau, owner of the Sister Bay Mobil, says that he noticed more travel to Door County so far this season.

Lineau did add that Door County prices are generally higher than other parts of the state due to delivery costs.  Wisconsin is below the national average price per gallon by three cents.

City of Algoma looks to improve Crescent Beach

By Eric Fischer

The City of Algoma will be conducting a topographical survey of Crescent Beach in preparation for the next round of improvements to the beach.  Surveys will be conducted at both the beach and Legion Park to measure the impact the outfalls have on the beach.  Algoma City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says the city is working on a concept design with a company that has a lot of experience on the lakeshore.

Wiswell did not give a timeline for when projects would begin but wanted to thank the Friends of Crescent Beach for their hard work.  Crescent Beach has a half-mile boardwalk and sand volleyball courts connecting the Visitor Center and Marina.

Environmental expert speaking in Door County

By Eric Fischer



The Door County Environmental Council will be hosting an environmental expert to discuss the future of the Great Lakes.  Todd Ambs will be speaking at the Kress Pavilion on June 27th at 7 pm., Ambs, the Campaign Director for Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, says the lakes are a great resource we need to preserve.

Ambs has spent thirty-five years in the field of environmental policy, most notably having led the Water Division of the Wisconsin DNR from 2003-2010, before joining  Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.  The group is made up of 150 environmental, conservation, and outdoor recreation organizations.

Crossroads resumes Saturday work parties

By Eric Fischer

Following last Saturday's Trail Run, Crossroads at Big Creek will be resuming Saturday volunteer work days.  Crossroads holds the weekly work party every Saturday in the summer with the exception of the day of the run. Coggin Heeringa, the Director of Crossroads at Big Creek says volunteers work to remove invasive species.

The group meets at the Nature Center at 10 am and they work one section every weekend, wrapping up at noon.  There is no cost to participate.

Gibraltar Fire Department focuses on water

By Eric Fischer



With the start of summer, the Gibraltar Fire Department begins to switch its focus to the water.  Calls for water rescue become one of the leading calls that the department receives in the summer.  They use a Boston Whaler boat to answer the calls.  Jerrad Anderson, chief of the Gibraltar Fire Department, gives some safety tips for boaters.

Anderson adds that the department is currently fundraising to replace the nearly twenty-year-old boat.  The Gibraltar Fire Department is also gearing up for its open house in October.

County C/Duluth Avenue project reaches milestone

By Eric Fischer


The County C/Duluth Avenue construction project is nearing completion after reaching a milestone this week.  Construction crews wrapped up the work on the storm sewer improvements this week, only needing to place a small number of inlets in a realigned portion of West Maple Street.  Chad Shefchik, Sturgeon Bay City Engineer says the project is still on pace to be completed in mid-August.

This week, crews will be continuing excavation and grading on the West Maple Street realignment.  Crews will also be working on the curbing and sidewalks between West Elm Street and West Juniper Street.

Celebrate National Mud Day at Peninsula State Park

By Eric Fischer


You can get a little dirty on Friday at Peninsula State Park and celebrate International Mud Day.  On June 29th, kids will able to create mud art and learn about soil and worms at the Nature Center from 11 am-12 pm.  Kathleen Harris, Naturalist for Peninsula State Park, says there will be a special guest making treats as part of the celebration.

International Mud Day was created in 2009 and first celebrated by Australia and Nepal in an attempt to connect children all over the world with the Earth.  There is no cost to attend, but those in attendance must have a State Park sticker on their car.

Open Door Pride Week wraps up with festival

By Eric Fischer

Nearly two hundred people came together Saturday afternoon for the Second Annual Open Door Pride Festival.  While last year's festival was a picnic, this year Open Door Pride held a weeklong celebration filled with events to bring the community together.  Cathy Grier, one of the events cofounders says she is proud to be a part of a group where people can feel comfortable and accepted.

Grier adds that Open Door Pride is already planning for next year's festival as well as other events throughout the year.  If you're interested in joining the group or becoming an ally you can visit the Open Door Pride website at this link.

National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help honors Sister Adele Brise

By Eric Fischer

The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help will be celebrating the life of the woman who first saw the Virgin Mary over 150 years ago.  Sister Adele Brise, a Belgian immigrant who devoted her life to teaching kids catechism after she claims to have seen Mary appear to her.  The site became the only Church-approved Marian apparition site in the United States in 2010.  Corrie Campbell, Communications Director and Events Coordinator for the Shrine, says the site got its name from the message Mary gave Adele.

The Shrine will hold a Mass on July 5th, the anniversary of Adele's death, at 11 am and celebrate Adele Brise Day on July 9th.  The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help is open 365 days a year from 7 am to 7 pm.

What to Look for in Your Fishing Kayak

By Bill Schultz


Last Friday and Saturday, I was out in one of my Jackson Kraken sit-on-top fishing kayaks catching and releasing quite a few nice smallmouth bass.  As I passed many homes in the Egg Harbor area, I saw a variety of kayaks down by the water. Some were sit-in touring or recreational kayaks, and, others were sit-on-top kayaks more appropriate for fishing.


Fishing from kayaks has always been fun, but, has really taken off over the past ten years.  Can you fish from a sit-in kayak? You sure can, but, they really aren't set-up for gear storage or carrying a number rod and reels.  This is why the sit-on-top kayaks are so popular with anglers. They are very stable, have an open design for easy entry and exit, plenty of storage and today, most come with an extremely comfortable seat with plenty of support for hours of comfortable fishing.  Many fishing kayaks have flush mount rod holders and track systems for anglers to add a variety of accessories like locators, additional rod holders, anchor trolley, camera mounts and more.


For the big waters of Door County, I prefer a longer kayak in the 13 to 16-foot range.  These will cover more water faster, as well as tracking better while paddling. Many kayak anglers buy kayaks that are too short.  Yes, shorter kayaks are lighter and easier to transport, but, are slow and don't track well. So, unless you are only fishing small water and small rivers, go with a longer kayak.  


I've only talked fishing from sit-on-top kayaks, but, they are also very popular with kayakers who might have an injury or disability that makes getting in and out of a sit-in kayak a challenge.  In one of my upcoming articles, I'll talk about self-propelled kayaks, a hot new trend. And, as always, if you have a question, email me at

Time outside can be dangerous for pets

By Eric Fischer



As animals spend more time outside in the summer months, a local vet warns of the dangers of fleas and ticks.  These insects, as well as mosquitos, can carry potentially deadly diseases that they can spread to your pet.  Dr. Jordan Koblica from Door County Veterinarian Hospital says examining your pet after spending time outside is a big help to preventing diseases.

Koblica adds that common signs of flea and tick presence on your pet include excessive scratching, licking or biting at the skin, hair loss, scabs, and hot spots, and/or pale gums.  If you believe your pet may be infected, Koblica says to take them to a vet immediately.

Popular class for teens offered at Door County YMCA

By Eric Fischer



A popular class for teens at the Door County YMCA is being offered once again this summer.  Summit, a class designed to teach teens the importance of working out and how to do safely is once again part of the summer program schedule.  Megan Schneider, Adult and Health and Wellness Director of the YMCA, explains some of the activities the teens will do.

There is a similar class for adults also being offered called Ultimate Fit.  Summit is offered at the Fish Creek location and costs $157 for members and $242 for nonmembers with class on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Gibraltar Historical Association celebrates Noble

By Eric Fischer


The Gibraltar Historical Association is finding creative ways to honor one of the area's founders this summer.  The summer exhibit at the Alexander Noble House Museum is "A House in Mourning" recreating the funeral of Alexander Noble, in addition to a talk that will feature the farm Noble once owned.  Laurie Buske, Executive Director for the Gibraltar Historical Association, explains the significance Noble had to the area.

Alexander Noble was born in 1829, settled in Fish Creek in 1862, and passed away in 1905.  The Alexander Noble House Museum is the oldest frame home in Fish Creek.  Tours are available Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am- 3 pm.

Northern Door libraries kick off summer reading programs

By Eric Fischer


Northern Door County libraries will be rocking this week as the summer reading program continues.  This summer's theme for the Door County Library system is Libraries Rock, and there are two programs this week dedicated to the theme.  On Tuesday morning at the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove location, there will be a summer dance party at 10:30 am, and on Wednesday morning, kids can make their own instrument at the Egg Harbor branch.  Youth Services Librarian Beth Lokken says these events are very kid friendly and act as the kickoff to the summer reading program at each location.

Both events are free to attend and require no prior registration.  To sign up for the summer library program, you can contact any of the Door County Library branches or visit this link.

Algoma hosts 1st annual Blessing of the Fleet

By Eric Fischer


A tragedy two years ago brought the community of Algoma together Friday night.  The city hosted its first annual Blessing of the Fleet festival at Sunset Cove Marina and featured a proclamation of safety by Mayor Wayne Schmidt, an Assembly Citation by Representative Joel Kitchens, and a speech by Tom Kleiman, President of the Wisconsin Lakeshore Business Association.  Kleiman says proper boat maintenance is part of the responsibility that comes with having Lake Michigan as a resource.

The event concluded with a boat parade and the blessing by Pastor Christopher Jackson.  Algoma's Blessing of the Fleet festival was created by Troy Mattson, who lost four boats in the Algoma Marina fire on June 23rd, 2016.

Squirrel causes power outage in Sturgeon Bay

By Eric Fischer

Approximately 1,000 residents in Sturgeon Bay were without power Saturday morning following an outage on the west side of town.  The outage occurred at 6:58 am and lasted for forty-five minutes. Jim Stawicki, General Manager of Sturgeon Bay Utilities says the outage occurred after a squirrel got into equipment at the corner of County S and Green Bay Road.

Power is believed to be restored to all residents in the area.  For information to report a power outage visit the Sturgeon Bay Utilities website at this link.

Corn crops taking off after recent rains

By Paul Schmitt    

Area farmers are reaping the benefits of the recent rainfalls as corn crops throughout Door and Kewaunee counties grew substantially.  Jim Wautier of Church-Site Farms and a member of the Ag Advisory Board says that the corn stalks in his field more than doubled in height in the last week.


Wautier also says that his second-crop hay is probably a foot tall.  He predicts that he will have some corn that will be waist-high within a couple weeks, exceeding the traditional measuring stick of "knee-high by the fourth of July".

Sturgeon Bay looking to make bicycle licensing optional

By Paul Schmitt    

It appears Sturgeon Bay residents will not have to register their bicycles in the city soon.  During last week's city council meeting, initial approval was granted that would make bicycle licensing optional.  Sturgeon Bay Common Council President Kelly Catarozoli, who was filling in for Mayor Thad Birmingham, says the idea to make the license optional is the city's attempt to promote a more bike-friendly community.


Catarozoli says people can still license their bicycles at the police department at no charge.  The licensing of the bikes helps law enforcement return stolen or lost bicycles to the rightful owners.

Tax benefits from direct charitable contributions from your IRA

By Paul Schmitt    

For retirees, using your Independent Retirement Account (IRA) to make donations to your favorite charity has its tax benefits.  Attorney Bob Ross of Ross Estate Planning in Sturgeon Bay says anyone over 70 ½ years of age have required distributions to take money out of their IRAs.  He explains why making charitable contributions that comes directly out of the IRA makes sense for those individuals.


Ross says Door County has over 300 non-profit organizations in need of support.  Direct contributions from IRAs is just another quick and tax-friendly way to making a difference and protecting your legacy, according to Ross.

Little Sturgeon Days back again at Compass Rose

By Paul Schmitt    

Little Sturgeon Day is back again this Saturday thanks to the efforts of a local business owner who saved it last year.  George Kingsland owner of Compass Rose on Lime Kiln Road in Sturgeon Bay took it upon himself to save the community's annual summer event when the Little Sturgeon Property Owners Association decided it could not meet the demands last year.  Kingsland says he was glad to revive the tradition.


There will a Poker Run, games, door prizes and live music as the event will go all day Saturday.  Kingsland says plans are to possibly expand Little Sturgeon Days next year into Sunday.

Decision time coming for Washington Island Emergency Services building

By Tim Kowols       

The Washington Island Fire Department building is nearly 70 years old, and now the town and the Door County Board want to determine what happens next. The town's fire department has shared the facility with Door County Emergency Services for several years. The small quarters forces some fire department vehicles to be stored offsite. Door County Board member Joel Gunnlaugsson says they have been discussing options for three years and believes there are obstacles keeping it from moving forward.

A resolution to have Door County and Washington Island work together to identify, obtain, and develop alternative plans is on the agenda for the board's Tuesday morning meeting.

PTSD treatment comes with awareness

By Tim Kowols       

As more soldiers return home from the world's battlefields, the importance of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) awareness is becoming clearer.  According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, between 11 and 20 percent of recent veterans have PTSD. That number could have been as high as 30 percent for Vietnam Veterans, who went years before a diagnosis was ever identified. Door County Veterans Service Officer Scott McFarlane says it is important for the veterans to realize there is something wrong and that they should talk to somebody about it.

McFarlane says veterans who are suffering from PTSD can call the Veterans Crisis Line or meet with a VA grief counselor at their Sturgeon Bay office on most Tuesdays. National PTSD Awareness Day is June 27.

Town of Liberty Grove still interested in purchasing bay access points

By Tim Kowols       

The town of Liberty Grove is hoping to hear back on separate offers to purchase property in Gills Rock to add public water access. It is the second time the town has entered negotiations with owners of J&M Fisheries to purchase parcels currently used by the commercial fishing business owned by the Weborg family. In addition to getting more public access, Town of Liberty Grove Chairperson John Lowry says there are other reasons why it would be beneficial.

If deals are agreed to, the final sale would have to be agreed to by the town electors, which Lowry says had nearly unanimous support during its annual meeting in April.

UW-Extension, Literacy Partners, team up to help farm employees

By Tim Kowols       

Officials from the UW-Extension Language Services met with Bob Garfinkel from Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County and team members from Kinnard Farms and Ebert Enterprises earlier this week to better communicate with their employees. According to a 2009 University of Wisconsin study, an estimated 40 percent of workers on the state's dairy farmers are immigrants. UW-Extension Language Services visited to learn how to address the communication barriers between employees and farm operators by updating Spanish-language training materials. Garfinkel says it could have a big impact on their efforts to help people assimilate to life in America.

Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County tutors individuals in English skills so they can get jobs, earn their citizenship and graduate from high school. The organization recently celebrated its eleventh student to go on and become a U.S. citizen.

Man hunt ends in Baileys Harbor

By Tim Kowols       

A 31-year old man is in custody after the Door County Sheriff's Department spent Thursday evening into Friday morning looking for him in Baileys Harbor. The apparent lockdown began at around 5 p.m. in the Cana Cove Road area of Baileys Harbor. The Door County Sheriff's Department advised people on Facebook to call 911 if they saw Travis J. Bertram, but not to approach him as he could have acted aggressively.  Door County Dispatch confirmed Bertram was in custody but said further details on this story are likely to come later this morning.

"Teweles Family Talk" on historic granary set for next week

By Paul Schmitt    

The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society has announced the details of the Teweles Family Talk that will take place next Wednesday.  Nici Teweles and Tracy Teweles will share memories and stories of the historic Teweles & Brandeis granary building that was built by their grandfather and great-grandfather, respectively.  The free event will be held at 4:30 next Wednesday afternoon at the Door County Fire Company.  Sturgeon Bay Historical Society President Christie Weber says the presentation will be interesting.


Doors will open at 4:15 pm and the talk will begin at 4:30 with Sturgeon Bay Historical Society leaders also providing an update on the Granary's restoration.

Casco celebrating 82nd annual church picnic Sunday

By Paul Schmitt    

The village of Casco's population is about 578 people, but this Sunday you can look for that to significantly increase.   Holy Trinity Catholic Parish will bring the community and visitors together for their 82ndannual church picnic.  The celebration, which draws hundreds of attendees every year, will start Sunday morning after the nine o'clock mass. Co-chair Lois Vandermeuse says the Casco Church Picnic always provides family-friendly activities and food.


Live music will be provided all day until the picnic wraps up at about 6 pm, according to Vandermeuse.   The proceeds from the Holy Trinity Church Picnic, which usually nets about $20,000, goes towards maintaining the church and elementary school.

Washington Island damaged power cable located near Plum Island

By Paul Schmitt    

The electrical outage on Washington Island last Friday was caused by a damaged underwater cable near Plum Island.  According to a news release by the Washington Island Electric Cooperative, the damage was located extremely close to the northwestern tip of Plum Island where for years ice shoves have been seen.  Ice shoves usually occur in early spring when free-floating lake ice is rapidly pushed onshore by wind and are known to cause damage, even under water.  Backup generators are being used on Washington island using diesel fuel until a temporary solution to fix the cable can be done.  Complete replacement of the entire cable could amount to over $2 million.  Washington Island residents and businesses are asked to conserve energy for the time being.

No Shanty Days fireworks display due to safety concerns

By Paul Schmitt    

An Algoma tradition to cap off their summer signature festival will be taking a hiatus.  The Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce announced on Thursday that the Shanty Days Fireworks will be canceled this year.  The Sunday night tradition in August during the Shanty Days celebration will not happen because of rising water levels.  Executive Director Sara Krouse explains the safety reason for the fireworks cancellation.


Krouse says the additional cost of hiring a barge to set the fireworks off in the harbor or lake would not be financially feasible.  She says hopes are for the fireworks display to return next year if water levels go down.  Lake Michigan water levels are reportedly two feet higher than they were a year ago.

Egg Harbor continues beach plan development

By Tim Kowols       

The village of Egg Harbor continues to evaluate what its beach will look like years down the road. Officials hosted a public charrettes meeting on the beach's potential earlier this year and released preliminary plans for its expansion in April. The possible sale of the neighboring Alpine Resort also gives the village a chance to expand its beachfront even more. Administrator Ryan Heise says he hopes whoever buys the 250-acre property is willing to work with the village on a possible private-public partnership.

Heise hopes they are able to obtain grant funding for the $500,000 beach renovation project, which would include making sure it is ADA-compliant and accessible to all residents and visitors.

Sturgeon Bay awarded over $100,000 through school safety grant

By Tim Kowols       

Sturgeon Bay School District became the first in the area Thursday to be able to take advantage of the state's school safety grant program. Fourteen districts were awarded a total of $1.7 million in grants to embark on safety improvement projects at schools. Superintendent Dan Tjernagel says the $103,390 Sturgeon Bay School District received will go towards a lot of different projects across the area this year.

Tjernagel says similar projects will happen at TJ Walker Middle School this year and at the high school and district office in 2019. This is the second of many rounds of grants being awarded by the Attorney General's office as a part of the $100 million Keep Kids Safe Initiative.

Charitable giving goes up with less

By Tim Kowols       

Charitable giving reached a record $410 billion in 2017, but the direction it takes moving forward is anyone's guess. According to the Giving USA Foundation's annual report, giving increased 5.2 percent over the previous year thanks in part to the growth in the stock market and a strong economy.  Charities across the spectrum saw growth, but foundations saw the biggest jump in 2017 at 15.5 percent. Door County Community Foundation President and CEO Bret Bicoy says a large contributing factor to that was changes to the tax law, which encouraged large donors to bunch several years of donations together before the December 31 deadline. Bicoy fears the higher standard deduction will provide a disincentive for small donors to support their favorite charities.

According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the number of Americans donating to charities dropped from 66.2 percent to 55.5 percent between the years 2000 and 2014. Bicoy was happy to see increases to donor-advised funds in 2017 as well large support for their campaigns including the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor and Celebrate Water Door County.

Kewaunee County turning to residents for land and water input

By Tim Kowols       

Residents of Kewaunee County can help put their fingerprints on the future plans of its Land and Water Conservation Department. The department is developing its next ten-year plan for land and water resource management. A short online survey taken by residents can help department officials identify key concerns in the county so strategies can be developed. Director Davina Bonness says community input is important.

Counties are required by the state to update its Land and Water Resource Management Plan every 10 years in order to receive staffing grants through the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. The survey, which is available online with the story as well as the Kewaunee County web site, will be open through July 13.

Local legislators hope to avoid government shutdown

By Tim Kowols       

With a September deadline looming to pass a federal budget, local legislators are working to make sure a second 2018 government shutdown does not happen.  President Donald Trump vowed in March to not sign another omnibus spending bill and is threatening a government shutdown if he does not get funding for a border wall. Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin told last month that many of the bills passed in her appropriations committee have unanimous, bipartisan support.

Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher renewed his call for the House of Representatives to cancel their August recess earlier this month until they get their work done. While he understands the argument that his House members have done their job as bills stall in the Senate, Rep. Gallagher says there is a lot more they can be doing.

The budget deadline is September with the House still slated to go on recess after August 3. Senator Mitch McConnell canceled his chamber's recess earlier this month.

Escaped prisoners return to Door County jail

By Tim Kowols       

Two Sturgeon Bay residents are back behind bars after not returning to Door County jail last week. Shawna Sperber and Santos Garcia were on Huber release when a Sturgeon Bay Police Department officer spotted the two in a vehicle after 5:15 p.m. last Friday. "Huber Law" allows an inmate to keep a job, support their families, and meet other obligations while serving their prison sentence. According to the Sturgeon Bay Police Department, Sperber and Garcia fled the scene at a high rate of speed when the responding officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop. While both were cited with escaping jail, Sperber was charged with operating a vehicle with a restricted controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and methamphetamines, fleeing an officer and numerous traffic citations as the vehicle's driver.  Sperber is due back in court on June 25.

Algoma expanding housing opportunities with developments

By Paul Schmitt    

The city of Algoma is busy this summer with planning for future housing projects.  A future development on the south side of Algoma is being planned near the shoreline on Lake Street and County K.  City Administrator Jeff Wiswell explains the plan for that area of the community.


Wiswell says a new TIF (Tax Incremental Funding) district to resolve the water and sanitary problems in the area will be created.  He also adds that a development is planned on Lakeview Drive on the northern entrance of the city.  That project would include a 12 unit apartment complex that could be expanded to 24 or 48 units later, according to Wiswell.

Summer program schedules continue this week at Door County YMCA

By Paul Schmitt    

Program sessions at the Door County YMCA have begun in earnest this week.  With adults and children looking to stay fit and healthy during the summer months, CEO and President Tom Beerntsen says a variety of activities and classes are available for all ages and fitness levels.


The Door County YMCA has program centers in Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek.  You can more information on registration and classes offered by the YMCA below.

Classic wagon trains moving through area this week

By Paul Schmitt    

Rustic wagon trains like the old west are making their way through Door and Kewaunee counties this week.  The horse-drawn vehicles are traveling the Ahnapee trail.  The horses and wagons were trailered to Door County on Tuesday and will ultimately end up at the Heritage Center south of Kewaunee on Saturday evening.  Dr. Matt Koltz, a veterinarian from Maribel, says the wagon trail is a reunion of a ride done twenty years ago during Wisconsin's sesquicentennial.  He says the public is welcome to interact along the trail.


The caravan of six wagons and 25 people has planned stopovers in Algoma and the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds in Luxemburg.  Koltz says that a few of the wagons have the original running gears that are between 100 and 150 years old.  You can find this week's schedule for the wagon trains in the area below from the Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce posting.

The History on the Move Wagon Train returns to the area this week!

After spending Tuesday night, June 19, 2018, in Sturgeon Bay, the wagon train will take the Ahnapee Trail to Algoma with a stop-over at Timber Trail Campground on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. The public is invited stop by the campground to meet the group and have a look!

Timber Trail Campground is located at N8326 County Road M in Algoma. You can contact the campground for more information on the wagon train visit: 920-487-3707.

From there the train will travel to the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds in Luxemburg for a Thursday, June 21, stop. On Friday, June 22, the group will travel about 10 miles to Cedar Valley Campground. Travel plans for Saturday, June 23 will take the train to Heritage Farm on State Highway 42 just outside of Kewaunee.





(photos submitted)

Sturgeon Bay City Council gives final approval for Amity Field apartment development

By Paul Schmitt    

With Mayor Thad Birmingham absent from the Sturgeon Bay common council meeting Tuesday evening, President Kelly Catarozoli presided over her first meeting.  After a request for the City Administrator report to be made before public comments by Councilmember David Hayes, Josh Van Lieshout reported that additional community developments are possible besides the Amity Field and Sycamore multi-family units that were approved by the council.


The 2nd reading for Amity Field project did pass unanimously later in the meeting.  All together that puts about 154 units under or near-under construction in the city, according to Van Lieshout.  The council went into closed session for over two hours to discuss litigation on the Sawyer Hotel Development and legal action required for moving the dirt piles but returned to open session without addressing either issue.  The meeting concluded after committee chairs gave their reports.

Dufek honored at Foster Youth Graduation in Madison

By Paul Schmitt    

A recent graduate of Southern Door High School received statewide recognition from First Lady Tonette Walker and the Department of Children and Families (DCF).  Deseree Dufek of Algoma was one of 50 current and former foster youth that were honored for their academic accomplishments at a special celebration at the Governor's mansion Monday.  The sixth annual Foster Youth Graduation Ceremony was held in Madison and recognized recent graduates.  Dufek was not in the foster care system very long because her grandparents, Roy and Maryrae Dufek, applied for guardianship right away.  She says her grandparents mean a lot to her.


Nationally, only about 54% of foster youth will graduate high school and only 2 % will go to college, according to the DCF.  Dufek says she will be attending the University of Wisconsin this fall pursuing a degree in Chemistry with hopes to become a pharmaceutical researcher.

(L-R) Department of Children and Families Secretary Eloise Anderson, Deseree Dufek, and First Lady Tonette Walker

(photo submitted)

Gonzales named Anne Kok Social Justice Award recipient

By Paul Schmitt    

The HELP of Door County announced this week that Milly Gonzales will be recognized as this year's honoree of the Anne Kok Social Justice Award. Kok served as HELP'S executive director from 1985 to 1989 and unexpectedly passed away in 2008. Gonzales, who is the current Domestic Violence Coordinator at HELP, says she is truly honored to be selected as the recipient of the award and knows that HELP is needed agency in Door County.


Gonzales previously worked at a safe place in Zion, Illinois where she ran the Transitional Living Program before moving to Door County. She with will formally receive the Anne Kok Social Justice Award at the HELP of Door County annual meeting this Thursday, That event will be held at the new Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

No "mystery" to the success of Carefree Travel's favorite tour

By Paul Schmitt    

One of the most popular tours booked by a local tour director is a unique trip with an unknown destination for its passengers.  Kathy Nooyan of Carefree Travel in New Franken has been scheduling tours for nearly forty years and the mystery tour remains an excursion that needs five bookings a year to meet the demand.  She shares the only hint provided to her customers when the frequent question of where the motor coach is headed is asked.



Nooyan says the mystery tour, with a 56-person capacity on the motor coach, can be anywhere from a three day trip to a weeklong adventure.  Carefree Travel's next scheduled mystery tour is next week and it'll be a five-day who knows where?

Public meeting scheduled for Highway 42 improvements in Door County

By Paul Schmitt    

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is holding a public involvement meeting this Thursday to discuss the road improvements that will be done in northern Door County on Highway 42.  The project will stretch from Bluff Lane in Gibraltar to Country Walk Drive in SisterBay.  WisDOT Regional Communications Manager Mark Kantola explains the purpose of the meeting.


The project is scheduled to begin next spring and will include roadway resurfacing, added sidewalks and lighting along with curb, gutter, and storm sewer improvements.  The public meeting will be held from 5:00 to 6:30 pm at the Gibraltar Elementary School in Fish Creek.

Award-winning cheese comes down to the milk

By Tim Kowols       

Cheesemakers in Door and Kewaunee County rely on dairy farmers as much as their own skill when it comes to producing their award-winning products. Area cheesemakers earned two awards at last year's Wisconsin State Fair cheese contest and four at this year's World Championship Cheese Contest in March, including Agropur's Pat Doell and his best in class smoked provolone. Master Cheesemaker Roger Krohn says dairy farmers in the area are on top of their game when it comes to producing the high-quality milk needed for the cheese they make.

Wisconsin made 3.37 billion pounds of cheese in 2017 according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, making the state the country's top producer. Krohn says they sent several samples to West Allis for judging this Thursday at the Wisconsin State Fair.

Northern Sky Theater shows keep its woods in mind

By Tim Kowols       

Even though musicals like "Lumberjacks in Love" and "Guys on Ice" have experienced great success outside of the confines of its Peninsula State Park setting, Northern Sky Theater still keeps its home in mind. "Dairy Heirs" and "Boxcar" are the latest in the line of world premiere musicals written by either local writers or people that have come up through Northern Sky Theater's ranks over the years. Artistic Director Jeffrey Herbst says writers know their limitations based on their location and the family audiences they want to draw.

Herbst says the advent of the Internet is making it easier for other theater companies to access their past works for their consideration and give Northern Sky Theater productions new life outside of Door County. You can hear the full conversation with Herbst about his experience with Northern Sky Theater and this year's shows from last Saturday's Ask the Expert broadcast online with this story.

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Context needed as bible passages enter political debates

By Tim Kowols       

Politicians on both sides of the aisle are leaning on the Bible to make their arguments for their given stances. The debates regarding immigration and families being separated at the border are the latest to receive biblical citations, with Republican Jeff Sessions and Democrat Hillary Clinton each quoting the New Testament in the last week. Friends Community Church Pastor Nancy Bontempo says she is happy people are turning to the Bible to search for truth, but does not like it being used as a tool to promote their political positions.

Bontempo believes people need all the information from the Bible to shape their personal convictions rather than focusing on how they feel about something.

Farm Technology Days announces plans for $250,000 in grants and scholarships

By Tim Kowols       

Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days ensured its legacy will be felt for years to come with Monday's announcement of its plans to distribute $250,000 to area groups and students. For at least the next ten years, $1,000 scholarships will be given to a deserving student at six area school districts. Another $70,000 is earmarked for local organizations to apply for grants with the remaining monies reserved for a legacy community project. Kewaunee County FTD Executive Chair Amber Hewett says after awarding $103,000 to date back to the community, it is excited to give back even more.

Over 20 organizations have already benefited from last year's three-day event, which drew over 26,000 people to Ebert Enterprises in Algoma. You can find information on how your organization can apply for the available grant funds by visiting this story online.

Advocacy program on clean water in Kewaunee County Thursday

By Paul Schmitt    

A presentation this Thursday in Algoma will be providing the latest information on the groundwater quality in Kewaunee County.  Attorney Sara Geers from Midwest Environmental Advocates in Madison will be speaking at the Algoma High School about "Clean Drinking Water Advocacy in Kewaunee County".  She explains the intent of the program.


Geers says she will also review the response being done by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to the groundwater problems facing Kewaunee County.  She will be discussing the recent finalization of some rules for Northeastern Wisconsin that are meant to protect the sensitive groundwater conditions in this part of the state.  Geers' one-hour presentation, including a question and answer period, will be at 6:30 pm in the Little Theater at Algoma High School.

Herlache remembered for his community service in Door County

By Paul Schmitt    

A longtime Rotarian and executive director of the Railbrook Foundation is being remembered for his tireless commitment to the community and local causes.  Attorney Ralph Herlache of Sturgeon Bay passed away last Friday at the age of 77.  Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club member Mark Lake says Herlache was one of the founders of the club in 1991 and epitomized Rotary's slogan of "service above self".


Herlache was past president for both Sturgeon Bay Rotary clubs and also held the position of District Governor for District 6220 in 1980-81.  According to his obituary, he served on many local boards including the Door County Hospital Board of Trustees, the Chamber of Commerce and the Historical Society.  Funeral services for Ralph Herlache will be held this Friday morning.  You can his complete obituary below.


By Forbes Funeral Home


Ralph Frederick Herlache, 77, of Sturgeon Bay passed away suddenly on June 15, 2018 at Door County Medical Center.  He was born March 27, 1941 in Sturgeon Bay to Clifford and Clara (Barney) Herlache.  On August 20, 1989 he married Judith Kay (Eich) Johnson in Sturgeon Bay.

After graduating from Sturgeon Bay High School in 1959, Ralph earned his bachelor's degree and went to Law School at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He began his law career with Johnson and Johnson in Sturgeon Bay and later established his own firm, R.F. Herlache Law Pratice.  After many years of private practice, Ralph became the executive director of the Raibrook Foundation.  He retired from that position in 2010.

One of Ralph's greatest passions in life was his involvement with Rotary International.  He served as president of the Sturgeon Bay Noon Rotary Club from 1974-75.  He then served as club secretary from 1976-1990.   Ralph was District Governor from 1981-80 and district secretary from 1981-1988.  In 1991, Ralph was instrumental in the founding of the Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club where he served in numerous capacities for many years.

Throughout his life, Ralph was a very active member of the community.  He served as commodore and rear commodore of the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club and was a board member and director of numerous organizations including: Door County Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees, the Chamber of Commerce, Yacht Club Regatta, the Door County Economic Development Association, the Raibrook Foundation, and the Historical Society.  Ralph was also an archivist for Door County and provided free legal service to the Door County Museum and other tax-exempt groups.

He did manage to find time for recreation and enjoyed years of softball, basketball, tennis, golf and bowling.  His favorite pass times were watching baseball games and cutting wood.  He especially enjoyed coffee with his group of friends at the Corner Café.   Ralph will always be remembered for his sense of humor and as the guy who always wore short sleeves in winter because "it never felt cold to him".

Survivors include his wife Judy; Ralph's daughters, Sarah (Mike) Herlache-Koberdanz, Phoneix, AZ; Peggy Herlache, St. Petersburg, FL;  Ralph's granddaughter, Katie; four step-children, Carl "Rusty" Johnson, Sturgeon Bay; Craig Johnson, Sturgeon Bay; Julie (Paul) Halgren, Plymouth, MN; Curt (Chandall) Johnson, Sturgeon Bay; step-grandchildren, Jeep, Alex, Kristen, Emily, Grant, Colt, and Deanna; two step-great grandchildren, Hayden and Silas; two brothers, Tom (Jill) Herlache and John (Nell) Herlache, all of Sturgeon Bay; brother-in-law, Ranny (Kris) Nelson, Jacksonport; sister-in-law, Jan Carroll, Maple Grove, MN.

He was preceded in death by three sisters, Clara "Bunny" Williams, Mary Herlache, Ruth Nelson and step-grandson Cody Johnson.

Funeral Services will be 11:00 a.m. Monday, June 25, 2018 at Forbes Funeral Home, the Rev. Ken Boettcher officiating.  Burial will be in Lakeview Cemetery, Jacksonport.  Friends may call from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Sunday, June 24, at the Forbes Funeral Home and then after 10:00 a.m. Monday at the funeral home until the time of service.  Memorials may be directed to the Alzheimer's Foundation or the Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club.

Thank you to Whispering Pines and Door County Medical Center for the wonderful care and support, and to Roger Crass and Gene Remy for all they did for Ralph.

Brussels playing host to antique tractor pull Saturday

By Paul Schmitt    

Some classic and heavy farm equipment will be competing and featured this weekend in Brussels.  The Brussels Antique Pullers are hosting the first of two tractor pulls this summer.  Formerly known as the ABC pulls, President Mike Baudhuin shares what is in store for attendees on Saturday.


Baudhuin says there will be 20 classes competing in the antique tractor pull starting at noon on Saturday.  The free event will be held at the Mike Kinnard property at 1062 Pit Road in Brussels. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society. The event starts at noon and is expected to run until approximately 5:00 PM.

Washington Island using generators to get through electrical outage

By Paul Schmitt    

Backup generators are still being used to provide electricity to Washington Island and will be continuing for an indeterminate time.  An electrical cable that was bringing electricity to Washington Island was damaged Friday causing an outage.  That cable is underwater and will cause logistical challenges to repair, according to a spokesperson from the Washington Island Electric Cooperative.  The damaged cable lies 130 feet under water and was installed in 1981.  Options are for it to be repaired either temporarily or permanently when the issue is found.  The backup generators can be used indefinitely as long as the diesel fuel supply is sufficient, according to the Washington Island Electric Cooperative.

Sturgeon Bay Common Council closed session turns focus to waterfront Tuesday

By Tim Kowols       

Three pending issues on the city's west waterfront will be discussed in closed session when the Sturgeon Bay Common Council meets on Tuesday. Requested by alderpersons Kelly Avenson and Kelly Catarozoli, the city's lawsuits with Sawyer Hotel Development, LLC and members of the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront will be discussed before the council considers legal action required for moving the dirt piles from their current resting place. Bob Papke of Sawyer Hotel Development claimed ownership of the dirt piles earlier this year. City Administrator Josh VanLieshout told last week the letter sent earlier this month by Papke's attorney Jonathon Smies does not have any impact on his lawsuit of over $500,000 against Sturgeon Bay.

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will also weigh in on changes to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board and the registration of bikes when it meets at 7 p.m. at city hall.

Making "cents" of vacation planning

By Tim Kowols       

Taking the family for a trip takes more planning than scouring the web and flipping through guidebooks. According to AAA, more than one-third of Americans are planning to take a vacation of 50 miles or more with their families.  With vacations come the expenses and Gay Pustaver says it can be a balancing act financially.

Pustaver recommends families take advantage of free attractions or local day trip destinations to have a stress-free and hopefully a debt-free vacation. You can listen to the entire Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver online with this story.

Dukehart humbled by Chieftain distinction

By Tim Kowols       

Tad Dukehart is now a part of the Ephraim tales he tells after being announced as the village's Fyr Bal chieftain on Saturday. Dukehart and his wife retired to Ephraim over 10 years ago. In the years since he has become the photographer for fire departments in Northern Door County, a member of several village committees,  and a tour guide for the Ephraim Historical Foundation.  Dukehart says it never crossed his mind that he would be even considered as the Fyr Bal chieftain.

Dukehart follows in the footsteps of his wife's grandfather, who came to Ephraim in 1917 and became the village's Fyr Bal chieftain in the 1960s. Ephraim's Fyr Bal has marked the transition of spring into summer with the ceremonial burning of the Winter Witch with a bonfire for the last 54 years.

Wisconsin election maps to stand following U.S. Supreme Court decision

By Tim Kowols       

Proponents of redistricting reform in Wisconsin will have to wait a bit longer following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Monday. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the nation's high court ruled 7-2 that the Democratic plaintiffs did not bring proper standing to the Gill vs. Whitford case and that more concrete examples of the election map's negative effects have to be presented. Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck calls the decision "unsatisfying," but vows to keep up the fight against partisan gerrymandering.

While Monday's decision avoids cases in Wisconsin and Maryland, Heck says rulings on election maps in North Carolina and elsewhere could still have an impact on gerrymandering across the country.

Written Opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court


Statement from Senator Hansen: "The court's decision shows just how much work needs to be done to restore fairness to our elections. It is time for legislators from both parties to come together and pass a real non-partisan redistricting law that will take the responsibility for drawing legislative district boundaries out of the hands of the politicians in Madison and replace it with one that gives the voters a voice in the process and at the ballot box. We already know that non-partisan redistricting can work because we've seen it in action in states as close as Iowa, which our plan is modeled after. Non-partisan redistricting not only takes the politics out of the map-drawing process, it does far more than our current system to ensure open, fair and competitive elections. I intend to re-introduce our Fair Maps redistricting plan as soon as I am able to when the Legislature convenes in January."


Attorney General Brad Schimel issued the following statement in response"I am pleased that the highest court in the land has unanimously reversed the trial court's erroneous decision invalidating Wisconsin's Assembly map. Today is a win for the rule of law in Wisconsin, and a testament to the talented attorneys at the Wisconsin Department of Justice."


Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) and Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) released the following statement following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on the redistricting case. "We are pleased with the unanimous opinion from the U.S Supreme Court. We have been confident throughout this process that the court would rule in our favor. Democrats have been using the maps as an excuse for their failure to connect with Wisconsin voters. We believe the redistricting process we undertook seven years ago fulfilled our constitutional duty, and followed all applicable laws and standards that are required in redistricting. We are confident with the U.S. Supreme Court guidance, the lower court will find the Democrat activists' case is without merit."


In response to the ruling, Representative Peter Barca (Kenosha/Racine) issued the following statement: "The decision by the Supreme Court today is a partial victory in many ways. While certainly not a landmark, precedent-setting ruling, it leaves the door open and shows the pathway forward, especially through the concurring opinion written by Justice Kagan and joined by three others. The Court did not rule on the actual merits of this case and thankfully they rejected the extreme decision by Justice Thomas and Gorsuch to dismiss this case. Instead, it ruled on a narrow and more technical matter and sent the case back to the Federal District Court to be considered further. By offering the decision it did and by not rejecting the case based on the arguments presented, the seven justices signaled true willingness to make a more robust ruling on this issue in the future. The majority of the Court rejected the more extreme views of Justices Thomas and Gorsuch, and the vast majority of justices appear to make clear that they are open to finding extreme partisan gerrymandering unconstitutional. After seven long years of watching our democracy being undermined and living under heavily distorted maps, the people of Wisconsin know all too well the harm caused when politicians draw maps in their own favor. No matter what their individual political ideologies or values may be, voters win when they can select their representatives, rather than the other way around. It says 'the will of the people shall be the law of the land' inside our State Capitol. The decision today does not yet accomplish that goal, but it shows the way to accomplish it."

Steel Bridge Songfest comes to a close

By Eric Fischer


The 12 Annual Steel Bridge Songfest came to an end Sunday, after bringing hundreds of people from around the state to Door County.  The three-day festival hosted over 120 musicians playing original music at venues like the Holiday Music Motel, the Red Room, Brick Lot and more.  Sara Bichler, traveled from Green Bay to attend the festival and says she came to discover new music in a festival atmosphere.

Bichler adds that Geri X, who performed at the Red Room on Friday, was her favorite artist she saw play.  The Steel Bridge Songfest website features music from many of the artists who played over the weekend.

Junion Homestead celebrates 150 years at Breakfast on the Farm

By Eric Fischer

Over 3,000 people made the trip to the Junion Homestead Farm for the 2018 Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm.  The Junion Homestead Farm was chosen as the host of the annual breakfast as it celebrates 150 years in operation, with 7 generations of farmers having worked the land.  Amanda Dolphin, a member of the family, says it means a lot that they were able to celebrate this day with the community.

The dairy breakfast featured scrambled eggs, pizza, cheese curds, and other dairy items.  At the event, organizer of the Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm JJ Pagel announced the 2019 Breakfast on the Farm would be held at Kinnard Inc., in Casco.

County C project sees small setback

By Eric Fischer



Construction crews faced a small setback in the County C construction earlier this week.  While finishing the storm sewer installations that began in April, crews fan into their first setback since the beginning of the project.  City Engineer Chad Shefchik says the bedrock on West Maple Street was higher than expected.

Despite the small inconvenience, Shefchik says the project should be completed near the estimated date.  Winter Storm Evelyn slightly delayed the start of the project in April.  Work will continue on the curbing between West Elm and West Juniper Streets this week as well.

Former Lt. Gov. Lawton's home damaged by fire

By Paul Schmitt    

The Southern Door Fire Department was called out to an early Sunday  afternoon fire at the residence of Former Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton and her husband Cal in the town of Clay Banks.  No one was home at the time of the fire when it was reported around 1pm at 440 Lower LaSalle Road.  Southern Door Fire Department Captain Tim Rollin says when firefighters arrived crews found heavy smoke in the basement and flames coming from an electrical panel on the wall.  He says the fire was able to be knocked down quickly in the wall before spreading and causing any extensive damage to the home.  Southern Door Fire and Emergency Services cleared the scene at about 2:30 pm.   The Door County Sheriffs Department and Algoma Fire Department also responded to the call.

Birch Creek prepares for opening night concert

By Eric Fischer


Birch Creek Music Academy is preparing for opening night as students arrive at the camp on Sunday.  The first session for the summer is Percussion and Steel Band with Opening Night scheduled for June 21st with a theme of Positively Percussion.  Mona Christensen, Executive Director of Birch Creek, says the session features a wide range of music.

Students in the session will perform a total of seven concerts, with performance dates of June 21st-23rd and June 27th-30th.  Following the percussion and steel band session, Birch Creek will host a symphony session and two big band jazz sessions.  For tickets, visit the Birch Creek website at this link.

Study could find use for Algoma Hardwoods facility

By Eric Fischer



A study in Algoma may give new life to a former industrial complex.  The city of Algoma is conducting a study funded by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Agency to find what potential uses the Algoma Hardwoods plant could have going forward.  Algoma City Administrator, Jeff Wiswell, says the city would like to find a use for the large area of land.

Wiswell adds the city is also planning several other development projects including an apartment complex. The Algoma Hardwoods plant closed in August 2017.

Frostman stays on campaign trail following special election win

By Eric Fischer


Following his win on Tuesday for the Wisconsin State 1st Senate District, Caleb Frostman plans to get back on the road to prepare for November's election.  Frostman defeated Andre Jacque in a special election for Frank Lasee's vacated seat and will be on the ballot again November with a full term on the line.  With Senate in its interim period, Frostman plans to continue to talk to voters to help their voices be heard.

Frostman defeated Jacque in a very close race by a count of 14,606 to 13,800.  Jacque will be on the ballot in August in the Republican primary, facing off against Bill Nauta from Washington Island for the Republican nomination.

58th annual House and Garden Walk tickets on sale

By Eric Fischer



Tickets are on sale for a popular tradition in Door County.  The Door County Medical Center Auxiliary is hosting its 58th Annual House and Garden Walk and will showcase five homes, as well as a pop-up shop featuring local artists and vendors.  Gloria Heck, the coordinator of the event, says this year's walk will benefit the Door County Medical Center's Skilled Nursing and Hospice Facility Project.

This year's walk is scheduled for July 31st, beginning at 9 am in Sturgeon Bay and concludes around 5 pm in Ellison Bay.  Tickets cost $30 in advance or $35 the day of the walk.  You can find tickets on the Door County House and Garden Walk website now or at several ticket outlets after July 1st.

Northern Door YMCA dancing outside this summer

By Eric Fischer


The Door County YMCA is once again offering outdoor offsite classes this summer.  Sister Bay will host Zumba on Monday and Wednesday mornings and yoga classes on Thursday. Ephraim will also be offering classes, with Dance Jam and yoga on Tuesdays.  Megan Schneider, Adult and Health and Wellness director, says these classes are a great way to stay fit this summer.

Each class will have a small fee to attend.  If you're interested in signing up, you can do so at the Fish Creek YMCA center.

Crossroads prepares for annual trail run

By Eric Fischer


Crossroads at Big Creek is once again preparing for the annual Trail Run on June 23rd.  Known as Door County's first and only trail run, participants will be able to choose from the 2K walk/fun run, 5K run, or 10K through the trails of Crossroads at Big Creek.  Coggin Heeringa, the director of Crossroads says the run started as an idea to promote sustainability.

Registration is still open for the runs and costs $30 for adults, %15 for kids 14 and under, and goes up until the day of the event.  After the race, all participants will receive some locally made refreshments with prizes for top finishers in each division.

Sturgeon Bay Library hosting genealogy program

By Eric Fischer


You can trace your family's roots at the Sturgeon Bay branch of the Door County Library.  The branch will be hosting a free class to learn about the genealogy resources available through the library on Thursday, June 21st at 10 am.  Youth services librarian Beth Lokken says the library plans these programs to encourage people to learn something new.

The library provides free resources such as, Heritage Quest, and newspaper archives to help with genealogy research.  Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptop.

Hydration and Nutrition

By Kaila Stencil, UW Extension Food WIse Nutrition Educator for Kewaunee County


Hi, I'm Kaila Stencil, UW Extension Food WIse Nutrition Educator for Kewaunee County and guest reporter for Door County Daily News. Water is an important part to good nutrition.  Water makes up about 60% of our body weight and our cells, tissues, and organs need water to work properly.  So, how much water should we drink each day?  On average, an adult needs approximately 13 cups of water a day.  Keep in mind that 20% of our body's water intake for the day comes from our food.  Here are some tips on how to add more water into your day. Add flavor to your water.  Spice up your water by adding fruits, vegetables or herbs.  Find a way to track how much water you drink.  There are a lot of apps on your phone to help with this! Have a refillable water bottle accessible during the day. Substitute water for sweetened beverages such as soda or juice.  Begin by making small steps today to lead to big changes in the future!

Therapy Dogs invite kids to practice reading skills

By Eric Fischer



Since they began coming to Door County libraries, therapy dogs have been a hit according to Maggie Peterman, a member of the Door County Library Foundation board.  The Door County Library hosts four therapy dogs, Nelly Bly in Egg Harbor, Amos in Sister Bay, and Barley and Igloo in Sturgeon Bay to help kids practice their reading skills.  Peterman says that the dogs are very inviting for kids.

Peterman was a guest on last week's Wednesday at the Y broadcast where she shared the good news of the libraries in Northern Door as well as the Fyr Bal Festival.  If you would like to join the Wednesday at the Y broadcast to share the good news of your group or organization, contact

Flynn senses "blue wave" momentum could carry into November

By Eric Fischer


Democrats around the state are hoping the recent momentum will continue towards the "blue wave" movement in November.  Democrats scored a win in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election in April, as well as last week's special election for State Senate District 1 with Caleb Frostman defeating Andre Jacque.  Matt Flynn, one of the ten Democrat candidates for Governor, says he believes voters are sick of Republican policies.

Flynn will be on the ballot for the party's nomination on August 14th.  In November, local voters will see Frostman and US Senator Tammy Baldwin as incumbents attempting to defend their respective seats.

Ephraim Historical Foundation opens for season

By Eric Fischer

Visitors to the Ephraim Historical Foundation property will notice some changes this summer following Ephraim Heritage Day on Friday.   The celebration serves as the grand opening for the summer and debuted the exhibit "Picturing the Past" in the Anderson Barn Museum.  It also served as an open house for the new Svalhus Research Library.  Thea Thompson, the executive director of the Ephraim Historical Foundation, says people are drawn to Ephraim by the beauty and unique history of the area.

Thompson adds that the Svalhus Research Library will allow users to access resources such as and other archived documents.  General admission to the museum is free.

Open Door Pride Week begins Tuesday

By Eric Fischer


Door County's LGBTQ community will be holding the second annual Open Door Pride Festival as part of Open Door Pride Week in Sturgeon Bay.  June is National Pride Month and to celebrate Open Door Pride is expanding on last year's single-day festival to include an entire week of events beginning Tuesday, June 19th with a Pride-themed film.  Events throughout the rest of the week will lead up to Open Door Pride Festival, with musicians, vendors, and more at Martin Park.  Co-organizer of the event, Cathy Grier says she hopes that the group can one day expand into a resource the community can use year-round.

Admission to all events for Pride Week is free.  For a full list of times and events, visit the Open Door Pride website at this link.

Healthy Ridge Farm grateful for good weather

By Eric Fischer

One local farmer says he is thankful for the good weather this spring.  Dan Barnard is the owner of Healthy Ridge Farm, a certified organic farm in Sturgeon Bay known for strawberries and many other produce which they sell throughout the area.  Barnard says that even with Winter Storm Evelyn temporarily delaying planting, that they are on track to start picking strawberries in the upcoming weeks.

Barnard also says the recent rains will help grow the big, juicy strawberries people have come to love from his farm.  You can sign up to receive weekly deliveries of produce from Healthy Ridge by going to their website at this link.

New Fire Station Museum "key" to preserving Kewaunee's history

By Paul Schmitt    

An oversized key made over thirty years ago, came in handy this week at a Kewaunee Council meeting.  Kewaunee Fire Department Captain Jim Kleiman presented Mayor Sandi Christman with the "key" he made in a high school shop class for the new Fire Station Museum.  The Kewaunee Fire Department Auxillary officially turned over ownership of the building to the city on Monday.  Kleiman explains why the key was destined to be used for the occasion.


The museum houses four pieces of historic equipment including an 1845 hand tub being the oldest fire apparatus on site.  Kleiman says all items can be viewed anytime outside with the building being well-lit during evening hours.  A planned celebration on July 1st with a Music in the Park program will be held at the Kewaunee Fire Station Museum.

Sen. Hansen says special election win gives Democrats momentum

By Paul Schmitt    

The significance of a Democrat winning the special election for the 1st District seat in the state Senate is being debated among political parties.  Caleb Frostman defeated Republican Andre Jacque by over 800 votes to become the district's first Democratic representative in over 40 years.  State Senator Dave Hansen from Green Bay says Frostman's win and success in Door County speak volumes about his party's momentum.


Republicans have pointed out that they have won two assembly races in special elections this year.  Frostman will need to win again in November's general election to retain the State Senate seat.  He is currently filling the vacancy left by Republican Frank Lasee who left a position in the Walker administration last December.

Steel Bridge Songfest rocks Sturgeon Bay this weekend

By Paul Schmitt    

The 12th annual Steel Bridge Songfest will be filling the downtown and business venues throughout Sturgeon Bay this weekend.  Songwriters are performing original music Friday evening that was created in the past week.  melanie jane and pat mAcdonald have been organizing the event that was spurred by his sister Christie Weber to save the historic bridge.  melanie jane says the festival will continue with outdoor concerts at the Holiday Motel on North First Avenue.


Musician Jackson Browne, who was at the inaugural event, will be on hand along with over 120 other musicians performing through Sunday.   You can find the Steel Bridge Songfest's listing of venues and musicians for this weekend with the link below.

Gregory takes over as Door County Dems' chairperson

By Tim Kowols       

The joy of organizing campaigns in Sturgeon Bay has led former city council member Will Gregory to the top post of the Door County Democratic Party. Gregory played major roles in helping three new members of the Sturgeon Bay Common Council take office and helped Caleb Frostman win the Senate seat in Tuesday's special election. He takes over in an interim role following the resignation of Kathleen Finnerty. Gregory says it is an exciting time to be a progressive in the area and hopes to branch his efforts out to the rest of the county.

The fall election will see several local and state positions up for grabs, including Door County Sheriff, First District Assembly, First District Senate, and governor.

Names released in Wednesday's Sevastopol traffic fatality

By Paul Schmitt    

The Door County Sheriff's Department has released the names from the traffic fatality that occurred in the Town of Sevastopol on Wednesday evening.  Fifty-seven-year-old Suzanne Lindsay of Gurnee, Illinois died as a result of the accident that took place at the intersection of Mathey Road and West Whitefish Bay Road.  The preliminary investigation suggests that the driver of an SUV, 17-year-old Maxwell Krohn of Sturgeon Bay, missed a stop sign thus causing Lindsay to hit his vehicle with her moped.  The accident happened about 8 pm on Wednesday evening and the crash is still under investigation by the Door County Sheriff's Office.

Knorn, Kewaunee County dairy judging team lead pack at Area Animal Science Day

By Tim Kowols       

Members from Kewaunee County 4-H Clubs brought home plenty of awards from the Area Animal Science Day held in Luxemburg Thursday. Over 300 youth converged on the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds as they displayed their animal judging skills. Mikayla Knorn captured the top senior individual honor for dairy judging while the county's team won first place overall. Kimberly Van Donsel took 3rd place overall in the individual livestock judging contest while the county's team took second place. Kewaunee County 4-H Educator Jill Jorgenson says the youth did a great job displaying their animal knowledge, especially since they are ones used to being judged.

Knorn, Van Donsel, and the two judging teams head to the Madison area later this summer for the state contests.


Pictures courtesy of Kewaunee County UW Extension

Kewaunee County sticks by prayer for meeting opening

By Tim Kowols       

While Brown County officials tussle with the idea of eliminating the opening prayer from its board meetings, Kewaunee County plans on keeping theirs around.  According to the USA Today, a 2014 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that government bodies can open meetings with a prayer as long as it does not endorse or renounce a particular religion. Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Robert Weidner says before the year 2000, a member of the clergy would begin their meetings with a prayer.  Board members have rotated through leading the meeting in a brief prayer since the practice was reinstituted by former chairperson Ron Heuer about four years ago. Weidner says he has heard no complaints about it since.

Supervisor John Mastalir is slated to give the opening prayer when the Kewaunee County Board meets again on June 19 beginning at 6 p.m. The board will look at accepting a land donation from Congregation of Holy Rosary and a resolution asking for strict adherence to environmental regulations related to the Back 40 Mine project in Michigan. An opening prayer is not officially listed on Door County Board Meeting agendas.

Door County battles rising Wisconsin suicide rate

By Tim Kowols       

Wisconsin's suicide rate has been steadily climbing the last two decades, which is something Door County has been turning its focus to in recent years. According to the USA Today Network- Wisconsin, the state's suicide rate has climbed 25 percent since 1999 to 16.5 per 100,000 persons. Door County's suicide rate is at 14.9 per 100,000 persons. Sue Powers from the Door County Mental Health Focus Group says even one suicide is one too many.

Powers recommends people contemplating suicide to take advantage of nationwide phone and text lines to talk with someone. Through Prevent Suicide Door County, Powers also advises small groups to go through Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) training to help identify the signs of someone going through a mental illness.

Algoma enforcing property ordinances

By Paul Schmitt    

The City of Algoma is moving from the spring clean-up mode to making sure residents are complying with property ordinances.  City Administrator Jeff Wiswell reminds landowners to take note of their yards and what may be on them.


Wiswell says the city is getting more aggressive with a code enforcement plan for buildings that may need repairs.  He notes the city council recently adopted an agreement with a management counseling services business to help people that are financially-challenged to make exterior improvements to their homes.

Ephraim Village Board adds to streetscape plans

By Paul Schmitt    

With the Village of Ephraim celebrating their big Fyr Bal festival this weekend, community officials are excited about new streetscape improvements that are moving ahead in the future.  The village had two public meetings the past two weeks.  The first was an informational meeting to inform the public of the plans and tax impact.  Administrator Brent Bristol says at the board meeting this week the Ephraim Village Board approved additional add-ons to the base streetscape plan.


Bristol says planning for phase two of the streetscape and improvements will be the next step He says the village has spent four years on various aspects of the project but expects to see some of the fruits of that labor by the fall of 2019.

Jacque believes November election results will be different

By Paul Schmitt    

With Democrat Caleb Frostman claiming the District 1 Senate seat in the special election, Republican Andre Jacque is making plans for a rematch in November.  Frostman defeated Jacque in a close race getting 51 percent to 49 percent of the votes.  Jacque says he was proud of his backer's efforts and thinks November's turnout could benefit him in a general election.


Jacque says he was disappointed with negative suppression calls made late in the campaign by his opponents that he says distorted his views on the environment and women's birth control.  In August, Jacque will need to win a primary race to guarantee a rematch.  Bill Nauta of Washington Island will be on the Republican ticket as well for that primary.

Crossroads at Big Creek buzzing with new community beehive

By Paul Schmitt    

The Door County Beekeepers Club (DCBC) installed a new community beehive and dedicated it on Thursday afternoon at Crossroads at Big Creek.  With help from the sales of the Southern Door student's book DC LAW (Door County Land Air Water), a honeybee flow hive, a stand, an observation bench, and pollinator plants were purchased.  At the dedication Thursday, Door County Beekeepers Club President Max Martin gave a presentation and shared the goal of the community hive.


The Door County Beekeepers Club meets on monthly basis at Crossroads at Big Creek.  You can find more information on the DCBC and classes offered with the link below.

Palm-Leis to miss the intimacy of Washington Island School

By Tim Kowols       

Mati Palm-Leis' last day as Washington Island School District Superintendent is just a few weeks away, but he is already planning on a return trip. Palm-Leis resigned from his post back in April due to family reasons. During his three year tenure, Palm-Leis has worked with staff members to focus on school climate, student involvement and curriculum to address its population's evolving needs. Palm-Leis says he will miss the commitment the community had to the school.

Palm-Leis' last day is June 30. According to the district's website, the Washington Island School Board met June 4 in closed session to discuss and take potential action regarding contracts for a special education director, a superintendent of business services, and a principal, roles Palm-Leis served during his tenure.

Algoma United Methodist Church hosting environmental film series

By Tim Kowols       

Citing their commitment to protecting the area's natural beauty, Algoma United Methodist Church is partnering with the Kewaunee County Dialogue Series to screen a film on conservation. "Searching for Sustainability" was produced by sustainable agriculture instructor Valerie Dantoin as she explores different land practices with area farmers and local conservationists. Lay-leader Jodi Parins says protection of its natural resources is a new part of the church's mission.

"Searching for Sustainability" will be shown at the church on June 18 beginning at 7 p.m. Parins believes this will mark the beginning of movie series at the church promoting conservation.

J-1 students get lay of Door County from Bridges

By Tim Kowols       

Over 400 people from around the world are expected to acclimate to life in the United States this summer thanks to Door County Bridges of Friends to International Students. Commonly known as Bridges, the program is cosponsored by over a half dozen Northern Door churches. Over the course of the tourist season, Bridges helps students arrange transportation, grasp the English language, participate in different events. Coordinator Dave Detert says it is important for the community to help the visiting students working in the county get used to American life.

Bridges is one of 27 community support groups nationwide serving J-1 students, with half sponsored by faith-based organizations and the other half ran by local chambers of commerce.

Gurnee woman dies in two-vehicle crash

By Tim Kowols       

A 57-year-old Gurnee woman is dead after striking a sports-utility vehicle on her moped in the town of Sevastopol Wednesday night. Just before 8 p.m., the Door County Sheriff's Department, Door County Emergency Services, Sturgeon Bay Fire Department, and Sevastopol EMTs reported to the intersection of Mathey Road and West Whitefish Bay Road in response to the crash. According to the release from the department, the preliminary investigation suggests the 17 year old boy driving the SUV missed a stop sign, causing the woman to hit the vehicle's passenger side. Names will not be released until family members are notified. The crash is still under investigation by the Door County Sheriff's Department.

B-U-G Fire stretches out in new station

By Tim Kowols       

The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department will have plenty of room to grow in the future at its new facility on County Highway C  in Brussels. The joint venture with Door County Emergency Services has benefited from local support as well as federal grants and surplus programs to help make the facility state of the art. The new building is much bigger than its old facility, featuring ample meeting and training space, a lounge, bedrooms, and large vehicle bays. BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says the new fire station was built with the future in mind.

The BUG Fire Department and Door County Emergency Services will host an open house at the new southern station on June 24 from noon-3 p.m.

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Denuclearization trumps captured ship in North Korea talks

By Tim Kowols       

Rep. Mike Gallagher would not mind seeing the USS Pueblo back in American waters, but believes it is not as important as the other things at stake in the United States' negotiations with North Korea. The Kewaunee-made ship was captured by North Korea in 1968 and is currently on display at the Pyongyang Victorious War Museum. Talks earlier this week between President Donald Trump and  Kim Jong-un renewed hope in vessel's return home. Rep. Gallagher says he would rather see North Korea commit to denuclearization and address human rights violations than return a symbol back to the U.S.

A skeptic of the agreement made by President Trump and Kim earlier this week, Rep. Gallagher believes Congress should be allowed to analyze and vote on any future deals made with North Korea.

Dairy farmers could feel impact from new tariffs

By Tim Kowols       

Retaliation for newly imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico, and European Union members could hurt Wisconsin dairy farmers. New tariffs on American-made cheese imposed by Mexico especially sticks out since the country is the United States' top export partner for dairy products according to Dairy Business Association Director of Government Affairs John Holevoet. He expects some price disruption depending on how broad and how long the tariffs are imposed.

Holevoet says the tariffs come at a bad time for farmers as milk and crop prices continue to be low. According to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, approximately 90 percent of the over 30 billion pounds of milk produced in the state is processed into cheese.

Newport's draw is its dark sky

By Tim Kowols       

Newport State Park in Ellison Bay continues to draw visitors from around the world thanks in part to its stargazing opportunities. It has been over a year since Newport State Park officially earned its International Dark Sky Park status, becoming the first in Wisconsin and the 48th in the country to have the distinction. Naturalist Beth Bartoli says it was a four year process to receive the designation and has been a bigger deal than she ever could have imagined.

For those looking to get the best view of the stars at Newport State Park, Bartoli recommends areas near parking lot 1 and 3.

Sturgeon Bay weighing options for dirt pile removal

By Paul Schmitt    

The City of Sturgeon Bay is still deciding how to move forward developer Bob Papke's claim of the west side dirt piles. According to City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout, Papke did not respond to an order that was sent by the common council in April to remove the dirt piles off the waterfront property. Van Lieshout says the letter sent last week by Papke's attorney Jonathon Smies does not have any impact on the lawsuit of over $500,000 against the city by Papke.


Van Lieshout says before charging Papke rent for storing the dirt piles on city property, he believes resolving the issue is the most important step to take now in removing the unsightly piles of dirt fill.

Elder abuse is more likely to be unreported

By Paul Schmitt    

One form of domestic abuse that is believed to be underreported, yet can be devastating to the victim, is elder abuse.  Executive Director of HELP of Door County Steve Vickman, notes that this Friday is National Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  He says that the elderly are more susceptible to abuse, especially from family members or caretakers.


Vickman says many cases can go unreported because of the feeling of embarrassment or not wanting to get family members in trouble.  Other cases can make it difficult to follow up due to the reduced capacities of victims suffering from dementia, according to Vickman.  He adds that the abuse many times can be financial, as well as emotional or physical.

Remodeling estimates expected to increase nearly a third this year

By Paul Schmitt    

The building industry continues to see growth locally as well as nationally.  According to recent National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) projections, homeowners who remodel in 2018 will spend nearly 30 percent more than the average remodeling project last year.  Charles Schmitt of CJS Design & General Contracting sees the positive trend locally as well.


NAHB projections showed average remodels in 2018 for Northeastern Wisconsin to cost between $5,500 and $7,000. Schmitt says the strong economy has helped keep his business steady and busy throughout last year.  He adds that the one challenge builders are facing in the area is finding quality workers in the tight job market to meet the demand.

WPS project upsetting Sturgeon Bay residents on 18th Avenue

By Paul Schmitt    

A potential Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) regulatory station being placed on Sturgeon Bay's east side near Highway 42/57 has some South 18th Avenue residents upset.  In April, WPS filed an application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin seeking authority to build a natural gas main and associated facility.  The route would start at the existing Sturgeon Bay Regulator Station on South Neenah Avenue and run over 18,000 feet to a location between Highway 42/57 and South 18th Avenue.  Tom and Susan Kurtz, who reside at 608 S. 18th Avenue, says five other homeowners on the street are upset at the placement for the regulator station.  Susan Kurtz says she and her neighbors are concerned about devaluing of their property and the noise that would be generated by the station.


Kurtz says there are more viable alternative sites available in the city.  The regulatory station would be built on an acre of land with a 100 by 100-foot building.  WPS has been in negotiations to purchase the property from Ken Chaudoir, according to Kurtz.  She says the value of her home and property would decrease by 30 percent, according to Forensics Appraisal Group from Neenah.  Kurtz says she is holding out hope for WPS to amend the application for a different location, pending approval by city officials.  You can find the notification details of the proposed Sturgeon Bay Natural Gas Expansion Project with the link below.

6690-CG-173 EA Notification

Frostman defeats Jacque in 1st District special election

By Paul Schmitt    

Caleb Frostman defeated Andre Jacque Tuesday in a close special election for the 1st Senate District seat.  Frostman, a Democrat who was the executive director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation, won by capturing 51 percent of the vote to Jacque's 49 percent.  He will now take office for the last seven months of Frank Lasee's term.  Lasee-R left the position last December to take a position in Governor Scott Walker's administration.

Frostman claimed Door County easily by a 4712 -2804 margin over Jacque who did take Kewaunee County in a close 1760-1664 count, unofficially.  Frostman says he was amazed at the margin of victory in Door County.


The 1st Senate District includes Door and Kewaunee counties and some parts of Brown, Calumet, Manitowoc, and Outagamie counties.

Both Frostman and Jacque will still be on the ballot for the August primaries for the November election along with Republican Bill Nauta of Washington Island.

Farmers looking for more rain as crops continue to progress

By Paul Schmitt    

The recent dry weather conditions have area farmers looking to Mother Nature for help in keeping their crops effectively growing.  Jim Wautier from Church Site Farms in  Brussels and a member of the Ag Advisory Board says his crops look good but additional rains are really needed.


According to Enviroweather, southern Door County has received just one-half inch of rain so far this month.  Typically the month of June has a total precipitation level of well over three inches of rain for the area.

Recycling can be a mixed bag of results

By Paul Schmitt    

Recycling is intended to make the environment better by eliminating waste, but some recycling businesses have to deal with the cost problem of transporting non-recyclable material to landfills. Steve Estes of Advanced Disposal says locally he sees a lot of misplaced items collected that are not suited for recycling.


Estes says some common items mistakably placed in recycling bins are used styrofoam cups, old pizza containers, and plastic bags.  He says all recycling that he collects in Door County is transported to Outagamie County for processing.

Father Daughter Ball this Saturday at Door County YMCA

By Paul Schmitt    

Young girls and their fathers in the area will be dressing up and celebrating a special night this weekend. The 9th annual Door County YMCA Father-Daughter Ball is this Saturday night. YMCA CEO and President Tom Beerntsen says the evening has become a big tradition over the years.


Beerntsen says all community members are welcome and should pre-register for the "Father-Daughter Ball" which will be held from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. at the Sturgeon Bay YMCA location. For details see below.


Poverty ticks upward in Wisconsin

By Tim Kowols       

While the unemployment rate in Wisconsin is reaching historic lows, poverty in the state continues to climb. According to the 10th annual Wisconsin Poverty Report, the state's rate climbed to 10.8 percent in 2016 from 9.7 percent the previous year.  Milwaukee has the largest impact on the numbers with a poverty rate of 17.5 percent in 2016, an increase of 1.2 percent over 2015. Wayne Kudick worked in Milwaukee as a social services staff member and is currently a part of an interfaith poverty study in northern Door County. He fears Wisconsin's middle class is disappearing as wages fail to keep up with the cost of living.

Door County and Kewaunee County's poverty rates come in at less than the state average according to the study. Kudick says the availability of affordable housing and the seasonality of Door County's economy are the two major focuses of his group's own look at poverty in the area. You can read UW-Madison's report on poverty online with this story.

Wilson embraces first Door County visit with wife

By Tim Kowols       

While his time on TV's "The Office" may give him name recognition, Rainn Wilson will allow participants a chance to see his depth as an actor and writer this week at the Door Kinetic Fine Arts Festival in Baileys Harbor. Wilson has ties to Wisconsin thanks to his wife Holiday Reinhorn and other family members, but his residency at Bjorklunden will mark the first time he has visited Door County. Festival artistic director Eric Simonson is a big reason Wilson is in the area as the two are working on a screenplay about the life of Stetson Kennedy, a Georgia author who is credited as being one of the biggest contributors to the demise of the Ku Klux Klan. Wilson says the experience will help get the screenplay ready for its potential future as a film.

After hosting a viewing and discussion of his film "Thom Paine" Monday night, Wilson will be hosting a book signing with Reinhorn Wednesday in Egg Harbor before reading his Stetson Kennedy screenplay later that evening in Baileys Harbor. You can find a complete schedule of the Door Kinetic Arts Festival here and our interview with Rainn Wilson below.

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Editorial--Wisconsin Government Infected With Political Equivalent of Emerald Ash Borer

Editorial Comment by Roger Utnehmer President and CEO

All three branches of Wisconsin government continue to be infected with the political equivalent of emerald ash borer. The Supreme Court, Legislature and governor's office are under the influence of far too much special interest money and the corruption it breeds.

Our state Supreme Court refuses to adopt rules that would require justices receiving significant sums of money from special interests to recuse themselves from voting. When cases impacting those donors come before them, justices who benefit from massive expenditures should not vote on the case. An IQ exceeding room temperature is not required to question if a justice benefiting from millions of dollars of campaign spending really will be objective when voting on matters that impact the donors. It appears that special interest groups have discovered it is easier to buy a Supreme Court than a legislature.

The Speaker of the Assembly, Robin Voss, took a four-day trip to London in 2017, accompanied by and paid for in part, by lobbyists for the pay-day loan industry. Voss claimed he did not discuss pay-day loans with industry lobbyists on the trip. A junket paid for by the insidious industry that preys on the poorest among us smells worse than the stale cigar smoke surrounding their secret deal-making meetings.

Robin Voss should avoid the appearance of conflict of interest and pay for his own British vacation. The former speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives resigned after accepting the interest-group-financed travel.

In Wisconsin elected officials pick their voters rather than voters picking their elected officials. Taking the power to determine legislative district boundaries away from partisan politicians will be one step of many to restore trust to a troubled government. Reapportionment reform is long overdue.

Governor Scott Walker holds an office once admired and emulated throughout America for progressive reform. Today it is referred to as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Koch Brothers and big money special interests. Massive campaign donations, travel at special interest-group expense by Robin Voss and big money to elect Supreme Court justices are nothing but sanitized corruption.

Call it what it is. The sanitized bribery of big money is infecting every branch of state government and threatening democracy more than emerald ash borer is threatening Wisconsin forests.

The day will come when Wisconsin voters remember our lost pride in Progressive tradition and clean government. The smell of corruption reeks from our state capitol. Bipartisan corruption, dependence on campaign cash, refusal of justices to recuse themselves from cases that involve their donors and a globe-trotting Assembly speaker who should pay for his own vacations will hopefully cause voters to finally get fed up and vote those abusers of public trust out of office.

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

Roger Utnehmer President and CEO

Ohio voter roll decision could have an effect on future elections nationwide

By Tim Kowols       

A U.S. Supreme Court decision to allow Ohio to remove voters from its rolls for not participating in past elections could have a ripple effect across the country including Wisconsin. In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Ohio did not violate the National Voter Registration Act and could continue its practice of purging voters who had not participated in elections for two years and did not respond to correspondence from the state. According to NBC News, proponents believe voter purges helps curtail potential fraud while opponents say it disproportionally affects minority and low-income groups. Jay Heck from Common Cause Wisconsin says no such system exists in the state yet when it comes to voting frequency, but believes the "use or lose it" mentality is almost undemocratic.

Pennsylvania, Georgia, Oregon, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Montana also have similar rules. The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to officially weigh in on Wisconsin's case regarding redistricting with just a couple weeks remaining in its term.

Editorial Comment: Wisconsin Government Infected With Political Equivalent of Emerald Ash Borer

By Roger Utnehmer   

All three branches of Wisconsin government continue to be infected with the political equivalent of the emerald ash borer. The Supreme Court, the Legislature and the Governor's office are under the influence of far too much special interest money and the corruption it breeds.

Our state Supreme Court refuses to adopt rules that would require justices receiving significant sums of money from special interests to recuse themselves from voting. When cases impacting those donors come before them, justices who benefit from massive expenditures should not vote on the case. An IQ exceeding room temperature is not required to question if a justice benefiting from millions of dollars of campaign spending really will be objective when voting on matters that impact the donors. It appears that special interest groups have discovered it is easier to buy a Supreme Court than a legislature.

The Speaker of the Assembly, Robin Vos, took a four-day trip to London in 2017, accompanied by and paid for in part, by lobbyists for the pay-day loan industry. Vos claimed he did not discuss pay-day loans with industry lobbyists on the trip. A junket paid for by the insidious industry that preys on the poorest among us smells worse than the stale cigar smoke surrounding their secret deal-making meetings.

Robin Vos should avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest and pay for his own British vacation. The former speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives resigned after accepting the interest-group-financed travel.

In Wisconsin, elected officials pick their voters rather than voters picking their elected officials. Taking the power to determine legislative district boundaries away from partisan politicians will be one step of many to restore trust to a troubled government. Reapportionment reform is long overdue.

Governor Scott Walker holds an office once admired and emulated throughout America for progressive reform. Today it is referred to as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Koch Brothers and big money special interests. Massive campaign donations, travel at a special interest-group expense by Robin Vos, and big money to elect Supreme Court justices are nothing but sanitized corruption.

Call it what it is. The sanitized bribery of big money is infecting every branch of state government and threatening democracy more than the emerald ash borer is threatening Wisconsin forests.

The day will come when Wisconsin voters remember our lost pride in Progressive tradition and clean government. The smell of corruption reeks from our state capitol. Bipartisan corruption, dependence on campaign cash, refusal of justices to recuse themselves from cases that involve their donors and a globe-trotting Assembly speaker who should pay for his own vacations will hopefully cause voters to finally get fed up and vote those abusers of public trust out of office.

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

Kewaunee looks to take the future by storm through planning sessions

By Tim Kowols       

With all school improvement projects in the rearview mirror, Kewaunee School District will look to its future with a series of planning session over the next week.  Tagged with the theme of "Working together to take our future by Storm," the summit will use stakeholder input to help form the district's mission and vision statements as well as its strategic plan. Superintendent Karen Treml says having the projects from 2015 referendum finished allows the district to focus on how to put those improvements into their best use.

The planning summit meetings will take place at Kewaunee Grade School Tuesday and Wednesday night beginning at 5:30 p.m. Treml hopes to have the new strategic plan documented by the beginning of the school year.

Granary building clean up continues

By Paul Schmitt    

Clean up inside the Teweles and Brandeis granary is continuing as the Teweles family members plan on visiting Sturgeon Bay at the end of the month.  The historic building was moved to the east side waterfront on South 1st Avenue in Sturgeon Bay back in March.  Sturgeon Bay Historical Society President Christie Weber explains the work currently being done.


Weber says the inside walls of the 117-year-old structure will be pressure-washed and the roof will encapsulate the building so birds cannot enter it.  Ninety-one-year-old Nicole Teweles and her daughter Tracy will be making a special presentation sharing the history of the granary in Sturgeon Bay on Wednesday, June 27.

Council member asking for new Community Development Authority

By Paul Schmitt    

The Sturgeon Bay City Council may have a new authority in the future that would dissolve the current Waterfront Redevelopment Authority (WRA).  District 2 council member David Hayes says a Community Development Authority (CDA) would consolidate the skills found in multiple authorities and put them under one umbrella.  He says many other cities in Wisconsin including New Berlin are utilizing a CDA while eliminating other authorities.


The Sturgeon Bay Common Council asked for a legal interpretation of having a CDA while dissolving other authorities before moving forward on any action.  According to Hayes, any activities performed by a previous authority would be assumed by the CDA.  Hayes says he envisions fresh faces on a Community Development Authority that would include two council members, director of finances, City manager, and three others that would be citizen appointments.  The next Sturgeon Bay City Council Meeting is June 19.

Drivers advised to watch out for deer

By Paul Schmitt    

Deer activity usually spikes in June and safety officials are warning motorists to be extra alert.  According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, drivers are more likely to be injured in a deer-vehicle crash in June even though accidents involving deer peak in the fall.  Door County Sheriff Steve Delarwelle offers some advice when traveling on the roadways, especially areas that are wooded.


Last year nine people in Wisconsin were killed in deer-related crashes with six of those being motorcyclists.  You can find a list of other tips to avoid hitting deer while driving below.

WisDOT offers the following tips to avoid deer crashes and motorist injuries:

  • Deer can be spotted any time of day, but are most active in early morning and evening hours.


  • Slow down, eliminate distractions, and make sure all vehicle occupants are buckled up.


  • If you see a deer, slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten it away.


  • If a collision with a deer is unavoidable:


    • Brake firmly. Stay in your lane.


    • Avoid sudden swerving which can cause you to lose control of your vehicle and result in a more serious crash.


    • The one exception is if you are operating a motorcycle, in which case you should slow down, brake firmly and swerve if necessary to avoid hitting the deer. Try to stay within your lane if possible to avoid hitting other objects.


  • If you do hit a deer:


    • Get your vehicle safely off the road if possible and call law enforcement. Be prepared to describe your specific location.


    • Generally, it's safest to stay buckled-up inside your vehicle. Walking along a highway is always dangerous as you could be struck by another vehicle.


    • Don't attempt to move an injured deer.

Ephraim celebrating Fyr Bal festival Saturday

By Paul Schmitt    

The tradition of the Fyr Bal festival continues this Saturday in Ephraim.  The 54th annual event will blend a few new features with the old Scandinavian customs.  The huge bonfire Saturday night to symbolically burn the "winter witch" will be especially appreciated this year, according to Ephraim Business Council Tourism Administrator Lane Sauve.  She highlights some of the Fyr Bal happenings.


The Fyr Bal will come to a climatic ending with fireworks after the 54th chieftain will be announced and the ceremonial bonfire is lit on the Ephraim beach.  You can find the complete schedule for the Fyr Bal with the link below.

(photo compliments of

Summertime health concerns include meningitis for children

By Paul Schmitt    


With all area schools now let out for the summer, Kewaunee County Health Services is reminding parents and children about being vigilant in the prevention the spreading germs leading to bacterial infections.  The sharing of items leading to contacting the mouth can cause the spread of serious sicknesses including meningitis.  Kewaunee County Public Health Director Cindy Kinnard says parents can bring their children in for a booster shot as a preventive measure.


Meningitis is a severe bacterial infection of the bloodstream that can also affect the lining cover of the brain and spinal cord.  According to national health statistics, every year in the United States about 2500 people are infected with 300 dying from the disease.  You can find tips on how to prevent the spread of meningitis with this story online.

Health Department tips:

How to prevent the spread of meningitis

Do NOT share anything that comes in

contact with the mouth including:

Water bottles

Mouth guards

Face masks


Drinking glasses

Eating utensils



Smoking materials


Food or drink from a common

source such as a punch bowl


Do NOT cough or sneeze into another

person's face. Cough or sneeze into your

sleeve or a tissue.

Financial literacy starts at young age

By Tim Kowols       

You do not have to have a mortgage or even student loans to start learning how you can take care of your future finances. According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, one in five teenage students in the United States lack basic financial literacy skills and were ranked in the middle of the pack among kids from 14 other countries when it came to understanding basic concepts and skills. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors recommends communicating with your kids about money so they catch on by observing.

Pustaver says paying for items with cash, reading out loud to your kids, and helping set small goals are also great ways to promote financial literacy at a young age. You can listen to the entire Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver online with this story.


Gibraltar Historical Association to attend historic farm for June talk

By Eric Fischer


You can step back in time and visit a farm in Fish Creek that has roots to one of the community's founders.  The Gibraltar Historical Association has announced its first talk of 2018, the Lautenbach farm.  The family will present the story of how their farm stand evolved into one of the premier orchards in Door County.  Laurie Buske, director of the Gibraltar Historical Association says this farm can be traced to Alexander Noble who began it as a pea farm.

The talk is scheduled for Thursday, June 21st at 7 pm and is the first of several talks throughout the summer.  It is free to attend and is open to anyone who has stories, artifacts, and pictures that they would like to share, or who want to learn local history.

Algoma hosting Blessing of the Fleet festival

By Eric Fischer


For the first time ever, the city of Algoma will hold a Blessing of the Fleet event.  The party will happen June 22nd, the eve of the two year anniversary of the Algoma Marina fire at Sunrise Cove Marina.  Among the festivities will be a trout boil, live music and the ceremony itself which will start at 7 pm.  Mayor Wayne Schmidt will begin with a proclamation of safety followed by Representative Joel Kitchens presenting an Assembly Citation for the event, the blessing of the fleet, and finally a boat parade.  Schmidt says the ceremony is very fitting for the community.

Schmidt encourages all to practice safe boating habits and is proud of how the community banded together during the fire.  The US Coast Guard will be on hand to conduct boat safety checks as well.

Voters head to the polls for special election Tuesday

By Tim Kowols       

Residents in Wisconsin State Senate District 1 will be able to fill its vacant seat in the Legislature Tuesday when Rep. Andre Jacque faces former Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Caleb Frostman in the special election. The winner of Tuesday's election will finish the term for Frank Lasee who left the post in December, although the Legislature is not due back to Madison until after ballots are cast again in November. Door County Clerk Jill Lau says absentee votes have been coming back at a higher rate than the May Primary which had a turnout of just nine percent.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Regardless of who wins, Frostman and Jacque will be on the ballot for the fall primary election in August.

Catholic Media Conference coming to greater Green Bay area

By Eric Fischer



Catholics from across the country will be in the area this week visiting the only church-approved Marian apparition site in the United States.   The Catholic Media Conference held June 12th-15th will be held in the greater Green Bay area for the first time ever and is set to visit the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help on Wednesday to experience the site where Adele Brise claims to have seen Mary over 150 years ago.  Corrie Campbell, Communications Director and Events Coordinator for the Shrine, says they are blessed to share their story on a national level.

Guests with the conference will participate in the Rosary Walk that commemorates the first act of grace on the church, the church being spared by the flames of a wildfire during the Peshtigo and Chicago Fires in 1871.  The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help was approved as a Marian site in 2010 by Bishop Dave Ricken and designated as a National Shrine in 2016.

Public Art Initiative begins 2018 campaign

By Eric Fischer


The second year of the Public Art Initiative will bring more statues to the Town of Egg Harbor. Last summer the town debuted four statues as part of the "Natural Wonders" collection to increase the public art experience in the area. The goal continues this summer as Egg Harbor Administrator Ryan Heise says this year there are even more statues around town.

Heise adds that he is proud to see the town embracing a "creative economy" that draws people to Egg Harbor from across the state. The goal of the Public Art Initiative is to establish Egg Harbor as an art destination community.

Student musicians returning to Birch Creek for summer

By Eric Fischer


Some of the top professional musicians from around the country will descend on Door County next weekend in preparation for the Birch Creek Music Academy.  The Birch Creek Music Performance Center has hosted students ages 13-19 since 1976 and offers four, two-week camps where students receive intense mentoring to help further their music education and serve as a test to see if they are ready for a career in music.  Mona Christensen, Executive Director for Birch Creek says it's not the traditional summer music camp.

The first concert of the season will be performed on Thursday, June 21st beginning at 7 pm.  The summer will start with the percussion and steel band group, followed by the symphony, and then the two big band jazz groups to finish the summer.  For tickets visit the Birch Creek Music Academy website.

Crossroads at Big Creek gets help from Leadership Door County

By Eric Fischer


Crossroads at Big Creek will be seeing one of their dream projects come true, thanks to some help from Leadership Door County.  Crossroads will be able to build a kayak landing and educational platform after being selected as the 28th "Class Project" by the group.  Coggin Heeringa, executive director of Crossroads at Big Creek says they have the perfect spot for a kayak landing but wouldn't be able to build it without the help from Leadership Door County.

This isn't the first time Leadership Door County has selected a Crossroads project, as the 2011-2012 class project was to build a human sundial at the Crossroads astronomy campus.  They also held a fundraising event in 2004 at Crossroads to raise money so non-profits could use Crossroads facilities for free.

Altrusa keeps volunteer pipeline flowing

By Tim Kowols       


While other volunteer-based organizations are seeing their memberships drop as people get older, Altrusa of Door County has been bucking the trend. Member Nancy Kexel-Calabresa has been a member for over 20 years and continues to see younger members join. She believes it is the type of projects it participates in, like their back to school fair, and their impact on children's lives that is a major draw for women of all ages.

Altrusa of Door County also hosts a number of other family-friendly projects, including distributing books to newborns and Door County Habitat for Humanity partner families, transcribing children's literature into braille, and awarding a number of scholarships.

Midsummer's Music ready for Opening Night Gala

By Eric Fischer


Midsummer's Music is gearing up for the summer concert series following a record-breaking kickoff event.  May 26th was the kickoff to the season with the Pro Arte Quartet performing in the Kress Pavilion to a crowd that broke the record for a May event.  The Opening Night Gala and debut of the Disparate Spirits set is scheduled for Friday, June 15th.  Allyson Fleck, the executive director for Midsummer's Music, says she always looks forward to starting the season.

The Opening Night Gala will be at Birch Creek and starts at 7 pm.  Tickets are available for $60 on the Midsummer's Music website.

Door County YMCA offering Adventure Squad program

By Eric Fischer


The Door County YMCA is offering adults a chance to get out of their comfort zones with a summer camp experience.  The program is called Adventure Squad and it is offering people ages 50 and up a chance to go zip lining, kayaking, and paddleboarding throughout the summer.  Megan Schnieder, the Adult and Health and Wellness Director says this allows people to check things off their bucket list with people their own age.

The first program is Monday, June 25th with ziplining at Rowley's Bay Resort, followed by the kayaking day July 24th, and wrapping up with paddleboarding on August 21st. Each day costs $35 with limited space still available.

Flynn calls on experience to separate himself from other Democrat candidates

By Eric Fischer


One of the ten Democrat candidates for Governor was in Door County on Saturday morning, meeting with voters to separate himself from the rest of the field.  Matt Flynn, a retired lawyer from Milwaukee who had also served as the Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman and decided to run due to his concerns about the direction Wisconsin is headed.  Flynn says his experience sets him apart from the other candidates.

Flynn plans to undo many of Governor Scott Walker's policies such as eliminating Right to Work, Act 10, and negate the Foxconn contract.  Should he be elected Flynn would also look to increase funding in the education system, raise the minimum wage, legalize cannabis, and put a higher emphasis on the environment.

Former Kewaunee County Fairest prepares for busy summer ahead

By Tim Kowols       


The reigning Wisconsin Fairest of the Fair is heading into crunch time as dairy breakfasts, county fairs, and the Wisconsin State Fair dots her calendar. Former Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair Isabella Haen plans on attending over 40 county fairs alone this summer after earning the statewide distinction in January. Haen says it is great to be able to represent Kewaunee County as she crisscrosses the state.

Haen says she is still getting used to all the travel involved with her role and planning the perfect routes. She will attend 28 county fairs in July alone before taking up residency at the Wisconsin State Fair in August.

Goats take over Sister Bay for annual parade

By Eric Fischer



Families from across Door County flocked to Sister Bay on Saturday for the sixth annual Roofing of the Goats and Goat Parade.  While this year may only be the sixth festival, goats have been a featured part of Al Johnson's Restaurant since 1973.  Door County Tourism Ambassador, Kathy Wagner says this year's parade tripled the size of last year's and it was a great day for families to come to Door County.

Wagner adds that while the parade may be aimed towards kids, the goats attract people from all over the world.  Also in Sister Bay this weekend were the Lighthouse Tours with several different routes visitors could have explored.

Sturgeon Bay Schools Superintendent places focus on people during past school year

By Tim Kowols       

Ever since he started his career in education, Sturgeon Bay School District Superintendent Dan Tjernagel reflects on the past year the same way: by looking at the people that made it special. During the course of the school year, the district introduced a new Montessori program at Sunset Elementary while navigating through a school walkout in January and a county crippling snowstorm in April. Tjernagel says he hopes to continue the forward-thinking progress they have made over the last decade.

Sturgeon Bay School District recently hired a community engagement coordinator to reach out into the area to form partnerships for future projects. School is back in session on September 4.

Don't over look your paddle--Kayak Fishing Series II

By Bill Schultz--Guest Correspondent   


I've touched on this in the past, but after the kayak itself, the next big question relates to your paddle.  For years I have recommended buying the lightest, most expensive paddle you can afford.  Andrew Stern, Marketing Director for Bending Branches and Aqua-Bound Paddles, tells me, "Lighter paddles are less fatiguing, meaning you can enjoy your time on the water longer and feel less sore at the end of a day. The formula is one-ounce savings in a kayak paddle equates to 100 lbs. per hour you don't have to pull around. So, a 3-ounce lighter paddle saves you 300 pounds per hour".

From my own experience, I use the 30-ounce weight as my limit and am using paddles in the 24 to 27-ounce range. For those of you using a sit-in kayak a traditional sized blade is fine, but, for the wider, heavier fishing sit-on-tops, look to getting a paddle with an oversized blade to push your kayak even better.  Two paddles that I've recommended over the years for kayak fishing are the Aqua-Bound Manta Ray and Manta Ray Hybrid at $189 and $139 respectively with the weight just under and just over 30-ounces. Paddle length is also very important and is based on your height and the width of your kayak. Most outfitters can help.

If you have any questions, please email me at


Host family ready to shine for 150th anniversary at Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm

By Tim Kowols       

The Knorn Family is ready for its close-up again as it prepares to host the Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm next Sunday in Casco. Junion Homestead Farm last hosted the annual event in 1998 and has since seen its herd grow from around 30 cows to over 200. Their unique compost bedded barns have drawn farmers from across the country and around the world to the farm as they learn how the technique provides more comfort for the cow and an alternative for manure management. Amanda Dolphin works on the farm with the rest of her family and says she is excited to show off the operation to the community.

Over 4,500 people are expected to attend this year's Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm, which will take place on Father's Day beginning at 7 a.m. with a non-denominational mass before food service begins at 8 a.m.

Workshop days at The Clearing begin June 11th

By Eric Fischer


Students can get a sample of The Clearing Folk School this summer with the return of the workshop program this week.  Workshop classes are programs that are 1-3 days as an alternative to the weeklong classes offered for those who want to sample a class or can't attend the full week program.  Michael Schneider, the executive director of The Clearing says there is a wide variety of classes people can take.

The first workshop classes begin June 11th and are filling up fast.  For a full list of available classes and to register, visit The Clearing Folk School's website at this link.

Late spring pushes lawn care treatment schedule back for summer

By Paul Schmitt    

With the later than normal start to summer, area lawn care businesses have had to make adjustments to their treatment systems.  Typically initial lawn treatments begin in late April or early May.  This year's late snow storm in April and cooler spring had lawn care experts scrambling to try to stay on schedule.  Trevor Marin of Lawn & Landscape Specialists explains what his crews did to catch up.


Marin says the second application will be later than the usual end of May, but all four treatments will eventually be executed.  Dandelions came fast and furious this spring, according to Marin.  He says the good news is that the reported lawn damage by grubs this spring was considerably less than the past few years.  You can find summer lawn care tips with this story below.

Sturgeon Bay library debuts unique outreach strategy

By Eric Fischer


The Sturgeon Bay branch of the Door County Library system is starting a new campaign to engage the public this summer.  Every Saturday in the month of June, the library will be hosting book sales, beginning at 9 am and lasting until noon.  Aside from the popular book sales, Youth Services Librarian Beth Lokken, says the library will also be active during Sturgeon Bay's farmer's markets this summer.

Both ideas are part of the Door County Library's summer reading program, meant to spark reading for children and adults.  The Ephraim branch of the library system will also be hosting its Annual Book and Bake Sale on Saturday, June 16th.

Luxemburg-Casco School District to involve community in facilities overhaul

By Tim Kowols       

With school out of session, Luxemburg-Casco School District is turning its attention to its planned referendum projects. Residents approved the two question, $28 million referendum in April, paving the way for a new middle school addition, gym, and other improvements. Now the district is working on setting up committees and future community meetings to allow opportunities for residents to weigh in before final plans are submitted to the school board for approval. Superintendent Glenn Schlender says this all started by asking the community what needed to change in 2015.

Schlender urges residents to keep an eye on their mailboxes and the district web site for more details on the upcoming meetings in the coming weeks.

Door County YMCA raises over $500,000 in annual campaign

By Paul Schmitt    

The Door County YMCA wrapped up their annual campaign in May by exceeding their goal of one-half million dollars.  CEO and President Tom Beerntsen says the response again this year was great and he is very thankful for the incredible community support.


The Door County YMCA will start their new fiscal year off with two upcoming events that benefit the annual campaign.  "Broadway on the Bay" at the new Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor will be held on July 12 and feature Abby Mueller who portrayed Carole King on Broadway.  The Door County YMCA annual golf outing is set for July 30 at Horseshoe Bay Golf Club.

Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble to perform in Ellison Bay

By Paul Schmitt    

Shepard of the Bay Lutheran Church in Ellison Bay will play host to a unique musical concert in June.  The Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble, which includes 16 ringers and 73 different handbells and hand chimes, will showcase their talents on Friday, June 22 at the church.  Concert series chair Greg Beem of Shepard of the Bay Lutheran Church says the audience will be amazed at the precision of the musical performers.


The Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble is under the direction of Dr. John Behnke who conducted a hymn festival last fall at the church.  The ensemble has performed all around the Midwest over the past 15 years.  The concert is free to the public at will begin at 7 pm on Friday, June 22.

Kewaunee FFA Alumni Truck and Tractor Pull scheduled for June 22

By Paul Schmitt    

The pride of area farm equipment will be featured and revving its power in a couple weeks in Kewaunee County. The Kewaunee Future Farmers of America Association (FFA) Alumni's 16th annual Truck and Tractor Pull is Friday, June 22 at the Ag Heritage Center south of Kewaunee.  Kewaunee FFA Alumni representative Scott Kieckbusch says their will be a powerful lineup of agricultural vehicles on display.


The Truck and Tractor Pull originally started using a farmer's field south of the Ag Heritage Center, according to Kieckbusch.  He says the event, which starts at 6 pm on June 22, has drawn over 1,000 visitors and participants in the past.  Proceeds from the Truck and Tractor Pull goes towards funding FFA trips and scholarships to Kewaunee High School students in which nine were issued this last year.

Door County Library joins in water celebration

By Tim Kowols       

Following the lead of the Door County Community Foundation's Celebrate Water initiative, the Door County Library will follow suit with its own slate of related activities. Next year's Door County Reads selections will be water-related, featuring a fiction title to be named at a later date and Dan Egan's "The Death and Life of the Great Lakes." Library branches will also host a number of presentations over the course of the year taking deeper dives into the important resource with help from librarians from the UW-Madison Wisconsin Water Library. Morgan Mann from the Door County Library says tying its programming in with Celebrate Water Door County is a great opportunity.

Anne Moser from the UW-Madison Wisconsin Water Library will host 10 presentations at seven different branches on a variety of different topics beginning June 12. You can see a full list of upcoming events at the Door County Library online with this story.

Two world premieres highlight Northern Sky summer season

By Tim Kowols       

Audiences will get to enjoy an old favorite and two new musicals when Northern Sky Theater kicks off its summer season on Wednesday. Debuting at its outdoor amphitheater inside Peninsula State Park are Boxcar and Dairy Heirs. Boxcar takes audiences back to the 1930s to explore a friendship between a boy and two hobos while Dairy Heirs gives a musical take on the family farm. Artistic Director Jeffrey Herbst says a new spin on the popular Lumberjacks in Love will get the audience more involved.

Boxcar makes its season debut on June 13 while audiences will have to wait until June 18 for their first glance of Dairy Heirs. You can find more information on the summer season online with this story and on June 16 when Herbst and others join for "Ask the Expert" at 7:30 a.m. on 96.7 WBDK.

VA to be held more accountable under Senator Baldwin's "Jason's Law"

By Tim Kowols       

The Department of Veterans Affairs will get the money it needs to improve its opioid prescribing practices after Senator Tammy Baldwin's Senate Appropriations Committee approved its funding on Thursday. Signed into law in 2016, the bipartisan committee agreed to fully fund the Jason Simcakoski Memorial and Promise Act at a cost of $52 million as a part of the 2019 Fiscal Year Military Construction and VA Appropriations Bill. Senator Baldwin says "Jason's Law" is working to the hold the VA more accountable and provides safer care for veterans.

According to Stars and Stripes, the VA has cut its opioid prescription rate by 41 percent since its safety initiative was created in 2012.

Southern Door School District partners with online academy

By Tim Kowols       

Southern Door School District hopes its partnership with Rural Virtual Academy will be able to help provide a valuable resource for its area children and staff members. Announced earlier this week, Rural Virtual Academy will allow students both enrolled in the district and homeschool the opportunity to take online courses on a full-time or part-time basis. Superintendent Patti Vickman says it is an opportunity to reach out to the limited number of families in the district that are homeschooled and give other students a chance to get familiar with online learning.

Southern Door becomes one of 20 other rural schools to join the online academy's consortium. To learn more about Southern Door's partnership with the Rural Virtual Academy, the district will host an informational open house on June 12 from 4-6 p.m. inside the high school library.

Altrusa keeps volunteer pipeline flowing

By Tim Kowols       

While other volunteer-based organizations are seeing their memberships drop as people get older, Altrusa of Door County has been bucking the trend. Member Nancy Kexel-Calabresa has been a member for over 20 years and continues to see younger members join. She believes it is the type of projects it participates in, like their back to school fair, and their impact on children's lives that is a major draw for women of all ages.

Altrusa of Door County also hosts a number of other family-friendly projects, including distributing books to newborns and Door County Habitat for Humanity partner families, transcribing children's literature into braille, and awarding a number of scholarships.

Kitchens, Thelen to meet in Assembly District 1 election

By Tim Kowols       

Barring any write-in campaigns, Rep. Joel Kitchens will look to retain his seat in the Wisconsin Assembly against Baileys Harbor Town Board member Roberta Thelen. The Sturgeon Bay Republican is proud of the strides he has helped make during his two previous terms, especially being able to bring conservationists and farmers together on the district's groundwater concerns. Rep. Kitchens says he is running again because there is certainly more work to be done.



Thelen was a last minute entry to the race, registering as an independent. She has been a member of the Baileys Harbor Town Board for nine years in addition to being a part of other local organizations. Thelen says she wants to make sure people understand how important it is to vote.



Assembly District 1 covers Door, Kewaunee, and parts of Brown counties. The general election is November 6.

Door County Habitat for Humanity hopes to attract younger volunteers

By Tim Kowols       

When Door County Habitat for Humanity gets underway in the coming weeks, it hopes plenty of new faces are able to join them in the process. Construction supervisor Chuck Stone praises the enthusiasm and the skills his current volunteers possess but estimates the average age of his crew is routinely around 70 years old. Stone says a willingness to work is the skill set they need.

Build days are usually Tuesdays and Thursdays until the home is completed, but executive director David Van Dyke said last week at the groundbreaking ceremony that additional days may need to be added due to the project's late start. You can contact Door County Habitat for Humanity to learn more about available volunteer opportunities.

Heritage Alliance of Door County looks to spread the love of history

By Tim Kowols       

For 20 years, the Heritage Alliance of Door County has collaborated with area historical societies to promote their history to the community.  With the county's ten historical societies and museums working together, the Heritage Alliance of Door County helps share resources, knowledge, and skills to provide better programming and events. Ephraim Historical Foundation Executive Director Dr. Thea Thompson says working together is to the benefit of everyone.



The Heritage Alliance of Door County prints out brochures and provides more information on upcoming history events in the area on its Facebook page.

Pagel remembered at Kewaunee County's Dairy Month Kickoff Breakfast

By Tim Kowols       

The Kewaunee County Dairy Promotion Committee kicked off its June Dairy Month festivities by remembering one of its greatest supporters. John T. Pagel was posthumously honored with the organization's Volunteer Recognition and Appreciation Award in front of a full room at the Rendezvous of Luxemburg for the Kewaunee County Dairy Promotion Committee's June Dairy Month Kickoff Breakfast. Pagel was recognized for his efforts promoting the dairy industry, including his farm's three stints as Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm hosts. His daughter, Jamie Witcpalek, says she and her three brothers have large shoes to fill as the new owners of Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy.



The annual event also included a keynote address by Wisconsin Fairest of the Fair Isabella Haen and an introduction of the Knorn family as this year's Breakfast on the Farm hosts. The Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm will take place at the Junion Homestead Farm on June 17.

Women in Preservation helping to restore Plum Island

By Paul Schmitt    

A group of women from all around Wisconsin comes together every summer to beautify a tiny island off Door County.  The Women in Preservation has started projects the past couple years to make Plum Island more inviting to visitors while enhancing the wildlife and environment around the uninhabited island that is part of the Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge.  Mary Beth Volmer of Menominee Falls, who founded the group as an offshoot of the Friends for Plum & Pilot Island, says they have been working on two historic buildings on the island most recently.


The dock on Plum Island was restored last year to enable the public to access the island for the first time.   Over the last few summers, volunteers from the Women in Preservation have made wood benches, bat boxes, a Green Bay Wildlife Refuge sign, and most recently planted 1700 pollinator plants for migratory birds.  The plants were started by state prisoners at the Waupun Correctional Institute.

Book sale planned at Door County Library next three Saturdays

By Paul Schmitt    

The Friends of the Door County Library is giving area book readers every opportunity in June to add to their personal library.  For the next four Saturdays, a book sale at the Sturgeon Bay Library featuring thousands of titles will be offered in the basement from 9 am until noon.  Adele Douglas from the Friends of the Door County Library shares what will be available on Saturday.


All proceeds from the Friends of the Door County Library's book sale will be used to create programs and services for adults and children.  You can find more information on becoming a member of the Friends of the Door County Library with this story online.


Adele Douglas previewing book sales.

Historic Fish Creek beach house finds a new home in Sturgeon Bay

By Paul Schmitt    

A historic cottage and beach house that was located on the water in Fish Creek is now in Sturgeon Bay. After a four-hour and 22-mile trek on Highway 42 early Thursday morning, the house is now resting at the corner of 15th Avenue and Texas Street.  Historic preservationist Christie Weber bought the building from the town of Gibraltar for $400 after the municipality had determined that the building needed to be torn down.  She explains why she moved the old original tea house to Sturgeon Bay.


The cost of moving the house, that also required a Door County Sheriff patrol escort, was about $22,000. Weber plans are to have the building put over the foundation walls sometime in the next week and the separate garage and addition parts eventually making their way down from Fish Creek.  She expressed thanks for the great law enforcement cooperation during the move and asks for patience from the new neighbors as the building is renovated in its new location.


(photo contributed by Christie Weber)

Music in the Park starts tonight (Thursday) in Luxemburg

By Paul Schmitt    

Live music will be heard throughout Fireman's Park in Luxemburg Thursday evenings again this summer.  Every Thursday bands ranging from polka to classic rock music will be featured.  Volunteer Dan Porath says the evenings are a great way for the community to get together.


Music in the Park is every Thursday from 6 pm to 8 pm and is subject to change.  Concert-goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and refreshments.  You can find a complete schedule of bands that will perform through August 23 with this story online.

Sturgeon Bay City Council adds new wrinkle to getting items on agenda

By Paul Schmitt    

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council is starting a new process that will allow council members to get more issues facing their constituents on the list of agenda items covered at the general council meetings.  Council members can still request a committee to take up an item they want to be discussed that could ultimately be proposed to the council.    District 7 representative Laurel Hauser explains the new way she and other council members can get topics on the agenda.


That item will appear then on the next meeting's agenda.  Hauser says it will be done in a manner that allows enough advance notice to comply with the open meeting laws.  The next Sturgeon Bay City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 19.

Open Door Pride Fest expanding to weeklong celebration

By Paul Schmitt    

June is National Pride Month as the LGBTQ community in Door County is planning a weeklong celebration.  Open Door Pride Festival will be held on Saturday, June 23 at Martin Park from 11 am to 5 pm but many events will be held leading up to the fest.  Co-organizer Brit Gartner says the festival and week will include more than great music.


Mayor Thad Birmingham has proclaimed June 18-24 as Open Door Pride Week in Sturgeon Bay.  Open Door Pride's mission is to affirm the community's diversity through inclusion for all.  Over 170 people attended last year's Open Door Pride Festival.



The Help of Door County gets support for Transitional Living Program

By Paul Schmitt    

With the generosity of grants coming from the Door County Community Foundation, Help of Door County received much-needed funds that assist survivors of domestic abuse with rental payments while teaching self-sufficiency skills.  Help of Door County Executive Director Steve Vickman explains how the Transitional Living Program works.


The $3,000 Sustainability Grant came from the Barbara and James Hansen Fund, the Bev and Tom Lisle Fund, the Sharon and Tom Lutsey Fund and the Women's Fund of Door County.  Help of Door County has a mission to eliminate domestic abuse through prevention and intervention services and to advocate for social change.

Kewaunee County Food Pantry hoping for more donations as demand increases

By Paul Schmitt    

The Kewaunee County Food Pantry in Algoma has seen an influx of new families walking through the doors lately.  President Ken Marquardt says just in the last couple weeks he has noticed an increased demand for food and house supplies.  He says additional donations of canned foods and household supplies would be greatly appreciated.


Marquardt estimates that about 150 families utilize the Kewaunee Food Pantry in a given month.  If you are interested in donating items to the pantry, you can do so by dropping off donations on Mondays or Wednesdays from 10 am to 1 pm.

Town of Gibraltar to introduce fire chief candidates Friday

By Tim Kowols       

Candidates for the Gibraltar Fire Department Chief position will get their opportunity to meet local residents Friday during a meet and greet event. Jerrad Anderson has served as the department's interim chief since Caleb Whitney resigned in 2016. Gibraltar Town Chairperson Dick Skare says it is important for the candidates to get a feeling for the town they will be serving.



Skare commended Anderson for his two years as the interim fire chief and hopes he will continue to serve the department. The town of Gibraltar would not release the names being considered for the position prior to Friday's event, which begins at 5:30 p.m. at the fire department's building in Fish Creek.

Door County Lighthouse Festival kicks off Friday

By Tim Kowols       

Maritime enthusiasts are preparing for the 25th edition of the Door County Lighthouse Festival. Presented by the Door County Maritime Museum, travelers can journey by land and by water on twelve unique tours going as far as the Plum and Rock Islands or as close as a cruise around Sturgeon Bay. Carrie Dorski from the Door County Maritime Museum says the annual event gets visitors up close to lighthouses and other interesting locations they otherwise are not able to see.



Running Friday through Sunday, there are still tickets available for some of the tours including trips to Chambers Island and through Death's Door. You can find more information on the Door County Lighthouse Festival online with this story.

Two arrested in Sturgeon Bay drug bust UPDATED: NAMES RELEASED

By Tim Kowols       

The intercept of a package in Miami, Florida last month led to the arrest of two Sturgeon Bay residents after law enforcement searched the home Tuesday. On May 23, the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol notified the Door/Kewaunee County Drug Task Force of a large amount of cocaine being sent from overseas to a Sturgeon Bay address.  The task force searched the home Tuesday with help from the DHS, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the United States Post Office, K-9 Units from Door County and the Wisconsin State Patrol, and the Sturgeon Bay Police Department. Approximately $25,000 worth of powder cocaine and marijuana was seized during the search, leading to the arrest of Harold M. Baker and James E. Johnson. Door County Sheriff Steve Delarwelle says this case provides a good example for the importance of agencies working together.


Baker and Johnson were charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession with intent to deliver cocaine and marijuana.  Their next scheduled court date is June 11.

Rogue Theater presents solo show exploring peril of Scientology

By Tim Kowols       

A Nebraska native and veteran performer is bringing her experiences with Scientology to the forefront when her solo show "Squeeze My Cans" opens on Thursday in Sturgeon Bay. Cathy Schenkelberg, a popular voice-over artist who also appeared on Chicago Fire and The Bozo Show, was a member of Scientology for 14 years before leaving the church in 2009. The show explores the twists and turns her life makes during her journey, including the harassment she faced when she left. During her travels around the world performing the show, Schenkelburg says she has been able to connect with young people about their own run-ins with Scientology.

Schenkelburg's show opens on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. with a "pay what you can" performance benefitting Help of Door County and runs through the weekend at home of Rogue Theater, the Jaycee Clubhouse in Sturgeon Bay. You can find more information about this show here.

Lakeshore Tractor Rally continues to grow

By Tim Kowols       

Over 120 tractors are expected to cruise around Kewaunee County this Saturday as a part of the Lakeshore Tractor Rally. In the fourteen years since the event's creation, the number of participating antique and modern tractors has grown from around 20 to eclipsing the century mark in recent years. The tour takes riders roundtrip from the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds to various communities including Ellisville and Sugarbush. Agricultural Heritage & Resouces, Inc. President Jim Rabas says there are also plenty of people along for the ride.

The Lakeshore Tractor Rally costs $35 to participate with all proceeds benefiting the Agricultural Heritage & Resources Center in southern Kewaunee County.

Sturgeon Bay to have less truck traffic on Third Ave. and more affordable housing in Amity park neighborhood

By Roger Utnehmer

The Sturgeon Bay city council voted Tuesday night to restrict truck traffic on Third Avenue on a three-block area between Michigan and Jefferson Streets.  Local deliveries will be allowed and signs advising drivers of the restriction will be erected.  Council member Kelly Catarozoli said the creation of a truck route is just a first step in dealing with public concerns about safety and damage to streets.

A 34-unit multiple-family housing project located in the 700 blocks of Erie and Florida Streets was approved unanimously.  Council members praised the developer, Phillips Development LLC, for their cooperation working to meet concerns of area residents about the project.

Council members also authorized city administrator Josh Vanlieshout to begin searching for an attorney or firm to replace the Pinkert Law Firm of Sturgeon Bay which notified the city it will no longer provide legal services effective June 30th.  Pinkert has represented the city for approximately 20 years on a fee-for-service basis.

In other action the council adopted a policy for placing items on meeting agendas, moved forward to replace the controversial Waterfront Redevelopment Authority, and voted during a two-hour closed session to re-start settlement talks with Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront.  The Friends group successfully sued the city over a proposed hotel development.  That case is under appeal and is currently stayed pending determination of the ordinary high water mark.

The council also voted unanimously to continue legal proceedings it hopes will result in the west-side waterfront dirt piles either being moved or leveled.

Sevastopol to begin surveying residents on facility upgrades

By Tim Kowols       

Sevastopol School District residents will get their chance over the next month to weigh in on possible facility upgrades at the building. The district's Citizens Facility Advisory Committee has been meeting since October considering several different options,  recently settling on either a brand new K-12 school at an estimated cost of $57 million or meshing the more modern parts of the building with new additions for approximately $45 million dollars. Sevastopol Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says residents have taken them up on their offer to showcase the building through open houses and tours to learn more about the issues the district is facing.



Luedtke commended the CFAC for dedicating hours of time over the last seven months to the efforts. Surveys sent out this week are due back June 25 to the district before its consultant School Perceptions presents the collected data to the community on July 10.

Wisconsin State Senator expresses disappointment in Back 40 Mine's final approval

By Tim Kowols       

Wisconsin State Senator Dave Hansen is calling on President Donald Trump and the United States Congress to do something about Michigan's decision to approve the final permit for a Menominee mine. Aquila Resources has been trying to get the necessary permits to operate an open pit metallic sulfide mine since it completed a Preliminary Economic Assessment in 2014. The Canadian Company says opening the mine will create a significant number of new full-time jobs and generate new tax revenue. Senator Hansen says the mine's location, located 150 feet from the Menominee Rivers and just miles away from the bay of Green Bay and Door County's western coastline, is trouble for those who enjoy the area's fresh water. He believes Wisconsin is assuming the risk without receiving any of the rewards.


County boards in Door, Brown, Marinette, and Oconto have joined other groups in the region in their opposition to the Back 40 Mine. According to Aquila Resources' website, it hopes to complete a feasibility study in the middle of this year.

Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department prepares to ride for Special Olympics

By Tim Kowols       

Hundreds of law enforcement officers across the state, including members of the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department, will kick off the Special Olympics Wisconsin State Summer Games by bicycling to the event's site in Stevens Point. The Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg begins Thursday as Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski and others start their ride from the Oneida Police Department to UW-Stevens Point to support Special Olympics Wisconsin. Joski says the ride is a great way to support a worthy cause and its special athletes.

Joski says Thursday's ride is a good reminder for all to practice good bike safety on area roadways, including staying visible and giving all vehicles plenty of space to operate. You can read the rest of Joski's Sheriff's Corner online with this story.



Later this week, I will once again be joined by hundreds of Law Enforcement Officers as we bike half way across the State of Wisconsin in commemoration of the 2018 Special Olympics. For Northeast Wisconsin, our leg of the Torch run starts at the Oneida Police Department and ends in Stevens Point. It is a beautiful ride which culminates in our attending the opening ceremonies at the UW Stevens Point Campus. If you have never heard of this event, please visit our Facebook site and maybe even consider giving a donation to this worthy cause.


So now on to the subject of this article; bike safety.


As you can imagine biking alongside STH 54 or even better STH 10, is an interesting experience. We are fortunate to have emergency vehicles as escorts the entire way, and even with those vehicles, we still experience some close calls. After biking this stretch for the past few years, I can honestly count myself among those advocating for heightened awareness for bicyclists as they share the roads with motor vehicles.

We are very fortunate here in Kewaunee County to live in a community of such natural beauty. People from near and far spend countless hours pedaling many miles either as individuals or as part of groups raising money for charities. Some of these rides take place on the many miles of the Ahnapee Trail, while others share the road with those traveling in motor vehicles. Even for those riding on the trail, there are numerous points where the trails must cross or merge with public roadways, and because of this some very basic and important safety tips apply to both scenarios.

Visibility is a major safety consideration when on a bicycle due to the decreased size of the bicyclist's profile both when being passed and met by a motor vehicle. Any efforts to bring attention to both the rider as well as the bike itself are always a good practice. Either light colored clothing and or reflective materials will help in being identified by a driver at a much greater distance, thus giving the driver of a vehicle much more time to navigate safety around the bike and its driver.

This brings us to the next safety tip: Navigating around a bike traveling on a roadway. The most frequent complaint I receive from bicyclists is that vehicles do not provide a safe distance when passing. If you as a driver of a vehicle cannot provide for a safe distance between your vehicle and bike when you are passing, it is best you follow until the opportunity is there to pass them as you would a slow moving vehicle. Just as a motorcycle has the right to their lane of traffic so too does the bicyclist. Many think that if more than one bicycle is traveling, they need to be in a single file line. This is not the case. Just as two motorcycles may travel side by side within their lane of traffic, the same goes for bicycles. Please treat them as you would any other slow moving motor vehicle.

Now to the bicyclist, please operate your bike with the traffic, not against it. Sometimes people get confused as the common practice for walking is to go against the traffic. Also, those street signs are meant for you as well. Another good tip is to use the traditional arm signals. I know we were all taught them as kids, and yes they are still relevant when operating a bicycle. These signals are your way of communicating to vehicles you share the road with.

As we are finally having some decent weather we can get out and bike in, let's not forget to do it safely, and if you are the type who would rather drive a vehicle to enjoy the scenery, please don't forget about the rest of us on bikes. Stay Safe!


Sister Bay celebrates tradition with Roofing of the Goats

By Tim Kowols       

Sister Bay will go to the goats this Saturday when the village hosts its sixth annual Roofing of the Goats and Goat Parade. Visitors to Sister Bay flock every summer to its downtown to catch a glimpse of the goats that have trekked to the peak of Al Johnson's Restaurant since 1973. Sister Bay Advancement Association coordinator Louise Howson says there is a lot more going on than just a couple goats going on a roof.



The parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m with activities continuing all day long at Hendricksen Park. Attendees are encouraged to bring canned goods to the event to support the Koinonia Kupboard food pantry.

Old Glory Honor Flight bringing vets to Vietnam

By Tim Kowols       

For the first time in its organization's history, Old Glory Honor Flight is going international. The non-profit veterans organization announced its plans Monday to bring 50 veterans on a two-week tour back to sites of the Vietnam War. Old Glory Honor Flight, which usually only brings veterans for day trips to Washington D.C., last did a special mission in 2012 when it traveled to Pearl Harbor. Old Glory Honor Flight President Drew MacDonald says veterans have been asking for similar trips ever since and is happy things have finally worked out.



Veterans for the "Old Glory Honor Flight: Return to Nam" trip in February 2019 will be selected via a lottery.  You can learn more about the trip and how you can apply by visiting here.

Door County Home Construction Program project a community effort

By Tim Kowols       

A future family will have over thirty students and a number of local businesses to thank after the Door County High School Home Construction Program dedicated the newly built house last week. Sturgeon Bay's Jaeger Brusky, Caleb Diller, Jason Claybaugh, Peter Anschutz, Erik Escalera, and Elijah Heimbecher, Southern Door's Caleb Buchberger and Jared Delwiche, Sevastopol's Tyler Dvorak and Eli Zielke, and Gibraltar's Ben Desotelle have been working on the house since last year as a part of their coursework. Sevastopol's Landscape and Nursery Design class also got in on the fun by helping design the landscaping. Business and Education Partnership Manager Korey Mallien says it was great to have the local business community take the time to work with the students on building the home.



Sturgeon Bay High School Technology Teacher Seth Wilson says it was amazing to see the growth the students took in both their skills and their attention to detail during the build. The Door County Home Construction Program is looking at potential build sites for next fall and hope to add a few more students to the class.

Brussels home destroyed in early morning house fire

By Tim Kowols       

A Brussels home is considered to be a total loss after an early morning fire on Tuesday. Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department reported to the scene on County XC at around 1:30 a.m. after receiving a call of flames coming out of the roof and heavy smoke. The two families living inside the home were able to escape unharmed as crews were able to save other pets from the blaze. There were some cats still unaccounted for as of 7 a.m.  B.U.G. Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says there were no issues fighting the fire.



Fire Departments from Sturgeon Bay, Southern Door, Luxemburg, and Casco along with the Door County Sheriff's Department and Door County Emergency Services helped contribute to the effort. The Red Cross is on scene helping the two families affected.

Les Berns celebrates 100th birthday in style

By Paul Schmitt    

Over 200 family and community members gathered at Anna's Healthcare in Sturgeon Bay on Saturday afternoon to celebrate a special resident's day.  Les Berns turned 100 years young last Friday and Saturday's party celebration included friends and all four of his children.  He says that day ranks up there as one his best ever.


A music lover who played piano at area establishments for many years and was choir director at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Berns still plays an electronic keyboard in his room.  He also golfed well into his nineties including an amazing round of 88 at the age of 93.  The Door County Veterans Service Council presented a letter of recognition for Bern's service in the military during World War II that included combat service in Northern France, Rhineland, and Central Europe.

(contributed photo of Joe Heilman, left, Chairman of the Door County Veterans Service Council, presenting Berns with the letter of recognition while Door County Veterans Services Officer Scott McFarlane looks on)

Kewaunee County Public Health suggesting early vaccination

By Paul Schmitt    

With school letting out for the summer, the Kewaunee County Public Health Department is reminding parents it may be a good idea to get their child's vaccinations done soon than later.  Although the parents have more than a couple months to schedule appointments, Director Cindy Kinnard says it is better to get it taken care of earlier than waiting until August.


In 2017, the Kewaunee County Public Health Department administered 1,013 vaccines to children in the county.  Kinnard says people with questions or that would like to schedule appointments can contact the Public Health Department or with their family physician.

Summer fun vehicles need proper insurance

By Paul Schmitt    

With motorcycles, recreational vehicles, and watercraft being used extensively during the summer months, people are reminded to check with their insurance agents to make sure they are covered.  Special vehicles may be treasured toys for adults but the responsibility of finding insurance coverage may not be as fun.  Nicole Kirstin of Robertson Ryan & Associates in Kewaunee says it is always a good idea to review your policies.


Kirstin says riders on existing policies work well and is a good way to bundle more than one type of insurance together.  She says most companies offer discounts when bundling auto as well as homeowner insurances.

Fire on Chambers Island required Coast Guard assistance

By Paul Schmitt    

A cabin fire on Chambers Island posed many challenges to firefighters on Door County's mainland. According to Gibraltar Fire & Rescue, two U.S. Coast Guard boats and one private boat were needed to transport fireman and equipment to Chambers Island in order to extinguish the blaze. The fire was reported at about 2:30 Saturday afternoon while the owner and family members were outside the building and someone could smell smoke, according to the Door County Sheriff's Department. No injuries were reported and the fire remains under investigation. Nine Door County fire departments responded to the fire including the Gibraltar Fire & Rescue Department.

(photo by Gibraltar Fire & Rescue)

Jacque, Frostman differ on redistricting reform

By Tim Kowols       

As Wisconsin waits for the legal opinion of the United States Supreme Court over the next two weeks, State Senate candidates Andre Jacque and Caleb Frostman have offered differing views on redistricting. The current maps are the subject of the Supreme Court case where opponents argue districts were drawn to benefit the Republican Party unfairly. They would like to see districts drawn by a non-partisan, independent agency like how it is done in Iowa. Republican candidate and current State Representative Jacque is open to looking at the Iowa model but also does not see a huge issue with how the maps are currently drawn.



Democratic candidate Frostman called the practice of gerrymandering a huge issue and "a  scourge on our society."



Jacque and Frostman will face each other in the special election on June 12. Both candidates turned in their nomination papers for the fall election, but Jacque will once again face a primary challenge. Washington Island resident Bill Nauta filed his papers on Friday while Jacque's special election primary opponent Alex Renard did not. You can listen to full interviews with both candidates online with this story.

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Curriculum helps seniors get "Money Smart"

By Tim Kowols       

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation have teamed up to help senior citizens get the resources they need to make sound financial decisions. "Money Smart for Older Adults" covers financial exploitations, scams, identify theft, and planning for future expenses, all of which become an increasing worry for people as they get older. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says it is a great resource for those who have not had those conversations yet with their loved ones, especially when it comes to scams.

The FDIC and CPFB also teamed up to provide similar programs for young adults and children. Pustaver recommends senior citizens pick up a copy of "Money Smart for Older Adults" at Money Management Counselors and the radio stations of or it is available to download at the FDIC's website.  You can listen to the complete Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver online with this story.


Washington Island Ferry passes its dress rehearsal

By Tim Kowols       

The peak season is just a few weeks away, but the Washington Island Ferry is all ready for another busy summer. All five ferries are in the water after an off-season full of maintenance work and painting so it can make its daily trips to and from Northport, Washington Island, and Rock Island. Ferry President Hoyt Purinton says traffic was strong the last two weekends but knows it only gets busier once school is out of session.

Purinton says he expects the Washington Island Ferry Line will hit its peak in late June, just in time for its schedule to double to 22 roundtrips plus four additional rides on Friday nights. The single Saturday and Sunday night roundtrips begin this weekend.

Algoma School District learns a lot in unpredictable year

By Tim Kowols       

Last-minute staffing changes in the fall and wild weather in the winter could not derail an otherwise successful school year for Algoma School District. The school year was just over a month old when staff members that were a part of the Live Algoma Initiative traveled to New Jersey to collect their Culture of Health Prize from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 2017 also saw high school students start their "pups" mentoring program with the elementary kids while alumni made sure future graduates had scholarships available for when they left Algoma. Superintendent Nick Cochart says it was great to see students and staff adjust to obstacles and do a great job doing it.

Students will have their last day of school June 8 and will not return for classes until September 4.

Sturgeon Bay City Council to revisit restricting trucks on 3rd Avenue

By Eric Fischer

Tuesday evening's Sturgeon Bay City Council meeting will include a recommendation from the Parking and Traffic Committee to restrict truck access on 3rd Avenue between Michigan Street and Jefferson Street to local deliveries only. The idea was proposed at the May City Council meeting by resident Hans Christian. Christian suggested Bay Shipbuilding post signs to direct drivers around the business district.

Also on the agenda for Tuesday, June 5th, the City Council begins making the steps for Sturgeon Bay to host the Door County Fair by considering a noise exemption for the fairgrounds, as well as a street closure for the Door County Wine Festival. The meeting starts at 7 pm.

Student organization promotes healthy lifestyles

By Eric Fischer


Students across Door County are taking part in an initiative to be a positive influence in the community.  Project 180 holds students accountable to not use drugs, tobacco, or alcohol, live healthy and active lifestyles, and teach others about healthy choices.  Ryan Kropuenske, a junior at Gibraltar High School and member of Project 180, says he is part of the educator committee.

Ryan wanted to wish all the graduating seniors good luck on their next steps.  Kropuenske was a guest on last week's Wednesday at the Y broadcast, sharing the good news of Gibraltar High School.

Friends of Peninsula State Park hosting fundraiser concert

By Eric Fischer    

As an effort to continue fundraising for the Nature Center expansion, the Friends of Peninsula State Park are hosting a concert at the Kress Pavilion. The concert will feature Beth Chafey-Hon, a violinist who sets her pieces to a multimedia program so each song is accompanied by images of Door County and the southern California desert. Steve Strucely, Business Manager for the Friends of Peninsula State Park says the new Kress Pavilion is the perfect venue for this concert.

The concert is July 6th with doors opening at 2 pm and music at 3 pm. Tickets for the concert are $20 and can be purchased at the Friends of Peninsula State Park website.

Crossroads teaching kids to celebrate water at an early age

By Eric Fischer



As the Celebrate Water initiative continues, Crossroads at Big Creek is teaching kids the importance of water.  Crossroads hosts school-aged groups all year round and has several different tools such as a water flow table as well as the different bodies of water on the property.  Coggin Heeringa, director of Crossroads at Big Creek shares why she thinks it's important to teach the kids to appreciate water at a young age.

Each school group that visits Crossroads also completes a service project, such as putting woodchips on the paths or cutting buckthorn.  With the start of summer, Crossroads will be hosting volunteer work days on Saturday's at 9 am.

Side Pork Fest showcases Door County Delicacy

By Eric Fischer



A Door County delicacy brought hundreds to a popular festival at Martin Park on Saturday afternoon.  The annual Side Pork Festival highlights side pork, thick-cut bacon that is not smoked and slow cooked over charcoal, while also offering live music, local vendors, and a kids zone that had an inflatable bounce house.  Co-organizer, Ryan Hoffmann, explains why he thinks people like coming to the event.

Hoffmann adds that he doesn't have exact figures yet but expects that this year's festival had higher attendance and revenue.  Proceeds from this year's event will go to programs at the Door County Sheriff's Department, such as the K-9 project.

Gibraltar Historical Association recreates Alexander Noble's funeral

By Eric Fischer



When the Alexander Noble House opens June 9th, visitors will have a chance to relive the funeral of one of Fish Creek's founders.  The theme for this year's exhibit in the Alexander Noble House Museum is "A House in Mourning" and will showcase Victorian-era relics including an antique pine coffin, a cooling table, and artifacts that depict the traditions of Victorian-era mourners such as mourning dresses, white mourning handkerchiefs etched with black lace, and stopping the clocks at the time of death.  Laurie Buske director of the Gibraltar Historical Association says the exhibit is a re-creation of Alexander Noble's funeral.

The inspiration for the exhibit goes back to the renovation of the house when Alexander Noble's eulogy was found.  Admission to the museum costs $5.


Photo courtesy of Gibraltar Historical Association

1st Senate District to have four elections this year

By Eric Fischer



While the special election for the Wisconsin 1st Senate District seat between Andre Jacque and Caleb Frostman is still nearly a week away, a Republican candidate has submitted paperwork for the general election in November.  Bill Nauta, commander of the Washington Island American Legion Post 402, will force a primary election with Jacque on August 14th, with the winner squaring off against Frostman in November for the full term seat.  Jacque says he was ready to potentially have to win four elections in a short time span.

Republican Joel Kitchens will not run unopposed in the 1st Assembly district race, as independent Roberta Thelen also filed paperwork near the deadline late last week.  Kitchens is seeking his third term.

Door County smoke alarm installation event looks to save lives

By Paul Schmitt    

Over 130 homes in Door County had potentially life-saving smoke alarms installed on Saturday.  The "Sound the Alarm, save a life" campaign, sponsored by the American Red Cross, had over 30 volunteers canvas neighborhoods installing new smoke alarms free and sharing important home fire safety tips.  Disaster Program Manager Bob Mayer says the new alarms installed have saved over 300 lives nationally and are better than the traditional ones.


Mayer says anyone that did not take advantage of the Saturday's free installation event,  can either contact any Door County fire department or register online at  In home fires where the smoke alarms failed, 47 percent had a missing or disconnected battery and additional 24 percent had a dead or discharged battery.

Gibraltar principal proud of graduates planning ahead

By Tim Kowols



When Gibraltar's 43 students collect their diplomas on Sunday, none will be wondering what is next for them. Gibraltar Secondary School Principal Gereon Methner is most proud that all the students have some sort of plan after graduation, whether that is joining the workforce, enlisting in the Armed Services, or enrolling in college. He is even more impressed by the students' commitment to service.

Led by valedictorian Mackenzie Straub and salutatorian Ava Hitzeman, Gibraltar will graduate its class of 2018 at the Door Community Auditorium Sunday afternoon.

Death's Door Maritime Museum reopens June 6

By Tim Kowols       


The newly renamed Death's Door Maritime Museum will make its season debut on Wednesday after roofing issues delayed its opening by over a week. The Gills Rock museum houses pieces of Death's Door shipwrecks, the Plum Island Fresnel Lens, and the fishing tug Hope in addition to recently added augmented reality displays. The Door County Maritime Museum recently had to make the roof repairs to the building at a cost of $67,000, something Executive Director Amy Paul said last week will have an unfortunate consequence.

The Death's Door Maritime Museum will be officially renamed in a ceremony during Gills Rock's Fourth of July festivities. It will remain open through October.

Water quality focus of bark bed project in Casco

By Tim Kowols       


A pit lined with plastic and filled with bark on a Casco farm could have a positive impact on water quality in the area. Kinnard Farms is partnering with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Department of Agriculture and Consumer Protection to build the state's second bark bed tile filter. The bark in the pit acts as a filter for excess nitrogen and other nutrients as water from the tile line flows through it, similar to a wetland. Lee Kinnard says the years of data from a similar system in Sheboygan and others in the Corn Belt yielded positive results and hopes they can be duplicated locally.



Kinnard praised the Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farm Network for bringing in experts and scientists to be great resources for their operations.

Sculpture Garden provides "Secret Treasure of Door County"

By Tom Jordan       


Right off Highway 42, as you approach Fish Creek, you'll see a sign for Edgewood Orchards Gallery.  A lot of people have visited the gallery over the past half century. But more recently there is an added attraction that not everyone is aware of: The Sculpture Garden.


According to J.R. Jarosh, co-owner with his wife Nell, the garden was actually the result of him being a sleep-deprived father of infant twins. "One would cry and I'd get up and then the other would cry and I would get up and one night in a foggy moment I wrote down an idea I had for a garden. I forgot all about it until I saw it on the table the next day," remembers Jarosh.


He shared the crude drawing with his wife who saw the potential right away. This was in November in 2006. Work began in 2007 and the garden opened in May 2008 with just a handful of works. But these pieces were from artists of great reputation and that soon attracted even more artists from around the country.


Today there are over eighty different pieces strategically placed along the trails of this ten-acre plot of woods.  They range in price from as little as twenty dollars to as much as sixty-five thousand dollars.  The average price for the artwork is anywhere from one to five thousand dollars.


Jarosh doesn't really plan to expand the garden. "I began my career as a physical therapist," Jarosh explains. "That helps you develop a sense of proportion. I don't want it to be too much. That's also why you'll find benches along the way, so people don't have to walk until they become tired."


If you drive by in the winter you can spot the sculptures still there in the woods. They never go into storage. "Each of theses pieces is meant to be outside in all kinds of weather. This proves you wouldn't be buying something that won't hold up," Jarosh adds. "Besides, you see those little fish on a metal spike? When it snows the snow moves around the fish and it looks like they're swimming. It's really cool."


The Garden, and the Gallery, are open from May to October.

Augustine thankful for local coaches

By Eric Fischer

Jerry Augustine says he had no idea growing up in Kewaunee would lead to playing professional baseball.  He was a three-sport athlete at Kewaunee High School and played football, basketball, and baseball before attending UW-La Crosse and later being drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers.  Now an analyst at Fox Sports Wisconsin, Augustine says he was lucky to have great, local coaches when he was growing up.

Augustine can be seen before and after most Brewers games on the set of Brewers Live.  He still visits family in the area and pays attention to Storm athletics.

Wisdom Wednesdays at YMCA wraps up spring schedule

By Eric Fischer



A weekly program at the Door County YMCA locations will be taking a break until the fall.  Earlier this week the final Wisdom Wednesday of the spring program schedule was held at the Fish Creek location and included information on Medicare insurance.  Megan Schneider, the Adult and Health and Wellness Director says the programs focus on a variety of issues facing the community.

Schneider adds Wisdom Wednesdays will be back in the fall, and that if you have ideas for speakers or topics to contact her.  Schneider is a weekly guest on the Wednesday at the Y broadcast on 105.1 WSBW.

Door County Library Summer Reading program sign up underway

By Eric Fischer



With the school year coming to an end, the Door County Library is ready to rock with the Summer Reading Program.  Sign up for the program began June 1st and continues all summer, with each branch hosting different kickoff dates throughout the month of June.  Youth Services Librarian Beth Lokken says there will be two themes throughout the summer, "Libraries Rock" and Celebrate Water.


The Door County Library will be hosting reading programs for kids and adults with incentives to read all summer.  You can sign up for the summer reading program at any branch or online on the Door County Library website.

Wisconsin DNR hosting Free Fun Weekend

By Eric Fischer



The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is allowing residents and visitors to experience wilderness for free this weekend.  This first weekend in June is Free Fun Weekend where people can get free entry to state parks, free fishing on any of Wisconsin's lakes and rivers, and free ATV/UTV riding on public trails.  All rules and regulations still do apply.  Wisconsin Conservation Warden Jordan Resop offers safety tips to those on the water this weekend.

As part of the Free Fun Weekend, Peninsula State Park is hosting programs to educate people on the fish of Wisconsin.  Saturday and Sunday, the 600 gallon DNR Fish Tank with smallmouth bass and bullheads will be at the White Cedar Nature Center, along with educators and activities related to fishing.


Photo courtesy of: Allan Meyer

Recycling is only good if items are really recyclable

By Paul Schmitt    

To recycle or not to recycle that is the question many may have when deciding how to dispose of waste.  Steve Estes of Advanced Disposal in Sturgeon Bay says although people's intentions may be to be eco-friendly, they are only hindering the recycling process.  He shares some of the more commonly misplaced items that are thrown into the recycle bins.


Estes says more and more companies are using recyclable packaging and that the general public is becoming more educated in the positive impact that recycling can have on the environment.  Checking the bottom of any container for the recycle logo is a safe way to know if it can be recycled.  Reportedly 60 to 80 percent of recycling is actually recycled nationwide.

Caution needed when starting and ending campfires

By Paul Schmitt    

With outdoor pit and campfires being enjoyed throughout Door and Kewaunee Counties over the weekend, people are advised to be extra careful with the drier than normal conditions.  Casco Fire Chief Bruce DePeau says the wind can make for a dangerous situation.


DePeau advises fully extinguishing the fire by moving the embers around to ensure they are completely out before leaving the area.  He says to never leave a fire unattended.  You can find tips on putting out a campfire below.

Belgian Heritage Center just part of national landmark

By Paul Schmitt    

The history and culture of the Belgian community are more than just the presence of The Belgian Heritage Center in Namur.  Although some people may associate the historic landmark sign in front of the building to represent the national moniker, Joe Alexander from the Belgian Heritage Center explains the recognition given to the area in Southern Door County.


The Belgian Heritage Center is open from 10 am to 4 pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday through October 28.  Historic photo gallery exhibits and displays are available for viewing with a new audio and video system that was installed this past spring.  The next event planned is a Belgian Waffle Breakfast on June 24.

Luxemburg man sentenced to 14 years for child sex trafficking

By Paul Schmitt    

A Luxemburg man was sentenced to 14 years in prison for trying to buy sex services from a child over the internet.  Gerard A. Ratajczak, 48, was sentenced Thursday in Door County Circuit Court.  Ratajczak was convicted of using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and attempted child enticement, according to Door County District Attorney Colleen Nordin.   Court records show that Ratajczak was arrested in July of 2017 as part of an undercover operation conducted by area law enforcement where 25 arrests were made.

Graduating class provides inspiration for Sturgeon Bay High School Principal

By Tim Kowols       

Sturgeon Bay High School Principal Robert Nickel usually relies on an inspirational quote when creating his remarks for graduation ceremonies, but he needed to look no further than his senior class. Eighty-three students are expected to cross the stage Sunday, led by valedictorian Thomas Renfrew and salutatorian Kekoa Bicoy. Nickel says the senior class is made up of students from varying backgrounds but says he is most inspired by those going through hardships where graduating was not always a sure thing.



Sturgeon Bay's graduation ceremonies will take place on Sunday at 4 p.m. inside the high school gym.

Grubs to blame for more lawn damage

By Tim Kowols       

Landowners will soon be able to assess and treat their damaged lawns as grubs reach their mature form. Beetles like the junebug and European Chafer can cause thinning and dying patches of grass due to their own feeding frenzy, but hungry birds and skunks can dig up the turf in search of their own meal. Door County UW-Extension Agriculture Educator Annie Deutsch says landowners can start preventative maintenance for next year in the next week or two.



Deutsch says European chafer numbers are quite high in the area but hopes the population begins to level off like it has in other states. You can read more of Deutsch's thoughts on grubs and learn how you treat your grub damage by following this story online.


It's that 'grubby' time of year!

By: Annie Deutsch, Door County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent

Driving through the county, it is clear that there is major turf damage yet again. Many yards, parks, and other grassy areas have patches of thinned out, dying turf or sections where it looks like a rototiller came through.

While grass can die from multiple factors (too much shade, salt from winter roads, too much water, too little water, diseases etc.), the most probable reason for the symptoms we are seeing is due to grubs. But luckily, the period of major grub damage in the spring is coming to a close.

These lawn grubs are most often the immature form of two different beetles: May/June beetles (Junebugs) and the European Chafer.  May/June beetles are a group of native beetle species that can cause occasional turf damage, but rarely the extensive damage that we have been seeing the past few years.

European chafer is the beetle species to blame for the damage. As the name suggests, the European chafer is an invasive species from Europe that has been in the United States for around 80 years, but only recently arrived in Wisconsin. This is the reason that you may have never had turf damage before but are seeing it now.

European chafer grubs feed primarily on grass roots resulting in thinned or dead patches of grass. Other animals including birds and skunks feed on the grubs which causes that 'rototilled' look.

Luckily, the grubs do not feed all year. In the next couple of weeks (this is an estimate because insect development is temperature dependent), the grubs will pupate (transform) and then emerge as adult beetles. The adult beetles will swarm around trees and outdoor lights, but they rarely feed so they will not cause damage. Therefore, as the grubs begin to pupate, that is the ideal time to reestablish damaged parts of your lawn.

May/June beetle adults tend to emerge a bit earlier than European chafer adults and the May/June beetles are definitely active now. If you notice any brown oval-shaped beetles that are around ¾ of an inch long and often stuck on their back with legs flailing, then those are them! I saw five right outside my front door this morning! European chafer adults look very similar but are smaller (closer to ½ of an inch long) and a slightly lighter color.

For recommendations about determining whether you have grub damage and ways to treat for them, visit our website for a number of articles addressing those topics: or contact our plant help desk at 920-746-5984 or

Unfortunately, as with many invasive pests, even the best attempts at controlling this insect may not have complete success. European chafer numbers are quite high right now and will likely remain so for the near future. There is evidence in some states that populations leveled out over time, so hopefully that will be true here as well. Perhaps rather than focusing on the damage, use this as an excellent opportunity to learn more about entomology and insect life cycles!

Door County Children of Hope looks to address affordable childcare

By Tim Kowols       

A Sturgeon Bay man is taking it upon himself to address affordable child care needs in Door County. A 2016 Economic Policy Institute report showed the average annual cost of childcare in Wisconsin for an infant is $11,579 and $9,489 for a four-year-old. Not only do those totals rank Wisconsin as one of the more expensive states in the country for childcare, it is also more than the average cost of housing and in-state tuition at public college. The cost inspired Ryan Zahler to start Door County Children of Hope last month, with the goal of being able to offer high-quality but low-cost child care to poorer families.  Zahler says an option like this would hopefully give parents a chance to work outside the home without dedicating the bulk of their check to childcare.



Zahler says fees would be covered by tuition, grants, and fundraisers. Door County Children of Hope will host two meetings this month to lay the groundwork for the organization. You can find that information online with this story.

Egg Harbor development continues to brew

By Tim Kowols       

With a reimagined Shipwrecked Brewpub and the new Hatch Distilling Company opening later this summer, the village of Egg Harbor could be in line for a second brewery. Madison-based One Barrel Brewing Company has an accepted offer on a parcel of land across the street from Main Street Market near Hatch Distilling Company with a potential closing occurring in July. Village Administrator Ryan Heise says the plan still has some work to do.



Heise is excited about the direction the village is taking with the expansion of its public art displays, the return of its bike-share system, and ongoing discussions about its beach renovation.

Gibraltar principal proud of graduates planning ahead

By Tim Kowols       

When Gibraltar's 43 students collect their diplomas on Sunday, none will be wondering what is next for them. Gibraltar Secondary School Principal Gereon Methner is most proud that all the students have some sort of plan after graduation, whether that is joining the workforce, enlisting in the Armed Services, or enrolling in college. He is even more impressed by the students' commitment to service.



Led by valedictorian Mackenzie Straub and salutatorian Ava Hitzeman, Gibraltar will graduate its class of 2018 at the Door Community Auditorium Sunday afternoon.

Art celebrates water at Door County Community Foundation gallery opening

By Tim Kowols       

Celebrate Water Door County continues its year-plus long commemoration with a gallery opening at the Door County Community Foundation on Saturday. The organization routinely features artist's works, but the pieces submitted by Emmett Johns of Fish Creek keep water as its theme. Door County Community Foundation President and CEO Bret Bicoy says the gallery opening is just another event that allows people to pay tribute to the area's natural beauty.



The opening reception for the "Water Works" exhibit will take place at the foundation's offices from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Miller Art Museum acquires works from Sandra Martinez--on display this afternoon

By Paul Schmitt    

A local Jacksonport artist has the distinction of having her artwork purchased for display in the Miller Art Museum in Sturgeon Bay.  Sandra Martinez of Martinez Studio will have a painting of "Pinon Weaving Study" and a weaving of the painting by her daughter Malena.  Martinez says that she and her husband, Wence, have two pieces of artwork in the Smithsonian as well as a piece in the Museum of Mexican-Art in Chicago and the Wisconsin Museum of Art in West Bend.  She says they were honored to find out their artwork was being acquired by the local Miller Art Museum.


The works were purchased with funds in memory of Lorraine Mengert, the former curator and director of the Miller Art Center.  The Martinez family they have been working together for over 30 years and showcasing their artwork in Door County.  You can see images of the "Pinon Weaving Study" artworks acquired by the Miller Art Museum on display as of June 1 with this story below.

Pinon Weaving Study


Malena Martinez

Marquette School demolition moving forward after Kewaunee County action

By Paul Schmitt    

Kewaunee County took action last week during their monthly board meeting to facilitate the City of Kewaunee in acquiring the vacant Marquette School on Dorelle Street.  Board Chair Bob Weidner describes what the board did to allow the city to move forward in demolishing the building.


The action by the board now paves the way for Dakota Intertek Corporation, who was awarded the contract for removal last month by the City of Kewaunee, to complete the demolition of the Marquette School within four months.  The $1.1 million project will be offset by $600,000 from state and federal grants.

Algoma hosting an afternoon with zoo animals

By Paul Schmitt    

Algoma Public Library and Algoma Performing Arts Center are teaming up to bring animals you read about in books to life with a free show and tell event this month.  The NEW Zoo will be bringing some interesting creatures to give children and adults an education on animals up close and personal.  Dylan Rummel from the Algoma Library shares the details.


The animals that are coming by the NEW Zoo are made possible by the Algoma Library Friends and The Algoma Performing Arts Center.  You can find more information about the Zoomobile visit to Algoma with this story below.

The Old Bolts Car Club on the road again

By Paul Schmitt    

An informal group of men and women that calls themselves the "Old Bolts Car Club" in Door County will be making the circuit again this summer with travels to car shows from Minnesota to Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Member Russ Gilman of Sturgeon Bay explains how the original organization, informal as it is, came about.


The Old Bolts Car Club" has been the host club for the Harvest Fest Car Show in September the past twelve years.  Over 200 vehicles have been entered in the car show in the past with proceeds benefiting Door County charities.

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