News Archives for 2018-09

Six people from Door and Kewaunee Counties arrested in ICE sweep expected to be in court this week

By Terry Kovarik              

Six men from Door and Kewaunee Counties arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents could soon get a clearer idea of their fates. Imelda Delchambre, Executive Director of the Hispanic Resources Center of Door and Kewaunee Counties says all six people have attorneys acting on their behalf. They're expected to appear before a judge this week. Delchambre believes some could soon return to their families.





Delchambre says the six people are currently jailed in Dodge County awaiting their court hearings.

Adopt a Soldier helps local Coasties as well as those serving overseas

By Terry Kovarik              

Adopt a Solider-Door County sends holiday treats to Door and Kewaunee County military service members stationed overseas. Those at U.S. Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay are not forgotten, either.  Adopt a Solider-Door County Executive Director Nancy Hutchinson says invitations for holiday dinners at local homes are extended along with the traditional care packages.



Hutchinson says volunteers are still needed to help prepare Thanksgiving care packages so they can be sent out by November 1st. She says candy and tuna fish in packages are among the items soldiers are asking for. For more information click here.

Author uses Door County as a setting for a murder mystery series

By Terry Kovarik              

Darci Hannah has combined her love of Door County and its well-known cherry treats with her love of writing. Hannah grew up in Illinois and vacationed with her family in Door County during the summer. When she decided to switch from writing historical fiction to murder mysteries, Door County was chosen as a perfect location of a fictional town.



Hannah's book, "Cherry Pies and Deadly Lies", is what she describes as a "cozy mystery" or a good book to bring to the beach. The protagonist Whitney Bloom reluctantly returns home to Door County from her new life in Chicago when her dad is accused of murder. Bloom, a baker by trade, finds herself trying to solve the crime while also serving up dishes made from Door County's famous crop.



"Cherry Pies and Deadly Lies" is the first novel in Hannah's "Very Cherry Mystery" series, all set in Door County. The second novel is due out next June, just in time for summer vacationers.

Local memory lab determines age related forgetfulness or early Alzheimer's symptoms

By Terry Kovarik              

Older residents in Door and Kewaunee Counties can get clear answers about their memory lapses and whether they could be early signs of Alzheimer's or Dementia. Door County Medical Center operates a Memory Clinic designed to give concerned patients and their families a better idea of what's causing forgetfulness. Geriatric Outreach Specialist Christy Wisniewski says those interested in memory screening can choose an option that fits their comfort level.



Evaluations are free of charge. For more information click here.

A Lake Herring species long gone from Green Bay maybe coming back

By Terry Kovarik              

It's been nearly six-decades since Ciscos, a species of Lake Herring, were seen in the bay of Green Bay. Now there are indications that Ciscos are making a comeback. Fisheries Biologist Ted Streka, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Green Bay, says a few have been found and the service plans to take to the bay this year to determine where the cisco are coming from.



Cisco populations were decimated in part by the infestation of non-native species like alewives, which fed on Cisco eggs. The species was once a viable commercial fish on all the Great Lakes but remains commonly found only in Lake Superior.

Run wild in Potawatomi State Park and help some friends

By Terry Kovarik              

Wildlife is common in Potawatomi State Park and with October 6th approaching all eyes will be on the two-legged species better known as marathoners. The Friends of Potawatomi State Park will host its the annual "Run Wild" fundraiser. Park Superintendent Erin Brown-Stender says there are running or walking options for everyone.



Proceeds from past "Run Wild" events have helped fund a park naturalist, monitor and control invasive plant species and resurfaced playground areas with wood fiber. For more information on registration click here.

No private lands or enterprises would be dislodged by a park on a Lake Michigan Island chain

By Terry Kovarik              

Creating the Grand Traverse Islands National Park would not come at the expense of private landowners or industrial uses. The Friends of the Grand Traverse Islands, which extend from just off of Door County to Michigan's Garden Peninsula, say the transition from undeveloped islands to a park would be easy. Friends organizer John Bacon says that because the park proposal would not have the same impact as efforts to create national parks out west.



Supporters of the Grand Traverse Islands National Park say their proposal is in the hands of the National Park Service awaiting further study. Funding for further research must first be approved by Congress.

Detours ahead for drivers using Highway 42 near the Door and Kewaunee County Line

By Terry Kovarik              

Detours are ahead for commuters using Highway 42 between Algoma and the Door-Kewaunee County line. The section between County Road S and the county line will be closed starting Monday. Wisconsin Department of Transportation Regional Communications Director Mark Kantola says by the weekend things should return to normal.




Kantola says the culvert replacement is being done as part of continuing highway maintenance.

Bilodeau reflects on her Door County Habitat for Humanity partner family experience

By Tim Kowols       

It was just a year ago when Kendra Bilodeau saw her home rise in a Sturgeon Bay subdivision thanks to a group of volunteers. Bilodeau and her two children were Door County Habitat for Humanity's 40th partner family. It took a while for Bilodeau to deem herself worthy of the hand-up from the organization, but now has fond memories she made during the construction process. She is now a spokesperson for the organization, hoping her message clears up any misconceptions and gives potential partner families reasons to believe.



Work continues on the 41st home build for the Purdy family in Sturgeon Bay. Volunteers can participate in the build by attending workdays on Tuesdays and Thursdays until the project's completion later this fall.

Farm Technology Days grant applications due October 1st

By Aerica Bjurstrom, Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agriculture Educator      

Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days was a huge success for our community, with a wonderful host family, record number of volunteers, and amazing attendees. Now, the Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days Executive Committee would like to give back to the community in the form of grants.

Grants will be awarded based on applications received by the Executive Committee. Grant guidelines and application can be found online at or at the Kewaunee County Extension office located at 810 Lincoln St in Kewaunee. Grant funds awards will be a maximum of $5,000 per application. The deadline for submitting a proposal is Monday, October 1, 2018. Grant proposals can be dropped off at our office or emailed to

The Executive Committee has already given $103,000 to 20 local charities that volunteered during the show. The committee will also be setting up a scholarship program, and a Legacy Community Project. For more information please visit our website at

Econofoods celebrates 50th anniversary in the grocery business

By Paul Schmitt    

A local grocer is marking their 50th anniversary in business this month. Econofoods, founded in 1968 by Jim Tadych when T & C Markets started in Brillion, has been serving customers in Sturgeon Bay since 1981 when the first warehouse-style store opened in the area. Store Manager Jon Calhoun says working for a family-owned and community-minded employer is what stands out most to him.


Calhoun has been the store manager for the past six years in Sturgeon Bay. He says Econofoods is in the people business and happen to sell groceries.


(photo taken during a past  live radio broadcast,  Calhoun, Nick Freimuth of WRLU, Dennis Ott and Nancy Hutchinson of Door County Adopt-A-Soldier)

Town of Pierce to begin curbside garbage and recycling pickup

By Tim Kowols       

Residents in the town of Pierce will not have to drive to a landfill to drop off their recycling and garbage beginning next year. The town will introduce curbside pickup starting on January 1st after the Kewaunee County Board read an ordinance at its last meeting essentially forbidding the practice of burning garbage. Town chairperson Brian Paplham says curbside pickup offers many positives for the community.

Paplham says the town of Pierce is one of the last municipalities to offer the service to its residents. Curbside pickup of the garbage and recycling containers will cost residents $15 a month.

Sturgeon Bay road repairs conclude as utility work finishes up

By Paul Schmitt    

The City of Sturgeon Bay has completed most of their street renovations and resurfacings this fall, but a few other projects remain.  City Engineer Chad Shefchik says after a busy summer of road work, utility crews are concluding their work in Sturgeon Bay.


Shefchik adds that all major street construction jobs this year, including the Duluth Avenue project, came in on time and on budget

Olson remembers singing at the National FFA Convention

By Paul Schmitt    

As some area Future Farmers of America (FFA) members get ready to attend the upcoming National FFA Convention & Expo, one FFA alumnus shares his unique experience from over 30 years ago.  Rich Olson of the Southern Door FFA Alumni Club recalls his highlight at the 1987 convention held in Kansas City, Missouri.


Olson says he wasn't nervous during the performance but was trembling afterward.  He says he also remembers meeting John Schneider of Dukes of Hazzard fame and Olympian Bruce Jenner at the time.  This year's National FFA Convention is set from October 24th through the 27th in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Martinez to open "Abstract Thoughts" exhibit at Miller Art Museum

By Paul Schmitt    

The Miller Art Museum is hosting an Artist Talk program next month with Sandra Martinez to coincide with their new exhibit. Martinez and husband Wence, from Jacksonport, were named 2018 United States Artist Fellows in collaborative craft and were finalists for the 2017 American Craft Council Rare Craft Fellowship. She says it is an honor to have different family works displayed at the Miller Art Museum.


The Artist Talk with Martinez at the Miller Art Museum is scheduled for 10:30 am on Thursday, October 11. You can find more information about the event with this story online below.

Press Release:


(Sturgeon Bay, WI) – September 27, 2018 — The Miller Art Museum in downtown Sturgeon Bay announces its final Second Thursday Program of 2018, an Artist Talk with contemporary Door County symbolist painter Sandra Martinez, which is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Thursday, October 11. The event, happening in conjunction with the Museum's newest exhibition, "Abstract Thoughts," will take place in the main gallery of the museum and is free and open to the public. Doors open at 10 a.m. for coffee and conversation; volunteer membership announcements will precede the program.

Milwaukee native Sandra Martinez renders contemporary works on paper and weaving designs that reference human, plant and shelter forms. Her designs evoke a shared human experience that transcends borders, race, and language. Select studies, chosen in collaboration with Wence Martinez, are handwoven into tapestries using traditional looms and Oaxacan hand spun wool.

Her process is meditative and explores automatic drawing and writing as a vehicle for spiritual focus. What begins as stream of consciousness content transitions into layers of ink, ash, dirt and acrylic washes that reveal human, plant, and shelter-forms.

One of her earliest art memories is digging in the sandbox to discover hidden layers of clay which she then shaped into objects. Her immediate, obsessive response to this material led to formal study in ceramics. Halfway through her degree, she discovered a love of meditative drawing that opened new paths for her life.

Her influences included Haitian cut metal sculpture, Harold and the Purple Crayon, Keith Haring, and Surrealist and Conceptual artists who broke free from traditional methods and materials. 

At age twenty-eight, a friend suggested that her drawings would translate well into weavings. A weaver in Oaxaca named Wence Martinez jumped at the challenge. His woven translation of her drawing sparked a desire to meet this man. At their first meeting in person in 1988, she commissioned fourteen new works, initiating a cross-cultural relationship and artistic collaboration that now spans thirty years. 

Martinez Studio in Jacksonport North of Sturgeon Bay offers Sandra's symbolist paintings and weaving designs alongside Wence's pattern-driven weavings. 

The Martinezes were named 2018 United States Artists Fellows in collaborative craft and were finalists for the 2017 American Craft Council Rare Craft Fellowship. Martinez is represented in the following permanent collections: Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend, WI, National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, IL, and the Miller Art Museum in Sturgeon Bay, WI.

Abstract Thoughts remains on view through November 6, 2018.  Admission is Free.  For more information about this program call 920.746.0707 or visit For more on Sandra and Wence Martinez, visit

(photos submitted)

Special walk planned to raise awareness of domestic abuse

By Paul Schmitt    

Help of Door County is sponsoring a "Walk with Me" on Wednesday in Sturgeon Bay as part of National Domestic Abuse Awareness Month activities.  Executive Director Steve Vickman says a special speaker is planned for the 12th annual event that will start at Martin Park.


The walk will start at 4 pm on Wednesday and will encompass walking both downtown bridges in Sturgeon Bay.  You can find more information on this and other events planned in October during National Domestic Abuse Awareness Month with this story online below.

Door County Youth Coalition brings God to school

By Tim Kowols       

Students across the country including those at Door County's four mainland high schools started their day earlier this week with a prayer. "See You At The Pole"" was one of the first public events for the Door County Youth Coalition, which kicked things off earlier this year. The Door County Youth Coalition brings together students and youth ministers from a variety of different schools and area churches to make a difference in the community with God as their guide. Sturgeon Bay Community Church Student Minister Matt Coyne says he is happy to see the organization starting take off after the first discussions about it took place in January.

Coyne says about 10 churches make up the Door County Youth Coalition and had 86 students come out to their first event in August.

Frost advisory a warning for gardeners

By Tim Kowols       

With frost possible for parts of northeast Wisconsin including Door and Kewaunee Counties this weekend, gardeners are retreating to their plots to protect their plants. The National Weather Service says plants further away from Lake Michigan in east-central and northeast Wisconsin likely will need some protection to survive because of the oncoming frost. Carrie Sherrill from the Door County Master Gardeners says while potted plants are easy to move inside for the overnight hours, it takes a little extra effort if they are still in the ground.

The possible frost is ahead of schedule according to the Old Farmer's Almanac, which says the first time usually happens between October 4th in Sturgeon Bay and October 6th in Kewaunee.

Osgood, Perlman take over the wheel at Door County Maritime Museum

By Tim Kowols       

New Door County Maritime Museum Executive Director Kevin Osgood is looking forward to telling stories again in a museum setting. Prior to his time as the news director at a Green Bay television station, Osgood worked for a group of companies partnering with small museums to put together exhibits. Osgood says he enjoys the different ways of storytelling that museum exhibits can provide.

Joining Osgood is Sam Perlman, who was named the museum's deputy director and development manager. With fundraising well underway for the museum's Maritime Tower project, Perlman looks forward to having its three locations in Gills Rock, Sturgeon Bay, and Baileys Harbor more engaged in the community.

Osgood and Perlman replace former executive director Amy Paul, who left the museum earlier this month. The Door County Maritime Museum will celebrate three major anniversaries in the coming year, including its 50th year of operation.

Two arrested in Kewaunee County ATV thefts

By Tim Kowols       

Two Milwaukee men are behind bars and the search is on for another in connection to thefts of All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) in Kewaunee County. Joaquin Bengrio Ramos Rosado and Hector Javier Rodriguez were arrested shortly after a September 4 incident where two ATVs were stolen in West Kewaunee. Law enforcement officials are still looking for a third person, Hector Figueroa Alicea of Milwaukee, in connection with the crimes. Sheriff Matt Joski says evidence found during a recent search warrant executed in Milwaukee may connect the trio to other ATV thefts around the state including unsolved incidents in Kewaunee County.

Joski says the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department is cooperating with other agencies in the state in the continuing investigation.

Egg Harbor decides to stay with more grass than sand on beach project

By Paul Schmitt    

The Village of Egg Harbor met on Monday to discuss a possible alternate plan for their beach project.  Lisa Van Laanen, Chair for the Egg Harbor Parks and Public Works explains why the committee ultimately decided to keep with the original beach expansion plan.


Van Laanen also says Egg Harbor is still considering a turnaround area for vehicles which would result in losing two parking spots in the park.  Van Laanen says the original plans will expand the beach by 50 percent with completion expected by May of 2019.

Local artists part of national impressionism exhibit at the Peninsula School of Art

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County artists will be among those featured in a national exhibition of American impressionism art. The Peninsula School of Art is hosting the 19th Annual National Juried Exhibition of the American Impressionist Art Society. The show has previously only toured larger cities. Executive Director Catherine Hoke says Door County's growing reputation as an arts mecca helped attract the exhibit, as well as many talented local artists.



The exhibit of American impressionist art runs through October 28th. For more information click here

The Village of Ephraim looking for help from Door County Land Trust

By Terry Kovarik              

The Village of Ephraim would like the Door County Land Trust's expertise to protect some wetlands owned by the village. The land trust owns the 27-acre Ephraim Preserve at Anderson Pond. Public Works Supervisor Russell Salfi  wants to see whether the village and Door County Land Trust can partner to protect these wetlands.



The proposal goes before the Village of Ephraim Physical Facilities and Utilities Committee on October 2nd at the Village Administrative Office on Norway Road.

Grant for fiber optic cable to Washington Island a first step for broadband

By Terry Kovarik              

A new underwater electric power cable for Washington Island will also give the community a foundation for future broadband internet service. Work on the new power line will also include fiber optic cable, which is being made possible through a grant to Nsight Telservices from the Public Service Commission, which Nsight matched. That will contribute $103,000 toward the electric-fiber optic cable project. That doesn't mean broadband service will soon be available. Washington Island Electric Cooperative Manager Robert Cornell calls it a good start.



The electric power lines and fiber optic cable will run from Northport Pier to Plum Island to Lobdell Point on Washington Island.

ICE arrests of Door and Kewaunee County undocumented workers continue causing fear

By Terry Kovarik              

Groups that aid migrant workers in Door and Kewaunee Counties say last week's arrests of undocumented immigrants have many family members fearing their future. Two undocumented workers in Door County and four in Kewaunee County were among 83 people in Wisconsin arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. Sister Melanie Maczka of Casa ALBA in Green Bay says many migrant families are scared.



Imedla Delchambre of the Hispanic Resource Center for Door and Kewaunee Counties says adding to the fear is not knowing whether the legal system is honoring the rights of those arrested.



A "Rock the Vote" event geared toward Hispanics was held in Green Bay Tuesday night. But Sister Melanie says people were scared off for fear of being arrested.

The Door County Board approves pay rates and amends manure ordinance

The Door County Board of Supervisors met for nearly five hours on Thursday to vote on over a dozen resolutions.  The board approved the part-time pay rates and new positions while deciding to keep over 20 jail workers as part of the Door County Sheriff's Department bargaining unit.  County Administrator Ken Pabich says the board was pleased with the level of service being provided. The Door County Board of Supervisors also voted to amend  Chapter 23 Code that relates to the NR-151 changes made by the state that are designed to protect the area's water which can be compromised quickly.  The new NR-151 rules restrict where, when and how much manure can be spread on land sitting on thin soils.


The Door County Board of Supervisors also voted to amend  Chapter 23 Code that relates to the NR-151 changes made by the state that are designed to protect the area's water which can be compromised quickly.  The new NR-151 rules restrict where, when and how much manure can be spread on land sitting on thin soils.  Steve Wipperfurth was also appointed as the new finance director by the board, according to Pabich.


Kewaunee looks to give students more opportunities in government

By Tim Kowols       

Having a junior council member may be just the beginning for Kewaunee when it comes to getting more youth involved in city government. High school senior Remington Schleis is the latest junior member of the Kewaunee City Council, a program that started approximately six years ago. Schleis' role includes giving an update of the activities going on at the Kewaunee School District. Going one step further, Mayor Sandi Christman says she has proposed creating a paid educational cooperative position for a student to work in the office at Kewaunee City Hall.

Christman hopes the new student position could be included in the upcoming city budget but kept open the possibility of going back to the drawing board if it has to be unpaid.

Fall colors include green for Door County tourism

By Tim Kowols       

Leaves are still a few weeks away from their expected shades of red, orange, and yellow for the fall, but the preparation for a busy couple weeks in Door County starts now. Fall trails only summer when it comes to economic activity for the area according to Jon Jarosh from the Door County Visitor Bureau. During September, October, and November last year, the county collected over $1.3 million in room taxes, one of many fall tourism indicators for the area. Jarosh says Door County's geography gives the leaf peepers extra opportunities to check out the colors.

Jarosh added festivals and family activities like apple picking give visitors extra things to do even if the fall colors have not hit their peak. You can find a fall color report online with this story.

Algoma recruiting volunteers for beach restoration efforts in October

By Tim Kowols       

The city of Algoma is encouraging people to help pitch in to help restore its lakeside beach. Thanks to grants secured by the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, current invasive plants will be removed and replaced with native grasses on Algoma's Crescent Beach. Algoma Parks and Recreation Department Director Sara Robertson says the native plants will help the beach in a number of different ways.

The project, slated for October 27th, is separate from more extensive plans for the north end of Crescent Beach by project engineer JJR Smith. You can learn more about how you can help online with this story.

Heise, Village of Egg Harbor wins Arts in the Community award

By Tim Kowols       

A state organization will recognize Ryan Heise and the Village of Egg Harbor for its commitment to the arts next month at a ceremony to be held in Wisconsin Dells. Arts Wisconsin named Heise as one of its recipients for the Arts in the Community Award. According to a release from the organization, Heise has been a guiding force for the development of the Public Arts Initiative in Egg Harbor, which helped commission a number of works to be on display throughout the village. Heise says he is excited to share the award with the community.

Public arts efforts in Rhinelander will also be recognized when Heise accepts the award in Wisconsin Dells on October 25th.

State Parks in Door County prepare for fall firearms deer hunt

By Terry Kovarik              

Firearms deer season is getting closer. Once again, Potawatomi State Park in Sturgeon Bay and Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek will be open to firearm hunting during the traditional nine-day gun deer hunt, which this year runs November 17th-November 25th. That's allowed in selected areas of the park well away from campgrounds to reduce the risk of injuries to campers. Potawatomi State Park Superintendent Erin Brown-Stender says each park also has its own rules on the types of weapons used.



Potawatomi State Park allows standard deer rifles in its designated hunting areas during the nine-day firearms season. Archery hunting for deer in these state parks opens Nov. 15 and runs through Jan. 6.

Local manufacturer honored at Mishicot

By Tyler Campbell                     

Russ Nowak, owner of D & S Machine Service of Luxemburg, was honored for his contributions to area high schools. The Wisconsin Association of School Boards recognized for the 2018 Business Honor roll this past Monday. D & S Machine Service donated new equipment for the Mishicot School District's technical education program exceeding $100,000.

Nowak spoke with earlier this month about the impact the new equipment can provide for the receiving students.

The WASB recognizes businesses who make significant contributions to public school districts.

Michelangelo 'Pieta' replica to display at National Shrine

By Tyler Campbell                     

The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion along with the Diocese of Green Bay announced Tuesday a life-size casting of Michelangelo's 'Pieta' was placed at the National Shrine. The 'Pieta' is the exact replica of the one at St. Peter's Basilica. The National Shrine will now have one of the only one hundred that will be produced across the world.

Director of Communications and Event Coordinator Cory Campbell for the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help shared the significance of bringing the replica to the facility.


The Pieta will become the focal point and be displayed at the new "Mother of Mercy Center" and "Events Center"  set to open in the spring of 2019.

Local Hispanic leader says ICE sweep in Door and Kewaunee Counties putting families and lives at risk

By Terry Kovarik              

The Executive Director of the Hispanic Resource Center of Door and Kewaunee Counties says those arrested in a sweep by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents face bleak futures. Imelda Delchambre says she's learned that four men were arrested from a dairy farm in Casco. Delchambre says the men and family members not arrested are very scared.



In addition to the four people arrested in Casco, two people were arrested in Door County. They were among 83 undocumented immigrants arrested statewide.

Local enthusiasm remains strong for the Grand Traverse Islands National Park proposal

By Terry Kovarik              

While a proposed Grand Traverse Islands National Park in Lake Michigan won't become a reality soon, a supporter in Sturgeon Bay says the island chain has too much in its favor not to get park designation. The proposal is in the hands of the National Park Service awaiting funding from Congress for further study. Such funding is far from guaranteed. John Bacon of the Friends of the Grand Traverse Islands, however, says the islands offer rare historical assets to consider.



The Grand Traverse Islands run from the Door County peninsula to the Garden Peninsula in Michigan. Bacon says efforts to get a national park designation go back at least 50-years. For more information, click here.

Why Be An Occupational Therapist - A Career Series

By Terry Kovarik              

Helping people is what inspired Deb Whitelaw Gorski of Sturgeon Bay to become an occupational therapist. She says it gave her the chance to offer physical and psychological therapy to people needing help to overcome physical injuries and the emotional stresses they can cause. Gorski says anyone pondering a career in any rehabilitative services must undergo extensive training and education.



Deb Whitelaw Gorski is now Rehab Services Director at Door County Medical Center.  She says the education and training may seem endless, however, the rewards make those efforts worthwhile.





Gorski says such experiences are why she highly recommends a career in occupational therapy.

State Parks in Door County prepare for fall firearms deer hunt

By Terry Kovarik              

Archery deer hunting season is already underway at Potawatomi State Park in Sturgeon Bay and firearms deer hunting is close at hand. Hunting is allowed in selected areas of the park well away from campgrounds to reduce the risk of injuries to campers. Potawatomi State Park Superintendent Erin Brown-Stender says each park also has its own rules on the types of weapons used.




Potawatomi State Park does allow standard deer rifles in its designated hunting areas during the nine-day firearms season.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement makes arrests in Door and Kewaunee Counties

By Terry Kovarik              

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents made arrests at two locations in Door County and four sites in Kewaunee County. Those were part of a statewide effort last week that resulted in 83 arrests. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says his department was not notified ahead of time. Joski says he'd just like to know about federal enforcement actions in his jurisdiction even if assistance is not needed from the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department.



Sheriff Joski says he's spoken with ICE since word of the arrests to share his concerns and hopes for future cooperation.

Survey to assess Door County communities broadband internet needs

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County families, health care providers and employers have the chance to share their views on the type of internet service they'd like to see. The Door County Economic Development Corporation will be conducting a survey of all communities to get a better idea of current accessibility to broadband internet services are and how they can be improved. Executive Director Jim Schuessler says that will involve bringing in experts.



Schuessler says currently people who work in one Door County community and live in another can get good internet service on the job but limited or no access at home.

Local charter fishing operators get bigger fish in fewer numbers

By Terry Kovarik              

Local charter fishing operators say the 2018 fishing season brought in bigger salmon in fewer numbers. Andy Stuth, owner of Door County Charter Fishing, says the fishing was okay though he and fellow charter operators have seen better. Stuth says the salmon catch was down this summer while rainbow trout were plentiful, though he had to take his customers further out on Lake Michigan.



Stuth believes that the larger-sized salmon caught this year are an omen of a better season in 2019.

Luxemburg-Casco pursuing turf field for football, soccer to get new lights

By Paul Schmitt    

After a passionate plea from supporters of both soccer and football at the Luxemburg-Casco School Board meeting last week, the school district is looking at accommodating both programs.   The board remains steadfast on a commitment to have new lights installed on the grass soccer field, according to School Superintendent Glenn Schlender.  He adds that the school district is willing to partner with the L-C Football Booster Club in the future in getting a sports turf on the football field as well.


Green Bay area schools including Notre Dame and West De Pere already have artificial turf fields, according to Schlender.  Matt Piesler, who is heading up a football booster club committee, estimates that costs for a sports turf at about $1 Million.

Big Brothers Big Sisters shares local impact at Big Breakfast

By Tyler Campbell                     

The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeastern Wisconsin held a Big Breakfast event Tuesday to showcase the impact it has on individuals of all ages.

Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeastern Wisconsin, Katie Hess, led a panel of speakers in the Tuesday morning event.

Lori Vorpahl gave a testimonial with her big/little sister match Kalee to the attending crowd. Kalee shared her favorite moments with her "big sister".



Vorpahl and "little sister" Kalee recently celebrated their one-year anniversary together. Breakfast was sponsored by Door County Medical Center and Nicolet Bank.


For more information about the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Northeastern Wisconsin program please visit their website at

A local doctor says adults taking baby aspirin can see benefits and side effects

By Terry Kovarik              

A doctor of internal medicine in Door County says some adults can benefit from taking baby aspirin for specific health concerns while others shouldn't take baby aspirin at all. That follows a pair of separate studies in the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet debating the benefits of baby aspirin as a preventive measure for cardiovascular and other diseases. Dr. Ron Kodras, with Door County Medical Center, says people need to act based on their conditions.



Dr. Kodras says for a more accurate assessment of whether baby aspirin can help you contact your doctor.

Sevastopol Schools to consider other funding prior to the referendum vote

By Terry Kovarik              

Before Sevastopol School District voters decide a pair of referendums on November 6th, the district wants to see whether private funding might also be available. The Sevastopol Board of Education will meet in closed session October 2nd to discuss alternative revenue sources. Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says the meeting is a chance to see whether other options may have been overlooked.



Luedtke says even if alternate funding is found, the ballot questions will remain in place for the election. The district is asking for $25.1-million for facilities improvement projects and $2-million dollars for each of the next two years for operations. He says private funding could help enhance those projects or reduce the amount of money the district wants to borrow.

Local archers need to make sure tree stands are secured before deer hunting

By Terry Kovarik              

Local conservation wardens remind archers to secure their tree stands before taking to forests and fields in Door and Kewaunee Counties. The archery and crossbow season opened September 15 and runs through January 6th. Chris Kratcha, a DNR Conservation Warden in Sturgeon Bay, says inspect your tree stand gear before you go into the tree.



Kratcha says archers need to follow the same rule used by firearms hunters. That's knowing what lies beyond their target before firing.

Police officers lay groundwork for strong community ties

By Tim Kowols       

A pickup game of soccer at a Sturgeon Bay school has the community celebrating its positive relationships with its police officers.  Sturgeon Bay Police Department Officer Preston Hajny was photographed playing soccer with kids before they headed into class for the day. After the photos were posted on social media feeds for the department, Sturgeon Bay School District, and countless others, Hajny says many people have talked to him about the picture and given him positive feedback. He believes it is an example that there is more to being a police officer than writing tickets.

Hajny has been with the department for only a month and says he is already looking forward to participating in other community outreach activities like the "Bigs in Blue" program with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Door County.

Pumpkin patches ready for pickers

By Tim Kowols       

Warmer weather earlier this month helped things move along quicker for pumpkin growers. It is peak harvest time for fans of the popular gourd, with prime picking season taking place well into October. Dry, warm weather caused some pumpkins to grow smaller and mature faster, but Hillside Apples owner Bill Roethle says there are ways you can keep them from spoiling too soon.

Roethle adds the recent cool weather is also helping keep the pumpkins ripe for the picking.

Door County 4-H to host coding event for first STEM Saturday

By Tim Kowols       

Door County 4-H is helping introduce youth to one of the most in-demand skills in the country when it hosts its first STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Manufacturing) Saturday event next week. According to, coding and programming jobs are growing 12 percent faster than the market average. During the Code Your World event, kids will be able to learn about the skill to animate their name on a computer screen. Door County 4-H educator Dawn Vandevoort says the STEM Saturday events are a great way to expose kids to different things.

"Code Your World" will take place at the Door County Library from 2-3 p.m. on October 6th. You can learn more about the event by visiting this story online.DETAILS ON CODE YOUR WORLD EVENT

Are you interested in learning the basics about computer coding? Love working with computers and graphics? Join us for the 4-H National Youth Science Day workshop called Code Your World! Youth participants will explore computer science through hands-on learning activities! You'll get a chance to "Animate a Name" where you'll learn some basic coding techniques to bring your name to life!

To register for the session, visit to sign up. You can also email

Seating is limited! (We will create a wait list if needed and we will also schedule additional workshops to accommodate wait lists.)

Door County looks to join efforts to get more money for child support services

By Tim Kowols       

Door County is joining others in Wisconsin to get an increase in state funding for child support services. According to the resolution to be voted on by the Door County Board of Supervisors on Thursday, child support enforcement departments have been extremely effective in collecting back payments and saving taxpayer dollars. An increase of $1.5 million from the state would be the first for county child support departments in over 10 years and would trigger a two-for-one match from the federal government. Door County Child Support Director Rod Dequaine says his staff has done a great job keeping up with the increased caseload and new federal regulations but believes more assistance is needed.

Door County currently handles over 1,000 child support cases. During its Thursday board meeting at 9 a.m. in Sturgeon Bay, the Door County Board of Supervisors will also weigh in on the appointment of a new finance director, the approval of new agricultural standards, and the reclassification of some employees in the Sheriff's Department.

Local health care professional says don't assume the worst about forgetfulness

By Terry Kovarik              

Older residents in Door and Kewaunee Counties should not fret about forgotten appointments or misplaced car keys. Christy Wisnewski, Door County Medical Center Geriatric Outreach Specialist, says such instances are not necessarily early signs of Alzheimer's Disease. Wisnewski says a visit to your doctor can realistically assess your situation.



While the Centers for Disease Control predict Alzheimer's cases will double by 2060, Wisnewski says experimental medical treatments are showing promising results that could help patients and their families better cope with the disease.

Tickets for the Door County Fall Lighthouse Festival almost gone

By Terry Kovarik              

Anyone hoping to take in the Door County Fall Lighthouse Festival may have to wait for the Spring Lighthouse Festival. Three of the tours are sold out. Door County Maritime Museum Marketing and Events Coordinator Carrie Dorski says the remaining tours, including the Sail Door County Schooner Cruise from Sister Bay to the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, are still available but booking fast.



For more information on the 2018 Fall Lighthouse Festival log on to the Door County Maritime Museum website.

Man killed in fall at Peninsula State Park identified

By Terry Kovarik              

The investigation continues in the death of 70-year-old Phillip Miller of Elkhart, Indiana.  He died in a fall at Peninsula State Park Sunday afternoon. The Door County Sheriff's Office says Miller and his wife were hiking in the park when Miller slipped and fell off a cliff. Investigators say Miller fell over 100-feet and died at the scene.  The Door County Sheriffs office does not suspect foul play.

Kewaunee based Fish and Wildlife Service vessel drydocked but research efforts will continue

By Terry Kovarik              

A Kewaunee-based U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service research vessel is in dry dock. That's delaying but not canceling research on fish stocks in Lake Michigan and the bay of Green Bay. The research ship Stanford M. Smith is undergoing engine adjustments and had some earlier issues with the rudder and fuel system. Fisheries biologist Ted Treska says even with the delays researchers will get work done even as fall sailing becomes a bit more challenging.



The 57-foot Stanford M. Smith made it's Lake Michigan debut this summer and allows researchers to travel longer and do more while still out on the waters.

Kewaunee County Clerk now offers one-stop shopping for passports

By Terry Kovarik              

Kewaunee County residents planning to travel aboard can now make a short trip to get their passports. The Kewaunee County Clerk's office is now taking passport photos as well as processing applications. Pictures will be taken Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM. You'll need to make an appointment, bring a copy of your birth certificate and a legal photo ID or drivers license. County Clerk Jamie Annoye calls it one-stop passport shopping.



The passport photo service is available to anybody. Annoye says Kewaunee County is now one of just several counties where you can pick up a copy of a birth certificate, fill out a passport application and get a photo taken in one location.

Town of Liberty Grove to bring Gills Rock property purchase decision to the electors

By Tim Kowols       

The Town of Liberty Grove could acquire some key waterfront properties in Gills Rock if electors give officials their blessing. The four contiguous properties are currently owned by Rick Johnson and Elizabeth Weborg. Town Chairperson John Lowry says the current prices are at below market value and a second meeting would be held if the electors say yes to the purchase to discuss what they would like to see happen on the parcels. That could be over a year away, thanks to some interesting terms of the agreement with one of the properties' owners according to Lowry.

The electors previously voted against purchasing the properties four years ago. Liberty Grove will host its meeting of the electors on October 16th at the town hall, the same night it will present its 2019 budget.

Credit scores provide consumers important information on their finances

By Tim Kowols       

Credit scores continue to give people a "report card" on their finances so they are not surprised when they go to tackle some of life's biggest decisions. Three different credit bureaus collect information to give consumers and businesses insight into their financial health. According to the website Lifehacker, low credit scores can make it harder for you to get a loan and cost you more in interest rates and other fees. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says her organization can help make sense of it all.

Pustaver believes you should check your credit report at least once a year for mistakes, but possibly more if you have been the victim of identity theft. You can hear the entire Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver online with this story.


Ag Career Days hopes to harvest future at Kinnard Farms

By Tim Kowols       

Kewaunee County hopes to recruit future agriculture professionals at its annual career days at Kinnard Farms in Casco. A joint effort between the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation and the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Luxemburg Regional Learning Center, seventh through ninth graders from Algoma, Denmark, Kewaunee, Luxemburg-Casco, and Southern Door School Districts will learn about careers that go beyond the barn. From milk testing and cropping to robotics and business management, Sarah Nelson from NWTC Luxemburg says there are many agriculture-related careers students do not know about yet.

Kewaunee County Ag Career Days will take place October 17th and 18th after spring snow storms postponed the biennial event in April.

Local health care professional says there are promising signs in Alzheimers and Dementia Treatment

By Terry Kovarik              

The Centers for Disease Control predicts Alzheimer's cases will double yet a Door County health care provider says all news is not bad. Christy Wisniewski, a geriatric outreach specialist with Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay, says that promising treatments are being developed and that means all the news about Alzheimer's and dementia is not bleak.



Wisnewski says Door County Medical Center offers a free memory clinic that can be done at the hospital or confidentially at home. It can help determine whether someone has memory problems that naturally come with aging or the early signs of Alzheimers or dementia.

Sevastopol Schools raise pay for substitute teachers

By Terry Kovarik              

Substitute teachers in the Sevastopol School District will be making a little more money. The Board of Education voted Thursday to raise the daily pay rate for substitute teachers from $96 to $120. Sevastopol School Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says the increase is necessary to attract and keep qualified instructors.



Luedtke says just after the Board of Education approved the pay increase those currently or previously on the substitute teachers list were notified of the changes.

Fire damages home in Union

By Tim Kowols       

A fire damaged the first floor of a home in the Town of Union after it started in the living room Monday morning. The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department was called to 10913 Bayshore Road around 4:45 a.m. after the home's owner discovered the fire and called 911. When crews arrived, flames were coming out of the side of the house trying to reach the second floor. From there, firefighters went inside the home to put the blaze out and prevent further damage. BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie said an exact cause is unknown at this point, but he pointed out the importance of making sure your furnace is maintained and smoke detectors are working.

The BUG Fire Department relied on the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System to help limit the damage of the home. Fire Departments from Sturgeon Bay, Southern Door, Algoma, and Luxemburg came to assist in the fire while Ephraim was on call to cover any other local emergencies. Door County Emergency Services also responded to the call, but no injuries were reported. Crews began departing the scene shortly after 7 a.m.

Interior restoration work ready to proceed at the Plum Island Life Saving Station

By Terry Kovarik              

Restoration work at the Plum Island Lighthouse Life Saving Station will start moving inward in 2019. Friends of the Plum and Pilot Islands and volunteers have spent the past summer on roofing work, trim, gutter and chimney repairs. Mary Beth Volmer, President of the Friends of the Plum and Pilot Islands says the group is eyeing interior restoration work next year.



Volmer says the hope is to eventually get the Life Saving Station repaired to the point that volunteers and researchers could stay in the station overnight.

Adopt a Park program now ready to accept applications for volunteers

By Terry Kovarik              

Sturgeon Bay officially has an Adopt a Park program for 10 city parks. Now it's up to volunteers to step forward. Common Council member Laurel Hauser says those who want to make a difference in their favorite parks can suggest some simple or more elaborate proposals for park upgrades.



Adopt a Park volunteers must commit to the program for one-year. Information is available through the Sturgeon Bay Parks Department on North 14th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.

Adopt a Solider Door County wants students in need of community service hours

By Terry Kovarik              

Adopt a Solider-Door County wants you if you're a high school student looking for community service hours. The group is preparing to ship out Thanksgiving care packages to local military members serving overseas. Executive Director Nancy Hutchinson needs a few good hands to get the packages ready and to do some outreach at upcoming community events.



Hutchinson says volunteers will start filling the care packages on October 21st in order to get them to Door County military members overseas in time.

Local law enforcement urges farmers and drivers to watch out for each other during harvest time

By Terry Kovarik              

Door and Kewaunee County farmers will be taking to local roads as they harvest their corn crops. That will mean those operating harvesting equipment and other drivers need to watch out for each other. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says recent heavy rains require farmers to help avert creating risky road conditions while other drivers need to slow down a bit more.



Sheriff Joski says non-farm drivers can avoid the risk of accidents with farm machinery by knowing the times of planting, fertilizing and harvesting seasons.

Dig like Indiana Jones right here in Sturgeon Bay

By Terry Kovarik              

Anyone who ever fantasized about being like Indiana Jones can be a real life archaeologist without ever leaving Door County. The Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay is offering adults the chance to be a part of an active dig near the Cove Preserve. The site is near one of the richest finds of artifacts from early Native American tribes going back thousands of years old. Organizer Coggin Heeringa says adults will be getting down and dirty but they'll be aiding in serious research.



The digs are set for October 2nd and October 3rd.  Participants are advised to bring gloves and wear clothes that can get dirty. Park on grass lot just off 20th Place. The dig is free and open to the public.

Young horseback riders say thanks to their adult mentors by putting them back in the saddle

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County 4-H Horse and Pony Project riders are putting the adults who help them back in the saddle. The club is sponsoring "Senior Sunday Fun Day" at John Miles County Park. It's the clubs effort to share their fun on horseback with the adults. Youngsters act as judges while the adults compete for prizes. Club member Karoline Jordan calls it a chance say thanks to their mentors by letting them show for the first in years or the first time ever.



The "Senior Sunday Fun Day" show events are similar to what the younger riders do on show days.

Why be an art gallery and framing shop owner - A career series

By Terry Kovarik              

You could call Connie Glowacki an artist with a passion to teach or a teacher with a passion for art. Both are evident at the Fish Creek gallery and framing shop she co-owns with her husband Mike. Glowacki captures the life of Door County with her watercolors and lithographs, which she sells and frames for visitors. And like the teacher she is, she also gives those who come into her shop a bit of encouragement with their own abilities.



Glowacki taught in the Janesville School system before retiring eleven years ago and starting the gallery, which is open six months out of the year.

Sevastopol's naturally treated football field thriving like the team

By Paul Schmitt    

The Sevastopol High School football field is getting so many positive comments on its grass surface, even the referees are taking note.  John Meredith, owner of Lakeshores Landscape and Design and registered landscape architect, has been maintaining the Sevastopol football field the past six years and has seen impressive results.  Meredith credits the results with using all-natural compounds, especially Compost Tea the past four years to maintain the field.   He says the plush playing surface even had the game officials commenting on it.


Meredith says he treats the football field only three times a year, which is down from four applications because the grass has responded so well to the treatments and is healthier than ever.  He believes the field is the only all-naturally treated football field in Door and Kewaunee Counties.  The Sevastopol Pioneers, who are off to a 4-1 start this year, will be home this Friday night with a game against Lena.

Southern Door working towards Facility Improvement Referendum

By Delilah Rose -- Student Correspondent        

Southern Door's upcoming referendum hopes to pass facility improvement plans for their school. Although the looks of the school from the outside have stayed the same for many years, the inside is in need of an update, according to Patty Vickman, Southern Door Superintendent. Many of the concept plans from years ago are now outdated and problematic. Southern Door feels that there is now an opportunity to boost its school's function and use with community investment.

Vickman stated that this would allow the school to "modernize our facilities for today's students." Along with a solid, ready-to-go plan that is based on Southern Door security, the school is ready to modernize its learning environment. Vickman also said that the community "may not realize how the courses have changed, opportunities have changed, and really what we need to do to get kids ready for the next step in their life."

Plans are focused on repairing some of its outside structure, resurfacing the high school parking lot, lighting, handicap accessible entrances and bathrooms, interior classroom walls in the elementary, expanding rooms for community use, and moving the high school office for more secure entry.

Southern Door encourages their community to come and look at the school and participate in the vote.


Here is the full interview with Patti Vickman on the referendum for Southern Door schools.


Help of Door County introduces Dare to Know program

By Tyler Campbell                     

Steve Vickman Executive Director of Help of Door County announces a new program called the Dare to Know program. The program is a state-wide leadership movement, focused on helping teens learn how to establish healthy relationships. The program called Teen Ambassadors will rally at a state-wide network of Teens to help others understand the tools to recognize healthy relationships.  Vickman shared some staggering statistics with teen relationship violence in the state of Wisconsin.



Help of Door County will also sponsor youth in the community to attend the Teen Summit 2019. The summit will take place at the Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells beginning Sunday, February 24th thru Tuesday, Feb. 26th.

Door County visitors enjoy great weather at Autumnfest

By Tyler Campbell                     

The annual Autumnfest in Baileys Harbor was in full showing on a picture perfect fall Saturday afternoon. Saturday marked the 25th anniversary of the Autumnfest, sponsored by the Baileys Harbor Community Association. Yearly attendee John Prindaville from Chicago Illinois shared what makes him attend this event every year.


The festival hosted numerous vendors and attractions, including live music, an open house at the local fire station, and the annual car and motorcycle show.

Candidate forum gives public insight to Senate candidates Saturday

By Paul Schmitt    

The Door County League of Women Voters sponsored a candidate forum for the Senate District 1 Saturday morning at the Southern Door Community Auditorium.  Incumbent Democrat Caleb Frostman and challenger Republican Andre Jacque fielded questions ranging from education and environmental issues to healthcare and taxes.  League of Women Voters Door County member Barb Graul says Saturday offered residents the opportunity to meet the candidates and learn their view regarding issues important to Door County.


The next Door County Women League of Voters candidate forum will be this coming Thursday at 6:30 pm at the Sturgeon Bay City Council Chambers.   It will feature Assembly District 1 candidates Republican Joel Kitchens and challenger Independent Roberta Thelen.

Local group brings the joy of reading to Kewaunee County area children

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

Members of the Kewaunee County Association for Home and Community Education (HCE) are helping to promote a lifelong love of reading for local children.

Kewaunee County HCE members play an important role in the Wisconsin Bookworms program, which provides free books to children who may not otherwise be able to own books. The HCE volunteers read to preschool children and give them new books each month to take home along with family activity worksheets that relate to the books.

Over the past 15 years, the Kewaunee County HCE group raised more than $13,000 to cover the cost of books for local children. HCE volunteer readers have contributed thousands of hours reading to children, preparing literacy-building activities, coordinating and distributing books, and assisting at Wisconsin Bookworms programs.

The Wisconsin Bookworms program is a partnership between HCE, UW-Extension and Wisconsin Public Television.  Since the program began, Wisconsin Bookworms has provided more than 750,000 books to more than 85,000 children statewide.

To learn more about the Wisconsin Bookworms program and the Wisconsin Association for Home and Community Education, Inc.(WAHCE) visit

Great Fire remembrance coming to Belgian Heritage Center

By Paul Schmitt    

The history of the "Great Fire of 1871", known locally as the Pestigo Fire, lives on with special presentations by Barb (Englebert) Chisholm of Sturgeon Bay. Chisholm, a fifth-generation American of Belgian decent with ancestors who survived the devastating fire over 147 years ago, will speak at the Belgian Heritage Center next month. Dressed in character as her great-great-grandmother, Chisholm shares the story of the Englebert family's survival.



Chisholm, who volunteers at the Belgian Heritage Center in Brussels, will present her program on Saturday, October 6 at 10 am and Sunday, October 7 at 10 am and 1 pm. Also on Sunday, October 7, Kathleen Ernst will speak about her new book, "The Lace Maker's Secret, a Chloe Ellefson murder mystery" at 11:15 am.

Farmers turn to harvest mode as fall officially starts

By Paul Schmitt    

As the calendar changes to fall this weekend, Door and Kewaunee County farmers are in the stretch run for harvesting their crops. Rich Olson of Olson Family Farm in southern Door County and a member of the Ag Advisory Board says the harvest is going well.


Olson says soybeans are dropping their leaves currently and will need to have the pods dry out for the beans to be cultivated by mid-October.

Youth in Government program helping students develop skills

By Paul Schmitt    

Door County 7th through 12th graders are learning the ins and outs of government through a special YMCA program.  The Youth in Government is a national program that gives teens the opportunity to literally practice democracy.  Tyler Powell, association Youth Director for the Door County YMCA in Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek, explains some the skills students learn.


The Youth in Government meets in Sturgeon Bay every Monday evening from 7:30 until 8:30.  The YMCA also offers it at the Fish Creek location from 6 until 7 pm on Tuesdays for the first time in eight years, according to Powell.

Visitors flocking to Newport State Park for dark sky viewing

By Paul Schmitt    

Newport State Park in Ellison Bay has seen a significant increase in visitors this year from around the work taking part in stargazing opportunities.  It was more than a year ago, that Newport State Park earned the official designation as an International Dark Sky Park.  Park Manager Michelle Hefty says Newport State Park is in good company when it comes to the guest being able to view the unique natural phenomenon.


Hefty says Newport State Park offers great nighttime viewing of the stars, especially in the fall season.  The park was the first in Wisconsin to earn the Dark Sky status and become the 48th International Dark Sky Park in the world.

Fall kayak fishing still offering opportunities on the water

By Paul Schmitt    

The fall season can be the best time of the year for kayak fishing and kayaking around the Peninsula, according to Kayak Fishing Pro Bill Schultz.  He says as the water cools the bay offers a great opportunity to still land a memorable smallmouth bass this year yet.


Schultz says with the water temperatures dropping the bass tend to gravitate to shallower water making it easier for kayak anglers.  He recommends that all kayakers wear a Personal Floatation Device and to bring along your cell phone after letting someone know your plans for the day.


(photo by Bill Schultz)

Ag Heritage Days this weekend in Luxemburg

By Paul Schmitt    

Tractors and vintage farm equipment will be on display through the weekend at the 25th Annual Ag Heritage Days in Luxemburg. The Ag Heritage Center sponsored event goes through 4 pm Sunday at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds. Jim Rabas of the Agricultural Heritage & Resources, Incorporated describes what attendees can expect to experience.



You can find more details on the Ag Heritage Days below.


Date: Sept. 22, 2018 – Sept. 23, 2018
Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Adults: $7.00
Kids 12-16 Years Old: $1.00
Under 12 Years Old: FREE
2-Day Pass: $10.00

Feature Events – Saturday
Antique Tractor Pull: Noon
Threshing: 10AM, 1PM, 3PM
Corn Husking: 10:30AM, 1:30PM, 3:30PM

Feature Events – Sunday
Garden Tractor Pull: 11AM
Threshing: 10AM, 1PM, 3PM
Corn Husking: 10:30AM, 1:30PM, 3:30PM

Location: Kewaunee County Fairgrounds


(photo courtesy of Agricultural Heritage & Resources, Inc.)

Marcol helping addicts overcome addiction in area

By Paul Schmitt    

Green Bay Packer Hall of Famer Chester Marcol is making a bigger impact in Packerland than during his kicking days back in the 1970's.  Marcol, who has been living in Luxemburg the past three years, works at Libertas Treatment Center in Green Bay as a counselor.  He says reaching out to young people early about the dangers of drug abuse is important.


Marcol says his youngest client is 12 years old and his oldest is 84.  Marcol wrote his autobiography, "Alive and Kicking, My Journey Through Football, Addiction and Life" seven years ago.  You can hear the full interview with Chester Marcol is below.



(photo courtesy of Matt Piesler, pictured with Marcol and Paul Schmitt during the halftime interview on Sept. 7 during Luxemburg-Casco-West DePere football game in Luxemburg)

Door County Community Foundation excited to show off conference space for organizations

By Tim Kowols       

The bell ringing outside its new offices is not the only thing that has the Door County Community Foundation excited about this fall. Work is beginning to wrap up on the building's exterior and in the conference space designed to host meetings for local groups. Door County Community Foundation President and CEO Bret Bicoy says residents and visitors will hopefully like what they will be able to experience.

Bicoy hopes to host an open house for the newly renovated Door County Community Foundation offices in October.

Homecoming celebrations bring difficult choices for area teens

By Tim Kowols       

With Luxemburg-Casco kicking off area homecoming celebrations this weekend, Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski is reminding students of the hard choices they may face in the middle of all of the fun. Football games and dances bring opportunities to participate in potentially illegal behavior including vandalizing and underage drinking. Joski understands kids will be kids, but that does not mean making bad decisions.

Joski applauded students from Algoma, Kewaunee, and Luxemburg-Casco for not having any homecoming-related incidents during the last few years. You can read this week's Sheriff's Corner online with this story.



As I have done in the past, I would like to spend time bringing some attention to safety during our Homecoming festivities.  This time of year brings with it not only the games and other school activities that our kids are involved in, but also the social activities which are such an important part of their lives. As we approach the season of homecoming games and dances we should encourage our kids to make good decisions, and more importantly be an example of good decisions. To the kids, let your parents know where you are going to be and with who. For those areas where "decorating" is allowed, please be respectful of those who do not wish to be part of this tradition. When traveling from one place to another, please use caution and adhere to the rules of the road.

Be aware of the consequences of drinking, and remove yourself from situations which you don't feel comfortable. To the parents, provide a safe environment for them in the form of gathering places in your homes, and always re-assure them that you will be there if they find themselves in a place they no longer wish to be. It goes without saying that those under 21 should not be drinking, and the consequences both legally and academically are not worth it. It is also illegal for those over 21 to provide alcohol to minors. This may seem like common sense, but there are those adults who rationalize providing alcohol to minors by having the parties at their home, or by taking keys. Regardless of how you justify it, it is still illegal, and the consequences can be far reaching. I hope that everyone has a safe Homecoming season both on the field as well as off the field.

Latest Kewaunee County Board vote shows successes of DNR groundwater workgroups

By Tim Kowols       

Tuesday's vote by the Kewaunee County Board to adopt the state's new NR-151 rules as a local ordinance represents the latest win for those that participated in workgroups just a couple years ago. Looking to change the tune of groundwater contamination in the area, Kewaunee County and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources collaborated to form workgroups to discuss the issues plaguing the area and develop possible solutions. The workgroups contained stakeholders from all walks of life including farmers and environmentalists. Kewaunee County Board member Lee Luft sat in on countless meetings of the workgroups. He is excited to see what other recommendations are implemented after Tuesday's unanimous approval.

The new county ordinance allows local law enforcement to act on possible manure spreading violations on land with thin ttopsoilsrather than wait for DNR intervention.

High winds causing outages in Door and Kewaunee Counties

By Tim Kowols       

Friday's wind advisory is taking its toll in Door and Kewaunee Counties as thousands of customers are without power. Algoma, Baileys Harbor, Casco, Egg Harbor, Ellison Bay, Forestville, Jacksonport, Luxemburg, and Sturgeon Bay are among the many affected communities according to Wisconsin Public Service. This is following several outages in Ellison Bay, Sister Bay, and Sturgeon Bay Thursday night and early Friday morning as storms rolled through the area. Gusts as high as 40 m.p.h are still expected throughout the day as the wind advisory continues through 7 p.m.

Why be a County Administrator-A Career Series

By Terry Kovarik              

What some people might call a problem, Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt calls an opportunity to make a difference. Feldt is entering his fourth year as county administrator after previously serving as a deputy state treasurer, an economic development director and executive assistant to a supply company CEO. Feldt says he wanted to be in public service as a youngster. He enjoys finding solutions to problems such as manure application ordinances that benefit farmers and property owners.



Scott Feldt highly recommends public administration as a career although it requires having a thick skin. Feldt says be prepared for hearing from other people who'll second guess your decisions and tell you how they could do the job better.

Advocacy groups push for voter registration and identification review

By Tim Kowols       

With the fall mid-term elections under two months away, local groups are making sure there are no surprises at the polls for Door and Kewaunee County voters. According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, the state mailed 384,000 postcards to eligible but unregistered voters earlier this year. Even once registered, Wisconsin voters need to make sure their photo identification cards are allowed under current state law. Jay Heck from Common Cause Wisconsin says organizations like his and the League of Women Voters have been working hard to make sure voters have what they need, especially on college campuses.

National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday and League of Women Voters Door County will offer voter registration assistance in Sturgeon Bay on September 25th and 26th and again on October 2nd. The organization will also have voter assistance events in Forestville on September 28 and in Sister Bay on October 5th.

Wind advisory slated for Door County after crews get Ellison Bay powered back up

By Tim Kowols       

Over 500 customers were without power in Ellison Bay early Friday morning, a number that has since gone down to zero as of 5:30 a.m. Rain came into the area overnight with wind gusts reaching as high as 37 mph. According to Wisconsin Public Service, crews were on-site in the area this morning addressing the outages. Single customers in Sturgeon Bay and Sister Bay were also affected. Door County will be under a wind advisory from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday with wind gusts expected to hit over 40 m.p.h.

Baileys Harbor Autumnfest this Saturday

By Paul Schmitt    

The annual Autumnfest in Baileys Harbor will take place this Saturday.  The festival, sponsored by the Baileys Harbor Community Association, will again include a huge Pin Ups & Pistons car and motorcycle show for the 25th year.   Brynn Swanson, the community coordinator, says this year's car show will honor a special person.


The Car show awards will be held at 3 pm with 10 class divisions and the Louie Oldenburg Best in Show Motorcycle.  The festival on Saturday begins with a Hey Hey 5 K run at 8 am.  Other activities include an open house at the fire station, an arts and crafts show, along with music and food.  You can find a complete schedule on the Baileys Harbor Autumnfest with the link below.

Recent digs at The Cove in Sturgeon Bay show it's always been a busy place

By Terry Kovarik              

The area around The Cove near Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay is busy with bikers and hikers on the Ahnappe Trail and kayakers at Leadership Landing. Evidence shows that has not changed in thousands of years. Sixth-grade students and teachers from T.J. Walker Middle School have helped uncovered relics where BIg Creek becomes The Cove. They indicate people were gathering at the banks between two-thousand and three-thousand years ago. Crossroads at Big Creek Director Coggin Heeringa says artifacts have been continually discovered at The Cove since invasive weeds were cut down at the site.



In addition to digging, Walker Middle School Students were able to use a flot machine to filter out bones, fish scales and seed from the soil. That helped determine the diets of the visitors from long ago.

Door County village and residents clear up some building permit misunderstandings

By Terry Kovarik              

Reports of some Village of Forestville property owners making improvements without building permits turned out to be just some misunderstandings. Village officials were told about five people doing work without the required permit. Any improvement project over $1,000 requires a building permit, which costs $25. So the Forestville Village Board sent letters to the property owners and received no responses. Village President Terry McNulty says the property owners were fined $50 and urged to explain what they were doing to the board.



McNulty says the village encourages people to improve their properties. But he recommends first checking out to see whether building permits for such project. You can learn more at

Local pantry planning for holiday dinners and gifts now

By Terry Kovarik              

As many families and kids plan for Halloween, the "Feed and Clothe My People" pantry and thrift store is getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Early this month the pantry began the process of making sure it will have enough food and gifts for those who need a little holiday help. Stella Huff, Operations Director for Feed and Clothe My People, says signing up is simple.



The holiday profile forms are available at "Feed and Clothe My People" located on North 14th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.

Local law enforcement agrees with Justice Department bid to improve forensic services

By Terry Kovarik              

The Kewaunee County Sheriff favors the Wisconsin Department of Justice's proposal to move the state crime lab and other forensic services into a new division and add 14-more full-time employees. Sheriff Matt Joski welcomes those changes, especially if they can make evidence processing more timely for investigators.



The DOJ is also requesting a progressive pay scale for crime lab analysts to help Wisconsin retain experienced employees.

Home will be worth the wait for the Purdy family

By Tim Kowols       

There are no walls quite yet at their future Sturgeon Bay home, by the Purdy family already has its paint colors picked out.  Door County Habitat for Humanity's 41st partner family had been rejected in previous years due to not making the financial requirements for the home.  Volunteers are currently building the largest home in the organization's history so that the family's five kids can have rooms to call their own. Thanks to helping mow yards and volunteering at the ReStore, Jacob Purdy appreciates getting a "hand up" and not a handout.

The Purdy family hopes to move into their new home at the end of November.

National Farm Safety and Health Week places focus on mental, emotional wellness

By Tim Kowols       

The annual national campaign promoting safety during the fall harvest is turning its focus to the farmers themselves. National Farm Safety and Health Week is taking a heavier approach to mental and emotional wellness this year.  Lower profit margins, weather, and other factors are all leading farmers to have an even more stressful harvest season than usual. Kewaunee County UW-Extension agriculture educator Aerica Bjurstrom says farmers need to slow down and take care of themselves before other bad events occur.

Bjurstrom advises motorists to be patient with the increased amount of agricultural implements on the road and farmers to make sure their equipment is well lit and marked. We have more tips for this year's National Farm Safety and Health Week posted online with this story.


Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation continues to plan for the future

By Tim Kowols       

Dealt with the blows of losing some of its funding and its executive director during the last year, the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation continues to look at building a brighter future. The KCEDC held four business community roundtables this summer to identify areas they needed to address.  From there, Lynn Kroll from the KCEDC says they will work on developing a three-year budget and finding a new executive director.

The KCEDC did get good news earlier this week when Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt announced the preliminary budget would include an increase in funding to the organization after cutting nearly half of it last year.

Convicted Luxemburg man attacks Door County judicial system and city attorney

By Roger Utnehmer       

Patrick Markham was convicted recently in Door County court of disorderly conduct for his actions toward people protesting a local political event. Markham spewed exhaust at protestors and revved his engine, allegedly scaring children participating in the protest.

He has now issued a statement claiming that the judge who presided at his trial should have recused himself. Markham inaccurately charged that Door County Circuit Court Judge E. Todd Ehlers previously worked for the Pinkert Law Firm, which represented the city in the action against Markham. He said, "the city attorney will take all matters in front of Ehlers with no attempt to work things out prior so the Pinkert firm can collect the fees."

"They know," Markham said, "Ehlers will rule in favor of them so they try to bring every case in front of the judge to collect more fees."

Judge Ehlers confirmed for that he was never a partner nor employed by the Pinkert Law Firm.

Markham also said, "Pretty hard to get a fair hearing if the judge and prosecutor are on the same team."

Markham also accused Ehlers of "asking me belittling questions from the bench in an angry tone."

In addition, Markham complained that Jon Pinkert, representing the City of Sturgeon Bay, "would not talk to me at the hearing" and did not inform him that he was required to request a jury trial by a certain date. Pinkert told it is neither his nor the judge's responsibility to explain the filing requirement to defendants.

Markham also complained about news coverage and has demanded that retract an earlier story about his conviction. is not publishing the entire comments submitted by Markham because his charges against Judge Ehlers and attorney Jon Pinkert are false and without merit.

Ad hoc committee looking at the big picture for Sturgeon Bay waterfront

By Terry Kovarik              

The future of Sturgeon Bay's waterfront is now in the hands of the 10-member Ad Hoc Westside Waterfront Steering Committee. It replaces the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority. Committee members have experience in business,  industry, and non-profit interests. Its mission will be to look at all possible commercial and public uses for the waterfront and make recommendations to the Common Council. Committee member Laurel Hauser says the group plans to consider waterfront development in other communities.




In addition to Laurel Hauser, ad hoc committee members include:

Ryan Hoernke, with Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding

Caitlin Oleson with the Climate Collaborative

Sara Powers, an architect

Mike Gilson. a retired banker

Stephanie Trenchard, a professional artist

Erich Pfeifer, president, and CEO of Marine Travelift Inc., Shuttelift and Exactech Inc.

David Schanock, vice president and CFO of Roen Salvage Company

Jim Schuessler, executive director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation

Mark Schuster, owner of Bay Shore Outfitters

The first meeting of the ad hoc committee is set for October 4th at Sturgeon Bay City Hall on Michigan Street.

Egg Harbor discusses new beach designs during special meeting Friday

By Tim Kowols       

Removing a seawall and moving the beach back from the water will be some of the design elements discussed when the village of Egg Harbor's Parks and Public Works Committee hosts a special meeting Friday morning. Officials have been working on plans to make changes to the beach for the last one-and-a-half years. Removing the seawall would nearly double the current size of the beach. Pulling the beach upland could help during storm events when sand routinely washes out to shore. Village administrator Ryan Heise says finding the right balance between green space and sandy areas will also be discussed.

The special meeting will take place at 8:30 a.m. at the Egg Harbor Beach Pavilion.

Why Be a School Board Member A Career Series

By Terry Kovarik              

John Hauser made a secondary career in education, not as a teacher, but as a member of the Sturgeon Bay Board of Education. Hauser spent nearly 20-years during two different times as a board member. He says he first ran with a desire to make sure students had the best education possible. Hauser says he knew the district was on track at the end of every school year.


Hauser says during his tenure on the board of education it became more challenging with changes in state funding. He says that meant taking a new approach to ensuring quality education continued.



And Hauser says convincing voters that the district was spending money wisely was made easier by a very supportive community.

Casco man charged with possession of child pornography

By Tim Kowols       

A Casco man is being held on a $25,000 cash bond after thousands of pictures of child pornography was found at his residence last week. The Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigations and the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department searched the home of Sean Evansen on September 13th after receiving information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the local Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. According to a release from the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department, the NCMEC flagged Evansen after he uploaded a "significant amount" of child pornography via a picture sharing program.  Evansen is in Kewaunee County Jail for charges of possession of child pornography and sex offender registry violations.

Local auto dealer believes tariffs on auto parts from China could have long-term benefits

By Terry Kovarik              

The owner of Jim Olson Motors is not overly concerned about U.S. tariffs on Chinese-made auto parts raising prices on vehicles. Jim Olson believes the 10-percent tariffs levied by the Trump Administration will put U.S. parts manufacturers on a par with Chinese parts firms. Olson says that will benefit shoppers and workers.



Olson says the tariffs will give the U.S. more muscle when it comes to negotiating with trading partners.

Door County artist shares the peninsula with diplomats in Europe

By Terry Kovarik              

Connie Glowacki's great loves are her husband Mike, watercolors and Door County. Now two of Glowacki's loves are getting exposure to the world diplomatic community. Nine of her watercolors have been chosen by the Art In Embassies program. All of them will be displayed in the U.S. Embassy in Prague, Czech Republic and feature scenes of Door County. Glowacki hopes those who view "Days End" and the other portraits feel a connection to her part of Wisconsin.



Glowacki's works were discovered at an art show in Milton by local resident Steve King, who just happens to be U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic.

A plan to boost funding for the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation

By Terry Kovarik              

The Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation would get more money from the county in 2019 following successful restructuring efforts. The county cut it's contribution to the EDC last year from $30,000 to $18,000. County Administrator Scott Feldt is now requesting an increase to help strengthen the reformed EDC.



The EDC contribution is part of the proposed 2019 county budget unveiled on Tuesday.

Violence Intervention Project needs help to aid Kewaunee County clients striking out on their own

By Terry Kovarik              

Domestic abuse victims in Kewaunee County many times escape violent relationships with little more than the clothes they're wearing. The Violence Intervention Project provides shelter, food and personal needs to abuse victims. Project advocates also help clients transition to living on their own. Office Coordinator Jillian, whose last name is not being released out of safety concerns, says people can help ease those transitions with simple donations.



Donations can be made at the Violence Intervention Project offices on Division Street in Algoma.

Sturgeon Bay Common Council dissolves Waterfront Redevelopment Authority

By Terry Kovarik              

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council voted to dissolve the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority after more than 30-years of operation. The council met in closed session for just over two hours to consider the proposed dissolution. When the council returned to open session, it voted 6-1 to dissolve the authority. Attorney James Kalny, who represents Sturgeon Bay, explained to Council Member David Ward that the dissolution proposal takes into account current legal obligations.



The common council also discussed a proposed settlement with Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront and adjourned without taking action.

Thelen taking unconventional approach for campaign


A Door County woman is taking a different approach to the state capital.  Roberta Thelen, a member of the Baileys Harbor Town Board, has prepared a radio ad in which she makes a rare pledge in today's political environment.

Thelen pledges to not engage in the often irritating robocalls, those recorded messages that come on your phone when you are sitting down for dinner.  She also promises not to fill your mailbox with campaign literature.

Thelen shared her thinking about an unconventional campaign with


Thelen is also running as an independent for the First Assembly district seat now held by Joel Kitchens, a Republican.


Her :30 second political ad is below.


Place Text Here

Why be a home builder?  Series on Careers

By Paul Schmitt    

Working in the home construction business is a career that can be not only physically demanding but requires a high degree of organizational skills, according to one home builder.  Craig Vandenhouten, president of Van's Lumber & Custom Builders in Dyckesville and Egg Harbor, describes the biggest challenge facing home builders today.


According to Vandenhouten, the recent building boom has opened up many job opportunities in the trades including sales, drafting, carpentry, and job coordinator.    Vandenhouten, a third generation builder, operates Van's Lumber with his three brothers, Eric, Kurt, and Chris.  He says continuing the tradition of quality that his father and grandfather started over 65 years ago is the most rewarding part of the job.

Local mop maker inspires an artist to come to Algoma

By Terry Kovarik              

Algoma Mop Manufacturers gave Milwaukee-area artist Melissa Dorn some material for her latest works. She was also inspired to showcase those works in Algoma. Dorn's exhibition is called Mopping Up. It looks at the design and functionality of mops and their potential. Dorn's idea started with a childhood memory. A visit to East Shore Industries, which makes Algoma Mops, helped bring the concept for "Mopping Up" to light.



East Shore Industries, which owns Algoma Mop Manufacturers, employs people with disabilities. Melissa Dorn used her visit to the company to hold art workshops for ESI employees. "Mopping Up" will premiere October 5th at Yardstick on Steele Street in Algoma.

Young people from Door and Kewaunee Counties wanting to take over family farms face economic challenges

By Terry Kovarik              

Those raised on dairy farms in Door and Kewaunee Counties who want to take over the family business are hindered by economic factors. Steve Baxter, Door County Farm Bureau President, says he's seeing an increase in young people who've graduated from college coming back to the farm. This comes as Wisconsin's Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection found that the number of dairy farms declined by nearly 430 this year. That's the most since 2013. Baxter says younger people may find it hard to get the money they need to run a farm.



Baxter says the loss of any farm is hard in Door and Kewaunee Counties because farms in both counties are known for high-quality production.

Million dollar budget proposal for expanded broadband internet in Kewaunee County

By Terry Kovarik              

When Kewaunee County's proposed $23.7-million 2019 budget goes before the Board of Supervisors Tuesday evening it will include a big step forward in expanding broadband internet. County Administrator Scott Feldt is proposing the allocation of $1-million to implement a broadband system that would reach rural customers.



Kewaunee County is currently partnering with Door County Broadband to erect one tower under a $40,000 Public Service Commission grant. Once that tower is erected, Feldt says the county could expand on that partnership for broadband expansion.

Ephraim-Gibraltar Airport gets by with a little help from its "Friends"

By Terry Kovarik              

A dedicated group of local pilots is keeping some of the cost of operating the Ephraim Gibraltar Airport off the local property tax rolls. The "Friends of Ephraim-Gibraltar Airport" was formed about ten years ago. Group Treasurer Jon Neville says pilots, like himself, who use the airport didn't think it was getting proper care. So they volunteered to keep it running, save the village and the town a little money and act as ambassadors to the community.



The town and village provide tractors for lawn mowing at the airport. Neville says his group donates about 120-hours for mowing and other services and that saves the communities several thousand dollars yearly.

Marquette School demolition expected to be finished by the end of October

By Tim Kowols       

An eyesore near Kewaunee's lakeshore is expected to be gone by the end of next month. Crews are on the site of the former Marquette School as they demolish the building for future development. The building's demise was delayed briefly when developers at the eleventh hour asked to check out the building to see if it was salvageable. Kewaunee Mayor Sandi Christman says the next step after Marquette School gets demolished is determining what can and should go there.

Christman says after the building is razed, the city will do landscaping to make sure the site is put back together by the end of the year.

Candidate forums highlight important races in Door County

By Tim Kowols       

The second of three candidate forums is scheduled to take place this Saturday morning at the Southern Door Auditorium. Forum organizer League of Women Voters Door County kicked off the series last Thursday with the Door County Sheriff's race between Republican Chief Deputy Pat McCarty and Democrat Jail Lieutenant Tammy Sternard. Saturday will feature the race for the First Senate District between Senator Caleb Frostman and Rep. Andre Jacque. League member Barb Graul says the forums serve an important purpose as voters get closer to the general election on November 6th.

The candidate forum series will conclude next Thursday at the Sturgeon Bay Common Council Chambers when Republican Rep. Joel Kitchens meets independent candidate Roberta Thelen. Saturday's forum will begin at 9:30 a.m. while Thursday's session starts at 6:30 p.m.


Stonehouse Water Technologies responds to Town of Lincoln criticism

By Tim Kowols       

Milwaukee-based Stonehouse Water Technologies is disappointed in the Town of Lincoln Board's latest comments on its whole-house water system pilot project. Last week, the board said in a statement that they had not spoken to the company since it tried to arrange a meeting between the two sides in October. The board charges Stonehouse Water Technologies with not following through on certain promises such as giving reports to some of the pilot project's members. In a statement from Stonehouse Water Technologies CEO Hensley Foster, he says the pilot project was successfully completed last November and has "provided them with ongoing support, as well as test reports during the pilot project. These reports proved our systems worked."  Town of Lincoln Board Supervisor Nick Cochart says that is more of the same.

The whole house water system pilot program was supposed to address the groundwater concerns in the town.  Cochart reiterated that at least four of the five pilot members had not received initial reports from Stonehouse Water Technologies.

Younkers returns online and Door County EDC works to bring back the store

By Terry Kovarik              

People in Door and Kewaunee Counties can shop at Younkers again, at least online. CSC Generation Holdings, the new owner of Bon Ton, relaunched websites for the Younkers and other Bon Ton store brands over the weekend. The company has also announced that several stores in the Milwaukee area will reopen in time for the Christmas shopping season. Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jim Schuessler sees that as a hopeful sign for Sturgeon Bay and Door County, though other options are still being considered for the vacant store.



The EDC is currently doing a survey on retailing in Door County and Sturgeon Bay to find the area's strengths and match them with prospective retailers.

People in Door and Kewaunee Counties should be cautious with late-season mosquito population boom

By Terry Kovarik              

Hot, humid weather and recent rains have caused a late-season mosquito population boom in Door and Kewaunee Counties. The Door County Public Health Department says people should be cautious about West Nile Virus, which was detected in a bird tested earlier this summer. Health Officer Sue Powers says West Nile Virus has flu-like symptoms, nausea, headaches, fatigue or muscle aches. While most people have little to worry about, Powers says take precautions.



Natural insect repellents include oil of lemon and eucalyptus oil for your skin and permethrin spray for clothing or camping gear.

Students lean on experience for home construction project

By Tim Kowols       

Two familiar faces are among the six students participating in this year's Door County High School Home Construction project. Sturgeon Bay seniors Caleb Diller and Erik Escalera are taking the class again to brush up on their skills even more and help the Door County Economic Development Corporation keep the program going for the second year in a row. Diller says the advice he gave to the four newcomers to the project is pretty simple.

Instructor Seth Wilson says having experienced students on the job site is important, especially since they are down five students in the course from last year.

Local contractors will assist the student team with a variety of different aspects with the project before the home is completed in the spring.

Sturgeon Bay summer street repairs winding down

By Paul Schmitt    

After a busy summer of street resurfacing and improvements, the City of Sturgeon Bay is finishing up the major projects that occupied much of their time.  City Engineer Chad Shefchik says he already received positive feedback on the Duluth Avenue project which was completed a few weeks ago.


Shefchik says the Sturgeon Bay Street Department is also finishing up work on the Texas Street and 4th Avenue projects that should have asphalt laid down by the end of this week.  The City of Sturgeon Bay has about 67 miles of roads to maintain.

Why be an estate planner? Series on Careers

By Paul Schmitt    

Attorneys can choose many fields of practicing law, but one local lawyer chose estate planning to help and teach people important lessons about protecting their legacy.  Bob Ross from Ross Estate Planning in Sturgeon Bay says he loves teaching people the importance of having their estate in order.


Ross says besides the three additional years of schooling after college, you must have a minimum of five years in estate planning before becoming fully certified.   He estimates that he does an additional 80 to 100 hours of continuing education even though only15 hours a year are required to keep up his certification.   According to, the average salary for an Estate Planning Attorney is $76,273 per year.

Sister Bay food pantry sees emptier shelves since the school year started

By Terry Kovarik              

School's back in session and the Door of Life Church Food Pantry has the bare shelves to prove it. The Sister Bay pantry, which helps anyone in need around the clock, has less to offer. Pantry manager Heidi Penchoff says the pantry needs the basics and a bit more.



Penchoff says personal care items like toothpaste, soap, deodorant and laundry supplies are also needed. Donations can be dropped off anytime at the church on Highway 42 in Sister Bay.

A local broker says investors and those with retirement plans can be cautiously optimistic for the fall

By Terry Kovarik              

A Kewaunee County-based stockbroker has good news for investors. Robert Tuszynski a broker with Raymond James Securities at the Bank of Luxemburg, says the stock market often corrects, or drops in value, during the month of September, something that has not happened this year.



Tuszynski says investors should watch for the Federal Reserve Board's action on interest rates and the United States' negotiations with trading partners when making investment decisions.

Spewing diesel exhaust at demonstrators proves costly for a Luxemburg man

By Terry Kovarik              

A Luxemburg man found out it can be expensive protesting the presence of picketers at a Door County Republican Party event. Patrick Markham was charged with disorderly conduct after revving the engine of his truck and spewing diesel exhaust fumes at a group picketing at the annual Republican Party Lincoln Day dinner in Sturgeon Bay April 7.   Judy Brodd of Sister Bay was among the protestors. She says Markham showed no remorse for his actions.



Markham was found guilty during a bench trial Friday in Door County Circuit Court. He was ordered to pay $318.45 in fines and witness fees.

Sturgeon Bay man arrested in drug bust

By Paul Schmitt    

A 38-year-old man from Sturgeon Bay was arrested on multiple drug offenses last Friday. According to a Sturgeon Bay Police Department social media post on Monday, the arrest was made after a routine traffic stop in the city. After the officers learned that the driver did not have a valid driver's license, a K9 unit was deployed by a Wisconsin State Patrol Officer who was close by. About 29 grams of Methamphetamine and numerous pieces of drug paraphernalia were found inside the car. The man was then arrested on drug charges and is sitting in the Door County Jail awaiting charges.

Sturgeon Bay Waterfront redevelopment issues on Common Council agenda

By Terry Kovarik              

A proposed settlement agreement with the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront and the potential dissolution of the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority will be considered at Tuesday's Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting. The council plans to discuss both matters in closed session. When that closed session ends, council members have the option of taking formal action on the proposals or giving them further consideration. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting takes place at 7 PM at City Hall on Michigan Street.

Former Wisconsin man with a home in the path of Hurricane Florence confident the house is intact

By Terry Kovarik              

Dave Bissonette has been watching news reports and online video links hoping to get a view of his home in New Bern, North Carolina. Bissonette and his wife Kathleen waited out Hurricane Florence with family in Michigan last week. The native of Phlox, Wisconsin says he's feeling a bit better from what he's seen and heard from the area.



Dave Bissonette has seen some lighter moments in the photos from the flooded town.  Bear statues set up around New Bern for businesses to decorate and later sell to raise money for charity have been turning up in unusual places.



The Bissonette's are planning to head back to North Carolina tomorrow after a stopover in Pittsburgh, where they have friends and family.

Kewaunee County Sheriff takes anti-suicide message to the community

By Terry Kovarik              

Kewaunee County is teaching employees how they can spot someone pondering suicide and get them help. Sheriff Matt Joski has been leading the program, which is offered to all who work for the county. He hopes to take the program to the community at large. Joski says it's designed to help people take a bolder approach with those who admit they've thought about suicide.



The program hopes by getting neighbors, friends or family members to open up about suicidal thoughts they can be persuaded to seek professional help.

Door County to look at where the money would go if marijuana is legalized

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County plans further study on a proposed advisory referendum on whether to make marijuana legal in Wisconsin. Supporters of both ideas also want county supervisors to follow the money. Supervisor Megan Lundahl says supporters want to make sure key details are worked out ahead of time.



Once the board of supervisors finishes studying all aspect of marijuana legalization, Lundahl believes the earliest any proposed referendum would be put before voters would be spring of 2019.

Door County singer and songwriter talks about opening for the artist who inspires her

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County singer-songwriter Katie Dahl likes to perform her own works and those of fellow entertainers. Now she's getting a chance to join one of her favorite performers at Door Community Auditorium. Dahl will be the opening act for Dar Williams, who's known for her brand of pop-infused folk music. Dahl says she's been hoping for an opportunity to share the same stage with Williams close to home.



The concert is set for 7 PM Monday at Door Community Auditorium on Highway 42 in Fish Creek.

Buy new license plates and help your local 4H chapter

By Terry Kovarik              

Door and Kewaunee County drivers can now show their support and make a donation to 4H when adding new plates to their trucks or cars. The Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles is now offering special 4H license plates. 4H Foundation Executive Director Barb Scheider says it's a chance for people to show their 4H pride and do a little more.



4H is just the latest community group to benefit from the DMV's charitable plates program. Others include Cure Childhood Cancer, Donate Life and Ducks Unlimited.

Sexual assault investigations in Door and Kewaunee Counties can now move forward

By Terry Kovarik              

Investigators in Door and Kewaunee Counties will be able to refer some sexual assault cases for charges now that the backlog of sexual assault kits has been fully processed. Some 15 cases in Door County alone have been awaiting further investigation pending processing by the State Crime Lab. The Department of Justice hired private labs to help with DNA testing. Door County District Attorney Colleen Nordin says that will now help local police agencies take the next steps in their investigations.



Nordin says the state's completion of the processing of 4500 sexual assault kits already helped her office find a suspect in the sexual assault of a child.

Packers versus state parks. Who wins on game day?

By Terry Kovarik              

The Green Bay Packers may rule Sunday afternoons during the regular season. Summer weather, however, is still attracting visitors, especially families to Peninsula State Park. Nicolet Beach is still a weekend draw with warm humid conditions in the forecast. Peninsula State Park Naturalist Kathleen Harris says even with the Packers playing at home
the park is seeing good visitor traffic at other locations on Sunday.



Harris says families will still make Peninsula State Park a weekend destination as the Fall Color season comes into full bloom.

Adopt a Soldier Door County explains the application process for veterans aid

By Terry Kovarik              

STURGEON BAY, WI (Terry Kovarik) -- Veterans in Door and Kewaunee Counties can get help for day-to-day needs through Adopt a Soldier-Door County once they submit an application. The organization is starting a new outreach to veterans in need. Executive Director Nancy Hutchinson says interested veterans will first have to prove the funds are needed.




Hutchinson says veterans can apply through the Door and Kewaunee County Veterans Services Offices or Adopt a Solider-Door County. For more information check out go to

New robotic surgery system at Door County Medical Center offers more focused treatment

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County Medical Center is now offering a robotic system that performs precise surgical operations not possible through human hands alone. The da Vinci Surgical System has been online in Sturgeon Bay since spring. Doctors and staff involved with the system have been going through training. Dr. Michael St. Jean says the types of surgeries that can be performed with the da Vinci System are wide-ranging.



If you'd like to see how the da Vinci Robotic Surgical system works, a free demonstration will be held at Door County Medical Center South 18th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay on October 4th from 2 PM-5 PM.

Safety matters to Southern Door

By Delilah Rose -- Student Correspondent        

Southern Door is kicking off the new school year with a new safety initiative. Its intent is to provide students with an upper hand on their welfare.

The high school held a safety seminar in the auditorium for students the first week of school. They hosted two guest speakers including Chris Neville, Door County Police Liaison, and Colleen Nordin, Door County District Attorney.

The High school Principal, Steve Bousely, along with Neville and Nordin touched base on behavior codes for respect of peers, in school behavior and being a substance, drug, and weapon free school. After covering the main goals of what SD strives for, they all came forward with the importance of how to address each situation.

If a student has seen one of the behavior codes broken, they are to contact a teacher immediately and report the situation. Failure to report was pointed out as a broken code itself.

If you hear it, see it, or suspect it— Report it!

Southern Door is working hard to provide their students with a positive and protected school environment.

Former Sister Bay Village Administrator sees bright side of Foxconn

By Tim Kowols       

To visit with former Sister Bay Village Administrator Zeke Jackson these days, you better get behind the long line of developers knocking on his door. Jackson stepped away from his post in Sister Bay last fall to become the new village administrator for Waterford, one of several communities transforming in the shadows of Foxconn-related construction projects. He compared the expected trickle-down effect from the Foxconn campus to what has already occurred near the Research Triangle Park in Raleigh, N.C. and Silicon Valley in California. Jackson says his experience managing municipal construction projects in Sister Bay has helped him in his new role.

Similar to Door County, Jackson says having enough housing for the 5,000 construction workers expected for the project this spring and fall could be a challenge, but one they are ready to face.

Dinosaurs coming to Washington Island

By Tim Kowols       

After 65 million years of being extinct, even dinosaurs are finding a fall Door County vacation too good of an opportunity to pass up. Several fossils from Wausau-based Colossal Fossils will make the ferry ride to Washington Island for a day where the whole community can get up close to the bones of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals. Washington Island School science teacher Jessica Dennis says it is a great opportunity for students and community members who would otherwise have to spend hundreds of dollars to experience it elsewhere on their own.

A location still needs to be determined, but Washington Island residents and visitors will be able to check out the fossils during a public event on October 5th at 5:30 p.m.


Why be an inspector packager? Series on careers

By Tim Kowols       

Depending on the water bottle you are drinking from, there is a good chance someone in Kewaunee County approved it first. N.E.W. Plastics in Luxemburg manufactures a number of different products from recycled materials including containers and bottles. The last person who sees the product before it heads out the door is the inspector packager. This person inspects the products for quality control purposes before boxing them up for shipment. N.E.W. Plastics Senior Human Resources Leader Dave Goblisch says the fast-paced, entry-level position is a great way to get introduced to other careers within the company.

While a high school diploma is not required, Goblisch says it is preferred and potential inspector packagers must be able to at least pass a basic math test in order to get hired. This is part of a continuing series on area job opportunities.

WaterFest makes a splash at Crossroads

By Tim Kowols       

Crossroads at Big Creek made sure WaterFest not only fit the theme, but also left attendees thinking about how they can protect the environment.  A joint effort between the Sturgeon Bay educational center, Sustain Door, and Healthy Water Door County, the event not only featured kids activities but also a number of presentations explaining the importance of the natural resource. Crossroads at Big Creek Director Coggin Heeringa says it is important to combine learning and fun with all of their activities, especially when it comes to water.

Heeringa says WaterFest serves as a bridge for people simply learning about water to becoming aware of its biggest threats. Celebrate Water Door County was introduced by the Door County Community Foundation earlier this year and will culminate next year with summit featuring several experts in the field.

Luxemburg manufacturer D&S Machine Service continues investment in the future

By Tim Kowols       

For D&S Machine Service, investing in the future means more than just what happens inside the walls of its Luxemburg facility. Kewaunee, Algoma, Luxemburg-Casco, and Mishicot have all been recipients of equipment from D&S Machine Service to improve its technical education program. The company has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment and materials to the four schools based on the district's recommendations. D&S Machine Service President Russ Nowak says it is important to get kids exposed to manufacturing careers early.

Nowak says in the future, employees from D&S Machine Service could come to the schools a couple hours every week to help with student projects and provide additional guidance to a school's technical education program.


Picture courtesy of D&S Machine Service

Birch Creek Music Performance Center Executive Director heads to Indian Ocean for mission trip

By Tim Kowols       

After spending the summer helping spread the love of music in Egg Harbor this summer, Birch Creek Music Performance Center Executive Director Mona Christensen hopes to do similar work with her faith thousands of miles away. Christenson will join Whitney House, Pete Larson, and Lee DuCharme from Door of Life Church in Sister Bay on a mission trip to help at an orphanage located on the Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean.  Years after adopting her own children from an orphanage in Bogota, Columbia, Christensen continues to be inspired helping where she can.

Christian churches from around the world help contribute funds to support mission trips like Christensen's, which will last 10 days beginning September 20th.

Secret Treasures: Fall in love with Door County

By Tom Jordan     

Something magical will begin in just a few short weeks. The days will grow shorter, the evenings will be cooler and the leaves will start to change into a fireworks display of color.


This is when tourists return, festivals will be celebrated and the entire Peninsula will be converted to one of the most colorful destinations in the country. It starts earlier farther up north. If you take the ferry to Washington Island you can climb the stairs at Mountain Park Lookout Tower and see a vast variety of breathtaking colors in every direction.


Near the middle to end of October, all of Door County will be blessed with some of the most spectacular scenery of the year. Make sure you visit all our state parks. This is where you can experience winding trails and vistas that dazzle at every turn. In Whitefish Dunes State Park Old Baldy is the last remaining tower on the Peninsula and gives you a 360-degree vista. And at Potawatomi State Park the ski hill provides an unbelievable view of colors for miles and miles.


Fall.  The time for fresh apples, tomatoes, corn and an autumn display of color that will take your breath away.

All-girl, girl-led environment important for local scouting council

By Tim Kowols       

Girl Scouts in Door and Kewaunee Counties are keeping the course with their recruitment efforts despite other local youth organizations going co-ed. There are six different levels of Girl Scouting, starting with Daisies in Kindergarten and concluding with Ambassadors as upperclassmen in high school. Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes Council Communications Coordinator Melissa Loest told this summer that their organization remains focused on cultivating an all-girl, girl-led environment for its members.

Recruiting efforts usually hit a peak at the beginning of the school year, but Loest says interested girls can join troops near them at any time. The Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes serves approximately 16,000 girls across northern Wisconsin and Upper Peninsula Michigan, including hundreds in Door and Kewaunee Counties.

Town of Gibraltar looks to set second electors meeting concerning bathhouse project

By Tim Kowols       

The Town of Gibraltar Board will meet Tuesday to discuss new bathhouse designs and set the date for an upcoming meeting of its electors. This will mark the second time since July the town will go to the electors for their input. The town's electors rejected previous plans to build an $850,000 bathhouse at Fish Creek Beach on July 9th by nearly a 3-to-1 margin. Tuesday's meeting will also discuss other aspects of the Fish Creek Beach improvement plan including parking and a proposed pier. The special meeting of the town board will take place at 6 p.m. at the Gibraltar Town Center.

Kewaunee County UW-Extension to host Senior Resource Fair

By Kaila Stencil, Kewaunee County UW-Extension FoodWise Educator     

The Kewaunee County Senior Resource Fair will take on Thursday, October 11th at the fairgrounds in Luxemburg. The event will be held from 9 am – 12 pm with bingo starting at 12:30. At the FoodWise booth, seniors can learn more about healthy recipes to add into their diet and exercises that can be done in the home to stay active.  Special demonstrations will be happening throughout the day along with free health screenings.  The fun and engaging event helps seniors gain a wealth of knowledge about community resources.

Door County crunching numbers for new 2019 budget

By Paul Schmitt    

As local municipalities are putting their numbers together to form the budget for the upcoming year, Door County is looking at a rosier picture, according to County Administrator Ken Pabich.  Pabich says this summer's tourism has been strong and the sales tax numbers are up this year in Door County.  He explains the budgeting process the board is working through now.


Pabich says the biggest challenge facing Door County is the tax levy limits set by the state of Wisconsin.  He expects the imposed levies to become a larger issue in the future for Door County.   Pabich adds that he realizes that the state wants municipalities to act fiscally responsible, but with levy limits for ten plus years, it makes it difficult for the county to operate efficiently with all the budget cuts.

Popularity of frozen dinners coming back

By Paul Schmitt    

Convenience and affordability are making microwavable meals very attractive to grocery shoppers.  According to the market research firm Spins, sales for frozen entrees were up nearly six percent in the past year.  That nearly triples the growth in overall packaged-food sales.  Alex Stodola, store manager at Stodola's IGA in Luxemburg credits the increased popularity of frozen meals to a better tasting product and the many different varieties available.



Stodola's IGA recently revamped their frozen food section by putting in pushers to dispense the food containers more easily and also added a new natural organic brand to the selection, according to Stodola.  Other frozen food sales rose three percent nationally as well last year which included vegetables and pizza.

Sturgeon Bay streets get surfacing to extend life

By Paul Schmitt    

A new surfacing on city streets in Sturgeon Bay will ideally give additional life to the asphalt.  The Street Micro Surfacing Program, which was delayed a few days by contractors, was completed on Georgia Street and Utah Street on Friday.  Sturgeon Bay City Engineer Chad Shefchik explains what the new surfacing means to the streets.


The surface only needs two hours to dry and the project is expected to finish by next Wednesday, according to Shefchik.  You can find a complete listing of streets that will receive the micro-surfacing below.

The roadway segments to receive micro surfacing in 2018 are as follows:
- Georgia Street (from N 8th Ave to N 14th Ave)
- Iowa Street (from N 3rd Ave to N 6th Ave)
- Oregon Street (from S 3rd Ave to S 7th Ave)
- S 5th Ave (from Michigan Street to Quincy Street)
- N 1st Ave (from Michigan Street to termination)
- Utah Street (from HWY 42/57 to Cove Road)
- Cove Road (from Utah Street to Canal Road)


Construction Update:  Project 1803 – 2018 Street Micro Surfacing Program


Our contractor is on pace to finish Georgia Street (from N 8th Ave to N 14th Ave) and Utah Street (from HWY 42/57 to Cove Road) today and will have the roadways open to traffic before they leave for the weekend.  The schedule for Monday is as follows (please note:  the timeframes are approximate and will be largely affected by roadway prep time and temperatures):

1)      Cove Road (from Utah Street to Canal Road):  Prep work and roadway closure will begin around 7:00 AM.  The roadway will be reopened to traffic later that morning.

2)      N 1st Ave (from Michigan Street to termination):  Prep work and roadway closure will begin after Cove Road is wrapping up (late morning) and will be reopened to traffic early to mid-afternoon.

3)      Oregon Street (from S 3rd Ave to S 7th Ave):  Prep work and roadway closure will begin after N 1st Ave is wrapping up (early to mid afternoon) and will be reopened to traffic early evening.

If the weather cooperates and Monday's work gets completed as anticipated on Tuesday the contractor will complete Iowa Street (from N 3rd Ave to N 6th Ave) and S 5th Ave (from Michigan Street to Quincy Street).

Local farmers look to international trade to spur milk prices

By Paul Schmitt    

Area dairy farmers are hopeful that the international demand for milk will help raise the stagnant milk prices.  Milk prices continue to stay low this summer but the overall dairy exports were up four percent from a year ago, according to the U.S. Dairy Council.  Jim Wautier of Church-Site Farms in Brussels says he remains optimistic that the milk prices can rebound with the help of foreign trade.


Milk production nationally has been below average and according to the United States Department of Agriculture, Wisconsin has lost 382 farmers since the start of the year.

Gibraltar principal gives tips on how to keep a positive school year rolling

By Tim Kowols       

As area students finish their first full week of classes, the question now is how to keep the positive momentum going. Student motivation can trail off once the shine of a new school year goes away, especially as they get older. Gibraltar Area Schools District Superintendent Tina Van Meer says keeping the routine you established at the beginning of the year is important.

Except for teacher in-service days sprinkled in this fall, many students will not have an extended break from classes until Thanksgiving.

Kewaunee lighthouse park taking shape

By Tim Kowols       

A new park on the shores of Lake Michigan is shining a bright light on the city of Kewaunee. Thanks to a state grant and a donation from Don and Jean Smith, the city's new lighthouse park is transforming the waterfront. When it is completed in the next three weeks, paths will wind through the park with reader boards explaining the city's maritime history as they travel. Lighthouse Preservation Committee Chairperson Robin Nelson says the excitement is building.

Nelson says a formal dedication of the Donald L. and Jean M. Smith Lighthouse Park will take place in mid-October after breaking ground on the project last month.

Cub Scouts give kids a jump start on becoming better people

By Tim Kowols       

Recruiting efforts for the upcoming year of Cub Scouting in Door and Kewaunee Counties are underway. The Cub Scouts serves youth ranging from its Kindergarten-based Lions program to fifth graders for Webelos. New to some packs this year could be the addition of girls to their groups, which have been allowed to join by the Boy Scouts of America since earlier this year. Pack 4021 Cubmaster Sean Linnan says the organization fills a void not being filled elsewhere.

Pack 4021 meets on Thursday evenings at Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church beginning at 6 p.m. You can contact Bay-Lakes Council to find a pack near your home.

Freimuth takes second place in AMVETS coloring contest

By Tim Kowols       

Old Glory has never looked better in a Sturgeon Bay home after the local American Veterans (AMVETS) chapter announced their statewide coloring contest winners. Avery Freimuth, daughter of Karen and's Nick Freimuth, took second place in the state competition after winning her school's contest almost a year ago. Not only did Freimuth color the picture of the United States flag but she also had to identify its symbolic aspects. After AMVETS members visited her St. Paul Lutheran School classroom earlier this week to announce her award, Freimuth says she was proud to have earned the honor.

Freimuth thanked the AMVETS not only for the full-size American flag and cash prize associated with the contest,but for also serving our country.

Harvest Fest celebrated in Sturgeon Bay this Saturday

By Paul Schmitt    

Sturgeon Bay will be capping off their season's final festival this Saturday with Harvest Fest.  The annual event, which is held in the downtown along Third Avenue, will feature food, music, vendors as well as the 13th annual Harvest Festival Car Show sponsored by the Old Bolts Car Club.  Savanna Townsend, marketing and promotions director for the Sturgeon Bay Visitors Center, describes some of the activities visitors will experience.


The Sturgeon Bay Harvest Fest will be from 9 until 5 pm.  The "Benches around the Bay" street art, where 25 benches were displayed throughout the city during the summer, will now be auctioned off at Martin Park at 5 pm Saturday.  You can find more information on the events held at Harvest Fest this Saturday with the link below.

Help of Door County sheds light on teen domestic abuse

By Paul Schmitt    

As area schools work through their first semester of classes, Help of Door County is helping parents and victims of teen domestic abuse in the area.  Reportedly, 1.5 million high schoolers nationally admitted to being victims of physical violence from a romantic partner.  Help of Door County Executive Director Steve Vickman says parents should not hesitate to reach out for help if they suspect abuse.


Vickman advises parents to always keep the lines of communications open and talk honestly while not being judgmental when those situations happen to their child.  You can find contact information for Help of Door County with the link below.

Generating student interest is a challenge for local colleges trying to bridge the skills gap

By Terry Kovarik              

Technical colleges are providing graduates to fill the demand for skilled workers from manufacturers in Door, Kewaunee, and other Wisconsin counties. Many jobs remain unfilled. The challenge is finding students interested in the skilled trades. Joe Draves, Associate Dean for Manufacturing with NWTC, says his program has the facilities to easily take on more students. He says that's gotten harder because high school grads have more options.



Draves says his program is also challenged by a decline in employees looking to retrain for new careers.

Bringing Sturgeon Bay sidewalks to life with chalk

By Terry Kovarik              

Some Sturgeon Bay sidewalks will go from dull gray to multiple colors, at least temporarily, this weekend. The Door County Public Library, the Miller Arts Museum, the Sturgeon Bay Visitors Center and the Boys and Girls Club will hold the 2nd Annual "Chalk the Bay" as part of the Sturgeon Bay Harvest Festival. This year's event will be held at two locations, the first on Nebraska near the library and the second at Third and Jefferson. Two professional artists will use their talents and work with children and adults on favorite storybook themes. Library Director Tina Kakuske says "Chalk the Bay" is designed to draw attention to the library and give kids of all ages a chance to have a little creative fun.




There's also a contest for chalkers of all ages. For more information go to

Door County joins others in calling for more money for court-appointed attorneys

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County says court-appointed attorneys need better compensation for representing defendants who aren't poor enough for a public defender and not able to afford their own legal counsel. The Door County Legislative Committee approved a resolution asking the state to increase the per-hour compensation for private defense attorneys appointed by courts. Door County District Attorney Colleen Nordin says the hope is to increase the pool of potential defense attorneys and ease costs to counties.



Similar resolutions asking for increased compensation for court-appointed attorneys have been adopted by at least eight other Wisconsin counties.

Egg Harbor looks to become a solar city

By Tim Kowols       

Building off of its Green Tier Legacy Community status, the village of Egg Harbor hopes to earn a similar distinction for its commitment to solar energy. The village recently earned a grant from SolSmart, a federally funded recognition program, to hire a technical consultant to evaluate its current practices. Village administrator Ryan Heise says the county has already approved property-assessed clean energy, which would allow property owners to save a few bucks on their energy bills.

Heise says the technical consultant will begin looking at the village's current codes, utility engagement, and market development in November. There are currently 213 communities nationwide with SolSmart designation representing 61 million people.

Why Be a Sheriff's Deputy? Series on Careers

By Tim Kowols       

Already a member of the Brussels-Union Emergency Medical Responders and the Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department, it is hard to wonder how Curt Vandertie fits in his schedule time to be a Door County Sheriff's Deputy. For eight years he worked in the jail department before taking the necessary training to move from inside the Door County Justice Center to do his duty on the road. Vandertie says his time volunteering with the fire and emergency responder departments turned public safety into a passion of his. After working in the healthcare field for 14 years, Vandertie says it became a goal for him to be a Sheriff's Deputy, even if it meant half the pay of his private sector position.

As for when fires break out in southern Door County, Vandertie says he stays 100 percent focused on his role as a Sheriff's Deputy when he is on duty. According to the average salary for a Deputy Sheriff is around $24 per hour, which is 10 percent above the nation's average.

Piggly Wiggly expansion excites Sister Bay residents

By Tim Kowols       

It does not happen at every Sister Bay Plan Commission meeting, so the applause at the end of the presentation detailing the expansion efforts of the village's Piggly Wiggly was all store manager Jay Kita needed to hear. Groundbreaking for the expanded store is expected to begin on October 22nd. Until the following spring, Piggly Wiggly will grow nearly 10,000 square feet, giving shoppers a little extra elbow room in the aisles and grocery store departments more space for their items. Kita says the community is excited to see it finally happen.

Kita expects it will stay mostly open during the construction process, but there may be some days where it does have to shut down to finish different projects. The hope is the newly expanded Piggly Wiggly will be finished by May 1st.

Getting up close and personal with our celestial neighbors at Peninsula State Park

By Terry Kovarik              

You might see a few more people than usual walking around Fish Creek with their eyes in the skies. The Universe in the Park series returns to Peninsula State Park Saturday, September 15th. Park naturalist Kathleen Harris says stargazers who come to the event at Nicolet Beach are coming at an opportune time.



Astronomy graduate students from U-W Madison will also be on hand with a high-powered telescope to offer their expertise. The stargazing event is free but you'll need a park sticker for admission. It starts at 7:30 and lawn chairs and blankets are recommended.

A North Carolina resident with ties to Wisconsin flees Hurricane Florence

By Terry Kovarik              

Dave Bissonette is taking no chances of riding out Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. Dave is originally from Phlox, Wisconsin, near Antigo. He and his wife Kathleen are now staying with family in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Bisonette's retired to New Bern, North Carolina two years ago. This is the first hurricane they've had to face and Dave says it became clear that waiting out the storm was not an option.



Dave Bissonette says when he left North Carolina gasoline stations and food stores were still being resupplied as people began stocking up. There were some people in his community that indicated they were going to stay behind and couldn't be talked out of it.

Kewaunee County looks to follow the state's lead on two ordinances

By Tim Kowols       

The lack of a Department of Natural Resources game warden in Kewaunee County has the board of supervisors considering changes.  It will first hold a first reading of an illegal burning ordinance, allowing Sheriff's Department deputies to enforce state laws based on what you can burn and when you can do it. The board will also discuss a previously read ordinance aligning county standards with the newly passed NR-151 rules. Those changes affect all farmers spreading manure on thin topsoils due to the area's karst geography. Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Robert Weidner says there has been no news on specifically when a game warden will be hired for the area.

The Kewaunee County Board will meet on September 18th at the administrative center in Kewaunee at 6 p.m.

Town of Casco Clerk "Badly misinformed"

By Roger Utnehmer            

The president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council has weighed in on the complaints from the Town of Casco clerk about having to comply with the state open meetings law.

In a post on Wednesday Bill Lueders says Casco Town Clerk Terrie Gabriel is "badly misinformed."

Lueders, head of the WFOIC, pointed to the law that requires municipal clerks to notify the news media in advance of meetings.  The purpose of the law is to give the public access to the activities of their government and have a more informed electorate.  You can find his comments with the original story at, including specific references to the applicable state statute.

He questioned Gabriel's claim that she would have to provide notices to 800 newspapers in Wisconsin.

Lueders made clear that clerks like Gabriel are required to notify any news organizations that request it. sent several communications to every governmental body in Door and Kewaunee Counties requesting notification of meetings.

Gabriel objected to the requirement, saying it prevented people from running for public office.  She claimed the repeated attempts by to get Town of Casco compliance with the law constituted "harassment."

Gabriel has agreed to comply with the open meetings notification requirements in the future.

Some Door County eateries say goodbye plastic straws

By Terry Kovarik              

The plastic drinking straw is disappearing from kitchens and countertops in some Door County restaurants and coffee shops. That's due to consumer demand that biodegradable straws and eating utensil be used. Kick Coffee shop co-owner David Utzinger says after buying the shop earlier this year he committed to getting away from plastic where ever possible, though change came slowly.



Utzinger expects other restaurants in Door County to switch to biodegradable or compostable straws and utensil over the next two years. Larger communities, such as Seattle, have banned all plastic straws and utensils.

Packer fence painter has Sturgeon Bay roots

By Paul Schmitt    

The picket fence along Lombardi Avenue across from Lambeau Field has a new message and a fresh coat of paint, thanks to a native of Sturgeon Bay. Zane Statz of De Pere, who graduated from Sturgeon Bay High School in 2010, completed the project last weekend with the help of a friend, Spencer Young. The fence plays on the 100th Anniversary of the Green Bay Packers while featuring eight players from the past eras up to the present day. Statz says they were paid a special visit on Saturday while working on the fence by the president of the Packers.


After 18 hours of painting, the finished artwork on the fence was displayed in time for last Sunday's Packer game against the Chicago Bears. Statz says this was his third year of painting the fence is already thinking up ideas for next season. You can see a picture of the Packer fence artwork with this story online.


(photo compliments of Zane Statz)

More homework before Door County has a marijuana referendum

By Terry Kovarik              

A proposed advisory referendum in Door County on whether Wisconsin should legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use could take place in the spring. That matter was on the agenda of the Door County Legislative Committee. Some people who spoke in favor of the referendum and legalization of marijuana during public comment also recommended further study to make sure is done right in Wisconsin. Supervisor Megan Lundahl says that's exactly what the committee will be doing.



That decision comes a day after the City of Green Bay's Protection and Policy Committee looked at reducing fines for marijuana possession.

Cellphone customers in Door and Kewaunee Counties will be part of a nationwide emergency alert

By Terry Kovarik              

Anyone making a personal cellphone text in Door and Kewaunee Counties could be interrupted next week by an emergency alert. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be conducting a nationwide Emergency Alert System test on September 20th. That will include the first ever test of the Wireless Emergency Alert system. Kewaunee County Emergency Management Director Tracy Nollenberg says if you've got a newer smartphone you'll likely be notified.



The test will last about one minute. The Wireless Emergency Alert system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones.

Food pantry on wheels a success in Luxemburg

By Terry Kovarik              

The debut of the "Ruby Pop-up Pantry" in Kewaunee County helped hundreds of people stretch their food budgets. The program shipped food via truck directly to St. John's Lutheran Church in Luxemburg for a one-day distribution. Site coordinator Sue Raduenz says for a first-time event it went better than expected.



The food distribution was open to anyone who showed up. The "Ruby Pop-up Pantry" returns to St. John's Lutheran Church in Luxemburg every second Saturday of the month.

Door County home health care provider among the best in the nation

By Terry Kovarik              

Working to keep people out of the hospital longer through attentive home health care has placed Ministry Home Care of Sturgeon Bay among the nation's best providers. The company received a five-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Director of Home Health Care Donna Moens credits improved emphasis on personal service that helps patients get quality care in their homes.



Ministry Home Care is only the second Wisconsin-based home health care agency to get the five-star rating.

Town of Sevastopol looks to repair damaged boat launch

By Terry Kovarik              

Boaters on Clark Lake might have an easier time getting on and off the water soon. Expansion of the boat ramp was under consideration by the Clark Lake Advancement Association, which was already getting estimates. Now Park and Recreation Chairman Tony Haen says some dredging of the lake near the landing will also have to done to repair damage caused by boaters who illegally power load their boats on to trailers.




Haen says that work wouldn't happen until next year because permits are needed from the Department of Natural Resources. Cost sharing with the Town of Jacksonport, which shares Clark Lake with the Town of Sevastopol, would also have to be determined. The Park and Recreation Board is scheduled to take up the matter when it meets September 24.

Kewaunee County employees learn to help those pondering suicide

By Terry Kovarik              

It's the question that nobody wants to ask someone they know: Are you considering suicide? But Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says that question must be asked to help those in need. That's the purpose of the QPR program, which stands for Question, Persuade and Refer. Joski is heading the program for all Kewaunee County employees. He says getting someone you know to admit they're pondering suicide is the key to prevention and getting help.




Joski adds the QPR program brings the aspect of teamwork, letting someone considering suicide know they've got support from other people. That can make it easier for that person to want to seek professional help.

Town of Casco clerk feels "harassed" by being asked to comply with open meetings law

By Roger Utnehmer


The Kewaunee County Town of Casco clerk says she's getting "sick of phone calls" asking her to comply with state law that requires notice of meetings of governmental bodies be provided to the news media.

Terrie Gabriel told that she is complying with state law by posting notices of Town of Casco meetings on the town hall bulletin board, Rio Creek Feed Mill and one other location.

State statutes require any news organization requesting written prior notice of town board meetings to be given than information at least 24 hours before the start of the meeting.

Gabriel said she would have to send notices to 800 newspapers in Wisconsin, that she feels like she's being harassed, that nobody wants jobs in town government and providing notices of meetings is why.

The state law simply requires news organizations that request notification to be provided with times, locations and items to be discussed.

In an interview, she also asked if other clerks were being asked to comply with the law, saying "I have a right to know that."

She asked to explain what will be done with the information she provides.

In June sent the first of three requests to all governmental bodies in Door and Kewaunee to comply with the open meetings law. Most municipal governments have complied with the law but after not hearing from the Town of Casco clerk Gabriel a phone message was left indicating she would be in violation of the law if meeting notices are not provided as requested.

Another follow up phone call was made Tuesday in which Gabriel made clear her irritation with having to comply with the law. She said efforts to get compliance with the law is "harassment."

The head of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council Bill Lueders said recently that if a municipality does not give notice as required by law actions taken by the offending governmental body could be ruled null and void and offenders subject to fines.

25th annual Ag Heritage Days coming up next weekend

By Paul Schmitt    

The Kewaunee County Fairgrounds will host the annual Agricultural Heritage Days September 22nd and 23rd.  The huge two-day event is sponsored by the Ag Heritage Center and features demonstrations, steam engine wagon rides, and displays of tractors and farm equipment.  Jim Rabas of the Agricultural Heritage & Resources, Incorporated says the event is truly a countywide effort to showcase its history.


Over 200 fourth grade students from Kewaunee County schools will get a sneak-peek the Friday before the 25th Ag Heritage Days kicks off to the public, according to Rabas.  You can find more details about Ag Heritage Days below.

Ag Heritage Days
Date: Sept. 22, 2018 - Sept. 23, 2018
Time: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Adults: $7.00
Kids 12-16 Years Old: $1.00
Under 12 Years Old: FREE
2-Day Pass: $10.00

Feature Events - Saturday
Antique Tractor Pull: Noon
Threshing: 10AM, 1PM, 3PM
Corn Husking: 10:30AM, 1:30PM, 3:30PM

Feature Events - Sunday
Garden Tractor Pull: 11AM
Threshing: 10AM, 1PM, 3PM
Corn Husking: 10:30AM, 1:30PM, 3:30PM

Location: Kewaunee County Fairgrounds


(photo courtesy of Agricultural Heritage & Resources, Inc.)

Algoma hires Murphy as new public works director

By Paul Schmitt    

The City of Algoma hired a new public works director this month.  Matt Murphy, who previously worked as Kewaunee's public works director, replaces Mike Decur who left the position in July.  Algoma City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says Murphy is already getting up to speed in his new job.  As far as Murphy leaving Kewaunee, Wiswell says Kewaunee's loss is Algoma's gain.


Wiswell says Murphy's biggest responsibilities as the public works director include overseeing the wastewater treatment plant as well as the streets and marina in Algoma.

The Luxemburg-Casco Community Band looking to add members

By Paul Schmitt    

The love of music is still running deep for some thirty members of the Luxemburg-Casco Community Band but more members are needed.  Having been formed over 35 years ago, the L-C Community Band is looking to grow their ensemble to get ready for the fall and winter performances that are coming up.  Band Director Dawn Johnson, who has played for over 10 years with the group, says the brass section is a little light right now.


Johnson says the all-volunteer band played for the Kewaunee County Fair and area parades this past summer.  She adds that the band will begin weekly practices on Thursday evenings at the Middle School in Casco in preparation for Veterans Day and Christmas concert performances.  You can find contact information regarding the Luxemburg-Casco Community Band below.

Dawn Johnson  (920) 606-4811

Why be a bed and breakfast operator? A career series

By Terry Kovarik              

It's part of the American dream to run a business of your own and be your own boss. "White Lace Inn" owner Dennis Statz took that dream and continued to build on it. Statz graduated with an engineering degree from U-W Madison. He had several paper routes as a child, liked being an entrepreneur and was attracted to the concept of owning a bed and breakfast. He and his wife, Bonnie, chose a former Knights of Columbus Hall in Sturgeon Bay for their inn in 1982. It started small, grew and impacted the neighborhood.



Statz says he enjoys visiting and sharing "The White Lace Inn" story. But he's had to set some guests straight on the dream of inn ownership, especially based on a popular TV show.



The Statz family is now in their 36th year as owners of the "White Lace Inn". Dennis Statz says that's about 31-years beyond the five-years that studies say is the average tenure of bed and breakfast owners.

Blowing mowed grass clippings into street illegal

By Terry Kovarik              

Sturgeon Bay property owners are required by city ordinances to keep their lawns mowed and you'd best be careful about blowing the clippings into city streets. That's because it is against city ordinance 1992, section 10.18 to put trash or debris, including the clippings off of your lawn into the street. Violators get a warning letter for the first offense. After that, you can be fined $250. Sturgeon Bay City Engineer Chad Shefchih says, more importantly, violators don't realize the damages a little bit of grass can cause.



The best and proper way to dispose of leaves, brush and grass clippings is by taking them to the City's Compost Pile located on Division Road.

Voting reform advocates push for Iowa reapportionment model

By Tim Kowols       

Government watchdog groups like Common Cause Wisconsin hope state legislatures turn to Iowa for guidance when it comes to drawing its district maps. Unlike many states, Iowa relies on a non-partisan panel to draw district boundaries based on certain criteria before submitting plans for Legislative approval. Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck says the strategy helps eliminate states from becoming gerrymandered for political gain.

According to Ballotpedia, four states rely solely on independent commissions for congressional redistricting. Four states, including Iowa, count on the help of advisory commissions before submitting their plans to their state Legislatures for final approval. In the coming weeks, we will ask the candidates for the 1st Assembly and Senate Districts for their thoughts on the Iowa Reapportionment model.

Sturgeon Bay Schools not following Appleton's lead in food sharing ban

By Tim Kowols       

Sturgeon Bay School District Superintendent Dan Tjernagel says he has not been approached by parents or teachers about implementing food sharing policies similar to those introduced in Appleton this month. Appleton Area School District told parents they were not allowed to send food with students for birthday treats or classroom potlucks according to the USA Today- Wisconsin Network. The district cited health, economic equity, and safety as reasons for the change. Tjernagel says he understands the thought process but has no plans of implementing it in Sturgeon Bay.

Many school districts across the state have already taken steps to protect students on the safety aspect by setting up peanut-free zones and banning homemade treats.

Sex assault kit processing effort pays off for Door County DA

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County has already gotten a hit from a sex offender DNA database thanks to the Wisconsin Department of Justice's completion of massive sexual assault kit processing. The identification of a possible suspect is allowing the Door County District Attorney's office to move forward on that sexual assault case. DA Colleen Nordin says the clearing up of the backlog at the State Crime Lab will continue to pay off for police, district attornies and assault victims.



The Department of Justice announced Monday that a backlog of some 4500 sexual assault kits had now been processed with help of private DNA testing labs.

How banking helps Door County's maritime business part of a tour by Wisconsin's banking regulator

By Terry Kovarik              

Commercial loans and how they're helping Door County businesses involved with shipbuilding are part of a tour stop Wednesday by the secretary of the state Department of Financial Institutions. That includes stops at N-E-W Plastics in Luxemburg, Roen Salvage and Fincantieri-Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay. DFI Secretary Jay Risch says his visit is intended to hear from lenders, their customers and the community about the maritime industry and its economic impact.



Secretary Risch's maritime tour also includes stops today in Marinette and Brown counties.

Town of Lincoln blasts Stonehouse Water Technologies for "deception" with pilot water project

By Tim Kowols       

A pilot water system project by a Milwaukee-based company has left a sour taste in the mouth of Town of Lincoln board members. Lincoln has been one of the most negatively affected towns in Kewaunee County by groundwater contamination. Stonehouse Water Technologies installed whole-house water systems in five homes in Lincoln with promises of providing clean, safe water to residents and valuable information for the company and town officials about what was going in and out of its pipes. That occurred in the spring of 2017. According to a release from the board, some residents have not received reports on their water systems and the company has not corresponded with the town since a meeting between the two parties was requested October 24, 2017. Town chairperson Cory Cochart says he does not know what happened, but he is not happy about it.

During Monday's town board, Lincoln officials announced it has requested full reimbursement for the project from the company every 90 days since the failed meeting and will continue to do so. Algoma Schools Superintendent and Town of Lincoln board member Nick Cochart says the same company installed their water kiosk three years ago and has not been back since, leaving the district to handle its maintenance.  A representative from Stonehouse Water Technologies could not be reached Tuesday morning.



Press Release

September 11, 2018


Over the past two years, the Town of Lincoln has been actively pursuing solutions to our water quality concerns.  During that time, the township partnered with Stonehouse Water Technologies to provide a solution to the wide array of contamination concerns our residents were experiencing.  Our pilot program was designed to determine the impact, cost, maintenance structure, and the variation of water quality on a daily basis.  From the very beginning, the town was steadfast in not only providing clean water but also collecting data to further understand the range and types of contamination our residents were experiencing.  A total of five systems were strategically placed throughout our township in order to create a comprehensive understanding of our water concerns.

To date, Stonehouse Water has failed on every aspect of our pilot project and has ceased communication with town leadership.  It is unfortunate that a company organized around assisting individuals and communities has chosen to disregard and misrepresent our township.  It is clear that Stonehouse Water Technologies used the Town of Lincoln at the expense of our township and its loyal residents.  To date, some of our pilot members have yet to receive a simple report on their systems performance.  This misrepresentation of our pilot program, and ultimately our residents is not tolerated.  Almost a year ago, on October 24, 2017 the town board of supervisors requested to meet with Stonehouse Water Technologies but representation from Stonehouse failed to attend.

Therefore, the Town of Lincoln has sent correspondence to Stonehouse Water Technologies in 90 day intervals requesting full reimbursement for the failed implementation of their units.  The township will continue in our effort to be fully reimbursed due to a litany of concerns, misrepresentation of pilot principles, and a complete disregard for the trust bestowed by elected officials and town residents.  Stonehouse Water Technologies took advantage of an already vulnerable population dealing with significant quality of life issues.  It is even more discouraging to see these practices continue which puts other vulnerable populations at risk of exploitation.  Therefore, let it be known that this pilot project was not a success and that the record of Stonehouse Water Technologies aligns more with deception rather than assistance.


Town of Lincoln Board of Supervisors.

Area donors mobilize to help veterans with day to day needs

By Terry Kovarik              

Veterans in Door and Kewaunee Counties are getting help through the Adopt A Solider-Door County organization. The group just started a new mission to help veterans with day-to-day or one-time expenses. Those who sign up for the program can receive up to one-thousand dollars annually. Adopt A Solider-Door County Executive Director Nancy Hutchinson says such a mission is only possible through the generosity of local donors.



Veterans interested in applying for the funds can learn more at

Local law enforcement will benefit from state completion of sexual assault kit processing

By Terry Kovarik              

Police agencies in Door and Kewaunee counties will not be facing a backlog when having sexual assault kits processed. Wisconsin's Department of Justice says kits involving about 4500 sexual assault cases, some going back decades, have all been tested. Door County Sheriff's Office Sergeant-Investigator Jason Stenzel says while his department did not have cases in that backlog, crime victims and police agencies will likely see more timely results in future investigations.



The completion of the processing was part of the Wisconsin Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, which is also implementing a sexual assault kit tracking system to follow kits from the manufacturer through submission to the state crime lab.

$46-million in missing money has lawmaker suspicious

By Terry Kovarik              

State Senator Dave Hansen claims the State Department of Transportation may have lost $46 million in federal transportation money. That money came through Federal Service Transportation Block Grants to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. State Senator Dave Hansen of Green Bay wants some answers from the DOT.



Hansen says reports of the missing money also come as $150-million in state transportation funding has been transferred to the Foxconn project.

Door County animal shelter now better able to help animals in need

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County's animal shelter is under new management and is better able to treat and help animals find new homes. The former Door County Humane Society building is now the Wisconsin Humane Society Door County Campus. The state organization took over shelter operations in January and has gone through staff re-training, computer upgrades and improved medical treatment for shelter animals. Wisconsin Humane Society Vice-President for Communications Angela Speed says the changes have helped improve animal adoptions.



The Humane Society has also paid off the outstanding mortgage for the Door County campus. You can see all the improvements September 22 during a grand re-opening ceremony at the shelter on Park Drive in Sturgeon Bay.

Washington Island School bringing science experiences to students

By Tim Kowols       

A body of water will not be an obstacle for students at Washington Island School wanting to have more science in the classroom. The district is collaborating with UW-Stevens Point professor Steve Schmidt on building robot-operated vehicles to potentially explore neighboring Rock Island. A separate experience could bring dinosaur skeletons from Wausau-based Colossal Fossils aboard the Washington Island Ferry to go on display at the school. New principal Michelle Kanipes says its unique position as the state's smallest district should not be a deterrent when it comes to learning opportunities.

Kanipes' first school year at the helm got off to a positive start with news of a school safety grant from the Wisconsin Department of Justice and a $4,000 donation from a local group to place "friendship benches" around the school.

Good or bad financial situations need some advice

By Tim Kowols       

The financial ramifications of good events like a settlement or bad circumstances like a divorce often need a guiding hand like Money Management Counselors to get through it. One major misconception about the services provided by the Sturgeon Bay-based nonprofit is you need to be in dire financial straits to be considered for help. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says whether you are in debt or not, some people just need a little advice.

Pustaver recommends sitting down with them to discuss their finances because it is confidential and clients often learn that their issues go beyond their dollars and cents.


Town of Gardner to revisit unsightly premises ordinance

By Tim Kowols       

After having a resident bring up the issue at a previous meeting, the Town of Gardner Board will take time to discuss its unsightly premises ordinance on Wednesday. According to the town's ordinance, property owners with an accumulation of inoperable vehicles or parts could be fined at least $200 if a clean order goes ignored. Town chairperson Mark Stevenson says they are checking the ordinance with their attorney to tie up any possible loose ends.

Stevenson says further discussion on its sex offender ordinance regarding maps will likely be tabled until they get more information on the matter. The Town of Gardner Board meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at its town hall.

League of Women Voters Door County stepping up registration efforts

By Tim Kowols       

From libraries to the Aging and Disability Resource Center, the League of Women Voters Door County is making sure any potential voter in need of help registering to vote gets it. Over 30 states require some kind of documentation to vote, including six with strict photo identification laws like Wisconsin's according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The LWV's voter service co-chairperson Barbara Graul says upcoming registration events help make sure everyone who wants to vote can.

The League of Women Voters Door County will host registration assistance events throughout September and into October. You can learn more about those events and the first of three candidate forums occurring this week online with this story.



The League of Women Voters of Door County is pleased to announce that members will be at the Forestville Library on Friday, September 28 from 9:00-11:30 AM, the Sturgeon Bay Library on Tuesday October 2 from 5:00-6:30 PM and the Sister Bay Library on Friday October 5 from 11:00AM until 2:30 PM to assist citizens in registering to vote.  Explanations for filling out the form, help in locating clerk and polling places will be provided.  A copy of current proof of residence is needed to register.  Examples of legal proof of residence showing your current address include a pay stub, bank statement, utility bill or driver's license.  Copies may be made at the library for $.15

The League of Women Voters of Door County is pleased to announce that members will be at the ADRC/Community Center, Wednesday, September 26 from 11:00am -1:00pm to assist citizens in registering to vote.  Members will help new voters and citizens who have moved or changed their name.  Explanations for filling out the form as well as help in locating clerk and polling places will be provided.  A copy of current proof of residence is needed to register.  Examples of legal proof of residence showing your current address include a pay stub, bank statement

Forums will be held at the following dates, times and locations:
Door County Sheriff:  Thursday, September 13, 6-8 PM at the new 
Door County ADRC/Community Center, 916 N. 14th Avenue, Sturgeon Bay

WI Senate District 1:  Saturday, September 22, 9:30-11:30 AM at the 
Southern Door Community Auditorium, 2073 County DK (just off Hwy 57), Brussels

WI Assembly District 1:  Thursday, September 27, 6:30-8:00 PM at the 
Sturgeon Bay City Council Chambers, 421 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay?

Kewaunee County UW-Extension holds third corn dry down

By Tim Kowols       

The third time could be the charm for area farmers as they take their corn to be tested in Kewaunee County this week. Wet weather has brought the corn dry down progress to a crawl. Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agent Aerica Bjurstrom says the samples help show farmers how close they are to harvesting the important crop.

The UW-Extension will host its third corn dry down event on Wednesday at Rio Creek Feed Mill's Luxemburg location. You can find more information about what you need to bring with you with this story online.

The Volunteer Center of Door County says retirees make second careers out of helping out

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County could easily call itself the "Volunteer County". The various agencies served by the Volunteer Center of Door County have had many of the same people, especially retirees, who've spent decades sharing their time. But as some senior volunteers are forced to cut back their schedules, Executive Director Carrie Tjernagel says newly retired residents, who now call Door County home,  can find a second career in lending a helping hand.



You can learn more about volunteer opportunities in Door County at

Kewaunee County Sheriff dons National Guard gear to respond to flooding

By Terry Kovarik              

Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski changed his uniform and rank to help some Wisconsin communities deal with flooding. Joski, who's also a Sergeant with the 1157th Transportation Company out of Oshkosh, was among those called up help with flooding near Portage. The man who runs Kewaunee County law enforcement says he found himself in a humbling but very vital situation.



Joski's involvement with flood control ended Friday. But then he went right back into his National Guard role for the 1157th's regular monthly training drill.

A horse tale brought to life by a Door County author and illustrator

By Terry Kovarik              

Kimber Leewood of Sturgeon Bay is bringing out her love for horses, writing and illustrating in a real horse tale. Wood is preparing to launch her first children's book entitled "Breeze", which is about a very free-spirited Arabian horse. Leewood had long dreamed of publishing a story about horses. It wasn't until her own horse, who is also named Breeze, got through the electric fence at her farm near Sturgeon Bay and went roaming.



Leewood will do her book launch Saturday, September 15 at Wood Orchard Market on Highway 42 in Egg Harbor. By the way, the real Breeze will be on hand to meet and greet kids and their parents.

Robotic surgery options come to Door County Medical Center

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County residents no longer have to travel to larger cities for operations requiring robotic surgery. Door County Medical Center has had a complete robotic surgery system online since May and two operations have been performed. The system can handle procedures such as hernia and eye operations. Dr. Michael St. Jean hopes that help people to understand that such specialized robotic surgery is available to them right here in Door County.



Dr. St. Jean also says that robotic-assisted surgery results in decreased post-op pain and gets the patient back to normal faster. You can see a demonstration of the robotic surgical system October 4 from 2:00 PM until 6:00 PM at Door County Medical Center on South 18th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay, WI.

Local group helps people get through the holidays after a death in the family

By Terry Kovarik              

Some people in Door and Kewaunee Counties who've lost loved ones this year have a helping hand when dealing with Thanksgiving and Christmas. St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay is currently offering "Griefshare", a 13-week program to help people in mourning. Program facilitator Bob Johnson says "Griefshare" goes through all aspects of working through the grieving process especially during the holidays.



There's no charge for the program and they met every Thursday night. To learn more about "Griefshare" log on to

Algoma looks at redevelopment authority to plan future growth

By Terry Kovarik              

The City of Algoma wants to plan future business and economic growth by establishing a redevelopment authority. The city has previously handled economic development on an individual project basis. Algoma City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says a redevelopment authority will help target select areas of the city for planned growth.



Every community in the state has the ability to create and operate a redevelopment authority. This would be Algoma's first step in establishing such an agency.

Door County looks at building on successful retailing in Sturgeon Bay

By Terry Kovarik              

Shopping in Sturgeon Bay is among the key attractions for Door County visitors. Now the Door County Economic Development Corporation wants to see how to build upon that success. EDC Executive Director Jim Schuessler says the EDC is developing a strategy that will take an extensive look at what makes retailing tick in Door County.



Schuessler believes the recently closed Younkers store in Sturgeon Bay could have succeeded in spite of mismanagement by its owner, Bon Ton Stories. He believes the store would be successful again if CSC Holdings Incorporated successfully relaunches Bon Ton through a bankruptcy court reorganization.

Door County medical equipment sharing program needs donations

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County's Neighbor To Neighbor medical equipment loan program has been very successful and now needs some specific equipment donations. Demand remains high for wheelchairs and crutches in good condition. Program Director Ann Bennett says other medical equipment donations are needed to replace items that have reached the end of their useful lives.




Bennett also says volunteers who can help repair and refurbish medical equipment are also needed to work several hours a week.  For more information log on to

The Village of Ephraim improves on rating for financing

By Paul Schmitt    

In securing financing for their new streetscape project, the Village of Ephraim has received some good news.  Village Administrator Brent Bristol says recent board meeting discussions focused on getting a competitive bond sale with a financial advisor and at the same time be re-rated.  He says the village was upgraded to the third highest attainable rating provided by Standard & Poor's.


Bristol says a bond sale was held last Wednesday in which the Village of Ephraim received an interest rate of just 3.19% that was a quarter-point lower than expected.  That translates to $120,000 in savings in borrowing, according to Bristol.  He credits the board, committee members and staff for doing their due diligence in saving taxpayers some money.

Local consumers following national trend of bigger vehicles

By Paul Schmitt    

Car buyers are choosing roomier rides over smaller and more economical vehicles.  According to Cox Automotive, passenger cars dropped below 30 percent of the market in August for the first time ever.  Locally, Jim Olson, who owns three car dealerships in Sturgeon Bay, says the trend of buying Sports Utility Vehicles has more than made up for the decrease in sedan sales.


Olson says many auto manufacturers are discontinuing smaller models and replacing them with smaller SUVs.  He says the SUVs are a little more profitable and is what people are looking for when it comes to roominess and functionality.  As far as overall sales nationally this year, Olson says car sales may be down slightly from projections but will probably come close to the record $17 million in sales reported nationally the past three years.

Forestville American Legion Honor Guard presents colors at Miller Park

By Paul Schmitt    

Eight members of Forestville's American Legion Post had the opportunity to present the colors in front of more than 30,000 fans Friday evening at Miller Park in Milwaukee.  The American Legion Post 372 Honor Guard walked on the field for the National Anthem prior to the Milwaukee Brewer-San Francisco Giants game.  Terry McNulty, who is the county commander for the American Legion, says this was the second year in-a-row that Post 372 had the distinction of presenting the colors at Miller Park.  He describes the experience as they prepared to take the field.


McNulty says it was a great honor to be part of the ceremonial that is done prior to all national sporting events.  He says the only surprising aspect of the experience was how hard the grass surface was on the field as they walked to the centerfield area.  The Brewers went on to defeat the Giants four to two later Friday night.


Pictured from l-r are Terry McNulty, Bill Karas, Jim Cisler, Wayne Kleist, Don Viste, Scott Zirbel, Bill Ullman and Al Buechner

(photos contributed)

Honeycrisp apples growing in local popularity

By Paul Schmitt    

More than 100 apple varieties are grown commercially, but the popularity of one type of apple is making a strong push locally.  The honeycrisp apple, which was developed by the University of Minnesota 20 years ago, is getting the attention of local orchard owners.  Steve Wood of Wood Orchard in Egg Harbor and Sturgeon Bay says he is investing in the honeycrisp apple trees for the long run.


Wood says that the state of Washington is planting millions of trees of a new variety called "cosmic crisp" that is anticipated to be in the market in the next five years.  He says that has gotten the attention of apple growers around the country since it could drive weaker commodity apples off the shelf.

3rd Annual Prevent Suicide Door County Awareness Walk Monday

By Paul Schmitt    

With the suicide rate increasing over twenty percent in Wisconsin the past fifteen years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Prevent Suicide Door County is planning a walk to help create awareness.  The annual Suicide Prevention Walk is planned for this coming Monday at 5:30 pm starting at Martin Park.  Cheryl Wilson, head of the Prevent Suicide Door County – Nathan Wilson Coalition shares the prevention tool used to help detect possible suicidal tendencies.


September 9th through 15th is National Suicide Prevention Week and September is National Suicide Prevention Month.  The walk on Monday will span the two downtown bridges in Sturgeon Bay.  You can find more information about learning the signs of suicide behavior with this story online.

Door County YMCA seeking lifeguards and instructors

By Paul Schmitt    

The Door County YMCA is starting their Fall I sessions of classes, but opportunities remain for working at the YMCA.  CEO and President Tom Beerntsen says many positions are open for instruction and life-saving.


Beerntsen says the lifeguard positions offer a great opportunity for retired people or high school students looking to work a few hours on weekends.  You can find more information on applying for being an instructor at the YMCA below.

Peninsula Singers reaching out for new members

By Paul Schmitt    

One of Door County's longest running music performance groups is looking for a few new voices to join their ensemble.  The Peninsula Singers, a self-supporting non-profit organization, has been in existence for over 40 years.  Jeanne Barnard, a member dating back to 1974, says anyone who loves singing, especially tenors, are needed.


The Peninsula Singers is a non-auditioned chorus that will have two new co-directors this year, Mary Hall and Janet Anderson.  The fall rehearsals will begin with registration on Monday, September 24 at 6 pm at the Sturgeon Bay United Methodist Church.  Practice will begin at 7 pm and weekly practices every Monday from 7 until 8:30 pm.  Peninsula Singers first concerts of the season are two Christmas concerts in December.

(Photo courtesy of Peninsula Singers)

Construction on Kewaunee Main Street stays on schedule

Despite severe weather and heavy rainfall the past week, the project to upgrade the pavement and bridges on Highway 42 at Kewaunee's north entrance is progressing on time. According to Mark Kantola of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the single-lane vehicle traffic will now be driving on the other side of the road.


Kantola says the traffic is being effectively controlled automatically with stop lights from both directions. He says the duration of the green lights is modified to factor in shift changes at businesses and school traffic.

Door County Community Center wins two state awards

By Paul Schmitt    

The new Door County Community Center in Sturgeon Bay was selected for two awards by the Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin.  County Administrator Ken Pabich says the community center was chosen under the "renovation" category as well as for "historic preservation".  He says the statewide recognition is special for Door County.


The Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin is the leading professional trade association for the commercial construction industry in the state and represents over 240 members.  The new Door County Community Center on 14th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay opened this past January and also serves as the home for the area's Aging and Disability Resource Center and Emergency Management Services.  The renovated building formerly housed the highway shop.

Area farmers starting to harvest after wet spell

By Paul Schmitt    

As the area dries out from the heavy rains over the past two weeks, farmers are taking to the fields to harvest their crops.  Jim Wautier of Church-Site Farms of Brussels says his land is on higher ground and the corn silage looks to be very good.


Wautier says about ten inches of rain fell the past two weeks and some farmers in low lying areas are still waiting for the fields to dry out.  He says the recent rains will definitely help finish out his soybean crop this fall.

Town of Lincoln continues to plan future town hall

By Tim Kowols       

The town of Lincoln could begin work on its new hall by next spring if things continue to progress. Town officials announced it would look into building a new facility at its 2017 annual meeting after it was brought up by a resident the previous year. The current building has not only run its course, but it is also not ADA compliant and does not have running water. After securing a two-acre site near its current town hall for about $30,000 from a resident, town chairperson Cory Cochart says planning is underway.

The new town hall and an update on the town's relationship with Stonehouse Water Technologies and its whole-house water systems are among the agenda topics slated for Monday's meeting beginning at 7 p.m.

Door County under beach hazard warning this weekend

By Paul Schmitt    

A beach hazard warning has been issued in Door County through Sunday morning.  According to the National Weather Service in Green Bay, high wave action, strong currents and dangerous swimming conditions are expected.  Beaches in Door County include Rock Island, Baileys Harbor and Whitefish Dunes beaches.  Strong northeast winds are forecast to bring waves of three to five feet to the Lake Michigan shores of northeast Wisconsin from Saturday morning through Sunday morning.  Swimming is not advised because of the dangerous lake conditions.

Northern Door Children's Center experiencing baby boom

By Tim Kowols       

It is not a thing many people would celebrate, but the staff at Northern Door Children's Center in Sister Bay is thrilled with the number of diapers they will be changing this year. Enrollment in the learning center's infant class, which begins for kids as young as six weeks old, is up to 16. These young "students" stay together with the same kids and the same teacher until it is time to move on through the center's infant toddler looping program. Karen Corekin from Northern Door Children's Center hopes the baby boom continues.

Corekin says the average infant toddler looping program begins with eight to ten babies. The Northern Door Children's Center hosts classes for kids from infancy through the time they go to kindergarten.

Ephraim Fire Department providing crucial water support

By Tim Kowols       

Minutes could be the difference between life and death, a fact the Ephraim Fire Department takes very seriously when it comes to its water rescues. While the Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Coast Guard play critical roles in keeping the water safe for all, not all of the local municipalities are able to get to an emergency on the county's western shores as quickly as Ephraim. Gibraltar, for example, keeps their rescue boat on a trailer while Ephraim's is docked the entire season. Ephraim Fire Chief Justin MacDonald says minutes matter.

The Ephraim Fire Department recently purchased a new rescue boat for use in 2019 and beyond.

State Senator calls Foxconn a "bait and switch"

By Tim Kowols       

Even with assurances from Republican leaders that the incentives for technology manufacturer Foxconn will come as the jobs do, Democratic State Senator Dave Hansen renewed his criticism of the deal, calling it "a classic bait and switch." The critique was prompted by Foxconn executive Louis Woo saying in interviews last month that he expected the campus to employ 2,000 people by the end of next year with many tasks filled by robots. According to The Journal Times, the promised 13,000 jobs would likely not come until 2023. Senator Hansen says there is a lot of money already going to Foxconn before a single employee is hired.

Foxconn broke ground on its Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park in June and has since announced additional centers in Green Bay, Milwaukee, and Eau Claire as well as a partnership with UW-Madison. You can read Senator Hansen's full column online with this story.

Door County communities looking to help guide visitors with Wayfinding system

By Paul Schmitt    

Door County's community coordinators are working to make life easier for visitors and tourists find their way around the towns and villages.  With help from the Door County Visitors Bureau, the wayfinding system is being suggested as a way to give visitors an effective way to improve their experience in the municipalities throughout Door County.  Cambria Mueller, marketing manager for the Door County Visitors Bureau, explains how the initiative came about.


Mueller will be at the Ephraim board meeting Tuesday to help share information on how the wayfinding system could provide both pedestrian and vehicular signage.  She says Appleton has successfully implemented the wayfinding system throughout their downtown.

Ephraim progressing on new Streetscape plan

By Paul Schmitt    

The Village of Ephraim is on budget and on schedule for the engineering phase to the streetscape project.  The village is looking to better the stormwater management and maintaining enough parking and sidewalks while maximizing safety.   According to Village Administrator Brent Bristol, Ephraim is nearly ready for the next phase.


Bristol says the hopes are for infrastructure work and resurfacing to be completed by the fall of 2019 while the streetscape project around Highway 42 will be done by 2022.

Hope Church plans for new minister in 2020 

By Paul Schmitt    

Hope United Church of Christ will be transitioning to new leadership in a couple years.  Reverend Richard Feyen will be stepping down in 2020 so he can travel more and spend more times with his children.  Rev. Feyen, who has been at Hope Church since 2010, says a Vision 2020 meeting will be held next month for members of the congregation to voice their opinion on the future leadership of the church.


Reverend Feyen plans on staying in the area and remain a member of Hope United Church of Christ.  He says he will not be involved in leadership unless he is requested by the new minister.  The Vision 2020 meeting will be held at 9 am on Saturday, October 6.

Former Algoma Hardwoods site offers good choices for industrial and recreation uses

By Terry Kovarik              

The City of Algoma is looking at a combination of industrial and recreational uses at the former Algoma Hardwoods door plant site on the Anhapee River. That follows a planning consultant's report to the common council Tuesday night. The report looked at various options. It shows that access to the Anhapee River and Trail can be expanded while continuing manufacturing and industrial storage at the site. City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says that's a winning situation for the community and McDonald Company, which is leasing part of the site.



Wiswell says other buildings on the site that cannot be remodeled would be demolished.

Adopt A Solider Door County adopts a new mission for veterans

By Terry Kovarik              

Adopt A Soldier-Door County is coming to the aid of Door and Kewaunee County veterans. The organization's primary mission has been to make care packages for military members from the area who are away from family during the holidays. Now Adopt A Soldier is expanding its mission to those who've already served. Executive Director Nancy Hutchinson says that mission includes helping veterans with day-to-day and emergency needs.



Veterans who are interested in Adopt A Soldier-Door County's new mission can apply through Door County Veterans Service Officer Scott McFarland. His office is in the Door County Government Center on Nebraska Street in Sturgeon Bay.

Neighbor-To-Neighbor of Door County looking for a few good companions

By Terry Kovarik              

If you can spare an hour or two, you can brighten the day of a homebound Door County resident. Neighbor-To-Neighbor Volunteer Caregivers of Door County needs more people for it's Peer Companions program. It matches those unable to leave home with volunteers who'll call or visit weekly. Neighbor-To-Neighbor Director Ann Bennett says volunteers would serve as listening ears or friends and that's all.



Peer Companion applicants go through background checks and are paired with homebound people they're compatible with. For more information go to

Younkers potential new owner offers intriguing options for Door County shoppers and employees

By Terry Kovarik              

The company that could reopen the former Younkers store in Sturgeon Bay and other locations would offer expanded store hours on key shopping days. It could also put many former employees back to work. CSC Generation Holdings has signed a deal giving it the rights to Bon Ton and its subsidiary stores, including Younkers. The company is in, what USA Today called, "advanced discussions with landlords" about reopening stores in Wisconsin and four other states. Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jim Schuessler says CSC's proposal would work well in Sturgeon Bay.



CSC Generation Holdings also plans to add personal styling services at the former stores and more e-commerce options. The company's plan must first be approved by the Delaware Bankruptcy Court.

Granary ready for more work

By Tim Kowols       

The first step to restoring Sturgeon Bay's Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator is now complete. Crews have powerwashed the building to get rid of animal droppings and fermenting grain from the structure walls. Fishing lines and decoys have been placed to hopefully keep birds away from creating future issues and repairs on the building's grain bins have also begun. Contractor Pat Drury says they are waiting on a structural engineer to see what needs to be replaced moving forward.

Drury hopes to have a final game plan for what is happening to the former granary by the end of the year.

Former Lt. Governor admonishes misleading ads

By Tim Kowols       

A recent advertisement used in this year's governor's race has caught the ire of former Lieutenant Governor Barb Lawton.  Released by the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, it charges Democratic challenger and current state superintendent Tony Evers with giving pay raises of nearly $400,000 to Department of Public Instruction officials instead of teachers. The Associated Press says the money is two separate budget items. Lawton believes the ads are disingenuous, especially considering all the other issues that can be discussed.

Lawton says an ad making false claims takes its toll on the candidates because they have to have the dollars available to counteract against the misleading statements.

Kewaunee County taking wait-and-see approach with possible Green Bay Correctional replacement

By Tim Kowols       

Kewaunee County is not holding its breath when it comes to two studies concerning the Green Bay Correctional Institute. A St. Norbert College study showed a redeveloped prison site in the Village of Allouez could fetch $138 million in annual economic impact and create over 1,400 jobs. A separate study being done at the state level is taking a deeper look at all prison facilities in Wisconsin. Republican State Rep. Dave Steffen has led the charge, proposing a privately-owned prison instead of pouring millions of dollars for repairs for the GBCI. Kewaunee County, the Village of Luxemburg, and the City of Algoma have all expressed interest in being the home of a new facility, but Board Chairperson Robert Weidner says it is waiting on the legislature to decide GBCI's fate before getting more involved.

Weidner expresses one concern the county does have is if the state were to buy the prison in the future, making the land tax-exempt.  He says certain assurances would have to be made before they would sign off on the potential project.

Why be a clock and watch repair technician: A Series on Careers

By Terry Kovarik              

Tristan Wier of Sturgeon Bay helps people keep time the old-fashioned way by keeping watches and other timepieces in good working order. He's the owner of "WierClock-Clock and Watch Repair and Sales". The Beloit native was visiting Door County when he was 15 and had just bought a mantle clock that didn't work. Wier took his clock to a repair shop and watched as the shop owner brought his time piece back to life. He also sent Wier home with books, eight-millimeter films, and other materials about clock and watch repair. Wier later went to school to learn more about the trade and finished a three-year course in five months. Wier now runs his shop on N. Third Avenue in Sturgeon Bay and his customers make the job worthwhile.





Tristan Wier has a worldwide following thanks to the internet. He recently did repair work for two customers in France and watch sales to shoppers in England and Austrailia.

Gibraltar School District schedules three open houses to discuss referendum questions

By Tim Kowols       

For the first time in six years, Gibraltar School District will ask its voters to make decisions on funding its operations and facility upgrades.  The building referendum would ask for $4.4 million to remodel the library/media center, classrooms, and other improvements. The operational referendum asks to override current revenue limits by $1.4 million next school year, $2.8 million for 2020-21, and $4.2 million in 2021-22. Superintendent Tina Van Meer says they have been good stewards of the community's previous support.

Gibraltar Area School District has scheduled three open houses in conjunction with other on-campus events on September 25, October 5, and October 25. They will take place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the high school library.

Sturgeon Bay asked to fund the Door-Kewaunee Legislative Days

By Roger Utnehmer               

Mark Nelson asked the Sturgeon Bay city council Tuesday to kick in $2500 to help send Door and Kewaunee County residents to Madison. Nelson has been an active participant in Door Kewaunee County Legislative Days since 2007. He asked the council to be a major sponsor again in 2019.



Approximately 130 people, including several students from Sturgeon Bay High School, participated in the last Door Kewaunee County Legislative Days in 2017.

Nelson calls the effort lobbying at its best.



Door County Legislative Days are held every two years. Nelson made the request so funding from the city can be included in the 2019 municipal budget.

Door County YMCA helps deal with concerns raised by World Health Organization

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County YMCA CEO Tom Beernsten agrees with the World Health Organization that more people need a simple exercise regimen to keep healthy. A recent WHO study finds that a third of women and a quarter of men worldwide face increased odds of developing heart disease, diabetes and cancer. It recommends 150 minutes week of moderate exercise. Beerntsen says that can be done easily at the Y any time of the year.



Beerntsen says the Y also offers programs to help people learn to avert diabetes through moderate exercise and healthy eating.

A Door County group says breaking nicotine addiction is a good start in dealing with other health issues

By Terry Kovarik              

The Door County Alcohol and Other Drug Coalition says targeting tobacco use improves a person's odds of overcoming other addictions. September is National Recovery Month. So, the coalition's partner, Re:Think, the Lakeshore Tobacco Prevention Network is giving some smokers something to think about. Studies show 40-percent of people with drug and alcohol addictions or mental health issues also smoke. ReThink Coalition Coordinator Cath Tease says getting people to give up tobacco improves recovery odds.



Smokers who need help quitting can find out more on the resources available at

Sturgeon Bay Waterfront Redevelopment Authority's future may soon be determined

By Roger Utnehmer       

The future of the Sturgeon Bay Waterfront Redevelopment Authority could be determined when the city council meets again September 18th. Several new council members ran on a platform that included abolishing the controversial WRA. At Tuesday's meeting of the city council member David Hayes asked for an update on efforts to replace the authority.

Hayes was told that Green Bay attorney James Kalny will present results of a study to the council at its next meeting, September 18th.

When the city council voted earlier to settle a lawsuit with hotel developer Robert Papke, the WRA, also a party to the litigation, opposed the settlement. Hayes has advocated to the abolition of the WRA both as a candidate for office and as a member of the city council.

Sturgeon Bay City could pay as much as $143,000 a year to replace recent legal counsel.

By Roger Utnehmer

Sturgeon Bay City Administrator Josh VanLieshout told council members Tuesday it could cost as much as $143,000 a year to replace the Pinkert Law firm as city legal counsel.

VanLieshout shared estimated costs of hiring a full-time attorney to represent the city. He compared the position to that of a corporation counsel or assistant corporation counsel with a mid-range salary of $96,000 a year. He estimated health coverage, retirement benefits, professional memberships and fees, and other costs to total $143,000 annually.

The Pinkert firm resigned as legal counsel to the City of Sturgeon Bay earlier this year.

Council members have asked VanLieshout to gather data on options that include hiring a full-time city attorney or contracting for specific services with individual lawyers or firms. Total city legal expenses estimated by VanLieshout to be between $56,000 and $76,000 a year were significantly lower than what Council Member David Hayes says he was told they were by former city finance director Val Clarizio. Hayes indicated that Clarizio estimated legal fees to be approximately $110,000 a year for both 2016 and 2017.

Options for replacing the Pinkert firm will be on the agenda for the next council meeting on September 18th.

Program on first Door County residents held in Fish Creek Thursday

By Paul Schmitt    

Door County's first residents will be featured at the third talk this year presented by the Gibraltar Historical Association this Thursday.  Dave Lea, a Fish Creek resident and amateur anthropologist will share what life was like for the Potawatomi or "Keepers of the Fire" that were one of three large tribes who dominated Fish Creek.  He says interesting discoveries in Door County date back well before the first white settlers in the 1600's.



The "Our First Door County Residents" presentation by Lea will be at 7 pm this Thursday at the Old Town Hall in Fish Creek.  The event is free to the public.

(photo submitted)

The importance of having a will or estate plan in place

By Paul Schmitt    

Not having a will in place before your death can leave uncertainty to your estate.  Famous entertainers like Prince and most recently Aretha Franklin died without leaving a will.  Legal challenges are common when people die without a will or estate plan.  In Franklin's case, her estate is estimated at about $80 million, according to the Washington Post.  Bob Ross of Ross Estate Planning says it doesn't matter if your estate is worth millions of dollars or just a few thousand, everyone should have their final wishes in writing.


Ross says having passwords updated and chronicled is very important as well.  He says the most important document to have in your estate plan is a good financial power.  According to intestate succession laws in Michigan, Franklin's four children will receive equal shares of her sizeable estate.

Area Alcoholics Anonymous helping to keep people sober every day

By Paul Schmitt    

District 22 of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is offering support throughout Door and Kewaunee counties every day.  Leo, a member of AA, says the scheduled meetings throughout the peninsula are designed to give hope to people reaching out to become and stay sober.


Leo adds that people can share their stories of hope and that there is life without drinking.  You can find contact information and the schedule of local Alcoholic Anonymous meetings below.

Why be a bowling alley owner? -- Series on Careers

By Paul Schmitt    

Little did Kelly Froelich of the Rendezvous of Luxemburg know that when he purchased a banquet hall 15 years ago, he'd be operating eight bowling lanes, as well.  Froelich, who has been running the Rendezvous since 2004, enjoys the banter and interaction with the bowlers while dealing with the challenge of keeping the lanes open.    He says having a mechanical background comes in handy.


Froelich says there are bowling leagues every Tuesday through Friday night.  Blind man bowling tournaments and nine-pin contests are ideas for fundraisers and children outings as well.    The Rendezvous of Luxemburg just installed over $10,000 worth of new bowling approaches on their eight lanes over the summer, according to Froelich.

Kewaunee County residents are saying spend a million for better internet access

By Terry Kovarik              

Kewaunee County is hearing taxpayers demand that the county spend a million dollars to give them more reliable internet service. The county put out an online survey to gauge people's interest in how much money, if any, the county should invest in broadband internet service. 150 people responded and County Administrator Scott Feldt says, so far, many people have made their feelings clear.



Feldt says such public input is vital to deciding whether to put money for broadband internet into the budget for Fiscal Year 2019.

Making nutrition fun at school and home in the Southern Door County district

By Terry Kovarik              

Fun, food and nutrition are on the menu in the Southern Door County School District. It's all part of an effort to help students make better nutritional choices. The Food Service department gets students from kindergarten through 12th grade involved in meal planning for school lunches. That includes setting up themed meals, such as apple-based meals or French cooking, that also use fresh foods students might not be familiar with, like tomatoes, star fruit or avocados. Food Service Director John Swanson says students from all grades help out with real-life lessons about food and nutrition and take those lessons home.



Wisconsin school districts find that getting students involved in food growing and preparation means less wasted food.

Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee wrestles with agency questions for CAFO oversight

By Tim Kowols       

The Department of Natural Resources or Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection? That is the question Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation committee members will discuss in regards to Confined Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) oversight during its meeting next week. According to the USA Today Network-Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker introduced plans last October that would shift review and enforcement operations of CAFOs from the DNR to DATCP. In March, the Wisconsin Dairy Business Association applauded the proposal, saying "having the state's most knowledgeable people in agriculture regulate large farms make sense," adding that it already does it for most farms already. Committee member Lee Luft understands the argument but says there are a lot of other details to sort out.

Luft says such a transfer would require the approval of the Environmental Protection Agency. The item will be discussed when the Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee meets September 11 at 8 a.m. in Luxemburg.

Youth grants more than just receiving a check

By Tim Kowols       

While the extra $500 is nice to help jumpstart a student-led project, there is more to take away from receiving one of the Door County Community Foundation's Youth Grants. The organization awards two types of grants: youth as resources and youth in arts. Door County Community Foundation President and CEO Bret Bicoy says getting the grants is not hard to do, but you have to put in the time and effort.

The program, which was started by the Door County Service Club Coalition, will announce its recipients in the near future. Last year, youth used the grants to help promote the sales of 500 stuffed dogs to support the Door County Sheriff's Department's Crime Prevention Foundation to raise funds for a K-9 unit.

Door County Habitat for Humanity home build moving along

By Tim Kowols       

Mother Nature has been very understanding of the time constraints volunteers are under as work continues on Door County Habitat for Humanity's 41st home build. Finding a family and having to pour walls for a basement has backed the completion date to near the end of November. It has not daunted Door County Habitat for Humanity's volunteer corps, which has grown this year and even included days with groups from the United States Coast Guard and UW-Milwaukee. Supervisor Chuck Stone emphasizes that you do not need to have a construction background to make a difference.

The home being built for the Purdy family recently had the first floor installed and its exterior walls erected. Build days for the project are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the home's site in Sturgeon Bay.


Picture Courtesy of Door County Habitat for Humanity

Food pantry on wheels coming to Luxemburg this Saturday

By Terry Kovarik              

Anyone in the Luxemburg-Casco area who's struggling to keep food on the table can get help from "Ruby" this Saturday, better known as St. John's-Ruby Pop-up Pantry. Ruby Pantries started and are operating in Minnesota. This Saturday it makes its first appearance in our area at St. John's Lutheran Church in Luxemburg. Project Leader Sue Raduenz says it's unlike the traditional shelf pantries.



St. John's-Ruby Pantry opens Saturday morning at 8:30 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Luxemburg, 700 Heritage Road. It's open to everyone for a $20 donation. You don't need to pre-qualify for help.

A potential Younkers comeback could succeed in Door County

By Terry Kovarik              

The Younkers store in Door County closed last week. Now talk of reviving its' parent company could be an opportunity for continuing retail success. Bon-Ton Stores Incorporated ceased operations August 29th. Now USA Today reports efforts are underway to secure the rights to restart Bon-Ton and it's subsidiary stores. The new Bon-Ton's would focus more on e-commerce, though there are plans to reopen stores in four states including Wisconsin. Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jim Schuessler says if the reports are true Door County would be an ideal location.





The names of those looking to relaunch Bon-Ton Stores is not yet being made public. If successful, the new Bon-Ton stores could reopen later this year.

Kewaunee County Sheriff clarifies high-speed pursuit policy after Milwaukee protest.

By Terry Kovarik              

The Kewaunee County Sheriff says his department's policy on high-speed pursuits by deputies is simple: if others in the path of an offending driver are at risk, end the pursuit. The Milwaukee Police and Fire Commission Department reinstituted a policy of officers chasing non-violent felony drivers last year. Now Milwaukee Police are using billboards to deter high-speed pursuits. They highlight prison terms for those who flee from police and cause a fatal crash. Madison-based "Pursuit for Change", which advocates safer pursuit policies, protested that approach as ineffective. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says a recent chase shows his department's pursuit policy is working with public safety in mind.



Joski says his department trains annually in high-speed pursuits and uses non-lethal efforts such as stop sticks to bring offending vehicles to a halt without risking public safety.

Update: Body recovered at Whitefish Dunes State Park identified

By Tim Kowols       

The body found floating near Whitefish Dunes State Park on Sunday is that of an Ozaukee County man missing since last month.   The Ozaukee County Sheriff's Office confirmed in a news release the body recovered on Sunday is that of Ahmad A. Adl. He was identified by the Dane County Medical Examiner during an autopsy through dental records.    Adl was swimming at Harrington State Park in Ozaukee County when he disappeared on August 20.    According to a release from the Door County Sheriff's Department, deputies and a warden from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Adl was recovered after receiving a report of a body floating in the water.

Adopt a Solider of Door County looking at Thanksgiving

By Terry Kovarik              

Summer vacation season has barely ended and Adopt a Soldier-Door County is already getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The group ships care packages to active duty military members from Door and Kewaunee Counties who are stationed away from home during the holidays. Adopt a Soldier-Door County's Nancy Hutchinson has a wish list of items to help military members and their families.



Hutchinson also says if you know someone in the services who'd like a care package the group is constantly collecting names. For more information, click on to

Griefshare reaches out to those in mourning in Door and Kewaunee Counties

By Terry Kovarik              

Nobody mourns the same. That's the message St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay has for anyone dealing with the loss a spouse, child or significant other. The church offers a 13-week program called "Griefshare". St. Peter's Business Manager Bob Johnson, says the program is an eye-opener for people who thought they were alone in the way they grieve.





The next "Griefshare" program starts September 6th at 6:00 PM at St. Peter's Lutheran Church at 108 West Maple Street in Sturgeon Bay. You don't have to be a church member to attend. For more information log on to

Door and Kewaunee Counties farmers would benefit from US Mexico trade deal

By Terry Kovarik              

Dairy farmers in Door and Kewaunee Counties would be among the businesses benefiting from the new U.S.-Mexico trade deal. The new agreement would include zero tariffs on dairy and agricultural products. Kewaunee County University of Wisconsin-Extension Agent Aerica Bjurstrom calls the agreement a good start for the region.



As part of the pact, Mexico has agreed not to restrict market access for U.S. cheeses.

Summer and the arts are a great Door County combination

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County's parks, beaches and natural beauty are the stuff of summer vacation memories. The region's art scene is a growing attraction. Door County is becoming known as an art mecca through word of mouth and out of town newspapers and magazines. Mona Christensen, Executive Director of the Birch Creek Music Performance Center, says she has seen more people attending performances at the center and throughout the county. She says the reason for that is simple.



Door County's art scene now makes up a large part of the region's economy. A 2015 economic impact study shows arts-related events and businesses brought in nearly $25-million to the region.

Report to outline new uses for former Algoma Hardwoods site

By Terry Kovarik              

Future uses for the former Algoma Hardwoods mill site will be discussed at the Algoma Common Council's regular session Tuesday night. Gary Becker, a planning consultant, will present a one-hundred-page report on the future of the defunct mill site. Algoma City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says the location offers multiple possibilities.





Wiswell says an online survey on options for the former Algoma Hardwoods site drew 350 responses from people. The Algoma Common Council will hear the report Tuesday night at 7:00 at Algoma City Hall at 416 Fremont Street.

Kewaunee County begins testing Point Beach Nuclear Plant sirens

By Terry Kovarik              

Emergency sirens will start sounding in Kewaunee County Tuesday as part of an annual maintenance program. The Kewaunee County Emergency Management Department is checking 28 sirens that are part of the Point Beach Nuclear Plant warning system. Director Tracy Nollenberg says each siren will be tested individually and when the maintenance work is finished all the sirens will be tested together.



Nollenberg says testing will only take place during daylight hours. Work is expected to last until September 10th.

Sturgeon Bay looks at hiring a city attorney to avoid conflicts of interest

By Terry Kovarik              

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will consider a plan to hire a law firm or an attorney to represent the city on all legal matters. Common council member David Hayes says the move is needed to avoid confusion.



The request for proposal comes before the Sturgeon Bay Common Council Tuesday night at 7:00 at City Hall, 421 Michigan Street.

Update: Victim and driver of vehicle-pedestrian accident identified

By Terry Kovarik              

The Door County Sheriff's Office has now identified a man who was struck and killed by a vehicle in the Town of Liberty Grove Sunday night. According to a news release,  56-year-old David J. Marsek of Milwaukee was hit by a vehicle driven by Eric Warner of Sister Bay on Hill Road east of Hillcrest Road  The Sheriff's Office says Marsek was apparently lying on the roadway when the accident occurred. While the crash remains under investigation, the sheriff's office believes alcohol may have been a factor in the accident.


News Release by Door County Sheriff's Department

On 09-02-18 at about 11:40 pm the Door County Sheriff's Office was notified of a traffic crash involving a vehicle and pedestrian. A 56 year old male was struck and killed while lying in the eastbound lane of Hill Rd.

The deceased male has been identified as David J. Marsek of Milwaukee. The driver of the vehicle has been identified as Eric D. Warner of Sister Bay.

The crash remains under investigation but alcohol is believed to have been involved.

Door County Sheriff's Office
Sheriff Delarwelle

Sturgeon Bay writer for the Door County Advocate deserves credit for helping keep a local farming family afloat.


The power of the press was proven when local staff writer for the Door County Advocate Liz Welter started a series on the plight of Clay Banks dairy farmers Dale and Karen Cihlar. After publishing a story about a GoFundMe account to help the Cihlar family, more than $90,000 has been raised. President and CEO Roger Utnehmer commended Welter for her story. Utnehmer said it proves newspapers are still playing an important role in making communities better places to live.




You can find her story by googling The Door County Advocate.

Kewaunee County relies on others to enforce safety on Lake Michigan

By Terry Kovarik              

Kewaunee County has no full-time marine patrol even though it draws anglers from all over the midwest. Those who hope to reel in a salmon or lake trout from Lake Michigan can do so knowing help is available in an emergency. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says the combined help from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay has worked well in patrolling the waters and enforcing the law.





Kewaunee County can also get help as needed during the summer from Coast Guard station Two Rivers and from Coast Guard station Sheboygan from fall through spring.

Study results expected soon to assess Door County's housing needs

By Terry Kovarik              

A long-awaited study on Door County's housing needs is expected to be released after Labor Day. The Door County Economic Development Corporation study will spell out specific details on housing needs and how to meet them. E-D-C Executive Director Jim Schuessler says such a detailed study is the key to moving forward to meet housing demands in Door County.



The study addresses key needs like seasonal housing, especially in northern Door County. Schuessler says the data gathered by the housing study will help determine the best locations to put seasonal housing.

Why be a ferry boat captain? A Career Series

By Terry Kovarik              

Joel Gunlaugson became a deckhand with the Washington Island Ferry fleet in 1993. He just wanted to earn enough money to buy a car. 25-years later, Gunlaugson is still with the fleet as a ship's pilot or captain. The Washington Island native went to Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and earned an associates degree in electronics repair and servicing. But Gunlaugson says he just couldn't keep away from the ferries.





Gulaugson says his electronics repair training has come in handy for helping keep the fleet going.


WPS customers in Door and Kewaunee Counties urged to watch out for collection scammers

By Terry Kovarik              

Door and Kewaunee county residential and business customers are being warned to watch out for scammers demanding immediate payment of their utility bills. Wisconsin Public Service customers in the central and northern parts of the state have received calls that they're delinquent on their bills and been told it's time to pay up. WPS spokesman Matt Cullen says the scammers have taken steps to sound legitimate.




One person has been cheated out of hundreds of dollars. Cullen says if you receive such a call, hang up and contact WPS immediately to know your current bill status.

Kewaunee County reminds people to re-register to get emergency alerts by text and phone

By Terry Kovarik              

Emergency alerts in Kewaunee County are as close as your landline or cell phone. But the county has upgraded the alert system and urges you to sign up. Kewaunee County had the Code Red system but since January 1st went a new service called RAVE. Emergency Management Director Tracy Nollenberg says some people who thought they were signed up for personalized alerts may need to re-register.



Registration for RAVE is free through an app on the Kewaunee County home page or by clicking

Summer tourism looking strong as Labor Day weekend winds down

By Terry Kovarik              

Summer tourism appears to have rallied in Door County despite a delay from a longer than normal winter. The Door County Visitor Bureau says late spring lodging and campground bookings rebounded quickly. Visitor Bureau Director of Communications Jon Jarosh believes Labor Day weekend will cap off a strong year.



After a brief slowdown, Jarosh is expecting strong fall business as visitors come to Door County to take in the fall colors.

Some Door and Kewaunee County corn crops ready for harvest others not quite

By Terry Kovarik              

KEWAUNEE, WI (Terry Kovarik) -- Corn crops in Door and Kewaunee Counties are showing the effects of a long summer dry spell and heavy rains brought by last week's severe storms. Those were the initial findings of the annual corn drying held Wednesday by the Kewaunee County U-W Extension office. Ag agent Erika Bjurstrom says the samples show how weather will impact harvest times.





The corn drying test had been scheduled for later in September. Bjurstrom says it was rescheduled in light of the summer dry spell.

Don't put the kayaks and fishing gear away yet!

By Bill Schultz -- Guest Correspondent   

I can't remember the three months of summer going any faster than the time between Memorial Day and this Labor Day Weekend!  For all of you who are visitors to Door County and those of us lucky enough to live here, have a great weekend. But, just because it's Labor Day Weekend, the official end of summer, don't put those kayaks and that fishing gear away just yet.


September, October and even into November can be some of the best kayaking and kayak fishing of the year.  And, you won't see too many others out on the water. Paddling our beautiful waters in fall is enhanced as the colors start to change on the trees, it can be truly spectacular.  Also, most of the fish species will begin to put the feedbag on to fatten up for winter. My one caution is as the water temperatures begin to drop be sure to wear proper cold water clothing and wearing your PFD becomes even more important.


Over the years, some of my best smallmouth bass fishing has come in the fall.  Last year in mid-October I had a tremendous week of fishing over a five day period with many smallies from 4 to 6 pounds.  The bass usually don't come in as shallow as in the spring, but, you can find great fishing in that 8 to 15-foot range. My go-to presentation will continue to be the Z-Man Shroomz 1/15th or 1/10th ounce jig with the Z-Man Finesse TRD in Green Pumpkin Goby.  I make a long cast and fish it very slowly with occasional twitches.  The unique plastic is buoyant and stands up off the bottom, giving it an irresistible look to the smallies.


So, take it from me and don't put those kayaks and fishing gear away for at least a couple of months.  You won't be disappointed. As always, if you have any questions, please email me at

Algoma High School debuts new greenhouse and storage facility

By Tim Kowols       

Students growing in the classroom can now help plants do the same at a new greenhouse and storage facility at Algoma High School. It might be the most significant improvement Algoma School District added over the summer, which also included new equipment for its cafeteria kitchen. Middle/High School teacher Penny Lemberger is credited with helping other horticultural initiatives grow like the district's community garden. Superintendent Nick Cochart says there are plenty of positives from the new addition.

The district has also partnered with Eastshore Industries to allow some of their clients to help care for the community garden. Algoma School District children head back to class on Tuesday.

Local organizations help keep Marina Fest afloat

By Tim Kowols       

A partnership between local organizations and the Village of Sister Bay has kept a nearly 25 year Labor Day tradition alive. The Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department kicked off the festivities with a pancake breakfast which, along with serving other food throughout the weekend, is one of their biggest fundraisers of the year. Fire Chief Chris Hecht says partnering with the village to put on the three-day event is important.

Within one tradition another was born nearly 20 years ago when Sister Bay Lions Club member Bill Steger decided to host a wooden boat making activity for kids to participate in throughout the day. The Sister Bay Lions have kept the Marina Fest staple alive since Steger died 10 years ago. Member Tom Sadler says it is a great way for families to do something together and get acquainted with the Sister Bay Lions Club as well.

Marina Fest hosts events along the waterfront in Sister Bay through Monday afternoon.

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Upcycled items expected to raise thousands for affordable housing in Door County

By Tim Kowols       

Over 400 refurbished items that dotted the barn and surrounding area at Lazy L Ranch in Sturgeon Bay could have new homes after Saturday's Vintage Home and Garden Fair benefitting Door County Habitat for Humanity. Tables, shelves, and even ceiling fan blades were among the items given new life thanks to volunteers grabbing donated items from the ReStore and refurbished them to look like new. Door County Habitat for Humanity Board Member Hal Hothan refurbished two chairs for the event and says donating used items to the ReStore helps in many ways.

A year after the Vintage Home and Garden Fair got its start as the "Reclaim for a Cause" event in the ReStore parking lot, Door County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director David Van Dyke says he was encouraged to see so many people from the area and from out of town come to the event.

Van Dyke estimates the Vintage Home and Garden Fair could raise as much as $15,000 to address affordable housing projects in Door County.

Back to school routines are important for emotional health

By Renee Koenig, Family Living Educator, University of Wisconsin-Extension Kewaunee County

A new school year means many families will get back into a routine of school, homework, sports, and earlier bed times.  Research shows that family routines support children and their emotional development.  When children have good emotional health, they cooperate more and perform better in school.


Children are less likely to get frustrated and argue when they have a routine to follow.  Parents of younger children find it helpful to create a morning routine chart with pictures and drawings that remind children what tasks need to be completed.  Bedtime routines should be consistent and start around the same time each night and go in the same order: bath, pajamas, brush teeth, read book.  Morning and bedtime routines can also help children learn independence and social skills. Children can help make lunches, pack backpacks, and pick out clothes.


Parents should include time for one-on-one connection with each child.  Ending the day with one-on-one time can really make a difference.  Children need time to talk about any fears or ask questions about the upcoming school day.  Making time for each child individually is a good investment in the parents' relationship with their child and their child's emotional health.  It helps children feel more comfortable talking to parents about worries and concerns and can help reduce their anxiety and get a good night's rest.


For communication tips for parents:


For more tips on preparing your child for school, see  or contact Renee Koenig, Family Living Educator, UW-Extension at or 920-388-7137.

Why be a member of the Coast Guard? Series on careers

By Tim Kowols       

You do not have to travel far in Door County to be inspired by the presence of the United States Coast Guard. Sturgeon Bay is home to a small boat station and a marine safety detachment, while Washington Island has a Coast Guard outpost as well. Becoming a member of the Coast Guard is not unlike joining any other branch of the military depending on your qualifications and some recruits may even attend its academy in New London, Conn.  First Class Petty Officer Andrew Michaels has been a member of the Coast Guard for 14 years with almost half of that time in Sturgeon Bay. Whether it has been on the Cutter Mobile Bay or at the Station Sturgeon Bay, Michaels says the Coast Guard offers a great learning platform.

According to the Coast Guard, all active duty enlisted members start out making approximately $20,000 annually but could have their college paid for and earn more depending on their status. This is part of a continuing series on area career opportunities.


Ahnapee Trail Extension officially open

By Tim Kowols       

Whether you bike, run, or ski, you now have an extra half-mile of the Ahnapee Trail to explore. The Door County Parks and Facilities Department announced Friday the opening of the Ahnapee Trail extension, which stretches from Utah Street to Michigan Street in Sturgeon Bay. The work was made possible thanks to the Friends of the Door County Parks and financial aid from federal and state grants. Parks Superintendent Ben Nelson says it is a great investment for the county.

The extension was not the only part of the Ahnapee Trail to see a facelift this summer. A section of the bike trail south of the Bayview Bridge was also improved to eliminate potholes and uneven surfaces.

Black bear spotted in Baileys Harbor last week not out of the ordinary

By Tim Kowols       

A bear sighting in Baileys Harbor last weekend does not have to be a cause for concern according to local Department of Natural Resources warden Mike Neal. The Door County Land Trust posted a warning at their Kangaroo Lake Nature Preserve after a black bear was spotted there on August 24. Neal says this is not the first time a bear has been reported to his office this year. While you should still be cautious, Neal believes you do not have to worry too much.

According to the DNR's Web site, the state's black bear population hovers at around 29,000, up from 9,000 in 1989. The DNR considers Door and Brown Counties' population to be "rare" while Kewaunee County's level is listed as "transient."

Algoma adding new technology to maintain sidewalks and signs

By Paul Schmitt    

The city of Algoma will be utilizing a Global Positioning System (GPS) and software called Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to better plan infrastructure around on the streets.  City Administrator Jeff Wiswell explains how it will work.


Wiswell says the new system will also help the city of Algoma in the future, through satellite hook-up, to locate grave markers at the Evergreen Cemetery.

Old Glory Honor Flights help bring closure for some veterans

By Paul Schmitt    

The impact of the Old Glory Honor Flights over the years is serving more than one mission for local veterans, according to one official.  Door County Veterans Officer Scott McFarlane says the emotional trip to Washington, D.C. is difficult for many Vietnam War veterans who did not get a great public response when they returned home from the war.  He says honoring them now is important and seeing the memorials helps to give many some closure.


McFarlane estimates that over 40 veterans from Door County have experienced the Northeast Wisconsin Old Glory Honor Flight over the past ten years.  Mission 47 to Washington D.C. is planned for September 12.



(Photo submitted) Members of the Devil's Knights Motorcycle Club are presenting checks totaling $6223 to help Door County veterans and their guardians travel to Washington, D.C. on the Old Glory Honor Flight.  Accepting the checks is Joe Heilman, Chairman of the Door County Veterans Service Council

The Door County YMCA making good on community obligation

By Paul Schmitt    

The Door County YMCA is continuing to make the accessibility of its facilities affordable to all area residents, regardless of their ability to pay.  CEO and President Tom Beerntsen says the capital campaign done every year makes that possible.


Assistance is available by setting up private consultations with membership personnel at the YMCA.  The Door County YMCA has two locations in Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek and currently serves about 8,000 members, according to Beerntsen.    For more information on classes and programs offered at the "Y", go to 

Washington Island Literary Festival brings intimacy to writers' workshops and presentations

By Tim Kowols       

Taking place at small venues across the town is one of the defining characteristics of this month's Washington Island Literary Festival. With the Trueblood Performing Arts Center as a home base, local writers will have a chance to interact with eight different authors during the three-day event. The theme this year is "Words on Water," a nod to the Door County Community Foundation's year-plus long initiative celebrating the important resource. Festival chairperson Elizabeth Sachs says the intimacy offered by the island makes the event worthwhile for writers to attend.

The Washington Island Literary Festival takes place September 13-15. We have more information on the six-year-old event including registration details and an overview of the eight featured authors online with this story.


Author overview with Event chairperson Elizabeth Sachs

Click here for Washington Island Literary Festival schedule

Differences between a will and an estate plan

By Paul Schmitt    

As people plan for succession in business or the distribution of family assets, decisions and wishes should be put in writing, according to many experts.  Bob Ross of Ross Estate Planning in Sturgeon Bay explains the major differences between a simple will and an estate plan.


Ross adds that an estate plan requires conversations with family members and even your doctor.  He says that way any end-of-life decisions are made in advance and your wealth and values are passed on to your family members.

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