News Archives for 2018-10

Door County economy has assets to support middle-class jobs

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County, like much of the U.S., faces challenges in providing good paying jobs to support middle-class lifestyles. Even with a national jobless rate of 3.7-percent, some people lack needed job skills to move into higher paying positions. Jim Schuessler, Door County EconomicDevelopment Corporation Executive Director, says our area has assets that can help move people into a higher standard of living.



A recent study by found that about 62-percent of the jobs nationally don't support middle-class lifestyles. That's because the high costs of living cut into wages.

Waterless boat cleaning stations fight invasive species in Door County

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County wants to take the lead in fighting invasive aquatic species with automatic waterless boating cleaning stations. The Soil and Water Department is applying for grants to set up two boat cleaning stations at Carmody Park and Pinney Park. The stations would be the first of their kind to be used in Wisconsin. Conservationist Krista Lutzke says they're an effective way to stop invasives without using hot water.



The Door County Soil and Water Department was given permission by County Supervisors to apply for grants from the Wisconsin Coastal Management program. That money would help pay for the cleaning stations. sets deadline for election letters to the editor

By Terry Kovarik              

Election letters to the editor at will be accepted and published up until 5:00 PM Friday, November 2nd. will also end coverage of candidates at that time.  People wishing to email letters endorsing candidates or ballot questions can forward them to up until the deadline.

Racine case shows folly of official secrecy


Secrecy in government, compounded by court-ordered secrecy, gives rise to speculation and rumor. That never serves the public interest.

A case involving Racine City Attorney Scott Letteney and Racine Alderperson Sandy Weidner illustrates that very well. Last August, the city attorney sought an ethics violation sanction against the alderperson for sharing allegedly confidential communications from his office with constituents.

Letteney called for a closed meeting of the executive committee of the city council, at which he presented a PowerPoint of about 30 slides, mostly emails from Weidner to constituents. The committee referred the matter to the Ethics Board for an advisory opinion.

Weidner fought back against the possible ethics sanction and asked Letteney for a copy of his PowerPoint slides. Letteney declined. Weidner filed a request for those records under the state's open records law. Letteney denied that as well and Weidner filed suit in circuit court.

When the open records suit came before Racine County Circuit Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz, he took the unusual step of sealing the entire case, including his decision. The judge told a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter in September that he sealed the case "because of the nature of the action. It's one that shouldn't be open. I made a public policy determination."

State open-records advocates say they have never heard of an open-records suit being sealed.

In September, Weidner defied the judge's order and talked to reporters, saying that nothing she had sent to her constituents, in her experience, was confidential. According to the Journal Sentinel article, Gasiorkiewicz's decision and order "don't seem to reveal anything specific."

Soon after this article appeared, Letteney and the city of Racine, represented by a Milwaukee law firm, went back to court and asked for a $15,000 sanction for violating the court seal.

Judge Gasiorkiewicz found Weidner guilty of civil contempt of court and ordered her to pay the city's legal fees. Weidner's attorneys are appealing the open-records case and the contempt charges to a state court of appeals, where the case remains under seal. That's where this fracas currently stands. The Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council and others are asking the appellate court to unseal these records.

Some city legal issues are legitimately confidential — personnel issues, proposed contracts or city property purchases come to mind. But if Letteney is arguing that all emails and communications from his office are top secret and not to be shared by alderpersons, we have a great deal of problems with that notion.

From what little we have seen through other media, most of Weidner's "egregious" emails seem to be garden-variety legal issues and mundane, inconsequential communications from the city attorney's office. But the closed city council session and the judge's seal order have put these issues in a deep, dark hole, hidden from public view and impossible to judge.

We're dismayed that the city attorney ever elevated it to a feud of this proportion. We're dismayed, as well, that the court made a "public policy determination" to hide it from the public.

In our view, such secrecy, on both levels, undermines the right of the public to assess how government officials are conducting public business.

We urge the court of appeals to set things straight, and we hope it does.


Your Right to Know is a monthly column distributed by the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council (, a group dedicated to open government. Council member Steve Lovejoy is editor emeritus of The Journal Times, Racine, which ran a longer version of this column as an editorial.

Local congressional candidates say combined approach needed for cybersecurity

By Terry Kovarik              

The two local men running for the Eighth Congressional District seat say the federal government and private individuals need to work together on cybersecurity. During a visit to Democratic candidate Beau Liegeois says cybersecurity threats need to be meet with a multi-pronged approach.



Incumbent Representative Mike Gallager in a separate visit to also believes in a private-public cybersecurity response.



For more on the various candidates for offices responses on the issues check out our website

Sturgeon Bay sees strong in-person absentee voting

By Terry Kovarik              

More people are voting early in Sturgeon Bay. In-person absentee balloting has been underway for two weeks. Sturgeon Bay City Clerk-Human Resources Director Stephanie Reinhardt says this off-year election is drawing more interest from early voters.



If you're interested in early voting, you have until 5:00 pm Friday to cast your ballots. Otherwise, you'll have to show up at the polls Tuesday, November 6th.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate says he has worked well with Walker sometimes

By Terry Kovarik              

When it comes to funding education and help for local schools, Superintendent for Public Instruction Tony Evers says he and incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker have worked well together some of the time. During a visit to Evers, who's the Democratic candidate for governor, adds there is a need to improve their efforts. also spoke with Republican Governor Scott Walker about working with Tony Evers during an August visit to our studios. You can hear his comments by clicking here.

UPDATE: Man killed in fiery crash near Baileys Harbor identified

By Terry Kovarik              

The Door County Sheriff's Office has identified a man killed in a fiery crash near Baileys Harbor last weekend.  The Door County Sheriff's Office says the victim is 22-year-old Alec Kohl of Combined Locks.   The Sheriffs Office says Kohl was driving south on Highway 57 and failed to make a right-hand curve and struck a tree. The vehicle burst into flames and Kohl died at the scene.  Kohl was identified during an autopsy by the Brown County Medical Examiners Office.

Five Southern Door FFA students miss President but bring Indy experience home

By Paul Schmitt    

A handful of Southern Door students missed seeing the President of the United States, but they did participate in the 91st National FFA Convention in Indianapolis last week.  Brianna Bongle,  Natasha Steinhaus, Dennis Counard, Annie Simonar, and Andrea Vandertie along with their advisor Ann Glowacki returned from the four-day convention last Saturday.   Vandertie, a freshman at Southern Door High School, shares the highlights of the trip.


Glowacki, who also is an Agri-Science teacher at the school, says the students missed out on President Trump's speech at the convention on Saturday afternoon but still watched the historic event.


Another major highlight of the trip was a tour of the Subaru plant in Indiana prior to the convention, according to Glowacki.

(photos submitted)


Door County Sheriff Race -- Part 4 Reducing recidivism

By Paul Schmitt    

In the fourth of a series on the Door County Sheriff race, we asked each candidate about what could be done to stop recidivism and repeat offenders in the criminal justice system.  Lieutenant Tammy Sternard says she has an understanding of the local problem.


Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says he supports programs to reduce recidivism but points out another concern.



According to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections statistics in 2010, re-incarceration rates of inmates were 37.1 percent within three years.

Veterans Day Concert set for November 7 in Algoma

By Paul Schmitt    

A trio of directors will orchestrate the annual Veterans Day concert by the Algoma Community Band on November 7.  The free concert will be held at the Elementary School Performing Arts Center with a reception for veterans immediately afterward.  Algoma Community Band President Sue Hepp shares the special patriotic music that will be played at the concert.


The free Veterans Day concert will start at 7 pm on Wednesday, November 7.  All donations made will go towards the Algoma elementary and high school band programs.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate plans to boost funding for local schools

By Terry Kovarik              

Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers says local schools have lost ground financially under Republican Governor Scott Walker. Evers says cutbacks in state funding to schools began shortly after Walker took office. During a visit to Evers, the Superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction, says he plans to make up for those losses. also spoke with Governor Scott Walker about school funding during an August visit to our studios. You can hear his comments by clicking here.

Little Caesars joins Door County merchandise shops in Carlsville

By Terry Kovarik              

Little Caesars Pizza is as readily available as Door County fruits, wines and coffee in Carlsville. Jandu Petroleum now offers hot and ready food through the Little Caesars Express section of its BP convenience store in Carlsville. During the grand opening, company co-owner Renu  Jandu says the Little Caesars Express caters to those who want a good, hot meal and don't have a lot of time to wait.



Jandu says the company chose Little Caesars because of its reputation for quality food at a great price.

Coast Guard updates area lighthouse lens removal projects

By Terry Kovarik              

Historical documentation is delaying the removal of the Fresnel lenses from the Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse and the Algoma Pierhead Lighthouse. The U.S. Coast Guard originally planned to remove the Kewaunee lens this month. That was put on hold, however, as the U.S. Coast Guard needed paperwork on the Algoma lens to be finished before work began on either lighthouse. U.S. Coast Guard Environmental Engineer Wayne Kean says the documentation process is lengthy out of necessity.



Both lenses are scheduled to be removed in 2019. Kean says both projects will likely take place in the same week.

Local Congressional candidates on infrastructure repairs and replacements

By Terry Kovarik              

Nearly nine-percent of Wisconsin's bridges and 27-percent of states public roads are in poor condition. Rebuilding the nation's crumbling infrastructure and how to pay for it remains a hotly debated topic in Congress.  During recent visits to Door County Daily incumbent Eighth District Representative Mike Gallagher, a Republican, and Democratic challenger Beau Liegeois talked about the need for infrastructure repairs. Gallagher favors looking into changes in transportation users fees and working with the private sector to fund repairs.



Liegeois believes recent corporate tax cuts have been detrimental to comprehensive infrastructure repairs.



Prior to the November 6th general election, will bring you views from the candidates for various offices.

Broadband Internet a Kewaunee County budget discussion point

By Tim Kowols       

Up to $1 million could be allocated to improve Kewaunee County's broadband Internet infrastructure if it is approved by the board next month. The county's finance committee will take up the discussion during its meeting Friday before giving a recommendation to the board of supervisors. Kewaunee County has talked to partners to make the project happen and hopes to add to the $40,000 in grant dollars it has already received from the state.  Kewaunee County Board chairperson Robert Weidner says a final cost for the expansion has not been determined due to a number of factors.

Funding for the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation will also be discussed at the finance committee meeting this Friday at 8 a.m. at the administration center in Kewaunee before getting final approval from the board on Monday.

Area schools get ready for fall musical season

By Tim Kowols       

Big name musicals will take the stage at area high schools over the next two weeks. Sevastopol students will perform "The Sound of Music" this weekend beginning on Friday, though its Saturday performance has been moved to Monday so the musical's band can perform at the high school's state championship football game in Stanley, Wis. Kewaunee students will perform "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" while Southern Door will perform one of the country's first renditions of "Mamma Mia." Southern Door Superintendent Patti Vickman says musical director Bonnie Weydt acted quickly when word got out that the show would be available for high schools to perform.

With a different spin on the arts, Luxemburg-Casco will have its annual variety show next weekend. You can find more information on the performances online with this story.

Farmers running out of time for cover crops

By Tim Kowols       

The wet start to fall could end up preventing many farmers in Door and Kewaunee counties from planting cover crops. With the encouragement of Peninsula Pride Farms, many operators have started annually planting cover crops as a way to help control soil erosion and make it more productive. Cover cropping is also one of the strategies used to help address the area's groundwater concerns. Weather pushed the harvest back in some area fields and prevented farmers from simultaneously planting a variety of different cover crops. AgSource Labortories' Nick Guilette helps farmers write nutrient management plans and says they are running out of options if they want to still plant this fall.


Guilette says he has been telling farmers success cover cropping four out of five years is not a bad goal to shoot for given the unpredictability of Mother Nature.

Door County Jewish leader reflects on Saturday synagogue shooting

By Tim Kowols       

Saturday's shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh may have occurred hundreds of miles away, but it still hit close to home for Door County's Glen Mandel. Along with his family, Mandel helped create L'Dor V'Dor in 1999 for local members of the Jewish community wanting to practice their faith without driving an hour for services. Mandel says Saturday's tragedy is a reminder of the hate that is out there but feels welcome in Door County.

Although he has yet to reach out to them, Mandel hopes his friends and their families from the Squirrel Hill neighborhood where Saturday's events took place are ok.

Additional funding for Cana Island Center aids project budget

By Terry Kovarik              

An additional $150,000 for the planned Cana Island Interpretive Center will allow for more flexible budgeting by making it easier to add or remove items from the project as needed. The Door County Board of Supervisors approved additional funds to the $365,000 already allocated for the project. Door County Facilities and Parks Manager Wayne Spritka compares that approach to funding and planning a new home.



Door County owns the island and lighthouse and has a management contract with the Door County Maritime Museum to operate it during the summer. All funds for Cana Island are in a segregated account so that no general fund monies are spent on the property.

New program makes older homes in our area a good buy

By Terry Kovarik              

Owners of older homes in Door and Kewaunee Counties and first-time buyers both win under a new home financing program. The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority's Homestyle Renovation program would finance a home purchase and renovation costs in a single mortgage. Retail banker Kelly Peterik and Senior Vice President of Mortgage Lending Tom Zellner of Nicolet Bank say the program covers just about any renovation project.



All renovations must be completed within six months and can only be done by certified contractors. For more information click here.

Door County Land Trust looking forward to more property acquisition

By Paul Schmitt    

Having protected more than 8,000 acres of land throughout Door County, the Door County Land Trust is continuing their mission to protect open spaces, scenic beauty, and the area's ecology.   Chambers Island is the largest of all the nature preserves in Door County, according to Executive Director Tom Clay.  He explains some of the work they have done recently.


Clay adds that protection work has been done in the Gibraltar Ephraim swamp area as well.  He says the Door County Land Trust is always looking for additional protection opportunities.  Southern Door County currently has one conservation easement in Clay Banks called the Legacy Preserve and Washington Island has a few preserves with a potential to grow, according to Clay.


Preserves to explore in Door County:

Referendum supporters step up voter education in Sevastopol

By Terry Kovarik              

A week and a day before voters go to the polls, referendum supporters in the Sevastopol School District are reaching out to the community. Members of "Vote Yes Sevastopol" will be knocking on doors and using social media to encourage voters to support the combined $27.1-million operating and building questions. Group co-president Lynn Zawojski hopes voters will see for themselves why upgrades to classrooms and replacement of the 100-year-old section of the school building are needed.



Zawojski also says recent pledges of cash donations from Therma-Tron-X, Wood Orchard and Future Farmers of America alumni have helped convince potential voters that she's spoken with to support the referendum.

Local candidates for Congress on fighting terrorism

By Terry Kovarik              

Both local candidates for Wisconsin's 8th Congressional District believe fighting terrorism will be a key part of national defense. It's an issue that hits home with Incumbent Representative, Republican Mike Gallagher, a former Marine, and Democratic challenger, Beau Liegeois,  who served with the Wisconsin National Guard. Liegeois says the United States needs to use every resource available in a combined effort against terrorists.



Representative Gallagher shares some similar views on fighting terrorism.



Prior to the November 6th general election, will bring you views from the candidates for various offices. To learn more, Log on to our website


Gubernatorial candidate Evers says local farms benefit from diversification

By Terry Kovarik              

Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers supports aid to local dairy farmers. During a recent visit to, Evers says that can include financial help. He adds that technological improvements at local schools and helping local farmers diversify their products are also needed. also spoke with incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker about aiding agriculture during an August visit to our studios. You can hear his comments by clicking here.

Kewaunee County Sheriff's Deputies prepared for mental health crisis calls

By Terry Kovarik              

The Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department is ready should a disorderly conduct call turn out to be a mental health crisis. Dispatchers and deputies go through Crisis Intervention Training or CIT. Sheriff Matt Joski says the training helps responding deputies shift from criminal response mode to connecting people in crisis with those who can help.



Sheriff Joski says the Kewaunee County Human Services Department has staffers who can be contacted around the clock. They can work with deputies to determine what type of help may be needed by those dealing with a mental health crisis.

Sister Bay couple dies in Winnebago County crash

By Paul Schmitt    

A three-vehicle crash in Winnebago County Sunday afternoon claimed the lives of a Sister Bay couple.  According to a Winnebago County Sheriff's Department news release, the accident happened at about 3 pm Sunday on Highway 21 in the town of Rushford.  Gary Martin, 75, died at the scene and his wife Julie Sara, 75, died later from the injuries at the hospital.  The couple had recently moved to Sister Bay from Oregon.  Five other people from the other two vehicles were transported to hospitals with injuries.  The crash remains under investigation and more details will be released at a later time.

4-H re-enrollment deadline nears in Kewaunee County

By Tim Kowols       

Kewaunee County youth already involved in 4-H have until October 31st to re-enroll with their respective clubs. Open to kids from kindergarten through their freshman year of college, past 4-H members need to re-enroll by the Halloween deadline in order to submit projects for the 2019 Kewaunee County Fair. New members have until February 1st to join a club and be able to show their project at the fair. With 13 different clubs to choose from in Kewaunee County, UW-Extension 4-H Youth Educator Jill Jorgensen invites families to visit a meeting or two to get a feel for the group.

Clubs typically meet once a month with other meetings possible depending on the projects youth members choose. You can find club and enrollment information online with this story.

Click here: Enrollment information

Click here: Club information

Sister Bay Piggly Wiggly breaks ground on renovation project

By Tim Kowols       

Store ownership, village officials, and others helped break ground on a project seven years in the making at the Sister Bay Piggly Wiggly Monday. Fences were going up, earth was being moved, and even some demolition work was being done while the ceremony took place. The renovations will see the store grow to over 22,000 square feet and almost every department getting upgraded equipment. Complimentary of the village staff and the Country Walk Shops, Sister Bay Piggly Wiggly Vice President Dan Nesbitt says it has been great to see the store receive such community support for the project.

The store will remain open throughout the project, which is scheduled for completion for May 2019. You can see video from the ceremony online with this story.


Preparing for your financial life without your spouse

By Tim Kowols       

The conversation you may not want to have with your spouse may be the one you should have when it comes to your financial wellness. According to Forbes magazine, 69 percent of widows said becoming the sole financial decision maker was one of the top challenges they would face if their spouse dies unexpectedly. Some of that could be explained by the fact that only 14 percent of widows were making financial decisions by themselves before their spouse died according to the same survey. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors in Sturgeon Bay says it is a tough conversation to have, but it is even rougher when the loved one is no longer around.

Pustaver also recommends people leave a list of due dates, passwords, and other important information for surviving members to make sure there are no financial or legal consequences that may occur after they die. You can listen to the entire Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver online with this story.


Community gathers support for local partner families

By Tim Kowols       

Community members can help build a better future for Door County Habitat for Humanity partner families without ever picking up a hammer. A toolbox from build volunteers and a bookcase stocked with family-friendly titles donated by Altrusa of Door County are among the acts of the kindness greeting partner families on their home's dedication day. In recent years, Door County Habitat for Humanity has made sure partner families' other shelves are full by hosting a "Pack the Pantry" drive. ReStore manager Megan Dietz says she hopes the pantry can be full of groceries by the time the Purdy family moves into their new home potentially December 1st.

Volunteers are still needed for Door County Habitat for Humanity's build days on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while non-perishable food items including quick and easy dinner ideas can be brought to the ReStore office.

Local candidates for Congress on fighting terrorism

By Terry Kovarik              

Both local candidates for Wisconsin's 8th Congressional District believe fighting terrorism will be a key part of national defense. It's an issue that hits home with Incumbent Representative, Republican Mike Gallagher, a former Marine, and Democratic challenger, Beau Liegeois, who served with the Wisconsin National Guard. Liegeois says the United States needs to use every resource available in a combined effort against terrorists.




Representative Gallagher shares some similar views on fighting terrorism.


Prior to the November 6th general election, will bring you views from the candidates for various offices. To learn more, Log on to our website

Managing sleep and chronic pain

By Tim Kowols       

You might be able to sleep a little bit better after attending an upcoming presentation at the Door County Aging and Disability Resource Center. According to the ADRC, 50 to 70 percent of adults with chronic pain suffer from sleep issues. Not getting enough sleep could lead to other issues like obesity and moodiness. Door County Human Services behavioral health therapist Sue Exworthy says sleep is a big topic of conversation when she meets with clients for a number of different issues including chronic pain.

Exworthy says it is important to track your sleep patterns so you can more easily be able to pinpoint why your issues are occurring. The presentation on chronic pain and sleep will take place on November 12th at the Door County ADRC beginning at 1 p.m.

Northern Door church pantry stocks up for the holidays

By Terry Kovarik              

Door of Life Church in Sister Bay is preparing to reach out to those in need for the holidays and to meet every day food needs. The church provides assistance whenever it's needed. Pastor Ed House says the church, with help from other faith communities, is just about ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Though Pastor House says the pantry could use a few more basic items.



If you need help with food or want to make donations, you can stop by Door of Life Church on Hwy 42 in Sister Bay.

Holiday packages to local troops

By Terry Kovarik              

Hundreds of local soldiers, sailors, marines and air force crew members won't be home for Thanksgiving. Adopt a Soldier Door County, however, is making sure the taste of home will come to them. The group will be shipping out holiday care packages this coming Thursday. Executive Director Nancy Hutchinson says there are single packages for soldiers and a few to share with groups of soldiers.



Once the Thanksgiving packages are shipped out, Hutchinson says Adopt a Solider Door County will get Christmas care packages ready to ship out by December 1st. For more information click here.

Why Be an Economic Development Director A Career Series

By Terry Kovarik              

Jim Schuessler never imagined he'd head a county economic development corporation. His career path started with sales for a local television station and he worked his way up to company CEO until the station group was sold. Then Schuessler saw a help wanted ad for the director of an economic development corporation in northern Wisconsin. He applied and found that even with a business background some on-the-job training was necessary.



This year he was hired as Executive Director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation.  Jim Schuessler admits his new career path is not as lucrative as his time as a CEO and that's just fine.



Schuessler says anyone interested in working with economic development should meet up with an EDC organization that can teach them the basics and maybe even mentor them.

Tony Evers says local schools will pay long term costs from Act 10

By Terry Kovarik              

Tony Evers,  the Democratic candidate for Governor of Wisconsin, says Act 10 will cost Door and Kewaunee County school districts more in the long run. During a recent visit to, Evers says Act 10, which sharply reduced public employees collective bargaining rights, may have helped school budgets initially. Evers believes those savings are already being offset when it comes to recruiting new teachers. also spoke with incumbent Republican Governor Scott Walker about Act 10 during an August visit to our studios. You can hear his comments by clicking here.

Door County still has access to intercity bus service even with Greyhound gone

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County residents won't be left without access to intercity bus service even though Greyhound has ended service to Northeast Wisconsin. The well-known bus line made its last runs between Milwaukee and Green Bay on Tuesday. Door Tran Mobility Manager Pam Busch, however, says local residents who rely on long-distance bus service still have options.



Greyhound cited declining ridership after suddenly announcing it was ending service from Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac to Milwaukee.

Methamphetamine too easy to find in Door County

By Terry Kovarik              

The recent raid that seized 40-grams of methamphetamine in Sturgeon Bay kept a large portion of the drug off of the streets. District Attorney Colleen Nordin says, however, meth continues to pose a major threat to Door County because it's readily available to users.



One of three suspects arrested in connection with that meth bust, Mika Watters, is scheduled to be in Door County Circuit Court Monday morning.

Homemade messes in Door County are science lessons in disguise

By Terry Kovarik              

Some practical science lessons are as close as the pantry or refrigerator in any Door or Kewaunee County home. That's the theme of "Messy Homemade Science" held at the Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay. With help from U-W Biotechnology Outreach, participants will perform experiments using common ingredients. Beth Lokken with the Door County Library, which is sponsoring the event, says the end result of the experiments is an easy and pleasing clean up.



"Messy Homemade Science" was held in conjunction with Sturgeon Bay's "Thrills on Third" Halloween Celebration.

People learn that goods "Made in Door County" reach the world

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County manufacturers showed visitors that goods "Made in Door County" have a worldwide reputation for quality. A dozen companies opened their doors to people as part of Manufacturing Day. Hatco Vice President for Manufacturing Steve Christoferson says visitor see the restaurant equipment made close to home and a more modern look at manufacturing.



Visitors were impressed by local manufacturers.



Manufacturing Day has become an annual event to help Door County residents get to know their industrial neighbors better.

Congressional candidates for Door and Kewaunee Counties look to simplify tax codes

By Terry Kovarik              

The two candidates for the Eighth Congressional District, which includes Door and Kewaunee Counties, want changes made in the U.S. Tax Code. Incumbent Representative Republican Mike Gallagher and Democratic Challenger Beau Liegeois differ in the best way to do that. Both candidates made separate visits to Gallagher says the last tax bill approved by Congress is good though he says taxation needs to be simplified.



Liegeois believes tax relief is needed for the middle class while corporations need to be accountable



Between now and the November 6th general election, DoorCountyDailyNews will feature both Congressional candidates views on the issues that can be found on our website

Hundreds of women team up to help Northern Door County charities

By Terry Kovarik              

A national group challenged as many women as possible to donate a hundred dollars to raise $10,000 in an hour for local charities. Now it's making its mark in Northern Door County. The 100+ Women Who Care started in Door County last March. Local founders Peggy Reineck and Ann Morgan say the groups $7700 donation has helped make a difference for STRIDE-The Door County Collaborative School Mental Health Project.



The 100+ Women Who Care-Northern Door County meets for an hour four-times yearly to raise money and select the charities that will benefit from them. For more information click here.

Fall and winter seasons create opportunity for volunteer fire departments

By Tim Kowols       

The call volume goes down during the late fall and winter months in Door County, but volunteer firefighters hope there is more interest in joining their departments. Summer temptations disappearing make it easier for potential recruits to commit to the trainings and meetings required to become a volunteer firefighter in the county. Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht says the time after Fall Fest and Memorial Day is the perfect time to get extra work in and avoid the times of the year when people are very busy.

Hecht says regardless of age and gender, people should not underestimate their worth to a volunteer fire department and their community.  You can contact your local volunteer fire department to learn more about how you can become a member.

Senator Johnson warns of complacency heading into fall election

By Tim Kowols       

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson believes the tense nature of the 2018 midterm elections started long before Justice Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court. During his visit to the radio stations of, Senator Johnson believes Democrats have been invigorated for the upcoming midterms since the night President Donald Trump won the 2016 election and have made a considerate effort to try to sabotage the administration. He says the behavior of the left has opened the eyes of many conservatives, some of which who may have been too complacent in past weeks.

Citing her legislative experience in Madison, Senator Johnson is supporting state senator Leah Vukmir in the midterm elections in her bid to replace his Democratic colleague Senator Tammy Baldwin.

Kids, parents work together to provide safe trick or treating experience

By Tim Kowols       

With some getting a head start on trick-or-treating this weekend in Fish Creek, Luxemburg, Casco, and Forestville, there are many ways kids and parents can keep each other safe during the Halloween season. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Halloween is consistently one of the top three days of the year for pedestrian injuries and deaths. In addition to making sure you look before you cross the road, Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski stresses the importance of visibility.

Joski says parents should also know where their kids are going trick-or-treating and check their candy to make sure it is safe to eat. We have trick-or-treating schedules for Door and Kewaunee counties posted online with this story.



Fish Creek: 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday (during Jack O'Lantern Days)
Forestville: 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday
Casco: noon to 2 p.m. Sunday
Luxemburg: 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday
Sister Bay: 3 to 6 p.m. Oct. 31
Jacksonport: 3 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31
Sturgeon Bay: 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31
Baileys Harbor: 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31
Kewaunee: 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 31
Algoma: 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 31

Kewaunee Main Street construction winding down

By Paul Schmitt    

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has rolled back the orange construction barrels on the Highway 42 bridge in Kewaunee for the weekend.  The construction will still continue next week with flagging operations, but the majority of work has been completed.  Mark Kanola of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation says the $1.9 million project should be completed on time with some finishing touches next week.


Crews will be finishing asphalt paving and begin shouldering from Miller Street to Duvall Street next week.  The temporary stop and go lights were removed last week from the bridge over the Kewaunee River.

Luxemburg-Casco School District looking to enhance Agri-Sciences

By Paul Schmitt    

The Luxemburg-Casco School District is looking to improve their classrooms for agri-science programs.   Although not originally part of the renovation plan at the high school, Superintendent Glenn Schlender explains what the L-C School District is looking to add.


Schlender says they had just met last week to brainstorm about the expansion of the agri-science facilities and are still in the process of getting firm pricing.  More details about the project should be available in the next few weeks, according to Schlender.

Smaller towns facing big budget cost for snow removal

By Paul Schmitt    

As area road departments ready for the upcoming winter and snow removal, local municipalities struggle to incur the cost of living in a northern climate.  The Town of Village spends between $3,500 and $4,500 on snow removal after each storm, according to Town Chair Roy Engelbert.  He explains how the cost impacts future road maintenance.


As an example, Engelbert estimates that last spring's April 15 snowstorm that dumped over 30 inches of snow in the area cost the township over $14,000 alone.  The Town of Forestville is planning to borrow money this fall to make sure they can cover payments for road improvements.

Disc Golfers take over The Orchards for Door County Fall Classic

By Paul Schmitt    

The Orchards of Egg Harbor golf course will again feature disc golfers on the back nine this weekend for the second year in-a-row.  The Door County Disc Golf Fall Classic will be held Saturday and Sunday and include a doubles tournament and the sanctioned singles tournament on Sunday.  Jack Jackson, the managing partner at The Orchards, says the opportunity for disc golfers to complete on an actual golf course adds to the experience.


40 disc golfers participated in last year's one-day event.  Organizers are hoping for a bigger turn out this year, according to Jackson.  He says there are other disc golf tournaments going on in the state this weekend as well.  The Orchards at Egg Harbor is an 18-hole golf course located on Heritage Lake Road just north of Egg Harbor.

Land preservation needs to balance individual rights with common good

By Paul Schmitt    

Preservation efforts are important to measure when it comes to protecting and maximizing the natural resources and environment on the Door Peninsula.   Laurel Hauser, a council member from District 7 in Sturgeon Bay, says the national conversation is debating over individual rights versus the common good.


Hauser says Sturgeon Bay took an initiative over 20 years ago to develop their waterfront property with the goal to have as much public access as possible.  She says the newly formed 10-member Ad Hoc Westside Waterfront Steering Committee will be meeting next Thursday for the first time at 6:30 pm in the Community Room at City Hall.

Town of Gibraltar, Fish Creek businesses look to get organized before spring road project

By Tim Kowols       

The town of Gibraltar and the Fish Creek Civic Association are planning ahead for this spring's road construction project. Resurfacing is scheduled to take place on State Highway 42 from Bluff Lane in the town of Gibraltar to Country Walk Drive in Sister Bay. With help of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the two groups will host a business coordination meeting to review plans and learn about the project's potential traffic impacts. Mark Kantola from the Wisconsin DOT says it is important for business owners to know that they are not in it alone and there are resources available to them.

Interested business owners along the route can attend the meeting on November 1st at Gibraltar Old Town Hall in Fish Creek beginning at 2 p.m.

BUG Fire Department asks for replacements after stretching vehicles' lifeline

By Tim Kowols       

The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department hopes to get the same lifespan out of its proposed new pumper truck as it has on its other vehicles.  The department's firefighters recently asked its board of directors for over $500,000 to replace one of its pumper trucks and the body on its tanker truck. The cost would be shared among the three communities and the department's truck replacement fund. While departments in bigger communities typically replace their vehicles every 15 to 20 years, BUG Fire Department's last three pumper trucks lasted close to four decades. BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says it tries to take good care of the equipment as he knows their prices are always moving up.

The town boards in Brussels, Union, and Gardner will make their decisions on making the purchases at their upcoming meetings in November.

Kids find the importance of learning through playing

By Tim Kowols       

Letting your kids play with each other not only helps give you a few extra minutes but also assists in their development. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, playing is an important part of a child's development by connecting different activities to learning. The recent donation of an outdoor mud kitchen to the Northern Door Children's Center in Sister Bay by the Ellie Helm Foundation is just one example of a way kids can learn life skills while playing. Karen Corekin-DeLaMer of the Northern Door Children Center says their kids are learning much more than just how to cook a pretend meal or what fun things they can make out of sand.

According to BusinessWire, a Canadian apparel company found in a survey that only 30 percent of American children play freely outside every day and 20 percent only make it out the door once or less a week. Respondents blamed the weather and the increase of structured activities for the drop.

Law enforcement, Culver's team up to make a difference

By Tim Kowols       

Door County residents in need can thank local law enforcement and fans of butterburgers for a merrier Christmas this year. The Door County Sheriff's Department and Sturgeon Bay Police Department joined forces Wednesday at Culver's to help support the Lights of Christmas campaign. In addition to a portion of the sales made at Culver's, law enforcement personnel were able to collect over $1,000 in tips to help buy gift cards and hotel vouchers for families to use during the holiday season. During Wednesday's event, Sturgeon Bay Police Officer Derek Jennerjohn told how the community's generosity could help their neighbors.

This is the first year local law enforcement and Culver's in Sturgeon Bay teamed up for the Lights of Christmas Northeast Wisconsin campaign, which dates back to 2016.


Picture courtesy of the Sturgeon Bay Police Department Facebook page

Trust runs deep for Brussels man and his new guide dog

By Paul Schmitt    

A Door County man has found the furry companion that will help him become more active after he lost his vision four years ago.  Everett Lang, 53, of Brussels graduated from the Guiding Eyes for the Blind in Yorktown Heights, New York last week.  After three weeks of training, Lang was paired up with a guide dog named "Sunny" who is a yellow lab.  Lang, who was one of twelve graduates from all across America, says he has already been saved by "Sunny" before the residential training program was completed.


Lang says that it is serendipity that his matched guide dog is named "Sunny" since he works at the Sunshine House in Sturgeon Bay.


(The graduation picture of Everett and Sunny is courtesy of Guiding Eyes for the Blind)

Zittlow honored by Brussels Lions Club

By Paul Schmitt    

A longtime Brussels Lions member was honored with the club's highest obtainable honor this week for his humanitarian work. Leonard Zittlow was presented the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowship Thursday evening during a joint meeting of the Forestville and Maplewood Lions Club.  Zittlow says he was not expecting the award and was appreciative of the recognition.


The award is named after Melvin Jones who founded the Lions Club International over 100 years ago.   Zittlow has served as the treasurer for the Brussels Lions Club for the past 13 years.

(photo courtesy of the Brussels Wisconsin Lions Club Facebook)

Drivers should be aware of increased deer movement

By Paul Schmitt    

Local law enforcement and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation are urging drivers to slow down and to be alert for increased deer activity.  Deer/vehicle crashes typically peak during late October and early November as the bucks pursue potential mates during the rut.  Door County Sheriff Steve Delarwelle offers some advice when traveling on the roadways, especially wooded areas.


Deer activity also usually spikes during the hours around dawn and dusk.  You can find a list of other tips to help avoid hitting a deer below.


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

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


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


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


  • If a collision with a deer is unavoidable:


    • Brake firmly. Stay in your lane.


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


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


  • If you do hit a deer:


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


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


    • Don't attempt to move an injured deer.

Friends of Crescent Beach making a difference in Algoma for the last three years

By Paul Schmitt    

One of Algoma's main attractions and assets has been getting a big boost from a volunteer organization the last few years.  The Friends of Crescent Beach group has been collaborating with the city of Algoma to make improvements along the lakeshore area.  Member Cathy Pabich says the beach has realized some impressive results since the organization started helping in 2015.


The Friends of Crescent Beach and the Algoma Parks and Rec Department are sponsoring a work project starting at 8 o'clock Saturday morning to remove invasive plants and plant grass for wildlife habitat on the beach.


You can contact Sara Robertson at the Algoma Parks and Rec Department to volunteer and more details on the Crescent Beach grass planting.


Sara Robertson  920-487-5480

Town of Lincoln still looking for reimbursement on water systems

By Tim Kowols       

Town of Lincoln officials are still looking to be reimbursed roughly $30,000 in product and installation costs for whole-house water treatment systems installed by a Milwaukee-based company. In September, the town charged Stonehouse Water Technologies with being deceptive by not following up on its promises of monitoring five water systems it installed in Lincoln homes in spring 2017. In a release following the town's criticism, Stonehouse Water Technologies CEO Hensley Foster said the pilot project was completed in November and has provided ongoing support. The two sides have not met since a request for a meeting was made last October. Town chairperson Cory Cochart says they are in the process of drafting a legal letter requesting reimbursement.

Cochart says the next step could be a lawsuit if their letter for reimbursement gets ignored. An update on the town's efforts will be provided at the next Town of Lincoln board meeting on November 5th.

Clean-up efforts underway at local state parks

By Tim Kowols       

With the tourist season behind them, Friends groups at Door County's state parks are springing into action to clean up. Volunteers play catch-up on small projects that often get ignored during the peak season and provide final checks on campsites and facilities before winter. Newport State Park Manager Michelle Hefty says activities like picking up trash and trimming trees help make the transition to different winter recreational opportunities easier.

Sponsored by the Newport Wilderness Society, volunteers can head to the park's maintenance building for this year's Fall-Clean-Up Day on Saturday beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Door County manufacturers set to hire over 400 people in the next few months

By Tim Kowols       

It is not necessarily new news to some living in the area, but the Door County Economic Development Corporation is making sure others know of the opportunities available locally. The DCEDC announced Thursday that area manufacturers in and around the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park are looking to hire over 400 people for open positions in the coming months. DCEDC Executive Director Jim Schuessler says it is impressive to have a single business see the growth they are seeing with twelve different manufacturers in Sturgeon Bay.

Hatco's Vice President of Manufacturing Steve Christoferson says it is important to let people know that the opportunities exist and they do not even need to be experienced to do it.

The news came as Door County high school sophomores toured the 12 different businesses being featured during this weekend's Manufacturing Day. Businesses will be hosting open interviews on Saturday to address their position needs.

Redistricting reform drawing mostly Democratic support

By Tim Kowols       

Only two Republicans are on record supporting redistricting reform before voters head to the polls in less than two weeks. According to Common Cause Wisconsin, 81 candidates for the Assembly and Senate, including First District State Senator Caleb Frostman, have signed on to support non-partisan redistricting to draw new electoral maps. Legislatures in Republican-held states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and Democratic-led states like Illinois and Maryland are accused of drawing the different boundaries for political gains. One plan, known as the "Iowa Model," would turn the task to a non-partisan group that would follow strict criteria to create more fair districts. Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck says redistricting should be a voter issue.

Incumbent state Assembly members Todd Novak of Dodgeville and Jon Plumer of Lodi are the only Republicans to sign onto the redistricting reform pledge with Common Cause Wisconsin.

Door County Sheriff Race Part 3- Number one crime issue

By Paul Schmitt    

In the third of a series on the candidates running for Door County Sheriff, we asked what is the biggest crime problem facing Door County.  Both Chief Deputy Pat McCarty and Lieutenant Tammy Sternard agree that drugs and the opioid epidemic are key issues.  McCarty says the problem is not only a local one.


Sternard says bringing the right people together to address the issue is important.


McCarty and Sternard have both been working at Door County Sheriff's Department the past 25 years. Door County voters will be deciding on their new sheriff when they go to the polls on Tuesday, November 6th.

Senior Chief Petty Officer from Sturgeon Bay gets meritorious service award

By Terry Kovarik              

Senior Chief Petty Officer Marc Moore had to make some fast adjustments and decisions when responding to Hurricane Harvey. Now those efforts have been recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard. Chief Moore received a Meritorious Service Medal during ceremonies at Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay. Moore received orders to aid hurricane recovery efforts in Southeast Texas just as he was heading to his son's football game. Once in Texas, he found himself meeting some rapidly changing situations that were made easier by his crew.



Chief Moore says receiving the Meritorious Service Medal was something he never expected.



Moore's crewmates at Station Sturgeon Bay knew the award was coming for some time. Moore says he's impressed with their ability to keep a secret.

Civil Discourse: An Occasional Attempt to Restore Civility to Our Civic Discourse

By Roger Utnehmer
President and CEO

Thoughts for Door County From a Cape Cod Visit.

Many similarities and a few contrasts provide the opportunity for the Cape Cod of the Midwest, otherwise known as Door County, to learn from the Door County of the east coast, otherwise known as Cape Cod.

Both claim scenic beauty, similar architecture, abundant opportunities for arts and entertainment, traffic congestion, non-resident property ownership and impressive shoreline preservation.

Contrasts are rooted in regulations. Billboards and plastic bags are banned throughout Cape Cod. Signs warn of fines of up to $10,000 for littering. There is not a single stop sign or traffic light on Nantucket Island. Roundabouts, called rotaries, control traffic. Zoning protects business districts and residential neighborhoods from exploitation, eye-sores, big box stores and chains. Consistent architectural integrity is part of what creates the charm that is Cape Cod.

When dying oysters in a Nantucket bay were connected to lawn chemicals, landscapers voluntarily stopped using chemicals and came up with other options.  Public sewer and water systems were extended to rural areas when beaches were threatened and well water polluted.

A four-lane highway through the center of the cape keeps traffic from congesting small communities along either side.

Like Door County, Cape Cod businesses express the need for an immigration policy that would allow them to hire foreign workers.

Affordable housing is a serious challenge. Bar and restaurant owners provide housing accommodations for staff. A ferry fee for those having a thirty-mile one-way commute is part of the compensation package for workers in the trades and hospitality industries.

Economic development is as much retail and hospitality as it is healthcare or light industry.

Main streets are vibrant and there was not a Walmart to be found, not that anyone was looking.

Preserving charm is what Cape Cod has done best and it is what Door County can learn to assure a future as prosperous as it is beautiful.

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

Local Democratic candidate ready to help end congressional deadlock

By Terry Kovarik              

Congressional candidate Beau Liegeois believes he has the right skill set to help break the gridlock in Congress. Liegeois is the Democratic candidate for the Eighth Congressional District, which includes Door and Kewaunee Counties. During a recent visit to, Liegeois says serving as a consensus builder will be a priority if he's elected.




Incumbent Republican Eighth District Representative Mike Gallagher visited previously and shared his views Congressional gridlock. You can hear his comments by clicking here.

Fatal accident near Jacksonport closes part of Highway 57, names released

By Terry Kovarik              

State Highway 57 north of Bechtel Road in the Town of Jacksonport was closed for several hours Tuesday following a fatal two-vehicle crash. The Door County Sheriff's Department says a bulk fuel tanker was struck by a pickup truck. The driver of the pickup, 90-year-old Thomas J. Rondeau of Jacksonport, died at the scene. Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says the crash happened as the tanker was making a scheduled delivery.



The driver of the tanker, 59-year-old Thomas Kacszmarek of Sturgeon Bay was not injured. Traffic was detoured while a Wisconsin State Patrol accident reconstruction team investigated the crash site. The Door County Highway Department diverted traffic and cleaned up a small quantity of fuel that spilled from the tanker. The accident remains under investigation and the sheriff's department says speed and alcohol do not appear to have contributed to the fatal accident.

Lawton inviting more women to run for public office

By Delilah Rose-  Student Correspondent       

Last Thursday, Barbara Lawton, and many other local women politicians gathered at the Sturgeon Bay Union Supper Pub in recognition of the gender percentage of office holders. This was not a women-exclusive group; all community members were invited to listen in on how to support female politicians.

Currently, in Door County, women are primarily outweighed in almost every representative position. The Town chair and the Village Presidents are solely men. Barbara Lawton, former Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor, recognized many current local women politicians and addressed the need for female representation.

From one question asked about how to develop and demonstrate confidence, Barbara Lawton said "Do something to set you apart, that you demonstrate confidence to have your own style. For me, I have seen women who have not had to wear clothes that look androgynous and behave in a certain way in order to be leaders to the community, that's a really important thing, to know that your style is yours and that it is an expression of strength and confidence."

Lawton also said that she did not enter into politics until she received an invitation. At this event, Lawton formally invited all local women to take part in their local government. There is no need to wait to be invited any longer, the invitation has been extended.  It's also been accepted by local leaders such as Door County Supervisor Megan Lundahl.



(photo:  Former Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton and Delilah Rose)


Former Algoma Hardwoods site plans moving forward

By Paul Schmitt    

A new leaser of the old Algoma Hardwoods property is looking to revitalize the old site for storage and potential tenants in the future.  City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says the McDonald Company from Green Bay is working with fire inspectors as the process of utilizing the vacant building continues.  He says a report by Gary Becker, a planning consultant, back in September has helped give new promise to the location.


The 100-page-report also showed that access to the Ahnapee River and Trail could expand opportunities as well.  The Algoma Hardwoods plant closed in August of 2017.

Southern Door FFA students traveling to Indianapolis for national convention

By Paul Schmitt    

Five students from Southern Door High School and one teacher are participating in the Future Farmers of America National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana this week.  Brianna Bongle,  Natasha Steinhaus, Dennis Counard, Annie Simonar, and Andrea Vandertie along with their advisor Ann Glowacki, left Tuesday by bus for the convention.  Glowacki, an Agricultural Science teacher at Southern Door, describes what the students will experience this week in Indianapolis.


Glowacki says the students toured a Subaru plant on Tuesday and will be at the FFA National Convention until Saturday.  The convention is back in Indianapolis where it can hold up to 66,000 people compared to smaller venues in Kansas City, Missouri, and Louisville, Kentucky, according to Glowacki.

Democratic Congressional candidate says tariffs hurting local farmers

By Terry Kovarik              

Democratic Congressional hopeful Beau Liegeois says Door and Kewaunee County farmers are suffering under new trade pacts and tariffs. Liegeois says that's been a consistent complaint he's heard from farmers while campaigning around the Eighth District. During a visit to, Liegeois says the Trump Administration needs to work with Congress before taking action against China and other nations that violate international trade laws.



Incumbent Republican Eighth District Representative Mike Gallagher visited previously and shared his views on trade and tariffs. You can hear his comments by clicking here.

Mindfulness key in Kewaunee School District classrooms

By Tim Kowols       

Using mindfulness techniques has been a major area of focus in the classroom since Kewaunee School District staff members were introduced to the concept last spring. According to the Child Mind Institute, mindfulness in the classroom can help kids regulate their behavior by creating a sense of calm and control. The hope is that such exercises can help control the stress kids experience, especially those suffering different physical and mental issues. Kewaunee School District Superintendent Karen Treml says the 35 staff members participating in mindfulness training this summer called it some of the best professional development they have ever received.

Treml says some of the grant funding they recently received from the state will go towards more training for staff members in mindfulness and trauma-informed care.

United States Coast Guard kicks off area Halloween celebrations

By Tim Kowols       

Door County is getting a head start on the Halloween celebrations this weekend starting with the United States Coast Guard's Ghost Ship. For over 35 years, Coast Guard members have welcomed the community onto its barge to get spooked, share in some hot chocolate, and collect items for local food pantries. Petty Officer Aaron Ross says it is a great way for them to give back.

Ghost Ship tours start at 5:30 p.m. on Friday for a fright-free tour for small children followed by a "lights off" experience for older kids and adults beginning at 6:45 p.m. Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek will host Halloween celebrations this weekend while Casco, Forestville, and Luxemburg host some of the first trick-or-treat hours of the season on Sunday. A full listing will be available at



Fish Creek: 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday (during Jack O'Lantern Days)
Forestville: 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday
Casco: noon to 2 p.m. Sunday
Luxemburg: 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday
Sister Bay: 3 to 6 p.m. Oct. 31
Jacksonport: 3 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31
Sturgeon Bay: 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31
Baileys Harbor: 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 31
Kewaunee: 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 31
Algoma: 4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 31


Ferry President credits Washington Island Electric Cooperative with keeping season alive

By Tim Kowols       

Washington Island Ferry President Hoyt Purinton says the tourist season could have been a lot different if it was not for the fast action of its Electric Cooperative. In June, damage to its electrical connection to the mainland forced the island to run off diesel-powered generators for 12 days just to keep the lights on. Since then, work to lay 20,000 feet of electric and fiber optic cable underwater and across Plum Island has continued with hopes it could be finished by early November. Purinton credits the Washington Island Electric Cooperative for getting into action quickly.

Earlier this month the Washington Island Electric Cooperative said in a release it was pursuing a number of different grants to offset some of the costs of the potentially over $3 million cost.

FFA Alumni donate to Sevastopol Schools building referendum

By Terry Kovarik              

A new greenhouse proposed in next month's Sevastopol School building referendum is getting a financial boost from Future Farmers of America. Sevastopol FFA Alumni says it will donate $30,000 to the greenhouse portion of the proposed $25.1-million building project. That's contingent on voter approval of the ballot question. Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says the FFA proposal would expand and enhance the proposed greenhouse.



The Sevastopol FFA Alumni joins Wood Orchard and Therma-Tron-X in offering cash donations pending voter approval of the building referendum.

Door County DA applauds meth bust

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County District Attorney Colleen Nordin is applauding a drug bust that took 40-grams of methamphetamine off of the street. Three people were also arrested in the raid in Sturgeon Bay. Nordin says meth has become too easy to get in Door County. She says anytime a significant amount of the drug is taken out of circulation it helps avoid a lot of related crimes.



The three suspects arrested in the case face a variety of charges including possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, intent to deliver marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and felony bail jumping.

Door County YMCA Fair promotes healthy living

By Terry Kovarik              


Door County residents who want to live a healthier lifestyles are finding a lot of local organizations that can make that goal easier. The Door County YMCA's Healthy Living Fair draws about 40 vendors offering preventive health care, including cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar monitoring. Y Senior Care Director Mary Claire McHugh says the fair draws hundreds of people annually. She says most attendees and vendor do not realize the extent of the services are available.



The YMCA offers surveys to attendees and vendors to give feedback to improve the next Healthy Living Fair.

High beams become a must with changing weather and seasons

By Tim Kowols       

Drivers are finding themselves flipping on the brights with more regularity as the end of Daylights Savings Time approaches on November 4th. Poor weather conditions, shorter days, and increased wildlife activity are among the reasons why motorists should consider using them while driving at this time of the year. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski reminds drivers that there is a time and a place to use your high beams properly.

Joski says the use of flashing your high beams to communicate with other drivers can be effective if used safely. According to the New York Daily News, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced earlier this month it would allow car manufacturers to install headlights that use photo sensors to adjust their beams for the time of the day and the traffic around them. You can read the rest of Sheriff Joski's tips on using high beams online with this story.



Now that the days are getting shorter and the nights longer, it is a good time to discuss lighting on vehicles. This provides us with a reminder and opportunity to make sure your vehicle as well as any trailer lights are operational. While preventative maintenance on your vehicle equipment will make you and your occupants safer, it will also eliminate the potential for being stopped for defective equipment.


In this article I would like to discuss high beams and low beams. I don't have many pet peeves, but one of them is definitely when people do not dim their headlamps when they meet another vehicle. Wisconsin state Statute covers this in 347.12(1)(a) "Use of Multiple Beam Headlamps"


Whenever the operator of a motor vehicle equipped with multiple beam headlamps approaches an oncoming vehicle within 500 Feet, the operator shall dim, depress or tilt the vehicles headlights so the glaring rays are not directed into the eyes of the operator of the other vehicle.


This paragraph does not prohibit an operator from intermittently flashing the vehicles high beam headlamps at an oncoming vehicle whose high beam headlamps are lit.

This statute goes on to apply the same distance (500 feet) in regards to dimming your headlamps when following another vehicle.


I have had people who believed that flashing your headlights at an oncoming vehicle was illegal, and I hope this clears up the misconception. The proper use , or in some cases the improper use of high beams becomes the source of many complaints, and the proper understanding and use will go a long way in maintaining harmony on our roadways.


One of the main reasons we use our high beams is to increase our response time in the event that a deer or other wildlife may wander onto the roadway and into our lane traffic. For those who are interested, we are slightly below the number of car deer accidents from this time last year. Last year's total number of car deer accidents was 485. At this time last year we had 334 car deer accidents reported. The number for this year thus far is 310.  Stay Safe! Stay Alert!

Farmers salvaging soybean crop despite wet fields

By Paul Schmitt    

The abundance of rain this fall has challenged local farmers in getting their crops off in a timely manner in October.  According to, areas in Door and Kewanee counties have received up to nearly six inches of rain in October already.  Jim Wautier of Church-Site Farm in Brussels and a member of the Ag Advisory Board, says the soybean harvest was hit and miss this fall.


Wautier says the early heat this summer and the recent heavier rains made for an unusual season for farmers.   The average rainfall in Door County for the entire month of October is only 2.66 inches of rain, according to

Money Management Counselors helping to ease burden of credit card debt

By Paul Schmitt    

Money Management Counselors in Door County is a licensed and certified consumer credit counseling service that offers a debt management plan when people are ready to stop using their credit cards.  Executive Director Gay Pustaver says that allows the credit card companies to close your account while on the plan.  She adds that Money Management Counselors will work with the credit companies on your behalf to reduce and eliminate your debt.


Pustaver says the plans are set up by law to be paid off within five years.  You can listen to the entire Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver with the audio links below.


Three arrested in Sturgeon Bay meth bust

By Terry Kovarik              

A six-month investigation netted Door/Kewaunee Drug Task Force Officers 40-grams of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and led to the arrests of three people. Officers raided a Sturgeon Bay home Thursday and took 18-year-old Nathaniel Fifer, 19-year-old Amanda Malvitz and 30-year-old Mika Watters into custody. Door County Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says all three suspects face various drug-related charges.



McCarty says all three suspects made initial appearances on Friday. Nathan Fifer and Amanda Malvitz posted bail while Mika Watters remains in the Door County Jail.

Giving Door County residents a new view on manufacturing

By Terry Kovarik              

The modern manufacturing plants in Door County are far from the smokestack factories and mills from the past. That's what the Door County Economic Development Corporation and local companies want to people to learn this week. "Door County Manufacturing Day" will allow people to see the inside of the factories they may drive past without a second thought. EDC Executive Director Jim Schuessler says visitors will be surprised by what they see.



"Door County Manufacturing Day" runs from 8:00 AM until 12:00 PM. For more information on this story click here.

Local veterans have multiple options for free flu shots

By Terry Kovarik              

Flu shots are recommended for local veterans whether they've served in recent conflicts or as far back as World War II. It's also easier to get immunized for free. Kewaunee County Veterans Service Officer Jane Babcock says now is the time to get flu shots from one of multiple area locations.



Babcock says most Kewaunee County veterans are 60 or older and even those in their 20's are advised to get immunized. Recent flu strains are easily transmitted from person to person through daily contact.

Emergency services do well in simulated accident response

By Terry Kovarik              

Emergency service agencies around Luxemburg have a clearer idea of how to respond to an industrial accident and what changes maybe needed. The Kewaunee County Emergency Management Department conducted a drill for police, fire and emergency medical services on Saturday. Emergency Management Director Tracy Nollenberg says emergency responders called it a worthwhile exercise.



The simulated industrial accident marked the first time Luxemburg area responders had trained for such a response since 1991.

Dangerous arcing powerlines detours Fall 50

By Paul Schmitt    

Runners at this year's Fall 50 race had to deal with an unexpected detoured route besides strong headwinds this past Saturday.  Reported gusting winds of up to 29 miles per hour resulted in a two-hour power outage and road closure on portions of Horseshoe Bay Road and Bay Shore Drive on Saturday afternoon.  Egg Harbor Fire Chief Steve Schopf explains what transpired during the Fall 50 race.


Schopf says no injuries were reported, and public service was able to restore power late Saturday afternoon.  The Fall 50 is an ultra-marathon run that begins in Gills Rock and ends in Sturgeon Bay.   Schopf reminds people to always stay away from any downed lines and report it immediately by calling 911.

(photo courtesy of Egg Harbor Fire Department)

Judge says Door County residents take jury duty seriously

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County doesn't have the challenges that other county clerks of courts face in finding jurors for trials. That's because it appears county residents summoned for jury duty take it seriously. Circuit Court Judge Todd Ehlers says things have changed dramatically in recent years.




Not all who show up will serve as jurors. It's also in everyone's best interest to show up when called for jury duty. Failure to do so can lead to a contempt of court charge and hundreds of dollars in fines

Wood Orchards offers cash to aid Sevastopol referendum

By Terry Kovarik              

Another donor is chipping in to boost support for the Sevastopol School District's $25.1-million building referendum. Wood Orchards of Sturgeon Bay says it will donate $5,000 to the school district pending approval of the building question. Owner Steve Wood says the money will come with no strings attached.



Wood Orchards' donation comes a week after Therma-Tron-X announced it would donate $2-million dollars pending approval of Sevastopol's building referendum, which goes before voters on November 6th.

Weather cannot stop Peninsula State Park from saying thanks to customers

By Terry Kovarik              

High winds and damp ground from rain mixed with snow didn't keep golfers away from Peninsula State Park Golf Course. Sunday was "Customer Appreciation Day", which is a combination golf tournament and feast just to say thanks. General Manager Jason Daubner says less than cooperative weather wasn't about the get in the way of the annual event.



Daubner says the event drew 40 golfers to Ephraim and you've got one more weekend to play before the course closes for winter.

Congress member Mike Gallagher frustrated with partisan sniping

By Terry Kovarik              

Eighth District Reprsentative Mike Gallagher shares one thing in common with many Door and Kewaunee County residents. He says he's also frustrated that Republican and Democratic lawmakers are putting their parties above the issues that need to be addressed. During a recent stop at, Gallagher says it's hard to start a civil conversation on issues like protecting the Great Lakes.



Later this week, and the radio stations will be talking with the Eighth District Democratic Congressional Challenger Beau Liegois about the issues.


Adopt a Soldier Door County setting holiday mood for troops

By Terry Kovarik              

Local military personnel serving overseas need you to help brighten their holiday. Adopt A Soldier Door County is mobilizing to get Christmas care packages out to Door and Kewaunee troops by December 1st. While candies, nuts and other munchies are always welcomed, Executive Director Nancy Hutchinson is asking for some decorations.



This week Adopt A Soldier Door County will start getting Thanksgiving care packages ready to be shipped out November 1st so they get to area sons and daughters in time.

Civic project helps Algoma Police microchip pets and save their owners money

By Terry Kovarik              

A community project by three Algoma girls will give some pet owners peace of mind. Sadie Olejniczak, Bailey Kostka and Xadria Duffeck raised money to buy a portable chip scanner and microchips for the Algoma Police Department. Previously the only scanners available were at local animal clinics during regular business hours. Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sara Krouse helped the girls organize the fund raising effort which will now help officers identify lost pets quickly.



Police will hold a walk-in pet microchip clinic on October 27th from noon to 4:00 PM at the Algoma Youth Center on Lake Street. The chips will be available to the first 50 pets for $20 each.

Heavenly images in 3D in Door County

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County's Stonecipher Astronomy Center brought the universe down to earth to visitors in three-dimensional detail.  The center's Astronomy Day included a 3D planetarium which projects computer-generated images of planets, stars and galaxies on a parabolic screen. Rick and Cory Heisler are just now getting into astronomy.  The 3D system just adds to their enthusiasm.



While the weather put a damper on moon viewing, visitors got the chance to see the new telescope at the Leif Everson Observatory and imagine what might be in store for viewing on the next clear evening.

Connectivity can work in Sturgeon Bay as a detour proved

By Terry Kovarik              

One downtown Sturgeon Bay business owner believes improved connectivity with neighborhoods and pedestrians can make the downtown thrive. Such an approach is working in some Milwaukee neighborhoods and drawing people to downtown businesses. Kate Shepard Utziner, co-owner of Kick Coffee in Sturgeon Bay, says more people took notice of 3rd Avenue businesses when traffic was detoured downtown during reconstruction work on the Bayview Bridge.



Milwaukee successfully adopted concepts of the "Complete Streets" movement, which makes it easier for pedestrains, bikers and mass transit riders to get around in urban areas.

Area veteran wonders how Vietnamese will react to him

By Terry Kovarik              

Eugene Therrien, Jr is anxious to see Vietnam, which was still a country at war when he left about 50-years ago. The U.S. Army veteran from Sturgeon Bay also wonders whether there are lingering anomosities from men who fought for the former North Vietnam. He says he's still uncertain despite assurances from other veterans who've returned to Southeast Asia.



Eugene Therrien, Jr. will be one of 50 area veterans who'll return to Vietnam in February as part of an Old Glory Honor Flight.

Door County fans have much to learn about the Packers

By Terry Kovarik              

Green Bay Packer fans in Door County learned that even after a century of play there are still new things to learn about the team. Jim Rice is a former history teacher whose secondary career has been researching the team back to it's founding in 1919. He'll share his wide collection of memorabilia and newspaper accounts with readers at the Door County Library. Rice says some of those accounts really shed light on Packer fans through history.



Rice says some of today's fans forget the passing game was almost unheard of during the team's Glory Years.



Rice has written several sports history books and is working on a new book about every Packer game ever played.

Town of Forestville taking out loans for roadwork

By Paul Schmitt    

Like many other smaller municipalities in the state, the Town of Forestville is trying to do more with less when it comes to maintaining its roadways.  Town Chair Roy Englebert says that Forestville will have to borrow some money in order to get a good chunk of road repairs completed this year.


Englebert says the Town of Forestville is waiting for Door County to finish up North Carnot Road next week before doing some roadwork in the township.  He says the roads in the last eight years have required up to more than an inch of additional asphalt to hold up due to heavier farm equipment.  Forestville should be doing about three miles of resurfacing a year, but can only afford about half of that with the current tight budget, according to Englebert.

Door County fans have much to learn about the Packers

By Terry Kovarik              

Green Bay Packer fans in Door County learned that even after a century of play there are still new things to learn about the team. Jim Rice is a former history teacher whose secondary career has been researching the team back to it's founding in 1919. He shared his wide collection of memorabilia and newspaper accounts with readers at the Door County Library. Rice says some of those accounts really shed light on Packer fans through history.



Rice says some of today's fans forget the passing game was almost unheard of during the team's Glory Years.



Rice has written several sports history books and is working on a new book about every Packer game ever played.

Heavenly images in 3D in Door County

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County's Stonecipher Astronomy Center brought the universe down to earth to visitors in three-dimensional detail.
The center's Astronomy Day included a 3-D planetarium which projects computer-generated images of planets, stars and galaxies on a parabolic screen. Rick and Cory Heisler are just now getting into astronomy. The 3-D system just adds to their enthusiasm.



While the weather put a damper on moon viewing, visitors got the chance to see the new telescope at the Leif Everson Observatory and imagine what might be in store for viewing on the next clear evening.

Kewaunee County Emergency Services update industrial accident response skills

By Terry Kovarik              

A simulated industrial accident in Luxemburg put all Kewaunee County police, fire and EMS personnel to the test. All agencies were called out this morning to a simulated 911 call at a local chemical company. Upon arrival emergency service workers faced a series of changing scenarios. Kewaunee County Emergency Management Director Tracy Nollenberg says such a simulated emergency helps responding crews prepare for the real thing.



Local residents had to change their driving habits a bit since a portion of 4th Street was closed down during the training exercise.

Stopping racial disparity in Door County

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County is not immune from racial disparity and the League of Women Voters wants residents to understand its impact on all people. The organization will hold a program in Egg Harbor on the issues of racial disparity. One of the speakers is Erica Nelson of Dane County's Race to Equity Project. Nelson says racial disparity remains in areas such as health, education, economics and child care. She says eliminating such disparities benefits everyone.



The program is entitled "Racial Disparities in Wisconsin and Here in Door County: What Do We Know and What Are We Doing About Them?". It's scheduled for November 3rd at the Donald & Carol Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor.

Door County Sheriff race PART 2- How to be smarter on crime?

By Paul Schmitt    

In the second in a series on the Door County Sheriff's race, we asked the two candidates how they would be smarter rather than tougher on crime if elected sheriff. Lieutenant Tammy Sternard, the Democratic representative, says she would utilize a more proactive approach to crime.



Republican candidate, Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says controlling the drug crimes will impact other unlawful offenses.



Election for the Door County Sheriff will be on the ballot on Tuesday, November 6.

Area school districts make final pleas to voters

By Tim Kowols       

The school districts of Southern Door, Sevastopol, and Gibraltar are all making their final cases to their voters before the November 6th election. All three school districts are asking voters to approve referendum questions addressing not just new building needs but also operational expenses. Gibraltar Area School District Superintendent Tina Van Meer says its open houses have brought a lot of good questions to the conversation.

All three school districts will host open houses next week for interested community members to show off the facilities and where improvements may be made. Southern Door and Sevastopol will host their events on Monday night while Gibraltar has their open house scheduled for Thursday evening. You can search for past stories on the three district's referendum plans.

Kewaunee County Democratic Party opens first-ever headquarters in Algoma

By Paul Schmitt    

Hoping to connect with voters, the Kewaunee County Democratic Party recently opened headquarters in Algoma for the first time ever.  The temporary office is located at 610 4th Street in downtown Algoma.  Mary Ellen Dobbins, chair of the Kewaunee County Democratic Party explains why the headquarters was formed.


Dobbins says volunteers are using the office for making phone calls and canvasing neighborhoods.  The Kewaunee County Democratic Party office hours are six days a week until the election on November 6.

Support key to curbing domestic abuse

By Tim Kowols       

Fostering the conversation about domestic abuse in Kewaunee County is having a positive effect on its victims. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, more than 12 million women and men are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner every year. In Kewaunee County, local justice partners have implemented new screening methods to help determine the potential risk of people returning home to abusive situations.  The Algoma-based Violence Intervention Project continues to give people a safe place to go for support, serving close to 200 women, men, and children. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says those two efforts have helped people understand that they do not need to be in an abusive relationship.

The Violence Intervention Project will host its annual lighting ceremony in support of those affected by domestic violence on October 23rd at Grace Lutheran Church in Kewaunee beginning at 6 p.m. You can read the full Sheriff's Corner article with Matt Joski online with this story.



The month of October is recognized as National Domestic Abuse awareness month. This is truly a global issue whose victims walk among us every day. Domestic abuse is defined as the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault or other abusive behavior as part of a systemic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. While most of us associate domestic abuse with physical abuse, other forms include psychological and emotional abuse.

It is reported that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. On average nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner, which over a year's time equates to 10 million women and men.

Here in Wisconsin during 2017 there were 40 Domestic Abuse homicide incidents which resulted in 62 deaths, and yet less than half of all domestic violence incidents are reported to law enforcement. This compares to 51 Domestic Abuse Homicides in 2016 resulting in 73 deaths.

Sadly, domestic abuse is the number one cause of birth defects. More than all other medical causes combined.

In all of this tragedy there is good news. We have organizations and individuals working tirelessly to put an end to domestic violence by being the voice of the victims. They are ready to serve as advocates for those who fear to speak for themselves. In 2018 we have worked together with our local Justice partners to implement a new screening method known as the Lethality Assessment Program to more effectively determine the potential risk to those living in an abusive relationship. In 2017 our very own Kewaunee County Violence Intervention Project served 137 women, 20 men and 41 children that were domestic violence victims.

To commemorate this month's awareness, and to support those affected by domestic violence here in Kewaunee County, the Violence Intervention Project will be holding a lighting ceremony at Grace Lutheran Church on October 23rd at 6:00 P.M. This has become an annual tradition of support and sharing, and all members of our community are welcome to attend. We will be lighting candles in remembrance of those who have lost their lives to domestic violence and will be joined by a guest speaker. For more information on this event, please feel free to contact the Violence Intervention Project at 487-2111

If you know of someone living in an abusive relationship, please encourage them to attend this event. It may be the first step in changing their lives for the better. More importantly, if you yourself are a victim of Domestic Abuse, please consider taking the time to attend and surround yourself with people who are ready and willing to help you take that first step. This is especially important if you are a parent, as you not only have the ability to change your life for the better, but more importantly change the lives of your children preventing them from being the next generation of either abusers or victims. As parents our primary duty is to our children and teaching them how to establish and maintain healthy loving relationships is the greatest obligation we have.

Luxemburg-Casco High School breaks ground on more secure school entrance

By Paul Schmitt    

A more secure entrance at the Luxemburg-Casco High School took its initial steps Friday morning as a groundbreaking ceremony was held in Luxemburg.  School Superintendent Glenn Schlender says an outcry by local residents back in 2015 was the impetus in addressing the office location in the high school. He says the present layout does not allow for controlled entrance.


Schlender says they will be moving the office to an exterior wall of the building to provide for better security.  Visitors will have to enter the office before accessing any part of the school, according to Schlender.  He says the L-C intermediate school installed an electronically recorded security entrance this past summer.

Make a Difference Day at Crescent Beach in Algoma set for October 27

By Paul Schmitt    

Friends of Crescent Beach and the Algoma Parks and Rec Department are teaming up next Saturday for a grass planting project.  The event coincides with the national day of service that calls for volunteers in their communities.  Cathy Pabich, a member of the Friends of Crescent Beach shares the goal of the project next Saturday morning.



Pabich says experts from Stantec Consulting Services will be on hand to advise the improvements to the appearance the Crescent Beach.  The project will run from 8am until noon on October 27, according to Pabich.  You can contact Sara Robertson at the Algoma Parks and Rec Department to volunteer and more details on the Crescent Beach grass planting.


Sara Robertson  920-487-5480

Pop-up shops coming to northern Door County

By Paul Schmitt    

Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College in northern Door County is spurring the spirit of entrepreneurship with new Pop Up shops.  The opportunity for residents to try out a business venture before making a big investment will start next Friday and Saturday at the NWTC Sister Bay location.  NWTC Learning and Innovation Center Manager Lisa Tetzloff says the idea of pop-up shops will hopefully help with economic development in northern Door County in the future.


Tetzloff says the first opportunity next weekend is called the Crazy ladies Pop-Up Shop and will feature wood products, kitchen items, soap, candles, postcards, notecards, jewelry and more.  It will be from 11 am until 4 pm on Friday, October 26th and Saturday, October 27th  from 10 am until 4 pm.

Door County Land Trust continues to grow while protecting environment

By Paul Schmitt    

The Door County Land Trust has been busy adding more land to its nature reserves throughout the area including Chambers Island, but other shoreline projects have made for a successful 2018.  Executive Director Tom Clay says he is most excited about one initiative taken this past summer.


Clay says new records were found in Door County including a rare species of a spider.  He says removal of invasive species like honeysuckle and glossy buckthorn along the Bayshore  Bluff lands have been important in maintaining a healthy environment.

Why be a fudge maker? Series on Careers

By Tim Kowols       

Fudgemaker Marilyn LaViolette does not know what she does to make her creations so tasty, but whatever it is, Wood Orchard Market in Egg Harbor sure appreciates it. Wood Orchard Market produces four tons of fudge in a brief six-month window. LaViolette has been making fudge at the market for the better part of a decade, adding only a little extra "love" to her batches outside of the ingredients used by fudgemakers across the county. In addition to the premium ingredients she uses, LaViolette credits the pride in her work for the look and the tastiness.



LaViolette cooked at a restaurant in Algoma before working for the Wood family. She encourages future cooks and fudgemakers to not be afraid trying something new because it usually works out in the end.

Milk- It does the body good

By Kaila Stencil -- Guest Correspondent   


Let's talk about milk. Considering that Wisconsin is America's Dairyland it only seems fitting. Milk is loaded with vitamins, minerals and protein and 9 key nutrients which is important for everyone, especially children. Let's tackle some of the most common questions about milk.
Q. How much milk does my family need each day?
A: The amount of milk we need each day depends on age. Younger kids need 2 cups, while older kids and adults need 3 cups. Here are daily recommendations by age:
Age Daily Amount Recommended
Children ages 2?3 2 cups
Children ages 4?8 2 ½ cups
Kids ages 9?18 3 cups
Adults 3 cups
Q: Does fat free and low fat (1%) milk deliver the same good nutrition as whole milk?
A: Yes. Fat?free and low?fat (1%) milk contain the same vitamins and minerals, like calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin D and others needed to keep the body growing strong and healthy.
Q. How can I help my family get the milk they need each day?
A: Try to make milk a part of the meals and snacks kids have at home. A cold glass of milk goes great with dinner or after school snack.
Offer foods made from milk – like low?fat or fat?free yogurt – as snacks and desserts. Eight ounces of yogurt is about the same as a cup of milk.
You can also try small amounts of low?fat cheese as snacks. About 1½ ? 2 ounces of most types of hard cheese is about the same as a cup of milk.
What will you do this week to get enough milk in your diet?


Kaila Stencil, Food WIse Nutrition Educator Kewaunee County

810 Lincoln Street

Kewaunee WI 54216

Phone: 920-388-7197


L-C High School Variety Show more student driven this year

By Paul Schmitt    

The Luxemburg-Casco High School is presenting this year's Variety Show as a journey from freshman year through graduation.  The show will be held from November 9th through the 11th and feature songs from hit Broadway musicals including "Hairspray".  First-year L-C Choir Director Margaret Meder says this variety show will challenge students in organizing and executing the event.


The Luxemburg-Casco Variety Show will be held at the school auditorium with tickets going on sale starting on November 5th to the general public.  You can find more information below.

Sexual Assault and Domestic Abuse a community-wide problem

By Paul Schmitt    

Men need to step up and accept accountability when it comes to dealing with the impact of domestic abuse in the area, according to a Sturgeon Bay victims advocate organization.  Help of Door County Executive Director Steve Vickman says it is not uncommon for abuse victims to bury their memories of a traumatic instance.  He says the Me Too movement and recent national stories have created more awareness locally while reinforcing that more has to be done.



October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  You can find more information on Help of Door County services below.

Evansen facing federal charges in child porn case

By Paul Schmitt    

A 35-year-old Casco man was charged by a federal court Wednesday after being found with thousands of pictures of child pornography at his home last month.  According to a news release by the U.S. Justice Department, Sean Evansen faces a sentence of 15 to 40 years in prison.  The indictment that was handed down last week, states that Evansen had received and possessed pictures of child pornography with some being under the age of 12.  Evansen was convicted in 2000 for first-degree sexual assault in Calumet County, according to the indictment.  He was flagged last month by the national Center for Missing and Exploited Children after his computer uploaded child pornography through a picture sharing program.

BUG Fire Department contains field fire in Union

By Paul Schmitt    

Quick response by the Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department Thursday morning prevented a corn field fire in the town of Union from getting out of control.  The fire was reported on Lester Road and was contained quickly and did not spread very far, according to BUG Assistant Fire Chief Jim Wautier.


Wautier warns property owners that even with the wetter than normal fall weather, you should be extremely careful when doing any burning outside.  October is National Fire Prevention Awareness Month.

Meeting space inside new Door County Community Foundation HQ opens in November

By Tim Kowols       

Non-profit organizations will have a new place to host their meetings beginning next month when the Door County Community Foundation opens more of its space to the public. Door County Community Foundation staff members have been in their new offices at the former Baylake Conference Center for over a month while work continued to outfit the rest of the space to hold gatherings for as many as 85 people. President and CEO Bret Bicoy says it is fitting that their offices will host meetings inside and community events outside in its courtyard given its name.

The Door County Community Foundation will host an open house at their new location along 3rd Avenue on November 6th from 3 to 6 p.m. The foundation's community square will be the host of the costume contest for the annual Thrills on Third event and the city's Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

Why Be a Head Football Coach? Series on Careers

By Tim Kowols       

When the Gibraltar Vikings take the field Friday night against the Newman Catholic Fighting Cardinals, it very well might be the last time Jim Laughlin stands on the sidelines as the team's head coach. A commercial angler by day, Laughlin took the reins after Gibraltar's head coach suddenly resigned. From the very beginning, Laughlin said he did not want the job on a full-time basis due to other commitments. However, he does have advice for whoever takes the lead whistle from him.

Gibraltar will look for a head football coach for the 2019 season as soon as this campaign ends. Prior to this year, Laughlin had experience as an assistant coach for the middle and high school teams.

Sturgeon Bay kicks off Adopt a Park program

By Tim Kowols       

Sturgeon Bay officials hope now is a good time for friends and neighbors to rally together to support the city's park system. The city of Sturgeon Bay announced Thursday the introduction of its Adopt a Park program after the common council approved its creation last month. Based on a similar program in Platteville, Wis., citizens can take an active role in improving a park by organizing together for clean-up efforts. Sturgeon Bay Common Council member Laurel Hauser says there are a lot of positives with the program.

Jud y and Doug Drew are organizing an adopt a park group for the Shiloh Dog Park while T.J. Walker Middle School students have already spent a morning volunteering their time at Sunset Park. You can follow this story online to learn more about how you can help adopt a park in Sturgeon Bay.

Gibraltar electors approve new bath house for Fish Creek Beach

By Tim Kowols       

Shaving off a few dollars off the original estimate was enough to sway Gibraltar electors Wednesday night to approve the budget for a new bath house in Fish Creek. In a special meeting held at Gibraltar Secondary School, The electors voted 102-14 to approve a budget not to exceed $300,000 for a four bathroom, two changing room structure for the newly expanded Fish Creek Beach. A previous bath house project was soundly rejected by the electors back in July when a proposed budget of $850,000 was announced. The next steps for the bath house project will be discussed at a special meeting being held Thursday night at 6 p.m. The Gibraltar Town Board will also discuss a new municipal parking lot before heading into closed session to meet with its legal counsel regarding its lawsuit with White Cottage Red Door.

Door County Community Center dedicated-- VIDEO

By Tim Kowols       

Local dignitaries highlighted the dedication of the Door County Community Center and Door County Emergency Services building in Sturgeon Bay. After years of discussion and months of construction, the former highway shop completed its transformation earlier this year as a destination for the area's senior population and a hub for public safety efforts. Wisconsin Department of Health Services Resource Center Development Director Anne Olson told the crowd how lucky the community was to have a facility like this to call their own.

The building has been honored with several awards since its completion, recognizing its historical preservation and its commercial renovation of the facility.

Door County Sheriff candidates offer different background experiences-- Part I of series

By Paul Schmitt    

With Sheriff Steve Delwarwelle choosing not to seek re-election, Door County residents will have the choice between two seasoned veterans from the department when they go to the polls next month to determine the county's next sheriff.   Chief Deputy Pat McCarty is running as a Republican while Lieutenant Tammy Sternard is on the Democratic side.  McCarty says his years on patrol and as deputy sheriff make him uniquely qualified for the position.


Sternard says her background and experience in administration while working 25 years in the sheriff's department makes her the best person for the job.



Election Day is Tuesday, November 6.  This is the first in a series on the Door County Sheriff's race.

Ag Career Days open eyes for middle school students

By Tim Kowols       

Twenty-five different career paths in agriculture were featured Wednesday during the first day of Ag Career Days held at Kinnard Farms in Casco. A joint effort between the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, over 700 students from Algoma, Kewaunee, Luxemburg-Casco, Denmark, and Southern Door school districts will learn about the different careers associated with the industry, ranging from managing the food animals eat to marketing the products they produce. Lee Kinnard from Kinnard Farms says it is a great opportunity to open the eyes of students who may never realized the opportunities right in their back yard.

Algoma Middle School science teacher Penny Lemberger says being exposed to the different careers gives them a better idea of which path to take and how to do it.

This was the fourth time the KCEDC and NWTC combined forces to put on Ag Career Days, which runs every other year opposite the newly created Manufacturing Career Days. Co-chairperson Toni Sorenson says it takes over 100 volunteers to put on the event over its two day run.

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Door County EDC adds a workforce development manager

By Terry Kovarik              

The Door County Economic Development Corporation now has a person on staff whose job will be to help create new jobs in the county. Christina Studebaker joined the EDC as Workforce Development Project Manager. Studebaker is an Indiana native and a Door County property owner. EDC Executive Director Jim Schuessler says she stood out among the 30 applicants for the job.



Schuessler says Studebaker will work with human resources directors in Door County and outside of the county to match employers and manufacturers with the employees they need.

Congressmember Gallagher says tariff revisions needed to protect farmers

By Terry Kovarik              

Representative Mike Gallagher, whose congressional district includes Door and Kewaunee Counties, says the U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement is a good starting point to aiding area dairy farmers. Representative Gallagher adds, however, reliance on tariffs to fight unfair trade practices by China and other nations is working against farmers. He says revisions are needed, especially with Section 232 tariffs.



Gallagher made those comments during a visit to We also contacted Democratic candidate Beau Liegois :: LEE-JOYCE :: but our calls have not been returned.

Clean Sweep event helps Door County farmers safely dispose of hazardous chemicals

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County farmers will have the chance to safely dispose of old fertilizers, insecticides and other chemical during a "Clean Sweep" collection. The event will be held November 3rd at the Door County Highway Department garage on South Duluth Street in Sturgeon Bay. This marks the first time in two years that agricultural chemicals are being collected. Door County U-W Extension Agriculture Agent Annie Deutsch says those bringing larger quantities of chemicals need to contact her office first.



While another "Clean Sweep" collection will also be held November 2nd at the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Station in Sister Bay, agricultural chemicals will only be accepted at the Door County Highway Department garage.

Town of Liberty Grove electors approve purchase of Gills Rock shoreline properties

By Terry Kovarik              

The Town of Liberty Grove can proceed with the purchase of three properties in Gills Rock, including 440-feet of shoreline. Electors voted in favor of the $1.45-million purchase 111-to-19. Voters had rejected a previous purchase propsal eight-years ago. Town Clerk Bud Kalms says this time the price and other factors were right.



Kalms says voters will ultimately decide how the property will be used. He expects Liberty Grove to close the deal in December.

Younkers closing spurs planning

By Roger Utnehmer                          

Sturgeon Bay city council members got a "good news and bad news" report about efforts to attract retail businesses Tuesday. Prompted by the recent closing of the downtown Younkers department store, a Sturgeon Bay Retail Attrraction Strategy is being drafted in a collaborative effort between the city, Door County Economic Development Corporation and the Sturgeon Bay Visitors Bureau. DCEDC Executive Director Jim Schuessler cited some challenges.



SBVB Executive Director Pam Seiler shared assets. Seiler mentioned several factors that make Sturgeon Bay attractive, including local officials who want to see future growth.  Schuessler stated that there is definite interest in the Younkers properties and the group is developing a list of prospective occupants.

Geese poop piles up in parks

By Roger Utnehmer                          

The messiest news at Tuesday's Sturgeon Bay City Council meeting was about geese excrement piling up at city parks. Municipal Services Director Mike Barker pointed out that one goose deposits two pounds of excrement a day. That can mean up to 3,000 pounds being dropped daily in Sunset Park, much of it on tennis courts. Barker described the process.



Sturgeon Bay spends about $7,500 a year rounding up geese. Adults are ground up into a protein product that's donated to local food pantries. Juvenile birds are transported to a wildlife refuge in central Wisconsin and released.
The geese removal takes place along Memorial Drive and in Sunset and Otumba parks. About 50% of the cost to the city has been reimbursed by a state grant that the council applied for again Tuesday.

Roth IRAs a good option when market adjustments come

By Paul Schmitt    

As the stock market experiences some reported corrections in the past two weeks, people may want to look at making changes to their existing Individual Retirement Accounts, according to one local estate planner.  Attorney Bob Ross of Ross Estate Planning says when people have to take money out of their IRA they must pay for the income tax.  He says you should consider that with the current low tax environment, but a high valued market,  to make changes after market corrections.


Ross says the value increases can happen tax-free with a Roth IRA where as they would be tax-deferred in a traditional IRA with a higher tax rate.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average has experienced about a 1500 point drop since October 3rd.

Town of Gibraltar draws up battle plan to save Sunset Park

By Terry Kovarik              

Sunset Park is a source of community pride for the Town of Gibraltar. It's trees have also been decimated by such pests as the Emerald Ash Borer. Now, the Town of Gibraltar Parks and Lands Committee is fighting back with plans to buy and plant new trees. Committee Chairman Brian Hackbarth says a variety of species will be added.



The 50 trees approved for purchase will be the first phase of the restoration of Sunset Park.

A local IT expert says simple action can fix a hacked Facebook account

By Terry Kovarik              

Local Facebook users can take simple effective action to protect themselves following reports of 30-million accounts being hacked and personal data stolen. Friend requests from people you've already friended or who wonder why you've made another friend request should be a red flag. Local IT expert Josh Werner says from there you can secure your account very simply.



Werner says the best way to keep sensitive information from being hacked is to limit what you put out on social media.

Kewaunee County Emergency Services to be put to the test in Luxemburg

By Terry Kovarik              

What may look like a major industrial accident in Luxemburg on Saturday will be a life-sized test for Kewaunee County emergency services. The event will close a portion of 4th Street between 8:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Emergency services will treat the event like a real incident, though they won't know exactly what to expect. Kewaunee County Emergency Management Director Tracy Nollenberg says that's by design.



Nollenberg says other emergency services may be called on to assist, just like an actual industrial accident.

Employers struggling to find good help

By Tim Kowols       

An unemployment rate of under three percent may be good for campaign ads, but it also adds to the pressure many employers are feeling filling job vacancies. According to The Capital Times, Wisconsin's labor participation rate of 69 percent is outperforming the rest of the country by nearly seven points. It makes for a highly competitive labor market with employers doing everything they can to attract and retain quality employees. Culver's Sturgeon Bay owner Austin Hildebrand says it has increased its wages and introduced new perks just to compete with other businesses dealing with the same issues.

Standing open interview times and special events like next weekend's Manufacturing Day at the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park are just two ways local businesses are working harder than ever before to get more people applying and working.

Southern Door students get head start on STEAM coursework

By Tim Kowols       

Southern Door Elementary School students are learning you can never be too young to start combining concepts from science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. Better known as STEAM, Southern Door teacher Jessica Meacham has introduced the new class to students as young as kindergarten.  For about an hour a week, students head to the STEAM maker space room to incorporate the five subject areas as they collaborate, communicate, create and think as a team. Southern Door Superintendent Patti Vickman says the class was made possible because of interest shown during lunch and independent learning activities.

The STEAM makers pace is in need of some items to help support their programming including toys, craft supplies, and recyclables. You can find a full list of items and learn how you can donate online with this story.


Tax reform, deregulatory measures highlight 115th Congress for Senator Johnson

By Tim Kowols       

Citing low unemployment and high business investment, Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson says Wisconsinites are seeing what they want from the economy. According to Senator Johnson, business investment increased on average around seven percent each quarter since President Donald Trump took office. He credits reducing regulatory burden by about $50 billion and changes to the tax code as two of the reasons for the growth. Senator Johnson says it shows that policy and attitude matters.

Getting his Right to Try law, which allowed terminally ill patients attempt new procedures, was one of Senator Johnson's proudest moments as a member of the 115th Congress. Senator Johnson's only regret from the past two years was not being able to help pass legislation addressing the debt and replacing Obama Care.

Early voting underway in Door and Kewaunee counties

By Tim Kowols       

Voters in Door and Kewaunee counties do not have to wait until November 6th to head to the polls. Early voting began Monday at municipal offices across the state. According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, over 69,000 absentee ballots have been returned so far, which trails the 142,655 votes cast at this time two years ago. Kewaunee City Clerk Terri Decur says absentee voting is becoming more popular, but people still need to make sure they have everything with them before they mark their ballots.

Early voting is available until November 2nd at your local municipal clerk's office during regular business hours.

Kewaunee County Food pantry stocked to meet clients Thanksgiving menus

By Terry Kovarik              

As parents finsh planning trick or treating for Halloween, the Kewaunee County Food Pantry is all set to help families serve up Thanksgiving dinners. Financial donations have made it possible for the pantry to stock up on the traditional holiday foodstuffs. Pantry President Ken Marquardt says with help from Feeding America the main course is ready when Thanksgiving approaches.



Marquardt says the pantry is always in need of canned soup, which goes out almost as fast as it comes in. So he says if you think about it, pick up an extra can or two and consider donating it to the Kewaunee County Food Pantry or others in the area.

Neighbor to Neighbor making huge impact but needs volunteers

By Paul Schmitt    

The Neighbor to Neighbor Volunteer Caregivers of Door County program is benefiting area residents with more than medical equipment.  Besides the free loaning of much needed medical equipment, Neighbor to Neighbor has nearly 100 volunteers who serve as peer companions and visit the elderly who may live alone.  They also provide respite care to homebound individuals so their personal caretakers can have a break.  Executive Director Ann Bennett says the organization is always looking for additional volunteers to serve the over 1400 residents they helped last year.


Neighbor to Neighbor also sponsors a lunch group called the Lemonade Club where a support group for cancer patients, survivors, and their family and friends get together.  You can find more information about Neighbor to Neighbor and their 10th annual Rib Fest on November 3rd below.

Area farmers should get their corn tested for toxins

By Terry Kovarik              

Wet conditions are keeping local farmers from harvesting their corn crops. When the fields dry out it's being recommend that farmers get their corn tested for microtoxins to ensure it's safe for both livestock and people. Door County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Annie Deutsch says a combination of insect damage and fluctuating temperatures make corn susceptible to the toxins.



Deutsch says by knowing the levels in the corn crop steps can be taken to control the microtoxins.

Sturgeon Bay man among 50 veterans on Old Glory Honor Flight to Vietnam

By Terry Kovarik              

Eugene Therrien, Junior of Sturgeon Bay is returning to Vietnam nearly 50-years after completing his tour of duty with the U.S. Army. Therrien is one of 50 Vietnam veterans from Northeast Wisconsin selected for an Old Glory Honor Flight to Southeast Asia. Returning to Vietnam is bringing mixed emotions.



Therrien is the only veteran from Door or Kewaunee Counties chosen for the flight which departs for Vietnam in February 2019.

Sevastopol school referendum gets multi-million dollar enchancer from Therma-Tron-X

By Terry Kovarik              

Voters in the Sevastopol School District have a multi-million dollar incentive to help decide a November 6th referendum. Therma-Tron-X, which produces industrial finishing, water and waste water treatment systems, will donate $2-million to Sevastopol Schools pending successful passage of the $25.1-million building referendum. District Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says the Therma-Tron-X donation will enhance technology education programs and facilities.



More information on the Therma-Tron-X donation and the referendum will be available at an open house Tuesday evening at 7:30 in the school building multi-purpose room on Highway 42 in Institute.

Egg Harbor Road sidewalk improvements benefit downtown Sturgeon Bay

By Terry Kovarik              

The completion of sidewalk improvements along Egg Harbor Road in Sturgeon Bay show how outlying areas and the downtown can be successfully connected. The goal of the project is similar to the nationwide Complete Streets movement. It works to make streets safer and more accessible to bicyclists and pedestrians. Kelly Catarozoli,  who chairs Sturgeon Bay's Parking and Traffic Committee, says the Egg Harbor Road improvement shows the benefits of improved connectivity in a community.



Catarozoli says the "Safe Sidewalks" program that's been used demonstrates the success of connecting schools with neighborhoods via sidewalk improvements.

Driver charged with intoxicated driving after his vehicle strikes a section of Stone Harbor Resort

By Terry Kovarik              

A Sturgeon Bay man faces multiple charges after driving his SUV into a portion of Stone Harbor Resort. Sturgeon Bay Police say 28-year-old Stephen Faustini was moving the vehicle from one parking slot to another adjacent to the ballroom Friday night around 10:45 PM. Captain Dan Brinkman says Faustini had just left the resort's bar.



Captain Brinkman says the vehicle didn't go through the building though it sustained substantial damage. No dollar estimate of the damage has been determined and nobody was injured in the crash.

Liberty Grove property purchase vote to take place Tuesday

By Tim Kowols       

Electors will decide if the time is right for the town of Liberty Grove to purchase close to $1.5 million in waterfront property in Gills Rock on Tuesday. It marks the second time voters have had a say in the purchase of the parcels owned by Rick Johnson and Elizabeth Weborg. By purchasing the properties, town officials hope they can protect the area from future development. Town chairperson John Lowry told in September that he hopes the price issue causing residents to balk at the purchase in 2010 has been solved.

Contingencies are in place that would delay the town from taking the property completely over for at least a year. The special meeting to vote on the purchase will take place at 7:00 p.m. at the Liberty Grove Town Hall followed by its budget hearing.

Conversations better than lectures when it comes to talking money with kids

By Tim Kowols       

Talking money with your kids could bring up tough questions you are not ready to handle if you are not prepared. A 2017 T. Rowe Price survey shows almost 70 percent of parents have some reluctance talking about the subject, especially if it brings up topics you are not comfortable discussing. Instead of deflecting your kids' questions, Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors encourages parents to create educational moments within the conversation.

Pustaver also recommends showing kids what you do financially and explain why you do it. You can listen to the second part of our series about kids and money with Gay Pustaver online with this story.


Interviews for Algoma Chief of Police position start soon

By Paul Schmitt    

The process of finding a new police chief in Algoma continues after Monday's deadline for applications.  The City of Algoma has reached out to find qualified candidates locally and throughout the state, according to Administrator Jeff Wiswell.  He explains who will be involved in the interview process after all the applications are reviewed.


Wiswell says applicants should have a minimum of three to five years of supervision work with ten years of law enforcement experience.  He says hopes are to have a candidate selected for the Algoma Police Chief position in early November after a background check is done.  The contract with Kewaunee County for police services ends on December 31.

Door County Community Center to be dedicated Wednesday

By Tim Kowols       

The former highway shop in Sturgeon Bay will never look grander than it will on Wednesday when it is officially dedicated. Both the Door County Aging and Disability Resource Center and Emergency Services Department have hosted open houses at the newly renovated facility since it first opened to the public in January. Wednesday's event will include dignitaries formally dedicating the building, tours of the facility, and even a polka band performing. Door County Emergency Services Director Aaron LeClair says they feel blessed to have had the community's support for the building, which has allowed them to do things they have not been able to do before as a department.

The dedication of the Door County Community Center will take place at 3:30 p.m. with the open house following from 4 to 6 p.m.

Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse lens removal postponed

By Terry Kovarik              

Retirement of the Fresnel lens in the Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse will have to wait until next year. That's because paperwork need for the removal of similar lense from another lighthouse has not been completed. Jayne Conard :: CAH-NERD :: of the Friends of the Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse says the delay will allow work to start at both locations.



While the new display for the Kewaunee lens is ready and waiting, plans call for the Fresnel lens from the Algoma Lighthouse to be moved and displayed at the Door County Maritime Museum.

Kewaunee School District receives second security grant

By Tim Kowols       

Kewaunee School District will be able to double down on its security efforts thanks to a recent grant from the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Last week, the district received its second school safety grant from the DOJ, this time for approximately $54,000. The funds received will go towards additional staff training and other upgrades. Kewaunee School District Superintendent Karen Treml says parents have been very receptive to the focus they have placed on safety this year, which also included some changes to how students are dropped off and picked up.

Kewaunee received a school safety grant earlier this year for approximately $64,000. Other local school districts receiving additional safety funding in the second round of grants include Gibraltar, Washington Island, and Sturgeon Bay.

Park linking downtown Kewaunee and Pierhead Lighthouse a legacy to a special couple.

By Terry Kovarik              

The memories of a Kewaunee couple are being honored through a park that links the downtown, the Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse and Harbor Park. Donald and Jean Smith had long planned to have a lake front park as part of their legacy and they donated $100,000 to that effort. The Donald L. and Jean M. Smith Lighthouse Park is now open to the public at the end of Ellis Street. Donald Smith died 2011 before the park site was selected. Jean Smith found the perfect site and family friend Cindy Tang says Jean was involved in planning the park almost until her passing earlier this year.



The Donald L. and Jean M. Smith Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse Park developed walking trails and information boards lining the park with the break wall and Harbor Park.

Sister Bay Fall Fest concludes with more visitors making it part of their family tradition

By Terry Kovarik              

Fall Fest 2018 was very well attended. Organizers say the event, which they estimate attracts tens of thousand of visitors, likely bested last year's attendance. People have their own reasons for taking in the three-day event celebrating the fall colors and all of Door County's natural beauty. Sister Bay Advancement Coordinator Louise Howson believes Fall Fest is growing as more people make it part of a family tradition.




Howson says art exhibits, fish boils, a pancake breakfast and the Ferris wheel are the types of offerings that appeal to families and make them want to return.

Sturgeon Bay bookstore owner sees a preference for paper and hardcover books

By Terry Kovarik              

A Sturgeon Bay book store owner says e-books are not about to make paperback and hardcover books obsolete. While e-book downloads are the preferred way for many people to read, Novel Bay Booksellers owner John Meggitti says he thinks the books on tablet or computer screens craze can't quite match the comfort level of traditional books.



Meggitti also says the ambiance of book shops just can't be matched by downloads.

The first local veteran benefits from Adopt a Solider Door County outreach

By Terry Kovarik              

Adopt a Soldier Door County is is best known for sending care packages to local active duty military members overseas. Now the organization is helping a local veteran in need of assistance. Executive Director Nancy Hutchinson says the veteran is the first to be aided under its local outreach program. She hopes others won't be hesitant to ask for help even with an extensive application process.



Applications for veterans aid are available thorugh the Door County Veterans Service Office on Nebraska Street in Sturgeon Bay and the Kewaunee County Veterans Service Office on Lincoln Street in Kewaunee.  For more information on how to apply for the Adopt a Soldier Door County local veterans aid program click here.

Local YMCA lifestyle coach says a little exercise helps reduce diabetes risk

By Terry Kovarik              

The Door County YMCA is working to help people, especially older residents, reduce or prevent their risks of developing diabetes. The Y is offering a program call "Redefine Your Health, Transform Your Life". A key portion of the program promotes moderate exercise. Lifestyle Coach Tess Johnson says increasing physical activity and losing a little weight both make a big difference.



The Door County YMCA will be holding a series of information meetings on the "Redefine Your Health, Transform Your Life" program.  Click here for more information.

Door County radio operator says amateur radio vital if cellular and satellite communications fail

By Terry Kovarik              

Cellular phones and satellite communications are common place in Door and Kewaunee Counties. They're also vulnerable to sudden disruption. So local amateur radio operators are ready to relay emergency communications if that happens. Mike Green of Baileys Harbor is a retired police officer and amateur radio operator. Green and other operators put their skills to the test for a simulated emergency.



Green says amateur radio is considered to be older technology. That means it's also not susceptible to the types of disruptions that can disable wireless and more modern communications systems.

Local immigrant advocates say proposed rules could disrupt citizenship path for Green Card holders

By Terry Kovarik              

Local immigrants currently holding Green Cards, or legal permanent resident documentation, could see their path to U.S. citizenship blocked. Proposed changes in rules governing first time applications would limit an applicants eligibility if they apply for aid such as food stamps or Section 8 housing assistance. Sister Melanie Maczka, of Casa ALBA Melanie in Green Bay, says that could also impact those with Green Cards hoping to become citizens.



The proposed rules will undergo a 60-day public input period. Sister Melanie says some immigrant families that have Green Cards are holding off on applying for benefits, like health care assistance for children born in the United States, even though they are legally entitled to it.

Kewaunee County wind farms helping utilities boost green power production

By Terry Kovarik              

Kewaunee County wind farms broke ground for utilities to generate renewable energy on a large scale. In the nearly 20-years since wind farms and solar energy systems have gone on line green technology has become more efficient. WPS Senior Communications Specialist Matt Cullen says that's making renewable energy more attractive to utilities.



In addition, residential or business utility customers with their own solar array or windmills still get credits on their monthly bills for adding power to the grid.

Fall colors and fun have people flocking to Fall Fest

By Terry Kovarik              

The fall colors, food and fun are drawing tens of thousands of people to Sister Bay's Fall Fest. Organizers say the three day event started strong with the classic auto show, the Sister Bay Lions Club fish boil and the ferris wheel downtown. Fall Fest is attracting those who come yearly and some first timers.



Fall Fest concludes Sunday afternoon with pumpkin bowling and the ping pong ball drop.

Local hardware store owner offers suggestions on buying a snowblower

By Terry Kovarik              

Autumn is a great time to take in fall colors in Door and Kewaunee Counties. It's also the perfect time to see if you've got the right snowblower to take on the winter white stuff. Jim Lemens of Lemens Hardware in Luxemburg says the first consideration is the size of your drive way. Lemens says smaller driveways and nearby sideways can get by with a one-stage snowblower, which can cost between $190 and $500. He adds larger drive ways and normal snow conditions suggest you can't go wrong with a two-stage snowblower, especially after plows clear your street.



New two-stage snowblowers can run between $600 and $1100. Jim Lemens adds if you have a limited budget used snowblowers that have been well maintained can be good alternatives. A new machine, however, can offer warranty coverage for several years.

A local advocate offers insights to those dealing with mental health issues

By Terry Kovarik              

Look down five doors in any neighborhood in any community in Door or Kewaunee County and you may be looking at someone dealing with mental illness. The National Association of Mental Health says one in five people is impacted by such issues, including their families. Seth Wiederanders  is a Certified Peer Specialist at JAK's Place, a resource center for people and families impacted by mental illness. Wiederanders says the center provides a good first step to linking those in need with the right resources.



Wiederanders also says people need to rethink some preconceived notions about mental illness.



JAK's Place is a community resource for those affected by mental illness, encouraging a caring atmosphere focused on hopes, needs, goals and gifts of the people who come to the center on Rhode Island Street in Sturgeon Bay. You can find out more on JAK's Place by clicking here

Sister Bay construction set to boom after Fall Fest

By Tim Kowols       

Revelers at this weekend's Fall Fest can expect a different Sister Bay when they return. Construction picked up steam before the popular event so projects like a four-unit hotel condominium at Sunset Drive and a hotel on Mill Road can have enough time to finish before the next tourism season begins. That required the village to lift its moratorium on summer and early construction projects that would have introduced large pieces of equipment and even bigger noise complaints to its downtown. Sister Bay Village President Dave Lienau says it is a good problem to have.

While some projects will pick right back up on Monday, others like the expansion of the Sister Bay Piggly Wiggly will not break ground until later this month.

Kewaunee County holding first ever Transition Fair for students with disabilities

By Paul Schmitt    

Family members and local students with disabilities can learn more about community resources available to them for post high school opportunities.  The Kewaunee County Communities on Transition is hosting a Transition Fair for students with disabilities on October 23 in Luxemburg.  Wendy Jacobs, a special education teacher at Luxemburg-Casco High School, shares the goal of the first ever transition fair in Kewaunee County.


The Kewaunee County Transition Fair will be held from 4:30 until 6:30 pm Tuesday, October 23 at the Kewaunee County Expo Hall at the Fair Grounds in Luxemburg.

Sturgeon Bay: The HeART of Door County.

By Tom Jordan      

Our entire Peninsula is blessed with some of the finest artists in the entire Midwest. But the heart of all this fine art, emanates from its hub, Sturgeon Bay. Sturgeon Bay itself is the largest defined area in the entire county. It sweeps from County MM in the south to the edge of Bailey's Harbor in the north. In that area you will find art of every variety, ranging from fine art, weaving, glass, blacksmithing, wood crafting, live, original music, and live theatre, year-round, and so much more. And let's be sure to include the Miller Art Museum, which has been called one of the finest small museums in the Midwest.


Also, most of Sturgeon Bay artists are open year-round. In addition to all the fine artists working in their studios, you'll find the glass being blown at Popelka, the sparks flying at Ric Furrer's blacksmith shop and lively performances at the
Third Avenue Playhouse and Rogue Theatre. Stop by any Thursday night at the Tambourine Lounge next to the Holiday motel and enjoy the open-mike with area singer-songwriters.


All in all, when you consider the art of Door County, you'll find the heart in Sturgeon Bay.

Algoma upgrading electronic equipment and streets in city

By Paul Schmitt    

Residents in Algoma will be seeing improvements on the hardware inside and outside city hall in the coming year.  The City of Algoma just authorized funds to make some technology upgrades in-house.  According to City Administrator Jeff Wiswell, cable television and the public access channel will be getting new equipment soon.


Algoma also approved a contract with Bay Lake Regional Planning to do a GPS map layering of all sidewalks and fire hydrants, along with traffic signs and aprons on the city's streets.  This will improve the maintenance and upkeep of the city's infrastructure in the future, according to Wiswell.

Bovine TB not infecting local deer herd yet

By Paul Schmitt    

With the reported disease of bovine tuberculosis found in a deer herd in Algona County, Michigan this week, area deer hunters can rest easy for now, according to a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources spokesperson.  According to USA Today, the TB diagnosis in Michigan is the 73rd since 1998.  DNR Wildlife Biologist Joshua Martinez says none have yet been found in Wisconsin yet and samples sent to Madison processing centers for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) testing would red flag any deer meat infected with bovine TB.


Martinez says Minnesota has also had issues with a TB outbreak in the past.  He says signs of bovine TB include white pustules and lesions on the rib cage and lung area in the deer cavity.  You can find more information on bovine TB and CWD on the Wisconsin DNR website.

Kewaunee Veterans Service Officer honored with Quilt of Valor

By Paul Schmitt    

Jane Babcock was presented with the Quilt of Valor this week for her service, sacrifice and, valor with the U.S. Army.  Babcock, the Kewaunee County Veterans Service Officer, received the quilt as part of a program that was locally introduced by the Kewaunee Artisan Center in 2013.  Babcock says it was extra special to have been nominated by someone she has served as a Veterans Service Officer.


The Quilts of Valor Foundation is a national effort since 2003 that offers quilts as tokens of appreciation to military service members and veterans.  More than 100 quilts have been given to veterans in Kewaunee County in the past five years.


(photo submitted)

Fall colors give tremendous impact for Washington Island Ferry traffic

By Tim Kowols       

With Door County sitting at 90 percent peak fall color according to Travel Wisconsin, the Washington Island Ferry is gearing up for big weekends ahead. Columbus Day and Sister Bay Fall Fest weekends are usually the busiest time of the season for the ferry line as visitors line up on the dock to check out the leaves on Washington Island. Ferry President Hoyt Purinton says technology has allowed people to time their trips better and in turn, extend the season with it.

The Washington Island Ferry runs 11 round trips daily until October 28th. If the leaves hold on longer than that, visitors will only have six trips to choose from until winter.

Money Management Counselors names Boden new Executive Director

By Tim Kowols       

Door County resident Leslie Boden will be Money Management Counselors' new executive director when she takes over the post in 2019. Gay Pustaver announced earlier this year that she will retire once a new executive director is named and becomes properly certified. Boden has lived in the area for over 30 years and carries with her experience in small business, marketing, and non-profit fields. After serving as its executive director since 1995, Pustaver says Boden is the right person to take her place.

Money Management Counselors works with people from Door and Kewaunee counties on their financial situations including debt management planning, student loan debt counseling, and homebuyer education.

Christmas plaguing 2019 school calendar planning

By Tim Kowols       

Santa Claus is giving school administrators in Door and Kewaunee counties a lump of coal to deal with as they start planning the 2019/2020 school year.  Christmas Day and New Year's Day are on Wednesdays next school year, leaving administrators and their boards puzzled on when the best time is to schedule their winter break. School districts like Sturgeon Bay often work on the academic year calendars well in advance to give parents plenty of time to schedule days off and plan vacations. Superintendent Dan Tjernagel says it is a balancing act.

Sturgeon Bay School District will discuss two different academic calendar options and host a public hearing on its budget at their board meeting on Wednesday beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Weather raining on parade for farmers

By Tim Kowols       

The United States Department of Agriculture expects it to be a banner year for corn and soybean croppers this year, but farmers in Door and Kewaunee counties will have to wait to experience it themselves. Several weeks of rain has left fields too wet to work in, leaving crops ripe for harvesting sit. Rio Creek Feed Mill owner Jerry Barta says while soybeans near the ground have rising waters to worry about, the fall winds could play an even a bigger factor for the unharvested corn.

Barta encourages farmers to get out into their fields as soon as possible and not wait for a more natural drying of their crops to prevent possible harvest loss.

Algoma Wolf Tech continues to grow

By Tim Kowols       

The once spacious technology education center at Algoma High School is getting more cramped thanks to the generosity of local businesses. On Thursday, the Algoma Wolf Tech received a new computer numerical control (CNC) machine thanks to D&S Machine Service in Luxemburg. Students enrolled in the program have also had the opportunity to work with machinists from D&S Machine Service and Algoma-based Precision Machine to hone their craft even further. Technology Education teacher Matt Abel says it is great exposure to an in-demand career for the students.

In over three years, Algoma Wolf Tech has manufactured close to 11,000 parts for Kewaunee County manufacturers, netting the program $50,000 in that time.


Picture courtesy of Algoma Wolf Tech

Door County to start Dolly Parton Imagination Library

By Paul Schmitt    

An area organization is bringing a free book program for little children with help from Dolly Parton's Dollywood Foundation.  The Door County Partnership for Children and Families will start a book gifting program called Dolly Parton's Imagination Library for children five years old or younger.  Candis Dart, coordinator of Door County Partnership for Children and Families shares how the program will work.


The Dolly Parton Imagination Library is free and is funded completely by grants and donations.  Dart says they hope to get more books in the hands of Door County children and promote early literacy.  The program will begin registration on January 1st.  You can find more information on Imagination Library below.

Candis Dart (920) 421-3144

Help of Door County planning Open House and Purple Thursday

By Paul Schmitt    

Men who abuse women and even a few women who beat men can find themselves in a lot more trouble than they ever expected, according to a Sturgeon Bay victims advocate organization.  With October being National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Help of Door County is scheduling a special open house.  The event will be held at the Help of Door County location on Green Bay Road in Sturgeon Bay and will give people the opportunity to find out more information on domestic abuse and services available in the area.  Executive Director Steve Vickman says help is just a phone call away.  He adds that the color purple will have significance during a day later in the month.


Vickman says the organization is using facebook, twitter, and Instagram to reach out to more people in Door County as well.  You can find out more about the services provided by Help of Door County with this story below.

Kewaunee County Senior Resource Fair a big success Thursday

By Paul Schmitt    

Hundreds of people attended the Kewaunee County Senior Resource Fair in Luxemburg on Thursday to learn more about opportunities to maintain a healthier lifestyle.  The event was for all senior citizens and caregivers who connected with over 50 vendors providing information on local services.  Lisa Van Demortal of the ADRC shares what attendees took advantage of on Thursday morning.


The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection also provided a program on Scams that target seniors.  Energy assistance applications were also provided at the fair.  You can see video from Thursday's Kewaunee County Senior Resource Fair below.

Arrest made in 43-year-old Sturgeon Bay murder case-- PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO

By Paul Schmitt    

A 43-year-old cold case is moving forward after Sturgeon Bay Police and the Wisconsin Department of Justice made an arrest in Michigan on Thursday.  Richard Gale Pierce, formerly of Sturgeon Bay, was arrested about 8:20 Thursday morning in Cheboygan, Michigan after a search warrant was served on his property.  Pierce, 82, is being charged with first-degree murder of his wife Carol Jean Pierce in 1975.  The Criminal Complaint alleges that Carol at 35 years of age was murdered in Sturgeon Bay by her then-husband Richard Pierce.  Sturgeon Bay Police Captain Dan Brinkman says authorities believe that the body is still on Pierce's property in Michigan based on a prior search warrant in 2008.  He says the diligent work done by investigators over the years has paid off.


Retired Sturgeon Bay Police officer Tom Baudhuin is working with authorities on the case in Michigan, according to Brinkman.  He says Pierce faces extradition from Michigan to Door County in order to be prosecuted by the Door County District Attorney's Office.

Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County looking for tutors

By Tim Kowols       

Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County is looking for more tutors to help pare down its growing waiting list for their services. The organization pairs tutors with individuals in need of help with their reading, writing, and speaking skills. The lessons learned with their tutors could help students earn a General Education Diploma, get a job, or even pursue citizenship. Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County President Bob Garfinkel says the organization is looking for quality volunteers to help people succeed.

Garfinkel says there is a list of 20 people dating back six months waiting to participate in tutoring sessions with the organization. Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County will host an orientation meeting on October 22nd at the Algoma United Methodist Church beginning at 6 p.m.

Cold weather can lead to fire calls

By Tim Kowols       

A Sunday night chimney fire in the town of Union is a reminder of the fire dangers that can come with colder weather.  Furnaces, wood burning stoves, and fireplaces are all getting fired up for the first time this week without some of the proper precautions preceding it. Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says hiring the proper contractors to inspect and clean your heating units can prevent events like Sunday's chimney fire from occurring.

Vandertie added that the upcoming beginning Daylight Savings Time is a good time to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Arrest made in 43-year-old Sturgeon Bay cold case

By Tim Kowols       

Forty-three years of waiting for answers may finally be over after the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation and Sturgeon Bay Police Department announced Thursday it had made an arrest in the alleged murder of Carol Jean Pierce. According to a release from the DOJ, law enforcement officials arrested Carol's husband Richard Gale Pierce in Cheboygan, Mich. after over four decades of investigating. It alleges Richard lied to investigators at the time about Carol's whereabouts and had the motive to kill her, citing monetary and personal reasons. Pierce will be prosecuted by the Door County District Attorney's Office when he returns to Wisconsin. Four agencies in Wisconsin and Michigan collaborated on the case after it was reviewed by the Wisconsin Cold Case Review Team of the Wisconsin Association of Homicide Investigators. According to Sturgeon Bay Police Department Captain Dan Brinkman, a press conference regarding the case has been scheduled for 3 p.m. at city hall. You can read the full release from the DOJ online below:


CHEBOYGAN, Mich. – On Thursday, October 11, agents from the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation and the Sturgeon Bay Police Department made an arrest for the alleged murder of Carol Jean Pierce, who was reported missing in September 1975. Law enforcement arrested Carol's husband, Richard Gale Pierce, in his hometown of Cheboygan, Michigan.

"Three generations of law enforcement have worked to close this case," said Attorney General Brad Schimel. "Today, we were able to make major progress in finding the answer to Carol Jean's disappearance. Though many of Carol Jean's family and friends are no longer alive, justice must still be provided for the late Carol Jean and those loved ones who still wonder what happened so many years ago."

"After over four decades of investigation, Sturgeon Bay Police Department recognizes the Fillion family has endured 43 years of anguish for the loss of their sister," said Sturgeon Bay Police Chief Arleigh Porter. "With no answers as to 'why' for years, perhaps some 'answers' will begin to be offered to the Fillion family members. While the pursuit of justice is often difficult, and in this case long overdue, investigators never gave up and hope to bring to light answers to family members on Carol Jean's behalf."

The criminal complaint alleges that Carol Jean Pierce, at age 35, was murdered by her then-husband, Richard Pierce on or about September 5, 1975. Richard previously stated to law enforcement that he saw Carol Jean on the morning of September 8, 1975. Richard stated that when he returned home that same afternoon, Carol Jean was gone. The complaint alleges Richard was the last person to see Carol Jean Pierce alive, had motive and opportunity to end her life, and benefitted from her demise in numerous ways, which included a pension unencumbered by a wife; most of the important belongings of their marriage; land and a home in Michigan; a new girlfriend weeks after Carol Jean's disappearance, as well as the benefit of Carol Jean's silence.

Richard Gale Pierce currently is being held at Cheboygan County Jail (Michigan) until his return to Wisconsin.

This case was investigated by the Sturgeon Bay Police Department and DCI, with assistance from Michigan State Police and Cheboygan County Sheriff's Office. It is being prosecuted by the Door County District Attorney's Office. This case was additionally reviewed by the Wisconsin Cold Case Review Team of the Wisconsin Association of Homicide Investigators.

A suspect is innocent until proven guilty.

Civil Discourse: An Occasional Attempt to Restore Civility to Our Civic Discourse

By Roger Utnehmer                          

Immigration is the civil rights issue of the 21st century. Missing, however, is the voice of clergy. Without the strong voice of religious leaders, the civil rights movement of the 1960's would never have been successful.

From open housing marches in Milwaukee led by Father James Groppi to the March on Washington led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it was articulate and persistent advocacy by religious leaders that turned public opinion into support for voting rights, open housing and recognition of basic human dignity for all.

Today, our country is torn apart by the debate over immigration. Families are divided. Children are separated from parents. In Wisconsin, immigrant families live in constant fear. This tragedy is the fault of political leadership missing-in-action. And it is also the fault of silence from the religious leaders who have a moral imperative to speak out in defense of the least among us. If religious leaders would speak from their tradition of respect for human dignity, a preferential option for the poor and the biblical mandate to welcome the stranger, it would be much more difficult for politicians to ignore finding a solution.

We may disagree about what that solution should be but the reality today in northeast Wisconsin is that immigrant labor is an essential component of a thriving economy. Removing undocumented immigrants would paralyze business and industry, especially agriculture. Ignoring the problem may be good politics but it is a moral failure and an economic disaster.

Those who believe we are created in the image of God are pained by the disrupted families, pervasive fear, political demagoguery, and marginalization that is being inflicted on our immigrant community. And by not speaking out against the racism and fear-mongering over immigration, we condone it by our silence.

I stand in support of those who strive for a better life and hope for the American dream. I esteem the family values evidenced by immigrants. Many in northeast Wisconsin send more than half their take-home pay back to families in Latin America. I applaud those who speak in defense of the immigrants and ask our religious leaders to speak with the same passion on their behalf as clergy did a generation ago in support of black Americans.

How we are treating immigrants is the imperative moral issue of this generation. The voice of our religious leaders will be a welcome addition to the discussion.

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

Gibraltar takes learning outdoors

By Tim Kowols       

Sixth graders at Gibraltar Elementary School in Fish Creek traded the classroom for the outdoors as a part of a class trip held last week. During their weeklong experience at Camp Manito-wish In Boulder Junction, Wis., students worked on their team-building skills and leadership abilities. Gibraltar Elementary Principal Brian Annen says it is a great way for the sixth-grade class to start their year off.

The school was also recently recognized for what they do in the classroom, earning National Blue Ribbon School distinction from the United States Department of Education.

U.S. Poet Laureate to visit Southern Door Schools Thursday

By Tim Kowols       

U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith will visit Southern Door School District Thursday as a part of its partnership with Write On, Door County. For the last three years, the district has hosted poets and authors to work with the freshman class on their writing skills. Smith was appointed as the 22nd U.S. Poet Laureate in 2017. Southern Door Superintendent Patti Vickman says it is a great opportunity for students to work with an accomplished writer like Smith.

In addition to working with students at Sevastopol earlier in the day, Smith will host a free reading and discussion at the Southern Door Auditorium Thursday night beginning at 7:00.

Longtime Pumpkin Patch Festival chair steps aside and hopes others step forward

By Terry Kovarik              

After 12-years, the chair of Egg Harbor's Pumpkin Patch Festival believes it's time for people with new ideas to step forward. Debra Merkle-Schubert stepped down after the 2018 event last weekend. Merkle-Schubert says she's proud of the work she's done, first as a volunteer for the Egg Harbor Business Association then as chair.



Debra Merkle-Schubert says she'll continue as a volunteer on the Pumpkin Patch Festival, though it's time someone else shares the load.



Merkle-Schubert's tenure as chair ended on a high note. The 2018 Pumpkin Patch Festival drew an estimated 15,000-to-20,000 people despite less than ideal weather.

Proposed green card restrictions raise questions and concerns from local immigrant advocates

By Terry Kovarik              

Local advocates for immigrants are trying to make sense of proposed green card restrictions. They say that has some immigrants having to make tough decisions on whether to get housing assistance, health care or food stamps for their families. Under new rules proposed by the Trump Administration, immigrants using such programs could have their green card applications denied. Sister Melanie Maczka of Casa ALBA Melanie in Green Bay says the confusion over the proposed restrictions have some families concerned.



Sister Maczka says attorneys hired by her group are advising clients to limit applying for non-emergency benefits until full details on the proposed rules are spelled out.

Sturgeon Bay nonprofit group looks to meet growing daycare demand

By Terry Kovarik              

Some Sturgeon Bay parents unable to find affordable daycare for their children are banding together to develop a non-profit facility. They've formed Door County Children of Hope and are in the process of raising money for start-up operations. Eric Olson is on Door County Children of Hope's board of directors. He says while there are good existing daycare centers they don't have the capacity to meet the demand. Olson says public response shows a need for an alternative.



Olson says no timeline has been set to get a new daycare center up and running. For more information on Door County Children of Hope click here.

Fight for Fish Creek food truck to continue in court

By Tim Kowols       

The owners of White Cottage Red Door are moving forward with their lawsuit against the Town of Gibraltar regarding their food truck. The Institute for Justice along with business owners Chris and Jessica Hadraba and Lisa and Kevin Howard filed the suit in Door County Circuit Court Tuesday after formally warning the Town of Gibraltar of the possibility in May.  It charges the town with unconstitutionally banning the Fish Creek business from operating a food truck in favor of bricks-and-mortar restaurants despite getting proper approval from the state and county. The town board did not respond to the written warning until August 27 when it chose to deny the claim. Attorney Millad Emam says the town's stance also has a conflict of interest with Town chairperson Dick Skare and former supervisor Brian Hackbarth having ties to local restaurants.

Institute for Justice has won similar cases in favor of food truck owners in San Antonio, El Paso, and Louisville. Emam says even though the owners of White Cottage Red Door sold their food truck rather face $500 a day fines for operating, they would love a chance to still do it if the courts rule in their favor. Skare could not be reached for comment for this story. Hackbarth abstained from the discussion and the final vote when the Gibraltar Town Board chose to amend its current ordinance on January 10th.

Kewaunee County 4-H hosts annual fall fest and open house Saturday

By Jill Jorgensen, Kewaunee County UW-Extension 4-H Educator      

More than 6 million young people across the country will celebrate National 4-H Week, October 7th – 13th. This year's theme, Inspire Kids to Do, is a campaign that will give kids more opportunities to do, empowering them with the skills they need to succeed in life and career. This year's theme resonates in the Kewaunee County 4-H program where we help young people build life skills like confidence, curiosity, teamwork, courage, compassion, resilience, and character. National 4-H Week is an opportunity to showcase the great things that 4-H offers young people and highlights the incredible 4-H youth in the county who work each day to make a positive impact on the community.


Are you interested in finding out more about joining 4-H in Kewaunee County? Would your children like to make some arts and crafts project or learn about animal projects? To celebrate National 4-H Week Kewaunee County 4-H is having a 4-H Fall Fest and Open House on Saturday, October 13th from 10:00am-12:00pm (noon) in the Exhibit Building located at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds. This event is free for both 4-H families and the community at large.


4-H is open to any youth between grades of kindergarten through grade 13 (one year past high school). 4-H Fall Fest will feature 4-H clubs, projects, and programs. Youth and parents will have the opportunity to speak to 4-H leaders and older youth about the 4-H experience and learn how they can join a 4-H club in Kewaunee County. In addition, there will be fun, hands-on activities like pumpkin painting, arts & crafts, and free food. We hope you can join us!

WPS pulls the plug on Town of Lincoln windmills

By Terry Kovarik              

Work crews have started dismantling 14 windmills owned by Wisconsin Public Service in Kewaunee County. The wind farm located near Pheasant Road and County Highway P was shut down at the end of September. Town of Lincoln Chairman Cory Cochart says the closing of the wind farm means the township will see a slight financial loss that will add up over time.



Plans originally called for the Town of Lincoln wind farm to operate through 2029. WPS Senior Communications Specialist Matt Cullen says the decision to close down the operation early was based on operational costs versus newer green technologies.



WPS expects to have all the wind towers dismantled by January 1, 2019. Another wind farm in the Town of Lincoln and Red River operated by Madison Gas and Electric remains in operation.

A 3-D view of the universe is coming to Door County

By Terry Kovarik              

The Stonecipher Astronomy Center in Sturgeon Bay will give visitors a chance to see stars and planets three-dimensionally. A unique projection system called a Hemispherical Vertically Oriented Dome will be set up inside the planetarium as part of Astronomy Day. Door Peninsula Astronomical Society President Gary Henkelmann says this system brings heavenly bodies closer to earth in great detail.



Admission for the 3-D planetarium show is free though space is limited. Astronomy Day is set for October 20th at the Astronomy Campus on Utah Street in Sturgeon Bay.

Deputy Werner retires after 22 years at Door County Jail

By Paul Schmitt    

After spending 22 years of working at the Door County Sheriff's Department, Deputy Jim Werner officially retired last Monday.  Werner who worked in the jail division of the Door County Sheriff's Office will be greatly missed, according to Sheriff Steve Delarwelle.


Sheriff Delarwelle says Werner had the perfect disposition for the job.


The jailer position will be filled within by an officer who is currently going to recruit school, according to Delarwelle.

(photo courtesy of Door County Sheriff's Department)

Why be a soccer coach?  Series on Careers

By Paul Schmitt    

Returning to his home roots was the motivating factor behind Todd Maas getting involved in coaching the Sturgeon Bay Clipper soccer program.  Maas started as the JV coach in 2007 before taking over as the head coach in 2009.  He says coaching requires a big commitment of time but teaching the life lessons learned from the game is the truly rewarding part.  Being a successful coach usually requires time spent beyond practices and the soccer matches, according to Maas.


He adds that being able to coach both his sons, Trent and Trey last year, made for a very special season to remember.  Maas, a Sturgeon Bay High School Graduate, played soccer collegiately at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls.  He coached the Sturgeon Bay Clippers to their first-ever soccer state championship in 2015.

The Egg Harbor borrow a bike program caps another successful year

By Terry Kovarik              

"Eggy Bikes" remain a popular and inexpensive way for visitors to get around Egg Harbor during the summer. The specially designed and marked bicycles are available for anyone to borrow through the village's borrow a bike program. Egg Harbor Administrator Ryan Heise says the village found itself performing more frequent maintenance on the "Eggy Bikes" over the summer. He also says the bike fleet numbers will stay at 17, although new business sponsors are still welcomed.



The "Eggy Bike" program started with eight bikes initially and grew to the current 17 last year. All 17 bicycles were accounted for after Labor Day weekend.

Remembering a diplomatic crisis involving a locally built ship 50-years later

By Terry Kovarik              

The U.S. Navy intelligence ship USS Pueblo, which was built at the former Kewaunee Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, made headlines 50-years ago when it was captured, along with its crew, by North Korea. The Algoma Public Library will be remembering the incident during a public discussion and viewing of a documentary on the Pueblo. Adult Services Librarian Katie Haasch says the program will offer insights to young people and adults old enough to remember the crisis.



The crew was released nearly a year later while the ship remains in North Korean hands to this day. The USS Pueblo is still on the U.S. Navy's roster of active duty ships. The discussion on the Pueblo incident is set for October 24th at the Algoma Public Library on Fremont Street.

A Door County retiree is too busy to retire and uses his police skills as a second career

By Terry Kovarik              

Even in retirement, Mike Green of Baileys Harbor lives the motto of his career as a police officer: protect and serve. The veteran of the Northbrook, Illinois Police Department has wasted little time relaxing since retiring to his summer home 10-years ago. He brought his experience working with AARP to help senior citizens learn not to be victimized.



Green is also putting his amateur radio skills to use. He works with area law enforcement agencies and Door County Medical Center to ensure they have reliable back up communications during natural and other disasters.



By his own admission, Mike Green says he's too busy to retire and isn't about to let a lifetime of serving and protecting go to waste.

Door County delegation heads to China this week

By Tim Kowols       

For the third time since 2013, Door County officials are visiting its sister city in China. A formal relationship between the county and Jingdezhen, China began in 2004 according to the Door County Economic Development Corporation. In 2016, a nine-person delegation traveled to the porcelain capital of the world to discuss an expanded J-1 visa program and a college student exchange. County Board President Dave Lienau, who is also one of the delegates, says they hope to build on that relationship even more during this trip.

Lienau says the delegation will also invite Jingdezhen officials to make a return visit to Door County in 2019.

Fall Fest doubling down on family fun

By Tim Kowols       

Fall Fest is expanding from its downtown location to host more family activities in Sister Bay this weekend. In addition to a new Ferris wheel, bouncy houses, and kids shows near Sister Bay's Waterfront Park, Fall Fest will also feature a Family Fair at the Country Walk Shops with kids games and food. Sister Bay Advancement Coordinator Louise Howson says they wanted to make sure there was plenty to do for everyone attending.

Fall Fest, which runs Friday through Sunday, will still feature a daily lineup of music, a Saturday parade, and the Sunday Ping Pong Ball Drop. You can find a full schedule of events and information on new places to park online with this story.

Littering becoming an issue in Kewaunee County

By Tim Kowols       

Despite a private operator opening a transfer and recycling station at its former landfill, Kewaunee County is finding trash where it should not be. In addition to the usual garbage, Kewaunee County Sheriff's Deputies and town officials have been finding couches, tires, and other large items abandoned alongside the road. The cost for removal usually gets passed down to the municipality. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says they have seen a small uptick in such cases since the landfill closed earlier this year.

Joski reminds residents that it is a lot cheaper to take your large refuse items to the former landfill site and work with the private operator than to get caught tossing it on the side of the road. A citation could cost you as much as $300.

Northern Sky Theater's creative campus speeding along to 2019 opening

By Tim Kowols       

One of the most popular comments on the weekly hard hat tours at the future Northern Sky Theater creative campus is how fast everything is coming along. After breaking ground in Fish Creek in May, the home for Northern Sky's production and storage facility just needs some interior work before it is finished. The shell of the campus' larger building, which will host the 250-seat theater and administrative offices, is nearly complete. Artistic Director Jeffrey Herbst says it is great to have visitors take in their surroundings from where the facility's new stage will be.

As weather permits, people interested in checking out the progress of the creative campus project can contact Northern Sky Theater to set up a Friday hard hat tour.

Gibraltar homecoming bonfire is rescheduled by popular demand

By Terry Kovarik              

Windy, stormy weather last week could not douse the Gibraltar Schools traditional homecoming bonfire. The event, used to rally support for the Gibraltar High School athletic teams and start spirit week, had been set for last Wednesday. Heavy rains and high winds canceled the bonfire. Organizer Josh Kropuenske says for a while it didn't seem that the bonfire would be held this year. Then a promising forecast and public demand combined to make rescheduling a necessity.



The Gibraltar Schools homecoming bonfire will start at 8:00 PM Thursday at Baileys Harbor Recreational Park on Summit Road following a brief performance by the pep band.

New "Focus on Fairness" looks to bring better income equality

By Paul Schmitt    

The widening of the gap between the rich and the poor is reportedly increasing nationally, and one new area organization is working to address the problem locally.  Focus on Fairness, which was formed earlier in 2018, is sponsoring programs to inform the public on the economic disparity and possible solutions.  Member Jim Black of Sister Bay explains why the group was formed. [BLACK] According to the Economic Policy Institute, the top one percent of families in the United States made more than 25 times what families in the bottom 99 percent did. You can find a listing of the three October programs sponsored by Focus on Fairness that are coming later this month below.



Focus on Fairness lecture

Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor

"Opening the Door on Economic Inequality":

The reality and social implications of wealth disparity

Dr. Dylan Fitz, Assistant Professor of Economics at Lawrence University



Focus on Fairness keynote speaker:

Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor

Chuck Collins – "Born on Third Base": A one-percenter makes the case for tackling inequality, bringing wealth home, and committing to the common good.



Focus on Fairness candidate forum

Saturday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor

Candidates for local and state office discuss fairness, wealth inequality,

and increasing economic opportunity for Door County.


City of Algoma adds three new EMTs and promotes within Fire & Rescue Department

By Paul Schmitt    

The City of Algoma has made some personnel moves within the Fire & Rescue Department.  The actions included a promotion in the fire department and five changes made in the emergency services.  City Administrator Jeff Wiswell shares the recent changes in Algoma.


Wiswell says during "National Fire Prevention Week", the Fire &  Rescue Department is reaching out to the Algoma schools with special programs teaching the importance of having a fire escape plan in the home.  Fire Prevention Week runs through this Saturday.

Pumpkin Patch Festival looks to improve parking after the largest turnout ever

By Terry Kovarik              

As many as 20,000 people attending the Egg Harbor 2018 Pumpkin Patch Festival made it the best ever in the 34-year history of the event. Such a record-setting turnout generated one drawback when it came to parking. Visitors found themselves parking and walking a bit to get to the festival. Village Administrator Ryan Heise says organizers, village leaders and Door County Sheriff's Office will be getting together to see how to make next year's event better.



The record turnout was a credit to long-time organizer Deb Merkle-Schubert, who's ending her time as festival volunteer.

Door County YMCA yoga programs popular with all ages

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County residents of all ages looking for physical and mental balance, stress management and relaxation are turning to yoga. The Door County YMCA offers several yoga programs that accompany all age levels. Chair yoga introduces the concepts to first-time attendees and those with mobility limitations by sitting. Swasthra yoga is a low impact discipline that uses more fundamental yoga positions to focus on the awareness of breath and movement that incorporates visualization and mindfulness. YMCA Senior Program Director Mary Claire McHugh say people from 20-to-80 are looking to yoga to improve their physical and emotional health.



McHugh says in addition to yoga Tai Chi is also gaining in popularity as a form of exercise.


Manhole repairs planned next year on Highway 42 through Ephraim

By Terry Kovarik              

The Village of Ephraim is preparing to repair all 61 manholes on Highway 42 from Water Street next summer. The Ephraim Board of Trustees meets this week to discuss borrowing $150,000 for the project. Public Works Supervisor Russell Salfi says the majority of the manholes need repair or replacement.



Salfi says the manhole repairs are needed ahead of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's planned resurfacing of Highway 42 in 2019.

Why be a bookstore owner-- A Career Series

By Terry Kovarik              

STURGEON BAY, WI (Terry Kovarik) -- John Maggitti went from a partner in a transportation firm in Marshfield to a bookstore co-owner in Sturgeon Bay. Novel Bay Book Sellers opened on Third Avenue over the summer. It's something Maggitti's wife, Liz Welter, has long dreamed. He says the closure of a national chain bookshop in Sturgeon Bay made it a perfect time to make the dream come true.



Novel Bay Book Sellers specializes in new titles. Maggitti says rather than follow the "something for everyone" concept used by box stores Novel Bay follows the leads of bestseller lists and customer desires.



Even in the age of ebooks, Maggitti says Novel Bay caters to a growing customer base. Those are readers who just love to curl up with a good book and not have to worry about batteries dying in the middle of a great story.

Grant helping Kewaunee County update weather emergency response plan

By Terry Kovarik              

Kewaunee County communities are getting help to plan for weather-related emergencies. The county received a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for hazard mitigation planning. Kewaunee County Emergency Management Director Tracy Nollenberg says it will help community leaders look at past responses and look at possible changes to reduce weather-related damages.



A 2017 FEMA study shows such planning is a good investment. The study found that $6.00 in weather-related damages are saved for every dollar spent on emergency mitigation planning.

Moon fascination still out of this world

By Tim Kowols       

Even though astronauts last walked on its surface in 1972, the curiosity of the moon continues for many Americans. From now until 2022, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo missions that left Earth to learn more about the moon. Door Peninsula Astronomical Society President Gary Henkelmann says viewings of the moon are still what excite people when they come out to their Sturgeon Bay observatory.

The Door Peninsula Astronomical Society will host a special Observe the Moon Night program as a part of its Astronomy Day activities on October 20th.

Money conversation with kids easier said than done

By Tim Kowols       

Parents often find it difficult to talk to their kids about money and finances. According to a 2017 T. Rowe Price survey, almost 70 percent of parents are apprehensive when it comes to talking to their kids about money. Kids know more than you think about your financial situation but may lack the context to completely understand. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors advises parents to bring the conversation down to their level if they are asked about it.

Pustaver says the first step to take is to talk to your spouse about how you and your families approached money growing up before tailoring the conversation to your kids. You can listen to the entire Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver online with this story.


Casco woman can "Feel the Love" after free furnace installation

By Tim Kowols       

Casco's Sue Mencheski did not know how she would make it through another Wisconsin winter after pouring hundreds of dollars into her aging furnace last year. Thanks to a nomination and Lennox's "Feel the Love" program, that is not a worry anymore. On Saturday, Mencheski became the fifth homeowner to receive a free furnace from Ultimate Air in Luxemburg as a part of the national program. It became a community affair with businesses donating food and Ultimate Air employees bringing their families to help out and make it a special day. Mencheski says it was an emotional day spent with friends and family.

Ultimate Air owner Jeff Blemke says it is great to get the whole community involved in the project.

Lennox's Feel The Love program replaced the more regionally-focused Heat UP Wisconsin this year and is already looking for nominations for 2019.

Town of Liberty Grove looking ahead to 2030

By Tim Kowols       

The entire community may not even have reliable broadband Internet yet, but that is not stopping residents in the town of Liberty Grove from looking to the future. The town is developing a 2030 task force committee to figure out where they would like to be at that time with their infrastructure and other services. Town chairperson John Lowry says the hope would be to keep the town's rural character while meeting the demands of a 21st-century tourist and residential destination.

Lowry says they continue to work with a local Internet service provider to build more towers in the area. He also expects the opening of the Niagara Escarpment Interpretative Center in Ellison Bay in 2019 to be a major international draw for the area.

Local sexual abuse advocates say boys will be boys mentality must change

By Terry Kovarik              

Help of Door County is hoping some minds will change following the sexual misconduct allegations that surfaced against now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The organization which helps survivors of sexual assaults got a lot of comments on the allegations through social media and from office visitors. Executive Director Steve Vickman hopes all the creates an attitude change among men.



Help of Door County offers free and confidential services to victims of domestic, sexual and elder abuse. For more information, click here

Why be a Dentist--A career series

By Terry Kovarik              

Jen Olson of Sturgeon Bay originally studied biology at St. Norbert College, although she didn't think working out of a lab was in her long-term future. Olson's career path changed when she took an after school job.



With her career path now set on dentistry, Jen Olson got her bachelor's degree and was accepted into Marquette University's four-year dental program. Olson says anyone considering dentistry should know it's not like a traditional college environment.



Now as Dr. Jen Olson, DDS, she says all of the schooling and all of the expense have been more than worth it to help the people of her hometown feel good about themselves.



Dr. Olson says a sense of altruism is part of a career she loves.

Fall dampness slowing but not stopping local crop harvest

By Terry Kovarik              

Local corn harvests have been slowed down by a combination of showers, cooler temperatures and even some patchy frost. Local farmers are pressing on to get their harvests brought in on time. Kewaunee County U-W Extension Agriculture Agent Aerica Bjurstrom says a bit of pressure is on for farmers to bring in one crop and plant another.



Bjurstrom says there was some limited frost in the central part of Kewaunee County. That means crops continue growing...for now.

Local Adopt a Veteran program explains what benefits are available

By Terry Kovarik              

Veterans in Door and Kewaunee Counties needing immediate cash assistance can get limited help from Adopt a Solider-Door County. Since the group announced the new outreach for local veterans, there have been some misunderstandings about the type of aid available. Adopt a Solider Door County Executive Director Nancy Hutchinson explains it's a helping hand and not a subsidy.



Hutchinson says applications and other information can be obtained through the Door County Veterans Service Office on Nebraska Street in Sturgeon Bay and the Kewaunee County Veterans Service Office on Lincoln Street in Kewaunee.

Local builders find more than enough work to go around and share

By Terry Kovarik              

Door County home builders and craft workers are seeing plenty of business as demand for new homes increases. Some builders are so busy they're having to turn away work. That's a boon to builders like Eli Phillips of Alpha Through Omega Construction of Casco.



Phillips says even with colder weather approaching he has plenty of business to get through the winter.

Preparing to sink electrical power lines to light up Washington Island

By Terry Kovarik              

Utility contractors are finishing up junction work on Plum Island for a new electrical power line. From there work crews will focus their efforts on completing the link from Northport to Plum Island to Lobdell Point on Washington Island. Washington Island Electric Cooperative Manager Robert Cornell says that work will depend on the weather.



The current electrical power line was damaged by ice shoves in early spring and failed last June. The current power line was spliced and electric service was restored to the thousand electric customers but it was determined at that time that a new cable was needed.

Pumpkin Patch Festival in Egg Harbor a big hit though the weather misses

By Terry Kovarik              

Egg Harbor's population more than doubled as the annual Pumpkin Patch Festival opened. It's one of the biggest fall festivals held in Door County that has all the elements of a county fair, a music festival and arts and crafts exhibit over two days. While the sun was nowhere to be seen, it didn't seem to matter to those attending.



Parking was challenging as designated parking areas quickly filled up forcing people to park and walk a bit further. Pumpkin Patch Festival has become so popular that inns and hotels say people were booking reservations right after the Fourth of July.

Restoration moving inside of the Kewaunee Pier Lighthouse

By Terry Kovarik              

Efforts to restore the Kewaunee Pier Lighthouse to reflect the time that lightkeepers and their families lived there is closer to reality. That's because the removal of hazardous materials is complete. Jayne Conard of the Friends of the Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse says that will allow the group to prepare for making the lighthouse look lived in.



By month's end, the Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse's Fresnel lens will be removed and placed at the Kewaunee County Historical Museum.

30-years of Running Wild through Potawatomi State Park

By Terry Kovarik              

Wet weather didn't dampen the enthusiasm of nearly 400 people who came to run and walk through Potawatomi State Park in Sturgeon Bay. They took part in the "Run Wild" trail race, which includes 5K and 1/4 marathons and the 1/3 Smokey Bear Run. Some runners say it's a chance to maintain their strides and just have a little fun in a beautiful setting.



"Run Wild" is the "Friends of Potawatomi State Park's" biggest fundraiser. In the past, they've used the proceeds to hire a full-time naturalist and keep up playgrounds in the camping areas.  Catch the start of "Run Wild in Potawatomi State Park" by clicking here.

Door County officials hope for calmer flu season with vaccine clinics

By Tim Kowols       

Flu vaccine clinics set up across Door County this month hope to cause the number of sicknesses to drop drastically in 2019. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, over 7,500 people were hospitalized last year due to flu-related complications. That led to 379 deaths, which was twice as many as the year before. Door County will once again offer quadrivalent vaccines, which is designed to protect people from four different viruses. Door County Public Health interim manager Sue Powers says researchers studied last year's strains in hopes of better protection this time around.

After hosting a clinic on Washington Island Thursday, the Door County Public Health Department will host additional vaccination times across the county during the month, including the Aging and Disability Resource Center in Sturgeon Bay on Tuesday.


  • 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Aging and Disability Resource Center, 916 N. 14th Ave., Sturgeon Bay

  • 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 9 at Door county Government Center, Peninsula Room, 421 Nebraska St., Sturgeon Bay

  • 11 a.m. to noon Oct. 19 Liberty Grove Town Hall

  • 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.  Oct. 22 Baileys Harbor Town Hall

  • 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Oct. 25 Brussels Community Center

Door County 4-H Youth Horse and Pony Project keeps equine love alive

By Tim Kowols       

Local riders will descend on Bley's Farm in Egg Harbor next Sunday to support the Door County 4-H's Youth Horse and Pony Project. Whether 4-H members have an animal or not, the Youth Horse and Pony Project helps them become more comfortable with its care and riding. Pamela Parks from the Door County 4-H Youth Horse and Pony Project says the group is for all ability and interest levels.

The program's Fall Trail Ride steps off October 14 at 10 a.m. with all proceeds from the event benefitting the Door County 4-H Horse and Pony Project. You can find more details on how you participate online with this story.

Why be a police officer? Series on careers

By Tim Kowols       

For Sturgeon Bay Police Officer Derek Jennerjohn, there was never another career he wanted. Growing up in the area, Jennerjohn wanted to follow in the footsteps of a police officer that had a big impact on his life. He pursued a degree in criminal justice before heading to the police academy. To people thinking about a career in law enforcement, Jennerjohn has learned that there is a lot more to the job than writing tickets and making arrests.

Jennerjohn says Sturgeon Bay Police Chief Arleigh Porter encourages their officers to be active in the community, whether it is participating in the Bigs in Blues program with Big Brothers Big Sisters or helping out with the department's Explorer Post 9368. This is part of an ongoing series of careers available in the community.

Kewaunee County UW-Extension hosts dairy profitability session

By Aerica Bjurstrom, Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agriculture Educator      

Join UW Extension farm management specialists on Wednesday, October 10 from 10:00 am -1:30 pm for a seminar, Finding the Leaks in Your Dairy Profitability Pipeline. With a new agriculture trade deal on the table, and new dairy policies set to be implemented, this seminar is an excellent opportunity to listen to University of Wisconsin specialists who are experts in dairy farm management. Gain knowledge on dairy policy, federal farm programs, farm benchmarks, and understanding your cost of production.

Speakers include Mark Stephenson and Jenny Vanderlin from UW Center for Dairy Profitability, and Kevin Bernhardt, UW Extension Farm Management Specialist.

The meeting will take place at the Kewaunee County Highway Shop, E4280 County F, in Kewaunee.

This meeting is free and lunch will be provided.

Please RSVP by visiting our website at or by calling 388-7141.

Kewaunee Highway 42 rehab project hits home stretch

By Paul Schmitt    

The $1.9 million road project in Kewaunee is on target to be done by the end of the month.  According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (Wis-DOT), crews are working on rehabilitation and concrete overlays on the bridges that cross the Kewaunee River and Ahnapee State Trail.  Next week they begin finishing the sidewalks and driveways on the west side of Highway 42 from Miller Street to the Kewaunee River Bridge.  Mark Kantola of the DOT says the project is progressing well and the temporary traffic lights are helping to prevent any backups.


Highway 42 will remain open to a minimum of one lane of traffic at all times until the project concludes.

Door County honeycrisp apples being picked in time for big weekend

By Paul Schmitt    

Area apple orchards are busy harvesting the last of their crop this fall.  Steve Wood of Wood Orchards in Egg Harbor and Sturgeon Bay says the Pumpkin Patch weekend is the busiest of the season for northern Door County orchards.  He updates the progress of the Door County "Big Four" apples.


Wood says the severe thunderstorms earlier this week did not negatively affect his apple crop.  He says apple cider and donuts are also in high demand right now.

Southern Door's Exceeding Revenue Referendum-- Part II

By Deliliah Rose - Student Correspondent        

Southern Door's upcoming referendum holds two proposals, on of facility improvements and the other of permission to exceed the revenue limit. Focusing on the exceeding revenue limit, Mark Logan, Southern Door's Business Manager, was contacted to explain this second referendum.

Logan said that "this second question asks permission to exceed the revenue limit one time by $450,000 for the 2019-2020 school year". Its goal, if passed, is "to maintain educational opportunities and services for students by keeping current class sizes and course offerings." This question has a mill rate impact of $0.38 for its 1-year term beginning that school year. Southern Door is one of seven districts that has its revenue frozen because of the Wisconsin Act 141. If not passed, for the next three years, Southern Door district will continue to be provided with less money per child.

The two referendum questions have been separated due to the state law that facility improvements and operational issues cannot be combined.

Southern Door strongly encourages its community to vote on this upcoming referendum. Logan says that "the voice of the voters is well respected whether people are for or against it."

Full interview with Mark Logan is below:

You can find the story of Southern Door's first referendum question by clicking on the link below.

Door County bass fishing finishing strong year on the water

By Paul Schmitt    

As the open water fishing on the bay of Green Bay comes to a close, many anglers are reflecting on their successful ventures the past six months.  Professional fishing guide JJ Malvitz says the beauty of Door County fishing is the variety anglers can pursue on the lakeside as well as the bayside.  He says the most pleasant surprise of the summer and fall has been the consistency of the smallmouth bass fishing.


Malvitz recommends all anglers to pay attention to the weather conditions this fall if they head out on the water yet this year.  He says also alert someone else of your whereabouts before leaving the dock.

Egg Harbor's Kress Pavilion a busy place

By Tim Kowols       

The Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor has been the center of activity the village imagined it would be when it officially opened earlier this year. The building's first floor is the home of the village's branch of the Door County Library. Its second floor has hosted everything from candidate meet and greets and educational presentations to karaoke nights and beer tastings. Village administrator Ryan Heise says it is a testament to local leaders sticking to the vision they had years ago.

Upcoming events at the Kress Pavilion include a library book sale during this weekend's Pumpkin Patch Festival and the Focus on Fairness speakers' series beginning October 16th. You can find a full listing of public events online with this story.

Gibraltar Elementary earns Blue Ribbon distinction

By Tim Kowols       

Gibraltar Elementary School became just the second in Door County earlier this week to earn National Blue Ribbon status from the United States Department of Education. The Fish Creek school was nominated earlier this year because of its overall academic success and its ability in recent years to close achievement gaps. Gibraltar Area School District Superintendent Tina Van Meer says it is a testament to the students and staff working hard to achieve their goals.

Sevastopol Middle and High School earned National Blue Ribbon honors in 2015. Gibraltar Elementary School will be formally honored during a ceremony in Washington D.C. next month.

Kewaunee County farmers playing tour guide during World Dairy Expo

By Tim Kowols       

The World Dairy Expo may be over 150 miles away in Madison, but that is not stopping international visitors from visiting operations in Kewaunee County. Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy, Cornette Dairy, Kinnard Farms, and Junion Homestead Farm are just some of the local operations playing host to industry professionals from as far away as Japan and Germany. Tom Cornette says his German visitors were most interested in his Luxemburg facility and how it has helped improve production from his herd in recent years. That does not mean Cornette is not learning while he is teaching.

Kewaunee County youth are having a successful week showing cows at the World Dairy Expo itself this week, including reserve champion honors for Carmen Haack of Algoma and her heifer Spike. More Kewaunee County juniors are expected to show animals through the World Dairy Expo's close on Saturday.


Photo courtesy of Cornette Dairy

Turning Point Door County cuts ribbon on new adult group home

By Tim Kowols       

A ribbon cutting of a future adult group home in Sturgeon Bay is more than just a building for Turning Point Door County. Established just over a year ago, Turning Point Door County helps provide daily living skills, day services, and supported employment for people with special needs who want to become a bigger part of the community. The adult group home will allow some clients to live there with help from a supervisor to carry out various tasks. Judy Dobbins from Turning Point Door County says the home is just another way their clients can be just like anybody else.

The home is still a long way from being able to be used by the organization's clients, so Turning Point Door County is raising funds to help offset the costs of the improvements that need to be made.


Photo courtesy of Turning Point

Special Veterans Dinner planned for November 10

By Paul Schmitt    

Veterans Day is November 11, but area military veterans will be honored a day earlier in Sturgeon Bay with a free dinner and program.  "A Salute to Veterans" will be held at the Corpus Christi parish social hall honoring those who served in the military from the greater Sturgeon Bay area.  The event is sponsored by the Greater Catholic Community of Sturgeon Bay and the Door County Veterans Office.  Bill Sauve of the parish mission says the evening will include a special speaker.


Suave adds that the program will also include a presentation of colors, entertainment, and dinner.  Two complimentary tickets are available exclusively to all Sturgeon Bay area veterans through October 14.  Any remaining tickets will then be offered to the public for $15 each.  All proceeds from the November 10th event will benefit the Door County Veterans Council to provide help to veterans in need.


For more information contact Bill Sauve at 920-746-7656

Heavy traffic expected on roads next two weekends in Door County

By Paul Schmitt    

With the next two fall festivals bringing heavy traffic on area roads on the weekends, Door County Sheriff Steve Delarwelle is reminding drivers to allow for added time in getting where they need to go.  With fall colors nearing the peak and an increase in visitors to Door County, Delarwelle says you should take notice of vehicles around you and be wary of distracted drivers.


Delarwelle says area traffic, especially in northern Door County, the next two weekends will rival that of the Fourth of July weekend.  According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, there have been 399 fatal crashes statewide so far in 2018, compared to 411 in 2017 through September.

Algoma promoting Fire Prevention Week in community and schools

By Paul Schmitt    

The city of Algoma is taking the importance of fire prevention to a new level this year.  City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says the fire department is working with schools and young people to better educate the public.  He says Mayor Wayne Schmidt, who is a career volunteer firefighter, proclaimed next week as Fire Prevention Week.  This area, including Algoma, have seen a lower percentage of fires compared to the national numbers, according to Wiswell.


Wiswell adds that coming up with a fire escape plan at your home or business and practicing it is an important exercise.  October is National Fire Prevention Month.

New mattress store opens in Sturgeon Bay

By Paul Schmitt    

A new retail store has opened on Sturgeon Bay's west side.  Mattress By Appointment opened two weeks ago and owned and operated by a father and son, Gary and Davis DeWolfe.  Gary says the unique by-appointment-only format, instead of regular store hours, is geared for better customer service.


Davis says he and his pet golden doodle acts as the official greeters to potential customers.



Mattress By Appointment is located just west of Sturgeon Bay on Highway 42-57 near Quietwoods RV.

Septic spreading in Kewaunee County to be discussed at Land and Water Conservation Committee meeting

By Tim Kowols       

The Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation committee will take a deeper look at septic spreading practices in the area when it meets on Tuesday. At three to five million gallons each year, spreading septic waste onto fields is done throughout the county and pales in comparison to how much liquid manure and other fertilizers are used in the area. After some studies have shown human waste showing up in groundwater samples, the committee is discussing how septic spreading can be done safer. Land and Water Conservation committee member Lee Luft says it is a good conversation to have.

Luft adds the land used for septic spreading has been approved by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and would otherwise be acceptable for manure application as well. The Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee meets Tuesday in Luxemburg at 8 a.m.

Door County Land Trust adds more acreage to its Chambers Island Nature Preserve

By Tim Kowols       

The islands within Chambers Island are now protected by the Door County Land Trust according to the organization on Wednesday. The Door County Land Trust agreed to purchase two small islands in Lake Mackaysee thanks to help from the Town of Gibraltar, private donation, and a number of different grants. It was over a year in the making after Town of Gibraltar officials asked voters to approve the purchase with the understanding the Door County Land Trust would pay 100 percent of the costs. Executive Director Tom Clay says these islands provide an important habitat.

Wednesday's announcement makes the organization a little bit closer to its goal of protecting 800 acres on Chambers Island by 2020.


Picture by Dan Eggert

Karfi Ferry docks October 8th

By Tim Kowols       

After a busy summer of transporting visitors to and from Rock Island this summer, the Karfi Ferry is preparing for its final trips this year.  During the peak summer season, the small passenger ferry headed to the remote island eight times a day from Washington Island's Jackson Harbor. The Washington Island Ferry increased the number of trips on Fridays and Saturdays based on customer demand. Ferry President Hoyt Purinton says it was a busy summer for the Karfi Ferry.

The Karfi Ferry will make its final four round trips of the year on October 8th. You can find a schedule for both the Washington Island and Karfi ferries online with this story.

Luxemburg-Casco School District makes necessary changes to keep referendum projects on budget

By Tim Kowols       

Luxemburg-Casco School District has figured out how to add on to the building without doing the same to its budget. Superintendent Glenn Schlender sent out a project update last week after parents and community members expressed concerns about the status of the gymnasium, fitness center, wrestling room, kitchen, and cafeteria. By simply adding a separate lunch period for middle school students in the high school cafeteria, the district was able to save over $1 million. That allowed the district to invest in a newly created space for a high school study area, a middle school wrestling room, and some small changes to the planned fitness center without sacrificing its size. Schlender says it was a team effort to come to a solution.

Despite the changes, no other part of the referendum budget was affected. Work has already begun at the primary and intermediate schools.

Over 200 without power after Wednesday storms

By Tim Kowols       

Some residents in six communities in Door and Kewaunee Counties are without power Thursday morning after storms went through the area Wednesday night. Baileys Harbor, Egg Harbor, Fish Creek, Kewaunee, Sister Bay and Sturgeon Bay all had customers affected according to Wisconsin Public Service, accounting for 230 residences and businesses. The tornado watch expired at 11 p.m. Wednesday, but a wind advisory is in effect until 7 a.m. Thursday with gusts reaching as high as 40 m.p.h.

Character strength important trait of resiliency

By Matt Joski, Kewaunee County Sheriff       

Although the subject of resiliency has been deeply embedded in my own mind since receiving the training last spring, this month of suicide prevention awareness and my opportunities to share information on the QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) program has heightened my interest and passion on the need to build resiliency. Just as physical exercise and diet are the building blocks to an improved physical wellbeing, mental exercises are just as crucial to building a stronger mental wellbeing. Just as you would not be able to go from a physically sedimentary lifestyle to a highly demanding physical exertion event, you cannot go from an unconditioned mental state to a critical or challenging event. In both cases, you need to train, and yes your brain is just another muscle that can be strengthened through exercise.

This week I want to share a perspective on a resource we all have, our individual character strengths. We may not think of these strengths or the important role they play each and every day, but they are there as a product of all of our life experiences or as a result of those who have impacted our lives. The challenge is not merely acknowledging these character strengths, but applying them effectively during those times of both struggle and accomplishment. While we all possess character strengths at some degree such as honesty, courage, forgiveness, creativity or humor, we may struggle when to maximize or minimize a given character strength for the best outcome in our relationships or interactions. A good example of this would be what I would consider one of my own character strengths of Humor. If I am not able to apply this strength in an appropriate setting, it could be viewed as insensitive or unprofessional. Likewise, if I over apply my character strength of Judgment into a situation which would be best served by another character strength of compassion I would not be as effective to those I am assisting.

Another consideration in understanding character strengths is taking the time to know other's character strengths. This is important as we all interact at some point and the need to be sensitive to each other's perspectives and values can be the difference between a long lasting friendship and a dysfunctional interaction. The good news is that we can actually work to build on a character strength that we aspire to possess. Just as practice and exercise can improve our runtime or endurance, challenging ourselves mentally can build our mental strengths as well.

The first step is to take inventory in what we feel are our own character strengths. Once we make that list, share it with a family member or a friend. Many times those around us have a better perspective of our character strengths than we do. This is because our character is defined by our actions and our actions are a result of our character. You may find out that what you thought was one of your greatest character strengths is not the case, but rather a different character strength you never considered. The important message is that we all have unique character strengths and that we have the ability to manage these strengths to see us through the difficult times as well as to build stronger relationships with those around us.

Bike Safety advocate wants answers from Sturgeon Bay

By Roger Utnehmer       

Long-time cycle and pedestrian safety advocate Paul Anschutz says he's getting the run-around from city hall about safer access for people near a Sturgeon Bay's west side development. Anschutz claims the state Department of Transportation has recommended sidewalk and street installation near a west-side apartment project. At the Tuesday meeting of the Sturgeon Bay city council Anschutz said he emailed administrator Josh VanLieshout a month ago stating there is a safety issue on the west side and asked what the city is going to do about it.  Anschutz says a secondary road on Sawyer Drive to allow citizens a 2nd passage out of the development site would be a solution.



During the public comment period at the council meeting Anschutz asked how he can get answers for the residents of Sturgeon Bay about their safety.


Anschutz has been successful working with city and state government in the past obtaining bike and pedestrian trail funding for Sturgeon Bay.  He suggested at Tuesday's meeting that the city could work with the county to apply for a joint grant to extend the Ahnapee Trail to Egg Harbor Road with a high chance of receiving funding for an ongoing trail extension between two municipalities.

Door and Kewaunee Counties included in tornado watch until 11 p.m.

By Tim Kowols       

Lime-sized hail and tornadoes are all in play for tonight's severe weather covering Door and Kewaunee Counties. The National Weather Service has placed the northern half of the state and Upper Michigan in a tornado watch until 11 p.m. In addition to the hail and tornadoes, wind gusts as high as 80 m.p.h.  are also possible. If tornadoes do develop, it would join only seven others to occur in the state since 1950.

Local dental clinic will generate some of its' own electricity

By Terry Kovarik              

Patients getting their teeth cleaned at Olson Dental Clinic in Sturgeon Bay will be helping support renewable energy. Two solar arrays are being installed on green space outside the clinic on Michigan Street. Contractor John Hippensteel of Lake Michigan Wind and Sun Limited says while solar panels won't generate all of the clinics' power needs, the array will benefit the community.



Hippensteel says with a work life of up to 50-years, solar arrays can keep converting sunlight into electricity well after they've paid for themselves. For more information on solar energy click here.

Very few rooms at Door County inns for October weekends

By Terry Kovarik              

Pumpkin Patch Festival visitors hoping to stay overnight in Egg Harbor will likely have to drive a bit further to find a room. The festival and other fall events have become so popular that motel and inn operators, like Dennis Statz of White Lace Inn in Sturgeon Bay, are finding themselves disappointing last-minute travelers.



While summer is the peak tourism season for Door County, October weekend events and the fall color season also create a big demand for lodging. Kelly Catarozoli, owner of the Foxglove Inn of Sturgeon Bay, says fall bookings at her bed and breakfast started coming just after the 4th of July.



The most up-to-date information on room availabilities can be found by contacting the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center, which calls area motels and inns to see who might have rooms available. Log on to our website for more information

Free LED Christmas lights part of public power week

By Roger Utnehmer      

Sturgeon Bay Utilities will celebrate Public Power Week with an e-recycling event and free LED Christmas lights October 10th and 11th.  SBU General Manager Jim Stawicki invited local rate-payers to drop off items for recycling on Wednesday, October 10th.



Sturgeon Bay rate-payers can pick up free LED Christmas lights at the utility offices on Thursday, October 11th.  Stawicki cited three advantages of being a publicly-owned electrical utility.



Sturgeon Bay is one of more than 2,000 municipality-owned public electrical utilities in the United States.

Some local farmers not sure if they can wait for the trade deal to start

By Terry Kovarik          

Local dairy farmers say the benefits from the new U.S.-Canada-Mexico Agreement's may not happen in time to save some family farms. The Trump Administration says the agreement opens Canadian and Mexican markets to U.S. dairy products and should boost milk prices by 2020. Greg Letter, a dairy farmer from Brussels, says that may be too long to wait for some farmers.



Letter says milk prices have stayed around the same level they were at in the 1970's while the costs to produce milk has risen steadily.

Memorial Drive resident objects to sidewalks and bike trail

By Roger Utnehmer      

Not only does Sturgeon Bay resident Robin Urban object to sidewalks in front of his home on Memorial Drive, he says he's dead-set against a bike trail along the waterfront. Urban spoke at Tuesday's meeting of the Sturgeon Bay city council explaining his home was built in 1895. He has a stone fence where a sidewalk would be located.



Pedestrian safety advocates have proposed the installation of more sidewalks throughout Sturgeon Bay. The city council has discussed if payment for mandated sidewalks should be the responsibility of the adjacent property owners or paid for out of the city budget.

Urban said that the development of a bike path along the waterfront would interfere with his rights as a taxpayer. Helen Urban also spoke at the meeting saying that she was opposed to requiring sidewalk construction and would rather see the money spent on streets.

L-C's Pink Out game Thursday night supports Ribbon of Hope

By Paul Schmitt    

There will be much more than a volleyball match going on Thursday evening at Luxemburg-Casco High School.  The annual "Pink Out" will be held for the tenth year in a row to raise money for the Ribbon of Hope.  The Luxemburg-Casco volleyball program raises funds for the organization that offers financial, informational and emotional resources to patients with breast cancer in Northeastern Wisconsin.  Dawn Hanson of the Spartan Youth Volleyball Association booster club says the response this year has been great in the community.


The Pink Out event has raised over $79,000 in the past nine years including a record $17,000 last year.  Luxemburg-Casco will be taking on Denmark with the freshman and JV game beginning at 5:30 Thursday evening followed by the varsity match at 7 pm.

(photo courtesy of Luxemburg-Casco Volleyball Facebook page)

Focus on Fairness features Lawrence professor of economics October 16

By Paul Schmitt    

An earlier workshop on income inequality that was held last winter in Door County has produced a three-part series called "Focus on Fairness".  The organization is sponsoring three events at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor later this month.  Jim Black of Sister Bay, a member of Focus on Fairness, shares the details of the lecture coming October 16 called "Opening the Door on Economic Inequality".


Focus on Fairness will have keynote speaker Chuck Collins on October 24, who was an heir to the Oscar Mayer fortune and gave his money away at the age of 26.  The third event on Saturday, October 27th will be a forum for all the local and state office candidates to discuss fairness, wealth inequality and increasing economic opportunity for Door County.  All programs listed below will begin at 7 pm and are free to the public



Focus on Fairness lecture

Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor

"Opening the Door on Economic Inequality":

The reality and social implications of wealth disparity

Dr. Dylan Fitz, Assistant Professor of Economics at Lawrence University



Focus on Fairness keynote speaker:

Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor

Chuck Collins – "Born on Third Base": A one-percenter makes the case for tackling inequality, bringing wealth home, and committing to the common good.



Focus on Fairness candidate forum

Saturday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor

Candidates for local and state office discuss fairness, wealth inequality,

and increasing economic opportunity for Door County.

Sister Bay couple honored for decades of volunteer work

By Terry Kovarik              

Sally and Jeff Pfeifer have spent decades helping out various activities in Sister Bay including the annual Fall Festival Parade. This year the Pfeifers will be riding in the parade as Parade Marshalls. Jeff and Sally Pfeifer have been awarded the Sister Bay Advancement Associations' 2018 Sister Bay Volunteers of the Year. Sally Pfeifer helped establish the Northern Door Branch of the YMCA and served as the first director. She also serves on the Board of the Door County Medical Center. Jeff Pfeifer served as Treasurer of the Sister Bay Bays baseball team and on the Sister Bay Planning Committee. The Pfiefer's say they find pleasure in helping their community.



In addition to serving as parade marshalls, the Sister Bay Advancement Association will make a contribution in the Pfeifer's name to a charity of their choice.

Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse lens will soon retire to a new home

By Terry Kovarik              

After nearly 90-years of service, the Fresnel lens in the Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse is about to retire to a new home in town. By months end, the lens will be removed from the lighthouse and moved to the Kewaunee County Historical Society on Ellis Street. Jayne Conard, President of the Friends of the Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse, says while the lens's working life is over it will still offer some illuminating maritime history in its new home.



The Kewaunee Pierhead Light's Fresnel lens is one of seventy still in operation in the United States and one of 16 on the Great Lakes.

Local dairy farmers should see hope for the future with new trade agreements

By Terry Kovarik              

Local dairy farmers should expect higher prices for their milk, cheese and other products under the new US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. The new pact, which replaces NAFTA, would open markets for U.S. dairy products in Canada. It would eliminate a program that Canadian vendors used to sell certain dairy products in Canada and abroad. Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Aerica Bjurstrom says the new agreement is the right move for local farmers, though the benefits could be a while in coming.



The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement also creates a list of cheese types that can be marketed and sold without restrictions in their respective countries.

Water scam leaks into Sturgeon Bay

By Tim Kowols       

Calls from an out-of-area water service company are causing headaches for property owners in Door and Kewaunee Counties.  Recently, some Sturgeon Bay homeowners received flyers and postcards to get a free water test. In exchange for some freebies and a potentially big pay day, they were given a high-pressure sales pitch for overpriced water softeners and drinking systems. The scam has even made its way into the Fox Cities. Culligan of Sturgeon Bay owner Jeff Tebon says people should only deal with licensed plumbers and water professionals they can trust.

Tebon encourages residents to bring a water sample to his Sturgeon Bay shop to have it tested if they believe they are being lied to and being pressured into new equipment.

Curtains soon to close for Northern Sky Theater run at Door Community Auditorium

By Tim Kowols       

It will be the end of an era when the last notes of "Muskie Love" are played later this month as the musical closes at Door Community Auditorium. After 10 years of making the Fish Creek facility its fall home, Northern Sky Theater will move to its own creative campus just a few miles away next year. Artistic Director Jeffrey Herbst says the Door Community Auditorium has been a fantastic host for the past decade, it just was not theirs.

"Muskie Love," Northern Sky Theater's take on Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, runs through October 20.

Sturgeon Bay Common Council to consider loan extension for a downtown restaraunt-bar

By Terry Kovarik              

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will consider a motion to approve a loan extension for The Door County Fire Company restaurant. The current owners reopened the 3rd Avenue eatery in 2013 with help from the city's revolving loan fund. Council member David Ward says the loan extension is the equivalent of a homeowner refinancing a mortgage.



The motion to approve the Door County Fire Company's loan keeps the current interest rate at 3-percent over five years with a 10-year amortization period.  Payments would be made directly to the City of Sturgeon Bay. All other loan terms and conditions would remain the same.

Kewaunee fishery open house lures fall visitors

By Tim Kowols       

The Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility in Kewaunee is giving visitors an inside look at their daily operations with an open house Saturday. Among the activities slated are guided facility tours, salmon spawning and egg collection, and other demonstrations. Facility manager Mike Baumgartner says the adopt-a-sturgeon activity gives a unique connection to the fish.

The open house runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is free to attend. The Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility is operated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  You can find more information about the event online with this story.

Why Be A Builder-A Career Series

By Terry Kovarik              

Carpentry is in Eli Phillips' DNA. He worked with his father, who was an independent contractor working on small projects. Phillips had bigger goals and set out on his own.



Phillips knew that he had to start with the basics, get some education in the process and build up his career. It was a long process that's been very worthwhile.



Eli Phillips recommends his career to any young person who likes working with their hand. He adds the intangible benefits keep him going.



Phillips will never forget the lessons he learned from his father because he works for Eli as a foreman.

Design work proceeding for Cana Island Lighthouse projects

By Terry Kovarik              

Design work on an interpretative center and restoration of the Cana Island Lighthouse near Baileys Harbor is moving forward. The Door County Facilities and Parks Department is working with Mayo Architects of Milwaukee on the engineering and architectural design documents for the planned interpretative center. Facilities and Parks Director Wayne Spitka says the county is also working with River Architects of LaCrosse on the restoration of the lighthouse.



The design process on both projects will help determine cost estimates. While Cana Island is a county park, all restoration and improvement work is being paid for through private fundraising.

Door County Community Foundation still giving serious COIN to entrepreneurs

By Tim Kowols       

Despite it becoming easier for entrepreneurs to get loans from the bank, the Door County Community Foundation still hopes to help others realize their dreams. In cooperation with the Door County Economic Development Corporation, the Door County Community Opportunity Investment Network (COIN) helps provide micro-loans to businesses that may struggle to get financing through more traditional means. The Door County Community Foundation recently allocated an additional $250,000 for the program. President and CEO Bret Bicoy says the loans are based a lot on the character of the entrepreneur.

Bicoy says the recipients of the COIN program funds have always been able to pay back their micro-loans. You can learn more about Door County COIN online with this story.

Sturgeon Bay council members open to sidewalk costs incurred by city

By Paul Schmitt    

Keeping neighborhood sidewalks properly maintained is one of the concerns facing area municipalities, especially when it comes to accessing it on the taxes of property owners. Two Sturgeon Bay council members feel strongly that a funding mechanism must be in place if the cost for sidewalks would ever be paid by the city.  Council president Kelly Catarozoli says sidewalks should fall under the transportation system.


Catarozoli adds that Sturgeon Bay is focused right now on improving the streets.  Council member David Ward, who chairs the Finance, Purchasing & Building committee, says the recently approved Premier Resort Area Tax (PRAT) could possibly be a solution.   He adds that sidewalks are not the only concern when it comes to funding operations.


A poll question last week showed that of the 992 voters, 84% favored the city budget covering the expense of sidewalks while 16 percent voted that the property owner should pay.

Drivers warned to be aware of more deer activity

By Paul Schmitt    

With deer/vehicle crashes typically peaking during the months of October and November, area drivers are being advised to be extra aware on the roads.  According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, over 20,000 crashes between deer and motor vehicles resulted in nine fatalities in the state last year.  More than half of all reported crashes in Kewaunee County involved deer in 2017.  Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski suggests many deer accidents are caused by following other vehicles too closely.


Joski says limiting distractions in the car while driving can also save you some possible damage to your vehicle.

State parks in Door County say camping and visitations down slightly but finishing strong

By Terry Kovarik              

Two popular state parks in Door County remain popular destinations for campers although camping registrations were down slightly. Potawatomi State Park near Sturgeon Bay reports about 193,000 visitors overall from January through September 2018. That's just below the 202,000 visitors for the same period in 2017. While camping fees increased, Park Superintendent Erin Brown-Stender believes the decrease in camper visits is due more to a combination of timing and weather during peak uses.



Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek reports that overall visitor traffic, including campers, is on track to match the 1.3-million people from January through December of 2017. Park Superintendent Brian Markowski says special events helped keep visitor traffic steady.




Visitor traffic is expected to be strong for special fall events like this Saturday's Run Wild trail races at Potawatomi State Park.

A good economy is keeping local builders busy

By Terry Kovarik              

Local builders are finding more than enough work to stay busy going into winter. Business has been so good that some contractors are sending customers to other firms. That includes general contractor Eli Phillips of Alpha Through Omega Construction in Sturgeon Bay. Phillips says economic conditions and supply and demand have made this a strong year for his business.



Phillips says the only drawback he's had for this boom year is finding a few more qualified craftspeople for the projects that his company is working on.

Local golf courses show strong business and strong interest from young people

By Terry Kovarik              

Golf remains a popular sport and Door County courses managers say that's evident from this season's sales. Peninsula State Park Golf Course General Manager Jason Daubner says ideal weather conditions drew in golfers. That includes people who are new to golf and tried out their skills on the short course.



Jack Jackson, Managing Partner of The Orchards at Egg Harbor, is hoping, despite cooler and wetter conditions in the forecast, that this fall's business is as good as a year ago. Jackson says his course has benefited from strong interest from young people.



Jackson says such interest gives him confidence in golfing's future as a form of recreation.

Local domestic abuse advocates say Kavanaugh accusations prompting some victims to speak out

By Terry Kovarik              

Local sexual assault survivors are speaking out more since allegations of sexual abuse were made against Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Help of Door County, which provides services and programs to victims of sexual and domestic abuse, has not seen an increase in reports of assaults. Executive Director Steve Vickman says the organization is hearing from those who've kept their silence...until now.



Vickman bases that on responses to information Help of Door County has put out on social media and the number of people who've come into the organization's offices and spoken with staff members.

Loan debt continues to cripple today's students

By Tim Kowols       

With student loan debt reaching an all-time high of $1.52 trillion, it is hard to imagine it could get any worse. Forbes magazine suggests 40 percent of college students could default on their loans by 2043, with a million people doing so every year. Former We Are Hope, Inc. CEO Sandy Duckett points to a 2013 bipartisan law passed by Congress as the main culprit. While it gave students more time to repay their loans, it essentially doubled their interest rates. Duckett says similar to the recent passage of tax reform, repealing the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act could bring relief in a big way.

Duckett says while loan debt obviously has a negative effect on students, it is also having an impact on enrollment numbers at universities and colleges across the country.

Having a credit score an important facet of financial health

By Tim Kowols       

Even if you pay most of your bills with cash, it is not a bad idea to have at least a little credit along the way. According to a 2015 CNBC report, over 45 million Americans do not have a credit score at all. Many are teenagers who have not had credit extended to them because they never had a bank card or a car loan. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says not having credit can affect your ability to get loans down the road, especially if your partner enters the relationship with poor financial standing.

Pustaver says hard credit checks, which occur when you go from lender to lender trying to get a loan, could have a negative effect on your score. You can listen to the entire Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver online with this story.


Fall festivals excites Door County businesses

By Tim Kowols       

Two of the biggest weekends in the Door County fall tourism season are on tap this month with area businesses feeling the enthusiasm as well. Egg Harbor's Pumpkin Patch Festival kicks off this weekend and Sister Bay Fall Festival follows suit October 12th, 13th, and 14th. Wood Orchard Market partner Crista Kochanski says these two weekends are a big reason why October is their biggest month.

According to the Door County Tourism Zone, over $598,000 was collected last October, ranking it the fourth highest total in 2017. Room tax collection is just one indicator of the county's tourism numbers.

Work begins on a new electric power line for Washington Island

By Terry Kovarik              

Work is underway to replace the electric power cable that services Washington Island. The current electric line was damaged by late season winter storms. Contractors are starting their work on Plum Island. Washington Island Electric Cooperative Manager Robert Cornell says the project will start in the middle where the line from North Port to Lobell Point on Washington Island will meet.



Once the work on Plum Island is finished, barges will be brought in to start the process of trenching for submerged cable to Northport and Washington Island. Cornell hopes that work can be finished by November.

Luxemburg Speedway needs new promoters

By Tim Kowols       

The Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Department could begin the process of finding a new promoter for the Luxemburg Speedway as soon as the end of the week after the former organizers stepped down on Monday.  In a post on the Luxemburg Speedway Facebook page, Ron Cochrane and Eric Mahlik of Rock Em Entertainment thanked Kewaunee County officials, the fans, drivers, crews, and sponsors for their support during the last three years. According to Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Department Director Dave Meyer, the former promoters were up to date on their rent and simply declined to renew their three-year contract. Meyer hopes they can find a new promoter soon.

Rock Em Entertainment took over race promotion in 2016. Mahlik could not be reached for comment as of Monday morning.

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