Listen Live



Daily E-lert

News Archives for 2018-11

Sen. Frostman wants details of upcoming Special Lame Duck session

Phil Roeder / CC


By Paul Schmitt


State legislative leaders have announced that a lame-duck session will be held next week with hearings on Monday and vote potentially on Tuesday.  District 1 State Senator Caleb Frostman says he has not seen any bills but would be against any move of the presidential primary to a date between the February and April elections in 2020.  He is also concerned about a potential bill that would limit the new governor’s powers.





According to the Madison Capital Times, Republican State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald stated he believed that Supreme Court Justice Dan Kelly would benefit from changing the election date due to turn out for a Democratic primary race.

Gibraltar Area School District preparing for construction after referendum approval

By Tim Kowols


Shovels will not be breaking ground any time soon but there is still plenty of work behind the scenes going on to make improvements at Gibraltar Area Schools. The estimated $4.4 million referendum project was approved by voters earlier this month by a 70 percent-30 percent margin. The project calls for major improvements to the secondary school library and other renovations. Superintendent Tina Van Meer says some decisions could be made in January.





Van Meer credited the supportive community and the district’s staff with the successful passage of its two referendum questions.

Washington Island apiary creating a buzz about Russian honeybees

Jennifer C. / CC


By Tim Kowols


An apiary on Washington Island will begin a research project next year that could have an impact on the local beekeeping industry. Sweet Mountain Farm owner Sue Dumpke began her apiary on Washington Island about 10 years ago. In that time, she has noticed the resiliency of her Russian bees to handle cold temperatures and their infatuation with local lavender fields. Now she has 75-180 colonies producing between 2,000 and 3,000 pounds of honey a year in addition to the 100 colonies she sells to Wisconsin beekeepers. With help from researchers from UW-River Falls, Dumpke hopes to see the health benefits of lavender for her Russian honeybees as it relates to weight gains, honey yields, and winter loss.





Dumpke says interns will help her keep track of the health of Russian honeybees for the research project over the next two years.

Kewaunee County Sheriff thankful for warden presence

By Tim Kowols


Last week marked the first time in several years Kewaunee County had two wardens on duty from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. In addition to local mainstay Dave Allen, warden Jimmy Moore marked his first hunting season in Kewaunee County since being assigned to the area by the DNR. While it is important to self-police yourself during time spent outdoors, Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says Allen and Moore are great resources.





This year’s gun deer season was one of the safest on record, but Joski still expressed some disappointment in some of the decisions hunters made that are considered to be illegal such as shooting from the road. You can read the rest of Sheriff Matt Joski’s article online with this story.




The 2018 Gun Deer Season is now in the books and by all accounts, it appears to have been a successful hunt for many of those who participated. Thank you to all the hunters for making this another safe season. I would like to say that the gun deer season was without any issues; however that would not be accurate. While most of our hunters were able to engage in this popular tradition while staying within the guidelines of state regulations, some felt the need to engage in behavior which not only violates the law, but puts themselves as well as other members of our community at risk. While I am not a big hunter and have not harvested a deer since the late eighties, I know without a doubt that no deer regardless of size or rack configuration is worth jeopardizing the safety of others to obtain.


We are very fortunate to have had Warden Dave Allen as our local Warden for many years and even more fortunate that he has been joined by Warden Jimmy Moore who has recently been assigned to Kewaunee County. While these two gentlemen are great resources, they cannot cover an entire county with their presence at all times. It remains up to each of us as citizens to self police our own actions as well as to hold those accountable who would violate our laws and in doing so compromise the safety of our community. If you do observe any violations related to any of our hunting seasons, please feel free to call the DNR tip line at -800-TIP-WDNR.


Over the years the need to adhere to safe hunting practices has always been important, even when our area was limited to the use of shotguns during the deer season. With the addition of rifle use in Kewaunee County these safety precautions become that much more relevant as both the travel distance as well as penetration potential increases greatly.


I would ask that in planning for next year’s hunt, careful consideration is given to past practices and whether or not those practices are in fact prudent and whether or not those practices add to the safety of our community or detract from it. These are questions we should be asking ourselves to prevent a tragedy and not in response to one. We are better than that!


As for the impact on our car deer accidents, I did run a data check as of Tuesday morning at 8:00 AM and we are now tied with 2017 for car deer accidents to date at 412. Please drive carefully, maintain proper distance and stay alert!

Rep. Gallagher prepares for second term after hosting town halls

By Tim Kowols


Workforce concerns, health care, and even foreign policy are some of the issues concerning many residents in Wisconsin’s Eighth Congressional District according to Representative Mike Gallagher. Months before he begins his second term, Rep. Gallagher ruffled feathers in his own chamber in a recent editorial where he attacked the status quo in Congress by offering several reform-related ideas. He says it has opened the door to a broader conversation among liberals and conservatives to find common ground with respectful dialogue, something that was apparent in his recent town halls in Ashwaubenon and Appleton.





The time between Election Day and swearing-in ceremonies is giving Rep. Gallagher a chance to lay the groundwork for some of his other reform plans. Ideas to change the Congressional calendar and allow committee members to choose their own leaders have already been shot down.

Algoma teen opens business

By Paul Schmitt


Two goats and an FFA project later, 17-year-old Kyle Gau is opening a business in downtown Algoma.  Gau, a senior at Algoma High School, is planning a grand opening for his new “Waterfront Creations” this Sunday.  The storefront is located next to the BP convenience store on Fremont Street and Gau started making cheeses and yogurts which led to him to make lotions and other body products.   Gau says with the help of his father to work out the paperwork and instructors at Algoma High School in finding a location, he has realized his dream.  He shares how the idea to start a business came about.





Besides goat-based products, the new store will also feature dreamcatchers and metal art crafted by other youth from Algoma.  Gau is planning to attend UW-Green Bay next fall to pursue a degree in Environmental Science with hopes to work for the Department of Natural Resources in the future.   The pop-up store will be open for the entire month of December with plans to re-open in spring, according to Gau.


(photo submitted:  building owners John and Cathy Pabich giving keys to Kyle Gau)

Sturgeon Bay High School Choir performing "Handel's Messiah" at Weidner Center

By Paul Schmitt


For the first time in six years,  Sturgeon Bay High School Choir members will have the opportunity to sing on stage at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts at U.W. Green Bay.  The choir will be performing Handel’s Messiah along with University Singers, and the Green Bay Choral Artists while being backed by a full orchestra.  Sturgeon Bay High School Choir Director Leslie Hill says her students are looking forward to the challenge of “Hallelujah” and more.





The Handel’s Messiah performance will be Saturday night at 7:30 pm at the Weidner Center.  Tickets will be available at the door or you can order tickets with the below link.

Exercise and socialization important to extending life expectancy

By Connor Harbit


With the Centers for Disease Control announcing that the life expectancy rate in the United States has dropped over the past few years, some experts are advising older residents of Door County to take caution against living a sedentary or lonely lifestyle. A person concerned about his or her lifespan can take several steps to ensure they help swing the number back in the right direction. Christine Webb-Miller, the Active Older Adult Coordinator at the Door County YMCA, says it’s not just about getting vigorous exercise, but simply about getting out and doing some kind of moving around.





Webb-Miller also noted it is relatively easy to slip into a lonely lifestyle after losing regular contact with kids or a spouse, alongside changes in how Americans live and shop. To remedy this, Webb-Miller suggested finding a group of people in the community to keep tabs with and to hold oneself accountable for their day to day actions.

New Wisconsin veterans recruiting program helps local employers fill the skills gap

By Terry Kovarik


Returning veterans can learn about career openings in Wisconsin and help local employers looking for skilled workers. “Mission Wisconsin Talent Pipeline” is part of a nearly $2-million dollar national marketing campaign. Private companies that register with the program submit information about their job opportunities. Resumes from interested veterans or their spouses are returned to those companies. Jim Golembeski, with the Department of Workforce Development, says it’s an opportunity for employers to find employees with the skills the companies need.



“Mission Wisconsin Talent Pipeline” is a joint effort of the Department of Workforce Development, the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Kewaunee County Highway Department finds brine beats salt

Andrew Watson / CC


By Terry Kovarik


The Kewaunee County Highway Department has used brine solution over the past two years during winter storms. The salt-solution has been effective at keeping snow and ice from binding to road pavement. Other Wisconsin counties and Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation have had similar success. Kewaunee County Highway Commissioner Todd Every says while brine cannot be used in all winter conditions, it’s been a benefit to drivers and taxpayers.



Brine now has widespread use by county highway departments. The DOT says 63 of the state’s 72 counties used brine solutions for de-icing.

Giving Tuesday a success for Door County non-profit groups

By Terry Kovarik


Door County non-profit groups were among those that took part in the worldwide #Giving Tuesday fundraising campaign. Cinnamon Rossman of the Door County Land Trust says Giving Tuesday proved to be a great recruiting tool as well as helping to maintain the property in their nature preserves.



The Door County YMCA did better with this year’s Giving Tuesday. Y President and CEO Tom Beernsten says while the campaign provides just a small portion of the million-dollars it needs to operate annually it is a worthwhile effort.



The Tuesday after Thanksgiving event gives holiday shoppers a chance to give a little extra cash to local charities.

Sturgeon Bay's "dark store" fight not over

By Tim Kowols


Sturgeon Bay City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout is preparing for a second round of litigation over the assessment of the Wal-Mart property. The details are still being finalized on a settlement between the city and Wal-Mart to lower the property’s tax bill by employing what is commonly known as the “dark store theory.” Businesses across the state have successfully argued their property taxes be lowered based on the assessment of similar, but shuttered buildings. Van Lieshout says even with this agreement, there is still work to be done.





After Wal-Mart is refunded for overpaying on their taxes, Van Lieshout says the city will have to seek reimbursement from other taxing entities to help pay for its services. In the last statewide election, voters from 17 counties and six municipalities supported closing the “dark store loophole” in advisory referendums.

Community gathers for Algoma Performing Arts Center events

By Tim Kowols


The Algoma Performing Arts Center is proving to be a true asset for the community. Built in 1935 thanks in part to special programs created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Algoma Performing Arts Center went under a major $250,000 renovation in 2008 to preserve the structure used for school performances as well as traveling acts. In 2014, a private-public partnership was formed to ensure Algoma would be able to experience the arts in their own backyard. Algoma Superintendent Nick Cochart says that collaboration is a big reason why the Algoma Performing Arts Center is thriving.





The Algoma Performing Arts Center will next present “A Frank’s Christmas” this Saturday before playing host to pianist Mike Rector and the Algoma band and choir later this month.

Kewaunee pastor prepares for next faith journey in Canada

By Tim Kowols


The beginning of 2019 will be a new year and a new church for Immanuel Lutheran Church Pastor Michael Sullivan. He will say his last services at the Kewaunee church New Year’s Eve weekend before he heads to Divine Word Lutheran Church in Ottawa, Canada with his family. Sullivan says he has celebrated and mourned with church members over the course of his eight years as pastor for Immanuel Lutheran Church. He is confident the church and his family will be fine.





The move marks a return to Canada for Sullivan, who served a mission congregation in Regina, Saskatchewan prior to his arrival in Kewaunee.

Sturgeon Bay teacher receives recognition for agricultural literacy work

By Connor Harbit


Ashley Vanden Bush, a third-grade teacher at St. John Bosco in Sturgeon Bay, has been awarded the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s Outstanding Teacher Award as part of their “Ag in the Classroom” program. Vanden Bush, who was unaware that she was going to be receiving the award, repeatedly demonstrated a focus in using agriculture resources in her lesson plans. She had also been active at volunteer and teacher trainings, and had even given a presentation at Ag in the Classroom’s national conference. Ag in the Classroom Coordinator Darlene Arneson said Vanden Bush has continually helped educate children about the importance of agriculture when it was not required of her to do so.





Vanden Bush will next be Wisconsin’s nominee for the National Excellence in Teaching Agriculture Award and will also receive a $500 scholarship toward attending the 2019 Ag in the Classroom conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, next June. Ag in the Classroom is an initiative from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau that seeks to work with existing curricula to further educate students K-12 on the role of agriculture within the economy and society.

Ward named new Liberty Grove supervisor

By Tim Kowols


Cathy Ward can add a new title to her resume after she was appointed to be an interim member of the Liberty Grove Town Board on Tuesday. Ward is one of two Liberty Grove representatives on the Door County Tourism Zone Commission and also a member of ad-hoc committees for the town. Liberty Grove Town Chairperson John Lowry believes she will be a great replacement for the late Gary Farber.





Jim Brandt and Paul Schwengel also interviewed for the appointment, which runs until April 2019. Ward’s first action will come next week when the Liberty Grove Town Board looks over its town smart growth plan recommended for approval by the plan commission on Wednesday.

Final pieces nearly in place for Washington Island electrical cable

By Terry Kovarik


The end is almost in sight for the new Washington Island electrical power connection with the mainland. The new cable replaces an electrical line that failed in spring. Washington Island Electric Cooperative Manager Robert Cornell says the final pieces of the project, two reels of cable, will be shipped to the island this weekend.




Once the barge arrives, Cornell hopes the project will be finished in early December. That timeline, however, is dependent on the weather.

The Sturgeon Bay Finance and Purchasing Committee accepts Bay Loft Apartments proposal

By Paul Schmitt


In a meeting, Wednesday afternoon at Sturgeon Bay City Hall, the Finance and Purchasing Committee approved to amend a development agreement with The Bay Lofts Apartments.  A minimum $5 million assessment was needed for this year to trigger an 85% share back to Bay Lofts to pay back its initial development loan.  After discussion and input from City Community Development Director Marty Olejniczak , Chair David Ward made a motion that was approved unanimously to allow the Tax Incremental District (TID) 4 to pay Bay Lofts a share of $74,804.13.  He states that the City will still get the expected 15 percent share of $16,118.



Ward says he suspects the roughly $4 million assessment done earlier was based on the fact that the west side apartments were not full at the time.  He says the agreement will remain in place and that hopes are the assessed value will increase substantially next year to surpass the $5 million threshold.  The recommendation will now go to the Sturgeon Bay City Council at the December 4th meeting for final approval.


The full interview with David Ward after meeting.



Kuhns shares the background of new Pricing Carbon bill

Renata Avila / CC


By Paul Schmitt


A bipartisan Pricing Carbon bill that was introduced in the House of Representative on Tuesday has been in the works for one Door County environmental advocate and author the past twenty years.  Roger Kuhns, a geologist from Door County, is a member of the grassroots Citizen’s Climate Lobby group that is responsible for getting the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act crafted.  Kuhns says the organization helped to form the bipartisan caucus to get the bill introduced.  He explains the impact of the bill if approved.



The money would be returned to every household in America on an equal basis to cover the cost the transformation from a fossil fuel to a renewable energy economy, according to Kuhns.  He says the bill is unlikely to pass in the current Lame Duck Congress but would be re-introduced when the 116th Congress session starts next year.


For more information go to Citizens’ Climate  Lobby (CCL) website [­?innovation-­?act/]  for information on sponsors, a press release, full Bill text, and other CCL information.   And “Navigating the Energy Maze – The Transition to a Sustainable Future” by Roger J. Kuhns  and George H. Shaw [].

Conviction upheld in Door and Kewaunee salmon tourney cheating

By Terry Kovarik


The 2013 attempted theft conviction of a Sturgeon Bay fishing boat captain will stand. The 3rd District Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of Michael Cefalu. The conviction was the result of a one-pound lead weight being discovered in a salmon Cefalu and Orlynn Helt brought in during the 2013 Door/Kewaunee Salmon Tournament. Cefalu was convicted in 2016 and ordered to pay a $2,500 fine. Cefalu unsuccessfully appealed that conviction. J.J. Malvitz, President of the Sturgeon Bay Open Bass Tournament, supports the court’s decision. He says the actions of a few should not tarnish the image of all who fish and hunt.



Orlynn Helt, who caught the salmon that was weighted down, was convicted of attempted theft and paid a $1,000 fine. He was not part of Cefalu’s appeal.

Sturgeon Bay auto dealer says GM is right to eliminate some models

By Terry Kovarik


Jim Olson, the owner of Jim Olson Motors in Sturgeon Bay, is applauding General Motors decision to eliminate several passenger car models, including the iconic Chevrolet Impala. GM announced this week that the Impala, Volt and Cruise models were being cut from Chevrolet’s model lines. It’s turning it’s focus to SUV’s, pick-up trucks and crossovers. Olson says the company is JUST responding to what shoppers want.



Olson says GM has been offering up to 19 different models and is trimming those lines that just aren’t selling. He adds it doesn’t make sense to install upgraded technologies in vehicles that nobody wants.



Olson adds eliminating unpopular models means big savings in the design and development phases. He says it can cost up to a billion dollars just to bring a vehicle to market.

Sturgeon Bay looking at another step in hiring a finance director

By Terry Kovarik


Sturgeon Bay’s Personnel Committee is looking at another step in finding a permanent full-time Finance Director. The committee will meet in closed session Monday morning for consideration of the post. The Finance Director’s duties have been covered on an as need basis by a municipal auditing firm since Valerie Clarizio stepped down in August. Personnel Committee Vice-Chair Barbara Allmann says finding the right candidate has been a challenge, especially as winter approaches.



The city has also hired a headhunter to find qualified candidates. Allmann says the city with help from existing staff has been able to stay on track in crafting the 2019 budget.

Door County Sheriff-elect taking time to select Chief Deputy

By Terry Kovarik


Door County Sheriff-elect Tammy Sternard is not in a particular hurry to choose a new Chief Deputy. It’s been three-weeks since Sternard, who currently serves as Jail Lieutenant, defeated current Chief Deputy Patrick McCarty in the sheriff’s race. She says her decision will come in December. Sternard says there are other key positions that need to be filled first.



When asked whether McCarty might be asked to stay on as Chief Deputy, Sternard says she wasn’t about to discuss personnel matters.

Community steps up to help Brussels fire survivors

By Terry Kovarik


Carrie McIntyre’s family lost nearly everything when their Brussels home caught fire Thanksgiving weekend. Now their losses are being offset by community support that’s helping them rebuild their lives.



Geneva McIntyre, Carrie’s daughter, is studying to be a certified nursing assistant at NWTC and lost all of her study materials the fire. Her classmates and the school are making sure she stays on track with her studies.



A fund to help the McIntyre family has been set up at the Nicolet Bank office in Brussels.

League of Women Voters holding Election Day post-game conference

League of Women Voters of California LWVC / CC


By Connor Harbit


The League of Women Voters of Door County is partnering with County Clerk Jill Lau to hold a “post-game” discussion of how Election Day went November 6th. The informal event will have no set presentation, but will rather be an open-ended, question-based talk during which Lau will answer any questions or concerns voters may have had about the election. Lau said she believes she was chosen to lead the discussion due to her experience at multiple levels of government.





The event is scheduled for Thursday at 5 p.m. at the Stone Harbor Restaurant.

Kewaunee County reaching out to eliminate invasive species

Michele Dorsey Walfred / CC


By Paul Schmitt


The Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission (RPC) is looking to gain more permission of landowners to control the spread of invasive species in Kewaunee County.  Through the funding from the EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the Bay-Lake RPC is treating at least 1,000 acres of invasive Phragmites, Wild parsnip, and Japanese knotweed in Kewaunee County the next two years.  Natural Resources Planner Angela Kowalzek-Adrians says their project goal requires a twofold outreach to the public.





She adds that invasive species like Phragmites devalues property as well as makes it difficult for animal habitat to thrive.  You can find a link to report invasive species and the landowner permission form below.


Click here to download permission form to have invasive species removed from your land:


Click here to report invasive species in Kewaunee County:


Kewaunee County Invasive Species online app

Ray Vandenhouten remembered as soft spoken, well-respected businessman

By Paul Schmitt


The long-time owner of Van’s Lumber in Dyckesville, Ray Vandenhouten Jr., is being remembered for his commitment to community, customers and employees.  Vandenhouten, 81, passed away Sunday evening at a Green Bay hospital.  He worked at Van’s Lumber, a business his father Ray, Sr. started in the early 1950s, before taking ownership from 1977 until 2007.  Mark Porath, who has worked at Van’s Lumber for the past 40 years, says Vandenhouten was a true business leader that believed in building relationships.





Porath adds that even after retirement, Vandenhouten would still stop in at Van’s Lumber daily to visit with employees and customers.   You can find the complete obituary for Ray Vandenhouten, Jr. with this story online.


Raymond “Ray” J. VandenHouten Jr., 81, Dyckesville, died on Sunday evening with his family at his side, November 25, 2018, at St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay. He was born in Kewaunee County on August 27, 1937 to the late Raymond J. VandenHouten Sr. and Helen T. (De Bauche) VandenHouten. Ray graduated from Luxemburg High School where he was a three-sport athlete, later receiving the Luxemburg-Casco School Alumni Award. He served his country in the United States Army Reserves between the years of 1955 and 1962. On August 30, 1958, he married Patricia “Pat” A. Bertrand at St. Mary Church in Luxemburg. Ray began his career at Van’s Lumber & Custom Builders, taking ownership in 1977 until his retirement in 2007. He was very instrumental in building the business to where it is today. Through his loyalty and generosity, he helped many others achieve business success. Ray was a member of St. Louis Church in Dyckesville. Truly a man who gave back to his community and his parish. He loved spending time with his family and was very proud of raising six sons.


Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Pat, and their sons, Mark (Deborah) VandenHouten, Hobart; Craig (Christine) VandenHouten, Green Bay; Randy (Christine) VandenHouten, Grafton; Chris (Brenda) VandenHouten, Luxemburg; Eric (Michele) VandenHouten, New Franken; Kurt (Marci) VandenHouten, Green Bay; 17 grandchildren, Madeline (Brendan McCoy), Molly, Jason, Kelsey, Alex, Chloe, Erica (Cory Schmidt), Lauren, Chad, Josh, Emily, Lydia, Abby, Ty, Riley, Delaney, Carson; two sisters in law, Jan VandenHouten, Casco; Ann VandenHouten, Luxemburg; sisters in law and brothers in law, nieces and nephews further survive.


Ray was preceded in death by one infant son, Joseph; two brothers, Wayne and Jim VandenHouten.


Friends may call at St. Louis Church, Dyckesville, 3:00 to 7:00 pm on Thursday, November 29, 2018. Closing parish prayer service with Pat Ratajczak, Pastoral Leader at 7:00 pm. Visitation will continue between 9:00 am and 10:45 am on Friday, November 30, 2018, at St. Louis Church, Dyckesville. Funeral 11:00 am on Friday, with Rev. John Van Deuren officiating and Pat Ratajczak assisting. Entombment in the Shrine of The Good Shepherd Mausoleum, Green Bay.


McMahon Funeral Home, Luxemburg is assisting the VandenHouten Family.


We are very grateful for the staff of St. Vincent Hospital and Unity Hospice for their care and compassion during the difficult time.


In Lieu of flowers and other tributes, several memorial funds will be established in the name of Ray VandenHouten.

Tommy Thompson receives WBA Distinguished Service Award

By Paul Schmitt


Former Governor and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson will be presented with the first-ever Wisconsin Broadcasters Association’s Distinguished Service Award.  Nominated by Nicolet Broadcasting President and former WBA Board Chair Roger Utnehmer, Thompson will receive the Distinguished Service Award in January at the WBA Winter Conference.  Utnehmer says Thompson was always fair and accessible to the media.






Utnehmer adds that Thompson reached across the political aisle to get things done in Wisconsin.





Thompson served as Governor of Wisconsin from 1987 to 2001 and as the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services from 2001-2005 under George W. Bush.

Door and Kewaunee County corn and soybean harvests defying a wet Fall

United Soybean Board / CC


By Terry Kovarik


Door and Kewaunee County farmers have defied adverse weather to bring in the majority of their corn and soybean harvests. Even with a rainy and, at times, snowy autumn yield losses remain low. Adam Barta of Rio Creek Feed Mill says overall the quality of the corn and soybean crops are working in favor of farmers.



Barta says corn drying at Rio Creek Feed mill will likely continue to the end of December.

Sturgeon Bay auto repair shop busy with post-hunt deer collision damage

rubey_kay / CC


By Terry Kovarik


One local business is still profiting from the nine-day firearms deer hunt. Sahs Auto Incorporated of Sturgeon Bay is seeing steady work repairing damage from vehicle-deer collisions. While the shop sees deer damage year round, company President Randy Sahs says the current workload should peak soon.



The cost of deer hits continues to rise. A State Farm survey finds that the average cost to repair deer damage to a vehicle was about $4200 dollars per claim last year compared to just under $4000 in 2015.

A local hunter safety instructor says hands-on training needed for firearms

John Beagle / CC


By Terry Kovarik


A longtime hunting safety instructor from Sturgeon Bay believes hands-on firearms training is a key to ensure fewer hunting accidents. The Department of Natural Resources is calling the 2018 firearms deer season the safest one ever. Only three non-lethal hunting accidents were reported. That follows a trend that started in 1985 when hunting safety education became mandatory. Jay Chaudoir, of Sturgeon Bay Hunter Education, says the current system of teaching hunting safety through a DNR online program just isn’t enough when it comes to handling firearms.



A separate hunter safety program was held at Sturgeon Bay High School prior to the firearms deer hunt. Chaudoir says an instructor who has worked with him in the past and attended that session called it one of the best safety training programs he’s seen.

Athletic Directors having little problems finding referees for high school contests

By Connor Harbit


Despite problems across the United States in retaining and contracting referees, Door County athletic directors have said they haven’t had many problems in making sure their bases are covered for the winter season. In the Packerland Conference and other conferences across the state, all varsity contests are contracted before the season by outside parties. Southern Door Activities Director Korey Mallien said that only games added late to the schedule, particularly junior varsity games, posed any problem for him.





Mallien also noted that most referees in the area seem to be middle-aged, something that Sturgeon Bay Athletic Director Todd Meikle said he remedied by recruiting close to home.





Something both Meikle and Mallien both alluded to was the sometimes difficult task in getting volunteers to help with other game day tasks.

Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County president to step down

By Tim Kowols


Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County President Bob Garfinkel plans to still be a major part of the organization he helped create even after he steps down from the post at the end of the year. Over 300 people have enrolled in tutoring classes provided by Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County in the 12 years Garfinkel guided the organization. Celebrating with students as they became official U.S. citizens is among the many highlights Garfinkel was able to experience.





Garfinkel says he will remain on the organization’s board of directors and continue to chair one of its major committees. Earlier this fall, University of Wisconsin- Green Bay Chief of Staff Ben Joniaux was elected as Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County’s new president.

Ephraim, Baileys Harbor host holiday events

By Tim Kowols


Santa Claus Lane will be on both sides of peninsula this weekend as Ephraim and Baileys Harbor host holiday events. “Harbor Holiday” features a parade leading up to the tree lighting and party at the Baileys Harbor Town Hall. “Christmas in the Village” opens the doors of the Ephraim Village Hall, Door County Library, and Ephraim Moravian Church for a variety of holiday activities all day long. Ephraim Business Council Tourism Administrator Lane Sauve says it is great to see the entire village get involved for its events.





Both events take place this Saturday. You can find schedules for both Harbor Holiday and Christmas in the Village online with this story.



Christmas in the Village is right around the corner!

Posted by Ephraim - Door County, Wisconsin on Friday, November 16, 2018


Getting in the Holiday Spirit! See you Saturday, December 1st! 4:30pm Parade Set Up at Post Office 4:45pm PARADE &...

Posted by Baileys Harbor, Door County on Sunday, November 25, 2018

Historic bell reawakened after a decade of silence

By Connor Harbit


For the first time in nearly a decade, the “Old Bell” Tower rang out once more. Due to the efforts of the Door County Community Foundation, the 118-year old bell rang 12 times at noon before going through a variety of songs including “America the Beautiful” and “On Wisconsin.” Bret Bicoy, President and CEO of the Door County Community Foundation, said that fixing the bell was important as it gives Sturgeon Bay a sense of community moving toward the future.





The bell will ring from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with the bell playing “On Wisconsin” on Wisconsin Badger game days. The historic bell originally hung in the Bank of Sturgeon Bay clock tower which had been erected in 1900 but was removed in 1946 after the structure had weakened. In 1990, the bank reacquired the bell and built the “Old Bell” tower across the street from its original location.

Door County taking a look at kayak access points along the Ahnapee Trail

By Tim Kowols


Kayakers could soon have new points of entry along Door County’s portion of the Ahnapee Trail. Door County’s Parks Department and Soil and Water Department are involved in the preliminary assessment of what can be done in the area between Lake Michigan and the Forestville Dam. The additional access points would be along the Ahnapee Trail and give kayakers new areas to launch. Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says it is just another way it can capitalize on the area’s natural beauty.





Since discussions are in their preliminary stage, Pabich says no budget for the project has been set. Residents wanting to provide feedback on the potential project are encouraged to contact the Door County Parks Department with their thoughts.

Farm Technology Days committee announces scholarship program

By Tim Kowols


Three days in Algoma last year continue to have a positive impact in Kewaunee County after the Farm Technology Days committee announced its scholarship program. For at least the next 10 years, the Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days Scholarship Committee will award $6,000 in scholarships annually to students graduated from one of the area’s six area high schools enrolled in post-secondary education. Two months after committees reviewed 44 grant applications for organizational needs, FTD Executive Chairperson Amber Hewett says she is excited to help more community members.



The scholarship program is part of the $250,000 the FTD Committee will award for various causes thanks in part to last year’s successful event. Hewett says it will announce grant recipients at the end of December. You can learn more about the scholarship program and how to apply online with this story.



More exciting news from Farm Technology Days!

Posted by Kewaunee County UW-Extension Ag Program on Monday, November 26, 2018

Update: Missing Forestville man found


By Tim Kowols and Terry Kovarik


Extensive ground searches successfully led to locating a missing Village of Forestville man.  51-year-old Timothy Wessel was found in the village Monday afternoon after an all-night search of the village and the Township of Forestville.   Wessel went out for a walk Sunday afternoon and failed to return home.  Members of the Southern Door Fire Department and 100 volunteers, the Door County Sheriff’s Department K9 Unit, Door County Emergency Services, the Civil Air Patrol and the Department of Natural Resources conducted the search.  Wessel was taken to Door County Medical Center for observation after being exposed to the elements for over 24-hours.  The Door County Sheriff’s Office thanks all who helped in the search.



Posted by Door County Daily on Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Door County schools participate in Challenge Day program

By Paul Schmitt


Three schools in Door County are participating in the international Challenge Day program for the first time this week.  The six-hour workshop is facilitated by emotional learning experts to transform through compassion.  Sturgeon Bay schools chose their junior class to participate on Monday, while Sevastopol is Tuesday and Gibraltar will be Wednesday.  Sturgeon Bay School counselor Jennifer O’Handley shares what the Sturgeon Bay students experienced.





O’Handley says she was impressed with the level of courage and openness the student body participated in the Challenge Day.  She says donations were made around Door County to bring the program to the three schools.

Egg Harbor fire chief shares tips on Christmas tree safety

Amy / CC


By Paul Schmitt


As many families take part in putting up fresh Christmas trees in their homes, local fire department officials remind people to take precautions to prevent a disaster.   According to the National Fire Protection Association, Christmas trees alone result over 14 million dollars annually in property damage.  Egg Harbor Fire Chief Steve Schopf shares some safety tips.



When decorating the tree, Schopf recommends using the new LED lighting which is much cooler than the old incandescent lights.  He says always turn off all lights before going to bed.  You can find more fire safety tips for your home below.

Algoma Community Caroling brings holiday spirit to homebound

Kevin Dooley / CC


By Paul Schmitt


Three local organizations are working together again to help spread the holiday spirit in Algoma.  Kindness Matters, Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce and the Algoma Youth Club will be sponsoring a community caroling.  On December 19, volunteers will sing and give cookie plates to those who are homebound in the area.  Sara Krouse of the Algoma Chamber says bringing the caroling tradition back to Algoma worked great last year.



Nominations of people in the Algoma area that would like to receive caroling should be done by contacting the Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce before December 15.  You can find more information about participating in the Algoma Community Caroling with this story online.


Sturgeon Bay business score on the first holiday shopping weekend

Kasia / CC


By Terry Kovarik


The first holiday shopping weekend is one for the books according to downtown Sturgeon Bay businesses. The Sturgeon Bay Visitors Center says merchants reported customer traffic was far better than expected. Rob Paul, the owner of Shirts N Bay & More on Third Avenue, was marking his second Thanksgiving weekend in business. He says more people were just in the mood to shop last weekend.



Paul says he expects the momentum to continue as Christmas approaches.

Meeting set for Tuesday as Luxemburg Speedway continues search for new promoter

By Connor Harbit


A meeting for Tuesday has been set for a group that has previously expressed interest in taking over the promoter position at Luxemburg Speedway. For the last month, the Kewaunee County Promotions & Recreation department has been searching for any group interested in taking the spot. Depending on Tuesday’s meeting, the department will either make a recommendation toward putting together a contract or send out another request for proposals. Regardless of the result, Promotions & Recreation Director Dave Meyers said the toughest challenge facing the new promoter will be the initial set-up.





The search officially began early October after previous promoters Eric Mahlik and Ron Cochrane announced their intention to step down from the position after three years. The track drew an average attendance of 1,250 over those three years and brought in about 125 cars each event.

A Door County pantry needs a few Santas for local families

By Terry Kovarik


Feed and Clothe My People of Sturgeon Bay is offering you a chance to play Santa for some local families. The Sturgeon Bay pantry is looking for volunteers to buy gifts for families who might otherwise have nothing to put under the tree for their kids. Pantry volunteer Nancy Skadden says the gift buying process is simple.



Feed and Clothe My People is also looking for volunteers who’ll donate turkeys, hams or other foods for holiday meals. For more information on Feed and Clothe My People, click here.

Meat processors get Hunt for Hungry venison ready for pantries

By Terry Kovarik


Local meat processors are busy preparing deer taken during the nine-day gun season including venison donated through the Hunt for the Hungry program. Hunters have the opportunity to give extra deer they’ve bagged to stock local food pantries. Steve Haberli, owner of Haberli Deer Processing in Sturgeon Bay, says he’s received 37 donated deer, so far, and expects a few more.



Once he’s finished, the ground venison is divided between Lakeshore CAP and Feed and Clothe My People pantry in Sturgeon Bay.

Liberty Grove chairperson asks residents to weigh in on town's smart growth plan

By Tim Kowols


Residents in the town of Liberty Grove can weigh in on its future Wednesday night during its smart growth plan hearing. The smart growth plan looks at a variety of factors the town must consider in the future including housing, transportation, economic development, and intergovernmental cooperation. Town chairperson John Lowry hopes residents speak up on the changes going on in the community and what they would like done to address them.





The Liberty Grove Plan Commission will hear comments from the community on its smart growth plan beginning at 7 p.m. at the town hall. On Tuesday night, the town board will interview three candidates for its open supervisor position. Lowry expects a decision will be made immediately after the interviews take place.

Couples and money often cause trouble

By Tim Kowols


Sturgeon Bay’s Money Management Counselors is making sure couples in Door and Kewaunee counties do not become another statistic when it comes to money. According to, money is second only to infidelity for the leading cause of divorce in the country. Different spending habits and financial goals often provide couples a hurdle they do not wish to address together. Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors says the holidays provide a great opportunity to sit down with their partner and talk out their issues.




Pustaver recommends people meet with Money Management Counselors to have a judgment-free, third-party help sort out the money issues that may exist. You can listen to the entire Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver online with this story.






Circulating nomination papers easier than you think

By Tim Kowols


Citizens can pick-up and begin circulating nomination papers beginning next Monday for races in Door and Kewaunee counties. Seats on city councils and town and county boards are just some of the positions up for grabs for the spring election in April. City of Kewaunee Clerk Terri Decur says getting enough signatures for the position you want is the only hard part.





Decur recommends candidates get a couple extra signatures just in case any are deemed invalid. Nomination papers are due back to the clerk’s office of your municipality by January 2nd at 5 p.m. If needed, a spring primary would take place on February 19th before the election on April 2nd.

Sturgeon Bay City Council member proposes a vote on marijuana



By Terry Kovarik


Sturgeon Bay City Council member Seth Wiedranders wants city voters to have their say on whether Wisconsin should legalize marijuana. He plans to bring that proposal before the city’s Protection and Services Committee, of which he’s a member. Wiederanders’ proposal would be similar to the one the Door County Board of Supervisors considered and rejected.



Wiederanders hopes to move his proposed non-binding referendum on marijuana legalization from the Protection and Services Committee to the full city council in time to place it on the April 2019 ballot.

Tariffs make Door County recyclables more expensive

Alan Levine / CC


By Terry Kovarik


Tariffs against nations engaged in unfair trading practices are making the handling of Door County’s recyclables more expensive. Recycled paper, plastics and metals used to be money makers for Door County. Steve Estes of Advanced Disposal says now that’s changed.



Door County has no recycling processing center of its own. All of those items have to be shipped to the Fox Cities.

Giving Tuesday a big push for local charities

By Tim Kowols


Charities in Door and Kewaunee counties hope to benefit from the publicity of Giving Tuesday. Following three of the biggest spending days of the year, Giving Tuesday began in 2012 as a way to celebrate the generosity of giving. Door County President and CEO Bret Bicoy says the extra push to support charities has been good for organizations locally.





According to, a total of $2.5 million was raised last year on the special day with the average gift around $120. We have a link to the Door County Community Foundation to learn more about how you can make an impact locally.


Learn how you can donate to local Door County charities by clicking here.

Help wanted in search for missing Forestville man


By Terry Kovarik


The Door County Sheriff’s Office needs your help to find a missing Forestville man. 51-year-old Timothy Wessel has not been seen since 4:00 Sunday afternoon. Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says Wessel was reported missing by his family.





Timothy Wessel is five-feet-eleven inches tall, weighs 185-pounds and was last seen wearing a brown Carhartt jacket, sweatpants and grey Nike shoes with orange stripes. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Door County Sheriff’s Office in Sturgeon Bay.

Healthy and safe walking possible at Crossroads during deer hunting

By Terry Kovarik


Strolling the trails at the Crossroads at Big Creek was relaxing and a little more secure this week as deer hunters took to the woods. People who wanted to get outside and enjoy nature safely took part in Crossroads “Health Hikes”. Sara and John Wagner of Clay Banks say they like to get out and walk daily close to home. They say the Crossroads health hikes offered a beautiful place to walk with some peace of mind.



Crossroads at Big Creek offers seven miles of trails that are open to the public year round.

Support your local snow plow drivers this season by backing off

Michael Pereckas / CC


By Terry Kovarik


Snow plow drivers in Door and Kewaunee Counties hope drivers will continue to make their jobs easier throughout winter. Highway department officials say drivers adjusted well to the changing conditions during the first snowfalls of the season this month. Door County Highway Department Commissioner John Kolodziej says drivers who give plow operators a little space during snowfalls are helping themselves and everyone else.



The State of Wisconsin is promoting safe winter driving November 26th as part of Snow Plow Driver Appreciation Day.

Historic bell ringing set for Tuesday in Sturgeon Bay

By Paul Schmitt


The historic bell tower in downtown Sturgeon Bay will toll again for the first time in nearly ten years.  The bell, which is located at the Community Foundation square on North Third Avenue, is set in the tower that is a replica of the original that was first constructed in 1900.  A special ceremony and bell-ringing will take place this Tuesday morning starting at 11:45 a.m.

Casco builder on preparing and protecting your homes roof for winter

Casey Fleser / CC


By Terry Kovarik


A leak in your roof discovered over the winter will need immediate attention even though roof replacement may have to be put off until spring. Eli Phillips, owner of Alpha through Omega Construction in Casco, says builders can patch the hole as a temporary fix. There are also some do-it-yourself fixes.



Phillps says when the heavy snows do come and you want to remove snow safely invest in a roof rake. While it can be rough on roofs, Phillips says it’s a better alternative to heater coils used to melt snow as it falls.



Phillps says any patching over the winter will be good for two months. He says after that replacement should be considered.

Sturgeon Bay Christmas tree vendor say sales and demand off to a good start

By Terry Kovarik


Christmas trees were also on the list for holiday shoppers over the weekend. Gary DeWolfe is selling Christmas trees on a lot adjacent to his store Mattress by Appointment along Highway 57-42 in Sturgeon Bay. He says sales are starting off strong because more people nationwide are buying natural trees. DeWolfe says his trees are fresh cut from Wausaukee and are a longer lasting species.



DeWolfe says he’s sold to visitors from Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois who like the bargain price of $50. Christmas trees in those areas sell for almost twice as much.

Survivor of Brussels home fire loses career study materials

By Terry Kovarik


A teenager whose family was left homeless by a Saturday morning fire that destroyed their home faces a costly career loss. Geneva McIntyre is studying to become a Certified Nursing Assistant through Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Her study materials were destroyed along with nearly all of her family’s possessions. McIntyre says while some of those materials are replaceable she may not be able to finish her course and that could be costly.



McIntyre plans to see whether she can get an extension on the timeline to complete her studies because of the circumstances.

Personal service and less stress draw local shoppers to Small Business Saturday

By Terry Kovarik


Sturgeon Bay and Luxemburg businesses found themselves to be shopping destinations for Small Business Saturday. Shoppers who wanted to avoid box stores or an alternative to online shopping made their way to smaller specialty stores. Novel Bay Book Sellers on Third Avenue in Sturgeon marked it’s first Small Business Saturday. Co-owner John Maggitti says his customers like not being in a rush.



Shoppers also found more personalized service on Small Business Saturday. Jerry Simonar, owner of Simonar Shell in Luxemburg, says shoppers like the way they’re treated even when getting fuel or service on their vehicles.



Other store owners say some new customers on Small Business Saturday have also gone on to become long-term clients.

Muzzleloader deer hunt tradition aids Peninsula State Park

Virginia State Parks / CC


By Terry Kovarik


The start of the muzzleloader deer hunt comes the day after the regular firearms hunting season ends. Muzzleloader hunters, however, have been busy at Peninsula State Park where they’ve been allowed to hunt deer during the nine-day firearms season since 1992. The hunt is limited to designated areas of the park away from non-hunting park visitors. Park naturalist Kathleen Harris calls it a tradition that helps protect the park.



In addition to muzzleloaders, bow and arrow hunters are also allowed in other designated park areas during the regular firearms season.

Crossroads at Big Creek shows some exclusive views from a Door County documentary

Phil Roeder / CC


By Terry Kovarik


The documentary “Wisconsin Home Town Stories-Door County” premiered at Cross Roads at Big Creek in 2016. Since then it’s been used by local historians and in local schools as a teaching tool. Crossroads Executive Director Coggin Heeringa says this weekend, however, visitors saw some exclusive footage left out of the original public television program.



Heeringa says the original documentary was beta-tested at Crossroads for a group of local historians to ensure it was accurate before it was broadcast.

Algoma residents set to participate in 3rd annual Freeze the Gain challenge this winter

By Connor Harbit


Algoma residents looking to either lose weight or maintain their current weight are challenged to “Freeze the Gain” this winter. The six-week challenge holds a different theme each week and is designed to help participants keep the pounds off over the busy winter months by providing tips, tools and resources. Jody Anderson, a registered nurse and community nurse activator, outlined some of the ways the program would assist its participants.





Weigh-ins for the challenge will be held November 26th through the 30th. Those who do weigh-in are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item or toiletry to be donated to the Kewaunee County Food Pantry. There will be a prize drawing at the end of the challenge for those who turn their weigh-in cards back in.

Clean Water Action Council to host managed grazing workshop

Michael Coghlan / CC


By Tim Kowols


Family farmers in Door and Kewaunee counties may be standing on the answer to some of their financial woes. Managed grazing can be better economically for family farmers who put a lot of time and resources into harvesting grains for their beef or dairy cattle’s feed. Clean Water Action Council President Dean Hoegger says managed grazing is also better for the environment.





Featuring experts from around the industry including UW Discovery Farms, the workshop will take place at UW-Green Bay on December 6th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration information is available online with this story.

Egg Harbor Lions Club donating $13,000 to local groups

By Tim Kowols


Often one food item or drink at a time, Egg Harbor Lions Club members were able to make a difference in a big way. The volunteer organization is donating $13,000 to several groups such as the Wisconsin Lions Club Camp and Feed My People Door County. The money was raised at local events throughout the year. Egg Harbor Lions Club Treasurer David Van Dyke says the difference they are able to make is worth it.





A full list of beneficiaries from the Egg Harbor Lions Clubs generosity will be available in the near future.

Fire destroys Brussel home and the family escapes

By Terry Kovarik


Investigators are trying to find the cause of an early morning fire that destroyed a historic brick home in Brussels. The house is located on Highway DK just across from the Belgian Historic Center. The Brussels Union Gardner Fire Department was aided by the Southern Door Fire Department in putting out the fire. The top floor collapsed into the ground floor. A man and a girl inside the home escaped without injury while a woman and a teenage girl were away at the time. The fire broke out around 4:00 this morning. Geneva McIntyre lives at the home and spent the night at a friend’s when her mother called.





A family dog and cat also escaped the fire while two other cats did not. Neighbors immediately began helping the family, which is also getting assistance from the Red Cross.

Musician Katie Dahl and friends feature Sit Around Singing next week in Sister Bay

photo courtesy of


By Paul Schmitt


Door County folksinger Katie Dahl is looking to bring generations together to experience the joy of song and fellowship.  Dahl will be hosting a third season of Sit Around Singing, a community-wide sing along gathering, with six dates in the next six months.  Dahl shares what people can expect when attending the musical event.





The first Sit Around Singing will be Thursday, December 6 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County in Sister Bay starting at 6 pm.  The singing season will take place every first Thursday of the month through May.

Expenditure restraint payment helps Algoma during budget process

By Paul Schmitt


A formula for state aid is helping cities like Algoma maintain or lower their tax levies while rewarding their fiscal restraint.  The expenditure restraint payment (ERP) provides unrestricted aid to qualifying municipalities that limit growth in spending.  City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says that can make a big difference for smaller communities like Algoma.





Wiswell adds the ERP is equivalent to the salary of a police officer and public works employee.  The City of Algoma will be hiring a new police chief for next year when the current contract with Kewaunee County ends next month.

Protect your pets from cold weather

OakleyOriginals / CC


By Paul Schmitt


With outside temperatures expected to be well below normal and freezing in the next week, veterinarians are reminding pet owners not to leave their four-legged friends outside too long.  Dr. Jordan Kobilca of Door County Veterinary Hospital and the Luxemburg Pet Clinic says when extremely cold temperatures arrive extra caution should be advised.



Dr. Kobilca also suggests checking your pet’s paws and stomach area to remove any ice, salt, and chemicals.  You can find cold weather pet safety tips for your dog with this story online.


Kewaunee County Food Pantry maximizing impact with cash donations

By Paul Schmitt


Helping out about 150 families every month, the Kewaunee County Food Pantry in Algoma is looking to stock their shelves for the busy end of the year.  President Ken Marquardt says the most needed items at the pantry currently are canned foods.  He offers another idea that can make even more of a difference.



Marquardt adds that the pantry will typically get five to six pounds of food for a dollar of cash donations.  The Kewaunee County Pantry is open on Monday and Wednesdays for food pick-up from 11 am until 1 pm.

Craft breweries staking their claim to Black Friday

Bernt Rostad / CC


By Tim Kowols


Thanks to craft breweries, grocery stores like Egg Harbor’s Main Street Market and Sturgeon Bay’s Econo Foods get a taste of the Black Friday shopping frenzy. The Black Friday tradition of breweries across the country selling specially aged beers dates back to Goose Island Brewing Company releasing their first iteration of its popular Bourbon County Stout in 1995. While thousands line up for hundreds of bottles in Chicago, distributors like Sturgeon Bay’s Flanigan Distributing only get a few cases a year for its region. Owner Brian Flanigan says he has never seen anything like it and it is only growing.





Flanigan says many of the places he distributed the popular Black Friday offerings at were already close to being sold out. Sipping through his own vault, Flanigan added he enjoys the complexity and smoothness of the beer varieties as they move through the aging process.

Early morning fire destroys Kewaunee County bar

liz west CC


By Paul Schmitt


A Kewaunee County bar and residence was lost to fire early Friday morning.  The Denmark Fire Department received a call at 3:50 a.m. of a fire at Sheila’s II Bar on the corner of Manitowoc Road and County J in the town of Franklin.   Denmark Fire Chief Dave Bilinski describes what transpired at the scene.



The Denmark Fire Department was able to extinguish the fire completely in about two hours.  The building is considered a total loss, according to Bilinski.  He says no cause of the fire has been determined as it is being investigated by the state fire marshal.

Be careful with money during start of holiday shopping season

By Tim Kowols


Santa is checking his list twice, so Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski is asking shoppers to do the same with their credit card statements. Thanksgiving weekend online spending topped the $20 billion last year according to while the Non-Profit Times says over $274 million was donated on “Giving Tuesday.”  Coupled with shopping at bricks-and-mortar stores, Joski says people should take a time out from their holiday shopping to make sure the numbers add up.



Joski also encourages people to shop and give locally so they make sure their generosity reaches their neighbors and to limit their exposure to fraud and scams. You can read the rest of Sheriff Matt Joski’s piece on holiday shopping online with this story.




As we celebrate Thanksgiving and wind down the Gun Deer Season, our thoughts will soon turn to holiday shopping. For many this has become as much of a tradition as the holidays themselves with coordinated shopping trips in the early morning hours of black Friday in search of those elusive deals. For others it may be the tradition of shopping at their favorite retailer and combining it with other favorite family activities. Regardless of how you decide to shop, be aware of the potential risks to both your property as well as your identity.


Personally I am a big supporter of shopping locally, not just because of the boost to the local economy, but also because you are less susceptible to fraud or scams. If you do find yourself shopping the old fashion way by going from store to store, make sure you keep the items you have already purchased out of sight. When purchasing with your credit or debit card keep it in sight as well. One of the common themes that run through the various credit card scams is that the card left the sight of the purchaser at some point during the transaction. Once you get home double check your balances to make sure no additional purchases found their way onto the card.


If you are of the new generation of shopping from the home computer, be aware of the risks this poses as well. Make sure you know the websites, or businesses you are purchasing from. Verify that they have a secured way of processing the transaction online. If you are purchasing from individuals online, do not send money until you confirm the delivery of the item. The use of paypal is also a great tool.


Many non- profit organizations use the holiday season to solicit funding. Again I would advise “Give Locally” this not only guarantees that your generosity will reach your neighbors, but will also limit your exposure to the risk of fraud or scams. If you receive a call for donations, and you are not sure of the source, asking for a call back number or follow up mailing will generate one of two things. If it is legitimate they will more than gladly assist in any questions you may have. If it is not legitimate you will probably be met with an abrupt hang up. Your persistence in demanding more information may make the difference between becoming a victim or not. Thank you to all who give of both their resources as well as their time during this season of giving!

Bittorf named first female officer of Egg Harbor Fire Department

By Tim Kowols


Overcoming a challenge is nothing new for Lieutenant Ashley Bittorf. The promotion to lieutenant made Bittorf the first female officer in the history of the Egg Harbor Fire Department. She has been with the Egg Harbor Fire Department since she was a senior in high school and has since joined Door County Emergency Services as a paramedic. Certified in high/low angle technical rope rescue training and fire inspections, Bittorf expects a learning curve to her new role.



Only 7.3 percent of firefighters are women according to the National Fire Protection Association, but Bittorf advises girls to use that as motivation to prove people wrong if they do not believe they can make it in the field.


Picture courtesy of Egg Harbor Fire Department Facebook page



We would like to CONGRATULATE Lieutenant Ashley Bittorf on her recent promotion. Her level of dedication to the...

Posted by Egg Harbor Fire Department on Saturday, November 17, 2018

Sister Bay, Egg Harbor mark start of the Christmas season

By Tim Kowols


Santa Claus makes his Egg Harbor and Sister Bay debuts this weekend as both communities host holiday-themed festivals. Egg Harbor’s Holly Days are already underway after kids were introduced to a number of different activities in the morning while waiting for Santa’s official arrival Friday afternoon. Sister Bay’s Capture the Spirit continues through Saturday after it hosts its own Friday afternoon slate featuring an appearance from Santa himself during the village’s tree lighting. Sister Bay Advancement Coordinator Louise Howson says Capture the Spirit is a great way to unofficially end a busy 2018 of festivals and events in the village.



Door County will still host a number of holiday events this year in Baileys Harbor and Ephraim. You can find full schedules of this weekend’s events online with this story.





Jacksonport Thanksgiving parade brings community together for good cause

By Connor Harbit


Door County residents gathered in force on Thanksgiving to attend the Jacksonport Thanksgiving Day parade and many decided to help a family in need as well. The 22nd edition of the parade was held with all proceeds from donations going to Paula Symons’ family and the purchase of Christmas gifts for area families. Event MC Craig Trost, despite normally living in Madison, has been helping with the event for around 15 years. He said the parade is ultimately a chance to bring everyone in the area together to support something great.





Symons, a school secretary from Sevastopol, has multiple plasma cell leukemia and her treatment requires extended stays in Milwaukee. Some floats and groups that marched in the parade included the state-champion Sevastopol 8-man football team, the local “Rednek Klub,” and the combined Sevastopol/Gibraltar marching band.

Luxemburg-Casco moving forward on Agri-Science program expansion

By Paul Schmitt


The Luxemburg-Casco School District is looking at a new Agriculture Department facility that would be built in the future near the high school.  School Superintendent Glenn Schlender says the plan would call for a separate building to accommodate a greenhouse and live animal lab.  He says they are in the early stages on deciding the best route to go.



Schlender says the school district is counting on contingency monies and funds related to work by Nexus Solutions.   Luxemburg-Casco passed two referendum questions last spring for $27.8 million in improvements including a new gym, new middle school building, and renovated technical and consumer education classrooms.

Holiday revelers begin season with a new tree

By Tim Kowols


Tree farms and lots in Door and Kewaunee counties expect to be kept busy this weekend as the holiday season gets underway. According to the Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association, the industry generates more than $16 million for the state’s economy. Aissen Tree Farm tagged and named hundreds of trees for families to harvest this year. Co-owner Tammy Aissen says there are some things you can do to make sure your Christmas tree lasts until Santa’s visit.



Aissen says if you are not ready to bring your tree into the house to keep it in a cool place off of the concrete so it can remain in a dormant state until it is time to bring it inside.

Northern Sky Theater "Home for the Holidays" with annual show

By Tim Kowols


Much like its last run at the Door Community Auditorium this fall, the curtains are closing for Northern Sky Theater and its performances at Old Gibraltar Town Hall. Artistic Director Jeff Herbst will be joined by Ryan Cappleman and Tom Donoghue for five performances of “Home for the Holidays” December 28th through 31st.  In its 13th year, “Home for the Holidays” is a collection of seasonal songs and humor. Herbst expects its final performances at the Old Gibraltar Town Hall to be bittersweet.



Northern Sky Theater also announced its 2019 slate this week. During its summer run at Peninsula State Park, Northern Sky Theater will feature the premiere of “We Like It Where?” and the return of “Dairy Heirs” and “Windjammers.” The fall musical, “Dad’s Season Tickets,” will be the first to be performed in the new creative campus theater opening in Fish Creek next year. You can learn more about this year’s “Home for the Holidays” show on December 8th at 7:30 a.m. when Northern Sky Theater is featured on WBDK’s Ask the Expert.

A Sister Bay youth who lost her father to cancer gets a needed scholarship

Sister Bay student keeps her dreams of being a teacher on track through UW-Madison's "Bucky's Tuition Promise" program.


By Terry Kovarik


A new tuition program at U-W Madison is keeping Mackenzie Straub’s dreams of becoming a teacher alive. Paying for college seemed to be out of reach when her father died from cancer and the family’s menswear store closed. Now, Straub’s dream is getting a big boost from Bucky’s Tuition Promise a program that provides free tuition to qualifying students.



To qualify, a student’s family income must be $56,000 or less. Straub also qualified for other scholarships and financial aid. Those are also factored in when the “Bucky’s Tuition Promise” aid is determined. Straub thinks that’s a good idea so the program can help other students.



The program will cover four years of tuition for Straub. That only leaves room and board to be paid for and she’s earning that over summer and during semester breaks. Click here for more information on Bucky’s Tuition Promise.

Timing, not staffing challenges local clerks

By Tim Kowols


A bounty of poll workers may be the silver lining for Algoma City Clerk Jamie Jackson if the state decides to add another election in 2020. Municipals clerks across the state are voicing their concerns about the Wisconsin Legislature’s plan to move the presidential primary to March, which would be in between planned election days in February and April. For absentee voting, Jackson says the time frame to send ballots out for the February and April elections is already very tight. She believes if it does happen, she will not have a problem getting people to work the polls one extra day.



The increased cost of hosting a third election in the spring is another reason why clerks are balking at the idea, while Democrats are accusing Republicans of trying to protect a state Supreme Court seat.

Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce honors Jerry Simonar a real long time business owner

By Terry Kovarik


The Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce named Jerry Simonar its 2018 Person of the Year. You could say it’s an honor long in coming because Jerry Simonar is 87-years-old and you cannot talk about business in Luxemburg without mentioning the Simonar family.



Even approaching 90, Jerry Simonar still puts in eleven-hours daily at Simonar’s Shell, which is close to the other businesses he started and watches carefully. He started Simonar Sports, which sells ATV’s and snowmobiles, after a visit north of the border.



Jerry Simonar says he hasn’t really thought about retirement but will likely give it some more serious thought when he turns 100.

Why Door County wants to thin the deer herd

Virginia State Parks / CC


By Terry Kovarik


Door County’s deer herd is too large to sustain at current levels. That’s why the Door County Deer Advisory Council recommended that the county be designated as a hunting area where the herd needs to be reduced. The determination is made by the Department of Natural Resources through census data, such as the ages of deer harvested and the ratio of bucks to does. Council Chairman Dick Baudhuin says reports of deer damage to private property also impacts the decision to thin the herd.



Baudhuin says that’s why each deer hunting license sold also allows for five antlerless deer to be taken. Once that bag limit is reached hunters can purchase additional antlerless permits for $12 each.

Bringing job seekers and employers together

By Tim Kowols


Employers in Door County are still trying to figure out ways to bring more workers to the area. Prior to the recent Manufacturing Day in the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park, the Door County Economic Development Corporation said more than 400 jobs in the field were available. Connecting manufacturers to an able-bodied workforce was a part of the reason The Joseph Project was created in Milwaukee with help from U.S. Senator Ron Johnson. The Joseph Project puts individuals through a four-day training to help them get the skills and the commitment to succeed. During his visit to the radio stations of last month, Senator Johnson said the program’s graduates in other markets are among the best entering the workforce now.



Green Bay’s St. John’s Evangelist Homeless Shelter is the closest Joseph Project site, but Senator Johnson says it hopes to branch out to other communities in the future.

Consumers warned to be careful when holiday shopping online

Widjaya Ivan / CC


By Paul Schmitt


With more people heading online to do holiday shopping and giving this year, law enforcement officials are warning people to make sure to carefully check over their monthly credit card statements.  According to the State Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, scammers are evolving and honing their crafts to find potential scams and exploits.  Online holiday scams often feature in-demand products like electronics and fashion items to attract your attention.  Scammers use fake websites, classified ads social media messages, and text and email blasts to trick you into downloading harmful malware.  Over 50 percent of consumers reportedly will shop all or a majority of their holiday shopping online.


Keep your online shopping experience safe by following these simple tips:


  • Update your device’s operating system and antivirus software before you start shopping.
  • Make sure a website is legitimate before ordering. Check for the company’s name, physical location, and contact information. Remember that identity thieves can create websites that mimic a legitimate business’s site, so don’t trust a site based solely on its appearance. Lastly, do some quick research see if there are any warnings about the site online and contact Wisconsin’s Consumer Protection Hotline (800-422-7182 or to see complaints have been filed against the business.
  • Avoid social media posts or emails that appear to offer free vouchers or gift cards – they often lead to online surveys designed to steal personal information.
  • When purchasing gift cards online, be leery of auction sites selling discounted or bulk gift cards – you may end up with cards that have been tampered with, have been used or that are expired.
  • Make sure you are on a secure site before you enter your password or any personal or banking information. Secure sites start with “https” rather than “http” (the “s” stands for “secure”).
  • Pay by credit card. If you use a credit card, federal law gives you the right to dispute charges if you report them to the credit card company within 60 days of receiving the statement.
  • Keep a paper trail. Print or save records of online transactions, item descriptions, and copies of emails sent between you and the seller. Carefully review credit card statements after the holidays to look for unauthorized charges.


For additional information or to file a consumer complaint, visit the Consumer Protection Bureau at, send an e-mail to or call the Consumer Protection Hotline toll-free at 1-800-422-7128.

Gibraltar One Acts ensemble repeats award sweep at state contest

By Tim Kowols


For the second year in a row, the cast and crew of Gibraltar’s One-Act Plays came home with a collection of awards from the state one acts contest. Held last weekend on the campus of LaCrosse’s Viterbo University, Gibraltar earned a critic’s choice award in addition to honors for outstanding ensemble, crew, and directors. Lia Smith also won an outstanding actor award. Director Lizz Thomas was impressed by how well the group did since they performed “Death’s Door,” an original work written by the students.




Gibraltar was one of only eight schools to earn a critic’s choice award at the State Theater Festival. Thomas says their focus will turn to May’s production of “Hello! My Baby,” a musical chosen in honor of Gibraltar’s 100th anniversary.

Door County YMCA offers first-ever Community Heroes program this month

By Paul Schmitt


The Door County YMCA is thanking some hometown leaders during the month of Thanksgiving with a new Community Heroes program.  All local law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS workers, and teachers can utilize the YMCA in Sturgeon Bay or Fish Creek at no charge for the rest of November.  Fund Development and Communications Director Kelsey Dorner says the YMCA is expressing gratitude to those sometimes overlooked in the community.



Dorner says if they decide to join they don’t have to pay for a joiner fee.  You can find more information on Door County YMCA programs below.

Area store owners say Small Business Saturday gives them a needed holiday sales boost

By Terry Kovarik


The Christmas by the Bay event already has Sturgeon Bay buzzing about the holidays. Downtown store owners want to keep the momentum going through national Small Business Saturday, which reminds people there are neighborhood shops with unique gift options. Door County Traders on Third owner Diane Rockwell says she saw her sales increase after last year’s Small Business Saturday. She says shoppers were attracted by what her store has to offer.



Rockwell says that boost in business was welcome during what would otherwise be a very slow time of the year.

Lions Club collecting Deer Hides for Camp

By Paul Schmitt


The Forestville-Maplewood Lions Club is in the process of collecting deer hides this hunting season.  The program runs until December 7 and helps to provide funds for summer camps for people with special needs.  F-M Lions Club member Tom Mueller says the deer hide program has really expanded the past few years.





Hunters can drop off deer hides off at the Mini-mart station on Green Bay Road in Sturgeon Bay, the Uni-Mart convenience store in Forestville and Door County Custom Meats.

Area retailers refunding romaine lettuce due to E. coli outbreak

By Paul Schmitt


Door and Kewaunee County grocers and restaurants are complying with the recommendation of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to throw away any romaine lettuce purchases.  On Tuesday the CDC warned consumers and retailers that at least 32 people in 11 states, including Wisconsin, have gotten sick since October from a strain of E. coli.  Sturgeon Bay Econofoods Store Manager Jon Calhoun says they are taking the food safety alert seriously and offering customers a full refund on romaine lettuce purchases.



No deaths have been reported yet and no recalls have been issued.  Consumers should avoid all types of romaine lettuce and salad mixes if possibly including romaine, according to the CDC.  Symptoms reported by those eating contaminated lettuce include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Sturgeon Bay granary on life-support

By Roger Utnehmer


Efforts to preserve Sturgeon Bay’s Teweles and Brandeis granary were dealt a serious setback by the city’s common council Tuesday.


By a vote of four to three a resolution that would have approved the granary being moved back to its original location on the west-side waterfront at no cost to the city was defeated.


The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society has received financial commitments of more than $1.25 million to preserve the granary. It was moved to the east-side waterfront after a raze order was issued by Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief Tim Dietman. That location, considered temporary, may not be available for long according to SBHS President Christie Weber.


Council member David Ward questioned the stability of the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society. Ward said a check of the Department of Financial Institutions records revealed that the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society is listed as delinquent.



Weber said the delinquent status was caused by the late filing of paperwork.



Council members Kelly Catarozoli, Kelly Avenson and David Hayes voted in favor of returning the granary to the west-side waterfront. Barbara Allmann, Seth Wiederanders, Laurel Hauser and David Ward voted no.


The exchange between Ward and Weber can be heard here



Luxemburg Area Chamber announces 2018 award winners

By Paul Schmitt


For the first time ever the Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce revealed their annual award winners before the formal presentation dinner in December.  Jerry Simonar was selected as Person of the year, Kathy Anderson was selected for the Community Service Award, and Cyndi Dart was chosen for the Spartan Spirit Award.  Chamber President Alex Stodola says the three winners are well deserving of the recognition.



Simonar operates Simonar Service and will be recognized for his lifelong business development in Luxemburg.  Anderson is the funeral director at McMahon’s Funeral Home while Dart is the Study Hall Supervisor Office Aide at the Luxemburg-Casco High School.  The three honorees will be celebrated at the Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s Christmas Party on December 1st at Northbrook Country Club.  Tickets for the dinner are $25 and are available at the Bank of Luxemburg.





(photos courtesy of Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce)

Small Business Saturday boosts Door and Kewaunee County stores during the holidays and beyond

By Terry Kovarik


The Saturday after Thanksgiving boosts sales for Door and Kewaunee County stores. Small Business Saturday falls between Black Friday sales at box stores and Cyber Monday for those who shop online. The smaller shops use the Saturday event to show holiday shoppers they have what the bigger stores just cannot offer. Tim Treml, President and CEO of the Bank of Luxemburg, says it’s those extras that appeal to shoppers even after the holidays.



Social media has also boosted Small Business Saturday sales by letting current and prospective customers know about sale items available.

Deer registrations for opening weekend up in Kewaunee County, down slightly in Door

Don Owens / CC


By Paul Schmitt


The numbers from the opening weekend of the nine-day gun deer season in the area was a mixed bag, according to the Wisconsin DNR.  Despite ideal hunting conditions, Door County hunters registered 29 fewer deer than last year.  1557 deer were taken this past weekend compared to 1586 in 2017.  The exact number of bucks was taken again this year, 848, in Door County.  Kewaunee County saw an increase of 5.3 percent of deer harvested on opening weekend with increases in both bucks and antlerless deer.  Statewide the deer kill was up 12.8 percent.  The nine-day hunt concludes this Sunday.


Here is a link to the complete state-wide breakdown by the Wisconsin DNR

Democratic state senator frustrated with potential changes to governor's authority

James / CC


By Tim Kowols


His time in the chambers will be brief after losing his re-election campaign earlier this month, but District 1 State Senator Caleb Frostman does not plan to go away quietly. Senator Frostman will have his first opportunities to cast votes as a member of the Legislature when it convenes as soon as next week. According to the Associated Press, limiting some of Governor-elect Tony Evers’ authority on some issues such as potential changes to the voter identification law and the 2020 Wisconsin Supreme Court election could be up for debate. Although he has not seen specific legislation yet, Senator Frostman plans to be vocal in his opposition to such proposals.



Senator Frostman will serve out his term before current state Rep. Andre Jacque is sworn into the seat in January. You can read comments from the Republican point of view online with this story.


Sturgeon Bay Republican Rep. Joel Kitchens says the Wisconsin Legislature is concerned more with protecting some of Governor Scott Walker’s reforms than taking power away from his replacement.  According to the Associated Press, Republican lawmakers discussed last week ways to limit Governor-elect Tony Evers’ authority to carry out passed bills and make changes to the state’s Foxconn deal and voter identification law. Rep. Kitchens says the governor’s powers are laid out in the state’s constitution and believes the topic has been overblown.



Newly elected state senator for District 1 and current Representative Andre Jacque declined to comment until he has more information.

Season of giving takes time for young children to understand

By Tim Kowols


Northern Door Children’s Center’s Karen Corekin-DeLaMer says patience and repetition are key when it comes to teaching young children to give back during the holiday season. The idea of sharing is a difficult concept for kids to truly understand until they are eight years old, so buying a special toy to donate to someone else could be confusing. Corekin-DeLaMer says kids learn through repetition and modeling after their family members.




She adds that storybooks are also a great way to show children the importance of giving in an easy to understand way.

Kewaunee looks for help with economic development plans

By Tim Kowols


With the harbor master plan and its industrial park as a canvas to work with, Kewaunee officials are looking for someone to take over the city’s economic development planning and grant writing duties. The city sought comments from the community earlier this year about its draft integrated plan, which included changes to its comprehensive, outdoor recreation, and waterfront proposals. Mayor Sandi Christman says hiring a community and economic development planner would be an important move for the city.



Christman says the first year of the salary will be covered by a Wisconsin Coastal Management grant.

Algoma School District to decide on revised school safety plans

By Terry Kovarik


The Algoma School District Board of Education will decide Monday whether to approve revised safety plans for the elementary and the middle and high schools. The safety plans are required to be revised yearly by the Wisconsin Department of Justice and are needed so districts can apply for safety grants. Business Manager Jason Melotte says those grants will help the Algoma district obtain and install “Raptor” an instantaneous background check system.



Melotte says among the changes to this year’s safety plans were the submission of each school’s blueprints and to the DOJ.  The board meets at 6:30 Monday evening at the district office on Division Street in Algoma.

Winter is coming and so are local parking bans

By Terry Kovarik


The official start of winter is still just over a month away. Area police departments are recommending that drivers start thinking in winter mode when driving and parking on community streets. Winter parking bans in Sturgeon Bay and Kewaunee go into effect December 1st. That means no overnight parking on Sturgeon Bay streets from 2:00 AM until 6:00 AM and from 1:00 AM until 6:00 AM in Kewaunee. Luxemburg’s parking ban, on the other hand, started November 1st from 2:00 AM until 6:00 AM. Police Chief Chris Gulbrand says with light snows so far he’s giving potential violators a break.



Chief Gulbrand reminds drivers that when heavier snows arrive and plows take to the streets anyone violating the parking ban will be ticketed.

Area students graduate from D.A.R.E program

By Tim Kowols


Students on Washington Island and in southern Door County are celebrating their successful completion of the D.A.R.E program. D.A.R.E, which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, is a donor-supported program for elementary aged children to learn about the perils of controlled substances, gang activity, and violent behavior. Juvenile Investigator Chris Neuville has taught the D.A.R.E. course at Door County schools for the last 15 years. He says teaching D.A.R.E. has become a passion.



Washington Island School held its D.A.R.E. graduation in October. Southern Door Elementary will host its ceremony on November 26th at 6:30 p.m. St. John Bosco students will celebrate their graduation of the D.A.R.E. program on November 28th at 9:15 a.m. Neuville says students at Gibraltar and Sevastopol Elementary schools will begin their D.A.R.E. coursework in January.

Holiday travel expected to be heavier than normal despite higher gas prices this year

Spanish Coches / CC


By Paul Schmitt


Local law enforcement is urging drivers to use care when traveling the highways during the busy holiday season which begins later this week.  AAA projects that 2.5 million more people nationally will travel 50 miles away or more from home than last year this Thanksgiving Day weekend.  Locally, Door County Sheriff Steve Delarwelle says drivers should plan ahead and take their time as well as remember the basics.



Although gas prices are 31 cents higher on average than last Thanksgiving, travel is expected to be heavier than usual, according to AAA.  Peak travel time is expected from 2 pm until 7 pm Wednesday.  You can find holiday road trip survival tips with this story online.

Town of Forestville holding budget hearing Tuesday

By Paul Schmitt


A special meeting by the Town of Forestville will take place Tuesday evening to finalize the 2019 budget.  The Town of Forestville will be receiving two local road improvement grants from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.  Loans were taken out earlier this summer in order to pay for the work completed, which is required prior to receiving the grants, according to Town Chair Roy Englebert.  He says the highway expenditures this year will not come due until early next year.



Engelbert says the report will show that the Town of Forestville will be getting more intergovernmental money than usual.  The public hearing on the 2019 budget for the Town of Forestville will begin at 7 pm at the Town Hall.  The special meeting of the electors will be held immediately after the public hearing.

Southern Door's musical "Mamma Mia" a huge hit

By Delilah Rose — Student Correspondent


Southern Door’s 2018 musical “Mamma Mia” has the county awed from the students’ performance. With a cast of more than 40 students on stage and another half dozen in the orchestra pit joined by enthusiastic adult musicians, came together and brought the romantic comedy alive through the knock-your-socks-off music of the Swedish pop group ABBA. The performances met the hopes of the students by close to selling out each night in Southern Door’s 600 plus seating auditorium.


Under the musical direction of Mrs. Wedyt, Mrs. Williamson, and Miss. Files, the choir and band collaborated in a production that rivaled a Broadway production. The countless hours of rehearsal invested by each and every cast member that started in August paid off tenfold.


The female leading roles were shared while the male roles were anchored by a core cast of four.


MaCayla Moore and Maggie Grotta shared the leading role of Sophie Sheridan, the 20 year old born and raised on a Greek Island by her American mother, Donna, the role shared by Shaina Skaletski and Mackenzie Finger. Both mother-daughter duo delivered a remarkable plot-pushed story of a wedding with a twist.


Sky, the romantic lead played by Dale Swanson, swooned for his soon-to-be-bride while weaving through scene after scene with Sophie’s three possible fathers played by Mathew VanderMeer, Joseph Feeney and Sean Hartford.


The boys of the show were the comedians that brought the house down when they arrived on stage dancing with feet clad in gigantic flippers for the “Lay All Your Love on Me” number.


The racier moments were hilariously performed by the visiting best friends Rosie, the down to earth played by Anna Alrand and Brittany Dantoin and Tanya, Jadacey Teska and Helen Parks.


The musical ran from Wednesday, November 7th through Sunday, November 11th, from dress rehearsal to the closing matinee performance the show wowed the greater community of Northeast Wisconsin.


(photo by Suzanne Rose)

Door County Land Trust to launch new member campaign

By Terry Kovarik


The Door County Land Trust is looking for some new hands to help with its preservation efforts. The group will soon launch a campaign to recruit 150 new members. The “Protect What You Love” campaign starts November 27th at the Twitter site #Giving Tuesday and runs through January 31st. Door County Land Trust Development Director Cinnamon Rossman says new members can make a big difference in efforts to preserve natural areas.



Rossman says among the new areas the land trust is working to acquire are sites on Washington Island and within the Gibraltar-Ephraim swamp. Membership funds help make those purchases possible.

Donors for Sevastopol School projects don't need to pay up right away

By Terry Kovarik


Those who pledged money for the Sevastopol Area School District’s building project have some time to pay off on those pledges. Therma-Tron-X, Wood Orchards and Sevastopol FFA Alumni offered to donate a total of just over $2-million if voters approved a $27-million referendum. Voters passed that measure and the school district is now working with financial advisors on the bonding process. Sevastopol School Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says the donations won’t be needed until actual construction begins.



Construction work on the Sevastopol School building project is set to begin in 2020 with completion scheduled by fall of 2021.

Local health departments recommend measles and chicken pox immunizations

Fort George G. Meade Public Affairs Office / CC


By Terry Kovarik


The Door County Health Department urges parents to have their children immunized for measles and chicken pox. That follows reports of higher numbers of infections nationally. The number of reported measles cases is up to 142 nationwide, compared to 120 for this time last year. Higher numbers of chicken pox cases have been reported at an Asheville, North Carolina school where vaccinations have been exempt. Door County Health Department Interim Director Susan Powers says immunization should be a parents priority.



Powers says if parents have any questions about measles or chicken pox vaccines they can contact the Door County Health Department on Nebraska Street in Sturgeon Bay or the Kewaunee County Public Health Department on Lincoln Street in Kewaunee.

Sevastopol Middle School tops in the state

By Tim Kowols


Sevastopol School District can boast the best middle school in the state thanks to recently released accountability scores from the Wisconsin Department of Instruction. Accountability scores consider four priority areas: student achievement, growth, closing gaps, and on-track/postsecondary success.  Twenty of the 24 public schools in Door and Kewaunee counties received accountability rankings of “meets expectations” or higher.  Sevastopol Middle School’s score of 97.4 was tops among middle schools and seventh among all levels in the state. Principal Adam Baier says he is most proud of closing gaps for special needs students.



The annual report cards assign scores to more than 2,000 schools and districts in Wisconsin receiving state aid. You can find a link to learn how your school did online here.

Good credit scores know no age

By Tim Kowols


Even when you are living debt-free, Sturgeon Bay-based Money Management Counselors is still telling consumers to keep a close eye on their credit scores. A recent survey showed nearly 30 percent of people had no clue what their credit score was with older adults knowing more than their younger counterparts. Young Americans are looking to develop a credit score for applications for car and home loans. Financial counselor Gay Pustaver says even if everything is paid off there are still reasons to pay attention.



Pustaver advises people to have at least one credit card that you use lightly and pay off quickly to keep your credit score at a higher range. You can listen to the entire Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver online with this story.






Counterfeit money found in Luxemburg

By Tim Kowols


Local business owners are being reminded to check their money as it comes in after a counterfeit $100 bill was caught in Luxemburg Monday morning. The counterfeit bill collected at a Luxemburg fast food restaurant was found thanks to their detection pen and key elements missing from it. Luxemburg Police Chief Chris Gulbrand says it is still early in the investigation, but it is a reminder for business owners to be vigilant heading into the holiday season.



Gulbrand advises business owners to mark any bill above $20 with their detection pens to make sure it is not counterfeit. You can learn more about security elements embedded in paper money online with this story.


This morning, a patron tried to pass a counterfeit $100 bill at a local fast food establishment. It was found to be...

Posted by Luxemburg Police Department on Monday, November 19, 2018

State Republicans look to set limits for Governor-elect's power


edward stojakovic / CC


By Tim Kowols


Sturgeon Bay Republican Rep. Joel Kitchens says the Wisconsin Legislature is concerned more with protecting some of Governor Scott Walker’s reforms than taking power away from his replacement.  According to the Associated Press, Republican lawmakers discussed last week ways to limit Governor-elect Tony Evers’ authority to carry out passed bills and make changes to the state’s Foxconn deal and voter identification law. Rep. Kitchens says the governor’s powers are laid out in the state’s constitution and believes the topic has been overblown.



Newly elected state senator for District 1 and current Representative Andre Jacque declined comment until he has more information. will reach out to area Democrats for their thoughts on the possible legislation.

Jet fighter trainer to be a veterans memorial along Highway 57 in the Town of Union

Ken Simonsen purchased this T-33 jet fighter trainer, which had been in storage and in pieces in Sturgeon Bay. He set it up outside his boat engine repair shop along Highway 57 and plans to restore its appearance as a personal veterans memorial


By Terry Kovarik


Ken Simonsen’s boat engine repair shop is taking on an aviation look. He recently set up a T-33 jet fighter trainer outside of his shop along Highway 57.  He heard it was in storage in pieces in Sturgeon Bay and was for sale.



Simonsen reassembled the T-33 in clear view of drivers on Highway 57. He has no plans to get the aircraft back into flying condition though he will restore it to honor all who’ve served.




Currently, the aircraft is decked out for Christmas with Santa Claus behind the controls in the cockpit. Simonsen says the most difficult job he’s had since he bought the plane is finding enough Christmas lights to cover it.

Community Thanksgiving dinner preparations underway at Sturgeon Bay Church

By Terry Kovarik


Sturgeon Bay United Methodist Church is wasting no time in getting ready for its 39th Community Thanksgiving feast. Church and community volunteers will start roasting the turkeys Tuesday, all 14 of them. Organizer Leslie Youngsteadt says she and volunteers thought they’d be preparing slightly less than that.



Wednesday will see volunteers peeling and cooking 150-pounds of potatoes, bringing in pies and quick breads and setting the tables. Youngsteadt says it’s all done to serve hundreds of people in the church and shut-ins who can’t make it.



The Sturgeon Bay United Methodist Church Community Thanksgiving Dinner is open to anyone and everyone in the area. Reservations are needed and are being accepted via telephone until the close of business on Monday.

Help of Door County assists domestic violence survivors in handling finances

By Terry Kovarik


Lack of money is no longer an obstacle for anyone looking to escape from domestic violence in Door County. Advocacy services offered through Help of Door County guide clients through the feelings of uncertainty when survivors go out on their own. Executive Director Steve Vickman says that includes financial help to get started and assistance with money management.



Help of Door County is located on Green Bay Road in Sturgeon Bay. For more information, click here for Help of Door County.

Renovation work on a historic Kewaunee building tells a lot of stories



By Terry Kovarik


Some stories are coming to light about the three-story, 19th-century building that long served as the home of Selner Plumbing in Kewaunee. Arthur Schiller, the president of an investment firm, and his wife bought the building to house their new offices and some upstairs apartments. They hired Tom Skubal to document the inside for possible historic designation. As Skubal began removing plaster from the wall, the building showed signs of surviving the 1898 Kewaunee fire.




More of the building’s history was revealed as Skubal and the Schillers moved to the second and third floors. They uncovered the original nob switches and wires from the first electric lighting system and the gas light fixtures replaced by electricity. The third floor showed signs of being a community destination.




While the Schiller’s move forward with renovation, a completion date is hard to determine as the historic building keeps unveiling more about its past.


Recipient of Adopt a Soldier Door County gifts will thank kids personally

By Terry Kovarik


An area soldier who’s received more than one holiday care package from Adopt a Solider-Door County now wants to show his gratitude. Matt Bellin, from Southern Door County, did a facetime call to Executive Direct Nancy Hutchinson last week after receiving his Thanksgiving gift box. Hutchinson says Bellin wants to reach out to youngsters who sent letters and say thanks, personally.



Adopt a Soldier-Door County is now getting Christmas care packages ready and is in need of about 25 Christmas stockings. You can drop them off at any local bank or at the radio stations of on Michigan Street in Sturgeon Bay.

Sturgeon Bay shop offers All-American toys for All-American kids

By Terry Kovarik


You can find toys “Made in the U.S.A.” for your all-American child or grandchild right here in Sturgeon Bay. Unlike the box stores that sell toys predominately made overseas, Dancing Bear in downtown Sturgeon Bay is among those smaller shops preferred by some U.S. based manufacturers. Owner Bonnie Statz says some “green toys” are earth friendly and toxin free.



Statz says other U.S. companies she works with also benefit special needs employees.



Statz says there are goods still made in the U.S.A. You just need to know where to find them.

The Crossroads at Big Creek offers healthy, safe hiking during deer hunting season

By Terry Kovarik




Those who like to walk or hike outdoors around Sturgeon Bay can move about safely at The Crossroads at Big Creek during deer hunting season. The 200-acre nature preserve on Michigan Street in Sturgeon Bay will be holding health hikes during the deer hunt. Director Coggin Heeringa is urging people to come out and get active.



The Crossroads at Big Creeks has over eight-miles of safe walking trails, which are open daily.

Discarded electronics from Door County are in demand for recycling at a price

By Terry Kovarik

The outdated computer from Sister Bay or the broken VCR from Sturgeon Bay are valuable to recyclers for their precious metal content. For a fee, Door County residents can drop off broken television sets and screens, computers, cell phones and other electronics for pick-up by recyclers. Advanced Disposal President Steve Estes says that keeps large quantities of discarded electronics out of the waste stream by those who profit from salvaging what they can.



Estes says church groups and Sturgeon Bay Utilities periodically have free one-day electronic drop off sites. Advanced Disposal’s facility on Development Road in Sturgeon Bay is available year round.

Kewaunee's Christkindlmarkt a big draw with holiday shoppers

By Terry Kovarik


Kewaunee’s 12th Annual Christkindlmarkt has grown in popularity with shoppers looking for craft items not found in box stores. The old-fashioned, German-style holiday market at Lakehaven Hall is a highlight of the community’s holiday kickoff. Ben Kornowski, of the Kewaunee Area Chamber of Commerce, says Christkindlmarkt has developed a good reputation beyond the lakeshore communities.



Kornowski says this year’s event, which ran from 9:00 AM-4:00 PM Saturday, drew shoppers from Green Bay and Waupaca who are looking for a different shopping experience.

Sturgeon Bay shows its Christmas Spirit

By Terry Kovarik


Downtown Sturgeon Bay continues showing its holiday spirit this weekend. The annual Christmas by the Bay event was celebrated with a parade through the downtown featuring the Sturgeon Bay High Marching Band, floats and the first appearance of Santa Claus himself. While there was a wintry chill, parade-goers like the Scalzo family say the holiday kickoff had things work waiting for.






The Christmas by the Bay celebration concludes Sunday with breakfast with Santa at Stone Harbor Resort on 1st Av.

Door County Y Angel Tree helps you make a childs Christmas merry

By Terry Kovarik


The Door County YMCA’s Angel Tree will be put up this week to help you give a Merry Christman to children in need. The program links donors with specific children whose names and wish lists appear on the tree. CEO Tom Beernsten says it’s a simple idea that helps donors fill a great need in the community.



The Angel Tree will accept gifts through December 1st.

Meat processors hit their busy season as hunting begins

46137 / CC


By Tim Kowols


As the nine-day gun deer hunting season begins, area meat processors like Konop Meats in Stangelville prepare for their busiest time of the year. Part-owner Mark Konop has not kept track of how many pounds of venison he processes into a variety of different products over the years, but knows it has been picking up steam ever since its popularity started in the 1980s. He says handling 100 customers a week for several months with their venison orders is a balancing act to make sure they keep up with their regular customers as well.



Konop recommends hunters call their butchers to schedule their processing in advance to make sure they get their harvested venison as quickly as possible. For those who want to donate their deer, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources deer donation program has provided more than 3.6 million pounds to food pantries across the state.

Turkey prices lower at area stores this year for Thanksgiving dinner

Kristie Moser / CC


By Paul Schmitt


Local grocery shoppers can look forward to lower prices at the checkout when getting ready for Thanksgiving this year.  According to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau’s annual Marketbasket survey, the price of a 16-pound turkey in the state is nearly two dollars less this year than 2017.  Econofoods Store Manager Jon Calhoun says he has seen turkey prices continually come down locally as well since avian influenza impacted poultry prices.



The price for a 16-pound turkey this year in Wisconsin is $19.04 compared to the national average of $21.71.  The cost of a complete Thanksgiving dinner for ten people is $48.90, nationally, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.  That is nearly four dollars more than the Wisconsin prices of $45.01.

Peninsula State Park scheduling Thanksgiving programs for next week

Peninsula State Park scheduling Thanksgiving programs for next week
Visitors will have the opportunity to connect with nature as well as learn history at Peninsula State Park next weekend. Kathleen Harris, the park naturalist, says the family-friendly activities will begin on Friday morning.



The new Eagle Tower is scheduled to be completed and open sometime in 2019. Other programs include turkey songs and stories Friday afternoon and a Medicine Walk on Saturday morning. That will feature a twenty-minute family forest walk while learning the history of the Potawatomi tribe who were the first settlers to the area. The programs are free at Peninsula State Park but a park vehicle sticker is required.




Programs free but park vehicle sticker required. Schedule subject to change. 920-868-3258. Programs free. Donations appreciated. Ask about our kid-friendly geocaches! Keep Peninsula Beautiful!
Friday November 16 Nature Center open 10 AM – 2 PM.
Saturday November 17 Nature Center open 10 AM – 4 PM.
Friday November 23 Nature Center OPEN 12 – 3 PM. Eagle Panorama to Eagle Terrace 10 -11 AM. Meet at Eagle Panorama overlook. Tree facts and folklore, park history, and geology featured on a naturalist-led, mile long hike. Tower news, too. Trail may have slippery spots. Let’s Talk Turkey 1 – 1:30 PM Nature Center. Yesterday we gobbled Tom. The least we can do today is learn about him. Geared for the young and young at heart, this lively talk includes turkey songs and stories. Optional art project follows inside the Nature Center, while supplies last.
Saturday November 24 Nature Center OPEN 10 AM – 4 PM. Medicine Walk 10:30 – 11 AM. Stop by the Nature Center any time between 11 AM and 3 PM to try an on-your-own outdoor activity, with help from the park naturalist. Connect to nature through a twenty-minute family forest walk. Follow animal signs, learn Potawatomi words, and discover where Potawatomi Chief Simon Kahquados is buried in Peninsula State Park. Kids can collect art supplies along the 1⁄2-mile trail to create a bear paper bag puppet afterwards, inside the Nature Center. Rain? The walk will be shortened, and we’ll talk inside.
Sunday November 25 Nature Center OPEN 12 – 3 PM.
December Nature Center Hours: Saturdays as staffing permits. Holiday Week Programs: To be announced.

Beef quality assurance certification requirements changing


By Aerica Bjurstrom, Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agriculture Educator


Some large meat packers and processors have announced that effective January 1, 2019, they will only purchase from farms that are Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) or FARM Certified. Most dairy farms are FARM certified through their milk processor. Ask your dairy plant representative for assistance to obtain a copy of your completed FARM evaluation, or a letter from them indicating your farm’s completion of FARM 3.0 or beyond.


The 2019 BQA requirement impacts those selling finished beef breeds and will affect all sale markets and private treaty transactions. Farmers should work with their marketing partners, or buyers if selling direct, to ensure correct documentation of BQA or FARM certification.


At this time, it is believed that beginning in January 2020, additional processors will begin to require BQA or FARM Certification from their suppliers.


Obtain free, online BQA certification at Each interactive course takes about two hours to complete, and requires an 80% score to pass the final test. You will receive your BQA certification via email, which you will provide at the point of sale.


UW-Extension is hosting an in-person BQA certification training on Thursday, December 13 at 6:30 PM at the Kewaunee County Fair Grounds, 625 3rd Street, Luxemburg. The cost of the training is $15. Please register by December 12 by calling 920-388-7141.

Sturgeon Bay teen accepted to pursue Broadway dream

By Paul Schmitt


Aspiring dancer and singer Isabella Dippel of Sturgeon Bay will be heading to Broadway in New York next summer.  Dippel, 15, auditioned for the Broadway collective Gathered NYC last Saturday and was notified that she was accepted to the program.  She shares how the audition worked.



Gathered NYC is an annual five-day master class in New York City.  Students attend two Broadway shows, have dinner with cast members and complete 50 hours of dance, voice, as well as acting and audition training with Broadway directors, choreographers, agents, and Tony Award winners.  Dippel, who also auditioned for America’s Got Talent last year, was one of 40 students selected to participate.  She will be attending Session 3 from August 7th through the 11.


City of Algoma finalizing new housing plans

By Paul Schmitt


A new housing project on Algoma’s south side is getting closer to final approval by the City of Algoma.  The future development would be a 12 unit complex.  City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says the plan is now working its way through the plan commission and finance committee before final approval by the city council in December.  He says the project will offer other benefits to the city besides more housing.



Wiswell says a new TIF (Tax Incremental Financing) district will have to be formed along with a redevelopment zone.  A redevelopment authority was created at the last city council meeting earlier this month, according to Wiswell.

Friends of Door County Libraries offering holiday book sale

Brittany Stevens / CC


By Paul Schmitt


Avid book readers can get ready for the gift-giving season and help out Door County Libraries at the same time on Saturday, December 1st.  The Friends of Door County Libraries’ Annual Holiday Book Sale is scheduled at the Sturgeon Bay Library that day from nine in the morning until two in the afternoon.  Member Adele Douglas says volunteers have been preparing for the big sale for months.



Douglas says hundreds of books range in price from about one to five dollars.  Book selections will include fiction, non-fiction, specialty titles, coffee table books, cookbooks, children’s literature and more.  Friends of Door County Libraries help raise approximately $20,000 annually for programs, materials, and activities at all eight libraries in the Door County system.

Sturgeon Bay City Council could discuss possible granary move on Tuesday

By Paul Schmitt


The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will be bringing up some old granary business Tuesday that could open the door to the granary being moved back to its original location on the west side.  Agenda items for Tuesday’s meeting include consideration of an old request from October 2017 by the Historic Preservation Commission.  Council President Kelly Catarozoli explains what would be next if it is voted on and approved by the council.



Other agenda items listed for Tuesday’s Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting include a closed session to consider the lawsuit the city faces with the Sawyer Hotel Development and Bob Papke along with the settlement agreement with the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront.

Veterans welcome to benefit from Door County Habitat for Humanity projects

By Tim Kowols


Whether it is receiving a home or volunteering to build it, Door County Habitat for Humanity is encouraging veterans to check out the programs. Larger Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the country have started to focus on addressing affordable housing for veterans through specific build projects. It has also branched out to make necessary home repairs for veterans in need of extra assistance. Door County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director David Van Dyke says while they do not have the infrastructure to focus on specific groups of people, he encourages veterans to apply and see how the organization can help.



Door County Habitat for Humanity accepts partner family applications and volunteers year round.

Volunteerism and mental health wellness connected

By Tim Kowols


Count Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski as a believer in the importance of volunteering when it comes to improving mental health. According to Project Helping, volunteering can help curb depressive feelings by 35 percent while also improving your physical wellness and sleep patterns. An avid supporter of several different holiday giving initiatives in Kewaunee County,  Joski says the data provides qualitative proof about the good feelings you get when you volunteer.



In the spirit of the holiday season, Joski encourages people to find an organization that really connects with them and give back. You can read more about the links between volunteerism and mental wellness from Sheriff Matt Joski online with this story.


This week I would like to blend two of my favorite topics, Mental Wellness and Volunteerism. You may not think these two have anything in common and I would say that for most of my life I would have agreed with you, but over the past few years I have had the opportunity to experience so many events and people who made me aware that these two topics; Mental Health and Volunteerism are closer connected than I would have ever guessed.


The first person who opened my eyes to this reality was of course my own Mother. Those who know this woman are amazed by her seemingly unending source of energy and optimism at an age when many would rather remain stationary. For most of my life I just assumed that this was how she was hardwired, until I realized that there was a consistent correlation between her pleasant disposition and whatever effort or individual support she was involved in on that given day. She exemplifies the characteristic of a person who needs to be needed.


The second person is a woman I have known most of my life and was a huge part of the Kewaunee County Toys For Tots program for many years; Kathy Mastalir. Although she has retired from the Children’s gift giving and wrapping side of the Toys For Tots program, she is still very active and never without a cheerful greeting. I recall one rainy day as I was heading toward Algoma on STH 42, I noticed a group of people in the ditches picking up garbage and just as I drove past thinking what a miserable job that must be there was Kathy. She looked up and gave me a big smile and a wave as if she were on a beach somewhere looking for seashells.


I am sure that we can all find those people in our lives that are able to maintain optimism and hope through what appear to be trying times, and like myself are not sure where they draw their energy from. Turns out there is science which supports that our involvement in charitable works for others has a direct link to our own mental wellness.


Recently I attended a workshop put on by the Wellness Council of Wisconsin. This was an amazing event which involved healthcare providers and subject matter experts from around the country sharing ideas surrounding the topic of Mental, Physical, Financial and Spiritual Wellness. One of the presentations which I found especially interesting was put on by the founder of an organization called “Kyndfulness”


In this presentation the speaker provided the story of his own journey and how regardless of wealth or material possessions he continued to feel a sense of emptiness and depression. It was only after being offered an opportunity to volunteer in which he reluctantly participated did he realize what his life had been missing the entire time; the sense of purpose and meaning. Subsequently he embarked on a mission to substantiate what he suspected and found the following results. Those who engage in acts of charity or even random acts of kindness experience a significant reduction in both stress and anxiety. One of the reasons is that in helping others we increase our own level of gratitude which in turn:


  • Increases our physical wellness (16% fewer physical symptoms- 10% less physical pain)
  • Improves our sleep patterns (8% more sleep- 25% higher sleep quality)
  • Improves Mental wellness (35% less depressive feelings)


While making donations to your favorite cause is a great gesture and should not be discounted, the basis behind this philosophy is the purposeful physical act of getting involved and committing time and effort to a cause which you find meaningful and fulfilling.


What better time than the holidays to consider committing oneself to such endeavors. There are no shortages of opportunities here in our own communities to get involved and make a difference both in the lives of those you are helping and even in your own life. It is truly a win- win proposition! If you would like more information on the Kyndfulness initiative you can go to:

Forestville business takes over Maplewood holiday tradition

By Tim Kowols


The sale of Richard’s Pub and Grill in Maplewood earlier this fall will not affect what makes it under the tree for less fortunate Door County families. Clark’s Bar and Restaurant in Forestville will take over the annual Toys for Tots benefit after being hosted by Richard Bowen at his establishment for 10 years. Owner Donna Clark says when Richard’s Pub and Grill closed, that is when she realized she needed to step up and fill the void for the holiday season.




Unwrapped items and money collected at the November 24th event will go towards this year’s Toys for Tots drive. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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

By Roger Utnehmer


Picking the Right People New Governor’s First Challenge


As Governor-elect Tony Evers populates his administration with appointments he would be wise to follow the practice of former Governor Tommy Thompson.


Thompson’s first major appointment as a Republican governor was a Democratic state senator, Tim Cullen, to head the Department of Health and Social Services. Doing so fulfilled a pledge Thompson made to be a governor of all the people, not just those who voted for him. Thompson crossed the political aisle many times. He compromised. Tommy Thompson worked well with members of the opposition. His appointments occasionally created opportunity for fellow Republicans to replace Democratic legislators but he produced an environment of comity and bipartisan civility in state government that is missing today.


Tony Evers can help return a more civil government to Wisconsin. Appointing respected Republicans to positions of power will demonstrate confidence and strength.


Former state senator Dale Schultz should be considered. He knows his way around the capitol has a reputation for independence and integrity. Schultz would make a great secretary of Health and Family Services, Administration or Revenue.


Former State Rep and Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb could step back into his former position and work effectively to restore Wisconsin’s crumbling infrastructure. Gottlieb, like Thompson, recognized the need to raise and index the gas tax.


Few Republicans in Wisconsin know how to navigate both the state and federal governments as well as Dave Anderson from Wausau. Evers would have an instant entree into the offices of Republican legislators, and many Democrats as well, if he hired Dave Anderson to work in his administration.


And if there is one Walker appointment worth keeping in a new administration it is Stephanie Klett at the Department of Tourism. If her enthusiasm could be taxed we would never have to worry about balancing a state budget.


Those without political affiliation could also contribute to a successful Evers administration.


Kewaunee County board member Lee Luft would make an outstanding head of the Department of Natural Resources. Luft is well-informed and passionate about air and water quality. His background in the paper industry makes him a good choice to balance job creation and environmental common-sense.


Few farmers are as articulate as Door County’s Rich Olson. His strong advocacy for family farms would make him one of Wisconsin’s most effective secretaries of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The family farm is vanishing fast. A family farmer heading this important agency would say strongly that Tony Evers stands with them.


Education played a big role in Evers’ victory. Returning former UW Board of Regent member Mark Bradley would be wise. His experience and knowledge of higher education would assure continuity and historical perspective. Evers’ second appointment to the important Board of Regents should be former Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton. Her service to Wisconsin is not over. Her talents need to be tapped to make Wisconsin better.


An important appointment will be Secretary of the Department of Corrections, a problem-plagued agency in need of reform. The DOC now expends more money than the entire UW system. For too long Wisconsin politicians have been “tough” on crime at the expense of being “smart” on crime. The Wisconsin Department of Corrections needs a leader who appreciates restorative justice, recidivism and the sociology of crime. If I were Tony Evers I’d ask former State Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske to either serve long enough to change the direction of the DOC or recommend someone who can. Geske is an internationally-recognized expert on restorative justice whose voice in changing corrections policy would be invaluable.


Picking the right people is the primary challenge for a new administration. Some of these suggestions could make Tony Evers as effective as many Wisconsin governors who have come before him.


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

Gibraltar students give back to community's seniors with holiday dinner

By Tim Kowols


Gibraltar students will take care of the cooking and the entertainment for its area senior citizens for its annual free holiday dinner on December 5th. Members of the high school and middle school student councils serve the food and clean up tables while the band and choirs provide the festive musical accompaniment. Gibraltar Student Council President Gretchen Chomeau says it is an event she has enjoyed volunteering for the last four years.



The Gibraltar Senior Citizen Holiday Dinner begins at 10 a.m. inside the middle gym. You can find reservation information online this story.


The meal will include turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, carrots, cranberries, and dessert.   Seating is limited, so please place a reservation by leaving your name, phone number, and number of guests at 920-868-3284 extension 244. Questions can be directed to Mary Witteborg, Student Council Advisor at the same number.  Drop off guests using the bus lane to the Elementary School entrance.  Parking is available in the main lot by the Secondary Schools entrance. In the event of inclement weather and/or school cancellation, there will be no make-up date.

Testing could be coming for Kewaunee County land with septic waste spreading

By Tim Kowols


Kewaunee County Board supervisor Lee Luft plans on asking state Department of Natural Resources officials to test land affected by septic waste spreading. Three to five million gallons of septic waste is spread on Kewaunee County land each year. Luft says the testing of the land is necessary to learn more about the long-term effects of septic spreading.



Septic waste spreading has been a topic of discussion at the last two Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation meetings, including its latest session earlier this week.

Door County Sheriff-elect Tammy Sternard sees future changes to jail visitations

By Paul Schmitt


The way and frequency people visit those who are jailed in Door County might change in the future.  In-person visitations are still an important weekly occasion for incarcerated people at the Door County Jail, according to Door County Sheriff-elect Tammy Sternard.  Currently, all visitors must be pre-approved prior to the allowed visitations that takes place on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday evenings.  Sternard says new technologies may make it possible to save money while enhancing the visitation options.



Sternard believes interaction is important for people who are incarcerated.  She says staffing is always an issue with face-to-face visitation but technology offers alternatives that are worth exploring.

Deer hunters advised to check stands for this weekend

By Paul Schmitt


As area deer hunters head out to their tree stands Saturday morning, local DNR officials are asking them to use common sense and check over their stands before climbing up to hunt.  Door County Warden Chris Kratcha says besides gun safety, hunters need to make sure their tree stand is safe to climb.



According to a 2013 hunter survey done in Wisconsin, 84 percent of hunters used tree stands, 62 percent owned a safety restraint, but only 31 percent always used them.  An estimated 600,000 hunters are expected to head into the woods throughout Wisconsin this opening weekend of the nine-day firearms hunt.

Ephraim Moravian Church offering "Open Door" Lunches

By Paul Schmitt


A northern Door County church is looking to promote fellowship with a free hot lunch offered next week.  The Ephraim Moravian Church will be again hosting an “Open Door” Lunch on the third Wednesday of each month November through April.  Reverend Dawn Volpe says this is the sixth year the church has put on the lunch and it really helps those looking for fellowship and companionship.



The next free lunch is at noon Wednesday, November 21 at the Ephraim Moravian Church.  Volpe says the lunch features hot soups, sandwiches or salads, handmade desserts, and beverages.  You can find more information on the Open Door Lunches with the news release below.



‘OPEN DOOR’ LUNCHES BEGIN IN NOVEMBER Monthly Free Lunch at Ephraim Moravian


EPHRAIM, WI – For the sixth year, Ephraim Moravian Church will be offering a free, hot

Monthly lunch, at noon on the third Wednesday of each month from November through April of 2019.


The lunches will feature hot soups, sandwiches or salads, desserts and beverages.


The dates are November 21, December 19, January 16, February 20, March 20, and April 17.


There is no charge for the meal. Bring a friend for hot food and fellowship this winter! The

church is located at 9970 Moravia Street. For more information, call 920-854-2804.


Sister Bay Moravian Church offers a free lunch on the first Wednesday of each month, at noon,


Why be an art museum curator? Series on Careers

By Paul Schmitt


Visiting art museums at a very young age with her family was the beginning of Elizabeth Shoshany Anderson’s love for the arts.  Anderson, who started as the Miller Art Museum curator last March, found the arts to be a key center for public discussion on what is important.  Graduating in 2015 from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in Art History, Anderson received her master’s degree from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, England.  She says although she took a more traditional route, there are many other ways to get involved in the arts.



Anderson says her duties as the curator of exhibition and collections include what traveling art exhibitions will be featured in the future.  She adds her role also is to determine the display and care of the permanent art collection for the museum.

Algoma's Haack named Wisconsin State Fair Supreme Dairy Exhibitor

By Tim Kowols


Algoma’s Carmen Haack’s junior Wisconsin State Fair career officially came to a close earlier this week when she was named the event’s Supreme Dairy Exhibitor. The status is based on three different elements: showmanship, knowledge masters, and animal placement. It came down to Haack’s win in the knowledge masters contest to capture the title after taking third in showmanship and two of her animals took first place in their classes. Haack says the title of Supreme Dairy Exhibitor is humbling.



Haack, currently studying dairy science and agriculture business management at UW-Madison, says showmanship is her favorite of the three elements because it is based on how well you present your animal, not on the cow itself.


We know this awesome, smiling dairy woman featured on the WI 4-H Foundation page! Congratulations Carmen! As always, you make all of Kewaunee County 4-H so, so proud!

Posted by Kewaunee County 4-H, WI on Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Washington Island School ramping up its science focus

By Tim Kowols


With dinosaurs and robots as recent visitors, Washington Island School is making sure its students’ attention to science does not disappear. The school’s technology and science committee is working with local universities and colleges to continue bringing in additional programming now they have kids more engaged. By partnering with UW-Stevens Point’s Steven Schmidt, Washington Island students recently got to build robot-operated vehicles that are expected to traverse across Rock Island next spring as they learn more about robotics. Principal Michelle Kanipes says it is exciting to see students get more involved in science and engineering.



Kanipes sees more programming occurring at the Trueblood Performing Arts Center in the near future such as presentations on astronomy and water quality.


Picture courtesy of Washington Island School District

Door County Medical Center moves on from Para-Tran

By Tim Kowols


Door County Emergency Services will be the new ambulance provider for Door County Medical Center when patients need to be transported to Green Bay. The change was needed when it was informed by Para Tran owner Wayne Denil that it either needed additional funding from the hospital to maintain its current services or it would go out of business. Officials at Door County Medical Center were forced to contact Door County Administrator Ken Pabich and Door County Emergency Medical Services Director Aaron LeClair to make sure the most urgent cases were able to be taken care of in the short term.   LeClair says their ambulances have only been sent to Green Bay a couple times over the last few weeks because its main duty remains locally.



Other agencies located in Green Bay and Valders will handle less urgent situations until a permanent replacement can be found. Denil has been offered an opportunity for additional comment. You can see statements from Door County Medical Center and Para Tran online with this story.




For over 30 years, Door County Medical Center (DCMC) has enjoyed a partnership with Para Tran to transport critically ill patients to other facilities in the event that transfers were necessary.  On October 22nd, the owner of Para Tran called our ER to let us know that he was suspending services and that we would need to look to other options for transport.


We have been working with providers throughout NE Wisconsin to fill the void and have some good short-term solutions in place.  We hope to have a long-term transport agreement, similar to the one we have had with Para Tran, worked out within the next 6 months.  In the meantime, we will work with local and regional partners to make sure that residents of Door and Kewaunee Counties, and patients of DCMC are able to receive the transport that is needed in a timely manner.  We would like to thank the team at Para Tran for over 30 years of service to our patients and to our community.


With Para Tran going out of business abruptly, we had to arrange for reliable transport for our patients within a very short timeframe.  Our Emergency Department team worked quickly with Aaron LeClair at Door County EMS and Ken Pabich, the County Administrator to make sure that patients who were in emergent or urgent situations could be transported right away.  The County’s first priority is 911 calls, but they did agree to transport emergent patients from our hospital to the hospitals in Green Bay when the situation demanded that kind of response.  Fortunately, those situations have only occurred a couple of times in the past few weeks, but our County EMS has immediately responded.  We are blessed to have such a great team of talented paramedics in Door County when we need them!


For less urgent situations, we have been working with transport providers outside of Door County, such as County Rescue out of Green Bay.  They have also been great to work with to ensure that our patients are transported in a timely manner.  We are actively working on a long-term solution for transport, but in the meantime we can rest assured that our patients are being well cared for by Door County EMS and other regional partners.




Senator Hansen to reintroduce redistricting legislation

By Tim Kowols


Buoyed by a Democratic sweep of Wisconsin’s top offices and support from local officials like the Door County Board of Supervisors, State Senator Dave Hansen will once again aim to end gerrymandering. Senator Hansen renewed his call for redistricting reform by announcing his plans to reintroduced legislation earlier this week. Twelve states including Iowa currently use non-partisan redistricting plans. Iowa’s model has been the plan many Wisconsin redistricting advocates prefer. Senator Hansen admits it was a mistake for the Assembly to wait on a redistricting plan when Democrats controlled both houses prior to the 2010 election. He says now is the time to stop the blame game and start working together on redistricting reform.



Four counties passed referendums supporting nonpartisan redistricting reform last Tuesday while 41 county boards including those in Door, Brown, Oconto, and Manitowoc counties have passed similar resolutions.

Help of Door County initiating Lethality Assessment Program

By Paul Schmitt


A domestic violence program that originated in Maryland will be implemented in Door County in the future to take a pro-active approach against abuse.  Help of Door County along with the Sheriff’s Department and Sturgeon Bay Police are partnering to bring the Lethality Assessment Model to the area.  Steve Vickman, executive director of Help of Door County, says the program allows community professionals to identify victims of domestic violence who are at the highest risk of being seriously injured or killed by their partner.  He says the program allows victims to connect more quickly to supporting agencies.



Vickman says his staff and local law enforcement will go through training provided by End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin.  He believes the lethality program will improve local services and help people feel safer in the community.

Search Our Site


Current Weather



Would you consider voting for a third-party candidate in this year's presidential election?
Add a Comment
(Fields are Optional)

Your email address is never published.


Click Here for more Obituaries

Obituary posting fee is $25

Sports Poll


Sign up for our Daily Electronic Newspaper!

Plus, Get the latest updates for Local Sports, Obituaries and more delivered to your inbox!