News Archives for 2019-01

Ice fishing precautions needed despite arctic blast

Although extreme cold temperatures are subsiding, ice anglers may want to take extra care in going on the waters this weekend with warmer weather forecasted.  Fishing Guide JJ Malvitz says you should be prepared for changing conditions when you are on the ice.  He recommends the “buddy system” when fishing. 

 

 

Seven ice anglers were rescued near Snake Island Tuesday evening.  The United States Coast Guard used an airboat to bring the seven people safely to shore.  Malvitz says ice anglers should expect good fishing opportunities for the next several weeks even though the ice may be rough in spots due to the strong winds.  He adds that the bite for whitefish has been strong, but slower for the walleye and perch so far this winter.  

Open snowmobile trails don't make for good business

Heavy snows this week allowed Door and Kewaunee County snowmobile trails to open for the season.  Although, that's not paying off for those who sell and service snowmobiles.  David Simonar, the owner of Simonar Sports in Luxemburg, says the snow and colder weather have come just too late in the season.

 

 

David Simonar adds he hasn't seen customers who bought new snowmobiles last spring.  He says it's likely they're traveling up north to find better snow and trail conditions.

Arctic cold helps open Sister Bay skating rink

Sister Bay's ice skating rink is opening for the first time this season, thanks to extremely cold weather.  Public works crews and volunteers used the arctic-like conditions to put fresh water on the  Teresa K Hilander Community Ice Rink.  Ice Arena Director Cody Bolton says that effort made it possible to open Thursday afternoon.

 

 

Bolton says skates, hockey and broomball equipment are available for rent.  He adds the concession stand is also open with hot chocolate and other beverages to help keep skaters warm.


How area school districts compete for teachers Pt. 1

Door County school districts, like others nationwide, find themselves working to keep as well as attract teachers. A recent IPSOS survey shows most educators would go into teaching again.  Many of them, however, admit they have also considered leaving the classrooms.  They cite frustration with salaries and district support.  That comes as no surprise to Washington Island School Principal Michelle Kanipes.  She says students require more from their teachers than in years past and that can be intimidating to newly graduated teachers.

 


Southern Door School District Superintendent Patricia Vickman says her district understands the importance of support for all teachers.  She says her district uses all available resources to help, including input from their colleagues.

 

 

Districts also face a shortage of teaching candidates and have to be creative to attract them.  A look at how Southern Door and Washington Island use their non-financial assets for recruiting in Part two.

Police officers in the bitter cold

You’ve been told not to go outside if you don’t have to during these extreme cold conditions but police officers must be out in any weather. Officers dress in multiple layers and wear hats, gloves, snow boots, and use their cars to warm up if necessary. Patrick McCarty is the Chief Deputy for the Door County Sheriff’s Office and he says police officers mostly answer to cars in ditches and traffic accidents. McCarty added officers will check every car parked on the side of the road.

 

 

McCarty says to keep off the roads as much as possible as they may worsen as it gets even colder outside.

Local schools closed Friday due to buses

Luxemburg-Casco School District, Sevastopol School District and Gibraltar Area Schools will be closed Friday due to many of their buses being unavailable to drive due to the extreme cold. Normally, LC has 24 buses running and about a third to a half of them won't start or will only go a short distance before shutting down. The L-C head bus technician took a look at the buses Thursday. Luxemburg-Casco Superintendent Glenn Schlender says the extremely low temps took a big toll on the diesel engines of the buses.

 

 

Gibraltar and Sevastopol reported similar issues with their bus fleet. Schlender expects the school to proceed as normal on Monday since this weekend, the temperatures are forecasted to warm up. The LC School District will discuss how to make up all the hours lost since this will be the fifth straight day of no school. They must meet a state requirement of minimum hours taught during a school year. Other schools in the area will have to discuss this as well. After school activities are scheduled to go on as planned for Friday. 

 


Northern Door service orgs worry about membership

Membership in northern Door County service organizations continues to be a concern after one announced it would cease operations after 50 years. The Kiwanis Club of Northern Door County disbanded earlier this week, citing dwindling membership as its cause. The news came as a shock to Sister Bay Lions Club President Leroy Schramm, who oversees the organization’s over 60 members. Schramm says many organizations are struggling to recruit new members.

Schramm credits some of their family-friendly events like the kids boat making tent at Marina Fest for getting younger people interested in what the Sister Bay Lions do and the impact they have in the community.

Cabin fever may lead to more spending

With the people of Door County advised not to go outside that means money is not being spent at local businesses. Jim Schuessler is the Executive Director for the Door County Economic Development Corporation and he says businesses, especially restaurants, will definitely be hurt in the short term by the extreme weather. As for the positive, Schuessler believes restaurants may be able to make up for that as people may be more willing to go out this weekend when the weather warms up since they will have been inside their homes for most of four or five straight days.

 

 

Temperatures are forecasted to be in the 30s on Saturday and Sunday.

Local lawmaker on Foxconn costs to Wisconsin

A local lawmaker says Foxconn's decision to scale back manufacturing operations comes at a high cost to taxpayers.  The Taiwanese-based technology group received $4-billion in tax credits and promised to create 13,000 jobs building high-end TV panels in southern Wisconsin.  This week, however, Foxconn announced it would instead build smaller screens and employ only a thousand workers.  State Senator Dave Hansen of Green Bay was an early opponent of the tax-incentive package.  He says Wisconsin taxpayers have shelled out a lot of money in direct state-aid and local tax increment financing with little to show for it.

 

 


Foxconn officials still insist the company will reach the 13,000 job goal.  Those jobs will be mostly in research, development and engineering.

 

(Photo courtesy Foxconn.com)


Deep freeze didn't stop Meals on Wheels cold

Prior planning kept Door County Meals on Wheels recipients fed during the deep freeze brought on by the polar vortex.  As heavy snows fell and temperatures plummeted, the Aging Disability Resource Center of  Door County canceled home meal deliveries this week.  ADRC Aging Unit Director Jake Erickson says, however, his agency made sure clients had food to ride out the cold spell.

 


In addition, the ADRC also kept in contact with meals recipients to ensure they're safe and warm during the cold spell.

Beer deliveries continue Friday

Bars, restaurants, and liquor departments in Door County can expect beer shipments to continue on Friday after extreme cold forced many distributors across the Midwest off the streets. Beer distributors like Flanigan Distributing in Sturgeon Bay have not been able to deliver their products for two days since the cold threatened the safety of its staff and its cargo. Brian Flanigan from Flanigan Distributing says there is another big reason why the cold snap came at a bad time.

Flanigan says the trucks will be on the road on Friday and Saturday to make sure its customers can enjoy their favorite beverages during the big game Sunday. 

Local wildlife reaction to extreme cold

The wildlife of Door County has many different ways to endure the extreme cold weather. Some animals are able to hunker down and lower their body temperatures and just wait out the cold. Some have to eat a lot to be able to survive. Coggin Heeringa, the Director of Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay, says the well-below zero temperatures makes things really tough on the wildlife and the trees in Door County. According to Heeringa, ways to help out is to keep your birdfeeders full and cleared of snow.


 

Heeringa added that trees can be greatly impacted by the extreme temperature fluctuations and expects that many will be damaged in this time.


Snow crews still out and looking ahead

The snow clean up crew in Sturgeon Bay is still out dealing with drifting snow. Mike Barker, the Director of Municipal Services in Sturgeon Bay, says the winds are still making the roads an issue. It's also too cold to use salt, so the plows are putting down a mixture of sand and salt to help traction. Barker added the crews will have an even longer week when some of the snow starts to melt this weekend.

 

 

Barker says their snow equipment can't apply downward pressure to really get under the packed snow to remove it. The temperatures are forcasted to get up into the mid and upper 30s on Saturday and Sunday. 

Northern Door YMCA staying open through extreme cold

Despite cold weather closing many area business and schools, the Northern Door Program Center of the Door County YMCA is staying open with most of its services intact. Although the program center has adjusted its hours to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and will thus open an hour and a half later and close an hour sooner, the center will remain open and become a possible destination for those looking to escape the cold. Tyler Powell, the Association Youth and Aquatics Director at the Northern Door Program Center, said recent upgrades have helped keep the center’s condition in great shape despite the winter threat.

 

 

While the center will remain open, all YMCA classes are canceled with no on-site kid care. The Sturgeon Bay Program Center will also open with 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. hours, and the Barker Child Development Center will open from 7 to 5:45 p.m.

Bay of Green Bay closed to commercial traffic

Door County ice anglers and ATV riders won't have to worry about commercial boats the rest of the winter on the Bay of Green Bay. Starting Wednesday night at 6 p.m. the Coast Guard will shut down the southern portion of the Bay of Green Bay to commercial traffic. Waters south of Peshtigo and Sherwood Point Lighthouse in Sturgeon Bay will be off limits to commercial boats. Brian Porter of the Coast Guard says there comes a time every winter when they stop breaking ice for commercial traffic.

 

 

Porter encouraged recreational users to be careful and be prepared for any and all weather as it can change very quickly on the ice.  

Warning about ice fishing following cold weather rescue

The rescue of seven people who became stranded while ice fishing on Green Bay Tuesday is resulting in warnings to stay off the ice during extremely cold weather.  The Door County Sheriffs Office and U.S. Coast Guard Station Sturgeon Bay responded to a cellphone call just after 4:00 Tuesday afternoon from the seven people, who were in a shanty near Snake Island.  Two airboats were brought in to bring the seven people into shore.  U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Robert Walsh says the airboats were the only way to get those who were stranded back to shore.

 

 

The rescue operation was finished just before 7:00 PM Tuesday evening and none of the seven people required medical attention. The rescue effort was aided by Door County Emergency Services, Department of Natural Resources Conservation officers, Brussels Union Gardner Firefighters and Southern Door Firefighters. 

Emerald Ash Borer affected by the cold

The extreme cold will help many ash trees at least in the short term in Door and Kewaunee County. Most Emerald Ash Borers (EAB) can't survive when the air temperature drops below -20 degrees. Unfortunately, the larvae are insulated in the bark of the tree and will be able to survive according to Wisconsin DNR Plant Pest and Disease Specialist Bill McNee. EAB probably won't be able to do much damage for the rest of this year but EAB lay so many eggs, that long-term there won't be much of an impact on their population.

 

 

McNee says the temperature would have to drop to -30 degrees to have a significant impact on the larvae and it is not forecasted to get that cold in Door County.

Trail rules for snowmobilers in extreme cold

The opening of all snowmobile trails in Door and Kewaunee counties is drawing snowmobilers despite the extreme cold.  While trails were partially opened last Wednesday,  many people brought their machines out in force over the weekend.  John Chadeck, a member of the Door Drifters Snowmobile Club says that has continued even as wind chills have dropped into the minus-40 degree range.  He urges those venturing out on the trails in the cold to follow some simple rules.

 

 

Chadeck also recommends snowmobilers stay on the trails, watch the speeds, keep water for hydration and a cellphone to call for help if you become stranded on a trail.

Cancellations and closures extend to fourth day

Extreme cold weather continues causing school closures and event cancellations throughout Door and Kewaunee Counties.

 

 

CLOSURES

All public schools in Door and Kewaunee Counties are closed Thursday

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College- All campuses through Thursday

Boys and Girls Club of Door County 

Northern Door Children's Center

St. John Bosco School Sturgeon Bay

St.  Peter Lutheran School Sturgeon Bay

Zion Lutheran and Early Childhood

Egg Harbor Library open from noon to 5 PM

Sister Bay Library

Washington Island Library open from 9 AM to 1 PM

Forestville Library closing at 5 PM

Sunshine House

 

CANCELLATIONS AND POSTPONEMENTS

 

Learning in Retirement Training canceled
ADRC of the Lakeshore Senior Dining and Meals on Wheels canceled

 

Sevastopol Core Team meeting scheduled for Thursday night is rescheduled to 2/07

Door County Master Gardener program at Cross Roads

TJ Walker Middle School parent scheduling meeting

Classes at all four UW-Green Bay campuses are canceled

Lumberjack Supper at United Methodist Church postponed until Thursday.  Same time and location

The Crossroads Appreciation Dinner  (Sturgeon Bay) scheduled for Thursday has been canceled.

Loaves and Fishes of Door County community meal will be canceled on Friday

 

The LWV DC has again canceled the Candidate Forum for Sevastopol Town Board scheduled for Thursday evening, January 31.  Because of commitments to other forums, the League is not able to reschedule again.

 

Corpus Christi Office is CLOSED

First Baptist Church of Sturgeon Bay activities are CANCELED

Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church-All activities canceled
Saint Joseph Parish in Sturgeon Bay has canceled the 8:30 AM Mass and Mary Gilson Cancer Group
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church- The 6:30 AM Bible class at Wanda Jean’s is CANCELED
Stella Maris Egg Harbor has canceled Mass/all religious activities
Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church activities – CANCELED
Sturgeon Bay Catholic churches’ have CANCELED religious education classes grades 1 – 8

 

 

 

FROM DOOR COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR KEN PABICH

Door County officials are aware of the pending cold temperatures and wind for Wednesday and Thursday.  Door County operations will remain open during this period; however non-essential services may be limited or closed due to staffing levels.

 

We are advising the public to only travel if truly necessary.  If you choose to travel, please make sure that you are properly prepared for the conditions.  If the public needs support from a specific department or attending a county function, it is advised that you call ahead to ensure the office is open or the event is still occurring.

 

Thank you for your cooperation and please be safe. 

 

 FROM DOOR COUNTY YMCA

 

Thursday, Jan 31st -  All classes are canceled, No on-site Kid Care. Program Centers will be open 7 am - 7 pm.  Barker Center will delay opening until 7 am.

UPDATE: Ice fishing trip ends with cold weather rescue

An ice fishing trip in frigid weather ended with seven people calling for help.  The Door County Sheriffs Office received a call just after 4:00 Tuesday afternoon for an ice rescue on Green Bay just off Sand Bay Point Road. According to a U.S. Coast Guard news release the seven people were inside in an ice shanty and were unable to make it back to shore due to difficulties with their ATV and inclement weather. The weather on scene was reported as 4 below zero with a wind chill factor of minus 30 degrees and large snow drifts. Door County Sheriff's deputies worked with Door County Emergency Services, Department of Natural Resources Conservation officers, Brussels Union Gardner Firefighters, the Southern Door Fire Department and the U.S. Coast Guard.  Coast Guard and DNR crews arrived on scene with airboats, loaded the seven people in the two boats and transported them to shore with no apparent injuries or medical concerns. The rescue operations were finished just before 7:00 PM. 

 

(Photo Courtesy of DVIDS)

Dealing with the cold as an EMT

It’s a major challenge to have to work outside in these bitterly cold temperatures when you’re an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Dressing for the cold is a necessity as well as being able to handle wild temperature fluctuations as you could be going into warm homes, then out in the cold, and then into an ambulance. Aaron LeClair is the Director of Door County Emergency Services and he says the protective clothing EMT’s wear has improved over the years and has made it easier to be outside in extreme cold longer. LeClair says the major problem of working outside as an EMT is your hands will get very cold as medical gloves have not advanced in the same way. LeClair says that’s the reason EMT’s will work in shifts if they need to be outside for an extended period.

 

 

LeClair added if you are going out the next couple days to have survival kits in your cars, dress properly, and call 911 if you need help with anything.

Accident knocks out traffic light in Sturgeon Bay

A Wednesday morning one-vehicle accident on Sturgeon Bay’s west side damaged a traffic light causing temporary delays.  A vehicle traveling northbound on Highway 42-57 slammed into the traffic light at the corner of Neenah Avenue.  According to Sturgeon Bay Utilities General Foreman Benji Potier, utility crews were sent to help disable the light until Wisconsin Department of Transportation personnel could get on the scene and make repairs. 

 

 

 

Details of the crash and the condition of the driver are not yet available.    

Kewaunee City Hall becoming warming shelter

 

Kewaunee residents looking for a place to stay warm during the extreme cold are getting help. The city is opening a warming site for its residents starting Wednesday, at the City Hall on 401 5th Street, Kewaunee for those who need a warm place to go.  City Administrator Fred Schnook says with wind chills dropping to minus-40 or more, the city decided to give everyone in need a place to escape the frigid conditions, even if they have transportation issues.

 

 

Schnook says Kewaunee City Hall is open from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM for those looking to beat the cold.

New Algoma police chief settling in

One month after becoming Algoma’s new police chief, Randy Remiker is loving his decision to move back to the area.  Despite dealing with an entirely different weather climate than Albuquerque, New Mexico, Remiker, who grew up in Cooperstown in northern Manitowoc  County, says working in a smaller community is a nice change of pace.

 

 

Remiker graduated from Minnesota State University-Mankato in 1996 and then move to New Mexico to work for the Albuquerque Police Department for over 21 years.  He took office as the Algoma police chief on January 1st, after Kewaunee County ended their agreement to provide services at the end of December.  You can listen to the entire interview with Police Chief Remiker below.

 

 

New Farmhouse Bar & Grill opens in Luxemburg

 

The old Burdick’s Bar in Luxemburg has new owners.  Adrienne Wallace and Michael Hegnet purchased the business on January 7 and opened the new Farmhouse Bar & Grill last Thursday.  Wallace has 25 years of experience in the food and hospitality business including having worked at Green Bay establishments like The Bar and Anduzzi’s Sports Club.  She shares what in store for patrons. 

 

 

 

 

Wallace expects the dining room to be open within six weeks after the kitchen remodeling is completed.  The Farmhouse Bar & Grill is located at 525 Main Street in Luxemburg and is open every day except Mondays from 11 am until close.       

Frostbite fighting fires in extreme cold

Fighting fires in extreme cold like this can be a major challenge as frostbite is a real possibility for Southern Door firefighters. If water gets on the clothing while fighting a fire in extreme cold, that can be bad news for the firefighter. The water freezes the uniform and the person inside can get very cold very quickly. Chuck Cihlar of the Southern Door Fire Department says he’s seen other firefighters get some pretty bad frostbite and not even notice until afterward due to the adrenaline of fighting the fire.

 

 

Cihlar added that it can be hard to get to areas where the roads have not been plowed yet. In one instance they had to call a plow so they’d be able to get to a call. To prevent a fire in this extreme cold, Cihlar says you should make sure your furnace is in working order and to have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors with fresh batteries.

Door County ready to scale back during extreme cold

Door County residents are being warned that extreme cold weather could close some non-essential county operations.  With wind chills expected to fall to near minus-30 degrees, that could have an impact on staffing levels in some departments.  County administrator Ken Pabich says currently it is business as usual at the Door County Government Center on Nebraska Street, however, that could change.

 

 

Pabich recommends people travel to county government offices only if necessary during the extreme cold.  

Process of canceling school

It’s a team effort on making a decision for whether or not to cancel school in Kewaunee. The school district, the county, and city work together and communicate with each other about whether to cancel school due to the weather. When the wind chills drop to 35 below zero, that is like a magic number when it comes to canceling school. If they drop to that point, school is almost automatically canceled. Kewaunee High School Principal Mark Dax says that one day being canceled does not impact whether other days will be as well.

 

 

The Kewaunee School District has canceled school for Wednesday and has not yet made a decision for Thursday.

Extreme cold claims third straight school day: List of Wednesday closures and cancellations--UPDATED

For a third straight day, students will not have to worry about heading to school. The National Weather Service issued a wind chill warning running from 6 p.m. Tuesday to noon on Thursday. School districts called off Wednesday's classes during the day on Tuesday, with Algoma going one step further and already said the doors will not open on Thursday either. Other local organizations are following suit by canceling their scheduled events. Below are the closures and cancellations we know of right now.

 

CLOSURES

Algoma Public and Private Schools through Thursday

Southern Door School District - SD will also be closed Thursday

Kewaunee School District

Sturgeon Bay School District - SB will also be closed Thursday

Sevastopol School District closed 1/31

Gibraltar School District

Luxemburg-Casco School District CLASSES AND AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES CANCELED AS WELL

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College- All campuses through Thursday

Boys and Girls Club of Door County 

Northern Door Children's Center

St.  Peter Lutheran School Sturgeon Bay

Zion Lutheran and Early Childhood

Egg Harbor Library

Sister Bay Library

Washington Island Library

 

CANCELLATIONS AND POSTPONEMENTS

Learning in Retirement Training canceled
ADRC of the Lakeshore Senior Dining and Meals on Wheels canceled

Sevastopol Candidate Forum rescheduled to 1/31

Sevastopol Core Team meeting rescheduled to 2/07

Door County Master Gardener program at Cross Roads

TJ Walker Middle School parent scheduling meeting

Classes at all four UW-Green Bay campuses are canceled

Lumberjack Supper at United Methodist Church postponed until Thursday.  Same time and location

The Crossroads Appreciation Dinner  (Sturgeon Bay) scheduled for Thursday has been canceled.

Loaves and Fishes of Door County community meal will be canceled on Friday

 

The LWV DC has again canceled the Candidate Forum for Sevastopol Town Board scheduled for Thursday evening, January 31.  Because of commitments to other forums, the League is not able to reschedule again.

 

Corpus Christi Office is CLOSED

First Baptist Church of Sturgeon Bay activities are CANCELED

Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church-All activities canceled
Saint Joseph Parish in Sturgeon Bay has canceled the 8:30 AM Mass and Mary Gilson Cancer Group
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church- The 6:30 AM Bible class at Wanda Jean’s is CANCELED
Stella Maris Egg Harbor has canceled Mass/all religious activities
Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church activities – CANCELED
Sturgeon Bay Catholic churches’ have CANCELED religious education classes grades 1 – 8
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay – Opening at 11 AM

 

 

 

FROM DOOR COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR KEN PABICH

Door County officials are aware of the pending cold temperatures and wind for Wednesday and Thursday.  Door County operations will remain open during this period; however non-essential services may be limited or closed due to staffing levels.

 

We are advising the public to only travel if truly necessary.  If you choose to travel, please make sure that you are properly prepared for the conditions.  If the public needs support from a specific department or attending a county function, it is advised that you call ahead to ensure the office is open or the event is still occurring.

 

Thank you for your cooperation and please be safe. 

 

 FROM DOOR COUNTY YMCA

Wednesday, Jan 30th -  All classes are canceled. No on-site Kid Care. Program Centers will close at 7 pm.  

Thursday, Jan 31st -  All classes are canceled, No on-site Kid Care. Program Centers will be open 7 am - 7 pm.  Barker Center will delay opening until 7 am.

Representative not optimistic about future shutdowns

Without a change to the status quo, Wisconsin’s 8th District Representative Mike Gallagher believes the government could be shut down again. Rep. Gallagher was displeased the 35-day partial government shutdown accomplished nothing to address border security and just moved the next potential crisis three weeks from now. He believes politicians are using the wall to score political points and a fundamental change needs to occur before anything can be accomplished.

Rep. Gallagher renewed his call for reform by reintroducing his “Serve the People, Not the Swamp Act” Monday, which prevent Congress from going to recess without first adopting a balanced budget, place a five-year lobbying ban on its members and executive branch officials, and eliminate pensions. 

Herds get extra protection during extreme cold

Local dairy farmers are providing extra protection for their herds as Monday's winter storm is being followed by arctic-like windchills in Door and Kewaunee counties.  Like humans, dairy herds are impacted by cold weather and sub-zero temperatures.  Greg Letter, owner of  Thunderstruck Holsteins in Brussels, says extra precautions are being taken to ensure his herds are safe from the cold.

 

 

Letter says the herds' drinking water is also being warmed up so they stay hydrated and warm during the extreme cold.   

Winter storm slows ice cutter and ships to GB

The winter storm that closed schools and made travel hazardous also forced the U.S. Coast Guard to postpone ice cutting operations to Green Bay.  The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw successfully cleared the channel for the vessel Algo Soo and its load of rock salt to the Fox River Terminal in Green Bay over the weekend.  As the storm moved through the area Monday,  Mark Gill, Director of  Vessel Traffic Services for the U.S. Coast Guard in Sault Ste Marie, says conditions forced a delay in escorting the vessel Algo Canada and its cargo of diesel and gasoline to Green Bay until Tuesday morning.

 

 

Gill says plans were canceled to escort fuel shipments via the vessel Algo Nova when the ship became delayed in Lake Erie.  Once the Algo Canada leaves Green Bay commercial shipping to Northeast Wisconsin will be closed until March. 

Winter Storm Beth causes second day of closures--UPDATED

Whether it is the over 12 inches of snow hitting the area yesterday or the extreme cold following close behind, Winter Storm Beth is causing a second day of closures. A report from Door County Highway Commissioner John Kolodziej stated many low priority roads were still unplowed while all of them are snow covered and slippery. Wind chills well below zero degrees through Thursday could also be a factor. Below are the closures and cancellations for Tuesday, January 29th. We will continue to update this list as more information comes.

 

CLOSURES

All NWTC locations will close at 4:30 p.m. today, Tuesday, Jan. 29 and reopen as usual on Friday Feb. 1.

 

Boys & Girls Club of Door County will be closed on Wednesday, January 29

 

Southern Door School District - Southern Door will also be closed tomorrow Wednesday, January 29th

Sevastopol School District - Sevastopol will be closed tomorrow 

Casco Senior Dining

Luxemburg-Casco School District - LC schools will be closed tomorrow, but after-school activities are scheduled as planned

Kewaunee School District - Kewaunee will also be closed tomorrow

St. Peter's Lutheran School

Algoma Private and Public Schools (childcare is still open) - All Algoma schools will also be closed tomorrow Wednesday the 29th and Thursday the 30th. Childcare will also be closed these days as well.

Sturgeon Bay School District - Sturgeon Bay is closed Wednesday the 30 th also

Zion Lutheran School 

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

Gibraltar Area Schools

Northern Door Children's Center

St. John Bosco School Sturgeon Bay

Egg Harbor Library

St. Joseph's Parish no 830 AM mass, Mary Gilson cancer prayer group is canceled.  (1/30/19)

 

 

 

CANCELLATIONS

Stella Maris service in Sister Bay

Parent Cafe

Door County Master Gardner Program at Crossroads

 

POSTPONEMENTS

The League of Women Voters of Door County has canceled the Candidate Forum for Sevastopol Town Board scheduled for tonight.  It has been rescheduled for Thursday, January 31 at 6:30 PM in the Sevastopol Town Hall.

 

Washington Island Library will be open from 9 AM to 1 PM

 

The Southern Door Music Boosters fruit delivery will be moved back to Friday, February 1st.

 

 

Northern Door and Sturgeon Bay YMCA facilities will remain open as normally scheduled for Tuesday, Jan 29th & Wednesday, Jan 30th. 
 
All YMCA Classes at our Sturgeon Bay and Northern Door Program Centers (including on-site Kids Care) are cancelled beginning at 5:30pm Tuesday, January 29th through Wednesday, January 30th. 
 
Barker Child Development Center is running a normal schedule on Tuesday, January 29th &  Wednesday, January 30th.

Driving safer in cold weather

Taking precautions before you get in your vehicle is the first step in safer driving.  Extreme cold weather conditions are forecasted for the rest of the week and Randy Sahs from Sahs Auto Collision in Sturgeon Bay advises drivers to follow a checklist of winter safety tips.  He says drivers should check their tires before hitting the road.  

 

 

Sahs says tires should have adequate inflation and tread depth to handle slippery conditions.  He adds that your battery should have enough cold-cranking amps to start in sub-zero temperatures.  Making sure you have wiper blades that are in good condition is important as well. 

 

 

Sahs recommends that you should let your vehicle idle for at least five minutes before starting to drive and to keep your speeds less than 25 miles per hour for one mile to allow the transmission to warm slowly and lubricate as intended.   

Door County Highway Department battling through snow

The Door County Highway Department dealt with low visibility and equipment breakdowns to keep the roadways clear on Monday.  One grader suffered mechanical problems and Door County Highway Commissioner John Kolodziej says the crews focused on clearing the roadways until 7 pm on Monday and returned to plowing at one o’clock Tuesday morning.  

 

 

 

29 plow trucks and graders are being used to maintain the highways and county roads during and after the storm, according to Kolodziej.  Reportedly up to twelve inches of snow fell in parts of Door County on Monday.    

 

4:30 A.M REPORT FROM JOHN KOLODZIEJ

 

Door County Highway Department crews continued snow and ice control operations at 1:30 AM this morning from yesterdays 10 to 12 inches of snowfall.

 

At the completion of yesterdays operations, all State, all County, and most town roadways were plowed, but ongoing drifting quickly filled in behind the plows.

 

As of 4:30 AM, the temperature is -4 degrees, with light winds WSW at 6 mph. A very light snow is falling.

 

Forecast indicates a high temperature of 0 degrees today, with winds increasing to low 20 mph, with gusts up to the low 30 mph beginning at 12 noon. At 3 pm today wind chills are forecast to be -23 degrees, and dropping from there.  

 

All roads continue to be snow covered and slippery. Crews have been concentrating on State and County roads and high priority town roads.

 

Many low volume roadways have not been plowed yet, and are snow covered with drifts.

 

Crews are in the process of plowing the school lots and should be completed by 5 AM. A sand/salt mixture will be applied in lieu of salt due the low temperatures.

 

The cold conditions make salt use very ineffective, and crews will be applying sand/salt mixture on hills, curves and intersections throughout the day.

 

The cold conditions are creating a higher than usual mechanical problems with equipment, which is slowing the clean-up efforts.

 

With the forecast for colder weather for the next few days, all roads will continue to have hard pack snow on them, until temperatures increase to the point that would allow equipment to remove and chemicals to be effective.  

 

All motorists are advised to slow down, and travel very cautiously considering the road conditions.

Senator hopes to get fed workers backpay with interest

Sturgeon Bay’s Coast Guard families could be getting more money from missing their paychecks due to the partial government shutdown. Under the Back Pay Fairness Act cosponsored by Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, 800,000 federal workers including members of the United States Coast Guard, would see approximately 3.6 percent in interest added to their paychecks. Senator Baldwin says if the government can charge you interest for unpaid taxes, it should be able to pay you when it does not send you a check.

The bill is a variation of one already signed into law by President Donald Trump on January 16th guaranteeing back pay for federal employees negatively impacted by the 35-day shutdown. Senator Baldwin hopes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brings it to a vote as soon as possible.

Snow, cold causing issues across the area

A jackknifed semi-truck in Sister Bay was among the many incidents occurring in the area due to the poor winter conditions. According to Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski, six different snow-related calls were made to its dispatch center in a 12-hour span Monday, which does not account for random officer and deputy assists of motorists stuck in the road. In Sister Bay, a semi-truck driver was uninjured when his trailer jackknifed driving northbound on Highway 42 and tried to make a right turn onto Highway 57. Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht says they have not had too many other EMS calls related to Winter Storm Beth, but still encourages people to travel safely.

 

Following the snow system is extreme cold that could bring wind chills as low as -50 to the area. Hecht encourages people to take advantage of the comparatively warmer weather to check your propane tank levels and clear vents for your furnace, fireplace, and dryer. 

Gerrymandering a 2019 focus

Ahead of two gerrymandering cases heading to the U.S. Supreme Court in March, Common Cause Wisconsin is ramping the pressure to change how district lines are being drawn. The Republican North Carolina and Democratic Maryland legislatures are being put to task for unfairly drawing their district lines to favor their party in power. Wisconsin’s own case was sent back to the lower courts in June 2018 for not proving the harm caused by the gerrymandered maps in the state. Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck says a split government, the uncovering of $850,000 legal bill from a Chicago law firm for protecting the current district maps, and support across political persuasions are reasons for hope for change in 2019.

 

Heck encourages people to contact their local lawmakers and sign its petition of support for instituting the Iowa Model of reapportionment, which designates the duty of drawing district maps to a non-partisan review board. 

Luxemburg-Casco dance team makes state

Luxemburg-Casco’s dance team may be small in size, but it came up big in its state qualifying meet over the weekend in Kimberly. The Spartans took fourth in the poms competition, punching its ticket for its 14th straight trip to the state meet. With only 13 dancers on the roster, the Spartans often compete against other Division 3 squads twice their size. Varsity dance team coach Autumn Lensmire says the girls make it up in other ways.

 

The Luxemburg-Casco dance team will head to LaCrosse this weekend for the state meet. Team members begin meeting in June to start working on their routines that they carry with them through the football and basketball seasons. 
 

 

Keep pets inside during extreme cold

Humans are not the only ones affected by frostbite brought on by prolonged exposure to arctic cold weather.  Your four-legged furry friends are susceptible as well.  As temperatures are expected to drop well below zero degrees the next few days, Dr. Jordan Kobilca from the Door County Veterinary Hospital says to use common sense when it comes to letting your dog outside.  

 

 

 

 

Even if your dog has thick fur, they can develop frostbite on the tip of their ears, tail or toes.  Dr. Kobilca recommends checking your dog’s paws and underbelly for ice and any salt chemicals after coming back inside.  You can find tips on care for your pet during the winter with this story below.

 

https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/15-winter-care-tips-for-your-dog/     

City of Algoma keeping up with snow and cold

With the recent snow storm and temperatures expected to be sub-zero for the next few days, area municipalities are vigilantly working to keep their roadways safe.  Algoma City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says property owners are complying better by keeping sidewalks clear as the street department works around the clock to make travel safer around Algoma. 

 

 

Wiswell says that during the upcoming removal of snow it will be important for drivers to avoid parking on the streets and alleys to allow city crews the ability to clear the snow and ice.   Algoma City Hall was closed Monday due to the severe weather.    

Schools, others close due to winter storm--UPDATED

Winter Storm Beth is causing cancellations across Door and Kewaunee counties as it hit the area at around midnight Monday. Many school districts made the call to close their doors Sunday evening in anticipation.  The storm is expected to dump 8-12 inches of snow and wind gusts as high as 35 to 40 MPH. Stay tuned to DoorCountyDailyNews.com and the radio stations on updates for more school closings and anything else canceled or postponed. 

 

CLOSURES
Algoma School District

Algoma Private Schools
Sturgeon Bay School District
Luxemburg-Casco School District

Kewaunee School District
Kewaunee Parochial Schools
Gibraltar Area Schools
Southern Door School District

Washington Island School District
Sevastopol School District

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College- All Campuses
St. John Bosco School

 

Neighbor to Neighbor

Door County YMCA- All Facilities

Adventures Childcare in Brussels

Stella Maris Parish

Corpus Christi Parish

Sunshine House

East Shore Industries

St. Paul Lutheran School Luxemburg

St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran School Sturgeon Bay

Kewaunee County Dairy Promotion Committee Meeting- Moved to next Tuesday

Kewaunee County 4-H Swine Project meeting

Violence Intervention Project in Algoma

Door County Library- Egg Harbor, Sister Bay/Liberty Grove, Forestville, Baileys Harbor, Ephraim

St. Joseph Parish Sturgeon Bay office closed

St Peter and Paul in Institute office closed

Door-Tran

Kewaunee City Hall

Garbage pickup will be delayed by one day in Sturgeon Bay

St. Louis Parish, Dyckesville offices are closed on Monday. All activities are canceled.

 

Algoma City Hall

 

Door County Government:  Due to the weather conditions, many of the non-essential County operations are staffed at minimal levels or are closed

 

Sturgeon Bay Library is open at 9AM closing early at 5 PM

 

The ADRC is open but all meals and activities are canceled.

 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Door County

 

Fish Creek Library open from noon until 5 PM

 

Donald and Carol Kress Pavilion 

 

Washington Island Library will close at 3 PM

 

 

Door County avoided WNV in 2018

A ruffed grouse tested positive for West Nile virus in 2018 and that’s got people concerned in Door and Kewaunee Counties. For the first time in Wisconsin’s history, a ruffed grouse tested positive for West Nile Virus in 2018. WNV is a mosquito-borne illness that can be contracted by humans and animals. In 2018, some birds did test positive for WNV in Door County but there were no reported cases in humans according to the Wisconsin Health Department. Kewaunee County did not have any reported WNV. Josh Martinez is a Senior Wildlife Biologist for the Wisconsin DNR whose primary focus is on wildlife health and disease for Door and Kewaunee County and he says it’s not uncommon for birds to test positive for West Vile Virus.

 

 

It is possible to contract WNV and not know it as 80% of people infected with the disease never experience symptoms according to the WHD. In less than 1% of cases, WNV can be deadly. One person in Wisconsin died from West Nile Virus in 2018.

Need for more physical therapists at DCMC

The need for physical therapists is growing for Door County Medical Center. Deb Whitelaw Gorski is the Director of Rehab Services at DCMC and she says the growing population of people 55 and over in Door County means there is a lot of business. Patients need PT after having surgery, a stroke or any type of injury. Gorski says at DCMC they need one more full-time physical therapist and want to grow the department even more with part-time workers.

 

 

Physical therapy is a growing industry as the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development says the state will need more than 600 new physical therapists by 2024.

Documentary on stress in children

A new documentary could help you understand how stress affects children in Door County. The documentary is called "Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope" and the film deals with how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) negatively affect children into adulthood. Candis Dart is the Coordinator for the Door County Partnership for Children and Family and she says seeing this documentary will help parents understand how deeply stress can affect children and how small acts of care can really help them.

 

 

There will be a free public screening of "Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope" on February 7th at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor. There will be a light dinner starting at 5 p.m. and the film starts at 5:30 p.m. A panel discussion will follow the film.

Even with cold temps be careful ice fishing

Even with the frigid cold temperatures of this week ice fishing in Door County can still be a dangerous thing. Due to the strong winds, the ice on the east side of Lake Michigan formed jagged and cracked in many places. Captain J.J. Malvitz, the owner of J.J.’s Guide Service, says you need to be careful when navigating the ice. Malvitz says you can’t just assume you’ll have an easy time on the ice.

 

 

Malvitz says he just started giving tours on Tuesday due to the rough ice. He added that you should ask the bait shop owners and other people who really know the lake whether it is safe. On Monday, a man died after falling through the ice while riding an ATV on Lake Winnebago.

Record high number of bald eagles

Bald eagles were counted in record high numbers in Door and Kewaunee counties in 2018. Joe Henry is the Conservation Biologist of large birds of prey for the DNR for Upper Lake Michigan which includes Door and Kewaunee County. Henry says 17 eagles’ nests were reported in Door County and three in Kewaunee County. The use of pesticides harmful to eagles' eggs has gone down. Also, eagles need large trees to nest in and the number of those trees has been going up for decades now. The eagle population can still be higher and Henry says hunters and anglers can stop using lead bullets and lead sinkers to help. Henry says you should also report any eagle’s nest you see to the DNR.

 

 

It was the second year in a row that Wisconsin had a record high number of eagles.

Semi-trucks new camera technology

A Sturgeon Bay auto technician says the days of mirrors on semi-trucks may be coming to an end. Many newer trucks are using updated camera technology that gets put on the back trucks to help eliminate blind spots, improve visibility in the dark and help eliminate glare that the mirrors create. Randy Sahs, the owner of Sahs Auto Collision in Sturgeon Bay, says he sees some trucks currently using this camera technology. Sahs thinks that in 5-10 years almost every truck on the road will be using cameras instead of mirrors. 

 

 

 

Taking the mirrors off of trucks will also create less drag and raise fuel efficiency. 

Pride Pumps donate to Algoma Destination Imagination

The Algoma School District is getting help for a special program. Destination Imagination in Algoma is receiving $159.12 from the Jandu Petroleum Pride Pumps program. Destination Imagination is a program where children get together in small groups and try to figure out a problem in the STEAM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). Adults are not allowed to help students with the problem. Students compete at a state, national, and international levels. The Algoma DI has nine teams all with two to seven students. Robyn Harper is the DI Coordinator for the Algoma School District and she says those nine teams are prepping for the Regional Tournament in Sturgeon Bay on March 2nd. Harper would like to use the Pride Pump donation to fund a group’s trip to the international DI tournament this year.

 

 

Harper added every student can learn how to develop skills and problem solving with other people that help them prepare for their lives past school and careers.

Wisconsin hay shortage

A Door County farmer is grateful to have survived a hay shortage in Wisconsin this winter. Wisconsin farmers had a hard time keeping hay bails dry in the fall due to flooding. This has caused a shortage in what is available for livestock feed this winter. Rich Olson owns Olson Family Farms in Southern Door County and he says that he has seen other farmers struggle to find hay at a reasonable price. Olson was lucky enough to have enough hay both for himself and to sell to other local farmers. 

 

 

Many Wisconsin farmers have had to go outside of Wisconsin for hay or pay a premium for it within the state.

Adopt-a-Soldier provides care packages to Coast Guard

Amidst a tense government situation that has left many federal workers and Coast Guard members feeling uneasy about their future, a local non-profit is continuing to provide support in as many ways that they can. Nancy Hutchinson, the founder and director of Adopt-a-Soldier, and several volunteers from the Coast Guard met at Hutchinson’s home on Saturday to put together about 70 care packages for troops overseas. However, this time marked a special occasion, as some of the soldiers specifically requested that their care package is given to members of the Coast Guard instead. Hutchinson said the program exists simply to give thanks to those who serve the country in ways others don’t.

 

       

 

Adopt-a-Soldier sends care packages eight times a year, and will next put together a shipment for Easter in March. Hutchinson said putting together and shipping the packages are easier than one might think, and also said she was grateful that the community has completely embraced the organization’s cause.

Proper furnace management crucial during extreme cold

With temperatures down to the single digits and below, many Door County residents are looking to keep their indoor spaces as comfortable as possible over the next couple of weeks. With that in mind, a local heating and cooling expert is providing some tips to make sure one’s furnace and home are ready for even the most extreme temperatures. Tom Kinnard, the owner of Kinnard Heating and Cooling, said one of the most important things one can do to manage their heating efficiency is to keep the thermostat steady as much as possible.

 

 

Kinnard also recommends always keeping tabs on every room in the house to make sure that heat is spread evenly throughout the house. Keeping some rooms colder than others can cause ice to form and cause internal damage to the walls and pipes, as well as the furnace. Keeping everything in working order can lead to more comfort indoors, but also save a little bit more money too.

 

 

One more tip Kinnard provided was to check air filters monthly to ensure there aren’t any leaks that could be causing one to lose heat, even if everything else is working properly.

Door County Reads featuring photography galleries

The 2019 Door County Reads event will feature two photography galleries featuring pictures taken underwater. The “Ancient Survivors” gallery is comprised of black and white shots taken of sturgeon by artists from around the world. In the “Under the Surface” gallery, the photos displayed feature underwater photography taken by students enrolled in the therapeutic nature program at Northwest Passage, which is a residential treatment center for at-risk youth. Morgan Mann, the Community Relations Library Assistant at the Door County Library, said there are opportunities all throughout the county to view the photographs.

 

 

Although the “Ancient Survivors” gallery will be shown throughout Door County, the “Under the Surface” gallery will be shown exclusively at The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor. Both galleries will be available for viewing from February 4th to the 15th. Although the galleries are the longest continuously running event of the program, there are multiple individual events such as book discussions, writing workshops and lectures to participate in.

Next Civility Project lecture over the topic of water

With the first three lectures out of the way, the next topic of discussion in the Door County Talks series will center on civilized debates about water. Due to the location of Door County, water can be a hot topic of debate among citizens, and often that debate can turn hostile. Dr. Roger Kuhns, a writer, performer and geologist, will give his thoughts on how best to discuss an issue of such importance like the quality of Door County's water. Shirley Senerighi, a member of the Door County Civility Project, said she hopes the talk will lead to more civilized debate over how best to work with Door County's bountiful water supply.

 

 

Senerighi said she has been pleased with the high attendance at each of the first three lectures and would like to see the same amount or even more attend the last two discussions. "Healthy Waters and  Navigating Political Shoals" will be held on Saturday, February 2nd, at 10 a.m. in the Door County Auditorium.

Students keeping memory alive with philanthropy

A couple of Gibraltar High School student groups have done their part in working to keep a beloved classmate’s memory alive. Two student groups involved with marketing classes at the high school put together and went through with a couple of fundraising events to support the Go Bo Foundation. Five students in the Entrepreneurship class at Gibraltar marketed AREA BLUE t-shirts, modeled after the popular AREA RED t-shirts available at the University of Wisconsin. The group consisted of Brandon Stillman, Connor Duffy, Andras Szakala, Griffin Reinhardt, and Trevor Reinhart. Mary Witteborg, the marketing education and the business education teacher at Gibraltar area schools, said the boys performed all of the tasks involved themselves.

 

 

In addition to the previous project, another group, formally presented Annika Johnson, the mother of the Go Bo Foundation’s namesake, with a check for $300 they had raised in the fall. The Gibraltar Business Club, GBAY/DECA, had originally raised $150 after holding a Glow in the Dark Bean Bag Toss at last year’s football Homecoming Game. The group decided to match the funds raised for another $150 to be given to Johnson. Witteborg said the two projects helped show the students the importance of philanthropy in business.

 


The Go Bo Foundation was created by the Johnson family to honor their son, Bo, who was diagnosed with leukemia and passed away in 2012. 

 


 

Door Peninsula Astronomical Society looking for new members

The Door Peninsula Astronomical Society is always open to new members looking to get involved with its viewings and other activities. The group has a meeting on the first Tuesday of every month at the Astronomy Center that is open to the public. Dave Lenius, a member of the society who serves on its board of directors, said joining is simple because there's more than one way to do it. The easiest, Lenius said, would simply be to go online and download the membership form.
 


The society holds frequent public viewings at the Leif Everson Observatory, which the group manages and maintains. The observatory is equipped with state-of-the-art telescopes and refractors for an enhanced viewing of stars and planets.
 

Teaching math has changed over the years

Over the last 25 years, Sturgeon Bay math teacher Cliff Wind has seen many changes to the ways students best learn and grow. Technology has developed in a way that has simplified problems that were extremely difficult during Wind's school days and early teaching years, especially with the advancement of more complex calculators that can create graphs and solve complex formulas. However, Wind said despite the improvements technology can provide, he has had to limit its use for practical reasons. On occasion, he still requires students to learn how to do most problems without the aid of a calculator to keep them from becoming overreliant on it. He also does so to prepare them for the most advanced classes Sturgeon Bay has to offer. Wind also said math has become much less about the individual and has developed more of a group focus in his years as a teacher.
 


Aside from teaching during the normal school day, Wind coaches the Sturgeon Bay math team that competes in the Packerland Conference. The team recently won its second conference meet by a wide margin, with Sturgeon Bay competitors taking home 65 percent of the individual medals. The team has also won 17 straight conference championships.
 

Sevastopol Multicultural Club opening world up to students

A Sevastopol High School club is helping students to open their minds to the world around them. Led by adviser Carrie Mulrain, the Multicultural Club at Sevastopol meets once a week and holds a student-led discussion to study a different country chosen by the students themselves. Different aspects of the chosen country’s culture are then examined, such as food, language, and entertainment options. The club also recently received a gift of $445 from the Jandu Petroleum Pride Pump in Sturgeon Bay, allowing the group some funds to further spend on their activities. Mulrain said the group is not sure about how the money is going to be spent yet, but did offer a few ideas.
 


The club started around 7-8 years ago under the direction of Bridget Bowers, the school’s current library media specialist. It had dissolved briefly before being revived two years ago after a surge of student interest.
 

Tips for starting car in subzero weather

With temperatures forecasted to be in single digits and below zero for the next week, drivers may want to take more time getting their car ready before hitting the road.  Jenny Obry, service manager at Jorns Chevrolet in Kewaunee, recommends warming up your vehicle before venturing out on any short trips.

 

 

She says checking and testing your battery is very important too.

 


An electric engine block heater or blanket can make starting and speed up delivery of warm air to the heater and defroster.  You can find a list of additional tips on starting your car in subzero weather with this story below.

 

  https://www.cars.com/articles/2014/01/tips-to-start-your-car-in-the-cold/   

Private-public partnership bringing faster internet speeds to small towns

Fiber optic networks tailored to rural areas like Door and Kewaunee counties are growing and bringing high-speed internet through private-public partnerships.  The Village of Weston, near Wausau, is the latest Wisconsin community to partner with phone, TV and internet company TDS.   They'll break ground in spring on a fiber optic network that will provide up to 1-gigabit internet speeds, TV and voice services.  TDS National Communications Manager DeAnne Boegli says partnering with rural communities makes it feasible to bring in high-speed internet.

 

 


The Weston fiber optic network project will cost between $8-10 million.  When finished in the fall, the village's 4400 residents and 550 businesses will have full access to high-speed internet.  

Domestic abuse impacts economy

Domestic abuse can have a big effect on area workforces.  Help of Door County Executive Director Steve Vickman says it cost over eight million days of paid work in the United States.  Lost jobs can also be a major result of domestic violence, according to Vickman.

 

 

 Vickman says domestic abuse costs the U.S. economy $8.3 million annually.  You can find information on services provided by Help of Door County and how to report domestic abuse with this information below.

 

HELP of Door County provides services and programs throughout the Door County Peninsula to victims of domestic abuse. We work to improve the well-being and dignity of individuals, families, and intimate relationships. We do this by supporting and enhancing their strengths to reduce the incidence of violence and conflict within their relationships. HELP does not provide counseling but we are here to listen without judgment, support without blaming, and empower victims through advocacy and information. Due to the generosity of our community, all victim services are free and confidential.

 

 

 

 

 

24 hour hotline :  920-743-8818

Ferry feeling the freeze

Washington Island Ferry riders are being reminded to bundle up and add extra time to their travels as a deep freeze hits Northeast Wisconsin. Overnight temperatures well below zero during the next week and wind make for perfect ice making conditions on the water, which complicates the ferry’s journey from Northport to Washington Island. Ferry President Hoyt Purinton says in addition to keeping its path clear from ice, another big challenge is making sure it can even get away from the dock for its two daily roundtrips.

Purinton says they do work hard to keep the passenger cabin warm and the decks clear of ice for the safety of its ferry riders during trips. 

Peninsula Park trails and hills open during bitter cold

Winter sports lovers can still take to Peninsula State Park's cross-country ski trails and sledding hills despite hazardous wind chills.  This week's winter storm dumped up to seven inches of snow around the park.  That's made for good skiing and sledding.  While the trails and hills are open, Park Superintendent Brian Markowski recommends visitors take precautions.

 

 

 

The severe wind chills have canceled one event at Peninsula State Park.  A snowshoe hike planned for Saturday, January 26, has been called off.  But the Nature Center will be open as scheduled from 12:00 noon to 3:00 PM. 

Ice breaking needed for winter salt & fuel supplies

Topping up your fuel tanks and getting better traction on roads is being made possible by ice breaking operations that start on Saturday.  That's when the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw will be accompanying the carrier Algo Soo and its cargo of rock salt to the Fox River Terminal in Green Bay.  That will be followed up on Sunday and Monday with the carriers Algo Canada and Algo Nova bringing gasoline and diesel fuel to the U.S. Oil terminal.  Mark Gill, Director of Vessel Services for the U.S. Coast Guard, says these transports are the only way currently to get these products to consumers.

 

 

Gill also recommends those who want to ice fish, snowmobile or venture out on the ice during these operations should be prepared.

 


Gill says once these operations are finished shipping on the Port of Green Bay will be closed for at least the next six weeks.

 

(Photo courtesy of DVIDS)

WRA not dead

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will not rely on it for redevelopment decisions, but its November resolution did not erase the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority. The WRA met Thursday afternoon to discuss the recent declaratory ruling by the Department of Natural Resources regarding the ordinary high water mark on disputed parcels on Sturgeon Bay’s west waterfront.  The meeting ended with no decision on whether or not the committee would appeal the decision, but some challenged whether or not the meeting could take place. City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout says the WRA remains a legal corporation of the state and can continue to call meetings to conduct business.

Van Lieshout says city officials were on site for the discussion because two members of the WRA sit on the Sturgeon Bay Common Council and to make sure the committee followed open meeting laws.  

 

Click here to read the resolution from the Sturgeon Bay Common Council 

Public art a draw in Egg Harbor

Egg Harbor visitors can expect to see even more public art being displayed in the future. Improvements to Highway G planned for this year will include more pedestrian-friendly paths and some additional public art displays to bring the total in the village up near 20. Village administrator Ryan Heise says residents and visitors are giving the installations positive feedback.

Heise says the return of the popular Eggstravaganza temporary displays will give public art a boost this summer.

 

 

 

Southern Door FFA Alumni Gala event March 8

The Southern Door FFA Alumni Club has kept farming a strong presence in the area by pairing wine and cheese.  The biggest source of support for FFA at Southern Door High School comes from the annual Door County Wine and Cheese Gala each year.  Rich Olson, president of the Southern Door FFA Alumni, explains how the funds raised impact the program. 

 

 

 

  The Door County Wine and Cheese Gala has attracted up to 500 people in past events, according to Olson. Tickets are now available in advance for $25 online at doorcountywineandcheese.com.  

Frigid forecast could stop Crossroads skiing cold

Despite plenty of snow for cross country skiing at the Crossroads at Big Creek, single-digit temperatures and gusty winds could stop this weekend's Ski for Free event.  Trails are currently open and experienced cross-country skiers will be allowed to use them.  Crossroads Executive Director Coggin Heeringa says, however, the preserve doesn't want to put infrequent skiers, especially children, at risk.

 

 

 

The best way to find out if Crossroads Ski for Free weekend is still on or canceled is to log on to their website crossroadsatbigcreek.com.

Algoma plow crews regroup for new snowfall

After salting, sanding and plowing all night,  Algoma Department of Public Works snowplow drivers are taking to the streets again as new snowfall moves into the area.    Public Works Director Matt Murphy says plow drivers have been given time to rest before getting streets in shape in time for the afternoon and evening commutes.

 

 

Murphy says the decision on whether to go with salting and sanding of intersections or clearing all roads and highways will depend on how long snowfall will continue.

Snowmobile trails partially open in Door County

The opening of some Door County snowmobile trails is great news for local bars, restaurants, gas stations and hotels. The Door County Facilities and Parks Department opened trails in the Southwest and Southeast zones.  That follows the recent winter storm that NOAA says helped increase Door County's snow depths to between five and ten inches.  Currently, conditions on those trails are listed as fair.  Parks Superintendent Ben Nelson says snow depths alone do not determine which trails can be opened and which trails stay closed.

 

 

 

For the latest Door County snowmobile trail conditions log on to map.co.door.wi.us/parks.

Luxemburg-Casco school freshmen get hands-on experience

Giving high school students a reason to stay in Kewaunee County after graduation is a hoped-for outcome of a career fair at the Luxemburg Casco High School.  The Luxemburg-Casco School District is planning a Career Readiness Tour and Presentation for freshman students.  The day will give students the opportunity to visit businesses and industries throughout Kewaunee and Brown counties.  Director of Learning Services Mike Snowberry says the planned event is February 20 and is a way for ninth graders to explore post-secondary and career options.  He shares how the idea came about.  

 

 

 Snowberry says the main goal is to expose the students to potential business career opportunities and make them think about which ones fit their interests.   He says Luxemburg-Casco High School may take faculty on similar tours during their August in-service.   150 students will be bussed to about 20 different businesses during the Career Readiness Tour, according to Snowberry.    

Arctic blast brings dangerously cold temps

The weather is not just going to be uncomfortably cold but dangerous also in Door County. The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory for almost all of Wisconsin including Door and Kewaunee County from 6 p.m. Thursday night until noon on Friday. The wind chills could drop to between 25 to 35 below zero. The NWS says that frostbite can occur on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes when it’s that cold. Dan Kane is the Door County Emergency Communications Director and he says that the people of Door County take pride in how they can handle cold weather but people should be very careful being outside.

 

 

This “arctic blast” is being forecasted to last into the beginning of February. The forecast calls for single-digit to below-zero temperatures until February 2nd.

Shows kick off camping season

It may not feel like it outside but campgrounds and recreational vehicle dealers in Door County are already getting prepared for the summer camping season. Seven RV and camping shows are scheduled to take place over the next three months across the state, including one in Green Bay this weekend. Quietwoods RV President Steve Neuville expects to see up to a quarter of its customers for the entire year during the four-day show. He says in addition to getting better deals on campers, more people are starting to get into it.

Harbour Village Resort General Manager Anne Fiorello says it is a great time to talk to people about joining them in Carlsville for a weekend or two.

According to the North American Camping Report, 77 million U.S. households have someone who camps at least occasionally during the year with some of the biggest gains occurring among millennials.

Kewaunee County patient with dam drawdown

Kewaunee County officials plan on reaching out to their counterparts in Door County after a two-year drawdown plan of the Forestville Millpond was approved earlier this week. Many Kewaunee County residents traveled to Sturgeon Bay Tuesday to voice their concerns about the plans, fearing agricultural runoff in the water could further contaminate the Ahnapee River. Kewaunee County Land and Water Chairperson Chuck Wagner says the river cannot get much worse since it is already on the state’s impaired water listing. He is among those that still have questions moving forward.

Wagner says it is likely they will invite members of the Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department to its upcoming meeting in March to answer question their committee might have. 

Pate charged in Luxemburg armed robbery

The Kewaunee County District Attorney has formally charged Jaccob Pate in the January 8th armed robbery of Main Street Crossing in Luxemburg.  Investigators say Pate pulled a handgun on a clerk, demanded all of the money in the cash register and took off with less than $500.  Pate has also been charged in Brown County with a series of armed robberies hours earlier in Green Bay.  An initial appearance has not been set in connection with the Luxemburg robbery.  Kewaunee County District Attorney Andrew Naze says that's due to timing with Brown County's case against Pate.

 


Pate is being held in the Brown County Jail on $30,000 cash bond. He's scheduled to be arraigned in Brown County Circuit Court on February 4th in connection with the Green Bay robberies.  

Residents voice opinions about waterfront

Over 200 people attended two community meetings this week at Sturgeon Bay High School to make sure their thoughts on the future of the Westside Waterfront were heard. It was part of a weeklong effort by the ad hoc West Waterfront Committee to gather more information from the community before they begin making recommendations.  The committee also gathered feedback via surveys, a meeting with state officials, and conversations at the Door County Community Foundation. Ad hoc committee chair Laurel Hauser says it was great to hear people believe they could have public access and keep their working waterfront.

 

The committee met again Thursday to recap the past few days so they can begin developing a plan and make recommendations. 

Kewaunee County funds new jail study

The Kewaunee County Board of  Supervisors approved funding for a jail needs assessment study.  Supervisors approved $60,700 to hire Venture Architects of Milwaukee.  County Administrator Scott Feldt says the company will do extensive research to determine the needed size of a new jail.

 

 

Feldt says the first phase of planning for the new jail would take between three and six months to complete. 

Winter sports lovers be aware of ice breaking on Green Bay

Snowmobilers and those who ice fish on the bay of Green Bay should be prepared for possible ice cutting this weekend.  A U.S. Coast Guard Cutter is being dispatched to break ice between January 26th and January 29th to allow ships to drop off and pick up needed commodities in Green Bay.  Brown County Port and Resource Recovery Director Dean Haen says such shipments are coming just after the shipping season ended.

 


The U.S. Coast Guard recommends all recreational ice users plan their activities carefully, use caution on the ice, and stay away from shipping channels.  DoorCountyDailyNews.com and the radio stations will bring you updates on waterway closures.

Lawmakers on Evers call for bipartisanship

Governor Tony Evers first State of the State message called for improvements in education, transportation, health care and environmental quality.  Governor Evers also called for pragmatic, bipartisan support in the legislature to reach those goals.  Area lawmakers have differing opinions on the governor's address.  Democratic State Senator Dave Hansen says Evers talked about issues that have long needed to be addressed.

 

 


Republican State Senator Andre Jacque wanted to hear more specific details on the issues, although he says Evers's call for bipartisanship is admirable.

 


Governor Evers and Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes took to the road today to promote and talk about the issues in the state of the state address. 

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding finishes major barge conversion

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding of Sturgeon Bay has completed a major barge conversion project.  The shipyard delivered the dry bulk carrier barge "Commander" to Port City Marine Services of Muskegon, Michigan.  Detailed designs were done by Bay Engineering of Sturgeon Bay. The work by Fincantieri included installation of new cargo holds and a new cargo unloading system in the 495-foot by72-foot barge.  Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding Vice President and General Manager Todd Thayse says the 21-month project was a challenge to the shipyard and its employees.

 


Port City Marine Services manages and operates various freight ships on the Great Lakes.  The company is a repeat customer of the Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding yard.      

Door County's unique issues in rural housing crisis

Seasonal housing growth in Door County is among the unique issues in a nationwide shortage of affordable housing.  The Housing Assistance Council, a non-profit group that helps build homes in rural areas, says no new USDA financed rental housing has been developed in years and existing housing is becoming less affordable. Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jim says the growth of Airbnb properties to attract seasonal tenants is contributing to the shortage in Door County.

 

 

The DCEDC has been doing a survey on housing needs in Door County.  That survey is expected to be released in early February.

County highway departments adjust snowplowing game plans

The Door and Kewaunee County Highway Departments have nearly all of their plows out and are able to keep up with snow removal.  Currently, county and state highways have been given priority for plowing.  Thad Ash, Patrol Superintendent for Door County,  says some roads are being treated with deicing mixtures and that will increase as the snowfall eases up.

 

 


Kewaunee County Highway Commissioner Todd Every says his department will also step up plowing efforts as the snowfall dissipates. His only concern right now would be gusty winds.

 


Every and Ash also say motorists have been adjusting well to changing conditions and have had very few reports of weather-related driving incidents.

Sturgeon Bay math team dominates Algoma meet

The Sturgeon Bay math team put on another incredible performance at the second Packerland Conference meet held Monday night in Algoma. The Varsity squad picked up 305 points, 75 points ahead of the second place Oconto team. Leading the way for the Clippers was junior Michael Laxo, who finished with a perfect score of 40 points. At the upperclassmen level, four out of five top seniors and all five of the top juniors represented Sturgeon Bay. Cliff Wind, a Sturgeon Bay math teacher and the team's coach, said he was obviously pleased with the results.

 


Sturgeon Bay also had the top performer at the sophomore and freshman level as well. Sturgeon Bay's two junior varsity teams took first and second in the JV competition with 292 and 206 points respectively. The first team scored enough points to theoretically take second in the varsity competition, while the second team would have placed fourth. Sturgeon Bay leads in the conference standings after two meets with 40 points, and currently sit in front of Oconto (32) and NEW Lutheran (30).
 

Astronomical Society offering outreach to school districts

The Door Peninsula Astronomical Society is open to educational opportunities from school districts in the area. Dave Lenius, a member of the Board of Directors for the society, said the group can be available to open up the observatory to any group of interested science or physics students. Lenius said they also have options for classes that don't require waiting until nighttime to view.

 


The society participates in events throughout the year, but most recently held a viewing of the "Super Wolf Blood Moon" lunar eclipse on Sunday night.
 

Algoma enforcing street and sidewalk ordinances

After a two year campaign on educating residents on the responsibility of shoveling sidewalks and parking on streets, the City of Algoma is clamping down on those violating ordinances.  City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says residents must comply or face the consequences.  He says it is a public safety concern when residents do not follow the rules. 

 

 

 

Wiswell says non-compliant people will be cited this winter after numerous warnings in the past.  Violators could receive fines ranging from $25 to $100.

Safety tips during wintery weather

With a winter storm warning in effect through Wednesday and extreme cold forecast later this week, area drivers are being advised to take added precautions and use care if you must travel.  Randy Sahs of Sahs Auto Collision in Sturgeon Bay recommends a winter safety kit to keep in your vehicle.

 

 

 Sahs also suggests, if you must travel, to keep at least a half tank of gas in your vehicle and inform friends and family of your travel plans.  You can find more tips below.

 

 

 

 

AAA recommends the following winter driving tips:

Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.

Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.

Make certain your tires are properly inflated.

Never mix radial tires with other tire types.

Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.

If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.

Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).

Always look and steer where you want to go.

Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.

Tips for long-distance winter trips:

Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.

Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having it inspected by a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.

Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.

Pack a cellular telephone with your local AAA’s telephone number, plus blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.

If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.

Don’t over exert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.

Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.

Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.

Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.

If possible run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.

Tips for driving in the snow:

Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.

Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver by driving slowly.

The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.

Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.

Don’t stop if you can avoid it. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.

Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed down hill as slowly as possible.

Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Get some inertia going on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.

Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.

 

Local food pantries looking for canned meals

Area food pantries are addressing the major needs of community members at an increasing rate this winter.  Estella Huff, director of Feed and Clothe My People of Door County, says restocking the shelves to meet the demand is an ongoing challenge.  She says helpful items that can be donated include the convenient can meals. 

 

 

 Winter clothing and boots are also needed for elementary-age children, according to Huff. Feed and Clothe My People of Door County is located on North 14th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay and is open four hours every weekday. 

Door County Supervisors approve Younkers purchase plan

Door County is moving forward with the purchase of the former Younkers Furniture store on 4th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.  The Door County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the transfer of $505,000 in undesignated funds to a designated account for the purchase. The county wants the vacant store for the Door County Historical Museum archives.  Supervisor Linda Watt, who serves on the Museum and Archives Committee says the current storage of those materials in a county-owned house near the museum is putting them at risk.

 

 

The Board of Supervisors also indicated repairs needed for the Younkers building would come from an account previously designated for a permanent county archive facility.

Forestville Millpond drawdown plan moves forward

Despite vocal opposition, the Door County Board of Supervisors voted today to draw down The Forestville Millpond.  The plan to draw down the pond will allow the contaminated sediment to degrade naturally. The drawdown would begin this November and last for two-years. During the public comment session, residents and Forestville leaders overwhelmingly spoke against the drawdown.

 

 

Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department Conservationist Erin Hanson says studies show that the drawdown is the most effective and most economical approach.

 

 

The drawdown would be done gradually by following Department of Natural Resources recommendations of about three-inches per day.  That would avert flooding and a massive release of sediments downstream.

Wastewater treatment focus of Washington Island School project

Help planning for the decades ahead for Washington Island wastewater treatment concerns is coming from a group of eighth graders. At the guidance of their teacher Miranda Dahlke, the team of students at Washington Island School is using classroom skills in science, technology, engineering, and math to tackle the topic, which brought national acclaim to the island over 30 years ago. During the course of their project, the students will have to take a look at a number of wastewater treatment solutions and their impact during the busier summer season and slower winter time. The school has already earned $20,000 in a technology grant from Samsung to help continue their project. It is something principal Michelle Kanipes takes tremendous pride in seeing.

The team of students could earn as much as $150,000 in additional grants for the state’s smallest school district if their project is chosen in the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow Contest. Island resident and teacher Donna Briesmeister says during the summer over one million gallons of septic waste is spread, compared to just 70,000 in the winter. 

Door-Can along for the journey

Sturgeon Bay’s Door-Can makes sure no family feels alone as a loved one goes through cancer treatment. According to the American Association of Retired Persons, treating cancer itself could cost people between $100,000 and $150,000 without factoring in travel for appointments and lost time at work. Door-Can Board Member and cancer survivor Sue Wehrli says the organization helps cancer patients take care of at least some of those bills.

If you live in Door County and just found out you or a family member has been diagnosed with cancer, you can apply for assistance from Door-Can at the cancer center at Door County Medical Center. 

Winter Storm Austin hitting area

Snowblowers in Door and Kewaunee counties may get their first real action of the season as much of northeast Wisconsin enters a winter storm warning. From 9 a.m. Tuesday to noon Wednesday, the National Weather Service is suggesting total snow accumulations could be between six and ten inches, though other models are guessing less could fall. Overnight winds could make a bad storm worse with blowing snow causing bad visibility and drifting on area roadways.  Some local organizations like the Door County Master Gardeners and Kewaunee Artisan Center are already canceling Tuesday evening events. You can follow DoorCountyDailyNews.com for an updated list of early dismissals, cancellations, and postponements throughout the day. 

 

The Southern Door girls basketball game at Oconto is postponed.

 

Picture Courtesy of National Weather Service

Local firefighters fighting fewer fires

Through efforts of education and prevention, local fire departments are responding to fewer burning buildings than thirty years ago.   According to the National Fire Protection Association, fire responses by municipal fire departments are less than a third than they were in 1977.  Gary Vandertie, a 35 year veteran of the Southern Door Fire Department explains the difference in the response calls over the years. 

 

 

 Less flammable materials are credited with the decrease in reported fires as well.  Vandertie says the Southern Door Fire Department has 50 volunteers including Emergency Medical Responders with training scheduled twice a month.  He says firefighters who have to enter burning buildings with inner packs must have over 100 hours of training and certification.   

Forestville group petitioning to stop millpond drawdown

A plan to temporarily drain the Forestville Millpond has local residents working to stop the measure before it starts.  “Friends of Forestville Dam” has gathered over 700 signatures to prevent a proposed two-year drawdown that is being voted on at the Door County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday.   Friends group member Robert Sijgers, who owns property along the Millpond says the decision to drain it not only devastates property values and recreational opportunities but does not solve the long term problem.  

 

 

The Door County Soil and Water Department gave a report detailing the issues of the Mill Pond last June.   The Facilities & Parks Department subsequently recommended a two-year drawdown over the other preferred option of removing the Forestville Dam completely.   

Local communities hope bankuptcy doesn't stop Shopko's generosity

Shopko's filing for bankruptcy protection is raising concerns about the company's ability to help local charities.  The company has sponsored a and hosted a car show at its Sister Bay store.  Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski credits Shopko with making the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve's "Toys for Tots" campaign, which he's involved with, a success.

 

 

Shopko plans to close 105 stores nationwide.  The Shopko Hometown stores in Sister Bay and Kewaunee remain open and operate as usual during the bankruptcy process.

New telescopes show images of eclipse

The new telescopes at the Leif Everson Observatory in Sturgeon Bay were really able to show off what they can do. The Door County Astronomical Society hosted a viewing of the "Blood Moon" lunar eclipse at the observatory on Sunday night. Dave Lenius of the DCAS was thrilled it was a clear night and images of the eclipse were shown inside the observatory. Lenius says about 25 people showed up and they got quite a treat when the eclipse reached totality. 

 

 

Lenius is working on being able to save images from the telescope and post them online. The DCAS meets the first Tuesday of every month at the Ray and Ruthie Stonecipher Astronomy Center in Sturgeon Bay.

Door County looks to next-generation 911 system

You should have no problem having your calls to the Door County 911 Center answered quickly because of a new upgrade that's operating now.  The county emergency management and communications department and some county supervisors, however, are already looking toward the next generation of 911 systems.  Emergency Management and Communications Director Dan Kane says the NG-911 system will allow the county to accommodate changes in personal communications technology.

 

 

 

 

County supervisors are already looking to the state for help.  Some have recently spoken to lawmakers to see what types of grant monies might be available for future 911 system upgrades.  

Cops and schools ready for trouble

Door County law enforcement agencies and school districts have plans in place to deal with intruders or other emergencies.  And they're asking for public assistance to make it easier for them to respond in a crisis.  Sheriffs Department Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says in an emergency situation at school parents should monitor their phones and news media outlets for the latest information and stay at home.

 

 


McCarty also says schools hold drills so students and school staff can take cover and take action, if necessary.

 

 

McCarty also says communication is vital between school officials and police agencies during a crisis situation.  So parents are being reminded not to call the schools and risk tying up phone lines or call their children's' mobile phones, which could tip off an intruder to where they may be hiding.

Shutdown not impacting food safety inspections at local farms

The Food and Drug Administration is looking to bring more food safety staff back to work without pay.  That won't impact local farms or food processors.  Food safety inspections at such facilities are handled by staff from Wisconsin's Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.  So Kewaunee County Agriculture Agent Aerica Bjurstrom says it's business as usual.

 


If more FDA food safety workers are called back to work they won't be paid until after the shutdown, just like Coast Guard personnel and TSA staff.

Former Younkers store would make room at the museum

The purchase of the former Younkers Store on 4th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay would give the Door County Historical Museum some additional room at its present location.  The county is looking at the vacant store for museum and county archive storage.  Museum Director Maggie Weir says having additional space next door to the museum would ease a storage crunch.

 

 

The Door County Board of Supervisors is expected to take up a resolution authorizing the $505,000 purchase when it meets in regular session at 10:00 AM, Tuesday at the County Government Center on Nebraska Street in Sturgeon Bay.

Snyder has Bridge Up for beer drinkers

The tap lines are open for Sturgeon Bay’s newest brewery. Bridge Up Brewing Company debuted three beers over the weekend at its home base of Sonny’s Italian Kitchen in Sturgeon Bay. It was the culmination of several months for head brewer Trent Snyder, who made the step up from making beer in a foam cooler on the weekends with friends to the one barrel system beneath the bar at Sonny’s. As he has been able to meet with other brewers in northeast Wisconsin, Snyder says the one lesson he has learned is to continue to ask questions.

 

Snyder says more beers will join the current lineup of a breakfast porter, cream ale, and brown ale in the coming weeks that are already in the works, but mentioned he is also always open to customer feedback and suggestions.

Door County agencies work together to stop elder abuse

Door County law enforcement, human services and community groups are joining forces to deal with instances of elder abuse.  Door County is one of four project sites in Wisconsin that are part of the federal "Abuse in Later Life" grant program.  Anni Lampert, with Help of Door County, was among several representatives from the county who attended a training conference in Washington D.C.   Lampert says the training sessions were designed to help recognize and respond to potential abuse cases.

 


Door County was selected because of the high number of older residents who live here full-time.  Lampert says the percentage of older residents is expected to make up over 50-percent of Door County's population next year.

Fairgrounds leases on county agenda

A familiar host and a new promoter are slated to have their lease agreements at the fairgrounds in Luxemburg approved during Tuesday’s Kewaunee County Board meeting. The Kewaunee County Agriculture Association would continue its work cultivating the annual Kewaunee County Fair in Luxemburg as it has for the last century for another two years according to the resolution. New to the fairgrounds is Kiel’s Skyhigh Entertainment, who will be the racetrack’s promoter through 2021. Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Bob Weidner says it is important for the fairgrounds to stay busy throughout the summer.

The fairgrounds will also see a new open-air pavilion added in 2019 to serve as the home for animal shows and livestock auctions. The Kewaunee County Board will meet Tuesday night in Kewaunee at 6 p.m.

Impact of financial counseling appointments

Seeing clients doing the hard work after their initial appointment with Sturgeon Bay’s Money Management Counselors is one of the most rewarding aspects of Gay Pustaver’s job. Common situations include buying a home and couples in different areas with money and spending. Pustaver says it is important to make sure they get both people in the room talking about their issues and finding agreement.

During her time as the executive director of Money Management Counselors, Pustaver says financial wellness checks are important to do periodically to have an impartial voice help reach goals and talk their way through certain situations. You can listen to the entire Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver online with this story.

 

 

FBLA at Sturgeon Bay gets big donation

A trip to Milwaukee may be in the future for a Sturgeon Bay High School program thanks to a generous donation from the Pride Pumps at Jandu Petroleum gas stations. The Future Business Leaders of America will be receiving a donation of $543.99 from Jandu Petroleum. Two cents from every gallon are donated to certain organizations based on where you fill up at a Pride Pump. The FBLA at Sturgeon Bay sells coffee in the morning before school and helps run the Clipper School Store where they sell Sturgeon Bay School apparel. They also meet people from the business world and learn skills on how to be an effective business person. Michelle Gibson is the Sturgeon Bay FBLA Club Advisor and she says the money raised from the Pride Pumps will help fund their trip to Milwaukee in May.

 

 

The FBLA is a national organization and Gibson has heard from past students that being a part of the organization has helped them in college and beyond. Gibson started the Sturgeon Bay chapter of the FBLA back in 2009.

Door County businesses can serve as example

Governor Evers has made it a priority to focus on startup businesses in the state of Wisconsin and Door County is an example where entrepreneurships have thrived. Caleb Frostman was the State Senator for Door County and also the head of the Door County Economic Development Corporation. Frostman is now Governor Evers’ nominee to serve as Wisconsin Secretary of Workforce Development, and he says the state has been last in the country when it comes to starting up new businesses. The Secretary Designate says Door County should be looked at as an example when it comes to entrepreneurs thriving.

 

 

He added what makes Door County successful is that small businesses can work with the DCEDC and Small Business Development Center.

Algoma sculptor wins prestigious award

A sculptor in Algoma is a new winner of a prestigious award. Bren Sibilsky received an Award of Excellence in the 2019 Manhattan Arts Show for her sculpture entitled “Visionary, Call to Spirit”. The sculpture was a part of “The Healing Power of Art” exhibit. This is the third year in which Sibilsky has won an award at the Manhattan Arts Show. Sibilsky says she was inspired to create “Visionary, Call to Spirit” when she visited with members of the Potawatomi Tribe, who originally were settled where Algoma is today. Sibilsky says she hopes it will inspire people to learn the history of Algoma and the history of lakefront in Kewaunee County.

 

 

Sibilsky is a full-time artist who grew up in Green Bay and now lives in Algoma. Her studio is located in Algoma and is open to the public from May until September.

Kewaunee County Historical Society permanent home

The Kewaunee County Historical Society is planning some new exhibits now that they have their permanent home. Thanks to the generosity of a benefactor, the KCHS was able to buy the building they have been in for the past five years in Kewaunee. The funds were donated to the KCHS with the stipulation that it be used to purchase a building. The KCHS is bringing the Fresnel lens located in the Kewaunee Pier Lighthouse to the building later this month. In February, they will have three scheduled presentations. One is about Wisconsin during the Cold War, another about two ships that went down near Kewaunee Harbor, and the third about steam engines. Arletta Bertrand is the treasurer for the KCHS and she says her favorite things coming are items obtained from the recent Karsten Hotel auction that were part of the haunted "Ghost Agatha" room.

 

 

The KCHS is open Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM and Saturdays from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

 

Conservation Congress Member wants higher fees

A Sturgeon Bay member of Conservation Congress thinks it's about time to raise hunting and fishing license fees. The prices of the fees have not changed since 2005. The Wisconsin DNR gets 80% of its funding from hunting and fishing license revenue. In 2016, DNR administration reported a $4 million shortfall. Dick Baudhuin, a member of Conservation Congress from Sturgeon Bay, says the DNR can't just raise fees on its own. That has to be passed legislatively and Baudhuin says politics have gotten in the way of the state legislature in passing higher license fees. 

 

 

The Wisconsin Conservation Congress advises the DNR on how to responsibly manage natural resources.

Short on teachers at Southern Door

Educators in Door County are seeing their pay stagnate more than other industries and that could be causing a teacher shortage. As the job market gets better in Wisconsin and all over the country, the teaching industry is taking a hit. Teachers are quitting in record high numbers according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. Joyce Turba is a representative of Southern Door United Educators, the teachers’ union at Southern Door School District. Turba says there was a higher than normal turnover rate among teachers from last school year to this. She didn’t want to attribute that to the job market since there were some teachers who were retiring anyway. Turba says there is a shortage of teachers at Southern Door and it may be because people with college degrees can make more elsewhere in the job market.

 

 

So while teaching was considered a safe place to work with high unemployment rates, the pay may not be good enough to keep many college-educated people in the teaching world. Turba has been teaching at Southern Door for 32 years as a special education instructor.

Knights of Columbus holding Free Throw Championship

Door County boys and girls will have an opportunity to show off their poise at the line at the 2019 Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship. The competition will be held on January 25th and has no entry fee, with the only requirement being that the entrant is anywhere between the ages of 9 to 14 as of the new year. Jeff Bruemmer, a local member of the Knights of Columbus, said the competition will start with the younger kids and then go from there.

 

 

Registration will start at 5:30 p.m. at the St. John Bosco/Corpus Christi Gym in Sturgeon Bay. The official start of the contest is set for 6 p.m. The competition in Sturgeon Bay is just one of many held around the world. Last year, 120,000 participants competed in 3,600 competitions. Those with questions may contact Bruemmer or another member of the Knights of Columbus.

Southern Door looking at adding more dual-credit classes

The Southern Door Board of Education will look at adding several dual-credit compatible classes at its regular meeting on Monday. The board will consider the approval of a plan that would redesign four courses to be dual-credit compatible with the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. The state of Wisconsin has asked schools around the area to give students as many opportunities to earn dual-credit while in high school as possible. Southern Door Superintendent Patti Vickman said the board will also look at adding another senior-level class to help prepare for the next step after high school.

 

 

Dual-credit classes are taken over the course of a normal school day. The school’s normal instructor will continue to teach each course, but each class will be changed to fit the curriculum set up by the NWTC.

Future of school libraries focuses on collaboration

School libraries will always have a vast collection of books at their disposal, but several media specialists from Door County schools have noted a distinct turn toward collaboration and resource gathering as well. Bridget Bowers from Sevastopol, Angela Olson from Southern Door, Mike Scoville from Gibraltar, and Holly Selle from Sturgeon Bay all pointed out that the job has changed from what it has been traditionally thought to be. As the years pass, the involvement of technology in library activities has grown to the point of being a function of the job.  Because of this, a space once known for quiet, solitary work has become a location geared more toward working together. Scoville said he has seen the library shift toward becoming a central hub for students.

 


Olson also mentioned the evolving role of the job itself. With the increase of technology usage, most media specialists have become troubleshooters, making sure the technology runs smoothly for both other teachers and students.
 

Civility Project tackling political discussions through next lecture

The next Door County Talks lecture will focus on remaining civil in the public and political sphere. Dr. Allison Staudinger will give her lecture, titled "Civility in the Public Sphere," on Saturday, January 26 at 10 a.m. Staudinger will base the lecture off of a course she has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, discussing the frustrations often felt when discussing politics with others.  Shirley Senerighi, a volunteer with the Door County Civility Project, said the lecture will seek to help ease the frustrations of sharing politics across the differences that others might believe in.

 

 

Door County Talks is a collaborative effort between the Door County Civility Project and the Door County Auditorium. Dr. Staudinger's lecture is the third in a series of five talks, with the last being held on March 2nd. There is no cost for entry, but donations are appreciated.

Parent Cafe provides chance for parents to network

The Door County Partnership for Children and Families is offering a community-wide event to give area parents a chance to come together. The very first "Parent Cafe" in Sturgeon Bay will be held on January 22nd from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The cafe is being offered as part of an initiative to raise successful children by creating successful parents. Chad Welch, the family engagement leader at the organization, said connecting parents with those in similar situations would help create efficiency when deciding what is best for them.

 

 

If the cafe is successful, Welch hopes to hold at least one more similar event in 2019, with the possibility of another if all goes well. There will be a free family meal from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m., and the organization will offer free on-site childcare as well.

Vignes Schoolhouse to be renovated in 2019

The Door County Historical Society has revealed plans to renovate the Vignes Schoolhouse. Originally built in 1890, the one-room school is currently located at the Heritage Village at Big Creek and is one of the organization’s most popular attractions. To be restored, plenty of maintenance and repair work will be required before the renovation is considered complete. Bailey Koepsel, the executive director of the Door County Historical Society, said the schoolhouse is her favorite attraction the society offers.

 

 

The Door County Historical Society is taking January off before returning next February with a full slate of programs and projects for the 2019 season.

Government employees receive free entry to Maritime Museum

In the face of a long government shutdown, the Door County Maritime Museum is offering free entry to federal employees and their immediate families as long as business remains suspended. The Maritime Museum has been in contact with other museums and cultural institutions across the country and decided the move would be an excellent way to show appreciation for families most impacted by the shutdown. The offer is also being extended to members of the active duty U.S. Coast Guard and their immediate families as well. Executive Director Kevin Osgood said he is excited to open up an opportunity for federal employees and their families because it spreads a message of goodwill throughout the county.

 

 

Osgood said the offer would be valid for as long as the government stays shut down, and mentioned all programs fall under the deal.

DCMC offering free memory workshop

The Door County Medical Center is offering a free workshop in February for those worried about memory loss or already dealing with early-stage memory loss.  The M.I.N.D. workshop is facilitated with the Door County YMCA, and will last six weeks. The Caregiver Café will be offered consecutively with the workshop, and gives caregivers an opportunity to find tools to improve both their care giving abilities and their well-being. Christy Wisniewski, a geriatric outreach specialist at DCMC, said the program is truly meant for everyone.
 


Registration is required to participate in the work shop. Questions or registrations may either be submitted at the DCMC website or by calling Wisniewski at (920)746-3504.
 

Very cold eclipse hike

The cold temperature forecasted for Sunday night isn’t preventing Door County hikers from being out. The Door County Land Trust is hosting a “Blood Moon” eclipse night hike at the Three Springs Nature Preserve in Sister Bay Sunday night. The temperature that night is forecasted to be in the single digits. Tom Clay, Executive Director of the Door County Land Trust, says that if you sign up for a night hike in the winter, you already know you have to dress warmly.


 

 

Clay says the hike is at full participation, but you can sign on to the waiting list at DoorCountyLandTrust.org

Water librarian to kick-off Door County Reads event

Door County Reads will kick-off with a keynote speaker from the Wisconsin Water Library. Anne Moser is a senior special librarian at the library, which collects any writings and resources dealing with the waters of Wisconsin and the Great Lakes. The library also supports the UW Aquatic Sciences Center and its two programs, the Water Resources Institute and ther Sea Grant Institute, by reaching out to citizens of all ages and further spreading awareness of issues that may harm or otherwise affect the water neighboring Wisconsin. Marie Zhuikov, a science communicator for the Wisconsin Sea Grant, said Moser is an experienced speaker who has given talks throughout the state. 

 


Moser will also give a talk about plastics currently polluting the Great Lakes on February 7th at the Ephraim Library. Other events, such as book discussions, gallery exhibits and more will be held February 2nd through the 16th. 
 

Agenda being discussed for Door Kewaunee Legislative Days

With the biennial Door/Kewaunee County Legislative Days trip to Madison coming up again this spring, the local agenda is being discussed.   Mark Nelson, Door Kewaunee Legislative Days Steering Committee member, frames how the criteria for forming the agenda is done. 

 

 

 Nelson says the requests are not always monetary.

 

 

The dates for this spring’s Door/Kewaunee County Legislative Days 2019 have not been set yet.  You can still suggest issues and register to participate by logging on to dklegislativedays.com. 

Extreme cold can be dangerous to pets

With the first arctic cold blast of the winter hitting the area this weekend, pet owners are being warned to shield their dogs from the bitter temperatures outside.  Dr. Jordan Kobilca of the Luxemburg Pet Clinic and Door County Veterinary Hospital says dogs should only be let outside for a brief time. 

 

 

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

 

Winter Tips:
 

 

Holiday Hazards 
Be careful how you deck your halls! The holiday season is generally a time of family togetherness in which even our pets participate. One's thoughts generally are far from thoughts of injury; however, one must be aware of some important seasonal hazards in order to insure a happy holiday season.

RIBBONS & TINSEL

These are of special interest to playful cats and kittens who see these materials as toys (or prey) to be chased, pounced upon, chewed or swallowed. While chasing and pouncing pose no health threats, chewing and swallowing do, as these strings or "linear foreign bodies" can catch in the GI tract, leading to bunching of intestine as the body tries in vain to move the string or ribbon through. This is a life-threatening condition requiring surgery for correction. Supervise animals who play with string closely.

ELECTRIC LIGHT CORDS

These are also tempting to cats who like to play with string as well as to puppies who are teething and interested in chewing. If a pet bites through an electrical cord, it could result in a severe burn to the tongue, which causes the pet's lung to fill with fluid, causing respiratory distress. This is also an emergency requiring immediate veterinary attention.

CHOCOLATE

Many people do not realize that chocolate can be a poison. Unsweetened baking chocolate carries a much higher dose of the toxin "theobromine" than does milk chocolate, but even normal milk chocolate can be dangerous; a small dog sharing candy can wind up in big trouble. Clinical signs of chocolate poisoning include hyper excitability, nervousness, vomiting, and diarrhea and death.

POINSETTIA

Consuming this festive-looking plant can be irritating to the mouth and stomach of the dog or cat that chews on or eats it. Contrary to popular belief, poinsettia is not especially toxic.

MISTLETOE

The fact that there are several types of mistletoe makes it difficult to predict the clinical signs of poisoning. Some mistletoes produce only stomach upset while others may lead to liver failure or seizuring. Consider mistletoe to be a hazardous substance and keep it inaccessible to pets and children.

COOKING

Keep pets out of the kitchen during the hustle and bustle of the season. The last thing you want is for someone you love to get underfoot or burned from spillage.

DIETARY INDISCRETION

We all like to include our pets in Holiday meals along with the rest of the family, but try to keep in mind that sudden rich diet changes are likely to upset a pet's stomach. Vomiting and diarrhea are not uncommon. If leftovers are of an especially fatty nature, the pancreas become inflamed and overloaded. This condition is serious and may require hospitalization

Staying active - Daycare may be the best option for your energetic dog to keep them trim and fit during the cold months.

 

Musher's Secret - this can be rubbed onto the pads to protect from the snow and ice.

 

Cold - Frost Bite - watch the temperature outside...just because your dog/cat has a thick coat does not mean that they cannot get frostbite.

 

Anti-freeze - if your pet drinks anti-freeze call your veterinarian immediately!!!  This is an extremely toxic chemical.

GROOMING

Do not trim the hair between your pet's pads.  It serves as protection during the cold months.

Reducing salt use on local roads a constant effort

Rock salt remains the tried and true method of keeping Door and Kewaunee County roads free of ice in winter.  Extensive use of road salt, however, has leeched into lakes and rivers and caused road pavement and bridges to deteriorate faster.  That has Wisconsin counties pushing for salt-alternatives whenever possible.  Salt brine liquid solutions have become popular with counties.  Door County Highway Commissioner John Kolodziej says there are other reduced-salt alternatives that are being developed.

 


Door County currently gets salt brine from Brown County.  Kolodziej says the county is working to develop its own salt brine equipment to save money. 

Shutdown not yet affecting food aid in Door County

People in Door County who depend on programs like SNAP for food assistance continue getting benefits despite the federal government shutdown.  Door County Department of Human Services Director Joe Krebsbach says food assistance programs are fully funded for another month.  Krebsbach says beyond that he's not sure what to expect.

 

 

Krebsbach says if the shutdown continues and no new funding comes to assistance programs area food pantries will likely see more demand.  

County supervisors tell lawmakers more money needed for defenders

Supervisors from Door and Kewaunee Counties are telling lawmakers face-to-face more money is needed to get private attorneys to act as public defenders.  During a recent gathering at the state capitol, county supervisors brought the needs facing local governments directly to legislators.  Door County Supervisor Megan Lundahl says Wisconsin counties almost unanimously agree that the current compensation is inadequate for public defenders.

 

 

In some larger counties, some defendants have had to wait to make court appearances because of the delay in finding someone to act as a public defender.

Granary preservation is possible with taxpayers protected

Granary preservation is possible with taxpayers protected

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

Roger Utnehmer
DoorCountyDailyNews.com
President and CEO


Preserving the Sturgeon Bay Teweles and Brandeis granary will someday be recognized as an exceptionally forward-thinking decision. And when future generations celebrate the sound decision-making of today’s city council majority, much of the credit will be given to the Door County Community Foundation.

That’s because the resolution adopted by the Sturgeon Bay city council to accept the granary requires the community foundation to play a significant role in protecting taxpayers. Council member Laurel Hauser introduced the resolution that calls on the foundation to facilitate an agreement between the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society and the city, protecting both. That agreement will be voted on by the city council February 5th.

Few in Door County have become as respected, trusted and influential as Bret Bicoy and the Door County Community Foundation. Protecting taxpayers and preserving history can be accomplished when the trusted leadership of the foundation plays such an essential role.

Hauser outlined compelling arguments for preservation of the granary on the city’s west-side waterfront during Tuesday's council meeting including;

...the recent compromise ruling that delineated where private development can occur on the waterfront and what property must be held in trust for the public. That Department of Natural Resources ruling on the ordinary high water mark puts the granary site on the portion of the property that must be preserved for public use not private development.

...the granary footprint will comprise only 2% of the entire west-side waterfront property in question.

...no public taxpayer dollars will be used to move or renovate the granary and an endowment for future long-term maintenance costs will be established.

Hauser also stated that significant private development can still occur to the benefit of Sturgeon Bay taxpayers and that the city ad hoc waterfront committee can still play an important role with the granary back in its original location.

Not too many communities have benefactors coming forward with donations of more than $1.25 million to preserve a state and nationally-recognized historical structure.

The Sturgeon Bay city council was wise to rely on the trusted ability of the Door County Community Foundation to facilitate acceptance of those dollars and preservation of the granary without costing taxpayers a dime.

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


 

Weekend sermons will focus on abusive Catholic priests list

This Sunday Catholics in Door and Kewaunee counties and throughout the Diocese of Green Bay will hear more about the list naming priests involved with sexual abuse of children.  They'll also learn what's being done to help assault victims and their families.  The list of 46 former priests, some living and others dead, was released Thursday.  Diocese Communication Director Justine Lodl says the diocese has sent out information to help pastors and church staff reach out to their parishioners.

 

 

Among the priests named with substantial allegations of sexual abuse of minors were nine who served at parishes in Door and Kewaunee Counties and the former St. Mary's Hospital in Kewaunee. 

Kewaunee discusses demolition contract

The demolition of Marquette School is not yet complete, and that has been a cause of concern for city of Kewaunee officials. The agreement between the city and the contractor called for the project to be completed in 120 days so the site could be cleaned up and landscaped by the end of 2018. Locating the building’s second basement and additional hazardous materials forced the timeline to be adjusted, but Dakota Intertek assured the city it would still meet its deadline. With 70 percent of the work completed, the site has been dormant recently as the two sides resolve its contract issues. Kewaunee Mayor Sandi Christman says there is some good news for the future of the project.

The Kewaunee City Council met earlier this week in closed session to discuss the details of the contract with Dakota Intertek. Demolition work of the former school located near Highway 42 began last summer after sitting vacant since 1999. 

Clerk welcomes ruling against lame duck early voting limits

Terry Kovarik -- The Door County Clerk says she's pleased that early voting limits adopted by a lame duck session of the state legislature have been struck down.  U.S. District Judge James Peterson ruled the law limiting early voting to two weeks statewide before an election was similar to limits he struck down in 2016.  Some communities previously offered early voting up to six weeks before an election.  Door County Clerk Jill Lau says counties and municipalities should have flexibility in offering early voting.

 

 

Lau says local election officials were told in advance of possible court challenges to the lame duck early voting law.

Supervisors tour former Younkers store prior to purchase decision

Members of the Door County Board of Supervisors did a walk-through of the now-vacant Younker's Home store on 4th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay. The county is looking at the building as a possible archive for historical artifacts and records.  Friday's tour was to show supervisors where improvements may need to be made including the roof, windows and heating and cooling systems.  The Facilities and Parks Committee approved a resolution in favor of the purchase.  While there are a few more steps before the deal could be closed, County Administrator Ken Pabich says the site is ideal for the county's needs.

 


The Younkers purchase proposal will go before the full County Board of Supervisor January 22nd.

Move over law still applies to rural roads

Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says motorists are required by law to make sure they give vehicles with warning lights plenty of room to operate, even on smaller two-lane roads. It has been about a week since a Green Bay area tow truck driver was struck while helping a stalled vehicle on U.S. 41. It renewed calls for motorists to follow the “Move Over Law”, requiring vehicles to safely change lanes away from where emergency vehicles and others with warning lights may be located. Joski says it even applies on smaller streets and rural roads where there may be only two available lanes.

Joski encourages motorists to extend the same courtesy to cyclists, runners, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Not moving over will cost you over $260 in fines and three demerit points on your license. You can learn more about this topic from Sheriff Matt Joski online with this story.

 

 

FROM SHERIFF JOSKI

This past week, we experienced another tragedy in our state due to the dangerous conditions to those who are stopped on the side of the road rendering aid to another. In this situation it was a tow truck operator assisting a motorist in need; however it could have just as well been a utility worker trying to improve our infrastructure, or first responder serving their community. What makes this event an even greater tragedy is that it was preventable. Those of us, who have had the experience of responding to a call which required us to carry out our duties in close proximity to moving traffic, can attest to the high degree of danger this type of environment can create. Even with the red and blues flashing, I have still had my own close encounters with vehicles whose drivers were more focused on the distraction of the incident than their own responsibility as a driver to safely navigate around the immediate area.

     It is also beyond logic that years after the creation of legislation specifically aimed at creating a safety zone for those assisting others on the side of the road; we still have drivers failing to understand their duties to “Move Over”. So let’s start with the law itself.

     Wisconsin State Statute 346.072 “Passing Stopped Emergency or Roadside Service Vehicles” applies to any of the following vehicles that are parked or standing within 12 feet of the roadway displaying their respective warning lights.

  • An authorized emergency vehicle
  • A tow truck
  • Any road machinery of motor vehicle used in highway construction
  • Any vehicle of a public utility, telecommunications carrier or cooperative association

     The actions that other motor vehicles are to take is stated as such; on four lane divided highways you are two move to the lane that is not nearest to the vehicle stopped. On a two lane roadway you are to slow down and continue in a reduced speed using due regard until you have completely passed the stopped vehicle.

      The fine for failing to follow this very important law is $263.50 and three demerit points to your license. But more importantly the cost of failing to follow this very simple common courtesy could mean the life of another person.

      I would also add that this law is just the statutory minimum of required behavior, but I know that we can do much better. We could use this same cautious approach as we are passing any motor vehicle stopped along the side of the road, or how about we apply this courtesy to those walking along a roadway, or riding a bike. Too often I have seen drivers open themselves and others up to needless risk by not showing due regard when in close proximity. Each year on our Law Enforcement Torch Run, I feel the wind rush passed my back as a vehicle speeds by within inches of me without giving a thought to slowing down or creating a safe distance. In the mornings I run along STH 42 and am always grateful for those drivers who make deliberate efforts to slow down and maybe even give a wave or a honk.

      On the other side of this message I would also say to those who find themselves along a road for any reason to not assume anything. Don’t assume that the vehicle approaching from ahead or behind you is paying attention or that they see you or your vehicle. Whether driving biking walking or running, make yourself as visible as possible by use of lights, flares, clothing or reflective material.

 

        There are plenty of unavoidable tragedies we all face in our lives, let’s do our best to eliminate the preventable ones.

Kids show support for Coast Guard families

On one of the coldest days of 2019, Liliahna and Willa Snyder of Sturgeon Bay chose to do their part to warm the hearts of local Coast Guard families. The sisters, 11 and 8 years old, chose to set up a cocoa and doughnut stand to raise funds for Sturgeon Bay’s Coast Guard members still affected by the ongoing government shutdown. It especially hits close to home for Liliahna, who is friends with the daughter of a Coast Guard member. No matter how it is done, she says it is important to support the families.


The Coast Guard is the only military branch with members not being paid during the government shutdown due to being under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security, not the Department of Defense. 

 

Picture by Trent Snyder

 

 

House fire in Gibraltar

A dog is still missing after a house fire in the town of Gibraltar Thursday morning. According to a report from the Gibraltar Fire Department, crews responded to the fire on Gibraltar Road and immediately called for back-up upon arrival. Two people were still in the home when crews arrived to smoke and flames coming out of a second story window. One person was able to make it out of the home on their own while the other was brought to safety by Gibraltar Fire Chief Andy Bertges. A small black dog is still missing after the fire took place after another dog was able to be located and brought to safety. Seven fire departments, Door County Emergency Services, and the Door County Sheriff’s Department were on the scene for over six hours.

 

 

West Waterfront Redevelopment Project meetings next week

Plans for future development on Sturgeon Bay’s disputed west side waterfront is going public.  The “Your Waterfront, Your Voice” survey is online and will be the focus of upcoming public meetings next week in Sturgeon Bay.  The city contracted with Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH), a waterfront-planning and design firm, to gather input.  Laurel Hauser, Ad Hoc West Waterfront Committee chair, says the community needs to be involved. 

 


 

 The two full days of activities will be held next Tuesday and Wednesday.  They will include workshops at the Door County Community Center from 9 am and 2 pm and public meetings at the Sturgeon Bay High School in the evenings starting at 7:15.   You can find the 18 question survey with the link below.

 

https://polco.us/surveys/0d1f876b-fe36-4a98-840d-bba87759ccfe?fbclid=IwAR0whc4skB_hAaIBqywaqAtXWnEFdIFClNtxotz-gbNJC6rxLCPyEIYE5W8

 

Maas Greenhouse growing aquatic vegetables

A local greenhouse will be opening the first commercial aquatic ponds in the area to grow natural vegetation.  Maas Floral and Greenhouse in Sturgeon Bay plans on having water gardens this summer with live fish providing fertilization. Owner Todd Maas says growing vegetables like lettuce and tomatoes in water gives them about 40 percent more nutrition.  He shares the challenge of managing the balance between water and fish.

 

 

Maas estimates that lettuce can be grown within a few weeks on the surface of the water, while tomatoes will take longer.  He says floating mats need to be aerated every four feet for optimum growing.  Plans are for peppers and herbs to be grown as well.  Community members will also be able to harvest the fish eventually, according to Maas.   

Shutdown could delay local residents considering bankruptcy

Local businesses and individuals pondering bankruptcy could see that process delayed further by the federal government shutdown.  The 341 hearings, the initial meetings of creditors, are not being affected by the shutdown.  That's because they're handled by trustees who are private attorneys and are paid out of filing fees.  Sturgeon Bay attorney David Clowers says, however, other bankruptcy proceedings that are administered by the U.S. Department of Justice are another story.

 

 
The shutdown could further impact the federal court system on January 25th.  That's when the courts will run out of money. 

Farm Service Agency open for three days

Door and Kewaunee County farmers can finally get help from the government during the shutdown. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is reopening hundreds of Farm Service Agency offices across the country on Thursday, Friday, and Tuesday. Twelve offices will be opening in Wisconsin and about 2,500 FSA employees have been recalled to work. They have not been getting paid during the shutdown, and won’t get paid for working these three days until after the shutdown has ended. Aerica Bjurstrom is the Agricultural Agent for the UW Extension in Kewaunee County and she says this could be a big help to farmers. The loans they will be able to work on will help them from falling behind even further during the shutdown.

 

 

There are no FSA offices open in Door or Kewaunee County. The closest FSA office to Door and Kewaunee County is in Manitowoc. Farmers’ applications for getting any part of the $12 billion emergency aid package that was signed by President Trump have not been getting processed during the shutdown.

Kitchens optimistic on middle class tax cut

First District Representative Joel Kitchens is hopeful that Governor Tony Evers will work with Assembly Republicans to get a proposed middle-class tax cut passed soon.  A proposal announced by Republican legislators Thursday would use the state’s budget surplus to fund a $340 million tax relief for middle-class families.  Rep. Kitchens says he believes a compromise can be done without raising taxes on manufacturers and farmers.

 

 

 Governor Tony Evers in a press release Thursday says he is committed to cutting taxes for middle-class families without adding to Wisconsin’s budget deficit.  The plan to cut taxes for middle-class families would provide relief for 86 percent of taxpayers without adding to the deficit or relying on one-time funds.  Assembly Republicans are working with the Senate to finalize the tax cut legislation, which is expected to be introduced as early as next week.  

Online rage the subject of Civility Project lecture

The next Door County Talks lecture on January 19th will focus on keeping a level head when interacting online. A product of the joint partnership between the Door County Civility Project and the Door County Auditorium, the lecture is titled “Living in the Digital Rage: Dealing with Anger, Hostility, and Violence Online.” Dr. Ryan Martin, the chair of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Psychology Program, will lead the discussion and present scientific literature as well as solutions to help audiences determine strategies to keep their cool when online. Shirley Senerighi, a volunteer with the Door County Civility Project, said the presentation will have something for everyone who uses the internet.

 


Dr. Martin is scheduled to speak at 10 a.m. at the Door County Auditorium. The lecture is the second in a series of five lectures that will run through March 2nd. All events in the lecture series are free, but donations are welcomed.
 

Priests linked to Door and Kewaunee Counties on abuse list

The Diocese of Green Bay Thursday afternoon released the names of 46 priests with "substantiated allegations" of child sexual abuse going back 112 years.  Nine former priests with links to Door County and Kewaunee County were among those named.  Some had single allegations other had multiple allegations. The list was released following an independent investigation by Defenbaugh and Associates.  Among those who served in Door County or 

Kewaunee County ministries:

 

Stanley Browne
-St. Francis Xavier, Brussels  and St. Mary's, Namur1986-1989
-Abuse occurred 1982-1986
-Died 2017

 

David Buzanowski
-St. Louis Catholic Church, Dyckesville 1982-1983
-Corpus Christi Catholic Parish, Sturgeon Bay 1983-1987.  
-Abuse occurred: 1979-1988 

 

John Feeney
-Holy Rosary, Kewaunee 1954
-St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Sturgeon Bay 1954-1955
-St. Mary Parish, Maplewood 1966
-Abuse occurred: 1961-1962
-Convicted in 2004 of three counts of sexual assault of a child and one count of attempted sexual assault of a child.  Sentenced to 15-years in prison.

 

Bernard Geimer
-St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Sturgeon Bay 1958-1960
-SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Institute 1968-1972
-Abuse occurred: 1955, 1972-1974
-Died 1987

 

Daniel Gilsdorf
-St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Sturgeon Bay 1970-1986
-Abuse occurred: 1973-1988
-Died 2012

 

Francis Reinke
-SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Institute 1972-1976
-Abuse occured: 1962-1963
-Died 2017

 

Donald Rose
-St. Mary's Hospital chaplain, Kewaunee 1964-1965
-Abuse occurred: 1962

 

James Hodik
-Holy Trinity Church, Casco 1935-1970
-Abuse occurred: 1950's
-Died 1974

 

Laurence Loerke
-St. Mary Parish, Maplewood 1951-1959
-St. Mary's Hospital chaplain, Kewaunee 1959
-Abuse occurred: 1950
-Died 1973
  

The report goes on to say that "currently there are no known priests serving in active ministry in the Diocese of Green Bay who have had a substantiated allegation of the sexual abuse of a minor against them." 

Lack of snow leaves retailers in the cold

The lack of snow does not mean businesses in Door and Kewaunee counties are not feeling its impact. From tire dealers to hardware stores, businesses are finding their merchandise made for heavy snowfall beginning to collect dust. Jim Lemens from Lemens Hardware in Luxemburg says snowblower sales and repairs dropped off significantly in December and January as snowfall totals fell 10 inches off the average pace according to the state’s climatology office.

Without a major snowfall in the forecast in the near future, Lemens believes it could be good news for consumers as retailers try to move inventory to make way for lawnmowers in the spring and newer snowblower models in the fall.  

County supervisors ask lawmakers directly for more social workers

Some Door County supervisors met legislators face to face to say more social workers are needed. Three county supervisors visited the state capitol as part of the Wisconsin Counties Association County Ambassadors program.  They urged lawmakers to support $30-million proposed statewide for children and families through foster care. Door County Supervisor Megan Lundahl says that includes hiring more social workers to meet an increased workload.

 

 

Among the other issues Lundahl and other supervisors discuss with lawmakers was grant funding to help counties upgrade 911 emergency communications systems.

New hope for reversing Citizens United

Door County United to Amend leader Dan Powers hopes Wisconsinites will finally have a say on taking money out of politics. State Senator Dave Hansen and Rep. Lisa Subeck introduced new efforts Wednesday to allow Wisconsin voters to vote on a potential constitutional amendment reversing the controversial Citizens United decision. The 2010 Supreme Court verdict ruled political spending is a form of protected free speech. It is the third straight biennium a resolution has been introduced by Wisconsin state legislators only to die in committee. Powers says there is more optimism this time around.

Over 140 communities including 18 in Door County have passed resolutions voicing their support for campaign finance reform through a constitutional amendment. 

Government shutdown won't impact Door County housing aid

The Door County Housing Authority has plans in place to provide assistance despite the government shutdown. Federal contracts for low-income housing aid expire January 30th.  That won't affect January and February funding.  And Housing Authority Executive Director Sue Binish says her agency has money to draw on should the shutdown continue for an extended period.

 


Binish says as things stand right now her clients can expect full benefits for several months, at least.

Special beer features best of both worlds

Distributors like Sturgeon Bay’s Flanigan Distributing are making sure those who missed out on last fall’s Goose Island Bourbon County Stout do not miss out on the next whiskey/beer combination. Anheuser Busch released its collaboration with distiller Jim Beam back in August under the name Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager. Much like others in the market, the beer gets much of its flavor from being aged on charred oak barrels from the bourbon producer. Brian Flanigan from Flanigan Distributing says the entry is part of an ongoing series from the brewing giant.

 

Flanigan expects Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager to be available locally until around March when Anheuser-Busch releases its fourth beer in the collection. 

Kinnard Farms case heads to Supreme Court

The next chapter of the legal case involving the expansion of Kinnard Farms in Casco could be heading to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Wisconsin’s Second District Court of Appeals certified the case rather than issuing a decision on it, citing the statewide implications it could have on other agencies. Kewaunee County residents argued against the state Department of Natural Resources and Kinnard Farms back in 2012 when the operation decided to increase the size of its dairy herd. Environmental advocacy group Clean Wisconsin joined in 2015 after the Department of Justice reversed a previous administrative judge ruling stating Kinnard Farms had to limit the number of animals it could have and install groundwater monitoring sites when its pollutant discharge permit was approved.  Clean Wisconsin staff attorney Evan Feinauer says the DNR claiming their hands are tied on the issue because of Act 21’s effect on limiting its regulatory powers is unacceptable.

Feinauer believes it could take another year before a decision by the Wisconsin Supreme Court is made on the case. Kinnard Farms owner Lee Kinnard could not be reached for comment.

 

 

 

 

STATEMENT FROM CLEAN WISCONSIN

High stakes for Wisconsin’s water

Two major lawsuits on water protections head to State Supreme Court

 

MADISON, WI — Clean Wisconsin stressed the implications for Wisconsin’s water in two legal cases against the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that were certified to the State Supreme Court on Wednesday.

 

“The Wisconsin Supreme Court now has the future of our water management in their hands,” said Evan Feinauer, Staff Attorney for Clean Wisconsin. “Both of these cases require the court to decide whether water will be protected for public benefit, or instead overused or polluted for the private gain of a handful of corporate farms. The stakes for our water and for all Wisconsinites could not be higher.”

 

The first case concerns DNR’s authority to consider the negative impact that groundwater withdrawals have on surface waters when issuing permits to drill high-capacity wells. For over 120 years, courts at all levels have consistently held that the state has the authority and duty to protect Wisconsin’s water—our lakes, rivers, streams—for everyone. As part of this legacy, in 2011 the State Supreme Court unanimously ruled the DNR must consider impacts to surface waters when permitting wells as part of its duty to uphold the Public Trust Doctrine.

 

“The State Supreme Court has long ruled that the Public Trust Doctrine requires the state to protect our water for everyone,” said Feinauer. “If the Court rules otherwise, it would be at odds with 120 years of precedential case law.”

 

The second case concerns DNR’s authority to require large farms to monitor groundwater for contamination caused by manure spreading, and to limit the number of animals present at the farm at a given time. Both the administrative law judge who heard the initial challenge and the circuit court judge in this case agreed that monitoring and farm size limits are sensible approaches to address groundwater contamination, and that DNR has ample statutory authority to require farms to follow them.

 

“Too many people who rely on private wells for their drinking water have had to struggle with unsafe water coming from their taps due in part to manure spreading,” said Feinauer. “We trust that the Supreme Court will agree with these judges, rather than finding that DNR’s hands are tied when it comes to addressing water pollution in this state.

 

“As these two cases go before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, we urge the Court to recognize the significance of this moment and understand the monumental consequences their decisions could have on the water we treasure as a state, and on the health and wellbeing of every Wisconsin resident."  

Common sense, not tickets, needed for vehicles running unattended

The City of Kewaunee has seen its share of vehicles stolen when left running unattended or with the keys left in the ignition.  The number of such cases, however, wouldn't justify ticketing negligent vehicle owners.  Green Bay's police chief is proposing citations for vehicles taken while running unattended because it can cost the city $500 to track down, tow and return each vehicle.  Kewaunee Police Chief Frank Salentine says such an approach is not necessary for his community.  He says what's really needed is for people to use a little common sense.

 

 

Idling ordinances are not a new concept.  The City of Appleton has already enacted such an ordinance. 

Testing targeted at saving Potawatomi Tower is completed

A timber restoration firm has completed three days of testing and analysis on the Potawatomi State Park Observation Tower.  Wood Research and Development of Jefferson, Oregon sent a team of researchers to conduct tests and collect data on the 75-foot tower. Shawn Fairchild, Vice President of the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation, says the crew conducted thorough testing that will help determine whether the 90-year-old tower can be restored.

 

 

The Potawatomi State Park Observation Tower was closed by the Department of Natural Resources in December 2017 because of significant wood decay.  The wooden Eagle Bluff Observation Tower at Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek was closed in 2016 for similar issues.  It was dismantled and will be rebuilt.

 

(Photo Courtesy of Christie MacDonald, Sturgeon Bay Historical Society)

Town of Liberty Grove discusses former motel acquisition

The Town of Liberty Grove is considering whether to buy the site of a now-shuttered motel.  The former Val-A-Motel on Highway 42 in Ellison Bay is closed and for years had been the target of citizen demands that the property be cleaned up.  Town Administrator Bud Kalmes says the town board will meet in closed session to discuss whether to buy the property.

 

 

If the town board choose to move forward on purchasing the former Val-A-Motel property, the final decision would be made at a special meeting by Town of Liberty Grove electors.

Local Shopko Hometown stores will stay open

Shopko Hometown stores in Sister Bay and Kewaunee will remain open.  That follows an announcement that the Ashwaubenon-based retailer is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and closing 38 additional stores.  Larger stores in Green Bay and Manitowoc are among those that will be closed.  Sister Bay Village President David Lienau says keeping the Shopko Hometown store open is welcomed news.

 


With latest announced closure of 38 stores, Shopko will be shutting down 105 stores nationwide. 20 Shopko Optical Centers are also being relocated to freestanding locations.  

 

POSTED EARLIER WEDNESDAY

Shopko Hometown stores in Sister Bay and Kewaunee to remain open as Shopko goes through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  Green Bay and Manitowoc stores among 38 being shuttered.

 

Shopko announced it will close an additional 38 stores after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  The company announced the bankruptcy filing Wednesday morning.  Shopko has obtained $480-million in debtor-in-possession financing from certain prepetition secured lenders led by Wells Fargo, N.A. to fund operations during the bankruptcy process.  Retail will operate as normal during the bankruptcy process.  In a news release, the company cited excess debt and competitive pressure for the Chapter 11 filing.  In addition to the 38 stores to be closed, Shopko will also be relocating 20 Shopko Optical Centers to freestanding locations.  The company operates Shopko Hometown stores in Sister Bay and Kewaunee.  

 


 

Cap Wulf continues controversy

Just when it appeared the dispute over where development can occur on Sturgeon Bay’s west-side waterfront Thomas “Cap” Wulf told members of the city council that a recent Department of Natural Resources determination settling the issue will be appealed.

Wulf is the former chair of the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority who, before being found guilty of using his position of public trust for personal gain, was also a member of the Sturgeon Bay city council.  Speaking during the period for public comments at Tuesday’s meeting, 

Wulf said the DNR determination that delineated where public development can occur on the waterfront will be appealed on behalf of the citizens of Sturgeon Bay. 

 

 

Wulf did not say who would file the appeal.  The DNR determination adopted a compromise that was endorsed by the Sturgeon Bay city council and Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront.  Wulf has been an outspoken critic of opponents of commercial development on the west-side waterfront.  He has frequently accused the Friends group and charged them with costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.  He also admitted at Tuesday’s city council meeting that he orchestrated an effort to get those opposed to returning the Teweles and Brandeis granary to the west-side to speak during public comments, resulting in a rebuke to Mayor Thad Birmingham by council member Kelly Catarozoli.

Council votes to return granary to west side

The Sturgeon Bay City Council voted Tuesday to move the Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator back to its original location on the west-side waterfront.  The four to two vote with council members David Ward and Seth Wiederanders opposing the move came after Kelly Catarozoli challenged Mayor Thad Birmingham, calling his conduct “childish and disgusting.”

Council member Catarozoli questioned why speakers who arrived at the meeting before others being recognized by Birmingham were not being allowed to speak.

 

 

Birmingham limited public comments to ten people. The first five recognized to speak opposed the granary move. Former council member Thomas “Cap” Wulf admitted to registering to speak earlier and that he advised others to do the same.

 

 

 

The action means the city voted to accept the donation from the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society of the granary along with an endowment designed to assure taxpayer dollars will not be needed for any costs related to the move or future maintenance.

 

 

The full comments from Council Member Kelly Catarozoli and Thad Birmingham can be heard in the following audio clip.

 

 

 

Thomas "Cap" Wulf's comments to the city council can be heard in the following clip.

 

 

 

 

 

Grier providing music in new documentary

Local musician Cathy Grier is writing a blues score for an upcoming documentary about turning 60 years old.  The documentary, called “My first and last film” is being directed by Tracey Thomas of Milwaukee and an all-female crew who visited Door County last weekend.   Grier shares how her opportunity came about. 

 

 

Grier first thought Thomas had approached her because she was turning 60 years old in November when it was actually the producer looking for a female blues artist to provide the film’s final musical score.  The documentary crew had traveled to Arizona and California before taking a two-year hiatus after Thomas’ partner passed away.  Grier is finishing up the score at Studio 330 in Sturgeon Bay and expects the film to be completed in the next month in time for upcoming film festivals.  

 

 

Film crew in downtown Sturgeon Bay last Saturday, Thomas--2nd from Right  

(photo courtesy of Cathy Grier)

 

Water quality task force should include Kewaunee County residents

A grassroots organization wants Kewaunee County residents and others whose groundwater has been contaminated by farm runoff represented on a proposed water quality task force.  The Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network is making that demand on Republican State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos who proposed the task force.  Network President Mary Dougherty says those impacted by groundwater contamination need to have a role in finding solutions.

 

 

Republican State Representative Todd Novak, whose district includes areas of groundwater contamination, is involved in the formation of the task force.  He says it's still a work in progress but will strive to ensure all voices about water quality issues are heard.

 

 

Vos announced the creation of the task force on January 3rd.  He said then that he plans to announce the task force's members in what he called "the coming weeks."

Mill Supper Club under new ownership

For the first time in over 55 years, someone named other than Petersilka is running the Mill Supper Club.  Cory Lehman, who worked as a teenager for several years at the Mill in the late 1990’s takes ownership this week from Don and Shelly Petersilka.  He says after a brief closing for minor renovations and updating the Mill Supper Club will feature some new menu offerings.  

 

 

Lehman moved to Door County after living in Appleton since 1998.  He says plans are to reopen the new Mill Supper Club within the next few weeks.

New Executive Director takes over Kewaunee County EDC

The Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation is under new management.  Richard Baker joined the KCEDC as Executive Director on January 7th.  Baker most recently served as Community Development Coordinator for Mille Lacs County, Minnesota.  With over ten years in economic and tourism development, KCEDC Board of Directors Chairman Lonnie Vincent says Baker had just what Kewaunee County needs.

 

 

Prior to his tenure in Minnesota, Baker held executive director roles with the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce in Iowa and the Keweenaw Peninsula Chamber of Commerce in Houghton, Michigan. 

Kewaunee County CVSO retiring

A health scare was the wake-up call Jane Babcock needed to hear before she said good bye to her position as the Kewaunee County Veterans Service Officer. Babcock has been the CVSO for Kewaunee County since she came from Manitowoc County three years ago. The common services she has helped provide has changed over the years since Kewaunee County has an older than average veteran population. After serving as a CVSO for over 10 years, Babcock says it is the people she served in that time she will miss the most.

 

The process for finding a new CVSO began at the Kewaunee County Personnel Committee meeting held earlier this month. Babcock hopes to rewrite the job description and have some overlap with the new CVSO before she officially retires in April. 

Gibraltar School Board authorizes bonds for school upgrades

Upgrades for the Gibraltar School building can now move from the design phase to the building phase with the issuance of $4.5-million dollars in general obligation bonds.  The Gibraltar Board of Education approved the sale of those bonds which will fund renovations of the Library Media Center and classrooms, the creation of additional meeting and support space along with safety and security upgrades.  Board of Education President Mark Weborg says the renovations will be done on an ambitious timetable.

 


The construction work will be done through Ziese Construction Company.

DC Reads excitement building

The kick off to Door County Reads is still a few weeks away, but avid readers across the area already have a head start. Door County Library had to order additional copies of this year’s selections by authors Dan Egan and Peter Geye almost immediately after announcing the titles in December.  Door County Library Director Tina Kakuske credits the ongoing Celebrate Water initiative, the upcoming author visits on February 9th and 10th, and the time of the year for the program’s popularity.


Kakuske says interested participants can put their names on waiting lists to get their hands on a free copy or find additional ways to get a digital or print edition. Birch Creek Music Performance Center will be the site of this year’s Door County Reads Kick-Off Celebration on February 3rd beginning at noon.

 

Dog causes Gardner stove fire

An over eager dog may be to blame for a Monday afternoon fire in Gardner. The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department responded to reports of heavy smoke at the home on Gardner Bluff Road just after 4 p.m.  The fire on top of the stove was out by the time firefighters arrived, but they assisted in ventilating it. The blaze is believed to have started when a dog accidentally turned on the stove while trying to reach dessert bars located on it, slowly cooking them before they eventually ignited. A teenager in the home noticed the fire and was able to put it out. BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says there are plenty of lessons to learn from the experience.

 

No injuries occurred during the fire and only minor damage to the stove and surrounding cabinetry was caused.

Prom dresses get second life

Kewaunee County 4-H Teen Association members are helping give new life to old dresses and area students a chance to take in school dances. For eight years the Kewaunee County 4-H Teen Association has held its Prom Dress Sale as a fundraiser for the activities it takes a part in during the course of the year and a way to give back to the community. Organizer Debbie Olson says it also gives members experience in running their own pop-up shop.


The event takes place this Thursday through Saturday at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall. You can find more details on how you can participate online with this story. 

 

Photo Courtesy of Kewaunee County 4-H Teen Association

 

 

Luxemburg-Casco looking to add sports turf field

The Luxemburg-Casco School District is continuing plans to put in a sports turf on their football field.  Athletic Director Jenny Bandow says the booster club is working with a company out of Stevens Point that has installed sports turf fields in northeastern Wisconsin including Pulaski.   She notes they are exploring options of different types of surfaces that can be installed and that it will be paid for by fundraising efforts.  

 

 

 The estimated cost of a new sports turf will be about $1 million, according to Bandow.  She says other sports besides football and physical education classes will be able to utilize the field.  Hopes are to have it completed for the 2020 football season.  

Door County looks at Younkers site for museum/archives

Door County is considering a plan to purchase the Former Younkers building on 4th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay for about $505,000.  The nearly 23,000 square foot building would then be used for items currently being stored at the Door County Historical Museum adjacent to the former store.  County Administrator Ken Pabich says the building would also archive historic materials owned by the county.

 

 

The county finance committee approved a resolution recommending the use of $505,000 in unassigned funds for the purchase.  The Facilities and Parks Committee will consider the resolution when it meets Friday,  that's the same day that county supervisors will walk through the building.  The resolution will go before the full County Board on January 22nd.

Mayoral candidates differ on fate of granary

The two candidates that are running for the mayor of Sturgeon Bay are not on the same page when it comes to the future of the Teweles & Brandeis Granary.  District 3 Councilmember David Ward says it is unfortunate that the agenda items for Tuesday’s meeting that will be considering an advisory referendum asking the public if the City should accept a donation of the granary from the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society did not come through any committee input.  He explains what he believes should be done before any action is taken. 

 

 

 

 Mayoral candidate Shawn Fairchild, who is also the vice-president of the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society, was the lead plaintiff of the successful West Side Waterfront lawsuit representing the citizens of the state of Wisconsin against the leadership of Sturgeon Bay to protect public waterfront land.  He says the granary should definitely go back to the original site and questions the motives behind the referendum question. 

 

 

 The Sturgeon Bay common council meets at 7 pm on Tuesday at City Hall.  The mayoral election will be decided on April 2.  

Student loan notices coming in

Prospective college students for this fall are beginning to get their financial aid notices, but Gay Pustaver from Money Management Counselors in Sturgeon Bay says the letters could be misleading if you do not read them carefully. According to Bloomberg, student loan debt reached $1.4 trillion last year with over 2.7 million people owing at least $100,000. Pustaver says borrowers need to pay close attention to the types of student financial aid they are receiving.

If you need to borrow to pay for college, she also recommends going with subsidized student loans if possible and keep track of how much debt you have accepted along the way. You can listen to the entire Money Management Monday interview with Gay Pustaver online with this story. 

 

 

School districts see benefits from Blue Ribbon Commission

Some Door County school superintendents are giving high marks to the recommendations from the bi-partisan Blue Ribbon Commission on school funding.  The commission report addresses specific areas such as mental health, special needs and bilingual services and aiding districts with declining enrollments.  Sturgeon Bay School District Superintendent Dan Tjernagel likes the idea that lawmakers are taking notice of the funding challenges facing school districts.

 

 

 

Sevastopol School District Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says such recommendation would help his district address some growing pains and the English Language Learner program.

 

 

 

 

The recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Commission are expected to aid in the crafting of Wisconsin's 2019 education budget. 

 

 

Restore volunteer installs Little Free Library

Door County Habitat for Humanity ReStore volunteer Danl Hubing is showing how easy it is to accomplish two goals at once. Using nothing but materials available to him in the ReStore, Hubing built a Little Free Library for in front of the store in Sturgeon Bay. He says he always wanted to build one of the small cabinets for books that number in the thousands across the country, but it was not until he noticed a few of the materials around the store that he decided to do it. Hubing says his story is a common one for those coming into the ReStore every day.

 

Hubing hopes families grab and leave books at the Little Free Library so they can learn while reading. There are eight Little Free Library stands in Door County, five of which are located in the city of Sturgeon Bay. 

Legislation to pay Coast Guard after shutdown panned

U.S. Coast Guard and other federal employees will get paid for working during the shutdown after the government reopens. The U.S. House approved a measure with bi-partisan support that would assure federal government employees paychecks. The U.S Senate approved a similar bill last week.  President Trump has indicated he'll sign that legislation.  In the meantime, U.S. Coast Guard personnel in Sturgeon Bay continue working without pay.  Nancy Hutchinson, Executive Director of Adopt a Soldier Door County, says anyone on the job should get paid as usual.

 

 

This week Adopt a Soldier will start making loans to Coast Guard personnel in Sturgeon Bay to cover mortgage payments and car loans.  Hutchinson says community donors have stepped up with gift cards for gas and groceries.

 

Shutdown impacts local travel plans

Some local travelers are having to rearrange their itineraries because of the federal government shutdown.  That's caused short-staffing of Transportation Security Administration agents at some airports and forced the closure Saturday of Miami International Airport's Concourse G.  That impact is being felt nationwide.  Susan Wehrli, of Wehrli Travel in Sturgeon Bay, says the effects of the shutdown have forced some of her clients to make drastic changes to their travel plans.

 

 

Wehrli recommends those who will be flying to arrive at an airport at least three hours or more before takeoff to accommodate any delays in the security screening process. 

Tow truck driver pays tribute

Tow truck driver Bob Patza Jr. from Jim Olson Motors in Sturgeon Bay hopes people learn a valuable lesson during Monday’s Light’em Up for Jesse Honor Run.  Dozens of tow truck drivers, emergency personnel, and other operators will turn on their strobe lights and drive a portion of U.S. Highway 41 near DePere in honor of Jesse Hettmann, who was struck and killed on Friday while moving a stalled vehicle. Patza read the story early Saturday morning and received a call for a tow just ten minutes after he finished it. He admits it was the first time he had a hard time getting into his truck. After deciding to participate in the honor run, Patza says he needed to pay tribute to one of his own.

Motorists are required to move over if possible if they see a vehicle with its emergency lights on. Violating the law could cost you more than $260 and three demerit points on your license.

Watch eclipse at Crossroads

A great way to watch the upcoming lunar eclipse is at the astronomy observatory in Sturgeon Bay. On January 20th there will be a “Blood Moon” lunar eclipse where the Earth’s shadow will cast on the moon. The full moon will turn an eerie shade of orange. On that night the Door County Astronomical Society will be hosting a viewing at the Leif Everson Observatory and Stonecipher Astronomy Center in Sturgeon Bay where you can view the eclipse through a telescope. Even if it is not a clear night, the Leif Everson Observatory will show pictures of the eclipse from other places where the sky is clear. Coggin Heeringa is the director of Crossroads at Big Creek and she says the best part happens when all the other stars become visible when the moon gets dark.

 

 

The eclipse actually starts at 9:34 PM but the observatory and astronomy center will open starting at 7:00 PM. 

Kewaunee County starting foot care clinic

A new program in Kewaunee County might help you or someone you know avoid a foot or leg amputation. There’s a new service being provided to the diabetic and elderly communities in Kewaunee County. Starting on January 14th, a foot care clinic will be provided once per month at the Kewaunee County Public Health Department in Kewaunee. Cindy Kinnard, the head the Kewaunee County Department of Public Health, says it’s essential for diabetic people to get good foot care. Kinnard commented on the importance for elderly people to not do their own foot care.

 

 

The foot care clinics will be held every second Monday of the month and the cost is $25. Appointments are necessary and can be scheduled by calling the Kewaunee County Public Health Department.

Door County avoids CWD in 2018

Door County was lucky enough to again avoid Chronic Wasting Disease in the deer population in 2018. Deer tested positive for CWD in 19 other counties in Wisconsin in 2018. In Iowa County 379 deer tested positive for it which was the most of any county in the state. Eleven deer in Door County showed symptoms of CWD but they all tested negative for the disease. Chris Kratcha is the conservation warden stationed in Sturgeon Bay and he says new rules would have to be implemented in the area if a deer was found to have CWD, so it’s fortunate it hasn’t been found here.

 

 

Kratcha added that you should be careful moving deer from other counties where CWD has been more prevalent. CWD is a highly contagious brain disease that affects deer, elk, and moose populations.

Luxemburg-Casco looking to add sports turf field

The Luxemburg-Casco School District is continuing plans to put in a sports turf on their football field.  Athletic Director Jenny Bandow says the booster club is working with a company out of Stevens Point that has installed sports turf fields in northeastern Wisconsin including Pulaski.   She notes they are exploring options of different types of surfaces that can be installed and that it will be paid for by fundraising efforts.  

 

 

 The estimated cost of a new sports turf will be about $1 million, according to Bandow.  She says other sports besides football and physical education classes will be able to utilize the field.  Hopes are to have it completed for the 2020 football season.  

Door County food pantry concerned over shutdown

A Sturgeon Bay food pantry is concerned about running out of food in the case of a prolonged government shutdown. With federal employees not getting paid and the potential for the SNAP program to run out of funding, food banks may become more in demand in the coming months. The SNAP program is funded through February but there is no sign of the government shutdown ending. Estella Huff is the director of operations for Feed and Clothe My People and she is concerned they may not be able to provide all the food necessary in a couple of months. Feed and Clothe My People does not take any government money, but Huff is worried there will be too much demand.

 

 

Feed and Clothe My People takes donations of food or money at any time. If you are unable to make it to the store in Sturgeon Bay, you can call to set up a delivery at 920-743-9053.

Youth e-cigarette use skyrocketing

The number of Wisconsin students using e-cigarettes is becoming an epidemic. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has issued a public health advisory saying that 20% of Wisconsin high school students are using e-cigarettes. Cath Tease is the Coalition Coordinator of re:THINK of Door and Kewaunee counties and she says she is not surprised about that rising number. Tease says one of the big problems are the flavors that are offered with e-cigarettes. Students and younger people wouldn't use tobacco and e-cigarettes if it wasn't for flavors like mango, cotton candy, and buttered popcorn. Tease believes if there was more regulation on e-cigarettes, that would make it less enticing for teens.

 

 

Tease added that retailers need to be better trained so they don't sell to minors. Minors were successful 29% of the time when they tried to purchase tobacco in Door County in 2018.

CBD popularity rising

The Door County Department of Public Health says you should be careful about how you use CBD. Hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) is becoming very popular in Wisconsin for its proclaimed wellness benefits. The state legalized hemp farming in late 2017. Susan Powers is the head of the Door County Department of Public Health and she says studies are unclear on how much CBD can actually help you. Powers is also worried that it is not regulated at all.

 

 

Powers says the Department of Public Health is not a regulatory part of the government and does not want to dissuade people from using CBD. If CBD were to start making people sick or cause any issues, then the department would step in.

Gardner seeking grants

The Town of Gardner would like grants to improve the Little Sturgeon area. According to Gardner Town Chairman Mark Stevenson, the town is discussing improving access points to Little Sturgeon Bay. Stevenson said they will seek a grant to improve that, as well as a grant to add in a walking trail around Little Sturgeon Bay. The Little Sturgeon Property Owners Association has asked the town to develop a walking trail.

 

 

The town is also discussing an already-existing ordinance about outside storage and unsightly nuisances, as lawyers have told them that the wording in the ordinance needs to be revised.

Volunteers for observing birds

Volunteers are needed to observe birds and collect data in Door and Kewaunee Counties. The Wisconsin Society for Ornithology is running the Atlas Project which takes in data and tries to determine which native birds are increasing or decreasing in population. The last Atlas Project was done from 1995-1999. The second Atlas Project goes through the end of 2019. Adam Sinkula is the Kewaunee County Coordinator of the Atlas Project. Sinkula says it’s important to get local volunteers because they will know the birds of the area better than someone outside the area.

 

 

Sinkula added that you don’t need to be a bird expert to become a volunteer. They have volunteers who are complete novices at birdwatching. Sinkula encourages volunteers to use tools that can be found at the Atlas website to help collect bird data.

DC Civility Project bringing lecturers to host talks

The Door County Civility Project is teaming up with the Door County Auditorium to host a series of lectures themed around promoting civility. Door County Talks consists of five free lectures that will seek to strengthen the community and encourage empathy in attending audiences. Shirley Senerighi, who is involved with the Civility Project, said the talks and the organization don't seek to end disagreements, but rather promote healthy discussion and debate.

 

 

The first lecture was held early Saturday and discussed the role fine and performing arts can play in building a community and heal trauma brought about by current events. The lectures will run every Saturday through March 2nd.

Business continues at Peninsula State Park despite shutdown

Despite a government shutdown that has closed all national parks, state parks such as Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek are remaining open and continuing to operate as normal. According to Steve Strucely, the business manager for the Friends of Peninsula State Park, there has not been an increased volume of visitors to the park, dispelling the notion that those who would normally travel to national parks in the area have been making their way up to Fish Creek instead. Strucely instead said snowy weather is a big factor in how many visitors make the trip.

 

 

Peninsula State Park was established in 1910 by the Wisconsin Legislature and is one of a few state parks in Door County. Winter activities are among the most popular in the park.

Sevastopol High adding video to journalism program

Sevastopol High School’s journalism teacher is looking to improve the program’s video equipment. Mindi Vanderhoof, who is also the school’s yearbook adviser, wants to upgrade some of the tools the class currently uses to increase the quality of Pioneer News, an online video broadcast recorded during lunchtime. Currently, the broadcast is recorded using green sheets and a DSLR camera. Vanderhoof said the yearbook staff sells advertisements in their yearly publication to offset costs and perhaps earn a profit to be put toward the new equipment.

 

 

Despite Sevastopol not raising the price of its yearbooks, the cost of producing a hard-copy edition remains high. Vanderhoof is a fourth-year teacher at Sevastopol and said most of the program’s success can be attributed to her predecessor Linda Thompson, who was an adviser for 30 years. 

Teens to attend domestic violence summit

Two Southern Door and two Sturgeon Bay high school students will have a chance to attend a three-day conference in Wisconsin Dells that aims to educate on teen dating violence. From February 24th to February 26th, the teenagers will take part in the Annual Teen Summit, an event organized and held by End Abuse Wisconsin. Steve Vickman, the executive director of Help of Door County, said he believes the students will come back ready to share what they've learned with their peers.

 

 

According to Vickman, one in five teenagers will experience some form of domestic violence when they date. This year's Annual Teen Summit includes 24 workshops, roundtable discussions, speakers and topic-related performances.

EAB infestation makes cutting trees dangerous

Cutting down ash trees in Door County has become more dangerous with many trees drying out because of a recent non-native insect infestation. The arrival of the emerald ash borer in Door County in 2014 has caused problems ever since the insect was discovered. The insects eat their way through the tissues underneath the tree. This can cause problems when attempting to cut down the tree later, as the tunnels made by EAB dry the tree out and can result in an unpredictable cut that could cause harm to people or property. Bill McNee, a forest health specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said the best way to avoid any problems is to treat the uninfected trees first instead of waiting until it is too late.

 


McNee noted that if the decision is made to treat and protect certain trees, it would create a monetary loss for the customer. He also suggested treatments be made every year.
 

Freeze the Gain challenge comes to a close

Many Kewaunee County residents will have see their commitments pay off this weekend as the Freeze the Gain challenge comes to a close. The 6-week program was offered by the Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce and promoted several healthy living habits, such as stress relief and eating healthier. Jody Anderson, community nurse activator at Bellin Health, said the focus of the challenge was not just to lose weight, but to improve one's well-being.


 


This year's version of the challenge saw the news spread all the way across Kewaunee County, with residents from Algoma, Kewaunee, Luxemburg, and Casco all participating in the activities. Final weigh-outs started Friday, January 11th.
 

Mentoring program trains new beekeepers in Door County

Amidst an ongoing bee crisis, the need for new beekeepers in Door County is as important as ever. With that in mind, the Door County Beekeepers Club has established a mentorship program for those who've just picked up the hobby to learn from those who have already established and maintained successful hives. Several volunteers of the club have come forward and are listed on the club's website as a resource for those who have questions or need advice on how best to take care of their colony. Max Martin, a local beekeeper who has kept bees for over 20 years, spoke highly of the program. He said one of the ways mentors can show newer beekeepers the basics is through a method he calls "the hive dive."
 


The Door County Beekeepers Club holds meetings once a month at various locations around the county. A continuing battle with Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has worried some members of the Beekeepers Club, but Martin remains optimistic that a solution can be found.
 

Area non-profits create welcoming environment for newcomers

The co-director of Promoting Access to Help (PATH) has said the numerous Door County non-profit organizations have created a positive, welcoming effect for those just moving into the area. Deb Doyle, who was one of the founding members of PATH, said she has worked with multiple families, many who have kids with special needs, who have made it a point to mention how supportive Door County residents can be. Doyle also said she believes Door County has acquired its positive reputation because of a willingness to cooperate from town to town.
 


PATH looks to increase the number of resources available for parents whose kids have special needs to attend to. The organization recently purchased the Jaycees building and plans to use the space as a central hub for both PATH and other non-profits in Door County.
 

Village of Egg Harbor considers marijuana referendum

The Village of Egg Harbor Board of Trustees will consider holding a non-binding referendum on legalizing marijuana for both medical and recreational use.  The question will be brought up at the next village board meeting.  Village President John Heller says the village hopes to learn where residents stand on cannabis legalization.

 

 

The Village of Egg Harbor Board of Trustees meets Monday, January 14th at 12:00 PM at the Donald and Carol Kress Pavillion on Church Street in Egg Harbor.

 

Sevastopol Schools want a website that's more user-friendly

Sevastopol School District personnel will be putting themselves in the place of people who visit the district's website.  The school board's Communication Committee will look at issues people may be having navigating the website features.  Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says the committee will act like first-time visitors.

 

 

The Communications Committee meets Monday, January 14th at 3:20 PM at the Sevastopol School Building on Highway 57.

Enviromental groups win in court

Four environmental advocacy groups including the locally based Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin are celebrating its win in court Friday in a case involving the Department of Natural Resources and the Dairy Business Association.  The groups, represented by Midwest Environmental Advocates, charged the DBA and the DNR with violating the state law when the two reached an agreement regarding recent rule changes in the fall of 2017 without going through the official process.  Earlier that year, the DBA claimed the DNR had overstepped its authority when it came to rule changes concerning calf hutch areas, rainwater management near feed storage, and pollution permitting.  CWAC Executive Director Dean Hoegger says the decision is a win for open government and water protection.

Agricultural Run-off agency spokesperson Russ Rasmussen could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon while the DBA chose to not make a comment until the full ruling has been released. You can see a statement from the MEA online with this story.

Highway commissioner likes Evers talk of more road funding

 Door County Highway Commissioner John Kolodziej applauds Governor Tony Evers talk of boosting transportation funding.  Governor Evers said Thursday his upcoming 2019 state budget will address, what he called, "crumbling roads, bridges and infrastructure.  Kolodziej says such repairs need to be managed for the long term.

 

 

Governor Evers has also been critical of wheel taxes used by counties and communities to fund road and street repairs.  He says they were, in his words, "imposed on local governments because the state has not done their fair share."

City could own granary

The Sturgeon Bay common council will consider a resolution next Tuesday that would lead the way to the ownership of the Teweles & Brandeis Grain Elevator.  Agenda items at the meeting include an advisory referendum asking the public if the City should accept a donation of the historic building from the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society and relocating it back to the west waterfront.  Another resolution would accept the donation with an endowment and land lease to be facilitated by the Door County Community Foundation.  The Sturgeon Bay common council had voted down a request by the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society to relocate the granary last month by a 4-3 margin.     

Midsummer's Music ensemble gets its name

A little Door County history was involved in naming Midsummer’s Music’s professional resident quartet. The newly named Griffon String Quartet made its debut on October 13th as a part of an effort to bring the musicians into the classrooms of schools in Door and Brown counties. Midsummer’s Music Executive Director Allyson Fleck says the quartet takes its name from the 17th-century sailing vessel known as Le Griffon, which has a mysterious history on the Great Lakes.

The Griffon Quartet will perform for one of the first times under its new name on January 16th at the Door County Maritime Museum beginning at 4 p.m.

Egg Harbor continues solar designation process

It could become easier for Egg Harbor residents to install solar technology onto their property by this fall. The village of Egg Harbor is already a couple months into a consulting contract looking at ways to streamline the process of getting small-scale solar panels installed at homes and small businesses. Village Administrator Ryan Heise says education is part of the process.

Egg Harbor is one of ten communities in the state seeking SolSmart designation in 2019, something Heise hopes to accomplish by October. SolSmart is a program created by The Solar Foundation to assist and recognize communities taking the steps to become more friendly for those wanting to invest in the technology.  

Suspect in Luxemburg armed robbery not yet charged

The man suspected in the January 8th armed robbery at Main Street Crossing in Luxemburg has not yet been charged in that case.  25-year-old Jacob Pate of Green Bay is also suspected of three armed robberies in the Green Bay area the same night.  A preliminary hearing on armed robbery and attempted armed robbery charges is scheduled January 17th before the Brown County Court Commissioner.

United Way of Door County collects over $500,000

For only the second time in the long history of the United Way of Door County, the organization raised over $500,000 from the annual campaign that just concluded.  The four-month campaign concluded on January 7 by collecting $551,492.  That number was just short of the record set last year of $563,860.  United Way of Door County President Grace Rossman says although they did not hit their goal of $600,000, the community will benefit greatly from the total donations. 

 

 

Over 30 agencies and programs in Door County are funded by the United Way every year, according to Rossman.  She adds the goal has a two-prong approach.   One is to prevent the factors that cause poverty and the second is to help people out of poverty.  Approximately 30 percent of residents in Door County reportedly live below or near the poverty line.   

Donors aid loan program for unpaid Coast Guard members

Donations have increased for an interest-free loan program to aid U.S. Coast Guard personnel in Sturgeon Bay.  Adopt a Solider Door County announced the loan program this week to help nearly 100 Coasties who are not getting paid during the government shutdown.  Executive Director Nancy Hutchinson says her group is using funds donated from a charity golf outing last summer at Horseshoe Bay Golf Club and other cash on hand.  She says others who've heard about Adopt a Soldier's efforts have stepped up to help.

 

 

The interest-free loans will be available starting the week of  January 14th.  Hutchinson says all Coast Guard personnel in Sturgeon Bay were asked to apply for the loans so they can get money when needed.  More information can be found at adoptasoliderdoorcounty.org.

Fight begins against lame duck laws

Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck says there is merit behind two separate battles against lame duck laws passed last month. Democratic State Rep. Jimmy Anderson of Fitchburg is filing a complaint in Dane County Circuit stating the newly passed legislation should be nullified because Republicans did not give him proper notification before the early morning vote. He believes proper steps were not taken into consideration to account for his disability which confines him to a wheelchair. League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, Disability Rights of Wisconsin, and Black Leaders Organizing for Communities have already filed a suit questioning if extraordinary legislative sessions are constitutional.  Heck believes people are becoming cynical of how the state and federal government operates.

 

Conservative groups say the lawsuit faces a number of obstacles because the Wisconsin Supreme Court has upheld such rules in the past and rarely inserts itself into Legislative debates. The next session begins on January 15th.  

Rotary Youth Exchange impacts parents as well

The Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay’s youth exchange program has one parent incredibly impressed with the entire process.  Wendy Carter of Sturgeon Bay has a 17-year-old daughter, Graycia, currently living in Finland for her junior year in high school.  Carter says Graycia has made her mother proud by demonstrating more independence and fending for herself since leaving last August.  Letting the frequency of their communications entirely up to her daughter, Carter says the Rotary Youth Exchange program is rewarding for parents as well.

 

 

Carter says the process to participate in the program began nearly two years ago. 

 

 

Graycia, who will be in Finland until July, chose a European country rather than a traditional South American country for her year abroad for a more unique experience, according to Carter.  You can find more information about the Rotary Youth Exchange Program below 

 

 

 YOUTH EXCHANGE
Rotary Youth Exchange builds peace one young person at a time.
Students learn a new language, discover another culture, and truly become global citizens. Exchanges for students 15 to 19 years old are sponsored by Rotary clubs in more than 100 countries.
What are the benefits?
Exchange students unlock their true potential to:
– Develop lifelong leadership skills
– Learn a new language and culture
– Build lasting friendships with young people from around the world -Become a global citizen
How long do exchanges last?
Long-term exchanges last a full academic year, and students attend local schools and live with multiple host families.
Short-term exchanges last from several days to three months and are often structured as camps, tours, or homestays that take place when school is not in session.
What are the costs?
Room and board are provided, as well as any school fees. Each program varies, but students are usually responsible for:
– Round-trip airfare
– Travel insurance
– Travel documents (such as passports and visas)
– Spending money and any additional travel or tours
How can I apply?
Candidates are 15-19 years old and are leaders in their schools and communities. Contact us to see what exchange opportunities are available and what the application process involves.

 

 

(Submitted photo of Graycia Carter sailing the Baltic Sea)

 

Accountant talks about tax challenges from the shutdown

The government shutdown won't stop tax refunds from going out.  There are still other challenges, however, that some tax filers could face.  Paul Georgia, a Certified Public Accountant in Sturgeon Bay, says the shutdown has made it a little harder for him to get answers for some clients from the IRS.  He also says that even if some people want to file now they won't get a refund any faster.

 

 

The IRS will start accepting 2018 tax returns on January 28th.

Author talks about the Pueblo's role in the Cold War

It's just over 50 years since the eyes of the world were fixed on a U.S. Navy intelligence ship built in Kewaunee and captured by North Korean forces.  The USS Pueblo incident was also a milestone in the Cold War. Author Chris Sturdevant, who is also Chairman of the Midwest Chapter of the Cold War Museum, has written the book Cold War Wisconsin.  He says despite demands for a quick release of the hostages or stronger measures against North Korea, the U.S. had to walk a very fine line.

 

 

Chris Sturdevant will be talking more about the Pueblo incident and other Cold War events, and their impact on Wisconsin, during a presentation February 2nd at the Kewaunee Historical Society on Ellis Street.

A local oncologist reacts to declines in cancer deaths

More people in Door and Kewaunee Counties are following a nationwide trend and surviving cancer.  According to the medical journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, cancer deaths have dropped 27 percent since 1991.  The study shows that cancer diagnoses have stabilized in women and decreased in men.  The study found that incidences of cancer among older people have increased.  However, Dr. Mitch Winkler, an oncologist with Door County Cancer Center, says survival rates have improved.

 

 

Dr. Winkler says decreased use of tobacco products, better nutrition and exercise have also helped decrease cancer deaths.  Winkler, however, says the study did show some disturbing trends. 

 

The study also found that while the rates of childhood cancer, especially leukemia, have been rising childhood cancer death rates have been declining.

 

Teen chose charity over gifts for Christmas

A 13-year-old made a selfless decision in early December that meant not opening any gifts on Christmas morning.  Lance Beyer, an eighth-grader at Sevastopol school, decided he would forego any presents and donate items to the Door County Campus of the Wisconsin Humane Society.  Last Saturday, Lance and his mother Mandy Beyer delivered $175 worth of pet food for the animals at the shelter.  He shares why he wanted to give rather than receive during the holidays. 

 

 

 Lance says he asked family members to buy dog and cat food instead of buying him presents.  He says his inspiration and love for dogs come from his pet Chocolate Labrador “Chip”.

 

 

  The Door County Campus of the Wisconsin Humane Society adoption hours are Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from noon until 6 pm and Saturdays from noon until 4 pm. 

 

(photo courtesy of Door County Campus of Wisconsin Humane Society's facebook)       

Door County committees recommend draining mill pond

A pair of committees passed a resolution urging the Door County Board of Supervisor to approve a plan to temporarily drain the Forestville Mill Pond.  The Facilities and Parks Committee and the Land Conservation Committee meet in a joint session Thursday.  People attending the meeting were overwhelmingly against the two-year drawdown plan to remove sediment from the pond.  Some who live downstream say that would send pollution their way.  Others recommend farms upstream could be more proactive.

 

 

Committee Chair Dan Austad says the drawdown is needed to ensure public safety.

 

 

The committees' recommendation on the mill pond drawdown will go before the Door County Board of Supervisors at the January 22nd meeting.

Fluctuating temperatures to blame for more accidents

The transition between wet snow and freezing rain earlier this week created more accidents in Kewaunee County than the winter storm that hit the area New Year’s Eve. Zero incidents were reported during the snowstorm that dumped four to five inches on the area according to Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski. On the flip side, five to six incidents were responded to earlier this week when Kewaunee County motorists saw the morning snow turn into afternoon showers. Joski says people tend to be more cautious when headline-making storms come into the area and often let their guard down when it disappears.

JOSKI1

Joski says motorists should take extra caution over the next few weeks as temperatures hover around the freezing point and standing water begins to accumulate on roadways. You can read more tips on how to stay safe driving in these unique winter weather conditions from Joski online with this story.

 

 

FROM SHERIFF JOSKI:

As we continue to experience unusual shifts in winter weather patterns ranging from warm sun to bitter winds, with a combination of wet heavy snow and spring like rain showers, I would like to remind everyone of the many impacts these changes may have on our daily activities related to both drivers and pedestrians alike.

 

    The first consideration is of course the melting of snow which may result in standing water as most of the soil beneath is not able to absorb the water as it would in the warmer months. This may mean the potential for road hazards such as hydroplaning of motor vehicles in certain areas of roads. Due to the shifts in temperatures these same roads could very easily transition to ice covered within hours and without warning. It is important to monitor the conditions of the roads at all times as we continue to fluctuate in temperatures at or near the freezing point. Another unusual result of these moderate temperatures could be winter fog, which again can appear without notice and create an increase in risk to those driving through it. Remember that in limited light environments, your automatic lights will not activate. If you question the need for headlamps in such conditions it is best to error on the side of caution and turn on those headlamps (just don’t forget to turn them off when you arrive at your destination).

 

    Other areas to consider slowing down are on curves and across bridges and overpasses. Just this morning, we responded to numerous reports for vehicles which had left the roadway or struck guardrails due to slippery road conditions. Just remember that your ability to steer as well as stop can change in a very short time so don’t assume anything and be prepared for everything.

 

     Similar to driving, those walking or running need to also be prepared for degraded surfaces. Although most people make every effort to scrape their sidewalks, the potential for slippery surfaces is unavoidable and the need for cautious steps could be the difference between walking and limping as you make your way home. Also, make sure you are wearing visible clothing if you are walking on or adjacent to a roadway as the changing visibility creates an additional risk to pedestrians.

 

      My last piece of advice is to start your vehicles and let them defrost, or take the time to scrape your windows creating an appropriate field of vision through your primary windows. Don’t assume that the warm weather you experienced the evening before will still be there when you wake up and head off to work. Give yourself plenty of time for preparation and travel so as to minimize the possibility of an accident due to a heightened sense of urgency. As the old saying goes “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail” Stay Safe out There! 

Lack of snow adds to farmer's fears

The lack of snow has farmers in Door and Kewaunee counties worried about what their fields may look like when they start their work in the spring. Warm temperatures and rain washed away much of the snow on the ground in recent days. The snowfall this year has so far been less than half of the average for Kewaunee (45.4 inches) and Sturgeon Bay (50.7 inches). Since snow helps protect the soil and winter crops from freezing temperatures, DoorCountyDailyNews.com Ag Advisory Board Member Rich Olson from Olson Family Farms in Sturgeon Bay says the bare fields are concerning.

Olson says the lack of snow cover just adds to many farmers’ concerns about the upcoming year with milk prices continuing to be lower than the price of production. 

Chair shares presentation frustration

Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation chair Chuck Wagner shares the frustration of many residents about United States Department of Agriculture microbiologist Dr. Mark Borchardt’s presentation being put on hold, but understands why it had to be done. Borchardt was expected to share the technical details of his additional study of the area’s water supply after linking the quality of the natural resource to recharge events in the spring and fall in 2017. The government shutdown is to blame for Borchardt not being able to give his presentation at risk of jail time and fines. Wagner understands why residents are anxious about the results since many participated in workgroups concerning groundwater issues for five years. He also knows government can be slower than what people want.

Wagner says if the government shutdown ends before its next meeting that Borchardt will give his presentation then for the committee. A bigger event for the community to attend and ask questions in the future could also be in the works. 

LWVDC candidate forums

The League of Women Voters of Door County is taking requests to host candidate forums for the upcoming election. A candidate forum brings together the candidates in the same race together and they answer written questions from the public. Any candidate, group, or individual citizen can request a forum. League of Women Voters of Door County member Barb Graul says it's a great way for citizens to get to learn about all candidates positions.

 

 

The LWVDC has not scheduled any forums this year as of yet. You have until January 18th to request a forum.

Sheriff Sternard given a role in criminal justice reform

Tammy Sternard started a new role this week as Door County Sheriff.  She'll also have a say in helping transform Wisconsin's criminal justice system.  Sternard is one of 30 law enforcement, judicial and education professionals and citizens appointed to the Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Advisory Council.  They'll share their insights with Governor Tony Evers.  Sternard says it's important for state leaders to understand the public safety and criminal justice challenges at the local level.

 

 

In addition to Sheriff Sternard, Brown County Circuit Court Judge William Zuidmulder was also appointed to the advisory council.

Progress and shortfalls in proposed pre-existing conditions legislation

 The Wisconsin Legislature supports the idea of pre-existing medical condition protection for health insurance coverage.  Lawmakers, however, struggle to find the most effective way to do that.  Republican State Senator Andre Jacque sponsored pre-existing condition legislation when he was in the state assembly.  He's now sponsoring similar legislation in the upper chamber. Based on responses from lawmakers of both parties, he believes a solution is closer.

 

 

Democratic State Senator Dave Hansen says the provisions of that type of bill still don't go far enough. Hansen says any bill should not include lifetime caps on benefits.

 

 

Governor Tony Evers has also entered the pre-existing condition protection debate through executive orders to study the expansion of Obamacare and protections for pre-existing conditions.

Coast Guard cutter crew stays busy as the ship is refurbished

While the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Mobile Bay undergoes a major retrofitting over the winter, the Sturgeon Bay-based crew remains busy.  The 140-foot cutter has been out of service since late summer of 2018 for a service life extension program.  Lieutenant Junior Grade Joseph Zarlengo says the 30 crew members are still putting their ice-breaking skills to good use and making sure the aids to navigation barge used by Mobile Bay will be ready when needed.

 

 

Zarlengo says when ice breaking is needed on Green Bay or Lake Michigan there are eight other cutters that can be deployed.  Mobile Bay is expected to be back in Sturgeon Bay in September.   

Southern Door students question candidates

Southern Door County School District has an upcoming Board election for two vacancies. With the election in April, students, staff, and the district are curious about the results. SDHS Student Government leaders were asked what they would like to ask these candidates.

Vice President for the class of 2020, Jenna Thiry, said that she wonders what each candidate had in mind for their contribution to the district. Thiry values her school environment and wanted to know what their thoughts were for school improvements.

Another leader said that they would ask the candidates why they were interested in running for a Southern Door Board position.

Alex Quigley and Delilah Rose were asked to participate in the drawing of the board candidates for the ballot. Quigley and Rose signed as witnesses to the process.

After talking with more SDHS Government leaders, they agreed that hearing their questions answered is important and look forward to the results. 

A Harley Dealer's view on the first electric Hogs

Orders are now being taken for the first electric Harley-Davidson motorcycles.  Steve "Doc" Hopkins, an Algoma native and owner of Doc's Harley-Davidson in Bonduel, sees pros and cons with the electric Hogs which sell for nearly $30,000 each.  Hopkins rode one of the first test models which he says performed surprisingly well.

 

 

Hopkins says an electric Harley, however, works better in some locations than others.

 

 

Harley-Davidson says the new electric cycles will be able to go 110-miles on a single charge. 

SNAP food benefits funded through February

People who depend on federally funded food benefits will continue to get them despite the government shutdown.  The Wisconsin Department of Human Services was notified that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is being fully funded for the immediate future.  Kewaunee County Human Services Director Bob Mattice says recipients can breathe a little bit easier.

 

 

Mattice says his office and staff members have been fielding many calls and inquiries about SNAP benefits since the shutdown began.  

Third Avenue Playhouse to expand into former Advocate building

The Third Avenue Playhouse will be expanding into the former home of the Door County Advocate newspaper right next door.  The Advocate building at 235 North 3rd Avenue was purchased last month by the Shirley Weese Young Trust. According to a news release from Creative Business Services/ CBS-Global, plans call for a redesign of the interior layouts, which will allow the Third Avenue Playhouse to add more room for the arts.  There will also be other major upgrades including solar power.  Remodeling work is expected to begin this month. 

Girl Scouts make soup for senior citizens

A Southern Door Girl Scout Troop is putting on a free lunch for senior citizens and the less fortunate. Girl Scout Troop 4347 is a second year Junior Girl Scout Group and they will be making soup, salad, breadsticks, and dessert at the Southern Door Community Center on January 13th starting at 11:00 AM. The lunch will be made for senior citizens, homebound people, and the homeless. The troop is aiming for a Bronze Award which is the first step on the journey to a Gold Award. That is the highest award a Girl Scout can receive. Girl Scout Troop 4347 Leader Michelle Patza says the girls have had to plan every step of the way.

 

 

The parents of the Girl Scouts will be helping make the lunch, but mostly it'll be girls preparing all the food. After the lunch, Patza will fill out the paperwork for the Bronze Award, and the troop will be recognized in Green Bay by the Green Bay Girl Scout Council. View the whole interview with Michelle Patza below.

 

 

Door County radon check

A Door County official just might have what you need to save your or your entire family from lung cancer and death. Radon is an odorless, naturally occurring gas that comes from trace amounts of uranium found in the ground. Often it seeps into homes through cracks in the foundation, settling in the basement and first floor. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking, and is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Chelsea Smies is the Registered Sanitarian and Health Educator for the Door County Department of Public Health and she says there's really nothing you can do to prevent radon other than getting the testing equipment.

 

 

Smies added that if radon is detected in your home you should call the Wisconsin EPA for them to rid your house of it. In Wisconsin, 5 to 10 percent of homes have been found to have elevated levels of radon.

County approves Washington Island emergency services center concept

The Door County Administrative Committee is recommending approval of an intergovernmental agreement to establish an emergency services facility on Washington Island.  That comes after a property owner offered to donate a site to the county with the condition that a new Washington Island fire station could be added in the future.  County Administrator Ken Pabich says the agreement would allow construction work to start next year and save Door County money.

 

 

The Washington Island Intergovernmental Agreement will now go before the full county board of supervisors later this month.

Contested races for Door County school boards

Three of the four Door County school boards will be decided by your votes in 2019. Gibraltar and Southern Door will each hold a primary on February 19th since there are more than two people running for each seat. The candidate with the fewest amount of votes will not make it to the April 2nd election. Sturgeon Bay has four open slots on the school board which is unusual but not unprecedented. 

 

Gibraltar School Board:

 

There are two open seats on the Gibraltar School Board and five candidates running. The candidates are Mike Peot (incumbent), Ray Einhorn, Don Helm, Brett Reetz, and Carole Vande Walle. Incumbent Britt Maltby chose not to run. The primary will be held on February 19th.

 

Sevastopol School Board:

 

There are two open seats and two candidates running. The candidates are David Kacmarynski and Cyndi Zellner-Ehlers.

 

Southern Door School Board:

 

There are five candidates running for two open school board spots. The candidates are Milly Gonzales, Penny C. Price, George Sincock, Matthew Tassoul, and Adam Urban. The primary will be held on February 19th.

 

Sturgeon Bay School Board:

 

There are four open school board spots. Three of the spots are normal three-year terms and the other is a one-year term. John Hauser left the school board after the 2017-2018 school with two years left on his term. He was replaced by Mike Stefani. Four candidates are running for the four spots. The top three vote-getters will get three-year terms and the candidate with the least amount of votes will get the one-year term. The four candidates are Stefani, Scott Alger, Beth Chisholm, and Chad Hougaard. The election will be held on April 2nd.

Granary building getting new roof

The Teweles & Brandeis granary building will have a new metal roof topping its exterior in the next week.  Tuesday, Heins Contractors from Sun Prairie began prepping the rooftop of the historic building which was relocated to Sturgeon Bay’s east side ten months ago.  The new roof will take between seven to ten days to complete after new plywood is fitted on the old granary, according to Shawn Fairchild of the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society.  He added that the roof may be only temporary but will protect the structure through at least the winter.  You can see a video of work being done on the Teweles & Brandeis granary roof in the multi-media section on the homepage.

 

      

 

 

Scholarship aids Door County students committed to social justice

Door County high school and home school seniors with a commitment to social justice can get some financial help for their studies.  The Ephraim-based Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County is offering a $1,000 scholarship to students who've made social justice a priority in their studies and their lives.  Scholarship Administrator Kathleen Toerpe says UUFDC is looking for scholarship candidates with a track record of community service.

 

 

The application deadline for the UUFDC social justice scholarship is March 31, 2019.  You can find more information at www.doorcountyscholarship.org.

DARE "pumping" up essay program

The Drug Alcohol Resistance Education (DARE) program at Sturgeon Bay schools will be one of five recipients benefiting from the Jandu Petroleum Pride Pump promotion in December.  A total of $582.40 was raised for the second-semester program that just started this week for the 5th Grade students at Sunrise Elementary School.  Roxanne Mielke, school resource officer, says the additional funds will help with a special DARE essay competition the students participate in. 

 

 

Mielke says the DARE program has evolved in the last few years by including stress, peer pressure, and how to be a good citizen.  The Pride Pump promotion raised over $1,600 in December for five Door and Kewaunee County school programs at Jandu Petroleum’s six locations.   

 

Below is the video announcement made at Jandu Petroleum on Tuesday morning.

 

 

 

 

Candlelight ski/hike lets people experience Peninsula State Park at night

The Peninsula State Park cross-country ski trails are currently not groomed or open. The Friends of Peninsula State Park, however,  are not letting that get in the way of an annual park event.  The candlelight ski/hike will take place Saturday, February 2nd.  The one-mile trail can be covered by people of all ages and skill levels and will be lined with candles to guide participants along.  Friends of Peninsula State Park Business Manager Steve Strucely says those come out will get a different perspective on the park.

 

 

The candlelight ski/hike at Peninsula State Park runs from 5:30 to 8:00 PM.  It's s free, though you will need a vehicle pass to get into the park.  People are asked to enter at Highland Road.  The event will take place with or without snow and will only be canceled in the event of severe weather.

Referendum approval helps Sevastopol schools update maintenance plans

Portions of the Sevastopol School District's ten-year maintenance plan will finally be moving forward thanks to voter approval of a new building referendum.  The district's Property, Buildings and Security committee reviewed that maintenance plan to assess what work needs to be done over the summer in the 1965, 1991, 1994 and 1996 additions.  Some maintenance work had been put on hold pending the outcome of the building referendum.  School board member Dave Kacmarynski says some of those projects can no longer be put off.

 

 

When the committee met Tuesday, they asked for updated cost figures for all repairs in the maintenance plan. 

Catholic priest shortage continues

Pastor Daniel Schuster of Holy Trinity Parish in Casco and St. Mary’s Parish in Luxemburg believes people thinking about becoming a priest need to get beyond the snapshot of what the Catholic Church has become. According to NBC News, the number of priests who serve as parish leaders as dropped to about 25,800 while the number of Catholics who identify themselves with the faith has grown. Scandals and institutional challenges have been blamed for the numbers dropping across the country at seminaries. Before he came to the Luxemburg-Casco area, Schuster worked at the Diocese of Green Bay as a vocation director looking for younger members to become future priests and sisters. He says it is not just about filling up churches and convents anymore.

Schuster emphasized the Catholic faith was first spread by missionaries traveling by horseback in the country’s first centuries. It was not until more recently that churches and schools were built to help develop local parishes. 

Native American wisdom will feature at musical event

Attendees to any of the "Sound & Spirit" events later this month will get a unique perspective on life from a resident artist of the Oneida Nation Arts program. Coleen Bins, a retired art educator and owner of Chief Oshkosh in Egg Harbor, will be joining forces with Studio 330 owner Hans Christian for a series of events in Sturgeon Bay that promise to take participants on a peaceful, meditative and inspiring journey. Bins will share stories on Creation and creativity from her Native American heritage and will attempt to remind people of their connection to their spirits. Bins said she was approached by Christian first and that it was an easy decision to join up with the recording studio for the event.

 


The events will be held each Saturday from January 19th to February 2nd. A donation of $20 is required. RSVPs can be made by calling Hans Christian at (920) 818-0448.
 

Ice conditions create challenges for Coast Guard rescues

Ice formation on Lake Michigan and Green Bay has been inconsistent with unseasonably milder temperatures followed by extreme cold.  U.S. Coast Guard officials at Station Sturgeon Bay warn all who ice fish on the big waters to be cautious and prepared.  Master Chief Justin Olson, who's the Officer in Charge, says Coast Guard Rescue teams have faced challenges in the recent rescue of people from an ice floe on Green Bay.

 

 

Chief Olson says anyone venturing out on the big lake ice should also be wearing a floatation vest, which he calls the difference between life and death if you plunge into the water.

Green Bay armed robbery suspect possibly linked to Luxemburg robbery

A man arrested in connection with a series of armed robberies in Green Bay matches the description of a suspect who held up Main Street Crossing in Luxemburg on January 8th.  In that instance, a man with red hair and a bushy beard brought a soft drink to the check out counter, pulled a handgun on the clerk and demanded all of the money in the cash register.  Luxemburg Police say the suspect got away with less than $500 and drove off in a silver SUV.  As Luxemburg Police were investigating the case, information came up about other armed robberies in Green Bay, where a suspect had been taken into custody.  Information is now being shared between the two police departments to see whether all of the robberies are connected.

 

 

 

 

 

(Photo Courtesy Luxemburg Police Dept. Facebook page)

Snowmobilers keep up wishful thinking

Snowmobile clubs like the Kewaunee Moonriders are doing their part for communities still dreaming of a white winter. Weather the last few years has limited snowmobilers to just a few weeks of open local trails, including 2018’s season that was just days long. The shortened season has not dampened the spirits of Kewaunee Moonriders members who have been calling property owners and maintaining the over 90 miles of snowmobile trails in the county. President Tom Chernovsky says its volunteers are on standby to take advantage of every flake coming their way.

 

The Kewaunee Moonriders keep busy even without the snow thanks to fundraising events that later get redistributed to local organizations and further trail enhancements. The lack of snow and the recent rains are keeping snowmobile trails closed in Door and Kewaunee counties. 

Plans for Eagle Tower pushed back slightly

The construction of Eagle Tower has been pushed back slightly as bids continue to come in. Originally, construction on the tower was to start early in 2019, but with numerous bids from contractors, the DNR has pushed back several key dates a month or two to accommodate. Steve Strucely, the business manager for the Friends of Peninsula State Park, said the DNR will likely respond to bids around February, and construction will tentatively begin in either March or April.

 


Construction on the Eagle Tower is expected to be completed early this fall, as opposed to late summer like it was originally announced. The original Eagle Tower was a 75-foot observation tower, but was closed and taken down due to safety concerns. The new tower will feature a gently-sloping 850-foot access ramp that snakes through the canopy of the forest.
 

Small towns concerned about Shopko bankruptcy

Word that the Shopko department store chain will seek bankruptcy protection is causing concerns in Sister Bay and Kewaunee.  Published reports say the Ashwaubenon-based retailer will file for bankruptcy January 15th.  The company operates Shopko Hometown stores in Sister Bay and Kewaunee.  The news of a bankruptcy filing is a concern for Sister Bay Village President Dave Lienau because of the economic impact the store has in Northern Door County.

 

 

Similar concerns are also being raised by Kewaunee County Administrator Scott Feldt.  He says the potential loss of Shopko Hometown in Kewaunee would mean an economic loss beyond the workforce and tax base.

 

 

Bankruptcy would be just the latest effort by Shopko to improve the company's bottom line.  The company announced in December it would close 39 stores and was selling its pharmacy business to Kroger and HyVee stores. 

 

Interest-free loans available for Coast Guard members

The end of the government shutdown may not be in sight yet, but hope can be seen for over 100 Sturgeon Bay-based Coast Guard families. Adopt a Soldier Door County will help bridge the gap for families by providing interest-free loans for essential bills. Coast Guard members apply for the loans while a committee determines the awarded amount to be paid back at a later date. Adopt a Soldier Door County founder Nancy Hutchinson says politics aside, the community needs to take care of their local Coast Guard members.

 

Hutchinson fears the Coast Guard’s youngest members could see their credit ratings ruined before they leave the service due to the government shutdown. Those interested in helping contribute to the almost $30,000 already set aside for the interest-free loans can donate directly to Adopt a Soldier Door County and designate it for the Coast Guard Fund. 

Shutdown shuts out Borchardt's county presentation

Kewaunee County residents will have to wait a little bit longer to hear the details about the current state of its well water supply. Dr. Mark Borchardt from the United States Department of Agriculture was expected to speak during Tuesday’s Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation meeting. The government shutdown has left  Borchardt and thousands of other non-essential employees furloughed until further notice. Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee member Lee Luft notified DoorCountyDailyNews.com of the agenda change and hopes they will be able to host Borchardt again in the future. The meeting will still take place in Luxemburg at the Land and Water Conservation Department at 10 a.m. and will feature an update on the area’s total maximum daily load study and further discussion on the land application of septic waste in the county.

Highway 42 project delayed

You won’t have to deal with road construction on Highway 42 in northern Door County until May after the Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced the delays on Monday. Higher than anticipated bids for the project stretching from Bluff Lane in the town of Gibraltar to Country Walk Drive in Sister Bay is to blame for the delay. Under the new plan, the majority of the work being done in Fish Creek would wait until the fall and be completed in spring 2020. Road reconstruction efforts from Gibraltar Road north to Country Walk Drive will start in May and conclude in October with no work being done between the Fourth of July and Labor Day holiday weekends. You can read the full release from the Town of Gibraltar below.

 

WIS Hwy 42 Project Construction Schedule Update

 

Revised start dates announced for WIS Hwy 42 construction

 

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) notified the Town of Gibraltar of schedule changes to the WIS Hwy 42 project, originally scheduled to begin in March 2019 and be completed in September 2019, due to recent bids coming in significantly higher than anticipated. WisDOT will be re-letting the project as two separate bids in an effort to lower project costs and better utilize taxpayer dollars, both statewide and locally. The schedule changes are as follows:

 

  • Segment 1: 400 feet north of Gibraltar Road in Fish Creek to Country Walk Drive in Sister Bay. Revised construction start date of May 2019 with a completion date of October 2019. No work will occur between the Fourth of July and Labor Day holiday weekends.
  • Segment 2: Bluff Lane to 400 feet north of Gibraltar Road in Fish Creek. Revised construction start date of fall 2019 with a completion date of spring 2020.

 

The WisDOT remains committed to avoiding major construction during the busy tourist season in Door County. Additional questions should be directed to Jeremy Ashauer, WisDOT Project Manager, at (920) 412-6381 or Jeremy.ashauer@dot.wi.gov.

 

Pantry in good shape as Karsten Hotel sales end

The Kewaunee County Food Pantry is looking good financially following the final sale of the Karsten Hotel's contents.  Sunday marked the third sale since the new owners of the Kartsen property donated all contents to the pantry.  Pantry President Ken Marquardt says there was very little left by bargain hunters.  He adds that the proceeds have helped secure the pantry's future.

 

 

Marquardt says some of the furnishings left behind will be advertised on the Kewaunee County Food Pantry's Facebook page.  

Inauguration a thrill for a new and an incumbent sheriff

The first Monday of January saw incumbent and new county officials take their oaths of office.  That included new Door County Sheriff Tammy Sternard, a veteran deputy who now heads the department.  Sternard opted to keep intact the administrative team that served under Steve Delarwelle.  She sees them all as assets to their common mission.

   

 

Over in Kewaunee County,  Sheriff Matt Joski took his fourth oath of office.  Joski says this oath was as thrilling for him as the first one, especially with the challenges ahead.

 

 

The swearing in of county officials came the same day as the inauguration of Governor Tony Evers, Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes and members of the state legislature. 

Counties want more money for lawyers

The Wisconsin Counties Association says justice is moving slower due to inadequate compensation for public defenders.  Attorneys who take on court-appointments as public defenders are paid $40-an-hour, a fee that was set in 1995 when the state legislature cut the pay rate from $50-an-hour.  That's left defendants waiting weeks before a court-appointed attorney can be found to take their cases.  Kewaunee County District Attorney Andrew Naze says that hasn't been a problem for small counties like Kewaunee.  However, he says it's time to increase compensation for public defenders.

 


Lawyers and judges statewide say the current compensation rate for public defenders doesn't even cover an attorneys expenses.

Haen finishes up Fairest term

Fifty-eight counties and over 13,000 miles later, Wisconsin Fairest of the Fair and Kewaunee County resident Isabella Haen is seeing her reign come to a close. Haen was Kewaunee County’s first to take on the statewide role after being chosen at last year’s Wisconsin Association of Fairs Annual Convention in Wisconsin Dells. Bringing the Wisconsin State Fair to a children’s hospital in Milwaukee and striking up a friendship with last year’s Alice in Dairyland winner Kaitlyn Riley were among the highlights during her term. Haen says it was special to have the community support her so much after her selection.

Haen hopes to put her agricultural communications skills to good use after a new Fairest of the Fair is selected on Thursday. Door County’s Claire Olson and Kewaunee County’s  Charlene Robinson are among the Fairests of the Fair looking for the opportunity to take her spot during this year’s convention. 

 

 

 

Picture courtesy of Wisconsin Fairest of the Fair Facebook page

DCMC nursing center looks and feels like home

Door County Medical Center's new skilled nursing facility is taking shape. It's also moving away from the institutional atmosphere of past nursing centers.  The Pete and Jelaine Horton Center will accommodate 30 residents in two different wings or neighborhoods, as they're called.  The Skilled Nursing Facility's Director of Nursing Judy Sinitz says the center is designed to look and feel like home.

 

 

The 25,000 square-foot, single floor facility is scheduled to open this August. 

Door County Board takes up Washington Island agreement

The Door County Board of  Supervisors will consider an agreement to place a satellite emergency service facility on Washington Island.  County Administrator Ken Pabich says the one-page intergovernmental agreement with the Town of Washington is designed to aid both entities at one potential site for the center.   

 

 

Pabich says the proposed Washington Island center would be similar to the Brussels Union Gardner facility, which houses county ambulance services to Southern Door County.

Duffy, Stillman win DECA District event

Juniors Connor Duffy and Brandon Stillman will lead a four-person contingent to the state Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) meet in Lake Geneva in March after a successful showing at districts over the weekend. Duffy and Stillman teamed up to take first place in the Sports and Entertainment Marketing Team event thanks to medaling in the cluster exam and role plays involving selling and human resource management. Sophomore Jack Hitzeman took second place in the Principles of Business Administration event while fellow sophomore Jacob Anschutz punched his own ticket to state in the Principles of Hospitality and Tourism Series. Gibraltar DECA advisor Mary Witteborg says the state berths are impressive because of the size of their categories and the turnaround they have to compete.

Stillman, Duffy, Hitzeman, and Anschutz could clinch a berth to the international competition in Orlando in April if they are successful at the state meet in March. 

 

 

Picture courtesy of Mary Witteborg

Sevastopol teachers get ideas from other schools

 The future classrooms in the Sevastopol School District's new buildings will be designed with input from teachers.  Teachers from all grade levels will visit other school districts to get some ideas of what they'd like to see with classroom designs in the new school additions. Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says the teachers will tour schools in districts of various sizes.

 

 

Voters passed a building referendum last November. Groundbreaking on the first phase, an annex behind the school building's 1965 addition, is set for the spring of 2020.

Government shutdown not yet impacting SNAP program

The federal government shutdown is not currently impacting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP,  in Kewaunee County.  Human Services Department Director Bob Mattice says his department operations are running as normal including processing SNAP applications.  Mattice says, however, he is concerned about the impact of a long-term shutdown.

 

 

 

Mattice says most of the information he's heard about SNAP funding levels has come from national news reports.  He says he has not heard anything from the federal or state agencies that oversee SNAP.

Peninsula Pride extends reach with annual meeting

Peninsula Pride Farms hopes more people learn more about what the group is doing when it hosts its annual meeting next month. After being held at restaurants its first two years, the farmer-led conservation group will host its annual meeting this year at the Kewaunee County Fairground Exhibit Hall. After morning sessions take place, seafood ambassador Ewell Smith will give a keynote address. Peninsula Pride Farms President Don Niles says attendees will be surprised about how Smith’s experience with the fishing industry in the Gulf of Mexico relates to dairy and crop farming in Kewaunee and southern Door counties.

Peninsula Pride Farms partnered with UW Discovery Farms and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to set up a number of field days throughout the year to highlight different conservation practices with ideas on how to implement them. You can find more details on how to RSVP for this year’s annual meeting online with this story. 

 

 

Door County Civility Project recaps 2018

The Door County Civility Project helped put on 15 workshops and training sessions in 2018. Shirley Senarighi is a volunteer for the DCCP and she thinks they impacted more people in 2018 than in any year prior. They got involved in the election and trying to promote more civility in politics. Senarighi says they got a lot of positive feedback from that. 

 

 

The DCCP was also able to finish the project they started in 2017 that deals with civility in the stands at sporting events. They were able to put a banner in every high school gym in 2018 encouraging the fans to be civil and sportsmanlike. 

 

In 2019, the non-profit is planning a series of lectures, each one focusing on a different aspect of civility. 

 

Winter weather causes delays

The winter storm advisory is expected to conclude at 8 a.m., but it is still forcing some delays this morning as roads are snow covered in some spots and icy in others. The list below consists of closings and delays in the area as we have received them. We will update this page as more information comes. You can call us at 920-746-9758 for additional closing and delay information. 

 

Gibraltar Area Schools: Two hour delay

Northern Door Children's Center: Two hour delay

No Packerland Math Meet in Oconto due to school closure

Gibraltar boys basketball game at Peshtigo postponed

Kress Pavilion, Egg Harbor: Opening at noon

The Egg Harbor Historical Society's program on Doctor Eames for today has been postponed until next Monday at 1:00pm at the Kress Center.

Kewaunee basketball game at Oconto postponed

Ahnapee plans for 2019

The Kewaunee County Town of Ahnapee is looking to grow with some big projects coming in 2019. The township has constructed a road for future residential construction that is expected to be finished in 2019.  Repairs to the town hall roof are also anticipated in the new year. Ahnapee Town Chairman Gary Paape explains why it needs to be replaced.

 

 

The town has not received any bids on the roof as of yet. That will be pursued further at the next Ahnapee Town Hall Meeting in January. The specific time of the meeting has not yet been announced. 

Human trafficking presentation in Algoma

Nearby human trafficking has prompted an informational presentation in Algoma. On January 11th the Algoma Public Library will be hosting a human trafficking presentation that will try to educate people about human trafficking and how people can help victims of it. New Algoma Chief of Police Randy Remiker will be there as a presenter to share how law enforcement tries to deal with human trafficking. Remiker says the problem is everywhere and not just in big cities. 

 

 

Adult Services Librarian of Algoma Library Katie Haasch organized the event. Katie's mom had to go through training about human trafficking in Green Bay because she's a teacher. That inspired Katie to put this together. Haasch wants people to know that human trafficking is closer than you might think.

 

 

Nineteen people were arrested in Brown County in September for operating a human trafficking ring. Human trafficking is moving people across state or country borders for illicit uses. 

Local ice angler not worried

A Door and Kewaunee County fishing guide is not quite worried about the milder temperatures this year. Captain J.J. Malvitz, the owner of J.J.’s Guide Service, says the ice fishing season normally doesn’t pick up until the middle or end of January. Malvitz says the Bay of Green Bay and other lakes in Door County are primed for safe ice fishing if the weather cooperates in the next couple of weeks. The captain expects to have a full season of guiding ice fishing tours this winter which is normally six to eight weeks long. J.J. added the impact of ice anglers coming to Door County to fish is a big bonus for the local economy.

 

(Malvitz)

 

Captain Malvitz has done some ice fishing himself in some of the inner harbors but has not guided tours yet so far this winter. As for ice fishing safety Malvitz says you should tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back and carry some ice picks that will help you get back on the ice in case you fall in the water. 

How to prevent Facebook hack

A Sturgeon Bay IT professional shares ways you may have never thought of how hackers can get at your Facebook account. Nathan Drager is the owner of Quantum PC in Sturgeon Bay and he says you can do some simple things to help protect your accounts. Last month Facebook had a data breach that affected 90 million users. People that had their accounts breached would sign in to Facebook, then get immediately logged out, and then sign back in again. If something like that happens again, Drager says you should change your password right away and add two-factor authentication. Drager explains what that is.

 

 

That way you would need your password and your device on you at the same time. Drager added you should not accept friend requests from people that you don't know. He says beware of clicking on articles where you don't recognize the source. Another thing to be careful of are quizzes where they may seem to ask innocent questions. 

 

 

Drager says to make sure all the passwords you use are unique so that if a hacker gets one password, they can't get all your passwords. Facebook can be slow to react to account security issues since there are over 2 billion users.

Wisconsin helping state trans workers

The state of Wisconsin will now pay for state transgender employees transition care. This went into effect on January 1st. The Treasurer of PFLAG Door County Sandy Brown says this is a much-needed step for trans people. Brown added that transition care for transgender people will help save lives and is basic healthcare. 

 

  

 

A U.S. District Court Judge ruled in September that excluding trans people from getting transition-related health coverage was a violation of the Civil Rights Act.

Best time for stargazing at Newport

It's the perfect time of the year to look at the stars at Newport State Park in Ellison Bay. Michelle Hefty, Manager of Newport State Park, says the skies are clear and sharp because of the lack of humidity. Also, you don't have to stay out as late since the sun goes down so early. Hefty says the clear nights have just been spectacular. 

 

 

Newport State Park is considered by the International Dark-Sky Association as an International Dark Sky Park, one of only 48 parks in the world to earn that distinction according to their website.

Liberty Grove approves wifi upgrades

The Town of Liberty Grove has approved the recommendations of the Tech Committee to upgrade the wifi at the Gills Rock and Maritime Museum. Liberty Grove Administrator Bud Kalms says the town's Tech Committee brought their upgrade solutions to the Town Board Meeting on Wednesday. Kalms says cell coverage is poor in the Gills Rock area so they wanted to upgrade the hotspots there.

 

 

Liberty Grove also added to its existing fireworks ordinance. You now must let your neighbor know if you have a permit to use fireworks.

Woodpecker damage first warning sign for dying trees

Woodpecker damage found among Door County ash trees might be one of the first signs of a dangerous emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation. The non-native insect species was first discovered in Door County in 2014 and kill ash trees by eating the tissues under the bark. In time, this process chokes off the tree’s access to water and food. During the wintertime, larvae left behind by EAB are prime food targets for woodpeckers, which may further damage the bark of a tree to pick at what is underneath. The combination of lost tissues and damaged bark can kill an ash tree anywhere from 1-3 years. Bill McNee, a forest health specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said thinning is also a big indicator of a tree’s health, and the best way to avoid an EAB infestation is to take action before it can even begin.

 

 

McNee said a tree with 30 to 50 percent of its canopy thinned out is likely too far gone to save. Those interested in doing more research on the emerald ash borer can find information at the DNR’s specialized EAB website.

DCMC specialist educating adult caregivers

Adult caregivers in the Door County area will have an opportunity to receive tips and training to improve their own well-being while caring for a loved one. The Door County Medical Center is launching a new “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” class, aimed at teaching strategies to boost the confidence of those entrusted with the care of a friend or relative. The first class will be held on Monday, January 7th, with further weekly meetings running until February 11th. Christy Wisniewski, a Geriatric Outreach Specialist at DCMC, said the class is being offered because becoming a caregiver can be a stressful experience.

 

 

Those interested in signing up for the sessions can do so at the DCMC website, or they can give Wisniewski a call at (920) 746-3504.

Award-winning yearbooks highlight Sevastopol history

Sevastopol High School will never have any problems recalling the past with their award-winning yearbooks. The school’s yearbook has received a blue ribbon at the Northeast Wisconsin Press Association awards 29 out of the last 30 years. Most of the books cover all student organizations and sports, with complete schedules for each team and past results. Mindi Vanderhoof, the yearbook and journalism teacher at Sevastopol, said the courses are challenging, but students who are well-motivated and dedicated always create a great product.

 

 

Vanderhoof said she gets about 15 kids to work on the yearbook and about 12-15 kids to work on the school’s newspaper each year. Past copies of the yearbook are stored in the high school IMC and date back to 1927, with almost every edition having at least one copy available.

Gongs and Tibetan bowls lead to sonic immersion

Studio 330 in Sturgeon Bay will be a center for peace and tranquility at least three times over the next couple of months as the recording studio hosts its "Source & Spirit" event. Hans Christian, the owner of Studio 330, will guide audiences on a "sonic immersion" through playing several gongs and Tibetan bowls. The performance is described as one that will take audiences on a peaceful, meditative, and inspiring experience. He will be joined by Coleen Bins, a former art educator and a resident artist for the Oneida Nation Arts Program who will be sharing stories of Creation from her Native American ancestry. Christian said he got the idea to include Bins after reflecting upon the messages of Creation and creativity he delivered in his previous gong performances.

 

 

The three events are set to be held January 19th, January 26th, and February 2nd. Each event will cost $20 and the proceeds will serve as a donation to Studio 330.

Southern Door music department looking for boosters

The music department at the Southern Door County School District is looking for boosters to aid fundraising and other efforts to improve the K-12 program. The boosters seek to benefit the department through funding trips for band and choir students and also provide scholarships to those taking music lessons during their time in high school. Scholarships are also provided to graduating students who continue their musical studies during their first semester in college. Lynn Baker, the secretary of the Southern Door Music Boosters, said you don't have to have a child in school to help out with the boosters' mission.

 

 

The Southern Door music department is currently in the middle of their annual fruit sale, of which the proceeds will be split between the students and the booster club. The booster club will put their portion of the earnings toward scholarships.

Door County Beekeepers Club holding class for beginners

The Door County Beekeepers Club is holding a beginner’s class for those interested in picking up the hobby. The class will focus on the first year of beekeeping and the various decisions that must be made while setting up, including choosing what type of bees one desires to keep and where one intends to keep them. Max Martin, a member of the club who has been keeping bees for 20 years, is the leader of the class. He said getting and staying into beekeeping is a lot easier than it might seem, especially with the assistance of the club.

 

 

The class will be held Saturday, January 12th, and runs from 8 a.m. to about noon. There is a cost of $35 to be paid at the door and the class is limited to the first 25 reservations. More information can be found at the Door County Beekeepers Club website.

Autism programs giving much-needed assistance

A Sturgeon Bay resident has committed herself to participating and creating programs to assist children with autism. Deb Doyle, a co-founder of the PATH (Promoting Access to Help) organization, has taught children with autism at the Sturgeon Bay School District for 11 years and was involved in creating the groundwork for the program. One of Doyle’s original inspirations for taking up the cause was her daughter, who was diagnosed with the condition at the age of 3. She said another reason she started reaching out to others was due to the lack of resources in the area at the time.

 

Doyle said the next move in providing more assistance to children with special needs is to bring more existing resources from the Green Bay area. She also said PATH provides many different offerings that can ease the pressure off of caretakers, including bowling and parent education nights.

Crossroads at Big Creek screening documentary

The Climate Change Coalition of Door County and the League of Women Voters will be presenting a screening of the documentary Saving Snow on Wednesday, January 9th. The documentary explores the winter sports industry in Wisconsin and how decreasing amounts of snowfall in the area threaten business. Coggin Heeringa, the director at Crossroads, said efforts are underway across the state to stave off or prepare for smaller amounts of snowfall.

 

 

The documentary was filmed across Wisconsin in 2017. The event is free and open to the public, but donations are welcomed.

Golden Heart Volunteer Celebration nominations now open

Golden Heart Volunteer Celebration nominations now open

Area organizations will once again have the opportunity to honor the people who make a difference volunteering throughout Door County.  Nominations for the 16th annual Golden Heart Volunteer Celebration are being accepted by the Volunteer Center of Door County.  Executive Director Kay Smith shares what makes the annual event so meaningful. 

 

 

Nominations for the awards are due February 15th.  The Annual Golden Heart Volunteer Celebration will take place on April 11 at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay.  You can find more information on the nomination categories below. 

 

Nominate them today for a 2019 Golden Heart Award! Nominees in five categories:

o Adult volunteer of the year
o Volunteer group of the year
o Environmental stewardship volunteer of the year
o Lifetime of Service
o Youth Award (includes scholarship)

Ephraim Streetscape project ready to roll

The Streetscape project in the Village of Ephraim is ready to take shape this summer.  The village board will discuss and consider a nearly $2.46-million contract with Peters Concrete for the project.  Village Administrator Brent Bristol says that represents the bulk of the Streetscape construction.


 

 

The final contract award will be discussed by the Ephraim Village Board when it meets at the Administrative Office on Norway Street Tuesday, January 8th at 7:00 PM. 

Author says Great Lakes adapting to invasive species

What started as a visit for a story with a commercial fisherman on Washington Island became Dan Egan's fascination with how the Great Lakes changed during the time he settled out west then returned to Wisconsin.  Egan is the author of the best selling book "The Death and Life of the Great Lakes".  The book looks at all of the challenges the Great Lakes basin has weathered from pollution and the introduction of non-native aquatic life forms, like the alewife and sea lamprey, at the expense of native fish.  More recent invaders include the Zebra Mussel and the Round Goby.  During his research, Egan found that the Great Lakes have long shown the ability to adapt well to such invaders.

 


Egan's book is one of those selected for the Door County Library program Door County Reads 2019.  Egan will be featured at an author talk on February 9th at Sturgeon Bay High School from 2:00 PM until 4:00 PM.  

Community will have say on west side development

Hours after the Wisconsin DNR came down with their formal ruling Tuesday on the Ordinary High Water Mark, the Ad Hoc West Waterfront Planning Committee met to discuss getting public input on the future plans.  The meeting was scheduled before any knowledge of the ruling, but Co-chair Laurel Hauser says the timing and results are good news for the community. 

 

 

Hauser says the agreement between the City of Sturgeon Bay and the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront all but settles the lawsuit. 

 

 

Hauser says Thursday’s committee meeting was an initial planning session dealing with the logistics for the upcoming public input gathering which will be facilitated by SEH, a consulting firm out of Appleton. 

Liberty Grove residents questioned on Gills Rock property

Town of Liberty Grove residents will have their say on how nearly two-and-quarter acres of property with nearly 440-feet of shoreline in Gills Rock will be used.  The town purchased the three parcels of land last year.  Town Administrator Bud Kalmes says residents will help draw up a questionnaire to help decide the best use of the waterfront property.

 

 

Kalmes says the town expects to close on the Gills Rock property the last week of this month.  Three informational sessions at 10:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 7:00 PM will be held on January 14th at the NWTC Sister Bay campus on South Bay Shore Drive. 

Police Explorers to host open house

Door County high school students looking at a career in law enforcement have an opportunity in Sturgeon Bay. For students ages 14-20, Sturgeon Bay Police Explorer Post 9368 gives them hands-on experience on what it takes to get into the field. Post members participate in training meetings at least twice a month and have an opportunity to work at special events, go on ride alongs, and put their knowledge on display at various law enforcement conferences. It was his experience with a Police Explorer post in the Appleton area that got Sturgeon Bay Officer Brandon Shew into the field. After close to a decade as a member and now as the lead advisor for Post 9368, Shew hopes other youths take advantage.

Sturgeon Bay Police Explorer Post 9368 will host an open house on January 15th inside the department’s headquarters beginning at 5 p.m. 

 

 

Microbiologist returns to Kewaunee County

United States Department of Agriculture microbiologist Dr. Mark Borchardt will make a presentation Tuesday as a part of the next Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation meeting. Borchardt made headlines across the region in June 2017 when he and UW-Oshkosh professor Maureen Muldoon found a relationship between water recharge events in the area’s fractured bedrock and well contamination.  Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee member Lee Luft says Borchardt’s appearance will likely bring the most detailed view of the area’s groundwater issues. 

 

Tuesday’s meeting comes after Rep. Robin Vos announced earlier this week he would establish a water-quality task force in the wake of similar well contamination rates in southwestern Wisconsin. The Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee meets at the department’s headquarters in Luxemburg beginning at 10 a.m.

Price transparency comes to area hospitals

Posting prices for procedures done at hospitals is nothing new for Door County Medical Center. It is a part of a new federal law designed to help patients become better consumers.  Door County Medical Center started to add the information to their Web site as more patients began to request it over the last four to five years. It even had a link to a different Web site allowing patients to comparison shop between other facilities. The only change needed was to publish the prices in a machine-readable format. Since published prices are before insurance kicks in, Patient Financial Services Manager Tiffany Huston encourages people to call if they have questions.

Huston emphasized Door County Medical Center has services available to patients who need to get insurance or set up a payment plan to afford their care. Prices are listed under the Billing and Payments section on Door County Medical Center’s Web site. 

No Fourth of July Fireworks for Fish Creek

The 4th of July 2019 will be a somewhat silent night around Fish Creek.  That's because the Fish Creek Civic Association Board of Directors has decided not to host a firework and Independence Day festival this year.  Civic Association President Denise Stillman says such a difficult decision came after weighing numerous factors.

 

 

Stillman says money the association saves will be used to ensure visitors continue to come to Fish Creek, especially during resurfacing work on Highway 42 from March through the end of fall. 

Sevastopol considers repairs to the school sections being saved

The Sevastopol School District will be looking at what repairs are needed in the parts of the school building not being demolished for new sections.  The district's Property, Building and Security Committee will look at what needs to be done in the 1965, 1991, 1994 and 1996 sections of the school building.  Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says the projects that need to be done this summer range from routine to major upgrades.

 

 

The summer repair projects will be discussed when the Property, Buildings and Security Committee meets Monday, January 7th at 2:30 PM at the District Office on Highway 57 in Institute.

Lake Michigan Shipwrecks protected without marine sanctuary boundaries

While efforts are still underway to create the  Wisconsin-Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary from Sheboygan County up to Manitowoc County,  shipwrecks outside of the proposed 1100-square mile preserve, like those in Door and Kewaunee County waters, are protected by state law.  Door County Maritime Museum Curator Rhys Kuzdas says Wisconsin, and other Great Lakes States, consider such wrecks to be underwater historical sites.

 

 

Kuzdas says the attraction of establishing a national marine sanctuary is to offer additional resources to protect wrecks.

 

 

Kuzdas says even though shipwrecks are considered archaeological sites they can be destroyed under certain circumstances.  Those include the need to extract oil or other mineral resources on the site.  Before extraction work can begin, however, marine archaeologists remove as many historical artifacts before dredging starts. 

 

(Photo from NOAA)

New cookies, old lessons for Girl Scouts

The cookies may change but the lessons stay the same for Girl Scouts in Door and Kewaunee counties. The almost century-old practice of the organization selling the baked treats will kick off locally January 18th with the introduction of the new gluten-free Caramel Chocolate Chip cookie. Even though some of the cookie varieties and names have changed over the years, Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes Director of Communications Lee Snodgrass says the lessons learned over the coming weeks have been as consistent as their popular Thin Mints.


Snodgrass says all of the proceeds from the cookie sales stay local and are divided between the council, the troop, and the members to help pay for programming and other services. There are over 30 troops in Door and Kewaunee counties. 

 

 

Picture Courtesy of Girl Scouts of America

 

DOT seeks input on Highway 42/57 improvements

Resurfacing work on Highway 42/57 from the South Junction to the Bay View Bridge is set to start in 2024..or possibly 2021.  Town of Sturgeon Bay residents can learn more about the project when the town board meets January 7th.  The project will repair nearly seven-miles of Highway 42/57.  Door and Kewaunee County Project Manager Jeremy Ashauer says the project is still in the design phase and community input is needed to help in that process.

 

 

That meeting between the DOT and Town of Sturgeon Bay Board starts at 7:00 PM Monday at Arle Memorial Hall on Tacoma Beach Road.

Norovirus in Northeast Wisconsin

Norovirus is popping up in parts of Northeast Wisconsin. Door County Public Health Manager Susan Powers says there have not been any confirmed cases of the Norovirus in Door County. Powers has been made aware of people having similar symptoms to the virus especially in elderly living facilities. The Norovirus acts like a "stomach bug" causing diarrhea and vomiting. Powers says the Norovirus pops up the most around now in the winter and into the spring. The worst of the virus lasts 24-48 hours.

 

 

Powers added there is a specific test you have to run for the Norovirus and not all medical professionals test for it. You can protect yourself by washing your hands properly with soap and water and by preparing your food safely. 

Viewing the stars with new technology

The Door Peninsula Astronomical Society is debuting its new telescopes and viewing system for observing the stars. On Saturday, the DPAS will host the first observation night of the year at the Leif Everson Observatory in Sturgeon Bay starting at 7:00 PM. David Lenius is in charge of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society and he says it should be a spectacular start in viewing the winter constellations and other star clusters. The whole night takes place inside the observatory with the heat on. Lenius says that even the people running the observation night can stay inside now thanks to the new technology.

 

 

The DPAS will host a public viewing the first or second Saturday night of every month. February's public viewing is scheduled for the 2nd. 

 

Hanson reacts to Evers hesitancy on Green Bay prison replacement

Governor-elect Tony Evers is making reductions in Wisconsin's prison population a priority.  So, Evers has questioned the need to build a replacement for the 120-year-old Green Bay Correctional Institution.  Supporters of a new prison say it takes more people to staff GBCI than a new facility.  Democratic State Senator Dave Hansen of Green Bay sees drawbacks to retaining Green Bay Correctional and replacing it.

 


Hansen also says he would not support replacing Green Bay Correctional with a privately run prison.  He says such facilities nationwide have a spotty success record.

Celebrate Water Door County conveys message through reading

Door County water quality will get better if the efforts of an active non-profit pay off. Celebrate Water Door County is holding numerous reading events throughout the year, all of which eventually lead to the organization’s 2019 Water Summit. The non-profit initiative will hold one or two events every month, and all will center on the water in the Great Lakes area. Each event is organized by Write On, Door County, Crossroads at Big Creek, or one of the branches of the Door County library. Coggin Heeringa, a member of the Healthy Water Door County Board of Advisors, said she is excited to have brought several interesting speakers in as part of the initiative.

 

 

Celebrate Water Door County’s 2019 Water Summit will be held June 4th through June 6th at the Landmark Resort in Egg Harbor. The summit will feature a keynote speaker, several breakout sessions, and on-site field trips.

DNR sets new Ordinary High Water Mark

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has finally ruled on the new Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) on Sturgeon Bay’s controversial west side waterfront.  In Thursday’s ruling, the DNR essentially used the 1835 meander line through Parcel 92.  City of Sturgeon Bay Administrator Josh Van Lieshout calls the DNR ruling a basic compromise.

 

 

Shawn Fairchild from the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront says the ruling is a validation of their efforts the past few years. 

 

 

The disputed waterfront property was the initial location for a hotel development by Robert Papke that was never built.  Papke sued and settled with the City of Sturgeon Bay for $360,000 last month.   You can find the complete OHWM ruling with this story online.

 

 

 

Ephraim looking for partners to improve wetlands

 The Village of Ephraim wants to partner with three different organizations to manage and improve the village wetlands. Public Works Supervisor Russell Salfi
told the village's Physical Facilities and Utilities Committee he's reaching out to the Door County Land Trust, U-W Oshkosh and the Department of Natural Resources to help with the wetlands.  Salfi says such an arrangement would make the wetlands a more attractive community asset.

 

 

Salfi says of the three trails that people can take through the Village of Ephraim Wetlands only one is passable.  The other two have been blocked off although the village hopes to fix those trails to improve accessibility this year.

Outgoing Sturgeon Bay Senator appointed by Evers

Outgoing State Senator Caleb Frostman (D - Sturgeon Bay) has been appointed by Governor-elect Evers to be the Department of Workforce Development Secretary. Jim Golembeski, Executive Director of the Bay Area Development Board, worked with Frostman on the Door County Economic Development Corporation. Golembeski is pleased with the appoinment of Frostman. 

 

Frostman put out a statement saying, "I believe under Governor-elect Evers' leadership this team's potential is truly greater than the sum of its parts. I share his vision of a prosperous Wisconsin for all and look forward to putting our collective shoulder to the wheel to ensure Wisconsin's economy works for both its employees and its employers." 


Frostman could not be reached by DoorCountyDailyNews.com for comment. 

Sturgeon Bay Police can proceed with SUV purchases

The Sturgeon Bay Finance, Purchasing and Building Committee has approved the Sturgeon Bay Police Department's request to buy two 2019 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor models for a total of $64,840.  The request was part of a planned replacement of two current vehicles. Sturgeon Bay, like other law enforcement agencies nationwide, have placed orders for the Explorer models with traditional gasoline-fueled engines.  Those models are being replaced and redesigned by Ford into a gas/hybrid engine this year.  The demand for gasoline-only engines has been so strong that Ford is limiting each department to two vehicles.  Committee chair David Ward says Sturgeon Bay was never concerned about being unable to get those models.

 

 


The purchase request for the Ford Explorers will now go to the full city council for approval. 

Gibraltar borrows $5.8-million for town projects

The Town of Gibraltar will borrow just over $5.8-million dollars to fund community projects.  The town board approved a resolution authorizing the sale of the promissory notes at Wednesday night's regular monthly meeting. Town Board Chair Richard Skare says the interim funding is needed to cover some key projects for the town.

 

 

The Gibraltar town board also approved an agreement on Phase I of the Fish Creek Beach project with the engineering firm SEH, Incorporated.

Districts struggle with homework question

Count Sturgeon Bay School District Superintendent Dan Tjernagel as a father and administrator struggling with the future of homework.  School districts across the country are banning homework because of a number of reasons including teachers not grading it and parents complaining about the amount students get. Instead, school districts are encouraging students to read or participate in activities with their families. Tjernagel says there are no discussions about taking homework away from students quite yet, but can sympathize with parents as a father himself about the amount and sometimes the quality being given out.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the average elementary student gets 4.5 hours of homework a week while high schoolers get close to eight hours a week. 

Friends Church finds growth in simplicity

In a day of worship bands and multimedia presentations, Sturgeon Bay-based Friends Community Church is growing by keeping it basic. According to Christianity Today, many churches are taking a more contemporary approach to their services by relying on electronic technology, less traditional music, and more informality to attract families. Friends Community Church Pastor Nancy Bontempo feels older churchgoers in some cases are wondering how they fit in as the services become even more contemporary. That has helped drive Friends Community Church’s weekly attendance numbers.

Bontempo hopes participation will go up even higher in 2019 as they play a major role in helping host events for the Door County BRIDGES program during the summer for visiting J-1 visa students.

Kewaunee County Sheriff reviews 2018 calls

Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says there were no big swings in call volume from 2017 to 2018, but did point out the increases and decreases in some areas.  The number of thefts, car/deer accidents, property damage incidents, and fire calls all dropped over the last year. In contrast, Kewaunee County saw an increase in drunk driving incidents and rescue calls while the number of domestic violence cases and mental health crisis reports stayed the same. Joski says the proper messaging can still be improved in some areas.

Incidents involving kids rose in 2018, something Joski says they need to do a better job addressing in 2019 to see what needs to change.

 

FROM SHERIFF MATT JOSKI

I always like to take a moment to thank all of those who serve our communities and keep them safe. Throughout the year I receive numerous calls from those who have had direct contact with law enforcement, and who feel the need to express their appreciation for the acts of a given officer or officers. We are truly blessed to have these public servants living among us, those who have put the needs of their community above their own needs. This also holds true for those in our communities who give of themselves in the fire service as well as rescue personnel and first responders.

 

             To see on a daily basis how these professionals come together at a time of crisis and apply their given talent to those in need is truly humbling. Even more amazing is that after a call is complete they re-group and prepare for the next response. This goes on 24 hours a day 7 days a week. While most are sleeping they are responding. While most are at holiday events, they are responding.

 

             Law enforcement has an additional component which is unique to our calling which requires us to stand between those we protect and those who would harm them. This position in society is not an easy one as we must determine friend from foe, and how we will respond to threats to both our communities as well as to ourselves in split seconds. While we rely on an ongoing regiment of training and policy updates which reinforces a consistent and appropriate response to all possible scenarios, the reality is that every situation has its own dynamics.

 

             We realize the faith that our communities have put in us, and confidence which is placed on our abilities to navigate through the myriad of calls and complaints as we go about the duties of preserving the peace. I would hope that all can appreciate the burden that we place on law enforcement officers, and take every opportunity to let them know that they have not only our appreciation, but our support throughout the year. To all who put on the badge and stand guard over our communities; thank you, it is an honor to serve along of you.

 

To start the year off, I thought I would review some statistics from 2018 in regards to some of the more prevalent calls which we receive here at the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department Communications Center. As I was retrieving the various numbers, I was struck by how consistent our county is from year to year in some areas, but in others how we have experienced both increases as well as decreases in the number of incidents. I think this is valuable information as we can then use this data to determine if we as a department or more importantly we as a community have issues we need to address.

 

       Let’s start with car- deer accidents as this has been an issue people ask about frequently. For 2018 we had 454 reported which is down from 477 in 2017. Great job everyone on staying alert and avoiding these types of accidents. In regards to property damage accidents we had 221 in 2018. This again is down from 2017 where we had 258 property damage accidents. For personal injury accidents we actually ended 2018 where we ended 2017 which was 51. The great news for 2018 vehicle accidents is that we did not have any resulting in death in 2018. That is comparison to 3 fatal accidents in 2017. Let’s hope 2019 is just as safe!

 

       We again saw an increase in the number of rescue calls in 2018 with 1,165 calls for service. This up from 1,081 calls for service in 2017. We owe a great deal of thanks to those personnel who respond to medical calls for service as these calls are not only frequent, but also demanding in the time each call takes to respond to, transport from and complete from the medical facility.                     

 

In comparison, fire calls decreased to 70 calls for service in 2018 from 89 calls for service in 2017. This is no doubt due to the great fire safety messages that our local fire departments provide throughout the year as well as improved building code adherence.

 

        We continue to live in a safe community where thefts were down from 147 in 2017 to 111 in 2018. Unfortunately, we continue to struggle in the awareness of the dangers of impaired driving with 63 arrests in 2018 as compared to 57 in 2017. The same can be said for our need of increased awareness of domestic violence where we experienced neither an increase nor a decrease with both 2017 and 2018 resulting in 74 incidents. This definitely is an area where continued education will assist us as a community in not just reducing these numbers but hopefully someday eliminating these sad statistics all together.

 

         The final category of incidents which draws a significant amount of resources both from law enforcement as well as human services are mental health crisis calls. Although our numbers are consistent with 27 incidents in both 2017 as well as 2018, there are a great number of incidents which are prevented due to the diligent work that both agencies do in supporting those in mental health crisis before it results in an actual call for a detention.

 

         As I stated in the beginning of the article, we don’t have large swings in our call volumes, but what we do see are incidents and crimes that are predictable which also means they are preventable. Let’s all work together in 2019 to make differences where we can in keeping both ourselves safe as well as those around us.

 

         

Marine sanctuary plan could later include Door and Kewaunee waters

The waters off of Door and Kewaunee counties could eventually become part of the proposed Wisconsin-Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary.  Supporters of the sanctuary, which would include waters off of Sheboygan, Ozaukee and Manitowoc counties, are more optimistic that it will become a  reality with the election of Tony Evers as Wisconsin Governor.  Outgoing Governor Scott Walker withdrew support from the project last year. Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration first proposed the sanctuary Kewaunee and Door counties were considered as part of the plan.  Pabich says NOAA scaled back the plan, which now covers nearly 1100-square miles from Sheboygan County up to Manitowoc County.  Pabich adds once the sanctuary is established it could be expanded.

 

 

The proposed Wisconsin-Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary would protect 37 shipwrecks and 80 potential shipwreck sites.  Pabich says Door County also needs to assess potential impacts a sanctuary might have on the Lake Michigan fisheries.     

Meeting focusing on farmers' wellbeing

A meeting in Kiel next week is just the latest opportunity for farmers in Door and Kewaunee counties to get the help they need during a struggling dairy industry. Hosted by UW-Extension offices in six different counties, the morning meeting entitled “Supporting Farmers during Struggling Times” will host speakers focusing on three key areas. The areas include a look into finances, tips on coping with pressures of farm life, and strategies to deal with the new financial normal. Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Aerica Bjurstrom says there is increased effort to focus on the farmer’s wellbeing in addition to their animals.

Bjurstrom applauded an addition to the recently passed farm bill for putting aside funding for mental health resources for farmers.  We have information on how you can sign up for the January 9th meeting online with this story. 

 

 

Sturgeon Bay to vote on pot

Voters in Sturgeon Bay will have a chance in April to vote on legalizing medicinal and recreational use of marijuana.

By a voice-vote with only two members expressing opposition, the council voted Tuesday to put the two questions on the April ballot.

 

Council members Barbara Allman and David Ward spoke in opposition to recreational use of marijuana. Allman explained she supports medicinal marijuana but not recreational use.

Ward spoke of his own family’s experience with alcohol.

Council member Kelly Avenson stated the two advisory questions give voters the opportunity to express an opinion and is not necessarily a reflection of support for marijuana use.

Sturgeon Bay will have three new councilmembers

The names on the ballots for the Sturgeon Bay city council are set for the April election.  The Mayoral race will feature current District 3 councilmember David Ward and Shawn Fairchild.  Mayor Thad Birmingham filed non-candidacy.  In District 1, Helen Bacon and Dawn Goodban will be running for the seat held by Kelly Catarozoli who has chosen not to seek re-election.  Dan Williams and Sean Linnan will look to fill the seat that David Ward is leaving to run for mayor.  District 5 will have Gary Nault and Sarah Evenson looking to take over for Barb Allmann who filed her non-candidacy papers.  Laura Hauser will seek to retain her position as District 7 representative and will be challenged by Kirsten McFarlin.  Ryan Herlache had taken out nomination papers but did not return them by Wednesday’s deadline of 5pm.

Door County Advocate building sold

The Door County Advocate building in Sturgeon Bay is now under new ownership.  According to the Door County Register of Deeds office, the long-time newspaper office on North3rd Avenue in downtown Sturgeon Bay was purchased from Gannett Company, Incorporated by the Shirley Weese Young Revocable Trust for nearly $384,000.  The sale was recorded by the Register of Deeds on December 31st, 2018.  Future plans for the Advocate building have not yet been released.  Sources who have knowledge of the sale expect details on the building's future to be unveiled in the next several weeks. 

Egg Harbor fights invasive plants

The Village of Egg Harbor is stepping up its fight against invasive plants that are crowding out native species.  The village's Parks and Public Works Committee is looking to partner with Door County, other communities and Egg Harbor residents to map out where the invasive weeds are growing.  Committee Chair Lisa Van Laanen says the committee recommends having a contact person who can help residents take action against invasives.

 

 

While emphasis has been placed on slowing the growth of Phragmites in Egg Harbor, Van Laanen says the village will be targeting all invasive weeds.

Sturgeon Bay Police will get all of its Ford Explorer police vehicles

The Sturgeon Bay Police Department is asking the city to purchase two 2019 Ford Explorers before the company redesigns the vehicle.  Ford plans to change the Explorer from a standard engine to a hybrid engine come spring.  That's creating a demand for the standard engine vehicles from police agencies nationwide and prompted Ford to limit purchases to two vehicles per agency.  Sturgeon Bay Police Captain Dan Brinkman says that won't be a problem for his department thanks to advanced planning.

 

 

Sturgeon Bay's Purchase, Finance and Building Committee will consider a recommendation on the purchase of the Explorers.  If adopted, the matter will go to the full city council for approval. 

Snow cleared with old and new workers

The snow that fell on New Years Eve and New Years Day was cleared even with the regular staff being shorthanded. Door County Highway Commissioner John Kolodziej says the department was short two drivers to plow so they brought in two retired snow removers. They were also working with some new drivers who were not experienced in removing snow from Door County. Kolodziej says it took the new guys a little more time to plow but they got the job done.

 

 

Kolodziej says they have two new hires who start this week so they will not need the extra help going forward.

 

Door County Might Solve Wireless Problem

A system that uses the spectrum space vacated by local television stations to deliver wireless broadband internet service holds a lot of potential for Door County.  That's the assessment from Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jim Schuessler.  The TV White Space process is already showing good results in rural, wooded areas of the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Schuessler says such a system merits a closer look in Door County.

 

 

Packerland Broadband of Iron Mountain, Michigan is operating the TV White Space system in Michigan with download speeds of 25-megabits.   The company is looking to expand service into Forest County, Marinette County and Oconto County. 

Crossroads at Big Creek trails are ready for cross-county skiers

The wait is over for cross-country skiers at Crossroad Preserve at Big Creek.  This week's snowfalls have allowed the groomers to get the trails ready.  Director Coggin Heeringa says if you have time off this week then the trails are ready now.

[HEERINGA]

 A milder weather forecast could delay the first Ski for Free outing of the season Saturday, January 5th.  She says Wednesday's snowfall, however, is improving the chances of opening the trails. 

Egg Harbor holds 40th annual New Year's Day Parade

A baton-twirling Santa Claus headlined the 40th annual Egg Harbor New Year’s Day Parade. Santa made yet another holiday visit to Door County as he played to the large crowd of families and other Egg Harbor residents. Meghan Tomcheck, the managing director of the Egg Harbor Business Administration, said guests like Santa Claus make the parade a unique experience.

 

 

Other participants in the parade included a balloon-wielding clown and the Egg Harbor Fire Department.

Snowy weather makes for picture perfect Polar Bear Swim

Snowy weather set the stage for one of the most beautiful Polar Bear Club gatherings yet as hundreds of people converged at Lakeside Park in Jacksonport to brave the cold air. Before the event began, the air temperature was recorded at just 22 degrees while the water temperature was recorded at a slightly-warmer 32 degrees. After a brief countdown, participants ran all at once into Lake Michigan, some wearing only their swimsuits while others opted for more clothing. J.R. Jarosh, the founder of the Jacksonport Polar Bear Club, said the 33rd edition of the event was one of the best in recent memory.

 

 

While most participants ran in and immediately ran back out, some stragglers remained in the water to give high fives and thank members of the Jacksonport Fire Department who were on site for safety reasons.

 

 

Healthy Water Door County raising awareness of water-related issues in 2019

A Door County non-profit organization is putting their efforts toward protecting the area’s vulnerable and important water sources. Healthy Water Door County is a part of the Door County Community Foundation that seeks to educate policymakers and invest in initiatives that could prevent any harm that could come to the water surrounding the peninsula. Coggin Heeringa, a member of the Healthy Water Door County Board of Advisors, said the organization provides possibilities for others to receive funding for conservation efforts.

 

 

Healthy Water Door County will attempt to raise awareness about its cause through the Celebrate Water Door County campaign. The effort will feature many book readings and family programs and will lead up to a three-day summit at the Landmark Resort in Egg Harbor. Held in June 2019, the summit will feature speakers from various fields of expertise and is open to anyone who pays a $35 cost.

Research continuing into stopping ongoing bee depopulation crisis

Door County could face serious problems in the future if the current rate of bee depopulation continues. Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD, occurs when the majority of bees in a colony simply disappear, leaving behind only a queen and enough food to feed the rest of the immature bees in a hive. The cause of CCD is not the result of a single factor but a combination of insecticides and varroa mite infestations, which can spread toxins and viruses throughout a colony. Without pollinators, Door County could suffer heavy losses to many popular crops, particularly cherries, cranberries and apples. Max Martin, a local beekeeper of 20 years who is heavily involved in the Door County Beekeepers Club, said there is a sense of urgency to find a solution.

 

 

Martin said that while nothing is certain, and multiple theories are still in the testing stage, he believes that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Gibraltar High School senior collecting donations for a good cause

A Gibraltar High School student has put a personal touch on her senior project. Bria Caldecott is collecting donations for cancer patients at the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Caldecott decided on her project after seeing how much of the community had been affected by cancer. Two friends of her own had also been hospitalized. She originally planned on keeping donations limited to just kids and parents, but soon opened up her plans after seeing the willingness of the community to support the cause.

 

 

Caldecott is hoping to collect all donations by February 1st. Each classroom K-12 at Gibraltar has been assigned an age group and a gender for specific donations.

Master Gardener Volunteer Training Dates Set for 2019

Kewaunee County UW-Extension will once again offer a Master Gardener Volunteer training beginning Tuesday, January 29, 2019. Topics covered in the training include everything from plants to entomology, vegetables, fruits and ornamentals. Hands-on classes will take place at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds. Field trips for on-location learning and guest expert speakers be part of the learning experience. Completing the class includes membership to the state Master Gardener Volunteer Program and a one-year membership to the Kewaunee County Garden Club. 
 
The cost of the program is $125 per participant, which includes materials and supplies. Registration forms can be found on our website at https://fyi.uwex.edu/kewauneeag/master-gardeners/. Please register by January 21 to secure your spot in the class. 
 
For more information on this program, visit our website or contact Aerica Bjurstrom at UW-Extension at 920-388-7138 / aerica.bjurstrom@uwex.edu.

Local organization plans to open up old Jaycees building to other non-profits

Promoting Access to Help (PATH), a Door County organization looking to increase the number of resources available to parents with special needs kids, has announced plans to share the Jaycees building with other non-profits that need the space. PATH purchased the building back in October and plans to use the building as a center that non-profits can rent out and use as an occasional meeting space. The organization also plans to hold its own programs within the building as well. Deb Doyle, the co-director of PATH and one of its founding members, said the community and area businesses have made a tremendous effort in allowing the organization to achieve its plans and also said it wouldn’t be long before business can begin.

 

 

PATH also plans to install a fully accessible outdoor playground at the building which would be open to the entire community. Such a facility does not currently exist in the city of Sturgeon Bay.

Door County home to a rich music scene built on collaboration

The Holiday Music Motel in Sturgeon Bay continues to promote the Door County music scene through several festivals that promote collaboration between talented musical artists. Collaboration between songwriters has been a calling card of the Door County music scene for several years, with the first Steel Bridge Songfest being held in 2005. For artists, one of the most peculiar and interesting portions of the festival is the collaboration portion of the event, held a week before actual performances are held. Each artist is paired off with two others to work together to write and record a song, with the process repeating each night until the festival. Melaniejane, one of the co-owners of the Holiday Music Motel, said a desire to continue fostering Door County talent led to several artists purchasing the hotel in 2007.

 

 

In 2009, another festival was added, Dark Songs, with Love on Holiday to follow on Valentine’s Day of 2012. Several musical acts that perform at these festivals and around Door County have been nominated for prestigious awards, including a couple of Grammy nods.

Sturgeon Bay Common Council meets Wednesday this week

Due to the New Year’s Day holiday, the Sturgeon Bay common council will be holding a rare Wednesday evening session for their first meeting of 2019.  Agenda items to be considered include a recommendation from the Community Protection & Services Committee to put forth a non-binding referendum regarding marijuana.  It would gauge public opinion with a two-part question on legalizing cannabis for medicinal and recreational use for those 21 years or older.  The council will also meet in closed session with legal counsel in regards to the lawsuit between the city and Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront.  The Sturgeon Bay common council meeting will begin at 7 o’clock Wednesday evening in Council Chambers at City Hall.  

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