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News Archives for 2019-02

UW-Extension to host second farmer well-being conference

Farmers from Door and Kewaunee counties will not have to travel as far for a second conference aimed at their wellbeing. According to the state’s Department of Agriculture, Wisconsin saw approximately 700 farms shutter in 2018 as operators struggle with low prices for their products and rising costs to produce them. A meeting held earlier this year in Kiel was popular with information that was important, so Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Aerica Bjurstrom says a second session was needed.

The deadline to register for the March 20th conference entitled “Supporting Farmers During Challenging Times” in Green Bay is March 15th. Topics to be discussed include agricultural lending, making decisions about the 2019 cropping season, and managing physical and mental wellness.



Fire departments benefit from accelerated class

What usually takes three months took three weekends for nine firefighters from northern Door County to get qualified for additional duties. Members from the Ephraim, Baileys Harbor, and Washington Island Fire Departments spent a pair of weekends in Door County before a day at a practice burn tower in Green Bay to earn their interior firefighting qualification. Ephraim Fire Chief Justin MacDonald saw two of his members, Stephan Reynolds and Mike Weber, earn the classification. He says the 60-hour class taught by instructor Paul Swanson was great for firefighters short on time.

MacDonald says the addition of Weber and Reynolds means 28 of its 30 firefighters are qualified to battle interior blazes.


Photo courtesy of Ephraim Firefighters Association



Technology important in Neenah man search

With weather playing a major factor, the Door County Sheriff’s Department is relying on technology to help make headway on its search for a missing Neenah man. It was before Valentine’s Day when 57-year old Eric Richter went missing at Cave Point County Park while photographing the location. The Sheriff’s Department has relied on the United States Coast Guard, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and even the Dane County Medical Examiner’s cadaver dog to aid in its search. With deep snow and slippery conditions making the area difficult to navigate, Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says they were able to recently expand its search area thanks in part to an underwater robot and an air drone.

McCarty hopes better weather conditions over the next month can help make their search efforts more effective.


Photo courtesy of Tom Jordan

Environmentalists show concern for water quality trading legislation

Environmental groups like the Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin are waiting to see more details from a new piece of legislation aimed at reducing the pollution found in the important resource. The “Pollution Prevention Partnership ” would establish a third-party clearinghouse to run a marketplace for nutrient trading. The hope is by streamlining the process, it will make it easier for polluters like factories and wastewater treatment plants to offset their reduction goals by helping fund conservation practices for farmers. CWAC Executive Director Dean Hoegger likes the concept, but there are still concerns.

Senator Robert Cowles and Rep. Joel Kitchens are co-sponsors of the bill and are looking to add more before its March 8th deadline. The proposed legislation, which is included with this story online, has garnered support from the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the Dairy Business Association, and Clean Wisconsin.   



Legislation to address Water Quality by Creating Pollution Prevention Partnership

LRB-1244 authorizes market-based framework to facilitate more water quality trades 

MADISON– Today, Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) announced the circulation of P3: A Pollution Prevention Partnership ~ Wisconsin’s Trading Marketplace to create a market-based framework to remove greater amounts of pollution from our state waterways. The legislation, will incentivize more water quality trades by introducing a third-party clearinghouse to establish a fully operational marketplace for nutrient trading. Third-party trading will also eliminate the need for point sources to seek out nonpoint partners, minimize risk in transactions, and provide a certification process for nutrient reduction credits.


“We know that improving water quality in Wisconsin will need an all-encompassing approach to create a sizable impact. Water quality trading is not a new idea, but the inflexibility of the current process along with troubles facilitating direct trades between point and nonpoint sources has left Wisconsin with only a couple of handfuls of trades. Developing a robust marketplace through a third-party clearinghouse would provide the framework necessary to make water quality trading a success.”


These mutually beneficial water quality trades allow nonpoint-sources, such as family dairy farms, to create a reduction in total pollutants entering a waterbody, quantified as credits, to provide relief to a point source, such as a municipal wastewater treatment plant or cheese factory, on their pollution reduction requirements as part of their Wastewater Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permit (WPDES). The pollution reduction is in exchange for a payment to a nonpoint source, which are typically not required to employ nutrient management practices, to produce a greater pollution reduction within a hydrologic area.

LRB-1244 authorizes a WPDES permit holder to purchase credits from a statewide clearinghouse or other third-party broker, certified by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to meet the nutrient reductions required under their permit. The clearinghouse would be required to contract with the Department of Administration (DOA), in consultation with the DNR. Credits are produced through practices employed by nonpoint sources, predominantly on unregulated agricultural lands, and developed through technology tables and modeling reviewed and approved by the DNR. The production and purchase of credits must result in an improvement in water quality of a minimum ratio of 1.2:1, but certain practices would require higher ratios, trades must exchange the same pollutant or the same water quality standard, and trades would occur within the same hydrologic area.


“Due to our farming culture and abundant water quantity, Wisconsin is uniquely situated to host this marketplace. This legislation creates a groundbreaking opportunity to marry more advanced land and water management with an incentive for farmers and other nonpoint sources to participate in pollution reduction by facilitating the transactions through a third-party.”


The deadline for co-sponsorship is Friday, March 8, 2019.

Luxemburg-Casco growing apprenticeship program

Luxemburg-Casco High School is running a school enterprise to give students practical experience as part of the youth apprenticeship program.  The school currently has 33 students involved but is expecting to grow to over 60 juniors and seniors.   Mike Snowberry, director of learning services, says the school is looking for ways to get students ready for the real world.  He gives an example of what the manufacturing department is working on at L-C.  



 The goal is to create a work opportunity within the school that gets students “hands-on” experience, according to Snowberry. 

Sturgeon Bay Historical Society announces Granary Restoration Team

The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society is planning a special meeting to formally introduce the Granary Restoration Team.  On Saturday, March 9, the SBHS will sponsor a presentation at the Union Supper Pub in Sturgeon Bay.  Jeff Beane, an engineer and graduate of Sturgeon Bay High School, from Silman New York, along with James Dallman a Milwaukee architect and Mike Till, construction Management for SBHS, make up the Granary Restoration Team.  Annie Lampert for SBHS shares the plans for the special program featuring world-renown experts.



The free event will begin with doors opening at 2:30 and presentations to follow at 3 pm on Saturday, March 9.    

Red Shirts honoring Staats and troops

Red Shirts being worn around Egg Harbor are taking on a new and special meaning this week. With Egg Harbor Fire Fighter and Army National Guard member Jason Staats currenty in Ft. Blisss, Texas training for deployment to Afghanistan, his fellow firefighters are showing their support by distributing red t-shirts this week.  Egg Harbor Fire Fighter Ashley Bittorf says the order for the shirts came in a couple weeks ago but waited until now for pick-up until they could get one to Staats.


Proceeds from the sale of the red t-shirts are going towards monthly care packages being sent to Staats and members of the National Guard 2nd Battalion, 127th Infantry unit.  Potential additional orders for shirts may be available in the future, according to Bittorf.  



(photo of Staats children, Braelyn, Berkley, and Brennan courtesy of Egg Harbor Fire Department Facebook account)

Room tax collections up in Door County

Despite over 30 inches of snow wiping out two early spring weekends in Door County, room tax collections in 2018 were up again. The latest numbers from the Door County Tourism Zone show an increase in room tax collections of 5.2 percent over 2017. The biggest reason for the increase was lodging owners being able to charge an average of $9 a room more in 2018, which made up for the approximately 5000 unit dip in occupancy. Jon Jarosh from the Door County Visitor Bureau says the news is good for tourism.

Over the last nine years, room tax collections have seen a cumulative increase of over 60 percent, or approximately $1.8 million.  


Local United Methodists ponder next step

After the United Methodist Church voted to keep the status quo when it came to its opposition of same-sex marriage and gay clergy, local congregations are wondering where the denomination may go next. The “traditional plan” was passed by a 53-47 percent margin after the “One Church” option which would have given individual congregations more flexibility on the issues was defeated on Monday. Rev. Michael Morris of Cavalry UMC in Egg Harbor and Gibraltar’s Zion UMC  said before the vote took place that if a split happens, so be it.

If a break-up does occur, it would come almost 51 years after the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged to form the current UMC.

Buy Local provision a win-win for communities, local businesses

Even though it has only been used a couple of times since many municipalities in Door County enacted “buy local” provisions for their projects, administrators like Sturgeon Bay’s Josh Van Lieshout believe it is good for everyone involved. The provision allows municipalities like the city of Sturgeon Bay and Door County to go with a local company if it is within five percent of the lowest bid. Van Lieshout says the city is less apt to use the exception for major construction projects like roads and buildings, but they do use it for smaller items like equipment. Often the local option has been the best and most affordable option, something Van Lieshout appreciates,

Van Lieshout says even when they have to go outside of the area for a project, many of the general contractors have relied on local businesses to help get the job done.

Cap Wulf case could get kicked

An attempt to throw out a compromise Department of Natural Resources determination of Sturgeon Bay’s west-side waterfront is being challenged by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

The DNR issued a ruling establishing the Ordinary High Water Mark in January.  That ruling restricted commercial development in a portion of the waterfront and delineated what property needs to be reserved for exclusive public use.  It appeared to be a final compromise between Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront and the city of Sturgeon Bay.



An appeal of that ruling, called a petition for judicial review, was filed by twenty-two Sturgeon Bay area residents, including former Waterfront Redevelopment Authority and city council member Thomas “Cap” Wulf and former Door County Economic Development Director William Chaudoir.  That appeal was filed on behalf of the DNR by attorneys in the Dept. Of Justice on February 22nd.



In the court filing, attorneys for the DOJ argue that the twenty-two petitioners are not legally qualified to challenge the DNR decision.


Only a “person aggrieved” may file a petition for judicial review, the DOJ brief states.  

The brief also states that the twenty-two petitioners allege few facts to support their standing.  They allege that the DNR’s OHWM determination will cause an “immense loss of tax revenue that would benefit the public and City of Sturgeon Bay.”  That, according to lawyers for the DNR, cannot satisfy the legal requirement of proving a direct injury to the petitioners.  



A message left with the attorney for the twenty-two petitioners, Brett Reetz, was not returned.



Below is the 15 page brief of the motion:

Case 2019CV000013 Document 17 Filed 02-22-2019 Page 1 of 15 
FILED 02-22-2019 Door County 
Respondent Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), by its 
attorneys, Attorney General Joshua L. Kaul and Assistant Attorney General Jennifer 

Case 2019CV000013 Document 17 Filed 02-22-2019 Page 2 of 15 
S. Limbach, submits this Brief in support of Respondent’s Motion to Dismiss the 
Petition for Judicial Review on the grounds that Petitioners do not have standing to 
challenge the DNR decision at issue in this case. 
Petitioners are Sturgeon Bay tax-paying residents who seek to overturn 
DNR’s decision determining the ordinary high-water mark (OHWM) for a parcel of 
city-owned property known as “Parcel 92.” (Petition “Pet.” ¶¶1, 3, 16.) The 
determination of the OHWM, specifically, the OHWM at the time Wisconsin attained 
statehood in 1848, is significant because it delineates the area that the United States 
transferred to the state upon statehood to be held in trust for the public as part of the 
navigable waters of the state. See Doemel v. Jantz, 180 Wis. 225, 193 N.W. 393 (1923); 
see also Diana Shooting Club v. Hustling, 156 Wis. 261, 145 N.W. 816 (1914); see also 
Wisconsin Constitution, Article IX, § 1. A private riparian owner has only a qualified 
title to the land between the OHWM and the water’s edge that is “subject to the trust 
under and pursuant to which the state has title for the benefit of the public for 
purposes of navigation.” Doemel, 193 N.W. at 398. 
Petitioners’ Petition for Judicial Review comes after years of litigation over the 
development and use of Parcel 92.1 (Pet. ¶¶10–13.) Petitioners were not parties to the 
1 See Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront, et al. v. City of Sturgeon Bay, et al., Door County Case No. 16CV23, currently stayed on appeal as 17AP800 pending the resolution of administrative proceedings and administrative agency review proceedings (Plaintiffs’ suit to enjoin City from selling Parcel 92 to Sawyer Hotel Development, LLC, for private hotel development); Sawyer Hotel Development, LLC v. City of Sturgeon Bay, Door County Case No. 17CV167, removed to the Wisconsin Eastern District Court as 1:2017cv01631, dismissed by stipulation on December 26, 2018; Sawyer Hotel Development, LLC v. City of Sturgeon Bay, Door County Case No. 17CV194, dismissed by stipulation on December 21, 2018; City of Sturgeon Bay v. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Door County Case No. 18CV36, dismissed by stipulation on June 8, 2018 (City of Sturgeon Bay’s 

Case 2019CV000013 Document 17 Filed 02-22-2019 Page 3 of 15 
earlier litigation.2 They intervene now on DNR’s ruling determining the OHWM for 
Parcel 92. Petitioners allege standing as tax-paying residents who might benefit from 
potentially increased city tax revenue if DHR’s OHWM determination did not 
functionally block the private development of a hotel on Parcel 92.3 (See Pet., ¶¶ 1– 
2, 9–10, 58–59). 
Despite the lengthy history of litigation concerning the potential development 
of Parcel 92, this Petition for Judicial Review should be dismissed without reaching 
the merits of the Petition because Petitioners lack standing. Only a “person 
aggrieved” may file a petition for judicial review of an agency decision. Wis. Stat. 
§ 227.53. Anyone filing a petition for judicial review must satisfy both parts of a 
two- part test for standing to meet the definition of a person aggrieved. Wis.’s Envtl. 
Decade, Inc. v. PSC, 69 Wis. 2d 1, 230 N.W.2d 243 (1975). The Petitioners have not 
alleged facts sufficient to satisfy the standing test. Therefore, their Petition should 
be dismissed. 
petition for judicial review of DNR’s February 5, 2018 OHWM determination for Parcel 92); and Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront, et al. v. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Door County Case No. 18CV38, dismissed by stipulation on June 8, 2018 (Friends’ petition for judicial review of DNR’s February 5, 2018 OHWM determination for Parcel 92.) 2 See Fn. 1 3 See Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront, et al. v. City of Sturgeon Bay, et al., Door County Case 16CV23; see specifically Defendants-Appellants’ Appellate Brief, in which Defendants characterize the Nature of the Case as one to “oppose the sale by [the City of Sturgeon Bay and the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority of the City of Sturgeon Bay of Parcel 92] to Sawyer Hotel Development, LLC for the development of a privately-owned hotel.” Brief available publicly at: o%5d=2017AP000800&p%5bdocId%5d=193821&p%5beventSeqNo%5d=12&p%5bsectionNo%5d=1 

Case 2019CV000013 Document 17 Filed 02-22-2019 Page 4 of 15 
On January 3, 2019, DNR issued a ruling determining the location of the 
OHWM on Parcel 92, a parcel of land located at 92 East Maple Street in the City of 
Sturgeon Bay. (Pet. ¶¶3, 17; Pet. Ex. A.) Parcel 92 is owned by the City of Sturgeon 
Bay (“City”). (Pet. ¶3.) Parcel 92 does not abut the waterfront but is located near the 
waterfront. (Pet. ¶8; Pet. Ex. A p.9.) Parcel 92 sits atop fill material that was added 
to the Sturgeon Bay shoreline beginning in the 1870’s and continuing through the 
early 1900’s. (Pet. ¶7.) Since filling the shoreline, Parcel 92 has been used for mills, 
docks, and warehouses. (Pet. ¶7.) This history of filling and commercial development 
has largely obscured or even destroyed the biological and physical indicators 
traditionally relied upon to determine the OHWM. (Pet. ¶¶25–29; Pet. Ex. A p.2.) 
Litigation over the use of Parcel 92 began in 2016 after the City sought to sell 
it for private commercial development. (Pet. ¶¶9–10; See also Fns. 1, 3.) The trial 
court enjoined the sale of Parcel 92 until after an OHWM was determined, leading 
multiple parties to petition DNR to make this determination. (Pet. ¶¶10–11.) 
Petitioners were not parties to the litigation or the petitions to determine the OHWM. 
(See Fn. 1); (see also Pet. ¶11.) 
DNR conducted a public hearing on the petition before it issued its first ruling 
determining the OHWM on February 5, 2018. (Pet. ¶12.) None of the Petitioners 
appeared at the public hearing. (Pet. Ex. A p.12-14.) Both the City and the Friends of 
the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront (“Friends”) filed petitions for judicial review of 
this decision. (Pet. ¶13.) After these petitions were filed, DNR determined the 

Case 2019CV000013 Document 17 Filed 02-22-2019 Page 5 of 15 
meander line staked and mapped as part of the 1835 original U.S. Government 
Survey had been inaccurately transposed onto the 2014 base map created by the 
Board of Commissioners of Public Lands that DNR had relied upon to help determine 
the location of the OHWM. (Pet. Ex. A p.2–3.) Since the 1835 meander line had been 
inaccurately transposed onto the 2014 map, and DNR had relied on the inaccurately 
transposed meander line when mapping the DNR’s OHWM, DNR subsequently 
withdrew its February 5, 2018 ruling. (Pet. ¶14; Pet. Ex. A p.2.) The City and the 
Friends negotiated and reached an agreement that the OHWM should follow the 
meander line found on the 1835 map of the area that had been created as part of the 
original U.S. Government survey. (Pet. ¶15; Pet. Ex. A p.2.) DNR later issued its 
January 3, 2019 ruling, declaring the OHWM to follow the 1835 meander line. 
(Pet. ¶¶15, 18.) 
Petitioners filed their Petition for Judicial Review pursuant to Wis. Stats. 
§§ 227.52 and 227.53 on February 1, 2019, seeking review of DNR’s January 3, 2019 
ruling declaring the location of the OHWM. 
A motion to dismiss a petition for judicial review generally raises matters 
outside the record created in the agency proceeding. State of Wisconsin ex rel. Town 
of Delevan v. Circuit Court for Walworth County, 167 Wis. 2d 719, 726, 482 N.W.2d 
899 (1992) (quoting Wis. Environmental Decade v. Public Service Comm., 79 Wis. 2d 
161, 171–172, 255 N.W.2d 917 (1977)). However, as these matters do not go to the 
merits of a case, a motion to dismiss a petition for judicial review does not conflict 

Case 2019CV000013 Document 17 Filed 02-22-2019 Page 6 of 15 
with Ch. 227, and the circuit court may adjudicate the motion to dismiss. Id. at 726– 
727. The circuit court therefore uses the traditional legal standard to evaluate a 
motion to dismiss. 
Wisconsin follows the legal standard for motions to dismiss articulated by the 
United States Supreme Court in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007). 
See Data Key Partners v. Permira Advisers, LLC, 2014 WI 86, ¶¶30–31, 356 Wis. 2d 
665, 849 N.W.2d 693. On a motion to dismiss, the court accepts all well-pled facts as 
true. Data Key, 2014 WI at ¶19. Although the court may accept as true reasonable 
inferences from well-pled facts, the court may not add facts not pled. Id. Additionally, 
courts are not bound to accept as true legal conclusions couched as factual allegations. 
Id. at ¶21. See also, Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). “Bare legal 
conclusions...provide no assistance in warding off a motion to dismiss.” Id. 
Petitioners’ allegations concerning their standing to file this Petition are 
evaluated under this standard. Therefore, the Court should treat their allegations 
concerning their standing as the court would treat allegations in a complaint on this 
Motion to Dismiss: the Court should accept well-pled facts and the reasonable 
inferences that follow. However, the Court may not add facts to the Petition. The 
Court should also reject any merely conclusory allegations. 
Only a “person aggrieved” by an administrative decision is authorized to seek 
judicial review of that decision. Wis. Stats. §§ 227.52 and 227.53; see also Wis.’s Envtl. 
Decade, Inc., 69 Wis. 2d at 9, (Wis. Stats. §§ 227.15 and 227.16 as cited in that decision 

Case 2019CV000013 Document 17 Filed 02-22-2019 Page 7 of 15 
later renumbered to §§ 227.52 and 227.53(1)). A “person aggrieved” is “a person or 
agency whose substantial interests are adversely affected by a determination of an 
agency.” Wis. Stat. § 227.01(9). Petitioners must show that they are persons 
aggrieved as defined in Wis. Stat. § 227.01(9) to maintain their action. 
Wisconsin courts have established a two-step standing test to determine 
whether a petitioner is a person aggrieved. Wis.’s Envtl. Decade, 69 Wis. 2d at 10. 
“The first step under the Wisconsin rule is to ascertain whether the decision of the 
agency directly causes injury to the interest of the petitioner. The second step is to 
determine whether the interest asserted is recognized by law.” Id. The petition must 
on its face demonstrate that Petitioners fulfill each of these steps. See, e.g., Wis. Stat. 
§ 227.56(3) (“[A]ny respondent...may move to dismiss the petition as filed upon the 
ground that such petition, upon its face, does not state facts sufficient to show that 
the petitioner named therein is a person aggrieved by the decision sought to be 
reviewed.” (emphasis added)); Wis.’s Envtl. Decade, 69 Wis. 2d at 14–15 (stating 
“strong argument” in petitioners’ brief was insufficient to raise public trust doctrine 
for standing when “the petition does not raise the issue on its face.”) 
Petitioners allege few facts to support their standing. They allege that they are 
“tax paying adult citizens of the City of Sturgeon Bay.” (Pet. ¶1.) Petitioners also 
allege that DNR’s OHWM determination will cause an “immense loss of tax revenue 
that would benefit the public and the City of Sturgeon Bay...” (Pet. ¶59.) Petitioners 
do not allege that DNR’s determination will cause them a direct pecuniary loss. The 
only reasonable inference that can be drawn from Petitioners’ allegations is that, due 

Case 2019CV000013 Document 17 Filed 02-22-2019 Page 8 of 15 
to the OHWM determination, the City stands to gain less tax revenue4, which could 
conceivably be used for works and services benefitting all City residents, or at least a 
subsection of residents that includes Petitioners. 
This Court may not consider Petitioners’ allegation that they “have standing” 
because it is strictly a legal conclusion. Petitioners allege: “the taxpayer Petitioners 
have standing to petition this Honorable Court pursuant to Wis. Stats. § 227.52,” 
followed by a recitation of the statute. This allegation includes no factual assertions; 
it is clearly conclusory and insufficient to establish standing. This Court must 
therefore evaluate Petitioners’ standing solely on their allegation that they as tax- 
paying residents might gain fewer city-funded benefits due to DNR’s determination. 
I. Petitioners cannot satisfy step one of the standing test, the direct injury requirement, because they can only allege a hypothetical or conjectural injury. 
Part one of the test for standing, the direct injury requirement, requires 
petitioners to show an actual injury caused by the agency action. “Abstract injury is 
not enough. The plaintiff must show that he ‘has sustained or is immediately in 
danger of sustaining some direct injury’ as the result of the challenged official conduct 
and the injury or threat of injury must be both ‘real and immediate’, not ‘conjectural’ 
or ‘hypothetical.’” Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 101–102 (1983). The Wisconsin 
Supreme Court echoed this actual injury requirement and further explained the 
4 Petitioners allege that the City will lose tax revenue, but as Petitioners also acknowledge, Parcel 92 is a “blighted” parcel currently owned by the City and, therefore, is not generating any tax revenue (Pet. ¶¶3, 8.) The reasonable interpretation of their allegations is that the City will not lose tax revenue compared to the status quo but could gain less than it might have under an OHWM more favorable to Petitioners’ position if and when Parcel 92 is sold to a private, tax-paying owner. 

Case 2019CV000013 Document 17 Filed 02-22-2019 Page 9 of 15 
requirement that petitioners show a causal nexus between the official act and alleged 
injury: “the injury must not be so far removed from the cause as to be merely 
hypothetical or conjectural.” Fox v. DHSS, 112 Wis. 2d 514, 532, 334 N.W. 2d 532 
(1983). Although the injury alleged may be remote in time or may occur only “as an 
end result of a sequence of events set in motion by the agency action challenged,” that 
sequence of events “cannot be so ‘conjectural or hypothetical’ as to strain the 
imagination.” Id. at 527 (quoting Lyons, 461 U.S. at 101–102). 
In Fox, the court considered whether petitioners, a Milwaukee County district 
attorney and relatives of inmates in the Wisconsin prison system, had standing to 
challenge the adequacy of a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) 
completed in association with constructing a new prison in Portage, Wisconsin, which 
would house inmates then incarcerated in other facilities. Fox, 112 Wis. 2d 514. 
Applying the first step of the test for standing, the court considered “whether the 
decision of the agency directly cause[d] injury to the interest of the petitioner.” Id. at 
524. The court concluded that the petitioners had not met the direct injury 
requirement because they failed to show an actual, rather than a hypothetical or 
conjectural, injury. Id. at 526. 
The petitioners in Fox alleged that DHSS’s action would injure them because 
it would likely increase the crime rate in Milwaukee County. Explaining the sequence 
of events leading to their injury, they alleged that, “placing a prison in Portage will 
disrupt the lives of inmates from Milwaukee in the institution because they will be 
farther away from their families making visitation more difficult.” Id. at 526. The 

Case 2019CV000013 Document 17 Filed 02-22-2019 Page 10 of 15 
disruption to the prisoners’ lives would allegedly lead to greater recidivism, which 
would in turn increase the crime rate in Milwaukee County. Id. 
The court concluded that these allegations did not meet the direct injury 
requirement. Id. at 527. The court pointed out that the injuries alleged were several 
steps removed from their supposed cause, an insufficient FEIS. The petitioners’ 
allegations required the court to assume that, after an inadequate FEIS allowed a 
prison to be built in Portage, those prisoners moved from Milwaukee to Portage would 
have fewer visits from friends and family. Id. at 526. The court next had to assume 
that those prisoners would consequently suffer such great psychological damage that 
they would, upon release, return to Milwaukee County and be more likely to return 
to crime, thereby raising the crime rate in Milwaukee County. Id. at 526–527. 
Petitioners presumed that an increased crime rate constituted an injury, though they 
did not explain exactly how a higher crime rate would impact their lives. The court 
acknowledged that a petitioner could allege a sequence of events between cause and 
injury and still satisfy the direct injury requirement. Id. at 526–528. However, 
because the injuries alleged were so far removed from the agency action as to be 
conjectural, they were “too remote to be considered ‘direct injury.’” Id. The court 
therefore dismissed petitioners’ claims. Id. 
Petitioners to this case cannot satisfy the direct injury requirement. 
Petitioners allege a merely hypothetical or conjectural injury: the loss of benefits 
funded by additional tax revenue the City might collect from Parcel 92. Recall first 
that Petitioners are not alleging a decrease to the City’s current tax revenue because 
Case 2019CV000013 Document 17 Filed 02-22-2019 Page 11 of 15 
Parcel 92 is a city-owned lot and, therefore, it is not generating any tax revenue. 
Instead they are claiming that the eventual sale and development of Parcel 92 will 
yield less city tax revenue than it might if the OHWM did not apply to Parcel 92. 
Petitioners’ claims, like those in Fox, rely on a sequence of increasingly 
speculative assumptions. Even if the OHWM determination does decrease the 
additional tax revenue the City someday gains from Parcel 92, this Court will have 
to assume that the difference in tax revenue will alter City spending decisions in a 
manner that directly impacts Petitioners. 
This is not only a strained assumption, but likely, an erroneous one. Petitioners 
implicitly ask the Court to assume that each additional dollar of city tax revenue 
benefits all residents equally. The reality is much more complicated. A city may 
sponsor public works, such as a park, a library, or children’s recreational programs. 
Although these works may be available to all residents, some simply might not use 
the park or the library. Residents without children might have no use for child- 
focused programming. Accordingly, residents who do not use a program are not 
injured if the city removes a program or, as here, never offers it to begin with. A city 
might also make spending decisions that have very little, if any, direct impact on 
residents’ lives. If, for example, the difference in tax revenue causes the City to decide 
to upgrade its vehicle fleet rather than repair a municipal building, Petitioners would 
have to strain the imagination to argue that each of them has been injured by the 
deferred building maintenance. 
Case 2019CV000013 Document 17 Filed 02-22-2019 Page 12 of 15 
Petitioners’ alleged injury can only be conjectural. Petitioners are in no 
position to predict if or how the City’s spending decisions will affect them. 
Furthermore, the Court would have to strain the imagination to be reasonably 
assured that these specific residents would all suffer injury due to an unknown 
difference in future tax revenue. Petitioners cannot, therefore, satisfy the direct 
injury requirement. Because the two-step standing test requires that Petitioners 
satisfy both steps, the Court should dismiss the Petition. 
II. Petitioners fail to identify a single law that DNR violated, and therefore, the Court cannot find that Petitioners fulfil step two of the standing test. 
Step two of the standing test requires that the alleged direct injury be “of a 
type recognized, regulated, or sought to be protected by the challenged law.” Waste 
Mgmt. of Wis. Inc. v. DNR, 144 Wis. 2d 499, 506, 424 N.W.2d 685 (1988). Petitioners 
fail to identify in their Petition for Judicial Review a specific statute or rule that DNR 
allegedly violated, and therefore, the Court cannot conduct the analysis required in 
step two of the standing test. The Court can only conclude that Petitioners lack 
standing and should dismiss their Petition for Judicial Review. 
Step two of the standing test requires the court to determine whether the 
injuries alleged by the petitioner are within the zone of interests protected by 
applicable law. Wis.’s Envtl. Decade, 69 Wis. 2d at 10. As part of this step, the court 
must “examine a specific statute to determine standing rather than consider all 
interests of the petitioner.” MCI Telecomms. Corp. v. PSC, 164 Wis. 2d 489, 493, 476 
N.W.2d 575 (Ct. App. 1991). For example, in Waste Management, 144 Wis. 2d at 508– 
Case 2019CV000013 Document 17 Filed 02-22-2019 Page 13 of 15 
509, the court held that the alleged economic injuries of a landfill competitor were not 
within the zone of interests protected by a statute governing landfill siting. The court 
examined the statute in issue, Wis. Stat. § 144.44, and determined that, “[t]he nature 
of the statute...make[s] clear that the interest protected, recognized, or regulated by 
the law is an environmental interest,” specifically “the appropriate ultimate 
disposition of solid waste in a densely populated eight-county corner of the state.” 
Waste Management, 144 Wis. 2d at 508. The landfill competitor’s alleged economic 
injuries were not within the zone of environmental interest protected by Wis. Stat. 
§ 144.44 and therefore the landfill competitor did not have standing to challenge 
DNR’s decision as violating Wis. Stat. § 144.44. Waste Management, 144 Wis. 2d at 
Petitioners do not identify a single specific statute or rule in the Petition for 
Judicial Review that DNR allegedly violated. Their claims that DNR violated 
procedural requirements contained in Ch. 227 miss the mark. Petitioners allege a 
violation of only one statute, Wis. Stat. § 227.57(6).5 Wisconsin Stat. § 227.57(6) does 
not protect substantive interests like the statute considered in Waste Management. 
It is instead a statute that defines the scope of review of an agency decision. See Wis. 
Stat. §227.57(1)–(12). 
5 Petitioners’ header reads “Wis. Stats. § 227.57(1) requires OHWM 2019 to be set aside.” (Pet. p.10.) However, this is likely a typographical error because Petitioners later cite and quote Wis. Stat. § 227.57(6). The argument that follows also aligns with Wis. Stat. § 227.57(6) rather than Wis. Stat. § 227.57(1), which merely confines the scope of review to the record except in defined circumstances. 
Case 2019CV000013 Document 17 Filed 02-22-2019 Page 14 of 15 
Furthermore, Wis. Stat. § 227.57(6) does not apply to DNR’s OHWM 
determination. The statute only applies to decisions reached in contested case 
If the agency's action depends on any fact found by the agency in a contested case proceeding, the court shall not substitute its judgment for that of the agency as to the weight of the evidence on any disputed finding of fact. The court shall, however, set aside agency action or remand the case to the agency if it finds that the agency's action depends on any finding of fact that is not supported by substantial evidence in the record. 
Wis. Stat. § 227.57(6) (emphasis added). There was no contested case proceeding in 
this matter. A contested case proceeding is a specific procedure defined by statute: 
“Contested case” means an agency proceeding in which the assertion by one party of any substantial interest is denied or controverted by another party and in which, after a hearing required by law, a substantial interest of a party is determined or adversely affected by a decision or order. 
Wis. Stat. § 227.01(3). The only hearing held before DNR issued its ruling was an 
informational hearing. (Pet. ¶12; Pet. Ex. A p.6–7.) This informational hearing does 
not meet the definition of a contested case hearing before an administrative law 
judge. It was not a hearing in which the agency determined interests “denied or 
controverted by another party.” Rather, it was a “public hearing to receive comments, 
provide information and respond to clarifying questions regarding the location of the 
OHWM of Sturgeon Bay at...Parcel 92...” (Pet. Ex. A p. 6–7.) DNR, therefore, cannot 
have committed a violation of Wis. Stat. § 227.57(6), the only statutory violation 
alleged by Petitioners, and this Court cannot begin to analyze whether this statute 
would have protected Petitioners’ alleged interests. Consequently, Petitioners cannot 
satisfy step two of the standing test, and their Petition for Judicial Review must be 
Case 2019CV000013 Document 17 Filed 02-22-2019 Page 15 of 15 
Petitioners cannot meet their burden to satisfy both parts of the two-step 
standing test. Respondent respectfully requests that the Court grant its Motion to 
Dismiss the Petition for Judicial Review because Petitioners lack standing under Wis. 
Stat. §§ 227.52 and 227.53(1). 
Dated this 22nd day of February, 2019. 
JOSHUA L. KAUL Attorney General of Wisconsin 
Electronically signed by: 
s/ Jennifer S. Limbach JENNIFER S. LIMBACH Assistant Attorney General State Bar #1089184 
Attorneys for Respondent Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources 
Wisconsin Department of Justice Post Office Box 7857 Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7857 (608) 266-8940 (608) 267-2778 (Fax) 



Sturgeon Bay looking at promenade on west side along tugs

The Sturgeon Bay Ad Hoc West Waterfront Planning Committee is looking to balance a working waterfront and providing public access along the city’s waterfront.  The Ad Hoc committee met Tuesday evening to listen to alternatives presented by SEH Consultants who conducted recent workshops to gather public input.  With the Ordinary High Watermark under challenge, Co-Chair Laurel Hauser says the committee is not ready to make recommendations to the council at this point but would like to set the groundwork for progress to be made towards development.  She says a boardwalk is an option that is getting some consensus. 



 Hauser says getting the balance of both will be challenging, like keeping the tug boats located on the west side but is possible.  The Sturgeon Bay West Waterfront Planning Committee also discussed a potential maritime research facility known as a Niagara Estuary Reserve being located in the city in the future.        

Redistricting makes budget cut

Governor Tony Evers is making good on his word that he would address redistricting reform during his tenure. The newly elected governor announced Tuesday a proposal that would take the district map drawing process out of the hands of legislators into those of a non-partisan panel. It is based on the model popularized in Iowa with a couple tweaks to it according to state Senator Dave Hansen.

Senator Hansen cited recent polling and resolutions passed by municipalities across the state as reasons to pass redistricting reform to bring competitiveness back to elections.

Aldo Leopold Day is Saturday at Crossroads

In celebration of Aldo Leopold Day, the Emmy Award-winning documentary, Green Fire will be shown this Saturday at Crossroads at Big Creek.  The film traces Leopold’s life journey to protect the land ethic and waters of Wisconsin.  Coggin Heeringa, director at Crossroads, says the movie and book have inspired many people.



The screening of “Green Fire Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for our Time” is free to the public and will be held at 3 pm on Saturday at the Lecture Hall of the Collins Learning Center.  


(photo courtesy of Crossroads at Big Creek)


Recouping costs after emergency rescues not likely

The recent ice rescue off Larsen’s Reef on Sunday has brought up the debate whether municipalities and emergency services should get reimbursed for expenses incurred on a preventable situation.  Twenty-nine people were rescued in white-out conditions on Green Bay by the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department and Department of Natural Resources personnel.   DNR Conservation Warden Chris Kratcha says local municipalities usually do not seek to recoup the financial cost of what can be construed as a preventable emergency.  He says it becomes arbitrary to decide which rescues qualify as accidents and those that could have been prevented.  Trophy Ice Fish was the professional guide who took the anglers on the ice on Sunday during the severe weather.  Captain Lonney Goman of Trophy Ice Fish could not be reached for comment for this story.  


(contributed photo)


Rescued deer euthanized DNR

The buck fawn that was saved near Brussels during the blizzard conditions on Sunday was euthanized on Tuesday, according to the DNR.  Penny Price revived the small deer and cared for it until Monday afternoon when Department of Natural Resources officials picked him up.  The buck fawn apparently had an injured leg when Price rescued it on Sunday.  Price said prior to hearing of the deer's fate that she knows they at least provided some comfort for the deer.


Price says the deer may have suffered from malnutrition but was able to stand up before being picked up by DNR officials.  


New Door County Seed Library open house Saturday

A new library program can help you learn about growing and harvesting plants and vegetables.   A seed library is coming to the Door County Library this Saturday.  Classes will be offered at 1:00 and 2:00 pm on Saturday and is free to the public, according to Laura Kayacan, Sturgeon Bay Library adult services librarian.  She says much can be learned even while the outdoor planting won’t happen for a few months.



The event will include “Starting Seeds Indoors” classes with Master Gardener Karen Kidd.  Future classes on planting are being planned for later in the year, according to Kayacan. 

Feeders both good and bad for birds

The Ridges Sanctuary Land Manager Matt Peter says putting out seeds for resident birds is okay despite a recent Canadian study. According to University of Alberta professor Erin Bayne, bird enthusiasts need to understand the trade-off of keeping feed out. While the feeders provide an important food source when the ground is covered under inches of snow, it also could invite some birds to stick around longer than they should and make them vulnerable to urban dangers like windows and house cats. Peter says people should not worry too much about possibly affecting migratory patterns with their feeders since many of their avian visitors are resident birds.

Peter advises people with bird feeders to make sure they keep them clean as they could attract salmonella and other sources of diseases.

Snowmobile clubs hope to keep winter around

Local snowmobile clubs hope they can help continue a season that has offered some of the best riding it has had in years. The weather has certainly helped with cold temperatures and a top-five snowiest February on record keeping groomers busy along the way. Kewaunee Moonriders President Tom Cherovsky says this has been the longest season they have had in close to a decade but reminds snowmobilers to make sure they follow the rules like following speed limits and staying on the trails.

The Kewaunee Moonriders receive some state funds to help maintain their trails but ran out a while ago because of the length of the season. A special guest of the Kewaunee Moonriders’ annual fundraiser this weekend is even more snow with three to five inches of snow expected by Wednesday afternoon and additional accumulation later in the week.

Sturgeon Bay Schools head to operational referendum

Sturgeon Bay School District hopes to override their current revenue limit by as much $3.6 million in 2021-2022 after announcing their plans to go to an operational referendum in April. The district would override their revenue limit in 2019-2020 by $2.9 million and $3.2 million in 2020-2021. That would mean a tax increase of $68 on a $100,000 by the end of the three-year referendum period. Superintendent Dan Tjernagel says the money will go to educational programming and keeping current staffing levels.

Sturgeon Bay School District has passed four operational referenda since 2007, including its last one in 2016. It will appear on the spring election ballot on April 2nd

Algoma working on master plan for Olson Park

The City of Algoma is moving forward on some scenic improvements along the north side of the community by Highway 42.  City Administrator Jeff Wiswell shares some of the planned projects that will be developed. 



 Wiswell adds that restrooms will be built as part of the project.  He says the costing out of the project still needs to be done with hopes for state and federal grant money along with donations to offset the expenditure.   


Sturgeon Bay doctor says vaccines are safe

A locally retired pediatrician is speaking out against the national vaccine scare of reported claims that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine causes autism.  Dr. John Swanson of Sturgeon Bay says that unfortunately over the last decade more and more parents are not getting their children vaccinated.  He says there is absolutely no proven link between the MMR vaccine and autism.  Parents should not have any concerns of having something unnatural put into their children’s bodies when it comes to vaccines, according to Dr. Swanson. 



Dr. Swanson encourages parents to talk with their doctor about vaccinations and go to scientific-based websites for accurate information, like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  

Schultz featuring Door County in upcoming fishing expos

Bill Schultz, a local kayak fishing pro and guest correspondent for, will be taking his expertise on the road to fishing expos around the state.  Schultz has been fishing smallmouth bass since 1994 and has caught and released over 22,000 smallies.  He explains what his key topics will be at the upcoming shows. 


Schultz says the shows help him get through the colder winter months and get ready for the spring fishing season.  He also hosts his own show, the ninth annual “Smallie Night Out” which will be held in Southeastern Wisconsin on April 24 and draws over 130 people.  Schultz’s biweekly summer series on kayak and kayak fishing will return on in May.  

UMC Pastor expects minimal effects post-conference

No matter which plan the United Methodist Church adopts in the closing days of its special conference in St. Louis, Rev. Michael Morris from Cavalry UMC in Egg Harbor and Zion UMC in Gibraltar does not expect much of a local impact on membership. The UMC is hosting the special conference outside of its usual cycle to address concerns about same-sex marriage and lesbian, gay, transsexual, and queer clergy. Three different plans have come forward: stick with its current position against same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy, the One Church Plan allowing each individual congregation to make its own decision, or break up into five regional conferences that share similar viewpoints. Morris says it is time for the UMC to take a stand, but his biggest fear is if the decision is unmanageable and no one is happy.


If no decision is made by the end of the special conference on Tuesday, UMC leaders could take up the issue again during its regularly scheduled conference next year.

Small deer saved near Brussels in snowstorm

A nearly frozen-to-death buck fawn was rescued in the severe winter weather on Sunday afternoon in Southern Door County.  Penny Price of Brussels was home working with her daughter on a book report when she noticed a deer struggling to move in the deep snow in her backyard.  She describes the scene. 


Price then decided that she would take action.  After discussing possibly putting the deer down with her husband because of an apparent injury, her children convinced her to save the deer.  


The Prices sheltered the approximately fifty-pound buck fawn in their garage overnight and are nursing it back to health.  Penny has contacted the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary’s rehabilitation program to hopefully nurture the deer back to complete health. Although the Prices do not have a new pet, they did name the deer “Giannis” after the famous Milwaukee Bucks basketball player.


(photos and video submitted)









Hoppe reflects on the fair

After serving as a fourth generation Kewaunee County Fair Board member, Al Hoppe is stepping aside. The former secretary of the Kewaunee County Fair Board held one of the five positions that will need to be filled before the first exhibits are brought to the fairgrounds in Luxemburg this July. Hoppe was tasked with helping book the entertainment over the years including country music acts that would later make it big. Some years were better than others financially for the Kewaunee County Fair, but Hoppe says his proudest moment serving on the board was being able to do so while his father was still alive.


With a couple business ventures still in town, Hoppe is not going anywhere as he will help the transition of the new fair board as they get ready for this year’s event beginning July 11th. As for a fifth-generation Hoppe following in his footsteps, he says only time will tell. 

Sturgeon Bay woman thanks her DoorCan "angels"

Sturgeon Bay native Debbie Rezachek is thankful for the people she has never met during her fight with cancer. Rezachek has fought cancer on and off since 2010 and has recently received help from DoorCancer to help pay bills. Numerous times DoorCancer has saved her house, kept the utilities flowing, and paid off her cell phone as hospital bills grew. Rezachek says she does know where she would be without the generosity of DoorCancer. 


Her advice to others going through the same fight she is with cancer is to contact DoorCancer right away as she admits waiting to call took its toll on her family.
We have information on how you can sign up for help from DoorCancer by clicking here.  

Ice anglers brought to safety

Twenty-nine anglers were rescued from the ice Sunday afternoon after weather conditions became too dangerous. According to Sturgeon Bay Fire Chief Tim Dietman, the owner of the charter service Trophy Ice Fish out of Sturgeon Bay called 911 at around 1 p.m. because they could not see where they needed to go from their spot off of Larsons Reef. The Sturgeon Bay Fire Department and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources teamed together to bring the anglers back to safety. Due to the snow, snowmobiles were required to help make the rescue, which took until approximately 5 p.m. 


(photo submitted)

Eating more protein as you age

Aging Door County residents may need to add more protein to their diets to avoid health problems. Door County Medical Center Geriatrician Ronald Kodres says as people age into their 60s and 70s their muscles deteriorate. More protein, Kodres says, is required for many as people age. A protein-deficiency leads to potential broken bones. Kodres added not all elderly people need to eat a higher amount of protein but cautioned about not having enough.


Kodres says you should ask your doctor before making any major dietary changes. 

Road conditions cause closures, delays

After weather paralyzed local travel on Sunday, school districts in Door and Kewaunee Counties are taking extra precautions on Monday. Highway 57 north of Valmy in Door County and a portion of County Road AB in Kewaunee County were among the roads shut down by local Sheriff's Departments due to the blowing snow and icy conditions. We have the list of closures and delays listed below.



Kewaunee School District

Luxemburg-Casco School District (after school activities will go on as scheduled)

East Shore Industries

Stella Maris Parish Morning Services

Algoma Meals on Wheels

Kewaunee County Meals on Wheels




Washington Island Island School District: No 4K/Early Childhood

Southern Door School District: No 4K/Early Childhood

Sevastopol schools public and private

Algoma schools public and private: No Early Childhood or Little Stars

Sturgeon Bay School District

Gibraltar Area Schools

Northern Door Children's Center


Sunshine House: Open, but out-of-town buses are running one hour late




Road closures due to winter storm

State Highway 57 is closed in Valmy north to Becthel Road due to a crash from the whiteout conditions according to the Door County Sheriff Department Facebook page. A Sheriff Department dispatcher tells that the cars need to be removed from the roads and have the weather improve before reopening the highway.


Mike Barker, the Director of Municipal Services for Sturgeon Bay, has sent out an email saying that, "As of 3:45 P.M. February 24th,  18th Avenue will be closed between Alabama Street and Colorado Place.  Blowing snow is causing white out conditions and major drifting which poses a major safety risk to drivers.  Weather permitting, I anticipate opening the road by 8:00 A.M.  Monday February 25th."

Algoma Fab Lab connecting with the community

You can add a nice decorative touch to your home by participating in the next Algoma Wolf Tech Fab Lab. On March 9th starting at 9 AM three Algoma Wolf Tech students will be leading the Mason Jar Sconce Fab Lab at Algoma High School. It will involve turning a mason jar into a light with some added decorations. People can go to the Algoma Wolf Tech Facebook page “Events” tab to sign up for the Fab Lab where a $15 donation is required to participate. This project is a little more crafty than most Fab Labs according to Algoma Tech-Ed Instructor Matt Abel. The three students leading this Fab Lab were very excited to come up with the idea and can’t wait to teach it. Abel says that excitement will really shine through and that helps the students connect with the community.



Algoma High School will host the Mason Jar Sconce Fab Lab. Participants will be supplied with wood, brackets, jars, flowers, lighting options and paint.

Mite crippling and killing Door County bees

You can keep bees around your home by taking steps to counter the influence of a mite that kills and cripples local bees. The Beekeepers Club of Door County is a local group working to educate the public about the importance of maintaining bee populations. Club president Mark Lentz says the varroa mite is killing bees through the United States and in growing numbers in Door County.
He says when bees are attacked by the mite, wings are crippled and bees die.




Lentz says it's very important for beekeepers to test for varroa mites in their hives and you can do that by getting the equipment from the Door County Beekeepers Club. Lentz welcomes anyone interested in beekeeping as a hobby or just to assist in the pollination process for gardens to come to a monthly meeting held at Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay.  The next meeting is scheduled for 6:30 PM on Tuesday night.

Snow crews clearing roads before deep freeze

The Door County snow removal crew is working fast on Sunday to make sure Monday’s morning commute is not a dangerous one. The rain and snow have made the roads very slushy and with the temperatures forecasted to drop below zero Sunday night and into Monday morning that would make for very icy road conditions. According to Thad Ash, the Patrol Superintendent for the Door County Highway Department, the snow crews went out at around 4:30 Sunday morning and will be out throughout the day clearing as much snow and slush as possible before the very cold temperatures come. Door County did miss a lot of the snow that fell in many other parts of Wisconsin on Saturday and Ash says the workers were happy to have a day off.



The Door County Highway Department is still in good shape when it comes to their salt supply for the rest of the winter.

Building empathy in young people

The last winter event in the Door County “Talk Series” as a part of the Door County Civility Project could help teach your child about empathy. On Saturday from 10 AM until noon at the Door Community Auditorium in Fish Creek will feature Dr. Jason Cowell will be speaking about the importance of children learning empathy. Cowell is a professor at UW-Green Bay where his focus is on empathy. Shirley Senarighi from the Door County Civility Project says this is a good talk for all people to attend.



The talk is free and open to the public.

Possibly bigger budget for dental needs

A Door County dentist hopes that Governor Evers plan to add more money for low-income people to get dental care passes. Evers has proposed to add $43 million dollars to the state budget that would help dentists in rural communities see more low-income patients. Tanya Fischer, the Manager of the Door County Medical Center Dental Clinic, says many people cannot afford to get needed dental work completed and suffer as a result. Fischer added that oral health can’t be overlooked.



Fischer says the Door County Medical Center Dental Clinic does see as many uninsured patients as they can up to a certain income level.

Top cop in Gibraltar stepping down

The Town of Gibraltar is looking for a new police chief.  Andrew Crowell is stepping down from the position, citing health-related issues. According to Town Chair Dick Skare, Crowell is planning on remaining on the job through the hiring and training of a replacement.



The town does not have a firm timetable for replacing Crowell but Skare hopes to have the position filled by the start of the summer tourist season.

Senior dogs getting extra help

Older dogs need love too and an organization is trying to expand into Door County to try and get them homes. The Lucky Seven Dog Rescue in Green Bay has a part of its organization called the Betty White Senior Sanctuary that helps senior dogs get fostered and adopted. It’s trying to find more homes that will foster these dogs in Door County. Sarah Traeger is the Director of the Betty White Senior Sanctuary and she adopted a dog that was 10 years old and named her, Betty White.



The Betty White Senior Sanctuary is funded from donations and everyone who works for them is a volunteer. Anyone who fosters a dog from the BWSS is provided with the funds to take care of the dog. You can go to to see all adoptable senior dogs.

Moon landing to be commemorated in Sturgeon Bay

A Door County group can help bring the history of the first moon landing to life for people who missed it fifty years ago.  The March program of the  Door County Astronomical Society will focus on the moon landing that took place in the summer of 1969.

Society member Dave Lenius of Sturgeon Bay told anyone is welcome to learn more about National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) by attending the March meeting.



Lenius encourages students interested in careers related to astronomy and any potential hobbyists to consider joining the Door County Astronomical Society. The March monthly meeting will be on March 5th at the Ray and Ruthie Stonecipher Astronomy Center in Sturgeon Bay.

Property tax key for municipality revenue

Wisconsin municipalities rely on property tax revenue more than many states in the country and the percentage is even higher for communities in Door County. According to the Wisconsin Policy Forum, the average municipality receives approximately 42 percent of its revenue from property taxes, almost double the reliance of other states. It can be even higher in communities like Sister Bay, where nearly 75 percent of its revenue comes from property taxes. Finance director Tasha Rass says in addition to adding the Premier Resort Area Tax (PRAT) last summer, they have tried to alleviate the stress on local taxpayers in other ways.

Rass says Sister Bay is constrained by its size and location when it comes to generating other sources of revenue for the village. Other municipalities across the country rely on different sales and income taxes to help lift some of the burden off of local property taxpayers. 



Changing ice conditions should concern anglers

With another winter storm on pace to hit this weekend, ice fishing conditions can be dangerous warns an ice fishing professional guide.   JJ Malvitz says there are many ways to help ensure safety while on the ice. 



Malvitz adds that dressing warmly and keeping exposed skin to a minimum are also good measures to keep safe.  The thickness of the ice gives a good idea of how much weight it can support.  According to the Department of Natural Resources, ice that is less than four inches thick should be kept off, four inches is safe to ice fish or do other on-foot activities and five to seven inches is safe for a snowmobile or ATV.  It is not until eight to twelve inches that is safe for a car or small pickup truck. 

Forestville looks toward tech upgrade at Town Hall

The challenge of broadband in rural areas in Door and Kewaunee counties has one municipality looking for a grant to get WIFI in their town hall.  The Town of Forestville is seeking state funds to help get the upgrade this year.  Town Chair Roy Englebert says the library already has WIFI but getting it for the town hall will be contingent on obtaining a grant. 


Englebert says that Forestville had hoped to tap into the fiber optic system that is nearby the town hall but that option was not available.  The Town of Forestville building is located in Maplewood.  


Freezing and thawing can wreack havoc to roads

The freezing temperatures and recent snow and sleet can cause havoc not only to drivers but to the long-term condition of roads this time of year.  Kewaunee County Highway Commissioner Todd Every says traditional spots seem to crop up every spring after thawing and refreezing. 



Every adds that culverts and frost heaves under roads are generally the areas that lead to floods. 


Butchart remembered for Thumb Fun and joy

 Door County entrepreneur Doug Butchart passed away Tuesday and is being remembered for all the joy he brought to families with Thumb Fun Amusement Park.  Butchart, 88, of Fish Creek ran the popular tourist attraction for over 30 years until 1998.  Door County Visitors Bureau Director of Communications and Public Relations Jon Jarosh says Butchart was a great businessman and employer.


Jarosh says Butchart’s willingness to bring new ideas like the railroad and waterslide to Thumb Fun showed his ability to take chances and make Door County a prime destination for families from near and far.  You can see the complete obituary for Doug Butchart at 



(photo submitted)


Sturgeon Bay veteran on Old Glory Honor Flight to Vietnam

A Sturgeon Bay military veteran is returning to Vietnam next week as part of a special Old Glory Honor Flight.  Terry Therrien, 72, will be leaving on Sunday with 58 other Vietnam veterans from Northeast Wisconsin for two weeks.  Having served in the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam in 1966-67, Therrien shares what he plans to do the moment he arrives back in Vietnam over 50 years later. 



Therrien wants to see how Vietnam has progressed in the last 50 years as well.  He added appreciation to all the people and donors that made the trip possible to bring closure for all the veterans participating.  


(photo contributed)


Pharmacy to be discussed in Sister Bay

A new pharmacy could be in the works in Sister Bay after losing one just weeks ago. As a part of its bankruptcy filings, ShopKo has been closing their pharmacies across the region, including Sister Bay.  Before the Plan Commission on Tuesday night is a request from Chris Schmeltz of Jaco Management to convert a portion of a storefront in the Country Walk Shops into a pharmacy. Sister Bay Village President Dave Lienau says a traditional pharmacy where you could walk in and talk to somebody would be welcome.

Two other options since the ShopKo pharmacy closed include Sturgeon Bay pharmacies either delivering them to the walk-in clinic in the village or mailed to them via FedEx. The Sister Bay Plan Commission meets at the Sister Bay Fire Station on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

False reports cause strain to departments

Whether it has several thousand people on staff like the Chicago Police Department or a few dozen like the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department, false reports can cause unneeded dollars and time to be spent. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski notes they do not often have cases as extreme as the Jussie Smollett case in Chicago grabbing national headlines, but says there are people who make untruthful claims of damaged or stolen property. From dispatch taking the call, deputies responding to the scene, and investigators collecting facts, Joski says it all starts to add up.

Joski added it gets even worse the more high profile a case may be because of the extra resources required, such as calling in the Wisconsin Department of Justice or another state or federal agency for assistance.

Algoma FFA Alumni pushes on without students

Unlike the area’s other four FFA Alumni chapters, only Algoma has to worry about where their members will come from in the future. Algoma High School lost their chapter about four years ago due to low numbers with some students now traveling to Kewaunee so they can still have their FFA experience. The Algoma FFA Alumni chapter is still very active. Running a food stand at the Kewaunee County Fair is the biggest of their six fundraisers every year. The organization supports several causes and scholarships, including raising over $81,000 last fall in memory of Andy Barta. Chapter President Paul Moede hopes something can be reestablished at the school in the future.

Moede says over 120 people help support the Algoma FFA Alumni annually at their food stand at the fair. This is a part of our series with local chapters celebrating National FFA Week. 


Picture Courtesy of Algoma FFA Alumni



Plan Commission discusses public path on Memorial Drive

 The Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission met Wednesday to discuss the potential development of a public path along the waterfront on Memorial Drive in Sturgeon Bay.   The property is located between the street and the Sturgeon Bay channel which is privately owned but does fall in the public right-a-way.  Chair Dennis Statz says the consideration for zoning restrictions and pedestrian access will be moved on to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board and is very preliminary.



 Statz adds that the zoning and an easement that goes back to the 1930’s states that no landscaping can be planted on the greenspace on Memorial Drive with the understanding that the city maintains the lawns during the summer to keep a consistent mowing. 

Peninsula State Park completing Diorama Map for summer

Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek is looking to enhance their visitor’s stays this summer by offering a new diorama map.  Steve Strucely of the Friends of Peninsula State Park says hopes are to find some volunteer artists to get the project completed by soon.  


Peninsula State Park is the largest of Door County’s state parks and is open year around. It offers 468 campsites during the season. 


Luxemburg-Casco Performing classic "Hello Dolly" musical

Luxemburg-Casco High School is presenting the famous musical, “Hello Dolly!” this weekend.  The performances will feature a cast and crew of 65 students, according to Choir Director Margaret Meder.  She shares what is in store for the audience members starting Friday night. 



Performances will be this Friday and Saturday evening beginning at 7 pm in the Luxemburg-Casco Auditorium. A matinee performance will be on Sunday at 2 pm. 

Women's Fund hosts Story Slam

Eight people from around the area will share tales of their past during the sixth annual Women’s Fund of Door County Story Slam in Sturgeon Bay next month. Through their stories, Sarah Evenson, Elizebeth Fiscus, Jude Genereaux, Ryan Heise, Jennifer Nesbitt, Molly Schroeder, Lori Weir, and Annie Williams will give an honest look in their lives with hopes of empowering those who attend. Door County Community Foundation President and CEO Bret Bicoy says even though the event features people you recognize, the annual Story Slam paints them in a different light.

Tickets are available now for the Women’s Fund of Door County Story Slam, which will take place on March 7th and 8th. You can find more details about the event online with this story.



New Miller Art Museum exhibit captures refugee experience

A new exhibit at the Miller Art Museum in Sturgeon Bay will give a powerful look into the lives of refugees.  Starting on March 2, The “Mitli Mitlak ” (Like You, Like Me) exhibition will be on display for six weeks.  The artwork will feature the work of visual artists from the Middle East and North Africa.  Miller Art Museum Curator Elizabeth Shoshany Anderson describes the inspiration behind the artists. 



The exhibit will be displayed through Monday April 15.  A free theater production will be offered on Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3.  You can find more information on the Mitli Mitlak (Like You, Like Me) display with this story online

Flanigan Distributing raises glass to local products

You can thank Flanigan Distributing in Sturgeon Bay for some Door County-inspired brews appearing on shelves. Wisconsin Brewing Company’s newest RE:FRESH Radler  and O’so Brewing Company’s The Scarlet Letter are two brews made with Door County cherries at the suggestion of Flanigan Distributing’s Brian Flanigan. According to Flanigan, showcasing Door County is part of their mission.

Flanigan Distributing also expanded its local offerings earlier this year, adding Algoma’s Von Stiehl Winery to its portfolio of about 1,000 different products for its over 300 accounts in Door and Kewaunee counties.

Sturgeon Bay city council pursues water research facility

A job-creating water research and educational facility to be located in Sturgeon Bay is one of the ideas from the Ad Hoc West Waterfront Planning Committee that’s starting to get traction.  The Sturgeon Bay city council adopted a resolution Tuesday supporting the formation of a National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR).


According to council member Laurel Hauser, the possibility of recruiting an esturary research and educational facility came from a meeting of the ad hoc planning committee that was formed last year to replace work of the controversial Waterfront Redevelopment Authority.  Hauser spearheaded the formation of the ad hoc committee and serves as its co-chair.


Door County Economic Development Corporation executive director Jim Schuessler spoke in support of a council resolution supporting the research facility.



The resolution passed by a unanimous vote.


Caitlin Oleson, a member of the ad hoc committee, said buildings would range from large to small footprints.  She cited Superior as an example of a National Estuarine Research Reserve facility that is located in a former waterfront restaurant that has been retrofitted into a visitor center as well.  She also acted as project manager for a Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-funded feasibility and exploration study on a research station for the Green Bay ecosystem.


The project is being coordinated by UW Green Bay.  In a request to place the resolution of support on the council agenda, council members Hauser and David Ward said that research activities draw scholars, and their funding from beyond Wisconsin and the US borders.  Benefits would include “employment opportunities in the region, enhancing the quality of UW-Green Bay’s scholarly activities, and ultimately injecting money into the local economy.”


Caitlin told council members the process for approval of the NERR for northeast Wisconsin can take as long as five years. 


If approved and Sturgeon Bay is selected as a location, the council resolution does not specify where the facility would be located but, according to Hauser, it would meet the public use requirement for building on the city’s west-side waterfront now protected by the public trust doctrine.

Sturgeon Bay, Algoma included in Tall Ships visit

Nine ships will call Sturgeon Bay home for a night in July before racing past Algoma the next day as a part of the Tall Ships visit to northeast Wisconsin. Sponsored by Nicolet National Bank, the overnight Monday stay in Sturgeon Bay and the Tuesday race from Algoma to Kenosha take place after the Tall Ships Festival July 26th through 28th in Green Bay. Thousands of people lined the canal and visited ships when they docked in Sturgeon Bay in 2016, which was good news for area businesses according to Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center Executive Director Pam Seiler.

A replica of the Santa Maria and the U.S. Brig Niagara will be among the nine ships making the weekend tour of the bay and the lake with the complete line-up to be finalized next month. Details about Sturgeon Bay’s Salute to Sail event will be released in the near future. 

Scout sales offer job training

Whether it is fall popcorn for Cub Scouts or cookies for Girl Scouts, kids in Door and Kewaunee Counties are getting a lot more out of their experience selling than just money for their local troops. Both scouting organizations use the experience to sharpen their entrepreneurial skills and help them get practical experience as they work towards sales related merit badges. Lee Snodgrass from the Girl Scouts of Northwestern Great Lakes says the program helps members in several ways.

Snodgrass says proceeds stay local as it takes approximately 52,000 boxes of cookies sold to fund its financial assistance program that allows any girl wanting to join the organization to do so.

Southern Door FFA powered by volunteers

Whether it is bringing an animal to school or driving members to various contests, Southern Door FFA Alumni President Rich Olson can be found behind the wheel. Olson likens his alumni chapter as more of a booster club, with many of its approximately 30 members never being a member of the FFA as a youth. Supporting the Southern Door FFA’s 40-plus members takes a lot of work, but Olson says agriculture remains an important part of the community.

Olson says the biggest change he has seen in FFA has been the demographics with more girls than boys filling its ranks than ever before. This is part of a series celebrating National FFA Week with local chapters in Door and Kewaunee counties.

Door County showing signs of more inclusivity

With the Toward One Wisconsin Inclusivity Conference coming up in Milwaukee in April, one Sturgeon Bay city council member believes progress has been done but much more can be accomplished.  Laurel Hauser, District 7 alderperson, says Door County has many organizations that are visionary when it comes to diversity.  


Hauser adds that the new ad hoc committee she chairs has benefited from inclusivity.  


The Toward One Wisconsin Inclusivity Conference will bring citizens and organizations from multiple sectors from around the state together to address the barriers to inclusion for communities and the workforce.  You can find more information on the conference below.


For more information visit or contact Eric Giordano, Director, Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service
At (715) 573-5434 or


Schools plan to make up days

It turns out planning to have four snow days was not enough for the Sevastopol School District. There have been seven school cancelations and one late start this school year so far. The state of Wisconsin requires that students grades 7-12 get 1,137 hours of schooling and Sevastopol would come up well short of that number without any changes to the schedule. The Sevastopol School Board will vote on how students will make up those hours at their meeting on Wednesday. Sevastopol Superintendent Kyle Luedtke will recommend to the board that they change May 10th and June 7th from “inservice days” to regular school days, and add 10 minutes to each school day. Luedtke says all other options just don’t make much sense.




The Kewaunee School District is adding 20 minutes to their school day to make up hours missed, an announcement they made on their Facebook page.

Legislators seek $2M in aid for island outage

Washington Island residents could be spared a huge jump on their tax bill if First District Rep. Joel Kitchens and Senator Andre Jacque are successful getting $2 million earmarked for costs related to its damaged powerline. Years of ice shoves near the tip of Plum Island were partly to blame for the damage to the cable tasked with bringing power to Washington Island. Generators ran for days after the power went out on June 15th and the cable was eventually replaced at a cost of over $3 million. Total damages were estimated to be approximately $4 million, but despite being declared a disaster by the state it was not enough to trigger funds to be given by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Rep. Kitchens says he hopes funds from the state budget could help defray some of the costs.

According to the Washington Island Electric Cooperative, the town is now powered by the newly installed cable after running tests on it earlier this month. Remaining work on the project will have to wait until the spring. 


Click here for the letter from Senator Jacque and Representative Kitchens to Governor Evers


(Picture Courtesy of Washington Island Electric Cooperative)


Algoma offering emergency shelter at City Hall

As a way to promote public safety and welfare, the City of Algoma is opening their doors during cases of weather emergencies.  City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says some individuals took advantage of utilizing City Hall as a shelter during the brutally cold weather earlier this month.  He explains what residents can do when extreme arctic temperatures cause issues for residents in their home.



Wiswell notes that it is not offered 24/7 or year round, but rather during hazardous weather conditions.  He says the city has been working with Kewaunee County Emergency Management and the health department as well.  


Civil Discourse: An Occasional Attempt to Restore Civility to Our Civic Discourse--Economic development starts with buying local

The Door County Economic Development Corporation, despite inappropriate side-taking in the past, is fortunate to be led by an accomplished professional executive director, Jim Schuessler.  His efforts to identify the pervasive shortage of affordable housing, recognizing its relationship to job creation, make Schuessler effective and respected.


That said, more local jobs can be created and retained if people bought what they could in Door County rather than on-line, out-of-town and from big box stores.  The problem that threatens more business today than any other is attracting employees.  Local business and industry could afford to pay more competitive wages if more local business was done here rather than on-line and out-of-town.


More children and grandchildren could find employment opportunities in Door County if more of their parents and grandparents did more of their shopping locally rather than on-line and out-of-town.  And more jobs could be created in Door County, not in light industry, tourism, shipbuilding and agriculture, but in retail businesses, if local residents did more business with friends and neighbors rather than on-line and out-of-town.  You cannot have local job growth when local residents fail to support local businesses.  


Statistics speak to the outflow of significant revenue that could be creating local jobs.  When 73 cents out of every dollar spent by Door County residents on clothing are spent outside of Door County that means fewer local jobs in the retail clothing economy.  When 70 cents out of every dollar spent by Door County residents on furniture are spent outside of Door County that means fewer local jobs in the retail furniture economy. 


Before you make a purchase at a big box store, on-line or out-of-town consider what that means to local employment opportunity.

Jim Schuessler and the DCEDC are working to bring more business to Door County.  Yet, you can create more jobs than the DCEDC will be able to do in years simply by focusing your purchases on where they can do the most good.  That’s right here by buying local in Door County.


Buying local does not only impact employment opportunity for people who need a job.  It also impacts the non-profit, civic and service organizations, churches and schools who depend on the generosity of locally-owned businesses.  Few Door County non-profits are funded by on-line retailers or out-of-town businesses and big box stores.


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

Sturgeon Bay council nixes more money for Cap Wulf waterfront appeal

Wanting to avoid spending more money on legal fees, the Sturgeon Bay city council voted Tuesday not to hire attorneys to represent the city in an appeal of a recent Department of Natural Resources ordinary high water mark ruling.


The DNR ruling determines where private development can occur on the Sturgeon Bay west-side waterfront. An agreement between Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront, the DNR and City of Sturgeon Bay endorsed by the DNR ruling is being appealed by a group led by former Waterfront Redevelopment Authority member Thomas “Cap” Wulf and twenty-one others.


According to council member Barbara Allmann, legal fees of almost $300,000 have been incurred by the city. The council voted to send a letter to the DNR stating the city position in favor of the compromise DNR ruling without hiring attorneys and incurring additional legal fees. That motion was opposed by council member David Ward.


The meeting got underway with Chris Kellems using the time reserved for comments from the public to blast the twenty-two people who are appealing the DNR ruling.




Kellems said two of the people involved in the appeal have had restraining orderers imposed related to harassment issues and one has been convicted of using his position of public trust for personal gain. You can read Kellems' entire statement at the bottom of this story.


Appellants John Yount and Thomas “Cap” Wulf have both had restraining orders issued against them for harassment. Yount was recently jailed in Door County for violating that restraining order. Thomas “Cap” Wulf is reported on a Wisconsin circuit court website as having been convicted of using his position of public trust for personal gain. Wulf was a long-time member of the Sturgeon Bay city council and Waterfront Redevelopment Authority.


The city council voted in 2018 to replace the role of the WRA with an ad hoc west waterfront committee. The WRA, however, did meet on January 24th to discuss joining the DNR declaratory ruling appeal. WRA Chair Thomas Herlache stated that he was contacted by Wulf asking if the WRA would appeal the ruling. According to Herlache, he informed Wulf there is no money available to fund the appeal and that Wulf and others would have to pay for it.


Herlache also said, according to minutes of the meeting, that the purpose of the appeal would be “to get more developable land” and “to delay action to potentially allow the Wisconsin legislature to pass legislation that establishes the OHWM.”


WRA Member Cindy Weber said there was public support for a brewpub on the west-side waterfront property.


WRA and city council member Laurel Hauser made a motion to not appeal the declaratory ruling. She was joined by David Ward and Ryan Hoernke. Members Cindy Weber, Thomas Herlache and Chris Jeanquart opposed the motion, resulting in a tie vote and no action.


The appropriateness of the WRA meeting, in view of previous council action to diminish its role, was raised by council member Kelly Avenson. City attorney James Kalny explained the meeting was probably proper. The WRA, he said, has been a party to on-going litigation in which it will continue to be involved until legal issues are resolved.




Door County primary results

There were three races to vote for in Tuesday night’s primary election in Door County. The Gibraltar School Board, Southern Door School Board and the Sevastopol Town Board each eliminated one candidate from their races. Four candidates will run for two different spots in each race for the April 2nd election. No primary races were needed for Kewaunee County.

Gibraltar School Board

Don Helm, Mike Peot, Brett Reetz and Carole Vande Walle will be on the ballot on April 2nd as Ray Einhorn was eliminated from the race after receiving the fewest number of votes.

Southern Door School Board

Matthew Tassoul, Penny L. Price, Adam Urban and Milly Gonzales are vying for two spots on the Southern Door School Board. George Sincock was eliminated.

Sevastopol Town Board

Linda Wait, Tony Haen, Kimberly Denil and Darrick DeMeuse advanced to the election on April 2nd. Kurt Krauel got the least number of votes and will not be voted in on April 2nd. 


Fresh snow helping boost area businesses

After dealing with extremely cold conditions in late January and an abundance of snow lately, area businesses dependent on recreational snow for activity are seeing a late-season boon.  Dean Simonar, vice-president of sales for Simonar Sports in Luxemburg, says the local snowmobile trails make for happy customers and employees. 



 Another three to five inches of snow is forecast on Wednesday in the area.  All Door and Kewaunee County snowmobile trails reopened about a week ago.     

Maritime Museum tower could face same fate as failed hotel

The proposed Door County Maritime Museum lighthouse on Sturgeon Bay’s west-side waterfront could be as “dead in the water” as Robert Papke’s failed hotel project.


That’s because the location of the proposed $5.5 million ten-story tower could, like the recently-scuttled hotel project, be on filled lakebed. If so, the Maritime Museum would have to have the City of Sturgeon Bay lease the property from the Commissioner of Public Lands, then sub-lease it to the Maritime Museum.


Sturgeon Bay Mayor Thad Birmingham cautioned museum officials to make sure they know where the ordinary high water mark is located so the tower is not on the side of the line where development is restricted to public use.



The discussion took place over a resolution supporting a grant application for up to $250,000 from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation that was approved by the council.


The Maritime Museum has raised $3.2 million of the $5.5 million needed to complete the tower. The grant of up to $250,000 from WEDC would assist in reaching the total fund-raising goal.


If the application is successful it would come from the Community Development Investment (CDI) Grant program run through WEDC. The program is designed to incentivize downtown community development. According to the executive summary that accompanied the resolution, activities funded through the grant program should lead to “measurable job opportunities, property values and/or leveraged investment by local and private partners.”


The lighthouse tower would be used to expand museum exhibit space and provide facilities for additional educational programs. An observation tower, according to proponents, would also be a significant tourist attraction on the west-side waterfront.


Museum Executive Director Kevin Osgood told council members he is working diligently to clear up questions about the ability to build on what may be filled lakebed. Osgood said more than 200 donors, with a majority from Sturgeon Bay, have supported the lighthouse tower project with their contributions.

DCEDC exploring creative ways for affordable housing 

A policy in Portland, Maine that uses inclusionary zoning from the newly built hotels to help subsidize the supply of affordable housing is getting the attention the Door County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC).  Hotel developers in Portland are required to build one affordable rental unit for every 28 hotel rooms they build or pay over $38,000 per hotel room into the city’s housing trust fund, according to the DCEDC newsletter.  DCEDC President Jim Schuessler says that although there may be some structural issues and laws to address, communities need to get creative in dealing with housing.   



Schuessler says there are great mechanisms for commercial and industrial development with Tax Incremental Financing, but many are restrictive when it comes to housing developments.  He says another challenge is that the cost of construction of a new home has reportedly gone up to nearly 30 percent in the last few years.       

Career Readiness day today for L-C frosh

Giving high school students a reason to stay in Kewaunee County after graduation is a hopeful outcome of a unique career day at Luxemburg Casco High School.  The freshman class at Luxemburg-Casco High School is participating in a first-of-its-kind program.  The Career Readiness Tour and Presentation on Wednesday is believed to be the first time an entire full grade level from Northeast Wisconsin are being shown employment opportunities first hand.  Director of Learning Services Mike Snowberry says the event took a lot of time to organize but is well worth it for the students.



 Snowberry says the main goal is to expose the students to potential business career opportunities that are out there after high school.  About 150 students will be bussed to 18 different businesses and institutions in Kewaunee and Brown counties. 

Bicoy reflects on Senate Scholar experience

Sitting in on caucus meetings, dining at the Governor’s residence, and introducing her own bill were among the highlights of Sturgeon Bay High School junior Nalani Bicoy’s experience last week as a Wisconsin Senate Scholar. Bicoy and nine other students spent a part of the week in Madison learning about the inner workings of state government. She says the best piece of advice she received during her experience as a Wisconsin Senate Scholar came from a state Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Dallet.

Bicoy, who was nominated by former state Senator Caleb Frostman, says juniors and seniors should participate in the program if they have the opportunity.



Picture courtesy of Bret Bicoy

FFA about more than farming

Though “farm,” is in the organization’s name, members of Future Farmers of America chapters like Sevastopol are still taking away valuable lessons from their experiences without it. The Sevastopol FFA practices parliamentary procedure during their monthly meetings and attend many events focusing on leadership. Members can also participate on a state and national level in the organization’s band and choir. With the number of farms dwindling in Door County, Sevastopol FFA advisor Dale Carlson says the organization has changed with the agriculture industry.

Carlson says kids should join FFA for its opportunities in leadership and community service. The Sevastopol FFA boasts over 40 youth and 80 alumni members. You can hear more about the Sevastopol FFA during this Saturday’s Ask the Expert presented by Septic Maintenance at 7:30 a.m. on 96.7 WBDK as we celebrate National FFA Week. 

Liberty Grove to purchase property for attainable housing

The former Val-A Motel in Ellison Bay could provide Door County a template for how to address attainable housing in the future. The town of Liberty Grove electors approved its purchase last week after officials deemed the property could be useful down the road to address the housing shortage in northern Door County. Liberty Grove chairperson John Lowry estimates 5-12 units could be created on the parcel in an area facing a current workforce rental apartment deficit of 140. Lowry says this could encourage other municipalities to take similar steps.

The town of Liberty Grove and the Door County Economic Development Corporation will work together to see what will be the possibilities of developing the site before getting final plan approvals from the electors. The DCEDC announced earlier this month that Door County is hundreds of apartments short of what is needed to meet the current demand. 

Homeless vets not alone in northeast Wisconsin

Taxidermist Dave Rady has driven all over Door and Kewaunee counties making sure veterans are taken care of, including driving two from the area to Green Bay to make sure they have a warm place to sleep. Rady volunteers with the Veterans Housing and Recovery Program, which has four locations throughout the state including Green Bay. Its 17 rooms are leased through the state, but everything else from crisis counseling to toiletries relies on Veterans Assistance Foundation volunteers and donations. Rady says the last six years he has volunteered has been eye-opening.

The VHRP serves honorably discharged veterans who are homeless or at risk for being homeless with housing, employment assistance, health services, and substance abuse recovery support. Rady says even though the average stay is about two months, qualifying veterans can use the facility and its services for up to two years.  


Learn more about the Veterans Assistance Foundation by clicking here.

Kewaunee County Food Pantry looks to expand hours

One area food pantry is looking for more volunteers to expand their hours of operation.  With the increased demand to help underprivileged families and to offer some convenience, the Kewaunee County Food Pantry is looking to open Wednesday evenings in the future.  President Ken Marquardt says the additional evening hours would meet a frequent request.



The pantry currently is open for pick up from 11-1 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays.  The Kewaunee County Food Pantry is located on Sunset Avenue in Algoma and also sells used furniture to raise money for the pantry.  

Tips during Heart Health Month

A local hospital is being proactive in helping to reduce the occurrences of heart disease and heart attacks.  February is Healthy Heart Month and Door County Medical Center provides cardiopulmonary services throughout the area.  Clinical Exercise Physiologist Sarah Traeger says exercise with a balanced diet is crucial to a healthy lifestyle even after being diagnosed with heart disease.



 High-risk factors for heart disease include smoking and diabetes, according to Traeger.  According to the American Heart Association, the number one killer of women in America is heart disease.  Roughly 133,000 Americans die every year from heart attacks.   






Athletic directors overcome weather cancellations

Athletic directors from Door and Kewaunee County high schools have been dealing with major challenges beyond their normal job duties.  Due to the cancellation of numerous events the past two weeks, high school A.D.s have been put to the test in rescheduling games and matches for the end of the regular season.  Jenny Bandow, athletic director for Luxemburg Casco High School, says the scramble to get the regular season games in was reminiscent of spring sports in the past.



Bandow says she received great cooperation for coaches, players, referees, and other officials to get the postponed events in before the W.I.A.A. basketball tournament starts this week.    


Local highway departments prepared for next winter storm

With more snow in the local forecast on Wednesday, area highway departments are gearing up for another busy couple of days of clearing roadways.  Door County Highway Commissioner John Kolodziej says his department uses reduced-salt alternatives that have been developed to make coverage on area roads cleaner and safer.  He says plans are purchase new machinery to develop their own salt brine mixture. 



Kolodziej says a salt brining mix used currently comes from the Brown County Highway Department.  He says even with the extreme weather in the past two weeks, ample salt and sand is on hand for future snowstorms this winter. 

FFA Alumni help today's clubs thrive

Today’s Future Farmers of America clubs in Door and Kewaunee counties depend heavily on its members of yesteryear. FFA Alumni organize fundraisers like tool sales and cheese tasting events to help cover expenses for today’s students. Kewaunee FFA Alumni President Matt Wojta was asked to stick around and help the club grow before he even graduated in 2001. Now, the Kewaunee FFA Alumni organization has grown to close to 40 members with more than 70 people helping with its annual summer truck and tractor pull. Wojta says even though his business does not take him to too many farms, he believes sticking with the Kewaunee FFA Alumni is one way he can give back to the community.

FFA alumni chapters are located at Sevastopol, Kewaunee, Luxemburg-Casco, Southern Door and Algoma. You can tune in all week long for stories from other local chapters during National FFA Week, which will conclude with a special Ask the Expert with the Sevastopol FFA sponsored by Septic Maintenance.

Local businesses enjoying winter boom

Businesses in Door and Kewaunee counties are enjoying the snowmobile trails and ice fishing holes as much the people using them. Snowmobilers are enjoying their first extended season in a few years while anglers are pushing through the deep snow on the ice for enjoyable fishing. That is good news for restaurants staying open this winter with snowmobilers and ice fishing guides bringing in crowds behind them. Claudia Grosbeier from CJ’s Bar and Grill near Sawyer Harbor says the winter season is becoming as important as the summer.

Although not as busy as the summer, Door County sees nearly a quarter of its annual visitors during the months of November through April according to the Door County Visitors Bureau.

City could join OHWM lawsuit

The city of Sturgeon Bay could see itself in another lawsuit involving the ordinary high water mark on its west waterfront. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council is being asked to pick sides in a lawsuit involving a group of 22 local citizens and the Department of Natural Resources. At stake is the OHWM for Parcel 92, which the DNR issued a declaratory ruling in January based on a meander line drawn in 1835. Development of the parcel depends on where the line determining the public trust doctrine is drawn and is the reason why two lawsuits have developed in the last four years. City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout admitted during the last ad hoc West Waterfront Planning meeting that he expects the council would want to participate in the case if the OHWM ruling was appealed.


The lawsuit is just part of the west waterfront-related discussion slated to take place during the Tuesday night meeting at Sturgeon Bay City Hall. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will consider approving a development agreement with the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront, authorizing a grant application on behalf of the Door County Maritime Museum, and supporting the development of a National Estuarine Research Reserve in the area.

Tower faces obstacles after report

The similarities between Potawatomi State Park’s observation tower and the former Eagle Tower at Peninsula State Park are not good news for the people trying to save the structure. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Forest Products Laboratory released its final assessment on Friday, detailing the decay found in the tower’s structural and non-structural members. It is recommended they are not used for anything load-bearing. Missy Vanlanduyt from the Wisconsin State Parks says there are a lot of similarities between Potawatomi’s tower and the now deconstructed Eagle Tower.

Friday’s report was not a death sentence for the tower according to Vanlanduyt, who says the report will be paired with one from the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society and given to a structural engineer to determine if repairs can be made.




STURGEON BAY, Wis. - Forest Products Laboratory, part of the U.S. Forest Services, Department of Agriculture, has released its report outlining the nondestructive wood testing done on the observation tower at Potawatomi State Park.


Routine inspections of the Potawatomi tower were conducted in the spring and early winter of 2017. During these inspections park staff found visual decay and movement of the structural wood tower members. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources engineering staff were brought in and conducted additional inspections and recommended further review.

The DNR then again requested assistance from the USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, which had gained valuable experience from their inspection of Eagle Tower at Peninsula, which was removed in 2016 after studies found severe wood decay in that tower as well. A new Americans with Disabilities Act compliant tower is set to be rebuilt at Peninsula in 2019.


Forest Product Laboratory staff conducted an inspection on the Potawatomi tower in February 2018 using non-destructive wood-testing methods to examine the wood members and the structural integrity of the tower. Their inspection found significant decay in the structural and non-structural wood members of the tower, and they recommended that the tower be closed to the public and dismantled because the wood elements should not be used any longer in a structural capacity.


According to the recently released report, many of the wood members were found to be deteriorated and it is recommended they not be reused in any load-bearing application.

In January 2019, the department issued a land use agreement to the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society to conduct similar nondestructive testing on the tower. That testing was completed in January and the report is expected to be released by the historical society in the coming weeks.

The department will use both the Forest Products Lab report as well as the report contracted by the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society to request an engineering review of the tower. The engineering firm will be charged with reviewing the reports to determine if and how the tower may possibly be repaired.


Any repairs or a full reconstruction of the tower must comply with the ADA as well as all other applicable state and federal building codes.


The department will continue to work with valued partners such as the Friends of Potawatomi State Park, the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society, the National Park Services, Ice Age Trail Alliance, park visitors and the public to move forward in this process.


"We are eagerly looking for a way to move forward in an effective way to either repair the existing tower or provide new viewing opportunities at the property, both that meet ADA standards, are financially feasible and meet the needs of our visitors," said Ben Bergey, Wisconsin State Park System director. The USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory Nondestructive Assessment of Wood Members in a Viewing Tower in Potawatomi State Park report [PDF] can be found here by clicking. 

Next Master Gardeners lecture will feature the Parks Superintendent

The next Master Gardeners lecture features the Door County Parks and Facilities Superintendent at Crossroads on Tuesday. Ben Nelson has been in the position since last year and he will talk about several issues gardeners will be interested to hear. Prairie restoration, pollinator-friendly gardens and the development of a volunteer group to help develop the parks are some of the points Nelson will sharing about on Tuesday night. Nelson would like to hear a lot of feedback from people in attendance.



The Door County Parks and Facilities Department oversees and operates 19 county parks that cover about 948 acres. The lecture will begin at 7 PM at the Collins Learning Center at Crossroads. It is a part of the Door County Master Gardeners Association Gardening Education Series and is free to enter.

Diet can keep kids out of dental chair

A Door County dentist says a healthy diet is the best way for children to avoid cavities. Brushing twice a day is very important but so is avoiding harmful acids found in juice or candy, especially for kids. Door County Medical Center dentist Patti Sigl says those acids can break down teeth and eventually cause cavities over time. Sigl added that too much juice and candy can cause damage in between brushings.



The Door County Medical Center’s dental clinic provides dental care to Medicare or low-income people with no dental insurance. It is located at 228 S. 18th Ave. in Sturgeon Bay.

A cold, dark winter can bring on "cabin fever"

The so-called Polar Vortex has come and gone and there is very little snow in the forecast for Door County in the near future but the cold, dark weather can bring seasonal depression and “cabin fever.” Staying inside and not getting much sunshine can negatively affect your well-being or mental health. Jake Erickson, the Director of the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Door County, says it’s very important to keep yourself stimulated in any way. 



You can find a list of tips for avoiding the “winter-blahs” in the ADRC February newsletter.

Ice fishing is becoming a high school sport

Door County high schools may start adding ice fishing as a competitive sport like other places in Wisconsin already have. The Wisconsin Interscholastic Fishing Association, or WIFA, was established in 2015 to educate students on conserving and managing natural resources through fishing competitions. Captain JJ Malvitz, a professional fishing guide with JJ’s Guide Service, says he believes competitive ice fishing would be a great thing for students. 



Most ice fishing teams come out of the northwest or southeast portions of Wisconsin. The 2019 WIFA State Tournament was held on Friday and Saturday in La Crosse where teams fished in the Mississippi River. Ninety-two teams registered for the tournament and Pulaski High School took home the state championship.

Habitat for Humanity taking volunteers for its secondhand store

The Door County Habitat for Humanity has great opportunities to volunteer at their secondhand store. It’s called ReStore and people can donate furniture, appliances and other major household items. All the proceeds from the store go right back into the community through Door County Habitat for Humanity. ReStore needs volunteers to help organize and clean the store as well as making displays. Megan Dietz is the manager and director of ReStore and she says anyone can stop by and start helping almost immediately.



ReStore accepts volunteers of all ages but does ask a parent to assist if a child wants to help out. Dietz added that volunteers can work whenever their schedules allow them to do so.

Learn about Door County cardinals at Crossroads

Learn about the beautiful cardinals of Door County at Crossroads on Saturday. Crossroads at Big Creek is hosting an illustrated lecture called “Northern Cardinals” at 2 PM on Saturday at the Collins Learning Center. Coggin Heeringa, Director of Crossroads at Big Creek, says there is a lot that most people don’t know about cardinals. Cardinals are very territorial and Heeringa explains what the cardinal whistle means when you hear it in the spring.



Saturday will be bird-themed at Crossroads because at 10 AM is a family program called “Fit the Bill” which looks at the shape of a bird’s bill and how that affects its diet.

Lincoln Town Hall construction delayed

The Kewaunee County Town of Lincoln’s plan to build their new town hall is moving along slower than expected. Lincoln Town Chairman Cory Cochart says they are aiming for the town hall to be completed by the end of the summer. The original plan was for the town hall to be finished in the spring of 2019. Construction has not started on the town hall as Lincoln is still looking for bids from local contractors. Cochart says he doesn’t want the construction to drag into the winter.



Cochart says the town does have the location picked out about a half mile south of the current town hall on Maple Road just south of County S on the east side of the road.

"Pride Pumps" funding Algoma Biker Build

A special project at Algoma High School will get the help it needs thanks to the Jandu Petroleum “Pride Pumps.” The Algoma Wolf Tech is participating in a Biker Build Off with three other high schools where each school will attempt to build a motorcycle from scratch. A motorcycle was donated to the Wolf Tech and they have stripped it down to the frame. The finished motorcycle will be presented at N.E.W. Motorama car and bike show at the Resch Center from March 29th through the 31st. Matthew Abel is the Tech Ed. Instructor at Algoma High School and he says the Wolf Tech is about halfway through the project at this point. 



The Algoma Wolf Tech is a student-driven business at Algoma High School where the students make projects and sell them to the community. The three other schools participating with Algoma in the Biker Build Off are NEW Lutheran, Freedom and Oak Creek. In January, the Jandu “Pride Pumps” donated $129.39 to go towards the Biker Build-Off project.

Many are taking vitamins and supplements unnecessarily

Many people taking vitamins and supplements in Door County may not be getting any effect from them. Doctor Ronald Kodras, Internal Medicine Physician at Door County Medical Center, says an average healthy person probably doesn't need to take any vitamins or supplements. Many people get all the vitamins they need from their diet and taking additional doses doesn't give any additional benefit as the body is unable to process it. Kodras says taking additional vitamins will probably not negatively affect you, however supplements may be a different story.



Kodras says its healthiest to gain all or most of your vitamin and supplements needs through your diet. He added to ask your physician if you should be taking any vitamins or supplements before starting anything new.

Polar Vortex did not affect deer overpopulation

Deer are still overpopulated in Door County despite all the recent extreme weather. A few days of the polar vortex does not have an impact on a deer's health. Josh Martinez, wildlife biologist of Door County with the Wisconsin DNR, says that deer in the area have evolved over thousands of years to handle the sometimes extremely harsh climate. So deer are still overpopulated in some areas of Door County and Martinez says that is causing problems with the ecosystem.



Martinez added that an extended period of cold into April and May is what can affect the deer population.

Housing study receives positive reaction

The Door County Economic Development Corporation has received an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the housing study they performed. Jim Schuessler, the Executive Director for the DCEDC, says he has heard from at least 11 developers that have expressed interest in building new housing in Door County. The DCEDC is working with many Door County municipalities in trying to grow housing in their communities. Schuessler says housing of all kinds needs to become available for all different types of people in Door County.


Schuessler added that at some point, the DCEDC would get out of the way and let each municipality deal directly with the developer. He believes the resources are available to make the Door County housing crisis better for everybody.  

Door County has avoided major EMT shortage

A statewide shortage of rural emergency health workers has so far spared Door County.  Aaron LeClair, Director of Door County Emergency Services, says the county prepared in the 1970s and 1980s and made EMT’s, EMS’s, and paramedics county employees. LeClair added that it has been tough to keep enough part-time staff.


The Wisconsin Department of Public Health says there are about 17,000 EMT’s working in Wisconsin and 37% of those are volunteers. About 40% of EMT’s in Wisconsin are working more than 24-hour shifts. 

Fugitive arrested by Sturgeon Bay Police

A dangerous fugitive was arrested by Sturgeon Bay police officers on Friday. The fugitive was wanted out of Missouri by local, state, and federal authorities and was considered to be possibly armed and dangerous with violent tendencies. The suspect was found at a business on the east side of Sturgeon Bay on Friday. When the officers tried to make contact with the suspect, he tried to run. The officers had to use a Taser to subdue the suspect, as he also had a knife that he attempted to use. The fugitive was also found with drugs and drug paraphernalia. No officers were hurt and the suspect got minor injuries and was medically cleared at the hospital. He was then taken to the Door County Jail. Sturgeon Bay Police Administration could not be reached at this time to comment further. We will update this story as more information becomes available.

Gibraltar addressing sub shortage

Districts like Gibraltar Area Schools in Fish Creek are doing what they can to help make sure it has a steady stable of substitute teachers.  The substitute teacher shortage knows no boundaries in the state, but it is especially more difficult to find qualified people in rural areas. Gibraltar Elementary School principal Brian Annen says becoming a substitute has plenty of benefits beyond their daily rate and, at some places, a free lunch.

People interested in learning more about what it takes to become a substitute teacher can attend a special informational meeting on February 26th at Gibraltar Secondary School beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Peninsula State Park seeing increase in skiers

The heavy snowfall the past two weeks has made the Peninsula State Park a popular destination.  Steve Strucely of the Friends of Peninsula State Park says a recent candlelight ski event drew over 600 people. That number of cross-country skiers was the highest of any outing in the last several years, according to Strucely.  He says the trails remain ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.  



Strucely adds other activities at Peninsula State Park include feeding the chickadees at the nature center.  He says the park is currently working on updating the nature center’s diorama map of the area.  Peninsula State Park is located in Fish Creek and is open to the public year round with a park sticker.  

Literacy mentors become family

Luxemburg’s Bob Garfinkel has been unofficially adopted by several families thanks in part to his work Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County. The organization helps people learn the English literacy skills needed to help them earn their General Education Diploma, pass their citizenship test, and get a job. Garfinkel says the bond he has been able to generate with his dozen students is a big reason why he and others continue to mentor students since Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County started over a decade ago.

Literacy Partners of Kewaunee County is always looking for more tutors and will host an orientation at Algoma United Methodist Church on March 5th beginning at 9 a.m. Garfinkel says he is always willing to share his experiences with those on the fence on becoming a tutor.

Vents and roofs vulnerable after snowstorms

Local safety officials are warning homeowners to check all vents around their house. The blockage of air vents on your home can lead to deadly consequences. Algoma Fire Chief Tom Ackerman explains what can happen if vents are not properly cleared of the recent heavy snows.  



Removing heavy snow from your rooftop can reduce the chance of the roof collapsing, according to Ackerman.  He says city residents can help out around the neighborhoods by digging the snow away from any fire hydrants that may be by their home and street.  

Area orchards dealing with potential crop damage

Although the harvest of cherries and apples are months away, local orchard owners are concerned about their investment throughout Door and Kewaunee counties.  Steve Wood of Wood Orchard in Egg Harbor and Sturgeon Bay says workers are pruning some of the more mature trees in the orchard right now.




 Wood says there is concern that the severe cold weather earlier this month might have caused damage to sweet and tart cherries.  He says it may be too early to tell, but some apple trees could have been affected as well especially varieties that are crossed with the more sensitive Gala apples.  


Ice fishing showcases Door County for future visits

Out-of-the-area Ice anglers are inclined to visit Door County in the tourism months after experiencing ice fishing on Green Bay, according to one professional fishing guide.  JJ Malvitz says the chances that anglers revisit the area after the ice fishing season are good.  He says it can really add to the local economy. 




Malvitz says ice anglers need to take precautions when heading out on the ice regardless if ice conditions are ideal like this weekend.  Taking a GPS, dressing appropriately and fishing with a group of other ice anglers are a few of the tips Malvitz suggests before venturing out on any body of water.  

Candidate forums in Sturgeon Bay coming up

Sturgeon Bay residents will have the opportunity to learn more about the candidates seeking public office in Sturgeon Bay in two upcoming forums.  The Door County League of Women Voters is sponsoring a candidate forum for both the mayoral position and those running for city council.  The eight candidates seeking a city council seat will have their chance to state their cases on Thursday, February 28 at 6:30 pm in the council chambers at City Hall.  The mayoral forum between Shawn Fairchild and David Ward is scheduled for Tuesday, March 12.  Shirley Senarighi from the Door County League of Women Voters says the forums are an important venue for the public to engage the candidates.



You can find a list of the eight candidates running for Sturgeon Bay City Council below.  

     District 1 – Helen L. Bacon and Dawn Goodban
          District 3 – Sean Linnan and Dan Williams
          District 5 – Sarah K. Evenson and Gary Nault  
          District 7 – Laurel Hauser and Kirsten McFarlin-Reeths  

Spude to be honored for Veteran work

A local veteran will be honored Saturday at the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay men's basketball game at the Resch Center.  Jared Spude, who served in the U.S. Army, will be given the Lou LeCalsey Phoenix Hero award that is given to individuals who have made a significant impact in the life for veterans on campus or in the community.  Spude, a Southern Door and UW-Green Bay alum, says he is humbled by the honor.  He credits Nancy Hutchinson from the Door County Adopt-A-Soldier program with major involvement with veterans in this area.



 Spude was active in the military for three years after high school before attending UW-Green Bay and graduating with honors in 2015.  He lives in Brussels with his wife Amanda and their two children.  


(Photo submitted) 


Farm Tech Days committee distributes $89,000 in grants

Three days in July 2017 at Ebert Enterprises in Algoma will lead to over a quarter-million dollars being distributed locally, including $89,000 in grants announced by the Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days Grant Committee Friday.  Twenty-nine different projects will receive assistance from the grants, ranging from improvements at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds to programs at local schools. FTD Executive Committee Chair Amber Hewett says it will be great to see the impact their years of planning and three days in July will have on the community moving forward.

Other Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days-funded projects include recreational improvements at Winter Park, ten years’ worth of scholarships, and a swing in memory of Britney Ebert, the daughter of the event’s host.  




All receiving groups were required to submit an application and were vetted by the 2018 FTD Grant Committee. The following groups will be accepting donations:


4-H Teen Association Prom Dress Sale

Agriculture Advocacy and Gardening Practices

Agricultural Literacy

Algoma Community Kitchen

Algoma Schools - Growing Microgreens

Algoma Pocket Park Project

Denmark High School - Hydroponics

Denmark Middle School Ag Education

Emergency Air Lifting Equipment

Freedom Inclusive Swing Set at Peterson Park

Historical Machine Storage Building

Holy Rosary Child Care Garden Project

KCHCE - WI Bookworms

Kewaunee 4-H Beef Project Fairgrounds Upgrades

Kewaunee 4-H Dairy Committee Fairgrounds Upgrades

Kewaunee 4-H Goat Project Pens

Kewaunee 4-H Hog Project Fairgrounds Upgrades

Kewaunee 4-H Sheep Project Pens

Kewaunee Dairy Promotions - WI Farm Discovery

Kewaunee Fire Department Special Use Trailer

Kewaunee Police Department K9

Literacy Partners

Luxemburg-Casco FFA Animal Science Labs

Luxemburg-Casco FFA Alumni Animal Science Labs

Mishicot FFA Greenhouse Benches

Screening Cold Hardy Grapes

Students Helping Students

WI Made, WI Proud

Wolf Den Weekend Backpack Program


Many of the groups receiving awards will be using funds that will benefit others. Examples of how the funds will be used include improving emergency equipment and services, a number of school and youth education projects like 4-H, literacy, libraries, parks, sustainable agriculture and much more.



Current justice system a bipartisan problem

State Senator Andre Jacque believes there are a number of aspects of the current justice system that should be addressed to help prisoners readjust to civilian life after their time is served. The vice chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, he says he has already had several conversations with secretary of the state Department of Corrections Kevin Carr about finding the most appropriate setting for arrested individuals. He believes addressing issues like public defender pay, prosecutor shortages, and follow-up in treatment courts are also important.

Senator Jacque says he will introduce legislation asking for more resources for the court system in the near future. 

County administrator enjoying broadband discussion

Identifying the broadband needs in Kewaunee County is off to a good start according to Administrator Scott Feldt. The Broadband Study Committee was established by the Kewaunee County Board after a plan to earmark $1 million to improve the area’s Internet was nixed. Featuring a mix of county officials, IT professionals, and other citizens, the group is considering the options that best fit the area including a look at the coverage area and types of technology. Feldt says he likes how open-minded the committee appears to be addressing the county’s needs.

The Kewaunee County Broadband Study Committee will meet on the last Wednesday of every month at the administration center in Kewaunee beginning at 4:30 p.m.

Home project builds relationships with contractors

The Door County Economic Development Corporation’s High School Home Build project is staying the course despite weather playing its tricks. Snow and cold earlier this month forced the students from Sturgeon Bay and Southern Door high schools inside to do painting and drywall work. On nice days, they headed back outside to work on some of the smaller details. Sturgeon Bay teacher Seth Wilson says the support from the Door County Homebuilders Association has been instrumental in helping the students feel great about the work they are doing.

Wilson says the home located in Sturgeon Bay is still on track to host an open house in May.



Local environmentalist all for new Wisconsin alliance

A Door County environmental advocate is lauding Governor Tony Evers’ decision to have Wisconsin joining a group that is fighting climate change.   Wayne Kudick from Fish Creek says by networking with the other 20 states belonging to the U.S. Climate Alliance, Wisconsin will be better able to mitigate and adapt to climate change.  He says Door County and all of Wisconsin will benefit from Gov. Evers’ new cabinet appointments.  



Preston Cole is the newly appointed secretary of the Department of Natural Resources.  Kudick says he is optimistic that Wisconsin can return to being a leader in environmental issues with the direction of the new administration.  

Historic steam engines featured at presentation

The iconic "Big Jim" steam engine and the impact it had on farming and Kewaunee County will be revisited this weekend.   Jim Rabas will be speaking on "the "Age of the Steam Engine" this Saturday in Kewaunee.  The program is part of the Winter History Series sponsored by the Kewaunee County Historical Society.  Rabas says the presentation will share part of his family history from nearly 100  years ago. 



Rabas says the steam engines were a big part of the agricultural heritage in Kewaunee County as well as offering entertainment value back in the day.   He will be showing historic photos including the "Big Jim" steam engine at the State Fair in Milwaukee in 1964.  The presentation will be at one o'clock on Saturday afternoon at the Kewaunee County Historical Society on Ellis Street in Kewaunee. 

Gibraltar to host Solo and Ensemble Festival

Door County music lovers can tune into over 200 different musical entries this Saturday at Gibraltar Secondary School in Fish Creek.  Students from Gibraltar, TJ Walker, Sturgeon Bay, and Sevastopol’s bands and choirs will perform during the Solo and Ensemble Festival to be judged by other musical educators. Gibraltar instrumental music teacher says the festival gives soloists and members of small performance groups a unique experience.


Eckhardt adds the community can also stop by to listen to the county’s talented young musicians.


The Solo and Ensemble Festival runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is free to attend. 

Name released in County S fatality

The name of the Algoma man who died in a vehicle Sunday night in the town of Clay Banks has been released.  According to the Door County Sheriff’s Department, 28-year-old Kyle Agamite was found unresponsive and was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.  Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says the scene did not reflect a crash of the car.  



 The vehicle was found at the intersection of County S and Rosewood Road.  An autopsy was completed but the results are not expected back for quite a while, according to McCarty. 

County looks to approve grants for recreational improvements

Snowmobilers and boaters alike could benefit from a pair of resolutions slated to be discussed by the Kewaunee County Board next week. The county received a grant of $61,900 to improve a snowmobile bridge in the town of Carlton while it looks to split the $15,000 cost with the state to make improvements to the Heidmann Lake boat launch. Board Chairperson Robert Weidner says it is important for the county to continue to look for ways to maintain and improve its recreational opportunities.

The Kewaunee County Board will also discuss a resolution encouraging Door County to follow environmental regulations when they begin their drawdown of the Forestville Mill Pond in November. The Kewaunee County Board meets on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at the administrative center in Kewaunee.

Door County YMCA celebrates its community

The Door County YMCA has learned over the years that good news is best shared over breakfast. Over 180 people attended the annual community breakfast, which highlights the success of its programming over the last year. One aspect the Door County YMCA is especially proud of is being able to support the entire community regardless of income, with about 1200 of its 8500 members receiving some sort of financial assistance. Door County YMCA CEO Tom Beernsten says the annual breakfast is all about generating awareness.

The event also serves as a kick-off to the Door County YMCA’s annual campaign, which hopes to raise $500,000.

Spring primary voting expects to be light

Only three elections are scheduled for Tuesday’s spring primary date in Door and Kewaunee counties. No primaries are taking place in Kewaunee County while only voters in the town of Sevastopol, Gibraltar Area School District, and Southern Door School District have anybody on their ballots. Door County Clerk Jill Lau says only 3,250 ballots have been printed for a Tuesday primary that has historically posted low turnout rates.

Lau says if turnout exceeds expectations, the county will be able to print additional ballots at the expense of the town and school districts. You can see a list of the candidates running in the three local races online with this story.




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.


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.


Sevastopol Town Board

Linda Kiehnau Wait
Tony Haen
Kurt Krauel
Kimberly Denil
Darrick DeMeuse

Boy Scouts give trade experiences

Bay-Lakes Council is no stranger to offering its Scouts USA and Cub Scouts members a peek at local careers in the trades. According to Scouting magazine, over 70,000 merit badges have been earned nationally in areas related to skilled labor like robotics, engineering, and woodworking. In the past, Bay Lakes Council hosted opportunities to earn the welding merit badge at its Gardner Dam Scout Camp and partnered with the former Kewaunee Nuclear Plant to work on award requirements there. Voyageur District Senior Scout Executive Christopher O’Brien says those types of opportunities can open doors locally.

O’Brien says in addition to recruiting more merit badge counselors, the Boy Scouts of America has career exploration units scattered across its councils to introduce youth to future job paths. 

Peninsula Pride Farms focuses on education

Education was a major theme during the Peninsula Pride Farms annual meeting held at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds in Luxemburg Wednesday. Over 120 people attended the event, which started off with updates on some of the different current farmer-led initiatives such as cover cropping. Educating consumers became a major focus of the morning after Peninsula Pride Farms announced member fields would receive signage with QR codes to allow people driving past an opportunity to learn more about the farm, what’s growing there, and the conservation practices taking place. Keynote speaker Ewell Smith covered the education-initiatives seafood producers on the Gulf Coast went through after information spread about their products possibly not being safe following hurricanes and oil spills. Peninsula Pride Farms President Don Niles says it was encouraging to see so many people attending the meeting and noticing their efforts.

The annual meeting concluded with breakout sessions covering a number of different topics and allowing farmers and other stakeholders a chance to share their ideas. 





YMCA Free Community Breakfast this morning

The Door County YMCA is celebrating their Community Breakfast Thursday morning at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay.  The sold-out event will highlight the good deeds the YMCA performs throughout the area.  President and CEO Tom Beerntsen explains this year’s campaign theme which will be introduced at the breakfast.



The Door County YMCA Community Breakfast is expecting 175 people, according to Beerntsen.  The breakfast will be starting at 8 o’clock with registration at 7:30. The program will feature three speakers including Tyler Powell from the Northern Door YMCA , Scott Ryan of Algoma, and Kate Smith from the child center.  The Door County YMCA serves over 8,000 members with two locations in Sister Bay and Sturgeon Bay.    

Rep. Shankland sees Clean Water Initiatives helping area

Door and Kewaunee Counties will be getting an opportunity to expand access to clean drinking water, according to one state representative.  Rep. Kristina Shankland of Stevens Point, who was just chosen as the vice-chair of the Speaker’s Water Quality Task Force, is excited about Governor Tony Evers’ announced budget that includes $70 million in bonding to address water quality in Wisconsin.  Shankland says finding a solution has been long overdue. 


Shankland authored legislation to expand the Well Compensation Grant Program as well as Clean Water Initiatives.  She says with one in ten wells across Wisconsin being contaminated with undrinkable water, Governor Evers is taking immediate action to solve the problem the state is facing.  

Informal comments help get public input

STURGEON BAY, WI (Connor Harbit) -- According to one Sturgeon Bay councilperson, allowing for informal comments is one of the easiest ways to receive public input. Barbara Allmann, the alderperson for District 5, said she prefers to run her meetings as one would have a conversation at the kitchen table, with those in attendance able to speak up and be heard. Allmann said she enjoys hearing from those who take the time to come to the meetings. 



Allmann most recently acted in her role as the chair for the Protection and Services Committee. On Thursday, the three-person committee looked at a few topics including limiting vaping for minors and the lack of housing in the Sturgeon Bay area due to rentals and Airbnb.

Help of Door County addressing teen dating violence

In an effort to shine a light on teen dating violence, Help of Door County is taking a proactive approach by offering area youth an educational opportunity.  The effort is designed to curb teen dating abuse before it starts.   Executive Director Steve Vickman says during “Teen Dating Violence Awareness” month, the organization is doing something new this year. 



 About one-third of teens will experience some type of physical, sexual or emotional abuse by someone who they are in a relationship with, according to Vickman.  


Film screening looks into childhood trauma

The Door County Partnership for Children and Families will hold a screening and panel discussion of the film “Resilience” on Wednesday, February 20th.  The film deals with toxic stress created as a result of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), which in itself can cause problems such as heart disease, cancer, and depression. Candis Dart, the coordinator for the DC Partnership for Children and Families, said the film shows ways to avoid gathering the negative stress that can be accrued easily by ACEs.


A panel discussion will follow the film screening, with six members of the organization fielding questions and concerns from those in attendance. The event is free and open to the public and will start at 5:00 p.m.

Local florists ready for big day after snowstorm

One of the busiest days of the year in the floral industry is being complicated locally by the weather.  Valentine’s Day ranks historically as the second-biggest days behind Mother’s Day for businesses selling flowers.  Larry Maas of Maas Floral and Greenhouse in Sturgeon Bay says roses are still the most popular gift on Valentine’s Day but delivery this week may a bit trickier with the recent snowstorm. 



Maas estimates that Maas Floral will deliver over 1,000 roses for Valentine’s Day.  He says plans are to have all deliveries completed by late Thursday afternoon to keep up with the demand, weather permitting.

Sturgeon Bay math team shows up at Oconto

The Sturgeon Bay High School math team surpassed even itself on Monday, achieving three perfect scores on its way to a first-place finish at Oconto. Senior DJ Reichel and juniors Michael Laxo and Fletcher Hubbard all achieved a perfect 40 points on the day. Math teacher and coach Cliff Wind said the key for doing well as an upperclassman math team member is retaining all the information over the years.



Sturgeon Bay's varsity squad finished with 303 points, 76 points higher than second-place Green Bay NEW Lutheran. In the junior varsity competition, Sturgeon Bay's second and third team took first and second with scores of 272 and 183 points.



1.  DJ Reichel, SB and Anna Schultz, K, 40 (Perfect scores)
3.  Isaac Berkley, SB, 37
4.  Emily Tess, SB, 37
5.  Michael Grahn, SB, 35 

1.  Michael Laxo and Fletcher Hubbard, SB, 40 (perfect scores)
3.  Nick Herbst, SB, 38
4.  Simon Kopischke, Gib, 35
5.  Madelyn Jeanquart, SB, 33

1.  Henry Pudlo, SB, 38
2.  Abram Abeyta, SB, 35
3. Carter Henry, SB, 30
4.  Jack Hitzeman, Gib, 28
5. Serena Laluzerne, SD, 24

1.  Grace Holmgren, O, 26
2.  Elijah Ellis, NEW, 22
3.  Mark Herrell, Sev, 22
4.  Anabelle Clark, SD, 22
5.  Cole Pierucki, O, 19

Varsity Team results
1.  SB, 303 points
2.  NEW, 227 
3.  Oconto, 220
4.  Kewaunee, 183 
5.  Southern Door, 182
6. Sevastopol, 156
7.  Gibraltar, 129
8.  Algoma,  128

JV Results (9 total teams)
1.  SB #2,  272 points
2.  SB #3, 183
3.  NEW #2, 169

Overall Varsity standings after 3 meets:
1.  Sturgeon Bay, 60 League Points
Tie 2.  Oconto and NEW, 48
4.  Sevastopol, 38
5.  Southern Door, 36
6.  Kewaunee, 32 
7.  Gibraltar, 30
8.  Algoma, 20

Winter storm caused many school delays Wednesday

Leftover snowfall from Monday and Tuesday is still leaving its mark on the area as several delays have been announced. Stay tuned for more announcements here as they arrive.



Luxemburg-Casco schools (2-hour delay) There will be no A.M. Early Childhood and no A.M. 4K.

Algoma schools (2-hour delay). No early childhood or Little Stars.

Kewaunee schools (2-hour delay) There will be no Morning EC/4K.

Southern Door schools (2-hour delay) AM and PM 4K and Early Childhood are canceled.

Gibraltar schools (2-hour delay)

Safe tire tips for snow-covered roads

With area snow totals nearing record marks this winter and more on the way, auto experts are sharing important information to keep drivers safe on the roads.  Randy Sahs of Sahs Auto Collision in Sturgeon Bay says checking your tire tread is crucial in making sure your car is ready for slippery conditions. 



According to, new tires typically start with at least 10/32 inches of original tread depth.  When they fall below 5/32 inches of remaining tread, tires should be replaced when dealing with snow-covered roads.  Sahs recommends checking your tire’s air pressure as frequently as well, especially in colder temperatures.   


Search continues for missing man, identity released

The search for the missing Neenah man continues along the shoreline at Cave Point County Park.  According to a news release on Tuesday afternoon by the Door County Sheriff’s Department, heavy snow, rough waters and poor water clarity limited search efforts on Tuesday.  The missing man, 57-year-old Eric Richter, was reported missing late Sunday night after not returning home from taking photos earlier near a cliff at Cave Point.  The Door County Sheriff’s Office is asking people to avoid the shoreline at Cave Point County Park due to ice covered and slippery conditions.  

Protection and Services Committee also looking at rentals

The Sturgeon Bay Protection and Services Committee will be taking a look at a possible ongoing problem regarding a lack of housing due to rentals and Airbnb. The committee will be discussing the issue at its scheduled meeting on Thursday. Recently, studies have been conducted in Door County to assess the needs of its residents. Chair Barbara Allmann said it was another member of the committee who came forward with the idea to discuss the matter.


The meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall. Allmann said the committee will look at several ways to potentially reduce the issue, and said it will also look at what other similarly-sized areas have done in the past. 

Girls introduced to trades through merit badges

Engineering, woodworking, and car mechanics are just some of the badges local Girl Scouts can earn as a first step towards getting interested in the trades. Girl Scouts of the USA started to incorporate more science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities into its programming since it announced in 2017 its initiative to raise $70 million and bring 2.5 million of its youth into the STEM career pipeline by 2025. Locally, Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes CEO Karmen Lemke says their troops have benefited from businesses reaching out to support them in their efforts.

Lemke says over 8500 STEM-related badges were earned last year by the council’s 16,000 members in Wisconsin and upper Michigan. 

Southern Door schools lengthen school days

Thirteen minutes have added onto the 2018-19 school year at Southern Door High School. These extra minutes provide an extended amount of time during the Extended Learning Period (ELT), the last period in the school day. From ELT being a 28 minute period previous school years, this year with the additional minutes it has become a 43 minute period, along with all other classes. 

The idea of this extension was meant to “help students make up necessary labs or projects if needed along with missed tests, and other school work. It also allows for a good amount of time for intervention to take place for those students who need and have skill gaps, that they can recover those skills and have an adequate amount of time to do so.” Southern Door High school principal Steve Bousley also informed that this addition thirteen minutes will be in place until further notice. 



The financial impact for Southern Door turns out to be a cost saving method for the school. The state requires a certain amount of minutes to be fulfilled in a school year, and this school has far exceeded the necessary amount. These thirteen minutes not only help with savings, but also allows the buses to run at the same time, condenses the lunch periods to two which saves on manpower, without affecting electrictity. 

Southern Door intends to continue to find ways to save financially and boost student learning in an eco-friendly way. 

Snow cleanup update

The snow crews in Door County have been having a difficult time Tuesday keeping up with the amount of snowfall and the snow drifts. Drivers have been out since 5 AM Monday. They plan on staying out into Tuesday evening and then going back out very early Wednesday morning. Door County Highway Commissioner John Kolodziej says every highway and county road has been passed over at least once. Kolodziej encourages everybody to stay home and don’t drive unless you absolutely have to. For those who must drive, Kolodziej advises staying off town roads as drivers are focused more on the highways and county roads.



Kolodziej is hoping the plows will get to all major town roads at least once before going home Tuesday evening. The supply of salt is still in good shape and will last for several more snowfalls. 

Heavy snow causes challenges for farmers

Farmers like Luxemburg’s Tom Cornette already has a full list of chores to tend to every day, even without winter storms getting in the way. The National Weather Service is predicting close to a foot of snow will fall in Door and Kewaunee counties through Wednesday morning. Cornette predicts he and his family members will spend a total of five hours plowing snow at Cornette Dairy and other properties where they have animals so they can do their feedings safely and allow their hauler to pick up their milk easier. It is days like these Cornette is glad he invested in robotic technology like milkers and feed pushers for his barns so while he moves snow outside, he knows his cows are being taken care of inside.

Cornette says he still prefers snow over ice or rain as the additional cover will help protect the fields from extreme cold. 


Filmed from their open house held last summer. 


Police cadets take top honors at state conference

Members of the Sturgeon Bay Police Department Cadets program proved over the weekend they are among the state’s best when it comes to hostage negotiations. Led by Sturgeon Bay Police Department Officer Brandon Shew, the cadets competed against 33 teams at the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Explorer Advisor’s Association State Conference in a number of different scenarios. The group took top honors in hostage negotiations while scoring high in other scenarios like crime scene investigations. Shew says it gives the kids great experience in showing what they know in front of people in the field.

Formerly known as the Explorers, the Sturgeon Bay Police Department Cadet program is for anyone interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement and hosts training meetings throughout the year.


Pictured cadets: Triston Beauchamp, Siera Becker, and Rhian Murphy.



Zipperer remembered for his commitment to Door County

Former Door County Board Chair Leo Zipperer, who died last Monday in Florida, is being remembered for his impact on local politics.  Current Door County Board member Dan Austad, who served with Zipperer for many years, recalls two major projects that Zipperer was instrumental in getting done. 


Zipperer, 77, also served as the Sevastopol town chair for 20 years before stepping down in 2017.  According to his obituary, he served as a state patrol officer with the Wisconsin State Patrol for over 33 years, retiring in 1993.  Funeral services for Leo Zipperer will be held this Saturday.  You can find the complete obituary below.



 by Huehns Funeral Home

 “Welcome to beautiful Door County in wonderful Wisconsin!” Those were the words that greeted friends and family and were added to the many county and town board resolutions that Leo thrived on creating for the future and “betterment” of the place he called home: DOOR COUNTY, WI.

     Leo Walter Zipperer, 77, of the Town of Sevastopol, WI, and also of Palmetto, FL, passed away at his home in Florida on Monday, February 4, 2019 with his family at his side.

     “Zip” was born February 18, 1941 in Whitelaw, WI, the son of Walter Anton Zipperer and Mary (Reiderer) Zipperer. Leo graduated from Lincoln High School in Manitowoc, WI in 1959. He went on to join the Manitowoc Sheriff’s Department before entering the State Patrol Academy.

     Leo served as a state patrol officer with the Wisconsin State Patrol for over 33 years and retired in 1993.

     On August 19, 1975, he married Margi Overbeck Stafford. They shared over 43 years of happiness together.

     In his retirement, Leo continued serving his community as a member of the Door County Board of Supervisors for 28 years (first elected in 1974) with three terms as Chairman and oversaw such projects as the construction of the Justice Center and the remodeling of Government Center. As a resident of the Town of Sevastopol, he served on the Town Board as Chairman for over 20 years and oversaw the Town Park and Town Hall projects. Leo also served as President of Bayside Cemetery Association for many years and during that time, helped plan the construction of the columbariums and the remodeling of the chapel. The running “joke” at Bayside was, “The only way a person could ‘retire’ from the presidency was to live there full-time.”

     In all of these offices, Leo was described as someone who always informed himself about the issues, listened to others, and was a good friend. Zip operated with a kind heart, fully-engaged and was the consummate professional in all the endeavors that he undertook.

     He had a passion for lawn maintenance and home improvement and even raked in his "free time." He actually “invented” a rake to simplify the job. Leo was a hard worker, but also knew how to have a good time. His family remembers him for being calm and level-headed. And yes, always loaded with advice.

     Leo will be missed by his wife, Margi; children,  Kathy (Steve) Zipperer of Deforest, WI, Shannon (Yuzhen) Stafford of Indianola, IA and Steffanie (Chris Olson) Stafford of Sturgeon Bay, WI, and Gregory (Britt) of Door County, WI; grandchildren, Sophia Stafford, Quinn Stafford, and Tony Hu; sister, Margaret Mueller of Rice Lake, WI; siblings-in-law, Barbra Zipperer and Gretchen Zipperer, Bill (June) Overbeck, Chuck (Kathy) Overbeck, Little Bit LeClair, Jennifer (Steve) Baudhuin, and Karin Overbeck; stepmother-in-law, Betty Overbeck and many wonderful, “fantastical” and talented nieces and nephews; other amazing relatives; and friends. And the Slammer!

     He was preceded in death by his parents and stepfather, Edward Remiker; brothers, Donald, Gerald, and Allen Zipperer and stepbrother, Norbert Remiker; and brothers-in-law, Loyal Mueller, Philip Overbeck, and Michael Overbeck; also preceded by parents-in-law, Thea Jay “Tiz Peterson and Fred J. Peterson and Henry W. Overbeck.

     Leo’s final “meet and greet” will be as follows: 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Friday, February 15, 2019 at Huehns Funeral Home, 1414 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235 and also on Saturday, February 16, 2019 from 9:30 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. His funeral service will be held at the funeral home on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Mark Richards officiating.

     Leo will be laid to rest in Bayside Cemetery.

     If you wish to make a memorial, please consider Bayside Cemetery or the Sevastopol Town Hall and Park.

     “Our family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the staff of Tidewell Hospice for their care given to Leo and especially to his nephew, Aaron LeClair, daughter, Steffanie Stafford, and the family and staff at Huehns Funeral Home for their care this past week and helping to bring Leo home.”

Luxemburg-Casco new youth trap shooting triples in popularity

Luxemburg Casco youth trap shooting team growing in popularity
The Luxemburg-Casco schools have seen a new club activity triple in participation this year.  The trap shooting team is in the second season of competition after finishing second in their division last year.   Involvement has really taken off according to Instructor Dale Simonar.  He shares how the program got started.



Boys and girls who hold a hunter safety card are allowed to compete by taking 25 shots each at a clay pigeon.  The state competition will be held in Nekoosa this June.  Five students participated last year while finishing 16th out of 70 teams, according to Simonar. The Luxemburg-Casco trap shooting team will shoot every Monday in the spring at the Luxemburg Sportsman Club and submit scores weekly to a trap shooting association.     


Snowmobiling safety tips after deadly weekend

A Kewaunee County snowmobiling expert has tips for staying safe on your snowmobile this winter. This comes after five different people in Wisconsin died over the weekend, all in separate snowmobiling accidents. The incidents are believed to have been caused by excessive speed or alcohol. Dean Simonar, the VP of Sales at Simonar Sports in Luxemburg, says there is a culture of drinking and snowmobiling that needs to change in Wisconsin.



Anyone born after 1989 must have a snowmobile safety certificate to obtain a license to drive one. Simonar says even if you were born before that, you should take safety classes. He added that just being courteous on the trails can make snowmobiling safer, just like driving a car.

Fatal accident in Clay Banks (Update)

A 28-year-old Algoma man has died after a single car crash in Clay Banks on Sunday night. A deputy found the car in a ditch just before 10 o'clock Sunday night at the intersection of County Road S and Rosewood Road in Clay Banks. The driver was found unresponsive and taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Patrick McCarty, the Chief Deputy from the Door County Sheriff's Department, says the reason for the accident is unknown at this time.



An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death. Release of the man's name is pending the notification of his family. will provide updates to this story as more information comes in.

Winter storm forces cancellations

The next winter storm to hit Door and Kewaunee counties over the next 24 hours is already forcing cancellations. According to the National Weather Service, heavy snow is expected to hit the area Monday evening and last through the day on Tuesday. Snow accumulations as high as a foot in some parts could be possible. As a result, cancellations are already being reported. Stay tuned for more cancellations here as they arrive.



Door County YMCA

Southern Door School District

Algoma Schools public and private

Luxemburg-Casco schools public and private

Kewaunee schools public and private

Gibraltar Area Schools

Sevastopol schools public and private

St. Peter's Lutheran School Sturgeon Bay

St. John Bosco Sturgeon Bay

St. Mary's Algoma

Bells of Luxemburg 4-H meeting

Door County 4-H Horse and Pony Project meeting

Sturgeon Bay School District

Journeys Club of Kewaunee County

East Shore Industries

Casco Kidz Zone

National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help

Stella Maris Parish

Casco Senior Dining

Kewaunee County Meals on Wheels

Sunshine House

Door County Master Gardeners

Town of Liberty Grove parks and property meeting

Advanced Disposal Recycling Center

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College: All campuses

Northern Door Children's Center

Crossroads at Big Creek

Door County Library: Egg Harbor, Forestville, Sister Bay/Liberty Grove, Ephraim, Washington Island

Ephraim Book Club 

Sturgeon Bay Community Church

AMVETS Post 51 meeting

St. Joseph's Parish Sturgeon Bay

St. Peter and Paul Institute

Jim Olson Motors closing at 2 p.m.

Advance Disposal Recycling Center 

Ephraim Village Board meeting -- MOVED to Monday at 7 pm



Luxemburg-Casco wrestling: Team sectional at Brillion moved to Wednesday 

Kewaunee wrestling: Team sectional at Markesan moved to Wednesday

Sister Bay Book Club moved to 2/19

Farmers prepare for another shutdown

Last month’s government shutdown gave farmers experience in how to deal with their finances just in case another one occurs at the end of the week. The government shutdown closed the federal Farm Service Agency for 35 days, which controls different programs farmers need and signs off on livestock sales. Kewaunee County UW-Extension agriculture agent Aerica Bjurstrom says farmers need to have a secondary plan just in case they find themselves without a way to cash checks or sign up for loans.

UW Extension offices in northeast Wisconsin are hosting another workshop in March aimed at families feeling the economic and emotional stress of farming. You can find more details on that program online with this story.



Missing person at Cave Point County Park

A man from Neenah went missing Sunday night while taking pictures at Cave Point County Park in Sturgeon Bay. Patrick McCarty, the Chief Deputy for the Door County Sheriff's Department says the man's wife called the Door County Sheriff's Office just after 9 PM on Sunday. 



Deputies found his car in the parking lot at around 9:45 PM and searched the park on foot. They found some of the man's property including some camera equipment near a cliff along the shore. A Coast Guard helicopter and ship were sent to the area to search for the missing man. The Coast Guard suspended their search at 1:30 AM Monday. Search efforts are continuing Monday for the 57-year-old man. Foul play is not suspected. The man's name is not being released at this time. We will update this story when more information becomes available. 

Sales tax record shows tourism strength

Hitting the $4 million mark in sales tax collections last year is just one indicator of Door County’s growth as a tourist destination. Since the half-percent sales tax was first consistently collected in 1989, its annual collections have grown 230 percent. Jon Jarosh from the Door County Visitor Bureau points to 2009 as being a turning point.

Jarosh says the 2018 figures are up three percent over last year when they came up $40,000 short of the $4 million benchmark. Another tourism indicator, preliminary room tax collections, also saw an increase in 2018. According to the Door County Tourism Zone website, ten out of the 11 reported months in 2018 showed an increase in revenue over 2017’s numbers.

Borchardt presentation on hold

The highly anticipated release of data concerning water issues in Kewaunee County will have to wait. After being forced to cancel his January appearance due to the government shutdown, Kewaunee County officials decided to not reschedule Dr. Mark Borchardt’s presentation of his findings until they are able to ensure he would be able to attend without having to reschedule again. Borchardt and UW-Oshkosh professor Maureen Muldoon made national headlines in June 2017 when it showed the relationship between water recharge events and what it did to the area’s wells. Kewaunee County Land and Water Committee Chair Chuck Wagner is interested to see the results so the community can continue to work hard at addressing its issues.

Attendees will be formally introduced to Kewaunee County’s newest Department of Natural Resources warden Jimmy Moore. The meeting will be followed by a public hearing of the county’s Land and Water Resource Management Plan. 



Protection and Services Committee to look at vaping

The Sturgeon Bay Community Protection and Services Committee will meet on Thursday and start off a discussion on a possible ordinance prohibiting minors from vaping. Committee chair Barbara Allmann said the committee is not trying to do anything too different than what has already been discussed around the state, but said they would still look at possible options to help prevent the spread of vaping to minors. Allmann said the committee will take a wider look at vaping as it relates to the schools.

The meeting will be held at 4:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend, with another item on Thursday's agenda allowing for public comment on non-agenda items. 

Lincoln's untidy yards

The Kewaunee County Town of Lincoln is trying to enforce the Untidy Yards Ordinance as some residents are not complying with it. The Lincoln Town Board is trying to come up with another ordinance that would specify what the penalties are for not following the Untidy Yards Ordinance. Lincoln Town Chairman Cory Cochart says the town has been trying for months to get some people to comply and is working on what fines and penalties should be included in a new ordinance.



The new ordinance will again be discussed at the March Lincoln Town Board Meeting.

Update on the snowy roads

The Door County snow cleanup crew is back at it again on Sunday and Monday from another snowstorm. When the storm is finished, it’s expected to drop between three and six inches in Door County. Drivers have been out since about noon on Sunday and will stop sometime in the evening. Door County Highway Patrol Superintendent Thad Ash says they are mostly focused on clearing highways and major roads Sunday. They will go back out again at about one or two in the morning for a more wholesale cleanup. With all the snow and freezing rain recently, the highway department is still in good supply of salt and sand but if the storm cycle continues like it is for the rest of the winter, supplies may be in trouble. Ash says the freezing rain really took a toll on the salt.



Ash added the lack of snow in December helped the keep the supplies in good shape for now. The snow equipment has stayed in good working order for the most part. Drivers have been able to fix any problems with the snow vehicles that they’ve had.

Door County IT professionals looking for work

A Sturgeon Bay IT professional says there are not enough employment opportunities in Door County for other IT professionals. Nathan Drager, Founder and President of Quantum PC in Sturgeon Bay, says he's received many applications from people with IT backgrounds that are not currently working in the field. Drager added that Door County is not a good area for freelance work as much of the county doesn’t have high-speed internet available and IT freelancers end up living in Green Bay or Appleton. He wishes Door County would focus more on technology jobs than it does now.



Drager says technology classes at NWTC are more filled than ever before and he has a larger pool to choose from when looking for interns for Quantum PC.

More Wisconsin parents choose not to vaccinate

The choice of some Door County parents to not vaccinate their kids has not been a problem; at least not yet. Door County has not seen an outbreak of preventable diseases recently. But with the number of parents choosing not to vaccinate their children based on personal beliefs growing across the state of Wisconsin, the risk of an outbreak increases. Mary Ellen Smith, a nurse for the Door County Public Health Department, says if you are a parent and thinking about not vaccinating your child you should talk to your doctor and go to the CDC website before making your decision.



The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has recently stated the number of parents declining vaccines for their school-aged children is increasing. In 2018 there was a measles outbreak in La Crosse county in Wisconsin that was able to be contained.


Fruit and other crops affected by polar vortex

There may not be an immediate effect on Door County fruit crops, but the extreme cold temperatures can have a lasting impact. Annie Deutsch is the Agriculture Educator with the UW-Extension in Sturgeon Bay and she says she's still seeing an impact from the 2014 polar vortex on some plants and fruits. Deutsch compared plants to humans in the way that once humans get sick, the immune system is weakened and makes it easier to get sick again.



Even plants that are cold-hardy can be greatly affected. The polar vortex may be good news in terms of pests and insects as not as many of them will have survived the extreme cold.

Virtual dementia tour

Virtual reality can help people in Door County have a better understanding of what it feels like to have dementia. The Door County Medical Center is offering a virtual dementia tour which puts you in the shoes of someone with dementia. Kristi Wisniewski, the Geriatric Outreach Specialist at the DCMC and Memory Care Program, says this could be a very important experience for people, especially for caregivers of people with dementia. Doing the virtual dementia tour will help caregivers understand and have more empathy.



The virtual dementia tour was offered on Friday at the YMCA in Fish Creek and will be again on February 27th at the Sister Bay Rehab. 

Communication important when caring for the elderly

Door County residents can do well this Valentine's Day by reaching out and establishing communication with their older loved ones. As residents of Door County get older, they face several tough life events such as retirement, relocation, and illness. ADRC director Jake Erickson said constant communication with aging loved ones is extremely important in maintaining relationships and easing several large transitions. He said keeping constant communication is vital to helping older adults feel as if they can be relied upon.



Erickson said even so much as a phone call on occasion can be enough to maintain a social bond with an aging resident.

Moravian Church holds special relationship with Honduras Clinic

Despite being located just over 2000 miles away, the Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church has had a long-lasting relationship with the Ahuas Clinic in Honduras. The church, over the years, has sent multiple work crews done to the clinic and has raised money to assist in the everyday running of the facility. One church member, Rick Nelson, has also recently returned himself to Ahuas to become the clinic's administrator. Matthew Knapp, the senior pastor at the Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church, said the church is only giving more support as time goes on.



The church most recently performed a fundraiser and collected almost $80,000 to perform a project that went toward providing the clinic with clean water. Knapp said the national church's relationship with the clinic has dated back to at least the 1800s.

Less toothpaste is more for children

Door County parents might want to consider easing up on the toothpaste when brushing their child's teeth. According to a new survey from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), 38 percent of the nearly 1,700 children observed used too much toothpaste when brushing their teeth. Patti Sigl, a dentist at the Door County Medical Center dental clinic, recommended a very small amount of toothpaste until the child is able to spit it out on their own.



Too much ingested toothpaste can lead to a discoloration of a child's teeth, a condition known as dental fluorosis. Sigl recommends brushing your child's teeth immediately following the eruption of the first tooth, or by the age of 1 year old.

Open Door Pride needs minds and bodies

With multiple events coming up and advocacy as important as ever, the Open Door Pride organization is looking for more volunteers to assist in its cause. The group is always on the lookout for more vendors, artists, and entertainers to help out at the third annual Open Door Pride Festival. Cathy Grier, an activist and musician who is involved with Open Door Pride, said there'll be a lot to do in the week leading up to June 22nd.



Open Door Pride is an organization that seeks inclusion for all residents of Door County regardless of sexual orientation or gender identification. This year's festival will also mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion. More recently, Open Door Pride will be sponsoring an event this upcoming Wednesday at the Cherry Lanes Arcade and Bowling Alley, and will also be hosting a free screening of "Becoming More Visible," a documentary following the lives of several transgender individuals.

Southern Door holding child development screening

The Southern Door School District will be holding a Child Development Day next month. On Thursday, March 7th, the district will screen children ages 2 years 6 months to 4 years 6 months to help parents become aware of several different areas of development. During the play-based assessment, children will be screened for issues regarding to communication, grow motor and fine motor skills, cognition and social skills. Ann Deprey, a speech-language pathologist at Southern Door, said the service is designed to identify the potential needs of students before they start attending school.

Parents who plan on attending the screening with their child will need to ensure their child is on the Southern Door census. A mailing will be sent out in later this month to all parents with children in the tested age range with more information.

Celebrating the holiday with an escape room

Those who are looking for a little mystery in their Valentine's Day plans can find it at the Algoma Public Libary. The library will be holding a holiday-themed escape room next Thursday. The room, named "Where in the World is Valentino Cupid," challenges groups of 5-8 to find clues located throughout a room in the library in order to escape. Escape rooms have increased in popularity over the last couple of years, with permanent locations established throughout the state including Appleton and Green Bay. Although the Algoma library's escape room is not permanent by any means, Adult Services Librarian Katie Haasch said the temporary rooms are made possible by an online subscription.


Haasch said the room, in addition to the Valentine's Day theme, is influenced by Carmen Sandiego, a popular long-running video game series that seeks to teach children geography. The rooms run on the hour starting at 2, with times available at 3, 4 and 5 p.m.

Sevastopol preparing students for post-secondary education

Students at Sevastopol High School have plenty of opportunities to get a jump start on their post-secondary education plans. The school has ramped up not just AP testing, but also dual-credit course offerings as well. Through dual-credit or CAP (College Acceleration Program) instruction, students can earn college credit at institutions such as NWTC or UW-Oshkosh. Adam Baier, the middle school and high school principal at Sevastopol, said CAP and dual-credit courses are the most valuable types of classes as the credits are transferable and give kids more options after graduation.

In addition to the inceased focus on college credit, participation in AP programming is on the rise in Wisconsin. Nearly 23,000 graduates from the class of 2018 took over 71,000 exams last May according to the Department of Public Instruction. Sevastopol has been particularly active in the program. The school was given a Level 3 Pacesetter award in 2017 for having 10 percent of its students take at least one exam, with 60 percent of those scoring at least a 3 out of a possible 5 points.

Last Door County Talks event featuring children

It's still a few weeks away, but the final Door County Talks event will cover developing empathy and respect in children. The lecture held on Saturday, March 2nd at 10 a.m. will feature Dr. Jason Cowell, a faculty member at UW-Green Bay. He will focus on the neural, cultural, and behavioral development that helps shape feelings of empathy and morality in not only children, but adolescents and adults too. Shirley Senerighi, a member of the Door County Civility Project, said she is particularly excited about the campaign's concluding event as she feels empathy is one of the core concepts of the Civility Project.


As with the other four lectures in the series, the event is free to the public and will be held at the Door County Auditorium in Fish Creek. The Civility Project's next big campaign will take place in April, with a bystander workshop aimed at battling the "bystander effect" that occurs when a group of people ignores obvious issues in the hopes someone else will take care of it.

Northbrook Country Club being purchased by local group

 After nearly 50 years of being a publicly-held company, Northbrook Country Club in Luxemburg is in the process of being sold to a private group.  Jeff Mathu president of the board of directors at Northbrook, says the shareholders and board agreed to an offer earlier this month made by six local investors who have many ties to the popular golf course.  He says the change will be good for the future for the facility. 



The six local buyers, who all have ties to Kewaunee County, should take ownership by the end of March when the closing is final, according to Mathu.  Northbrook Country Club opened in July of 1970 and is located on County AB just north of Luxemburg.  

Huber-style program proposed for state prison inmates

A plan to reform Wisconsin prisons could borrow from a popular work-release program used at county jails.  The Huber program allows county inmates to be released to work sites during the day and return to jail at night.  Former Governor Tommy Thompson has proposed creating a trade school for inmates to learn skilled trades like welding, carpentry and electrical work.  Supporters like State Representative Evan Goyke of Milwaukee, say a Huber-style program could put those inmates to work in the community during the day.



Goyke says such a program would help employers who have jobs to fill and not enough applicants with the right skills.

Wulf and Chaudoir part of lawsuit challenging Sturgeon Bay waterfront settlement

Two proponents of the failed Lindgren Hotel on the Sturgeon Bay west-side waterfront are appealing a Department of Natural Resources ruling that would have settled the controversy.  Former Waterfront Redevelopment Authority member Cap Wulf and retired Door County Economic Development Corporation Director Bill Chaudoir are among twenty-two citizens who have appealed a recent DNR ruling that would have settled the dispute about what waterfront property is available for development and what must be reserved for public use.


Wulf has been an outspoken critic of Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront, a group that opposed development of a hotel on property they maintained was reserved for public use.  The Friends group prevailed in a lawsuit in which it was determined a significant portion of the land where the hotel was to be developed is filled lake-bed where commercial development cannot occur.


On February 1st, an appeal of the DNR ruling was filed.  You can see the names of all the parties to the appeal by clicking on the link with this story at


For more information go to the following link

Tolling discussed as road funding plan

Wisconsin could join more than 30 other states in instituting a toll system to help fund road projects. State Republicans say it might be the best way to address its transportation funding since gas taxes and other potential revenue streams may not be able to raise enough funds. State Senator Andre Jacque says in addition to concerns about how tolling would affect the area’s tourism, there are many initial obstacles they would have to overcome before they would see money come from it.

Jacque says one other possible solution could be to move some vehicle-related sales tax revenues from the general fund to the transportation budget.  Neighboring state Illinois has five toll roads totaling 294 miles and collected over $1.38 billion from 2.7 million daily transactions in 2017.

Deep freeze warms up ice fishing on Sturgeon Bay

The polar vortex that sent wind chills plummeting and closed schools has been a blessing for local fishing guides.  The colder temperatures have made for ideal ice fishing conditions and J.J. Malvitz of J.J.'s Guide Service says that's drawing dozens of customers at a time.


Malvitz takes his customers out on to Sturgeon Bay in heated ATV's where they fish from heated shanties.  And Malvitz says they're coming for a fishing trip that can't be found anywhere else.


Malvitz says the white fish stocks started drawing ice fishing enthusiasts to Sturgeon Bay about ten-years ago.  He says that interest just keeps growing.

Habitat preserves as well as builds

Forty-one built houses is what they are known for, but Door County Habitat for Humanity is also making their mark preserving homes. From repairing leaky roofs to installing ramps for physically disabled owners, Habitat’s home preservation projects help people stay in their houses who otherwise may not have been able to afford it. Home preservation project volunteer coordinator Gary Wemmert says over 89 percent of the owners served through the program are 55 years or older.


Twelve homeowners were able to stay in their houses thanks to Door County Habitat for Humanity’s efforts last year through the program. Wemmert encourages people who may be eligible for home preservation services or would like to volunteer to contact Door County Habitat for Humanity. 

Community involved in Southern Door schools calendar

Southern Door is kicking off the New Year with their 2019 to 2020 updated calendar. 

The calendar contains the starting of school on September 3rd with the 173 of the student days, and 190 teacher days along with various events, breaks and holidays. 


This school district is one of the few that involve their community in the outline of each year's calendar. The High School Principal, Steve Bousley, informs that the Southern Door district encourages feedback from their community because the school understands that they are also impacted by the events. All of the comments from parents, students, and other community members are utilized in the drafting of the calendar. 


Mr. Bousley also shared that since their referendum was passed in November, Southern Door has some construction needs that are going to start in June of 2020. This means that the majority of the construction's renovations will be done in June, July, and August of 2020, after the graduation of the Senior class. 


The Superintendent, High School Principal, Staff, students and parents at Southern Door have all contributed to this document. 

Health coaching empowers local residents in health care decisions

Bona Dea Holistic Wellness Solutions is a different concept that helps people take a more active and complete approach to health care.  Founder and Health Coach Megan Lundahl says her job is to help patients, or clients as she refers to them, bring the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of their lives together as a team to aid in healing.



Sometimes that might include convincing clients to take medications prescribed by physicians.  Lundahl says her role is to give clients all the information and insights possible to make their own choices.



You can find out more at Bona Dea Holistic Wellness Solutions in the Ross Financial Building on 1st Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.

No breaks for Door County 4-H

Door County 4-H members are already preparing for upcoming events like its communications contest in April and the fair in August.  While some members have been fine-tuning their speeches and demonstrations, others are picking out their animals to show with weigh-ins for some projects already occurring. Door County 4-H Educator Dawn Vandevoort says its clubs are also keeping busy. 


Vandevoort says youth interested in joining 4-H and showing at the fair as a member have until April 1st to sign up. She also encourages children not in 4-H to start picking out school projects they would like to show at this year’s Door County Fair. 

Check inspection report before winter driving

A vehicle inspection report is a valuable resource that you should review before driving in wintery weather conditions, according to a local auto technician.  Randy Sahs of Sahs Auto Collision says your tires and battery are two key parts of your vehicle that you should check before heading out on the roads. 



Sahs suggests checking your wiper blades to make sure they are in good working condition as well.  You can find more tips on winter driving with this story online.


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.


Bigger paychecks last year could mean smaller refunds

Tax reform legislation in 2018 put a little more money in your pockets and that could mean a little more out of your tax refunds.  Certified Public Accountant Paul Georgia of Sturgeon Bay says changes in tax laws led to delays in implementation.



Georgia also says those who travel on business, such as sales representatives and truck drivers, are no longer able to itemize certain expenses.  However, there is good news for married couples and those with children.



If you're preparing your taxes on your own and have questions, Georgia says don't hesitate to reach out to CPA's like himself because it's their job to ensure you pay as little tax as possible.

Door County jail sees Huber and technical training program successes

Inmates at the Door County Jail are continuing to make a living while serving their sentences or learning vocational skills to set a new course for their lives.  The Huber work-release program allows qualifying residents to continue their pre-sentence employment during the day and return to jail in the evening.  Door County Sheriff Tammy Sternard says the program also opens opportunities for jobless inmates.



Sheriff Sternard adds the jail has an ongoing relationship with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College to provide interested inmates training for in-demand work skills.

Sternard says both programs have helped inmate set goals for themselves after they've been released.

Bidding brings Cana Island Center closer to reality

An interpretive center and maintenance garage for Cana Island could be closer to reality.   The final day for bids on the project is February 14th. The Door County Facilities and Parks Committee will get an update on the bidding process at the February 13th meeting.  Facilities and Parks Director Wayne Spritka calls it a big step forward.


The Cana Island Interpretive Center and maintenance garage project will be funded through a public-private partnership with the Door County Maritime Museum.  Spritka says no tax dollars are being spent on the project. 

Local fire departments honor members

Fire departments in Sister Bay/Liberty Grove and Brussels-Union-Gardner are taking time to make sure their volunteers feel appreciated. During celebrations held last month, the BUG Fire Department awarded Mason Laurent with its Golden Axe Award for demonstrating outstanding dedication in 2018 while also honoring 25 years of service by firefighter Dan Kroll. The department also paid tribute to Tom “Doc” Rutz, who is retiring after 50 years of service. BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says it is a tremendous accomplishment.

Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department handed out its awards as well, giving recognition to Stacy Bell (Community Service Award), Max Maltby (Chief’s Choice), Billy Apple (Firefighter of the Year) and Judy Pluff (First Responder of the Year) in addition to their retirees. 

Kewaunee pondering options for Shopko store site

Shopko's decision to close the Hometown location in Kewaunee has city leaders looking to come up with options for the property.  Mayor Sandi Christman says Kewaunee is looking to form several task forces related to the closure.  They would focus on helping Shopko Hometown employees transition to new jobs and obtaining ownership of the property for reuse.


Mayor Christman says there is some interest in filling one of the gaps left by the pending Shopko Hometown store closing.


The Shopko Hometown store in Kewaunee is set to close in early May.  Mayor Christman says the goals of the task forces and the city's marketing analysis will be topics of discussion when the city council meets on Monday.

Snow days still give learning opportunities

Kids in Door and Kewaunee counties can still stay on track despite the recent stretch of bad weather in the area. Over the last two weeks, the peninsula’s eight school districts have been forced to cancel school five times and start classes later in the morning on a couple of occasions. While it may be tempting to take advantage of the extra time to sleep in and watch television all day, Karen Corekin- DeLaMer from Northern Door Children’s Center in Sister Bay says parents should still encourage their kids to stick to their usual routine.

School districts will have to make the decision in the coming weeks on how to make up the time lost due to wintry weather.

Washington Island celebrates winter

Washington Island gets an extra dose of seasonal enjoyment beginning this weekend. Celebrating Winter and Fish Derby is a weeklong celebration sponsored by the Washington Island Chamber of Commerce. In addition to a surprise event, food, and music, the Washington Island Lions Club sponsors a fishing competition and the Island Players put on a pair of performances. Bill Jorgenson from the Washington Island Lions Club says the derby has been going on for over 40 years.

Washington Island’s Celebrating Winter and Fish Derby event runs from February 9th through the 17th. You can learn more about how you can participate online by clicking here.

Impending icy conditions cancel school, events

For the fifth time in about two weeks, children in Door and Kewaunee counties will not have to worry about school due to weather. This time ice is the culprit after the National Weather Service declared a winter storm warning for the area Wednesday night. The warning expires early Friday morning. Below is a list of closures, delays, and cancellations.



Tonight's panel discussion and screening of the film Resilience at the Kress Pavilion has been canceled due to weather. The event will be rescheduled for a date yet to be determined. 


Sturgeon Bay Ad Hoc west Waterfront Planning committee meeting scheduled for tonight at 6:30 pm has been canceled



Luxemburg-Casco School District

Luxemburg-Casco private schools

Southern Door School District

Sevastopol School District

Sevastopol private schools

Sturgeon Bay School District

Algoma School District including AES Childcare

Algoma private schools

Kewaunee School District
Kewaunee Meals on Wheels

Gibraltar Area Schools

St. Peter Lutheran Church Sturgeon Bay

Algoma Meals on Wheels

East Shore Industries

HELP of Door County

Northern Door Children's Center

Casco Kidz Zone

St. John Bosco

Zion Lutheran School

Door County Maritime Museum: Rescheduling Maritime Speaker Series presentation for Thursday - Lighting The Door: The Lighthouses of Door County with filmmaker Jake Heffernan - for a later date. 

All NWTC locations closing at 1:30 PM  

Door County Partnership for Children and Families-Tonight's panel discussion and screening of the film Resilience at the Kress Pavilion has been canceled due to weather. The event will be rescheduled for a date yet to be determined. 

Door County Library-Sturgeon Bay closing at 5:00 PM






Sunshine House: No buses


Door County YMCA: All Program Classes will be CANCELED after 9:15am including Onsite Kid Care and Afterschool Child Care. Barker Child Development Center will be CLOSING at 12:00pm today. Sturgeon Bay & Northern Door Program Centers will remain open at this time.

Keeping families safe on the internet

Keeping families and children safe on the internet is a big priority for the parents of Door County and the State of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Justice's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Department of Public Instruction launched a program called “Interact!” that parents can work through with their children. The program will give parents the resources to talk to their kids about internet safety. Nathan Drager, the president of Quantum PC in Sturgeon Bay, says it’s important to start educating kids at a very early age to talk about the dangers of the internet.



Drager added the earlier kids can recognize scams and dealing with predators will make them easier to avoid.

Legal process slow in Lincoln

The Kewaunee County Town of Lincoln is in the process of suing Stonehouse Water Technologies and the process is taking longer than the town would have liked. At the beginning of December, the Lincoln Town Board decided to pursue legal action against SWT and not much has proceeded since then. Lincoln Town Chairman Cory Cochart says they are waiting to hear from their attorney to draft a letter to send to SWT. Cochart would like the process to really get going.



Lincoln feels they are owed $30,000 by SWT. The company was hired in 2017 to install new water systems in five Lincoln homes to help the groundwater contamination. Lincoln says SWT was deceptive in not following up their promises of monitoring the five houses.

Kewaunee Shopko Hometown store to close

Shopko will be closing additional stores including its Hometown location in Kewaunee, as part of its bankruptcy filing.  The store is expected to close around May 5th.  Word of the Kewaunee store's pending closure surprised Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Richard Baker.  He says that will be the topic of discussion at a previously planned meeting with community leaders.



 In all, 250 Shopko locations will now close nationwide.



Sevastopol School staff meet to discuss new building designs

Sevastopol School teachers and other staff are now helping with the design process for the district's new school buildings.   The CORE team will meet with architects and contractors to share their views of what they'd like to see in the new structures.  That's based on visits to facilities in other school districts. Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says staffers can be as detailed as they like when describing their dream facility.



The Sevastopol Schools CORE team will be meeting every two weeks between now and the groundbreaking in 2020.

Why businesses shouldn't wait for minimum wage increases

Wisconsin is not among the 22 states seeing an increase in the minimum wage in 2019.  While other states or communities are moving the minimum wage toward $15 an hour, Wisconsin's rate is currently $7.25.  That's despite having more job openings than candidates, especially in the skilled trades.  Jim Schuessler, Executive Director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation, says raising wages dramatically is more than some business can sustain.  He adds that phasing in wage increases is easier for companies to accommodate.  Schuessler says, however, it's also easier for companies to take the initiative to compete for prospective employees.



Some companies and retailers are already following that lead by advertising wages of $12-an-hour in their help wanted campaigns.

Democratic lawmaker applauds Tommy Thompson's prison reform proposal

Former Governor Tommy Thompson is proposing that a state prison be converted to a job training center for inmates.  And that's drawing praise from State Representative Evan Goyke, a Milwaukee Democrat.  Thompson's proposal calls for training non-violent inmates for in-demand skills, such as plumbing, welding, electrical work and carpentry.  Representative Goyke says focusing on those skills gives inmates a destination upon release.



Representative Goyke says the Thompson plan also removes the stigma past inmates have faced when trying to find work outside prison walls.


And as envisioned by former Governor Thompson and supporters like Representative Goyke, that will turn potential reoffenders into highly skilled, tax-paying citizens.

Council overrides Birmingham veto

Five members of the Sturgeon Bay city council kept hopes to move the Teweles and Brandeis granary back to its original location alive Tuesday.  Mayor Thad Birmingham vetoed a resolution adopted by the council January 22nd that would have moved the granary back and turned ownership over to the city.  Tuesday’s action, on a vote of 5 to 2, means the council can proceed with negotiations with The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society.  Alders Seth Wiederanders and David Ward voted against overriding the mayor’s veto.  The council later went into closed session to review a development agreement with the historical society.

Sturgeon Bay Historical Society president Christie Weber told council members that a construction team that includes two Harvard University architects has been established and will work pro-bono to save the granary.



Private donations of more than $1.25 million have been pledged to move the granary back to Sturgeon Bay’s west-side waterfront and assure its preservation.  

Harsh winter weather taking toll on streets

The frigid weather and constant thawing during the winter can lead to damaging cracks on roadways.  Asphalt can contract in very cold temperatures resulting in cracks.  Sturgeon Bay City Engineer Chad Shefchik says a severe winter can lower the life expectancy of pavement. 



Shefchik says the City of Sturgeon Bay just opened its first round of bids for road projects for next year including reconstruction projects with Sturgeon Bay Utilities.  With the favorable bids, Shefchik adds that he will push for approval on the proposed work on Georgia Street, Third Avenue, and Kendale Court at the upcoming Public Works committee meeting.

Domestic abuse can increase during cabin fever

Long stretches of cold weather can reportedly result in more cases of domestic violence.  Although the holidays can see an increase in domestic abuse, Algoma Police Chief Randy Remiker says similar trends can happen this time of year. 



Remiker says depression and alcohol can lead to many confrontations at home.  He says his goal is for more outreach by providing better information and education to help curb domestic abuse in the area.  According to, more than one in three women and more than one in four men in the United States report having experienced rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.    

Kewaunee County Sheriff uses tours to show jail needs

As Kewaunee County starts phase one of planning for a new county jail, residents are being offered tours to show why a new building is needed.  Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski is offering individuals and civic groups the chance to learn more about how the current jail is being used and the challenges faced by jail staff.




Anyone interested in touring the jail can contact Sheriff Joski directly through the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department on Juneau Street in Kewaunee. 

No merger or acquisition in one local banks' future

As several state banks plan to merge this year, the Bank of Luxemburg will remain locally owned.  Banks in Tomah, Cedarburg, Evansville and Burlington have announced plans to merge.  Some hope to improve new technologies and share costs, other bank leaders have no succession plans or want to get full value before another economic downturn.  Bank of Luxemburg President and CEO Tim Treml says merging has been considered before, however, the answer has always been the same.



Bank mergers have been a trend in Wisconsin and have resulted in fewer banks.  In 2008, there were 288 banks in the state.  That number now stands at 204 following numerous mergers and acquisitions. 

Public works crews acting to avoid thaw flooding

As temperatures drop from 40-degrees to the below freezing range,  local public works crews are preparing to avoid water pooling on streets during the next thaw.  Algoma Public Works Director Matt Murphy says DPW employees are working to keep storm sewer grates free of snow and ice.



In Egg Harbor, state highway department crews keep storm sewer openings clear on Highway 42, which passes through the downtown.  Village DPW Director Jeff Meyer says his department ensures storm drains at the intersection of Highway 42 and Harbor School Road stay clear to avoid big flooding risks.



Meyer says he's looking forward to the Highway 42 improvement project.  That could add larger drainage pipes to handle more water and reduce flood risks.

Distance current barrier for girls in Scouts BSA

Girls in Door and Kewaunee counties will have to cover some distance if they want to join Scouts BSA. The Boy Scouts of America began accepting girls into their program for 11 to 17-year-olds on February 1st with nine troops already established. However, the closest girl-only troop for interested scouts to join in the Door Peninsula is at Holy Family Church, located just off of Bay Settlement Road in Green Bay. Bay Lakes Council Scout Executive Jason Wolf says with a number of younger girls enrolled in Cub Scouts, he sees Scouts BSA growing in the future.

Bay Lakes Council serves over 27,000 youth across 35 different counties in two states. You can contact Bay Lakes Council for information on troops forming near you. 

Shutdown, borders top town hall topics

Constituents on both sides of the aisle let Wisconsin 8th District Rep. Mike Gallagher know their thoughts on the recent partial government shutdown during a pair of Door Peninsula town hall meetings Monday. Rep. Gallagher continued his town hall tour of the 8th District with events at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds in Luxemburg and the Knights of Columbus Hall in Sturgeon Bay. During the town halls he spoke of his support for border security, one of the sticking points partially to blame for last month’s 35-day shutdown. Rep. Gallagher believes one big theme he touched on during his town halls was that problems do not age well.

After spending the day in the Door Peninsula, Rep. Gallagher headed back to Washington D.C. for Tuesday’s State of the Union. He says he hopes President Donald Trump addresses border security and rising international tension during the address.

Commentary: A Community Worth Fighting For

I remember June 13, 2015 very clearly.  It was a typically beautiful Saturday in Door County.  The sun was shining, people were smiling, and seemingly all was right with the world.  I was standing in front of a party tent, looking out over the crowd, awaiting to be invited to the microphone to speak.  We had all gathered on Sturgeon Bay’s west side to cut a ribbon and celebrate the grand opening of our community’s new skatepark.  The Door County Community Foundation had played a modest role in helping to bring this project into reality and thus I was asked to offer a few comments on this exciting day.


I had written out some notes of the things I wanted to say that are customary for such an occasion.  The skatepark is a wonderful gift to our community.  Private philanthropic dollars were used to construct this new facility, thereby allowing the County’s residents to enjoy this terrific new park at virtually no cost to the City’s taxpayers.  There were people who needed to be thanked and congratulations that had to be offered to those who gave our community this amazing gift.  That’s what I had intended to say.


As I stepped up to the microphone, I surveyed the crowd and was heartened to see those who were in attendance.  Sturgeon Bay’s Mayor and several (then) City Council members were standing off to my left, all chatting with broad smiles on their faces.  To the right side of the crowd I noticed a number of our most vocal citizens that even their detractors would agree are passionate and effective advocates for the causes about which they care most.  They too were filled with glee and laughter.  Everyone was in a wonderful mood.


It was at that very moment I put my notes back in my pocket.  There was something else I felt compelled to say.


I told the crowd how impressive it was that people who disagree on so many things had set aside their differences to work together to build this skatepark.  From elected leaders, to community activists, to young people in our community, these good folks had realized that they actually do have something very important in common.  Rather than let their differences on countless other issues prevent them from collaborating on any project, they chose to focus on the one project on which they could all agree. 


Yet I noted that the important thing they have in common is not a desire to build a skatepark.  What truly binds them together is a love for this place we call home.  Each of them cares deeply about Door County and readily gives of themselves to make it better.  I said that I’d seen their love and commitment to our community firsthand as I worked with each of them on this project.  I know that they’d seen glimpses of it in each other as well. 


Then I asked why so many of us seem to have overlooked the best in each other when it comes to another project just three blocks down the road.


For some context, in 2015 around the time of the grand opening of the skatepark, the City was in the midst of a fight over the use of the west side waterfront area some three blocks from the skatepark.  The Mayor, the former City Council, and several other residents were in favor of building the proposed Sawyer Hotel on that waterfront property.  In opposition were numerous vocal citizens who were arguing against what they called the “big dumb hotel.”


As I stood at the microphone on that beautiful early summer day, I couldn’t help but point out the sad irony of it all.  Several of those same people who were standing and smiling together in the crowd at the new skatepark were also demonizing each other over a hotel project just three blocks down the road. 


I asked the crowd to take the lessons from this skatepark experience and apply it to their dispute over the west side waterfront.  There’s nothing wrong about passionate people who care deeply for Door County talking through their differing ideas as to what’s best for our community’s future.  In fact, we want a diversity of ideas for it is through a discussion of alternate futures that we will arrive at the most vibrant vision for all of Door County.  However, if we choose to demonize those who disagree with our position on the current issue, we cannot have a productive conversation when confronted with the next issue. 


Our most fundamental shared value is that we all love Door County and each of us wants it to thrive.  It’s that very value which inspires so many good people to get involved in public life as volunteers, activists, or elected officials.  Very often we find ourselves differing as to whether we should build this building, preserve this structure, or enact this policy.  Yet if we begin these difficult conversations rooted in the recognition that we’re all trying to do what’s right for our community, then we can continue to be an actual community.  But when we question the motives and impugn the integrity of those neighbors with whom we disagree, we rip the very fabric that binds us together.


Those comments I made four years ago seem even more poignant today.  Our community is now engaged in a great debate over the future of the Teweles and Brandeis Grain Elevator.  While the Door County Community Foundation is facilitating a significant contribution from a few donor families that want to preserve the granary, the Community Foundation itself has taken no formal position on the matter except one.  We ask that each of you begin the conversation by assuming that everyone involved loves this community as much as you do.  We at the Community Foundation have worked on numerous projects with most of the key players in the middle of this dispute.  We know from our own experience that virtually all of them are good people who are trying to do what they think is in the best interests of Door County.


At the Community Foundation, we recognize and honor the passion of those volunteers who have dedicated an enormous amount of time and money to save what they consider to be a historic treasure of Door County’s agrarian past.  We also acknowledge and appreciate those who question whether it is prudent to spend a significant amount of money, private or otherwise, to save what they consider to be a dilapidated old building.  Reasonable people can disagree on what is the best vision for our shared future.


Where it becomes unreasonable is when people start posting on Facebook calling for a bonfire.  It becomes unproductive when we use words like “buffoons” or “criminals” to describe honest people with whom we disagree.  It becomes a tumor when we accuse others of violating their oath of office or acting unethically simply because they take a stand on an issue that is different from ours.  It becomes a cancer when we assume those who oppose us must be doing so because they don’t love Door County as much as we do.


I don’t know how this dispute over the future of the granary is going to end, but I do know that eventually it will end.  We’re going to have to continue to live together on this little peninsula when this fight is a distant memory.  We had better take greater care in how we in this community talk with each other today, or we may find that our community of tomorrow may not be worth fighting for at all.




Bret Bicoy is President & CEO of the Door County Community Foundation.  Contact him at  

Utility workers have safety concerns beyond weather

With extreme and volatile weather conditions affecting area roadways recently, emergency personnel and outside utility workers are dealing more than with the elements.   Even when flashing lights are not visible, drivers are being advised to exercise more care when approaching vehicles parked along the roadway and streets.  Benji Potier, Sturgeon Bay Utilities general foreman, explains the biggest concern for his workers outside the weather challenges. 



Potier says emergency outages were priorities last week during the Polar Vortex to restore power quickly before pipes could freeze up.  He says SBU usually uses teams of two on calls during severe weather to address safety concerns.     

Milwaukee history writer on New Deal featured at Miller Art Museum

The history of one of the most ambitious federal programs ever implemented in the country will be part of an exhibition talk next week at the Miller Art Museum in Sturgeon Bay.  Erin TerBeek, a Milwaukee-based history writer, will present a free public presentation titled “Greendale, a Green Belt Town: Examples of New Deal Projects in Wisconsin”.  The talk will complement the Museum’s current exhibit “Jason Relando: New Deal Utopias”.  TerBeek shares what people will hopefully take away from the presentation. 



TerBeek will also share an interactive New Deal map that documents over 100 sites in Wisconsin from the University of Berkley where she interned.  The one-hour Exhibition talk at the Miller Art Museum will be at 10:30 next Thursday morning in the main gallery.  The exhibit will be on display through Monday, February 25.      

Gibraltar Schools consider e-learning days during winter storms

The Gibraltar School District is considering going high-tech to make up for snow days.  The district is experimenting with instruction at home via the internet and student laptops.  Superintendent Tina Van Meer says the concept could change the whole idea about "snow days".


E-learning could go into effect during Gibraltar's next school year.  Van Meer says in the case of winter storms e-learning could help the district avoid unpopular decisions of how to make up instructional time.



Right now Gibraltar Schools won't have to make up for last weeks winter storm. The district previously extended the school day and had banked up enough time to meet the nearly 440 hours of instruction for half-day kindergarten and nearly 1100 hours for full-day kindergarten through sixth grade and nearly 1140 hours for grades 7-12.  That, however, still depends on the weather for the remainder of winter.

Kewaunee County Food Pantry back open this week

The Kewaunee County Food Pantry expects a busier week after being closed last Monday and Wednesday due to the weather.  President Ken Marquardt says the pantry typically serves over 150 families every month.  He shares the current needs of the pantry. 



Marquardt says the pantry is already purchasing healthier foods like brown rice, whole grain spaghetti and dried beans with donated monies.  The Kewaunee County Food Pantry is open to the public on Mondays and Wednesdays for food pick up from 11 am and until 1 pm.   

Kewaunee County Snowmobile Trails closed

You'll have to put your snowmobile away if you were planning to take it out in Kewaunee County this week. The Kewaunee County Snowmobile Trails are closed until further notice due to the warmer weather and rain. Dave Myers, the Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Director, says they are waiting for the temperature to drop and the trails to freeze again. Myers is hoping the trails aren't too damaged.



Myers says you will be given a citation if you are caught snowmobiling while the trails are closed. 

Making up for snow days in summer not popular

School districts in Door and Kewaunee Counties are pondering the best ways to make up for last week's winter closures.  One item that is not so popular is shortening summer vacation.  Algoma School Superintendent Nick Chocart says, while the final decision has not been made, adding a few longer school days is preferable.


Washington Island Schools Principal Michelle Kanipes says her district is also looking at longer days and possibly a shorter spring break.  That's because the district wants to maintain an end-of-year tradition.


Under the school year calendar set by the state, three extra days are built in to accommodate snow days.  All area schools were closed due to heavy snow and extreme cold last week, leaving two days to be made up. 

Land and water plan gets hearing

Kewaunee County residents can weigh in on its 10-year land and water resource management plan next Tuesday.  The plan takes a look at the issues facing the county including groundwater, surface water, and the impact of manure spreading has in the area. The final report is the result of months of public participation, which included an online survey and other meetings. Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee Chair Chuck Wagner says the plan includes specifics when it comes to accountability.

The ten-year land and water resource management plan gets an update at five years. The public hearing is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. following the regular Land and Water Conservation committee meeting held at the department’s headquarters in Luxemburg.

Study shows Door County housing shortage stifles job growth

Job growth in any community is linked to the availability of housing.  The Door County Economic Development Corporation conducted an analysis of housing stocks.  DCEDC Executive Director Jim Schuessler says the findings show that Door County has a lot of catching up to do.



The housing analysis shows such housing shortages have cost Door County's economy over $25-million.  Sturgeon Bay City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout says the housing analysis gives the city a starting point to address those housing needs



Schuessler adds the analysis also gives potential developers 

information on where the needs are and how they may be able to fill them.



Among the largest housing need in Door County are for retirees and seasonal employees.

Research facility, granary among waterfront ideas

A maritime research facility and the Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator could be on the horizon for the west side waterfront in Sturgeon Bay. The two potential projects for the property will headline Thursday’s ad hoc West Waterfront Planning Committee meeting. While the granary has been long discussed for a portion of the site, the idea of a maritime research facility along the canal popped up just about a year ago. Committee co-chairperson Laurel Hauser says fellow members Jim Schuessler and Caitlin Oleson have been in contact with UW-Green Bay about their National Estuarine Research Reserve System program plans. She says there could be a number of benefits if a facility could be established based on past experiences she has had elsewhere with her family.

The ad hoc committee will also give an update on its most recent ordinary high water mark ruling and the findings from its outreach events in January when it meets in the council chambers Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Cancer fight shows strength in partnership

Almost since the day there was a DoorCancer, Door County Medical Center has been right there with them. Founding DoorCan committee member and hospital social worker Katie Graf gets called into the oncology department weekly with a family just given the news a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer. The discussion goes from treating cancer to immediate needs like groceries and heating bills. Graf says the number of cancer treatments is growing in Door County, but DoorCancer is growing with it.

Volunteers work in the oncology department willing to walk families through the DoorCan application process upon diagnosis.  

Algoma Wolf Den making a big difference

A new program in Algoma is already making a huge difference. The Algoma Wolf Den is a program in the Algoma School District and has only been around since January of last year. It is a mentorship program where high school students mentor elementary students. 


The high schoolers are called "Wolves" and the younger kids are "Pups." The Pups meet with their Wolves twice a week during the school day and meet after school as well. Wolves help Pups with homework and developing social skills and life skills. Another part of the Wolf Den is the Weekend Backpack Program where each student gets a personalized backpack. The backpacks are filled with a breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Algoma United Methodist Church supplies the food for the kids. Teal VanLanen is the Improvement Coordinator and Community Activator for the Algoma School District and she says they would like to expand the program and help even more students. 



The Wolf Den was a recipient of the Jandu Petroleum Pride Pumps for December. The Pride Pumps raised $171.08 for the mentorship program.

Schools delayed by two hours

Because of the icy road conditions, here is the list of school districts that are delayed by two hours Monday morning:


Southern Door

Sturgeon Bay





Icy road conditions

A light rain and the dropping temperatures overnight have caused the roads to be very icy Monday morning. Here is an update on the roads from Door County Highway Commissioner John Kolodziej:

"Most of the roadways are very icy and hazardous throughout Door County.

A light rain and falling temperatures continue to create very icy conditions.

Highway Crews were out late last night applying salt to all State Highways and some of the higher volume County Roads.

State Highways continue to have icy  spots, but are in fair condition at this time.

County and Town roads are very icy. Crews have been out since 4:15 am, and have been applying salt to all roadways.

Progress has been very slow, with many trucks having to put on tire chains to ensure good traction for applying chemicals.

Temperatures are forecast to increase throughout the day, so once the chemicals have been applied, they should work very good.

However, getting them applied to the roads is going very slow due to conditions."

The National Weather Service has also issued a Special Weather Statement which expires at 8 AM due to the dense fog. There is also a Winter Weather Advisory in effect until 10 AM. The NWS advises you to use caution while driving. Be prepared for untreated roads, allow plenty of extra time to get to where you are going, and keep plenty of distance between you and other vehicles. 


DCMC new PT building

The Door County Medical Center will have a new physical therapy building in April. Deb Whitelaw Gorski is the Director of Rehab Services at DCMC and she's very happy there will be a bigger space and updated equipment for physical therapy. The new building will be located at the Cherry Point Mall in Sturgeon Bay. Gorski says they will be able to treat a lot more people in the new facility.



Gorski expects the new facilities to open at the end of April.

Candlelight Ski is special annual event

A bright tradition continues at Newport State Park. For the 29th time, the park will be hosting the Candlelight Ski, Hike, and Snowshoe event on Saturday. Candles will be set up next to the trail

to light the way for participants. The trail will open at 5:30 PM and go until 8:30 PM. Newport State Park Manager Michelle Hefty says you can see Newport in a whole new light.



Hefty added that the event will only be canceled if there is severe weather. The forecast calls for no precipitation and a high of 16 degrees on Saturday.

Memory Cafe music and memory

Music can help people with dementia and memory loss at a special event with the Door County Medical Center Memory Café. On Monday the Memory Café is hosting the Griffin String Quartet at 2 PM at the United Methodist Church in Sturgeon Bay. Patients and caregivers can both learn about the connection between music and memory. Kristi Wisniewski is the Geriatric Outreach Specialist at the Door County Medical Center and Memory Care Program and she says music can be such an important thing for people with memory loss.



The Memory Café meets the first Monday of every month at the United Methodist Church in Sturgeon Bay and the fourth Wednesday of each month in Sister Bay at the Scandia Village Good Samaritan-Meadows Solarium.

Polar vortex affected the poor

The extreme cold of last week had more of an effect on the poor people of Door County than you might think. Those who work part-time jobs with no benefits may have not had their work open due to the conditions. School was canceled for most of the week, so if they were able to work, childcare needed to be found. Heating bills will be higher and people who live in older, drafty homes need to run the heat a little hotter. Joe Krebsbach, the Director of the Door County Department of Human Services, says they have caseworkers who have checked up on the most vulnerable people to see how they dealt with the conditions.



Krebsbach is urging people to help out and have more empathy for the less fortunate of Door County even after the polar vortex has now passed.

Door County urging Code Red signup

Door County is trying to help keep you and your family safe in case of emergency. The Emergency Management and Communications Department of Door County is urging people to sign up for its mass notification system called Code Red. The Code Red system allows emergency officials to alert people using phone calls, texts, emails, and social media messages. Door County Emergency Management and Communications director Dan Kane says about 12,000 people are signed up for Code Red. Ideally, everyone who lives in Door County all year round or has a second home here would be signed up for Code Red alerts.



You can enroll in Code Red by going to and scrolling down to the bottom of the page and clicking the Code Red icon on the left side of the screen. 

Evers wants medical marijuana in budget

A member of the Sturgeon Bay City Council is happy Governor Evers is likely to include medical marijuana in the budget. Governor Evers is a supporter of legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use. Barb Allmann of the Sturgeon Bay City Council, says she agrees with Evers that medical marijuana should be legalized. Allmann hopes the Wisconsin Legislature passes medical marijuana since it’s been shown to really help people.



Wisconsin is one of 17 states that has not legalized marijuana in some form.

Astronomical Society exploring history of moon landing

With the 50th anniversary of the moon landing happening in 2019, the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society is exploring the history of the events leading up to the achievement. At their monthly meeting on February 5th, the society will explore the events that made up NASA’s Project Mercury, the first project in the ultimate goal to reach and put a man on the moon. Future meetings will explore the following projects, with Gemini and Apollo to be discussed as well. Dave Lenius, a member of the organization, said he would love to see more of the community come out and learn about what led the United States to “win” the space race.



The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society’s headquarters on Utah Street. A video from English physicist Brian Cox will also be shown at the meeting. Cox has appeared on British television and is a professor of particle physics at the University of Manchester in England.

Algoma students went to Puerto Rico

Six Algoma students went to Puerto Rico two weeks ago as part of the Live Algoma program. These students are a part of a transformational school network that talks with other students from all over the world on how to improve and make changes in their community. Teal VanLanen is the Improvement Coordinator and Community Activator for the Algoma School District and she talks about what the students did in Puerto Rico.



VanLanen added that Algoma tries to have these types of experiences for students and would like to do similar trips like this in the future.

Hazardous travel conditions

The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement warning drivers of hazardous travel conditions until 9 AM Sunday morning. The freezing drizzle has caused the roads to become icy. There is also a dense fog which limits visibility to below one-quarter mile at times. There is also a Winter Weather Advisory in effect until noon on Sunday. The NWS encourages you to allow extra time to reach your destination and keep plenty of distance between your vehicle and other vehicles.

Minnow races help raise money for DC trip

The Fish Creek Winter Festival is known for several outlandish events, but almost all of them go toward a good cause. One such event is the minnow races, which help fund the Gibraltar School District’s 7th and 8th grade trip to Washington, DC. Visitors paid two dollars to receive a minnow to place on one of the five racing troughs. The winner of each race received either a stuffed animal or a bracelet. Students going on the trip helped out with the event while being overseen by Mike Scoville, the Gibraltar School District’s library media specialist and trip adviser. Scoville said the races help out with fundraising efforts through community outreach.



This year’s minnow races marked the fifth year the students have held the event at the Winter Festival. All earned profits are split among the students to help further pay the cost of the trip.

Cold weather brings desire to travel

Extremely cold temperatures over the past week have brought last minute bookings and cancellations to a local travel agent. Sue Wehrli, the owner of Wehrli Travel, said although she's had to make several cancellations due to difficult traveling conditions within Wisconsin, she has still had plenty of business from those who are sick of the cold. Wehrli said warmer destinations, especially those outside the United States,  have become the ideal for several clients who have come her way over the past week.



Wehrli Travel is based out of Naperville, Illinois, but Wehrli herself lives in Sturgeon Bay.

Business owner goes above and beyond for employees

Getting to work this week was difficult for some Door County residents, but for one local business, its employees had nothing to worry about. Parv Jandu, the owner of Jandu Petroleum, personally picked up his employees from their home to help them get to work, and also dropped them back off at home at the end of their shift. Kathy Johnson, an employee who works at the Jandu Petroleum location in Carlsville, lives on County P Highway about six minutes from her workplace and was taken home by Jandu at the end of her shift on Monday. She said actions like these make Jandu an excellent boss for whom to work.



Last week, areas of Door County reported up to 16 inches of snow, closing several area businesses and suspending school activities. After a week of subzero temperatures, warmer temperatures for next week are predicted.

Make-up days unneeded at Southern Door

Despite missing four days of school this week, the Southern Door School District is still safe from any potential changes to the school schedule. Due to changes in the way the state looks at instructional time, the school district still expects to surpass what is required without the addition of make-up days. Patti Vickman, the superintendent of the Southern Door School District, said it's more about the time spent in class than the number of days missed.



If the weather continues to be an issue this winter, Vickman said they might still have to add make-up days. According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, 1,050 hours of instruction are needed for grades 1-6 and 1,137 hours are needed for grades 7-12. This system was implemented by legislation in 2013.

Moser to speak on plastics in the Great Lakes

A water librarian will be at the Ephraim Public Library Thursday to discuss the dumping of plastics into the Great Lakes. Anne Moser, a senior librarian at the Wisconsin Water Library who has done extensive work with the Wisconsin Sea Grant, also will deliver the keynote speech to kick off this month's Door County Reads event. On February 7th, Moser will be giving a general overview on how plastics find their way into the lakes and how the presence of plastics affects the lake. Moser said her talk will have plenty of relevant topics to a Door County audience. She also said she will not focus on the negatives of plastic, but how the area can manage their plastics in a safer manner.

Door County Reads will run through the 15th of February, with numerous events either occuring or yet to come. 

Library uses community for event planning

The Door County Library continuously offers events to its patrons, and the biggest resource when finding those events to present to the public is often the patrons themselves. Morgan Mann, the Community Relations Library Assistant at the library, said the library has people from all walks of life come by and use the facilities. As people come and go, those who work at the library often hear and learn things about visitors, and those bits of information often form ideas that could be presented as programs later on. Mann said the community atmosphere of the library helps assist in getting to know visitors for this purpose.


Two February events Mann pointed out that came from “just knowing” things about their visitors include a model railroading talk given by Steve Hellmann on February 12th and a visitor discussing his trip to Antarctica on February 22nd. 

Maritime Museum celebrating 50th anniversary with exhibits

The Door County Maritime Museum will be celebrating its 50th year of service with a year-long celebration consisting of several exhibits and events. The first exhibit, “The Water Defines Us: DCMM@50,” follows the path of the museum from its roots in Northern Door County to the growth afterwards that brought two museum locations, a restored John Purves tugboat, and the Cana Island Lighthouse. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a video compilation of several interviews conducted with people involved with the museum over the years, including longtime volunteers and the original curator. Rhys Kuzdas, the curator and exhibits manager at the Maritime Museum, said his favorite part of the event would be the interviews as they gave an insight toward history.


The exhibit will open on Monday, February 4. Other anniversaries to be held in 2019 at the museum include the 100th anniversary of the tugboat John Purves and the 150th anniversary of the Cana Island Lighthouse.

Project 180 focusing on mental health at Sturgeon Bay

A Sturgeon Bay High School club is making the switch to mental health awareness. Project 180, once known as the AODA (Alcohol and Other Drugs Association), is making a move toward projects that help spread awareness toward mental health issues. The group now plans and carries out activities that assist in discovering aspects of life that can cause issues such as stress, depression and bullying, all of which can be linked to mental health problems. Sturgeon Bay High School Principal Bob Nickel said the group still has the angle on alcohol and other drugs, just with an increased focus on the issues that push teens and adults to start abusing them in the first place.


Project 180 recently received a check for $3,200 from Sturgeon Bay Chief of Police Arleigh Porter to cover the cost of an assembly featuring Rise Together, a group that has presented at the school in the past. However, new to the group's presentation this year is Crave 21, a challenge that asks students to give up their biggest craving. Ideas include soda, TV, video games, and social media, among other items.

New Grief Support for Men starting

Healing from the loss of a loved one can impact men differently than women, so a new support group is being offered in the area.  Lou Ann Brown, the parish nurse for Bay View Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay, started the grief support group “Surviving the Loss of a Spouse four years ago”.  She explains why a separate new support group was organized for men only. 




Brown explains how the grief support group for men will be facilitated. 



The Grief Support for Men will be held at the Tanum Forest Lutheran Church in Vignes the first Tuesday of the Month.  The meeting is free and will be from 10 am until 11 am.  Everyone is welcome and no registration is necessary, according to Brown.  You can RSVP if you wish by calling 920-743-2009  

Miller Art Museum featuring new pop-up gallery

Pop-up stores have become popular and the Miller Art Museum is using that concept to display local artwork to complement their regular exhibits.  Curator of Collections and Exhibits Elizabeth Shoshany Anderson describes the first pop-up gallery which opened this last Thursday.  



Anderson says two performances featuring original songs inspired by the artwork will be held at the Third Avenue Playhouse next Friday and Saturday.  The “Love on Holiday” exhibit will remain on display until February 14.  Future pop-up exhibitions are planned throughout 2019 at the Miller Art Museum, according to Anderson.  The museum is located within the Sturgeon Bay branch of the Door County Library.  

How area school districts compete for teachers Part 2

Anyone graduating with a degree in education can go just about anywhere they want.  There are more job openings for teachers than candidates to fill them.  In fact, a recent job fair at Northern Michigan University drew officials from Alaska school districts looking for teachers.  Such competition requires school districts to go beyond salaries and offer other incentives.  Southern Door School District Superintendent Patricia Vickman says her district sells the benefits of working in a smaller school system and opportunities not found anywhere else.



Washington Island School Principal Michelle Kanipes says her district promotes quality of life options that can be found in a unique location.



Kanipes says with so many job opportunities graduates are not making a commitment to one employer for life.  So school districts need to sell themselves as attractive places to teach.

Fruit Loop Run to close Winter Festival

Costumes and cereal will close out the 2019 Fish Creek Winter Festival. The 10th annual Fruit Loop Run will be held on Sunday, February 3rd at 10:30 a.m. The .49-mile run is open for everyone and attracts about 100 people every year. At the conclusion of the run, everyone is served a bowl of Fruit Loops and milk, living up to the event's name. Digger DeGroot, the office manager for the Civic Association at Fish Creek, said he's seen several amazing costumes over the years.


The run will begin and end at the heated tent at Clark Park. This year's Fish Creek Winter Festival is held over the weekend and will also include live music, games, a fiddle contest, and a fireworks display among other activities.

Egg Harbor man threatens family with gun

The Door County Sheriff’s Department responded to family members who were being threatened with a firearm by an 82-year-old man in Egg Harbor on Thursday afternoon.  According to Door County Chief Deputy Pat McCarty, the man pointed a gun and prevented them from leaving the house on Bluff Ledge Road.  McCarty says the situation was defused quickly when police arrived. 



The man was sent to the Door County Medical Center for a full evaluation.  McCarty says a SWAT team was initially deployed but was then canceled.   

Workshop scheduled for caregivers

Parents of children with special needs will be the focus of a six-week workshop in Luxemburg beginning on Thursday. Called “Powerful Tools for Caregivers,” the course is designed to help give parents the skills to reduce stress, improve family communication, and manage emotions. Kewaunee County UW-Extension Family Living Educator Renee Koenig says many caregivers forget to take care of themselves when they are doing the same for others.

The course runs through March 14th from 5:45 to 7:45 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Luxemburg.


Click here to learn more about the workshop

Polar vortex benefits Sturgeon Bay skating rink

Ice skaters are off to a late but solid start in Sturgeon Bay thanks to the polar vortex.  Despite the rinks' late opening, the extreme cold weather helped parks and recreation staff build up the ice surface.  The rink was closed when windchills became too dangerous. So, Municipal Services Assistant Colleen DeGrave expects more skaters to show up this weekend.



Sturgeon Bay's Ice Rink is located at Memorial Field on North 14th Avenue. The warming shack will be fully staffed and skates will be available for those who need them.

Kewaunee County aids those losing heat during cold snaps

The Kewaunee City Hall was open as a daytime warming center for those in need during the polar vortex.  While nobody took advantage of it, that raised questions about where to go when city hall closed for the day.  Kewaunee County Emergency Management has options for those left without power or heat during cold weather. Emergency Management Director Tracy Nollenberg says the agency can get individuals and families temporary accommodations during such extreme cold.





Nollenberg says there was no need for such help during this week's polar vortex, though they're ready if similar conditions develop through the remaining winter months.








Mayor vetoes granary acquisition

The Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator is not the city of Sturgeon Bay’s quite yet after Mayor Thad Birmingham issued a veto of the common council’s decision to accept the building and move it back to its original location. According to the agenda released by the city Friday morning, Birmingham cited six reasons to not accept the granary, including doubts the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society will have the funds necessary to complete and maintain the project and concerns about the impact it would have on the tax increment district. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council voted 4-2 on January 15th to accept the donation and would need a similar vote to override the veto. It marks the second time in three months Birmingham has vetoed a common council decision after disagreeing with the terms of a settlement with developer Bob Papke in December. Discussion of a development agreement between the city and the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society during open and closed session is also on the agenda for the Tuesday meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. inside the Council Chambers.  You can read the full veto online by clicking here. 


The rest of Tuesday's meeting agenda can be found here.

Challenges and opportunities with Sister Bay pharmacy closure

Sister Bay's only local pharmacy will be closing February 13th. Walgreens purchased the Sister bay Shopko Hometown's pharmacy files at auction.  Bay Hometown Pharmacy owner Jake Blazkovec says that will create challenges for Northern Door pharmacy customers and, possibly, some new opportunities for his business.



 Sister Bay pharmacy customers will get more details on their prescription transfers to Walgreens in Sturgeon Bay in a letter.  The Kewaunee Shop Hometown Pharmacy is not among the stores affected by the Walgreens purchase.

Traffic stops stressful for both sides

Pulling a car over is sometimes a necessity, but Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department deputies know the stress related to one goes both ways. A traffic stop can be about something you did wrong like speeding, but it could also be just to bring attention to an issue you may have not known about before it happened. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski understands pulling someone over might make a bad day worse for some people, but it is entering an unknown for his deputies.

Joski advises motorists to drive to a safe spot, stay in the car, have your information ready, and be honest with the responding deputy when you are pulled over. We have more information about proper traffic stop protocol posted online with this story. 



One of the most recognizable interactions law enforcement has with its community is typically through the everyday traffic stop. These opportunities for interaction occur for a variety of reasons, but all have the same goals in mind; the safety of you as an individual, the safety of the community and the safety of the officer conducting the stop.

     It is a common misconception that when you see the red and blues in your rear view mirror you are about to have a negative experience resulting in two things, a fine, and/or demerit points to your license. This is not always the case as there are many reasons why law enforcement may make contact with you at any given time. A possible reason could be related to an equipment defect such as a headlamp or taillight out, or one of many other vehicle equipment components which are required for safe operation on the road. Another reason for being pulled over could be to provide emergency notification of a possible hazard or danger in the immediate area. The point is that regardless of the reason, our primary purpose for making traffic stops is educational or informational. If you are doing greater than the posted speed limit, our goal is to educate. This may done through a verbal or written warning or it may be facilitated through a citation if the violation warrants it. Again our goal is not revenue generation, or monthly stats. As a local agency we gain very little revenue from any of the fines or fees that are assessed in traffic tickets. Also, the number of traffic stops or tickets are not a factor in the evaluation of an officer here at the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Depatrment.

      What is common in any traffic stop is the risk they pose to all of those in the immediate area. This is due to the fact that the law enforcement squad along with the vehicle are temporarily stopped alongside other traffic which continues to flow. We try to minimize this risk by conducting traffic stops in the safest way possible. This means that we choose the most opportune location which allows the officer to exit their vehicle and remain as safe as possible as well as to create as much space for the vehicle being stopped to prevent harm to them and their passengers. This is one of the reasons we always ask that the motorist stays in their vehicle. If by chance another motorist is not paying attention and strikes the vehicles which are stopped, the safest place for the driver of the stopped vehicle is in their vehicle. Another reason we ask that people stay in their vehicle is to minimize the risk to the officer. While most traffic stops occur without incident, the number of officers killed or injured while conducting a traffic stop is a serious concern. Regardless of what you may be stopped for, your response should always be the same. Have you license, registration and insurance information ready when the officer arrives at your window. Keep your movements to a minimum, and if possible keep your hands on the steering wheel as the offers approaches. Although this may seem intimidating, try to place yourself in the officer’s shoes of approaching a vehicle not knowing who is in the vehicle or if they wish to do the them harm.

         Although you may not agree with the outcome of the traffic stop, please respect the decision of the officer and know that their goal is keeping our communities safe. If you feel there are mitigating circumstances to the behavior which led to the citation, please feel free to take that up on the court date that is provided on the citation. While leniency may not always be possible, professionalism on the part of the officer is. I receive many calls from individuals who were not happy about getting a ticket, and my question to them is always not whether or not they felt they deserved the ticket, but rather was the Officer respectful during the contact. I am always proud and never surprised when the answer is that they were treated with respect.


         Just as like to tell students; Law Enforcement’s role is much like that of teachers. Our subject is traffic law, our classroom is the traffic stop and your homework is to drive safe. Let’s all try to be “Straight A” students of motor vehicle operation.

Civil Discourse: Tommy Thompson "Smart on Crime" Prison Reform

Most people in politics talk “tough on crime.” Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson is talking “smart on crime.”

Thompson, always an innovator while in public office, is now proposing intelligent, thought-provoking ideas to reform our criminal justice system, save taxpayer dollars and reduce recidivism.

The Wisconsin Department of Corrections now rivals the entire University of Wisconsin system for funding. And, according to Thompson, the prison system as it exists today is broken.

Thompson wants to see a Wisconsin prison turned into an education and training center, a vocational school. 

Wisconsin faces a critical shortage of plumbers, electricians, welders and carpenters. Tapping into the estimated 50% of the Wisconsin prison population that is non-violent for job-related training makes sense.

Most prisoners end up getting back on the street. Releasing them with a skill like plumbing, welding or carpentry means they have a chance at becoming productive, taxpaying members of society. That will certainly reduce the rate at which offenders are returned to prison.

Thompson believes in second chances for those who earn them. By committing to an apprenticeship program, completing drug and alcohol counseling, agreeing to pay back the state a portion of the cost of their vocational education and very careful screening, this could be as effective as Thompson’s nationally-recognized welfare reform during his tenure as governor.

Reform of our broken corrections system comes with the risk of being charged with being “soft on crime.” Thompson’s bold leadership should give cover to those in office who need to implement his reform agenda.

Tommy Thompson has been one of Wisconsin’s most effective governors. Legislators today would be wise to follow him again and put Wisconsin in the national limelight for prison reform, rehabilitation of offenders and reduction in recidivism.

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

Algoma responds well to weather emergency

After dealing with four days of sub-zero weather, the City of Algoma came out of the ordeal relatively unscathed.  City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says residents complied during the state of emergency by keeping the streets clear for snowplows to do their work.  He says street department personnel earned the rest of the week off of work by putting in some long days. 





Wiswell says the city was fortunate not experience any water main breaks.  He says reportedly one Algoma resident experienced a basement backup and another had frozen pipes this last week.  

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