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News Archives for 2019-03

Adopt a Soldier getting Memorial Day packages ready

Easter packages were just sent out last week and now Adopt A Soldier Door County is already preparing the Memorial Day boxes. Adopt a Soldier CEO Nancy Hutchinson doesn’t get any breaks with the organization. After the Memorial Day packages get sent out, the 4th of July and Labor Day packages have to be prepared. For Memorial Day, Adopt A Soldier is looking for fun items like bubbles and Play-Doh as well as the basics like cans of tuna and toothpaste. Hutchinson says there are products AAS doesn’t need.



Go to for information on how to donate products or money.

YMCA hosting Senior Health and Wellness Day

Seniors in Door County have a great opportunity to learn how to stay healthy and live longer. The Sturgeon Bay YMCA will be hosting their fourth annual Senior Health and Wellness Day on Tuesday. This free event is open to both members and non-members of the Y and will include a series of short lectures and “try-it” classes focused on areas of interest for Door County’s older population. The Door County Medical Center provides doctors and medical professionals to deliver the lectures and teach the classes. The event runs from 9 AM until 1:15 and lunch will be provided by EconoFoods. Sue Crass, the enrollment specialist at The Sturgeon Bay Y, says there will a wide range of topics covered and something for everyone.



DoorTran is also providing sponsored transportation options for those who would like to attend but need help getting there.

Door Can helps out in non-traditional ways

Door Can helps families deal with paying bills and has also provided support for special occasions. If someone in your family is dealing with cancer Door Can can help pay non-medical bills and also provide other help like gas cards and gift cards for groceries. In one special instance a family wasn’t going to be able to pay for a girl’s prom outfit so Door Can stepped in to help. Door Can board member Terry Kazmar explains.



Door Can’s biggest fundraiser of the year is May 17th at Stone Harbor Resort and Conference Center in Sturgeon Bay.

Flu season sticking around longer than normal

The flu season is lasting a lot longer this year than it usually does and the Door County Department of Public Health has suggestions for protecting yourself and others from it. February is when flu season usually peaks but state epidemiologists are saying it could last through the end of April. Door County Department of Public Health Manager Sue Powers says there are a few ways to protect yourself from the flu. The best way is to get the seasonal flu vaccine and it’s not too late to get it.



Powers suggests coughing or sneezing into a sleeve or tissue, washing your hands with soap and water, and staying home from work or school if you’re feeling sick. She added that while this flu season has lasted longer, there have still been fewer hospitalizations this year compared to last year. A boy in southern Wisconsin died last week from the flu.

Extensive restoration work at the Plum Island Lighthouse

Restoration work this summer on the Plum Island Lighthouse will include some intricate glass work and some toxic clean-up.  Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands are working with the federal government to find a contractor to remove lead-based paint outside of the main building.  Organization President Mary Beth Vollmer says the federal government is providing $100-thousand toward the extensive remediation efforts.



Volunteer workers will also be working with skilled craftsmen to get the windows on the historic buildings back in shape.   



An unintended restoration project will first be done on the pier, which sustained heavy damage over the winter. However, work will be easier than past summers because the island now has electricity from the newly installed electric power line to Washington Island.

Sturgeon Bay needs public transportation solution

With Door 2 Door’s fate being in jeopardy, a Sturgeon Bay council member says public transportation needs to be a major point of discussion. District 6’s Seth Wiederanders says there needs to be an option for low-income residents without transportation to be able to get around. The Door 2 Door program has been giving rides to those people since 2009 but a big chunk of money is needed to keep D2D beyond 2019. Wiederanders says a good public transportation system would help everyone.



Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says about $180,000 would be needed in 2020 to keep D2D going.

Door County Libraries encourage participation in DEAR

Door County Libraries are encouraging everyone to participate in “Drop Everything and Read” Day during National Library Week in April. The week of April 7th through 13th is National Library Week and Door County Libraries are celebrating with different events each day. Friday, April 12th is Drop Everything and Read Day (DEAR) and that’s one of Door County Director of Libraries Tina Kakuske’s favorite days at the library all year.



Go to for a full list of events during National Library Week at Door County Libraries.

Foreign ownership plays a role in local agriculture

Kewaunee County has just under 2,000 acres of farmland under Canadian ownership.  That's far below the nearly 460,000 acres of farmland held by foreign interests in Wisconsin.  So, foreign investment plays a role in local agriculture.  Aerica Bjurstrom with the U-W Extension Office in Kewaunee says such investment has little influence in day-to-day individual farm operations.  She says the bigger impact is in the equipment end. 



A USDA survey finds that the 460,000 acres of farmland owned by foreign interests represent just over one percent of the total acreage in Wisconsin.   And none of it is in Door County.

Hermans frank about his local ties

The great-grandson of a former Kewaunee County Sheriff continues to write and sing about the area he calls home. Frank Hermans of Let Me Be Frank Productions has written over 120 original shows about just about anything related to northeastern Wisconsin. In recent years, he has even traveled outside of his friendly confines at Green Bay’s Meyer Theatre to take shows to the Algoma Performing Arts Center and the Southern Door Auditorium that had local ties to the area. Hermans says he learned a lot from relatives and even local people to help make the shows he writes more authentic.

Hermans will relive his days at an 80s Green Bay gym beginning next weekend when his production of “Vic-Tanny” opens at the Meyer Theatre.



Mayor Birmingham issues final veto

Before his term ends, Sturgeon Bay Mayor Thad Birmingham has one last veto in him. After the Sturgeon Bay Common Council weighs in on a number of proposed ordinances, it will consider Birmingham’s veto of its decision to approve the development agreement between the city and the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society for the Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator. In the board agenda packet for Tuesday’s meeting Birmingham makes several cases for why the development agreement should be voided, including the lack of financial protections for the city, a change in the plan’s scope, and the lack of a suitable endowment. It would mark the third time this year Birmingham has issued a veto during his final months as the city’s mayor with the two previous being rejected by the Sturgeon Bay Common Council. The meeting will also be the last for Kelly Catarozoli, David Ward, and Barb Allmann as alderpersons after deciding not to run for another term. Tuesday’s meeting will begin at 7 p.m. inside the council chambers.


Agenda for Tuesday's Meeting click here

Town of Gibraltar working on replenishing trees in Fish Creek

The importance of the ash trees to the habitat along Fish Creek Park is a priority for the Town of Gibraltar.  The impact of losing some of the ash trees is being addressed by the town’s Parks and Lands Committee.  Linda Merline, who serves as the chair of Planning Commission, explains why protecting the remaining trees are so important to protecting the eco-system in Fish Creek.  



The reforestation and restoration of Fish Creek are being funded with a majority of a grant approved by the Department of Natural Resources.  

Gibraltar DECA program readies students for business careers

The highly successful Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) program at Gibraltar High School is giving students practical experience in a business-like setting.  DECA advisor Mary Witteborg, who has been involved as an advisor for over 30 years and was recently honored for her service, shares what students experience at the competition. 



Gibraltar placed ninth in the state at the competition held earlier this month in Lake Geneva.  The national competition for first place winners is held in Orlando in April.   

Presentation on slowing down the aging clock at Crossroads

An upcoming program at Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay will share information on how to reduce human aging and extend longevity.  Dr. Ronald Kodras, a geriatric specialist at the Door County Medical Center, will give a presentation on epigenetics on April 15.  Dr. Kodras shares what he will be discussing at the free program. 



The one-hour presentation on “Slowing Down the Epigenetic Clock” will begin at 5 pm at the John Collins Learning Center.  The event is sponsored by the Door County Medical Center.


(photo courtesy of Door County Medical Center) 

Therrien shares his Vietnam Honor Flight story

With Friday, March 29 being National Vietnam War Veteran’s Day, a Sturgeon Bay man reflects on his “Return to ‘Nam” Old Glory Honor Flight from earlier this month.  Terry Therrien, one of 53 veterans from Northeastern Wisconsin on the trip, visited Vietnam for the first time since serving for the U.S. military in the conflict.  He says the two-week experience gave him a closure he was seeking for 52 years.  



Therrien served in the U.S. Army from 1964-67 and says the greeting at the airport from the return flight was amazing and emotional. 



Therrien hopes that all veterans from the Vietnam War have the opportunity to go on the special honor flight.  He says he believes that the suicide rate for veterans would go down considerably if they could experience what he did this past month. 


Here is the full interview with Terry Therrien on his "Return to Nam" experience.



(Photo courtesy of Jackson & Co.)

Escarpment center making strides

An interpretative center focusing on Door County’s chief geologic feature is getting closer to opening. Efforts by the Greater Escarpment Organization of Door County to open an interpretative center began seven years ago and it could begin offering lectures at its Ellison Bay location later this year. Fundraising has been a key issue for the Escarpment Discovery Center, which has been working hard getting enough funds to renovate the building so it can house interactive exhibits and be ADA compliant. GEO-DC chairperson Nancy Goss says while exhibits inside its building are still over a year away, they are partnering with local groups to provide educational opportunities in 2019.

GEO-DC hired Ellison Bay native Amanda Beard earlier this year to guide the next steps of developing the exhibits inside the Escarpment Discovery Center.


Picture courtesy of the Greater Escarpment Organization of Door County Facebook page

Dispatch impresses former law enforcement officer

Former law enforcement officer Ron Hawkins listens to the scanner on a regular basis and a hectic night earlier this week left him very impressed. Fires in Egg Harbor and Southern Door required almost every fire department in the county to report to at least one blaze if not both in about eight hours. Door County Sheriff’s Department deputies and Door County Emergency Services were also called in to help provide support if needed. The common denominator in all of this was seated miles away at the county’s dispatch center helping coordinate everything along the way. Hawkins says the community should be proud of the men and women in the dispatch center for keeping everything straight.

No one was hurt in either fire, but the home in southern Door County and the storage barn at Schartner’s Farm Market were deemed to be complete losses. You can find updates on the fires Tuesday online with this story.


Picture courtesy of Chuck Cihlar, Southern Door Fire Department



Community support for 4-H strong

Making sure anybody who wants to participate in 4-H activities in Kewaunee County is a credit to the community that supports it. Recently, the Kewaunee County 4-H hosted its annual Project Day, which allowed youth across the area to choose four different activities and have lunch for around $8. Making things affordable is key for Kewaunee County 4-H, which also hosts camp opportunities and trips during the course of the year. 4-H Educator Jill Jorgensen says the ability to keep costs low so families can participate is all thanks to the people supporting their programs.

A major way Kewaunee County 4-H helps fund its programming costs is its annual Time and Talent event, being held at the Luxemburg Sportsman’s Club on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Over 50 local businesses and organizations help the Kewaunee County 4-H raise thousands of dollars every year which goes to support its 13 different clubs. 

Small uptick possible for Tuesday election turnout

Door County Clerk Jill Lau is expecting the turnout for Tuesday’s spring election to be right around its usual 15 percent. The race for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice will appear on everyone’s ballot while different communities will feature a variety of local races and referenda questions as well.  Lau says Sturgeon Bay voters will likely be the reason if there is an increase voter turnout for this election.

Voting hours at Door County’s 21 polling places are from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Special Olympics benefits Door and Kewaunee County communities

Local organizers of Special Olympics say the debate in Congress over continued federal funding overlooks some key benefits to all communities including those in Door and Kewaunee Counties.  Carla Lieb, Athletic Director for Special Olympics Northeastern Wisconsin, says before Special Olympics started institutionalization was the only option for the intellectually disabled. Lieb says those attitudes have changed.



President Trump responded to days of pressure and scrapped plans to cut the nearly $18-million the federal budget earmarked for Special Olympics. 

New Beacon award winners announced

The Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce has announced the five winners of the new Beacon Awards, formerly known as the BIE Awards.  The Business category went to Scenic Shore Inn.  The new Rising Star award was won by Yardstick: Bookshop and Gallery.  Algoma High School senior Abigail Robinson won the Lighthouse award her involvement with the Wolves and Pups Mentoring Program that pairs a high schooler and an elementary student.  The Education award went to Emily Rankin a paraprofessional at Algoma Elementary School who works with students with special needs.  Seth Schroepfer from CTI Hospitality was chosen for the Employee Award for his work in managing seven builders and large hotel clients.  Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sara Krouse says the upcoming Beacon Awards banquet saluting the recipients is a special night to learn more about the Algoma community.  



The presentation of the awards will be on Monday, April 22 at the Hotel Stebbins.  You can find more information online about the Beacon Awards with this story

Kewaunee County Food Pantry adds evening hours starting in April

In an effort to accommodate people who qualify for the Kewaunee County Food Pantry program, the organization will be opening its doors on one Wednesday evening a month.  Starting in April people will be able to pick up necessities from 4:30 until 7pm on one Wednesday of the month.  President Ken Marquardt says the added hours will make it easier for those who may work during the day.   He says the pantry serves many families in the area. 


Marquardt estimates that the Kewaunee County Food Pantry gives away over 12,000 pounds of food a month.  The pantry is hosting their annual Rummage Sale Extravaganza this weekend at their Algoma location from 8 am until 6 pm through Saturday.


Mayoral Candidates address civility at council meetings -- Series Part IV

As the Sturgeon Bay community readies for an election of new city council members and mayor, the candidates for the Sturgeon Bay mayoral position have shared their thoughts on restoring a better civil discourse at the council meetings.  At the recent candidate forum, David Ward says more orderly meetings will promote civility.  



Shawn Fairchild says he has a simple approach to civility. 



You can listen to the entire candidate response to the question of promoting civility at city council meetings with this story online.  The Sturgeon Bay mayoral election is next Tuesday. 


Complete response by candidates:



Kewaunee County repairing roads after flood damage

Kewaunee County has spent approximately $70,000 repairing local roads affected by flooding earlier this month. Fast snowmelt and accompanying rains wiped out roadways and washed away shoulders in several spots around the county, even forcing the closure of Highway P just south of the Door County border and County Line Road south of Highway 54. Kewaunee County Highway Commissioner Todd Every says the costs will creep up as they get deeper into spring.

Every says they will do some asphalt repairs beginning in May, but some municipalities like the town of Luxemburg will likely wait a year before making drastic fixes to their affected roads.

Cause of Egg Harbor fire still unknown

Egg Harbor Fire Department Chief Steve Schopf says he is still a few days away from determining an exact cause of the fire at Schartner’s Farm Market Wednesday night. Crews fought the fire for several hours before eventually putting it out, but not before completely destroying an old storage barn and causing heat damage on some other nearby structures. Schopf says fighting the blaze was similar to other large scale efforts like the fire at Shipwrecked in 2017, but says its location in the yard at Schartner’s Farm Market is what made this time different.

After talking to an insurance claims adjuster and other eyewitnesses on Thursday, Schopf says they should be able to determine the exact cause of the fire in the next couple days.



Career fair gives head start to students

Eighth-grade students from all five Door County school districts will get a sneak peek on potential job opportunities at a career day being held in May. Students will be ushered around three different rooms to talk to approximately 20 businesses about their line of work. Quantum PC will be one of the presenting businesses and Erin Helgeson says eighth grade is a good year in school to start figuring out what you want to do in life.

The eighth grade career day will take place at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay on May 1st beginning at 8:30 a.m. Helgeson suggests other businesses contact the Door County Economic Development Corporation for information on how they can participate. 

Southern Door home a total loss

A stray spark may be to blame for a fire engulfing a home in southern Door County Wednesday night. Departments received a page at approximately 7:30 p.m. for a fire on New Settlement Road while many firefighters were tending to a blaze near Egg Harbor. Thanks to the help received from some departments in Kewaunee County and others released from the fire near Egg Harbor, there was plenty of personnel and equipment to help put out the blaze. Southern Door Firefighter Chuck Cihlar says it was likely a spark from a wood burner located in the home’s garage that started the fire.  If the fire had started at another time, Cihlar suggests the final outcome could have been different.

There were no injuries in the fire, but Cihlar believes only a few things from the home may be salvageable due to damage from flames, smoke, and water. 

Your options if you get a lump sum pension

Retirement plans could be a little different than you expected, according to the President and CEO of the Bank of Luxemburg.   Earlier this month the U.S. Treasury Department adopted new rules making it easier for employers to opt for lump-sum payments to retirees.  If your company opts for a one-time payout,  Tim Treml, the President and CEO of the Bank of Luxemburg, says find out whether the lump sum option is mandatory or voluntary.  If a lump sum is the only option then a certified financial professional is needed to help you draw up a plan.



Treml says Wisconsin retirees have long had the option to take annuity payments or lump sum payouts from their employers.

State looks to address CNA shortages

While assisted living facilities like Anna’s Healthcare in Sturgeon Bay and New Franken rely on bonuses and tuition assistance to help retain its staff, the Wisconsin Legislature is looking at other ways to address the state’s shortage of Certified Nursing Assistants. Bills already introduced in the Legislature include lowering the number of required training hours for CNAs, a $1,500 tax credit to cover tuition for students, and grants for technical colleges to build up their programs. Anna’s Healthcare owner Tama Begley says addressing the cost of education is especially important.

According to a joint report by several state agencies related to assisted living, there are 16,500 vacant caregiver positions available in Wisconsin.

Veterans never stop serving with American Legion

Long after they return from active wartime duty, members of the American Legion in Door and Kewaunee Counties are finding ways to help serve their fellow veterans and community members. It could be as complex as helping veterans navigate the benefits they earned by serving in the military or as simple as helping support a local baseball team. Sturgeon Bay Post 72 Commander Deb Logerquist says it also supports Camp American Legion in Lake Tomahawk, where Wisconsin veterans can go to a safe place with their families.

With over two million members spread out over 12,000 posts nationwide, including eight in Door and Kewaunee Counties, American Legion is the largest veterans organization in the country. Logerquist says that is important as they continue to advocate for more help from the federal government for veterans.  


Picture Courtesy of Forestville American Legion

Door County fire departments battle two major blazes Wednesday night

The resources of area fire departments were stretched to the limit Wednesday night as two big structure blazes were reported within an hour.  According to Egg Harbor Fire Chief Steve Schopf, a fire engulfed an old storage barn at Schartner’s Farm Market north of Carlsvillle at about 6:20 Wednesday evening.  The barn was a complete loss and the home nearby suffered some siding damage from the heat.   Schopf says nine area departments were initially on the scene before another fire was reported on New Settlement Road in Southern Door County. 



No injuries were reported at the Schartner Farm Market fire and no cause has been determined yet.  The fire on New Settlement Road was a residential home fully engulfed in flames.  Southern Door Fire Chief Gary Vandertie could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.  Door County Daily News will update this story as more details become available. 



Letting everyone know "We Welcome All" in Door County

Non-profit organizations and local businesses want visitors to know they're welcome in Door County.  They're joining together in what's being called a social justice initiative entitled "We Welcome All".  The eight non-profit groups are committed to offer programming, workshops and community discussion on diversity and acceptance. The 38 participating businesses will post window clings with the "We Welcome All" logo.  Program Coordinator Paula Christensen says the initiative was prompted by accounts from visitors who felt they were not welcome in the area.



The "We Welcome All" initiative started last year in Northern Door County.  Christensen says plans call for expanding it into Sturgeon Bay and Southern Door County.

Powerball jackpot keeping area convenience stores busy

Convenience stores in Door and Kewaunee Counties are seeing increased business for Powerball tickets with the jackpot now at $750-million.  That's the fourth-largest Powerball prize in the history of the game.  Parv Jandu, owner of Jandu Petroleum, says his business could net a modest windfall if any of his stores sell the winning ticket.  Right now, he says some of his employees are feeling a bit overwhelmed as result of increased ticket sales.



The largest jackpot in Powerball history was a nearly $1.6-billion payout to multiple winners in January 2016.

How Egg Harbor's bike program could help Green Bay

Green Bay's bike sharing program is ending after eight months of operations.  Egg Harbor officials, however, believe a similar program can still be viable under the right conditions.  Egg Harbor's "Eggy Bike" program allows anyone the free use of village-owned bikes. Borrowers have been good about returning them.  Village Administrator Ryan Heis says such a system might not work in a larger community such as Green Bay, which would need GPS devices to keep track of the bikes.  Heise believes bike-sharing in medium-size communities could offer a unique opportunity for potential providers.


Green Bay's bike-sharing program ended when the operator, Lime Bike of San Francisco, opted to pull out of smaller and medium-sized communities to focus on scooter and bike rental in larger cities.

Solar electricity becoming a key source of power locally

Door and Kewaunee counties will likely be getting more of their electricity from green energy sources.  According to the research group Carbon Tracker about 42-percent of the world's coal-fired power plants are running at a loss.  Within the next decade it will be more cost effective to build solar and wind power plants.  Wisconsin Public Service is already looking to build solar power farms in Iowa County and in Two Creeks in Manitowoc County.  WPS Communications Specialist Matt Cullen say technological improvements are already making renewable energy more affordable.



WPS shuttered its coal-fired Pulliam generating plant in Green Bay last October.  The Pulliam plant provided two-hundred megawatts of electricity.  Cullen says the two solar farms would equal that output.


Both the Iowa County and Two Creeks solar plant sites must first get approval from the State of Wisconsin.

Kewaunee County "Get Healthy" initiative providing new booklet

In an effort to promote fitness and combat obesity, the Kewaunee County Public Health Department has created a booklet this year to show residents how to stay active. The 20-page handbook aims to improve the quality of life for people of all ages.  Public Health Director Cindy Kinnard says a community health assessment showed an opportunity for better outreach on fitness accessibility for Kewaunee County residents. 



 Kinnard says the booklet lists indoor and outdoor activities that people to take advantage of throughout the area.   You can find the free Get Healthy Kewaunee County booklet at area retail outlets or by logging on to the Kewaunee County Public Health’s website and clicking on “Get Healthy”. 


Steady interest rates fueling area home building and sales

Interest rates are holding steady.  That's keeping mortgage rates lower than expected and making existing homes in our area more affordable.  Nicolet Bank's Tom Zellner says this is a good time to act for those who've waited to buy a home.



While the lower mortgage rates are creating a demand for an existing home, some home shoppers are opting to build new homes.  Zellner says that's keeping area builders very busy.



Zellner says the one drawback for those opting to build a new home is that prices for building materials are also rising. 

Lions Club's "Roar off the Shore" this Saturday

Two Lions Clubs in Kewaunee County are working together again on the ever-growing “Roar off the Shore” this Saturday.  The Kewaunee and Dyckesville Lions Clubs are hosting the event at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall from 2:00 pm until 6:00 pm.  Kewaunee Lions Club member Mike Walston says the event has drawn nearly 1,000 attendees in the past.  This is the 13th annual beerfest, which was originally called “Roar on the Shore” when it was held in Kewaunee.  Walston says the Luxemburg location has made for a bigger and better event.  



The afternoon will include beer and wine sampling, food and music with free public transportation of bus shuttling from Algoma and Kewaunee to Luxemburg and back during the event.  All Proceeds raised are donated to charities, other local non-profits and help with natural disaster relief.   You can find ticket information on the Lions Club “Roar off the Shore” below.

 Ship returns to Bayship after onboard fire

A ship that was headed out from the Sturgeon Bay canal Tuesday morning was towed back to Bay Shipbuilding after a fire broke out on the bow.  The Burns Harbor, a 1000-foot freighter that was built in 1980 at Bay Shipbuilding, returned to the yard’s docks about 12:30 Tuesday afternoon after the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department and the United States Coast Guard assisted the ship’s crew in putting out the fire.  The U.S. Coast Guard only provided assistance and could not give any further details.  Bay Shipbuilding President Todd Thayse said he could not comment immediately and the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department could not be reached as of late Tuesday. will update this story as more information becomes available.      


Ephraim still open for business

Ephraim Business Council Tourism Administrator Lane Methner says the village was still busy over the weekend despite construction that started last week. Part of the road construction includes a full closure of State Highway 42 from its public beach to near Hidden Spring Road to Harborside Park by Highway Q. Methner says business owners collaborated on a unique way for people to enhance their visit to Ephraim while still finding their shops and restaurants.

The hard closure of Highway 42 is expected to last until Memorial Day weekend with road construction continuing through June 28th. The Door County Sheriff’s Department reminds motorists traveling to Ephraim to stay off the road if they just driving through and it is against the law to be on a cell phone in a construction zone. 

Changes coming for Kewaunee County Fair

Fans of the Kewaunee County Fair will have to make some changes to their calendar so they do not miss out on any of the activities they enjoy. In order to keep their carnival operator within their budget, the Kewaunee County Fair will be hosted a weekend earlier, now July 11th through the 14th. The tractor pull will also be bumped up a night from its usual Friday slot to Thursday. Lisa Cochart is part of a new mix of the Kewaunee County Fair Board and is excited for people to check out what else is new at this year’s event.

The Kewaunee County Fair has started to announce some of their musical acts including Kiss tribute band Strutter on July 12th and Let Me Be Frank Productions on July 14th.  

Home build presents challenges for volunteers

One year after building the biggest home in its history, Door County Habitat for Humanity is already planning its first handicapped accessible home. One of the children in the Bright family gets around using a wheelchair, requiring the home to not just have ramps where possible but wider doorways and a fully accessible shower. Construction supervisor Chuck Stone says he has never been involved with a build this unique and has already contacted other Habitat affiliates to learn about what they will have to do. However, for Stone, the feeling they will get building the home will be the same.

Ground will likely be broken in the coming months with the initial digging costs being covered by Rass Excavating. Stone says volunteers can check in at Habitat’s Sturgeon Bay offices to learn more about how they can help.



Candidate decries local ad featuring voting block

At least one candidate in the race for the Sturgeon Bay Common Council does not think running as a block for local public office is good government. Sean Linnan is running to replace David Ward on the council and faces Dan Williams in next week’s election. Linnan believes it is bad public policy to run as a block of candidates while making critical statements of others as displayed in a recent print ad.

Linnan says if the city believes there are two different groups of candidates that he considers himself outside of those schools of thought and believes doing so would be unhealthy for a small town. Sturgeon Bay residents will head to the polls to pick their future councilmembers on April 2nd.

Mayoral Candidates share leadership style---Series Part III

The two candidates hoping to be elected as the next Mayor of Sturgeon Bay are making their last push to sway voters on why they should be the next leader of the city.  At a recent candidate forum, David Ward, current council member and former UW-Green Bay Chancellor, says his work in the educational field will help with conflict resolution. 





Shawn Fairchild says he has the right demeanor and that conversations must be in an open environment to properly deal with conflict.



The mayoral election will be held next Tuesday.  



Full audio response from "What would your leadership and conflict resolution style as mayor?" at the forum below. 



Help Of Door County Shares Advice on Confronting Sexual Harassment

Help of Door County is working to prevent sexual harassment in the area by offering ways to confront it. A recently released EEOC study showed that at least one in four people are affected by workplace sexual harassment. Executive Director of Help of Door County Steve Vickman offers some advice in dealing with the problem of sexual harassment and domestic abuse.

Vickman says anytime offensive comments are made about women, even when they are not present, the person needs to hear that it is not tolerable behavior. He added that men can be victims of sexual harassment as well. According to a Washington Post survey, ten percent of men have experienced sexual harassment at work.



"Making Lawns Safer" presentation this Thursday at Crossroads

You can find ways to have a safer and more environmental-friendly lawn this spring by attending a program this Thursday.  The Door County Environmental Council (DCEC) is sponsoring a free presentation at Crossroads at Big Creek.  Dr. John J. Beck, a board member of the DCEC, says having a natural lawn is important.  



The safe lawn presentation by the DCEC will be held at the John Collins Learning Center at 7 pm on Thursday.    

Progress made on Forestville Dam fire department fill site

An alternative fire department fill-site near the Forestville Mill Pond and a more permanent fill-site appear to be progressing. The Southern Door County Fire Department and the Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department met informally at the mill pond.  The fire department would like to have a temporary fill-site below the dam when the mill pond is drawn down as part of a clean-up project.  Assistant Fire Chief Randy Massart says soil and water department officials appeared receptive to the department's proposals.



 The drawdown is scheduled to begin this November and will last two years before the pond will be refilled.

Jail update planned for April 8th

Kewaunee County residents will get an update on the months of work that have already gone into planning a new public safety building next month. The meeting will present the findings from its consultant that has gone through the current jail facility, which during its time has also housed the communications center and Sheriff’s Department offices. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says giving tours of the current facilities have been eye-opening for those willing to take him up on the offer.

Joski says you can contact the Sheriff’s Department to schedule a tour of the jail facility to learn more about the building’s deficiencies or mark April 8th at 5 p.m. on your calendar to attend the first planning meeting update at the Kewaunee County Administration Center. You can learn more about the meeting online with this story.




In a continued effort to keep our community informed as to the progress of the planning related to our Safety Building facility, I would like to provide as much of an update as I can. I say as much as I can as we are awaiting the first phase report out from our consultant which will be provided on Monday April 8th at 5:00 PM. This meeting will be at the Human Services Building in their large training room. If you are not able to attend, no problem, it’s not that big of a room. I will make sure that we provide a prompt report to everyone in as many sources and outlets as we can.


         The reason I use the title of the Safety Building Facility, is that we need to take into consideration all of the operations that are currently housed at the Safety Building which includes not only the Jail, but our Communications Center as well. Also, back in 1969 all of the Sheriff’s Department operations were contained in that building. Over the years we have grown, and as a result have had to develop options for much of our operational needs through use of various buildings. While we will make every effort to minimize the scope of this project to address our absolute needs, we also don’t want to overlook anything. I like the old saying “Measure Twice, Cut once” as a guide to an accurate planning and implementation process.


          One thing I can report on is that we recently held our second planning meeting at which time the Committee toured our current facility.  I think it was an eye opening experience for all who participated and provided an excellent backdrop to our need for urgency in remedying what has been and continues to be a great deficiency in both the housing of inmates as well as working conditions for our staff. While I do not feel comfortable articulating the various security deficiencies publicly, it is safe to say that there significant challenges we face as we not only care for and provide adequate housing to those remanded to our care, but also challenges in maintaining a safe environment for those men and women of the Sheriff’s Department who work every day in that facility.


           Just today I did a walk through with the Jail Lieutenant who has had to deploy the seasonal rain buckets in various areas of the jail to catch the water coming in through the roof. While it would be easy to say let’s just fix the roof, any money spent on that building would not be a wise investment of public resources, as the structural degradation is just one of many deficiencies. We can be proud of the service we received from that structure, but it is in fact time to turn the page. As I have in the past, I will offer my services to provide a tour of our current facility to anyone who is interested. Please feel free to call me at (920)388-7177.

NexGen Door County looks to keep young professionals

Keeping young professionals in the county with the highest average age is a major selling point for NexGen DoorCounty. The organization schedules events throughout the year focusing on professional development, community service projects, and social gatherings to help connect local businesses with the area’s rising stars. Molly Brauer from NexGen Door County says they are working with the Door County Economic Development Corporation to help not just attract young people to the area but give them reasons to stay.

NexGen Door County will honor its rising and shining stars at its awards event on April 24th in Egg Harbor. You can learn more about the event and the award nominees online with this story. 



Help on the way for student borrowers

Student loan expert Sandy Duckett is hopeful college borrowers in Door and Kewaunee Counties will get the help they need from a new proposal from President Donald Trump aimed at addressing the debt crisis. By introducing a cap on student loan borrowing and simplifying the repayment process last week, the administration hopes to make a dent in t debt crisis which has some graduates facing over $28,000 in loans to pay.  Duckett says the changes will have a positive impact on how people approach applying for loans in the future.

According to Forbes magazine, over 44 million borrowers have accumulated $1.5 trillion in student loan debt with the default rate hovering at around 11 percent.

Small farms benefit from new price proposal

A new proposal aimed at helping small to mid-size dairy farms could mean an extra $40,000 in the pocket of Thunderstruck Holsteins owner Greg Letter. According to a proposal from the National Farmers Organization, a two-tier milk pricing system would be established to pay farmers an extra four dollars per hundredweight of milk they produce a month up to 1,000,000 pounds. Farmers would make a lower amount per hundredweight if they exceed that amount. The proposed program could help farmers like Letter, who milks about 70 cows and produces just over 1,000,000 pounds a year. He would like to see the program narrowed down even further to help save family farms across the state.

The federal government would have to approve any price adjustments before the proposed idea can be implemented. Class III Milk price futures currently stand at approximately $15 to $16 per hundredweight over the next nine months.

Southern Door approves all-day 4-year-old kindergarten

The Southern Door County School district will help parents wanting to start their children in school early or face daycare challenges.  The board of education approved a full-day 4-year-old kindergarten option that will start this Fall.  That followed a survey indicating parental desire for such an option.  Superintendent Patricia Vickman says some parents are also looking for a chance to give their children an early advantage.



The all-day, 4K option will begin this coming Fall.  Parents will still have the options of enrolling their children in the half-day 4K program or the full-day five-year-old kindergarten programs.

Many people lack the necessary vitamin D

Many people in Door County may experience health problems because of a lack of vitamin D.  Produced primarily through exposure to the sun, Vitamin D works alongside calcium to help with bone density and regulating the immune system, as well as aiding nerve impulses. More recent studies have linked proper vitamin D levels with lowered risk of autoimmune diseases and lower blood pressure. As you age your skin produces less vitamin D naturally when exposed to sunlight so older people are at a higher risk for lower levels. Jody Anderson, a Kewaunee County nurse and health coach, suggests speaking with your doctor about your risk for low vitamin D and whether you should be taking a supplement.



Most foods do not naturally have vitamin D in them but there are some that are fortified with it, like milk and some cereals. Adding these to your diet, especially in the winter, can be a good way to help increase your levels when you are least exposed to the sun.

Learning gymnastics can help keep your kids safe

Door County children learning gymnastics can not only have a fun sport to play but it could help keep them safe as well. Amy Gamble, gymnastics coach at the Door County YMCA, encourages all boys and girls to learn gymnastics at the Y. Gamble says it’s a good way to learn how to fall correctly without getting hurt.



Parents who are interested in signing their kids up for gymnastics are encouraged to go to for more information.

DCEDC welcomes back Wisconsin economic outlook report

Local governments and economic development organizations will once again have access to the latest information on Wisconsin's economic trends.  The Department of Revenue is resuming publication of the "Wisconsin Economic Outlook", which had been issued quarterly from 1970 until 2015.  Jim Schuessler, Executive Director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation, says the report provides needed information to help communities with economic planning.



The latest "Wisconsin Economic Outlook" projects the national and state economies will continue growing in 2019. That growth, however, will be at a slower pace as the impact of the federal fiscal stimulus starts to fade.

Fighting back after dark web identity theft

Whether you live in New York City or Sturgeon Bay hackers can take your information from the internet or from computers at stores where you've shopped.  From there it can be sold on the so-called "dark web".  Credit monitoring services, however, may not be the answer for which victims of identity theft are looking.  While they can help fix problems caused by hackers, the stolen information cannot be removed.  Nathan Drager, co-owner of Quantum PC in Sturgeon Bay, says while credit monitoring can be a valuable tool there are simpler steps people can take to protect themselves.



Drager says your information can be sold for as little as $2 along with stolen ID's from hundreds of thousands of other people.  That makes hacked ID's a big business on the "dark web".



Poetry on display at Door County Libraries in April

The art of poetry has been around for millennia and Door County libraries will be celebrating it in the month of April. Professional poets including Door County’s Poet Laureate Sharon Auberle will be sharing their poetry this month. Door County students will also be sharing poetry in the month of April. Those poetry events will be at the Fish Creek, Bailey’s Harbor, Forestville and Sturgeon Bay branches. At all Door County Library branches, they will host blackout poetry events. Tina Kakuske, Director of Door County Libraries, explains blackout poetry. 



Specific times are not official as of yet. Go to to check for times which will be posted at a later date.

Spring break is a good time to vaccinate

With many students on spring break this week the Door County Department of Public Health says this is as good a time as ever to get your children vaccinated. Especially before leaving Door County to go on a vacation it’s very important to be fully vaccinated according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, so as not to catch or spread disease. Katie VanLaanen, a nurse for the Door County Department of Public Health, says it’s a good time to get your kids vaccinated as many college students are also on spring break.


Southern Door, Sturgeon Bay and Sevastopol Schools will have all or part of this week off for spring break. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says 228 people have contracted measles so far in 2019 including some cases in Illinois.

Best of Door County voting going on now

You can vote for your favorite Door County businesses online to decide which ones are truly the best in the area. In its third year, the annual contest celebrates the best of the best across several different categories. Quantum PC has won best computer repair service the last two years, something executive vice president Erin Helgeson says has had a positive impact on their business.

After winning several categories last year including best dining view and old fashioned, Donny’s Glidden Lodge owner Tim Zellner said it is an honor to be chosen.

Voting for Best of Door County runs until April 7th

Kewaunee looks to life after Shopko

Kewaunee, Sister Bay, and other communities across the country are asking themselves the same question: what are they going to do after Shopko disappears? The Green Bay-retailer announced this week it would close all of it stores after a deal for someone to buy its retail operations fell through. Kewaunee’s location has been in liquidation mode since February and expects to close for good in May. Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Richard Baker says the city of Kewaunee has a task force in place to help find the right business to fill the space with the building’s owner. He believes a study done about a year ago gave the city a good idea of what kinds of businesses to go after.

The city of Kewaunee filled one major void last week when it was announced a pharmacy was moving into the former Lakeshore Pizza Company building to be open on June 1st. You can see other updates from Kewaunee Mayor Sandi Christman online with this story.



Shoplifting remains problem locally for stores and thieves

Retailers in Door and Kewaunee Counties face losses from shoplifters, although on a much smaller scale than communities such as Appleton or Green Bay.  The Sturgeon Bay Police Department investigated 30 retail thefts during 2018, ranging from no reported thefts October and November to as many as five in February and September.   Sturgeon Bay Sergeant Investigator Chad Hougard says, however, larger stores have the ability to handle retail theft on their premises.  He adds that improvements in video recording can better help smaller stores nab offenders.



Algoma Police Chief Randy Remiker says shoplifting is certainly not an uncommon occurrence.  He adds, however, the old saying "size matters" works to his community's advantage.



Smaller police departments have to prioritize investigations, which mean shoplifting cases can be put aside.  Sergeant Hougard says improved video surveillance helps identify shoplifting suspects better so that they can be prosecuted at a later time.

Tourism finding enough interest from summer job seekers

Door County's summer tourism season kicks off in a little over two months and, so far, there's much interest in seasonal employment.  Door County Visitor Bureau Membership Director Phil Berndt bases that on the amount of activity from employers and job seekers on websites.  Berndt says he's not heard any concerns about a lack of job applicants.  He adds employers are helping potential employees make sure they have a place to stay for the summer.



Berndt says employers are also being aided by the J-1 program which attracts foreign students looking for opportunities to work in the U.S.A. during the summer.

Sturgeon Bay council member hopes for huge voter turnout

Sturgeon Bay Council Member Seth Wiederanders says he hopes a pair of referenda on the April 2nd ballot will bring more people out to vote than usual. The marijuana and Sturgeon Bay Schools referenda are hotly debated topics and Wiederanders thinks that could bring more voters to the polls. Wiederanders added he hopes people will be interested to learn more about the other races on the ballot and not just the referendum items.



Wiederanders says the granary issue could also bring more people out.

Southern Door Schools proceed with resource officer plan

The Southern Door County School District is moving forward with plans to add a full-time school resources officer.  The district approved a proposal to contract with the Door County Sheriff's Department for a resource officer.  That request must first be approved by the Door County Board of Supervisors.  Superintendent Patricia Vickman says having a full-time school resource officer will be an asset to school staff, students and their families.



Southern Door Schools join the Sevastopol and Gibraltar districts in efforts to add school resource officers five-days a week during the school year.

Some prime ice fishing spots could become risky

The season is open for Whitefish, Northern Pike and Walleye on Green Bay and the Sturgeon Bay Canal though fishing enthusiasts need to be aware of rapidly changing ice conditions.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says outdoor lovers continue taking to the ice on foot and some ATV's.  Conservation Warden Chris Kratcha warns current conditions are such that today's safe spot can become tomorrow's hazard.



Kratcha recommends that you not take to the ice alone, let someone know where you'll be fishing and when you'll return.  He adds if you have any doubts about ice conditions it's best to call it a season and wait until you can fish from a boat.

Ukulele Society playing Beatles jams

You can hear the Beatles music in a whole new way in Fish Creek on Sunday afternoon. The Ukulele Society of Door County is meeting Sunday at the YMCA in Fish Creek and the theme will be Beatles songs. The group meets twice per month and according to the Ukulele Society Coordinator Bruce Hake, members have been clamoring for a Beatles theme day.



The program will start at 1 PM and last until 2:45 PM. The Ukulele Society of Door County meets two Sundays per month at the YMCA in Fish Creek. Ukulele players of all skill levels can attend their meetings and there are no costs.

Egg Harbor to reopen comprehensive plan

The village of Egg Harbor will dust off its shelved comprehensive plan after learning a major road project is coming their way by 2023. The village was given notice by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation recently that it would be doing a road construction project similar to what is currently being done in Ephraim. After last discussing its highway improvement plans three years ago, village administrator Ryan Heise says the road construction announcement gives them the opportunity to start talking again.

Heise says redoing the comprehensive plan will open the door for several public meetings in the coming months. It already plans to be a busy year in Egg Harbor with several new businesses opening in their downtown and the bidding process for its long-awaited beach project already underway. 

Lent remains an important time for Catholics

Fasting, almsgiving, and prayer continue to be cornerstones for Catholics in Door and Kewaunee Counties during the Lenten season as it approaches the halfway point. In addition to giving up meat on Fridays, many Catholics head to confession more often and try to go without something for the 40 day period. Father Daniel Schuster of Holy Trinity Parish in Casco and St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Luxemburg says Lent keeps followers from going through the motions when Easter comes.

Fasting rules vary depending on age and health, but Father Schuster says the practice helps Catholics open themselves to a deeper life. Lent continues until Easter Sunday on April 21st

Northern lights on display this weekend

Look to the skies this weekend and you might see some colors you are not used to seeing in this part of the country. A geomagnetic storm is expected to make the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, visible across the country as far south as Chicago and stretch from Washington state through Wisconsin to New York. It is not often Wisconsinites get a chance to see this kind of show in the sky, so David Lenius from the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society says you need to get in the right spot to really enjoy it.

Even though it was expected to be at its strongest on Friday and Saturday night, it may also still be visible on Sunday night as well.

DNR hearing scheduled for mill pond

It is another day and another informational hearing for those wanting to learn more about the two-year drawdown of the Forestville Mill Pond. With organizational assistance from First District Rep. Joel Kitchens, members of the Department of Natural Resources staff will answer questions about what the public can expect during and after the drawdown takes place. Door County Conservationist Erin Hanson gave a presentation about its plan to improve the water quality and remove invasive species from the mill pond during the Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation meeting earlier this month. She said at that time that it is important to provide accurate information to all those concerned.

Opponents to the drawdown plan say it would release additional agricultural run-off into an already impaired waterway as well as eliminate a fill site for local fire departments. The informational meeting is scheduled for April 1st at Algoma City Hall at 3 p.m. 

Town Board chair, candidate spar over campaign survey

A rift between the Lincoln Town Board and a candidate for office is already brewing just over two weeks from election day. Jordan Nowak is running against incumbent Nick Cochart for the Supervisor 1 post on the board. Nowak sent a survey to town residents asking about their knowledge about money being spent on its hall project, its pilot water study and pending lawsuit with Stonehouse Water Technologies, and the lack of transparency when it comes to its budget and financial reports. Town chairperson Cory Cochart, who is also Nick’s cousin, says the survey is misleading.

Nowak defends the survey, saying he will release the results he receives from the over 300 postcards he sent out next Wednesday and will make additional comments on the matter at that time. 

Washington Island Ferry triples trips for spring

Snow melting, robins chirping, and four additional roundtrips for the Washington Island Ferry are all sure signs that spring is here and even warmer weather is on its way. From January 3rd to March 21st, the ferry between Northport on the mainland and Detroit Harbor on the island tops out at two roundtrips a day. Friday morning marked the beginning of an expanded schedule, and ferry captain Joel Gunnlaugsson says as the trip numbers go up, so does the activity on the docks.

The Washington Island Ferry slowly adds trips throughout the spring before it reaches its peak summer season when it runs approximately every 30-45 minutes. Its next expansion of service will be April 27th when it goes from its current six roundtrips a day to ten. 

Body found confirmed to be Neenah man

The body recovered by the Door County Sheriff’s Department on Wednesday afternoon has been identified as the Neenah man who went missing in February. Eric Richter, 57, was visiting Cave Point taking pictures on February 10th when he went missing. The Door County Sheriff’s Department, Department of Natural Resources, and numerous other agencies participated in search efforts that lasted over six weeks.  After being notified Wednesday afternoon about a possible body floating in Lake Michigan, members of six different agencies battled rough waters and slippery conditions to bring Richter in from the water. Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says the cause and manner of Richter’s death will be determined by the Dane County Medical Examiner in the coming months. 



Door County happy with health ranking improvements

Door County jumped up 14 spots in the annual health rankings report released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Finishing overall in 20th out of 72 counties, it had the fourth highest score in the state when it came to health behaviors which included adult smoking and obesity rates, access to exercise opportunities, and alcohol-related issues. Door County Public Health Officer Sue Powers says the rankings review is a valuable tool for the office.

Powers is most proud the county saw its premature mortality rate drop in 2018 but hopes to see improvements in some categories like the number of primary care physicians and mental health providers.

Mayoral candidates share economic growth ideas

The candidates for the mayoral position in Sturgeon Bay would take different approaches to attract economic development to the city.  At the recent candidate forum, Shawn Fairchild shared his vision of growth for the city. 



He adds that the tax base is mostly generated from the retail revenue and it must continue to grow.  David Ward sees that the strength of Sturgeon Bay coming from a vibrant and balanced economy.  


Ward says providing additional senior housing and filling the vacant Younkers store are two priorities for the city.  You can hear the candidates complete response to economic development with this story below.



Gibraltar moving ahead on Fish Creek restoration

The planning commission for the town of Gibraltar is implementing the Fish Creek plan for reforestation and creek restoration.  Chair Linda Merline says grant money has been approved through the Department of Natural Resources to help make improvements while picking up 75 percent of the $33,000 cost of the project.  She says the town is currently waiting to hear back from the request for proposals from engineering design firms. 



Fish passage and meander restoration assists in the spring spawning fish of pike and suckers.  The Town of Gibraltar Park and Lands Committee is working on invasive species like the removal of buckthorn and barberry from the creek corridor, according to Merline.    


Support for dealing with divorce now available

To help people heal from the emotional fallout of divorce, a local church is offering the only support group in Door County.  Bay View Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay is starting a 13-week session program next Wednesday called Divorce Care.  Lou Ann Brown, the parish nurse, says every week a video featuring a well-known divorce counselor with be shown covering many topics. 



Brown says dealing with a divorce can be almost as traumatic for people as a death in their family.  The Divorce Care sessions begin next Wednesday at Bay View Lutheran Church with registration at 5:00 pm and class starting at 5:30 pm.  Registration is $25 for all sessions to cover the cost of workbooks.  You can find out more information and scholarships that are made available to cover the cost by contacting the church.     

A local doctor on baby aspirin for heart health

Low dose or so-called baby aspirin has been touted as helping prevent heart attacks or strokes.  New guidelines, however, find it may not be appropriate for those who don't have cardiovascular diseases.  The guidelines released by the American Heart Association and the College of Cardiology say low dose aspirin should not be routinely given to adults 70-years of age or older or to adults at risk of internal bleeding.  Dr. Rob Anderson with Bellin Health in Algoma recommends a visit to your doctor and a frank assessment of lifestyle behaviors.


The new guidelines follow a series of studies last year that also indicated low-dose aspirin did not help those patients who don't have cardiovascular diseases.

State travels leaving Frostman impressed

Secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Caleb Frostman has put on the miles since he was appointed by Governor Tony Evers earlier this year. Frostman has been crisscrossing the state in recent weeks to meet with various stakeholders about what is needed to help develop more and better careers. Frostman says the postsecondary education opportunities in the state to find jobs have left him the most impressed.

Frostman testified before the Wisconsin Legislature as a part of his confirmation hearings on Wednesday. Frostman previously served the area as the executive director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation and as a state senator. 

New agriculture building to be important asset to Sevastopol

Sevastopol FFA advisor and agriculture teacher Dale Carlson is hopeful the planned greenhouse building for the district will provide important learning opportunities for students for years to come. Prior to the successful passage of the building and operational referenda last fall, the Sevastopol FFA Alumni pledged $30,000 to help fund the new facility as a part of the district’s $25.1 million plan. The current greenhouse is 26 years old, and Carlson says the improvements will address its ever-changing agricultural curriculum.

Carlson specifically mentioned horticulture, turf management, and future hydroponic courses that could benefit the most from the improved facility. He estimates the agriculture program will have to go at least one year without a greenhouse while it is being built.

Door County Habitat for Humanity selects partner family

Door County Habitat for Humanity is already applying for permits and alerting its build volunteers after selecting its 42nd partner family Wednesday evening. The organization’s board of directors selected the Bright Family to partner with 2019 after going through the selection process. Executive Director David Van Dyke says they are happy to help provide a suitable home for Kari, Paul, Will, Zoey and especially Tatiana Bright, who uses a wheelchair.

Finding a partner family in March was also a relief for Door County Habitat for Humanity, which pushed their construction schedule back two months last year until they were able to bring the Purdy family into the fold in May. 

Washington Island broadband a challenge even with fiber optics

Washington Island now has the capacity for fiber optic communications.  It's still uncertain, however, when broadband internet might come to the entire island. The new electrical power cable now linking Washington Island to the Door County mainland includes a fiber optic cable.  Washington Island Electric Cooperative Manager Robert Cornell says the challenge is finding a distribution point for the fiber optic cable and the most efficient ways to provide service to year-round and seasonal residents.



Some limited internet service is currently available to portions of Washington Island.  Cornell says the cooperative would have to determine whether to offer broadband by itself or through another internet service provider.


Photo Courtesy of the Washington Island Electric Cooperative

Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair to be crowned in May

A mix-up at the end of last year has added a few months to the term of Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair Charlene Robinson. While Junior Fairest of the Fair Savannah Bailey was crowned at Kewaunee County’s traditional November date last year, registration issues forced the coronation of her senior counterpart to be held this May. Robinson has filled in when needed as the Fairest of the Fair, but program director Lisa Cochart says Bailey has performed her duties admirably.

Cochart says the application for the senior Fairest of the Fair competition will be available in early April. She says the perfect candidate shows a strong passion for the Kewaunee County Fair along with having great speaking and interpersonal skills.

Shopko closure a "shock" to Sister Bay

Village President Dave Lienau is still in shock over Monday’s announcement by Shopko to close all of its locations nationwide, including its popular Sister Bay Hometown store. The retailer was already liquidating 250 stores, including its Hometown store location in Kewaunee, when it made the announcement. It will leave a big hole in the village’s tax base and retail economy. Lienau, who also owns the neighboring Sister Bay Mobil, says the village will be able to move forward eventually, but that is not the real focus right now.

Lienau says he is not sure of what is even available to fill Shopko’s building when it closes by mid-June, but added they will work with the Door County Economic Development Corporation to help find a potential tenant.

Kewaunee County holds off on vehicle ordinance

The Kewaunee County Board decided it needed more time for research before the first reading of an ordinance aimed at addressing road safety for All-Terrain Vehicles and snowmobiles. The purpose of the ordinance would allow the county to make uniform rules for ATV and snowmobile usage regardless of the city, village, or township they were in operating them. Board Chairperson Robert Weidner says it was decided before the meeting that the ordinance was not quite ready yet.

Weidner says board members will likely contact their counterparts in far northern Wisconsin counties where similar ordinances are already in effect. During Tuesday’s meeting, the Kewaunee County Board approved the $150,000 purchase of a 20-acre parcel located next to its current administration center. 

Body recovered off Cave Point County Park--UPDATED RELEASE

The body of a missing man apparently has been recovered off Cave Point.  The Door County Sheriff's Department received a dispatch early Wednesday afternoon of a reported body found off Cave Point.  Chief Deputy Pat McCarty did not have any details as of 4 pm.  He said a full news release would be made later on Wednesday.  Eric Richter, a 57-year-old man from Neenah, has been missing since February 10 after taking pictures near a cliff at Cave Point.  Expanded searches by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Natural Resources were unsuccessful the weeks following the initial report.  This story will be updated as more details are made available.  




Press Release: Body Recovered at Cave Point March 21, 2019 
On Wednesday, March 20, 2019, at 1:00p.m. the Door County Sheriff’s Office was notified of a possible body in the waters of Lake Michigan at Cave Point County Park. Deputies responded to the area and confirmed the discovery and recovery efforts commenced. 
A Department of Natural Resources warden was able to launch a boat at Baileys Harbor and responded by water. He was accompanied by firefighters from the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department. The remaining personnel responded on land. Recovery efforts were hampered by rough seas, high winds and slippery rocks. After working in arduous conditions for several hours, the body of a white male was safely recovered from the water at 4:30p.m. 
The Door County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department, the Sturgeon Bay Police Department, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Wisconsin State Patrol, the Door County Emergency Services and the Door County Joint Dive Team. 
No name is being released at this time pending positive identification and notification of the next-of-kin. An autopsy is scheduled for later today. 
Chief Deputy Patrick McCarty 
Authority: Sheriff Tammy Sternard 
SHERIFF Tammy Sternard 


Major pothole repairs await Spring warmth

Area drivers will have to contend with ever-expanding potholes even though most ice is gone from area roadways.  As frost in the ground melts, it sends water through the pavement and creates potholes.  Luxemburg Street and Utility Superintendent Rick Simonar says that process is creating some sizable potholes on frequently traveled roads.



Simonar says, overall, the majority of roads that are less traveled, like those in neighborhoods, are in surprisingly good shape.

Alternatives to landfills for CFL bulb disposal

Sturgeon Bay Utilities can save you a trip to Green Bay to recycle compact fluorescent light bulbs. As the bulbs near the end of their useful lives and are being replaced by LED bulbs, proper disposal becomes challenging.  CFL's cannot be placed in trash cans or recycle bins.  Markie Bscherer, Energy Services Representative for Sturgeon Bay Utilities, says there is drop off point if you don't mind driving to Green Bay.  Then there's SBU's bi-annual recycling events where CFL bulbs can be safely dropped off. 


Bscherer recommends homeowners create a separate bin where burned out CFL bulbs can be stored until the next recycling event in May.

Liberty Grove and Sister Bay moving closer to mediation

The wastewater treatment plant dispute between the Town of Liberty Grove and the Village of Sister Bay will again be addressed Wednesday night with mediation looking possible.  The town took legal action against the village in 2017 to have the court determine the extent of Liberty Grove’s ownership of the wastewater plant that serves both municipalities.  John Lowry, chair of the Town of Liberty Grove, says the town has agreed to the mediation process already.  He says negotiations dating back to more than a year have not netted an agreement to this point.



The Town of Liberty Grove board will discuss the treatment plant litigation in closed session during Wednesday night’s meeting that starts at 7 pm.

Sturgeon Bay granary moving back to west side waterfront

The Sturgeon Bay city council voted Tuesday to approve a development agreement that will move the Teweles and Brandeis granary back to its original location on the west side waterfront.  The vote means that hopes to preserve the more than one-hundred year old grain elevator remain alive.  A private donor’s pledge of $1.25 million will pay most of the associated costs.


Council members David Ward and Seth Wiederanders voted against adopting the agreement.


Ward said people he visits with are overwhelmingly opposed to preserving the granary.  Council member Laurel Hauser cited a very different public response.  She said only one person has emailed her in opposition to saving the granary.  That email, she said, was filled with misinformation.


Council members Kelly Catarozoli and Barbara Allmann are not seeking re-election on the April 2nd ballot.  Both spoke strongly in favor of the granary preservation effort.  Allman said the project is in very good hands.  Catarozoli said the project is something in which the community can take pride.  Both expressed confidence in the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society and thanked the major donor for making the granary preservation effort possible.

Plant based drinks should not be labeled milk

Nut-based dairy alternative products could not be labeled as made from milk if a bill supported by U. S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is passed. The bill would apply to drinks, yogurts or cheeses made from plant-based liquids.  The bill has the support of Rich Olson of Olson Family Farm in Southern Door.  He says so-called milk made from almonds, walnuts or grains just doesn't measure up nutritionally.



A similar bill was introduced during previous sessions of Congress without ever being brought to the Senate or House floors for consideration. 

New Beacon Awards nomination deadline Wednesday

The awards banquet sponsored by the Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce has a new name and direction.  Formerly called the BIE Awards, which stands for Business, Industry, and Education, the ceremony will now be known as the Beacon Awards.  Algoma Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sara Krouse says the new name identifies with the signature lighthouse in the community. 



A lighthouse award is debuting this year and will go to an outstanding volunteer in the Algoma area.  Other awards, including Business, Education, Employee of the Year and the Rising Star, will be presented at the award ceremony on April 22.  Nominations are due this Wednesday at 6 pm.  You can find information on past award recipients and nominations below.


Alternative Forestville fire department fill site considered

The Southern Door Fire Department will meet with the Door County Soil and Water Department to consider an alternative fill-up site at the Forestville Mill Pond.  The 94-acre pond is scheduled to be drained later this year as part of a water quality improvement project.  Southern Door Assistant Fire Chief Randy Massart says the department will propose creating a new fill site near the Forestville Dam. 


Southern Door Fire Fighters and the County Soil and Water Department will meet Friday afternoon at the mill pond for informal discussion. The drawdown of the Forestville Mill Pond would last two years before it is refilled.

Students LEAP to stage next month

Nearly six months of hard work will become a reality in April with Door County students put on its fourth annual production of LEAP: The Human Kindness Project. LEAP stands for “Learn to Empower and Appreciate all Persons” and the show featuring students from all four Door County mainland schools create the show to address an issue of social change. This year’s show covers the topic of isolation and the impact technology has on teens.  Advisor Terry Lundahl says this has the makings of one of the best student-organized productions yet.

LEAP: The Human Kindness Project will play at the Southern Door Auditorium on April 12th and 14th. You can learn more about the performances online with this story.

Concerns growing for public transit in Door County

Organizations like Door-Tran are hoping the Door County Board has second thoughts about potentially eliminating its popular public transit program.  Beginning in 2020, taxpayer costs for the Door 2 Door Rides are expected to reach $170,000 per year to keep the program going, with projections reaching $220,000 within five years. Approximately 40,000 Trips are given by Door 2 Door Rides every year so residents can get around the county. Door-Tran Mobility Manager Pam Busch does not know how her organization could keep up with the demand, especially in the disabled community.

Busch says for every dollar invested in transportation, it creates an additional four dollars in economic activity. A presentation on the financial straits of Door 2 Door Rides will take place during the full Door County Board meeting in Sturgeon Bay on March 26th beginning at 10 a.m.

Kewaunee, Door finish in top third in county health rankings

Kewaunee and Door are among the healthiest counties in the state according to the County Health Rankings released on Tuesday. A collaborative effort between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, the rankings show how location influences how well and how long you live. Kewaunee County took 11th overall in the study, showing improvement specifically in the health behaviors category. Cindy Kinnard from the Kewaunee County Public Health Department says the improvement shows the effort they put into getting people more active.

Ozaukee County took top honors in the health rankings list while Menominee County finished in last. We will cover Door County, which took 20th out of Wisconsin’s 72 counties in the report, later this week. 

Roads closed in Kewaunee County

The after-effects of last weekend's flooding are continuing to have a negative effect on travel in Kewaunee County.


Kewaunee County Emergency Management announced yesterday two road closures will be in effect for the next few days while repairs are made. The affected roads include County Highway P between County Highway X and Bluebird Road and County Line Road between State Highway 54 and Church Road. 


Photo courtesy of Kewaunee County Emergency Management

Mayoral candidates share different views on granary

With the mayoral election in Sturgeon Bay only two weeks away, both candidates are making their views known on the future of the Teweles & Brandeis Granary.  David Ward, currently a member of the city council, says there is still a struggle to determine the ultimate use of the historic granary.  At last Tuesday’s candidate forum, Ward shared the two questions that need to be answered before a final decision should be made on the granary. 




He says if either fails the project will not be successful.  Shawn Fairchild, a member of the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society (SBHS), says he would want the granary project to move forward if he was the mayor had the deciding vote. 



The city council meeting Tuesday will consider a development agreement between the city and the SBHS Foundation for the granary. The Sturgeon Bay mayor race will be decided on the April 2nd election.   

Street projects await spring weather

The return of seasonal temperatures and a forecast of a continuing warm up this week means area street and road projects may be able to start as scheduled.  Sturgeon Bay City Engineer Chad Shefchek says the bidding process is complete and with hopes to begin street work in a few weeks.



 Shefchek says the city does not have any big projects like last year’s Duluth Avenue reconstruction, but Georgia Street and Third Avenue north of the downtown district will be getting new pavement along with new sewer and water lines.   


Sister Bay Shopko store closing by June

All remaining Shopko retail stores, including the Sister Bay Hometown location, are closing by June 16.  A liquidation sale is reportedly being planned for the next three months for the 120 stores affected by Monday’s decision.  Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jim Schuessler says he was disappointed in the announcement but sees good news in the future for Sister Bay.



On Monday, Shopko filed in U.S. Bankruptcy court noting the closure of all the stores by June.   Shopko had hoped to find a buyer at an auction on Tuesday but that was canceled with the announcement.  In February, Shopko had announced plans to close 250 stores.      


Kewaunee County looks to purchase land near administration center

The Kewaunee County Administration Center could have an additional 20 acres to grow into if the board approves the land purchase at its Tuesday evening meeting. The parcel owned by Michael and Brenda Wisnicky on Baumeister Drive would be bought for $150,000 if approved. County Board Chairperson Robert Weidner says the purchase is being made with the future in mind.

The meeting held at the Kewaunee County Administration Center in Kewaunee at 6 p.m. will also cover the last details involving the shuttered landfill and a resolution supporting increasing the funding for child support services.

Skimmers reported on Algoma gas pumps

A rash of debit card fraud apparently hit people filling up outside at Algoma convenience stores last week.  According to the Algoma Police Department multiple debit transactions were scammed.  Algoma Police Chief Randy Remiker says thousands of dollars of fraud charges have been tracked at this point and consumers should be careful when using their debit cards.

Chief Remiker also recommends that credit card purchases for gas be done inside the convenience store to be safe.  He asks that anyone with any information regarding the silver SUV and two male suspects should contact the Algoma Police Department immediately.  Neither owners of the three gas stations in Algoma, Parv Jandu and Jim Graf believe their pumps were tampered.  Jandu did say he reported an ATM theft on March 9.  No further details are available at this time as the investigation contines. 

Money playing bigger role in judicial elections

For the second straight Wisconsin Supreme Court election, judicial recusal reform is one of the dominating discussion points for candidates. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Judge Brian Hagedorn told a panel at the Milwaukee Press Club earlier this month he would recuse himself from cases depending on his direct role to the issue at hand. Judge Lisa Neubauer says she would like public hearings on judicial recusal and would not be a part of hearings involving the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which has pledged hundreds of thousands of dollars to support her in the race for Wisconsin Supreme Court. Jay Heck from Common Cause Wisconsin says it is the money that is making judicial recusal a bigger topic with every passing election.

According to the Brennan Center at New York University, over $2.5 million was spent on television ads alone in the race between Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Dallet and Judge Michael Screnock last year. 

Farmers face obstacles away from the fields

Joe Haberli loves tending to his 250 cows and 1500 acres at Haberli Farms in Egg Harbor, but he is concerned about the future of farming in Brown, Door, and Kewaunee Counties. Haberli cites a number of factors to why the average age of farmers has crept up steadily over the years and why even some are discouraging their kids from following in their footsteps. Low prices, higher costs, the unwillingness of banks to give loans, and the shortage of labor are just some of the reasons why farms are closing their doors by the hundreds every year without even factoring in the success of the crops or animals. Haberli hopes his 13-year-old son continues to love working on the farm with him, but he says college is a must.

Haberli is also disappointed that middlemen between farmers and consumers continue to rake in profits even as the appreciation of where food comes from and commodity prices drop.

Hunting dogs triggering complaints

As the hunting seasons continue for animals like coyote and crow, the dogs used for the sport are becoming a source of complaints in Kewaunee County. Hunting dogs are commonly used for forcing birds into flight or tracking an animal’s scent on the trail. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says using dogs for hunting is a legitimate sport, but it becomes an issue if you stray off your own land.

Joski says hunters need to be able to maintain control of their dog during the hunt unless you are on your own property. If you are not, you and your dog must have permission to hunt on the land. You can read the full explanation from Sheriff Matt Joski online with this story.




This week’s article is a response to an increasing number of complaints regarding hunting dogs on private property. While the use of dogs for the purpose of hunting is a legitimate sport and brings with it some great opportunities for exercise and camaraderie, there are unique aspects to this sport as well as legal considerations. For those not familiar with how dogs are used in the hunt, it can be in a variety of ways. The first is bird hunting where the dog flushes out the prey ahead of the hunter forcing the bird to take flight creating an opportunity for the hunter. This typically does not create an issue as these types of hunts occur in a very refined area. Another way is where the hunter releases a dog on a scent trail of small game.  Once released the dog will stay on that scent trail for a great distance, which results in the dogs traveling across numerous sections of property. If this type of hunting is able to be done while staying on either the hunter’s property or property by which the hunter has permission, there are no issues.

        What we have been seeing is an increase in calls from property owners where these animals are running across their property and no permission was granted. Once contacted by law enforcement the hunters legitimize this behavior by saying that they have no control over their dogs once they get on a scent. While it may be true that the hunter themselves may not be trespassing, there is a law which is applicable in these circumstances.

         Wisconsin State Statute 174.042 (1)(a) “Dogs Running at Large” states the following:

“A dog is considered to be running at large if it is off the premises of its owner and not under the control of the owner or some other person.” What this means is that if the hunter is not able to call off the dog that hunter is not maintaining control of that dog. As it pertains specifically to the hunt, the statute goes on to state in 174.042(1)b)

“A dog that is actively engaged in a legal hunting activity, including training, is not considered to be running at large if the dog is monitored or supervised by a person and the dog is on land that is open to hunting or on land on which the person has obtained permission to hunt or to train a dog.”

        Bottom line is that if you are hunting with a dog you need to comply with two basic premises, the first being that unless you are on your own property, you must be able to maintain control of your animal throughout the hunt, and the second being that you and your dog must be on either your own land or land of which you have been given permission to hunt on. We are very fortunate to have a great DNR Warden presence in our county, and if you do witness either a trespassing violation or a dog at large violation, please contact our Dispatch Center and we will send either a Deputy or a Warden to investigate.

Door 2 Door may be in trouble

The Door 2 Door shared ride service has been giving people rides in Door County since 2009 but rising costs may force it to become unavailable. According to Door County Administrator Ken Pabich, about $180,000 will be needed in taxpayer money in 2020. At the Door County board meeting on March 26th, there will be a presentation talking about what needs to be done to keep Door 2 Door alive. Pabich says the funding for Door 2 Door has been an issue for about four years now. The county has had to decrease the number of rides given in 2018 and Pabich says the reserve they used to keep D2D going has run out.



In 2019, the County Board allocated an additional $80,000 to cover costs and to study what can be done to preserve the system.

Recently discovered names of those buried in Gardner

In anticipation of the Feast of St. Joseph on March 19th, the patron saint of (among other things) a happy death, St. Joseph Church in Gardner celebrated by reading the recently rediscovered names of those buried in their local cemetery. The cemetery was passed between parishes over many years in the late 1800s and early 1900s and fallen into disrepair. Recent interest by a newly assigned priest helped bring these lost names back to light. Father Edward Looney was visiting cemeteries in his new parish of Brussels this past November to honor the dead when he was told by residents of the town of Gardner that they believed there were at least 30 more people buried in the cemetery than there were markers for. With the help of old town records, Looney and parish volunteers were able to begin identifying who those people could be.



The search has revealed 31 names which you can find at the end of this article. The parish also has future plans to use ground penetrating radar to find the locations of the deceased in order to place cross markers and erecting a monument containing all of the names.


List of those buried at St. Joseph Cemetery, Fox Lane, Gardner without a grave marker:

Eleonore Bourguignon - Died 4-9-1889
Mary Joseph (Vitalin) Calamine - Died 9-28-1897
Marie Cantin - Died Oct. 15, 1879
Maria Sophia Dellevause - Died February 5, 1881
Eugenie Delongville - Died 7-31-1917
Anne (Joseph) Delsipee - Died 12-10-1889
Ann (Sacotte) Delsipee - Died 4-21-1920
Galielmus Delsypee - Died 3-24-1883
Alexandrina Delypses - Died November 15, 1880
Leopold Demortier - Died August 21, 1880
Hearricus Deshez - Died 4-27-1898
Henry (Josephine) Destree - Died 4-25-1898
Joseph Destree - Died 7-23-1911
Petrus Jilius Casimiri Diery - Died 1-27-1882
Joannes Lambertus Doequier - Died Dec. 10, 1881
Patrick Farley - Died 5-30-1893
Marie Francoise - Died 9-12-1889
Mathilde Gigot - Died April 6, 1880
Desirie Henquinet - Died 6-21-1906
Nancy Ibases - Died 3-20-1895
Peter Joseph Jenkin - Died 8-10-1895
Melanie Jenquine - Died 3-27-1918
Victorine Laluzere - Died 1-26-1889
John Longley - Died 12-22-1896
Charlotte Lougueville - Died 7-8-1889
(No first name listed) Niles - Died 9-1903
Alphons Simon - Died 11-16-1901
Marie Steboloeu - Died 8-26-1889
Mary Gladys Tassoul - Died 2-1-1911
Mary Tlachac - Died 8-7-1911
Walter (Vlademir) Yankowski - Died 10-26-1929








Detour on Highway 42 in Ephraim starting Monday

Drivers will have to use a detour on Highway 42 in Ephraim starting on Monday. Highway 42 will be closed between Hidden Spring Rd. and Moravia St. between Monday and May 24th. Those driving north on 42 will be detoured to County Road A to County EE then County F to Highway 57 and finally meet back up at the intersection of 57 and 42.


Business and residential access will be available during the more than two months of the detour. Mark Kantola is the regional communications manager for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and he says DOT has a program that helps businesses deal with the detour.



Starting on May 25th Highway 42 will open again but with lane closures from Sunday at 9 PM to Friday at noon. That will last until June 28th.

Domestic violence extends into the workplace

A Door County organization is trying to get employers to realize that taking a stand against domestic violence can be beneficial to them as well as their workers. Domestic violence abusers often show up at the workplace to check up on their partner and threaten them. That can even extend to the customers they are serving in the workplace. Steve Vickman, Executive Director of Help of Door County, says employers can take a stand against domestic violence and that will not only help the emotional and mental well-being of their employees but will help them become more productive.



According to Vickman, there were 14,000 separate violent incidents at workplaces in the US in 2018. He added domestic violence cost businesses $8 billion last year due to lost work time and healthcare costs. Help of Door County is a non-profit organization that provides services and programs to victims of domestic abuse.

New Years resolutions still going strong in Door County

Door County residents that made New Years resolutions to be more active in 2019 are doing just that. Door County YMCA Swim Team Coach Mike McHugh says he saw a large number of new people come into the “Y” starting in January. Those same people are still coming to all the programs even now that spring is approaching. McHugh says people come to the “Y” and stay active because of all the great programs and teachers there.



McHugh added it takes three months to make something a habit and once resolvers stick around through March that will make it easier to stay active.

Southern Door considers 4K all-day kindergarten

The Southern Door County Board of Education will look at the possibility of adding a full-day 4-year-old kindergarten.  That comes after a survey indicated many parents wanted that option.  Southern Door School Superintendent Patricia Vickman says that would give parents another alternative for their child's 4-year-old kindergarten experience.  



The full-day 4-K proposal will be addressed by the Southern Door County Board of Education at its regular meeting Monday night at 6:30 PM at the high school library on County Highway DK.

Flood recovery taking time with new challenges

The heavy rains and unseasonably warm temperatures have passed.  The flooding caused by the rains and melting snowpack, however, continues to impact driving and clean-up efforts in Door and Kewaunee Counties.  Kewaunee County Highway Commissioner Todd Every says some highways will need repairs once the flood waters recede.



That's despite highway department crews clearing culverts and ditches of ice and snow prior to the flooding.  Door County Highway Commissioner John Kolodziej expects his department to remain busy as flood waters move from one location to another.



Until the flooding recedes, drivers are being told not to drive through water-covered roadways to avoid the risk of accidents caused by hydroplaning.

Sevastopol schools approve resource officer plan

The Sevastopol School District is moving ahead with a plan to have a school resource officer on staff full time.  The school board approved a three-year agreement with the Door County Sheriffs Department. The plan calls for having a deputy assigned to the district during the school week starting with the 2019-2020 school year.  Sevastopol School Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says having a full-time school resources officer has become a necessity.



The agreement must first be approved by the Door County Board of Supervisors.  The Southern Door School District will be considering a resolution for a similar proposal at Monday night's board of education meeting at 6:30 PM.

Team Olson wins 16th Annual Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club Trivia Night

History was made Saturday evening at the Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club Trivia Night as the first four-member team claimed the title.  Team Olson tallied 72 correct answers to win the 16th annual competition held at the new PATH Center, formerly known as the Jaycee Hall.  Competing against nine other teams of up to eight players, Team Olson aced category nine, "Celebrities who made Wisconsin Famous" and hung on to win the close contest which features ten categories and 100 total questions.  Proceeds from the three-hour event help support local programs sponsored by the Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club.  Over $18,000 has been raised in the past 16 years from the Trivia Night.  


(photo submitted shows Team Olson from L-R, Pat Olson, Jim Olson, Michelle Olson and Eric Olson)

St. Patrick's Day parade turns Sturgeon Bay green

A chilly and overcast Saturday didn’t prevent people from having a good time at the 26th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in Sturgeon Bay. The first float set off from Sawyer Park at 11 AM led by the Sturgeon Bay Schools marching band. At around 11:45 the last float passed S. 3rd Ave. and Jefferson St. to finish the parade. The streets were lined with people wearing green and candy was tossed from all the floats. Both Sturgeon Bay mayoral candidates had floats as well as many other local businesses. 


Pictures and a short clip of the parade can be found at the bottom of this story.











Young Door County musicians perform in Southern Door

Door County children in grades six through 12 had a chance to perform their musical talents at Southern Door School on Saturday at a District Solo and Ensemble Festival event. Students from Southern Door, Sevastopol and Sturgeon Bay showed up to perform solos or in small ensembles in front of Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) adjudicators. 


Students compete in three classes based on experience. Class C is for entry-level, Class B for students in their second, third or fourth year of study, and Class A for advanced. Those in Class A have an opportunity to score a one-star rating from their adjudicator at the district event which advances them on to the State Solo & Ensemble Festival.
Dawn Pitzen, head of the Southern Door music department and the District Festival Manager, says this is the first time many students perform without their director in front of a crowd. It can be a very challenging thing for students to do but Pitzen says this experience can really help a student in their music career and in life in general.



The State Solo & Ensemble Festival will be at UW-Green Bay on May 3rd and 4th.


(The picture posted with this story is an adjudicator critiquing the TJ Walker Middle School choir.)

Challenges with ensuring residents shovel their sidewalks

This winter's heavy snowfalls have generated a lot of work for public works departments and a few complaints about property owners not clearing their sidewalks.  City ordinances in Sturgeon Bay and Algoma require property owners to remove snow from sidewalks within 24-hours after a snow storm ends.  Sturgeon Bay Municipal Services Director Mike Barker says it can be hard reaching those who don't comply because most people have cellphones, which are not listed in telephone directories.  Barker says Sturgeon Bay also has to contend with homes owned by seasonal residents.



Barker says compliance for all property owners is far cheaper than having city crews clear sidewalks and billing property owners $170.  Algoma Public Works Director Matt Murphy says his department has had no complaints about sidewalks still covered by snow.  He adds some property owners have a difficult time complying with the law because they have nowhere to put the snow.



Murphy and Barker say in most cases where municipal crews are dispatched to clear sidewalks they find the property owners clearing the way, just a little later than their neighbors might have liked.

Golf courses can recover quickly from winter damage

A co-owner of Idlewild Golf Club says the high snow banks now being reduced by rain and milder temperatures are not big obstacles to opening for the season.  Phil Riddle says the course will be able to recover from winter damage.  He adds it's all dependent on what the retreating snow and ice reveal.


Idlewild Golf Club's Pro Shop traditionally opens April 1st.  While he cannot guarantee the fairways and greens will be open that day, Riddle is seeing some optimistic signs in the melting snow and ice.


Riddle says recovering from winter damage is all part of golf course ownership.  Idlewild Golf Club, however, will be removing a number of Ash trees over this season following damage from the Emerald Ash Borer beetle. 

Culver's, community shares in success

Culver’s in Sturgeon Bay is happy when the griddle is full of butterburgers, especially when it is for local organizations. Like other Culver’s franchises across the country, the Sturgeon Bay location hosts dozens of share nights throughout the year while raising thousands of dollars in the process. Door County Law Enforcement’s Lights of Christmas program and Sevastopol athletics are just some of the groups to benefit from the Share Nights at Culver’s. The proceeds donated by Culver’s can be a big help in itself, but owner Austin Hildebrand says the tips earned by the organization’s volunteers during the event makes the evenings an even bigger success.

Hildebrand says organizations interested in participating in its Share Night program just need to contact him so they can fill out an application and talk through the details. 

Gibraltar schools hosting job fair in April

Gibraltar students can get a jump start on finding summer work at a job fair next month.  Mary Witteborg, DECA advisor at Gibraltar High School, says local businesses have until March 25 to reserve a space at the job fair.  She says the fair is a great way for students to get a head start on finding a summer job.



The Gibraltar Job Fair will be from noon until 2 pm on Wednesday, April 3.   Businesses can participate at no cost but space is limited. 

Southern Door Students Participate in "Youth in Government"

The Sturgeon Bay YMCA’s Youth In Government delegation, Door County, participated in the
63rd Model Government conference of 2019 on March 1st through the 3rd.
Model Government brings together each state’s delegations into one conference. Wisconsin's
Delegates meet in Madison at the Capitol for a short three-day session each year.
This year the Door County Delegation increased its size to around 25 student members. Of these
students, six of them were from Southern Door School. Anna Staudenmaier, Suhani Patel,
Delilah Rose, Emma Hanson, Amanda Puccini, Regan Norton, and Cameron Rass all engaged in
this program and strived at this years Model Government session.
These six students have spread themselves through the branches of Youth In Government,
including the Supreme Court, Senate, and Press Corps.
Speaking with these students, they had all one thought in common:
Youth In Government has become an outlet where they have become their best and brightest
selves. Having a program that allows students to debate and write sets them up for their future
The two seniors from Southern Door, Regan Norton, and Cameron Rass, are sad to be leaving
this program but value the time that they have spent in chambers. The other Door County
Southern Door Delegates are looking forward to their upcoming years in Youth In Government.

Earth Day celebration spanning weekend at Kress Pavilion

Earth Day may be a little more than a month away, but Door County is already planning a longer version in celebration.  “Every Day is Earth Day” will be on the Arbor Day weekend at the end of April and include a host of activities.  Wayne Kudick, an organizer for the “Every Day is Earth Day" festival, shares the details of the upcoming events that will be held at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor.



The free event is an exchange where attendees should bring their ideas to share as well, according to Kudick.   He says more details on the “Earth Day is Every Day” festival will be released in the next few weeks.  

Path being considered along Memorial Drive

Waterfront property on Sturgeon Bay’s east side may be getting developed for public use in the future.  The Sturgeon Bay Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board has been given the task to look at options of putting a path along Memorial Drive on the green space side by the water, according to Chair and Councilmember Kelly Catarozoli.  She says the path could be paved and accessible for bikes and other passive activities.  


Catarozoli says many people that walk and bike along Memorial Drive prefer the waterside and the half-mile stretch is “stress-free” mobility.  She says plans are very preliminary and the city would work with the residents across the street on Memorial Drive.


Gibraltar Historical Society announces Talk series

The Gibraltar Historical Society is announcing the schedule for the upcoming season of historic programs.  Preliminary plans are to bring “The Cherryland A’s Model A Club” to Fish Creek this year, according to Laurie Buske, Gibraltar Historical Society president.  Buske says the organization always tries to bring something different every year for people to experience.   




A Victorian Wedding Exhibit is the featured art display at Noble Square in Fish Creek.  Scheduled talks this year include the White Gull Gals on June 20, The Schreiber’s on July 11 and A History in Paint on September 5.  All presentations are held at the Old Gibraltar Town Hall in Fish Creek and start at 7 pm.  For more information on the Gibraltar Historical Society visit 

Well owners on alert after flooding

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is urging private well owners to think twice about drinking their water without testing it first after melting snow and rainfall caused flooding in northeast Wisconsin this weekend. Changes in color, smell, or taste could occur if flood waters get near or into wells because of the contaminants it could carry. Cindy Euclide from Euclide Well Drilling in Brussels says testing and disinfection is a must before you use your well for drinking or cooking.


Even if your home has some kind of water disinfection or purification system, Jim Simonar from Lemens WaterCare in Luxemburg still advises private well owners to tread with caution. 


No more rain is in the forecast for the area, but high temperatures above freezing are expected to stick around through the end of the next week to help the remaining snow melt even more.  

Creativity already flowing at Habitat

Artists and fans of repurposing furniture are already getting a head start on this year’s Door County Vintage Home and Garden Fair. In its second year under the current format, the outdoor event held at Lazy L Ranch in Sturgeon Bay raised thousands of dollars for Door County Habitat for Humanity to help fund their efforts to address affordable housing in the area. Executive Director David Van Dyke credits last year’s committee members for helping strike a chord with locals and tourists alike.

This year’s Door County Vintage Home and Garden Fair will return to Lazy L Ranch on August 24th. Door County Habitat for Humanity is looking for new committee members to help run this year’s event and invites people who want to give repurposing a try for charity to pick out an item for free to return in July.

American Legion turns 100

American Legion Posts in Door and Kewaunee Counties are celebrating the national organization’s centennial celebration this month. The American Legion was established by Congress as a patriotic veterans organization, with its first meeting of World War I soldiers taking place in Paris. Honorably discharged veterans must have been on federal active duty during a wartime conflict to qualify as a member. American Legion Posts do more than just make sure their fellow military veterans are taken care of by hosting fundraisers and events to support a number of local causes. Sturgeon Bay Post 62 Commander Deb Logerquist says the camaraderie developed among its members is important.

Door County has American Legion posts in Sister Bay, Washington Island, Sturgeon Bay, and Forestville while Kewaunee County has them in Kewaunee, Algoma, Casco, and Luxemburg. This is the first in a series of reports commemorating American Legion’s 100th Anniversary. 


Photo Submitted by Forestville American Legion

Sunset Park entrance closed due to flooding

Motorists will have to bring a canoe if they want to visit Sunset Park in Sturgeon Bay. Municipal Services Director Mike Barker alerted county and city officials along with members of media at around 12:30 p.m. Friday of plans to close the entrance to Sunset Park at 3rd Avenue and Florida Street due to flooding. Barker says in the email that he believes the storm sewer lines are either frozen or clogged, but they are causing water depths of over a foot in some sections of the street.  There is currently no anticipated reopening date or time.

Wet weather pressing farmers' manure storage limits

Wet weather to end the fall and heavy precipitation totals heading into the spring could make manure handling difficult for farmers in Door and Kewaunee Counties. Farmers are supposed to have 180 days of manure storage available on their operations. Some farmers were not able to get as much out to their fields in the fall because of the wet weather, which if spread on a wrong day could end up in area streams and contaminate local wells as runoff.  Melting snow and spring rains could also cause issues for farmers down the road. Aaron Augustian of Augustian Farms in Kewaunee says his storage situation is looking good as of right now, but other farmers may have to make arrangements if necessary.

Kewaunee County farmers who use land with shallow soils have to wait until April 15th to spread manure due to the Public Health and Groundwater Protection ordinance passed in 2014. 

Washington Island School District prepares for another referendum

Washington Island residents could see their taxes rise over the next year as its school district heads again to an operational referendum. The school district presented the details last week to parents and community members, who can expect to see a tax levy impact of about $43 on a $150,000 home for the 2019-2020 school year and no change the following year. Washington Island School District has been forced to go to referendum since 2000 to help cover the increasing costs of running its operations. Superintendent of Business Services Sue Cornell points to state funding for the reason why they have to keep going to the voters despite already being over 90 percent locally funded.

Like Sturgeon Bay, Washington Island voters will see an operational referendum question on their ballot when they head to the polls on April 2nd. You can find the referendum slideshow for Washington Island School District online with this story.  



Thawing of snow causing potential flooding on roads

Local law enforcement is warning drivers to be prepared to take alternate routes when driving around the area this weekend.  With near-record snowfall the past six weeks, the recent warm-up has caused substantial melting leading to the possible flooding.  Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says drivers should avoid driving through standing water on roadways. 



Joski says the real issue is that a lot of snow still remains in ditches and is significantly blocking culverts from draining roadways properly.  He advises drivers not to drive through any standing water on the roads and to take a different route to be safe.   


(photo courtesy of Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department)




Marijuana presentation set for March 26

A free public presentation on the impact of cannabis will be held later this month in Sturgeon Bay.  With both the Village of Egg Harbor and the City of Sturgeon Bay having an advisory referendum on the April ballot to gauge the community’s opinion on the support for recreational or medical marijuana, the Door County Alcohol and Other Drug Coalition decided to schedule the event.   Community Impact Coordinator Dakota Londo explains what will be covered at the presentation. 



The Cannabis program will be from 6:00 - 7:30 pm at the Hope Church in Sturgeon Bay on Tuesday, March 26.  

Big Mouth still going strong

For 27 years and counting Big Mouth and the Power Tool Horns is still touring the area and entertaining crowds with a variety of music.  Featuring a brass horn section that fits the band’s name, Big Mouth was originally formed by Jay Whitney, who moved to Door County,  in 1990, and teamed with  Pat Judy, Woody Mankowski, and Paul Sowinski.  A few years later a horn section was added and the Power Tool Horns were born.   Sowinski, who lives in Fish Creek, says band members have changed over the years, but Big Mouth is still bringing a unique style of sound their fans appreciate. 



 Big Mouth recently released an album called “The Look” and is at the Algoma Performing Arts Center with the Algoma High School band Friday night. 


(photo courtesy of Big Mouth)


Door County to meet with new state tourism team

STURGEON BAY, WI (Terry Kovarik) -- The Door County Visitor Bureau is looking to build new connections and showcase the region at the upcoming Wisconsin Governors Conference on Tourism.  The three-day conference helps tourism leaders statewide network and share successful ideas.  Visitor Bureau Director of Communications and PR Jon Jarosh, says the organization is looking forward to meeting up with Department of Tourism Secretary-designee Sara Meaney and further promoting Door County attractions.



The 2019 Wisconsin Governor Conference on Tourism runs from Sunday, March 17th through Tuesday, March 19th. 

Bid deadline approaches for Algoma public access equipment

Those who watch the Algoma City Council and Kewaunee County Board meetings on cable will soon notice a sharper picture.  The City of Algoma is preparing to upgrade its audio-visual systems that telecast, record and transmit city and county governmental meetings and public affairs shows.  The upgrade is expected to cost about $60-thousand.   Algoma Deputy Treasurer Amber Shallow says the current equipment is at the end of its service life.


Bids for the City of Algoma's audio-visual systems upgrade are being accepted until the close of business Monday, March 18th.

Classical music reaching new audiences

Credit Midsummer’s Music newest ensemble for helping new and younger faces attend their performances. The Griffon String Quartet began last fall as a collaboration with the Fine Arts Institute at Green Bay East High School and St. Norbert College to help enhance music education across Door and Brown counties. Midsummer’s Music Executive Director Allyson Fleck credits the musicians’ outreach and community approach for bringing in audiences of all ages.

The Griffon String Quartet will play their next concert at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Friday beginning at 7 p.m. You can find more details about the concert online with this story.






The quartet is the result of a collaboration between Midsummer’s Music Ltd. in Door County, the Fine Arts Institute at East High in Green Bay, and St. Norbert College in De Pere. With a mission of enhancing student learning and academic achievement through increased exposure to—and participation in—music, the three-year program is embedding a professional resident string quartet—the Griffon String Quartet—into the classrooms of schools throughout Door and Brown Counties.


In addition to student outreach, the Griffon String Quartet plays concerts for all ages in venues across Door County and Brown County. The March 15 concert, which begins at 7:00 pm, includes Beethoven’s String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 18, No. 6; Joan Tower’s String Quartet No. 5, “White Water”; and Debussy’s String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 10. A reception follows the concert for an opportunity to meet the musicians.


The four musicians are young, well-educated, energetic, and dedicated to the success of the program. Ryan Louie (cello) has toured extensively and has degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and the Cleveland Institute of Music. Blakeley Menghini (viola) is a 2018 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she earned her Doctoral of Musical Arts. Roy Meyer (violin) has a Bachelor of Music in violin performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master of Music degree from the University of South Florida in Tampa. Vinicius Sant’ Ana (violin) earned his Master of Music degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Tickets to the March 15 concert are $29 for adults, $10 for students, and free for children 12 and younger.


The Griffon String Quartet will play another concert with a new repertoire at 7:00 pm on Saturday, May 25, at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor. Combo pairs of tickets are available for the Mary 15 and May 25 concerts at $50 for adults and $18 for students.


Challenging ice fishing season nearing its end

March 17th is the last day for permanent ice shanties to be out on state waters according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, marking an end of the season for many anglers in Door and Kewaunee Counties. Ice fishing guide JJ Malvitz says the season has been challenging for anglers since the beginning when ice took its time forming. Heavy snowfall caused a slush on the ice that made it hard for guides and their customers to get to their fishing spots. The recent warm temperatures are causing four to eight inches of water to accumulate on the surface. Malvitz says dealing with nature is just part of the deal.

For anglers still looking to snag a fish or two before the ice disappears, Malvitz urges people to take extreme caution when heading out. He added Door County remains a destination for ice fishing enthusiasts partly because of the popularity of whitefish.

Wedding barn owners toast Evers decision

Barn venues in Door and Kewaunee Counties will not have to worry about applying for a liquor license before hosting weddings and other events. Governor Tony Evers announced last week that owners of wedding barn venues will not have to worry about getting liquor licenses before hosting events despite pressure from the Tavern League of Wisconsin. Stacey Vecellio and her husband David have a liquor license for their soon-to-be-opened The Grain Loft event space in Algoma, but own a wedding barn venue in Oconomowoc. She believes the decision to not force wedding barn venues to get liquor licenses is a good one. 


Vecellio says the difference between her wedding barn and The Grain Loft, located at the former site of The Flying Pig, is she sees the Algoma landmark hosting more public events down the line.
Picture Courtesy of The Grain Loft  

Gibraltar hopes to recruit more firefighters

The Gibraltar Fire Department currently has 16 members on its roster, a number Chief Andy Bertges would like to see doubled in the near future. The low number is nothing new for volunteer fire departments across the country, which has been seeing a decrease in volunteer firefighters since 1986 according to the National Fire Protection Association. Bertges says like many volunteer organizations struggling to grow its membership, people are becoming busier and assume when they see a fire truck that staffing is okay. 


Bertges hopes to introduce a junior program in April designed to get younger people involved with the fire department and maybe even attract their parents to join as well.   

Committee satisfied with drawdown plan

Members from the Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee got the answers they needed from Door County’s plan to drawdown the Forestville Mill Pond over the next two years. Door County conservationist Erin Hanson gave her presentation detailing the plans to a full room at the Land and Water Conservation Department Tuesday morning.  Members of the general public spoke for and against the drawdown during the open comment period. Chairperson Chuck Wagner believes the committee has a firm understanding of the process Door County went through to decide on the proper way to drain the mill pond and the benefits it could bring.

The Land and Water Conservation committee took no action on the issue during the meeting and it will be discussed during an upcoming Kewaunee County personnel committee meeting.

Rain and snowfall impact on growing season uncertain

The snowpack, recent rains, and their moisture content are not necessarily indications of a good growing season ahead for gardeners and farmers.  As the temperatures warm up and precipitation falls as rain rather than snow, much of that water will run off.  Door County Extension Agriculture Educator Annie Deutsch says there are also many other variables that will impact planting decisions. 


Winter is also far from over in Wisconsin.  Deutsch says last April's snowstorm delayed planting for weeks.

Jacksonport showcases new town hall Saturday

The area community will have the opportunity to tour the new town hall in Jacksonport this Saturday.  The $1.5 million remodel and renovation was completed last year and an open house will feature the new town hall and fire station.  Town Clerk and Treasurer Theresa Cain-Bieri says the event is a prelude to Jacksonport’s 150th-year celebration that is being planned for August 10.  She explains some of the new additions to the fire station.



 The open house will be from 1:00 until 4 on Saturday afternoon at the Jacksonport Town Hall on County Road V.

Local travel plans not impacted by jet crash

After the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people on Sunday, local travel agents are addressing potential concerns about air travel plans in the future.  Sue Wehrli of Sturgeon Bay, owner of Wehrli Travel, says although customers have not expressed reservations yet about booking a flight on a Boeing 737 Max, she can accommodate anyone easily.  



Wehrli says she is experiencing her best year to date in the travel business and that the most popular trips booked this year have been river cruises in Europe.   


UPDATE: Since the publication of this article, President Donald Trump issued an executive order grounding all Boeing 737 Max airplanes until further notice. The United States is one of 50 countries to issue the suspension since Boeing made the recommendation earlier this week.  

Learning to swim can save a life

Knowing how to swim can not only become a healthy activity but also be a life-saver, according to Door County YMCA Aquatics Director Mike McHugh.  About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger.  McHugh says it is the number one cause of children’s death in the U.S. and the number one reason people should take swimming lessons. 



McHugh says the Door County YMCA offers many levels of swimming lessons for all ages.  Pre-teens can eventually join the Dolphins program that introduces them to the swim team at the YMCA.


Interview with Mike McHugh by Nick Freimuth on Wednesday morning





Words matter in defining domestic abuse

The choice of words can affect the context of understanding a situation when it comes to many issues, including domestic violence.  Steve Vickman, executive director of Help of Door County, says choosing words carefully can help to educate the community better on topics about intimate partners and violence.  He gives an example of misusing words in describing domestic abuse. 



Vickman says we need to better understand and frame our conversations about topics like violent crimes and domestic abuse and battery.

Parts of Snowmobile trails close in Door County

The Southeast and Southwest section of the Door County Snowmobile trails are closed as of this morning.  The North and Central sections remain open as of now on the Door County Snowmobile Trail.  Weather conditions are expected to continue have rising temperatures that may cause additional deterioration of the trails.  We will keep you updated on changes to the trail status in the future. 

City of Algoma sitting fiscally fit for 2019

With municipalities throughout the state working to keep their budgets in line for the first quarter of the year, the City of Algoma is retiring some long-term debt.  Algoma was nearly at the maximum allowable borrowing limit just six years ago and City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says they are sitting in a lot better situation today. 



Wiswell adds that the city did borrow some funds early in 2018 when interest rates were really low.  He says Algoma is functioning at a very high level to stay on course with their three-year Capital Improvement Plan to address street construction and needed vehicle purchases.  

Sisters helping with mission trip to Honduras

Two sisters, who graduated from Sturgeon Bay High School, are heading to a dental clinic in Honduras on a mission trip this Saturday.  Amie Hurley and Katie Glasheen, daughters of Ken and Tracy Glasheen of Sturgeon Bay, are taking part in a nine-day project that was organized by in-country mission coordinator Rick Nelson.  Nelson is formerly of Sturgeon Bay and Door County Habitat for Humanity director.  Hurley, a dentist from Baltimore, Maryland, who has gone on two previous trips to Honduras, shares the details of the planned mission work.  She says they were able to treat over 100 patients in four and half days on her last trip to this remote part of the country.  


Hurley says the talented team of volunteers will include her older sister Katie who will be acting as an interpreter for the group.  Glasheen, who currently lives in Boulder, Colorado, says the chance to join her sister and utilize her bi-lingual skills on the mission trip was too good of an opportunity to pass up.



The mission trips are organized and funded through the Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church and the Sturgeon Bay Rotary Club’s Foundation project.   


(submitted photos from 2016 Honduras mission trip)



Amie Hurley, Mariela Gaughan, and Rick Nelson after landing the 5-seat plane in Ahuas!



Amie Hurley and Paul Feit working on a patient in the dental clinic




ADRC Lakeshore holding caregiver support classes

In an attempt to help caregivers take better care of themselves the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of the Lakeshore is hosting free classes called “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” starting next month. Older Americans Act Program Manager and Supervisor Wendy Hutterer says the goal of the class is to offer supportive ideas to caregivers so they don’t burn out. 



The six sessions will be held on Wednesdays from 9:00 until 11:30 am from April 17 through May 22 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Rankin.  You can call the ADCR of the Lakeshore to register for the “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” class.   



Powerful Tools for Caregivers

April 17th to May 22nd  (Wednesdays)

9am to 1130 am

St. John Lutheran Church Rankin (off of 54)

Must Register to Attend:  Call 1-877-416-7083


Mayoral Forum highlights candidates' vision for Sturgeon Bay

The two candidates for Sturgeon Bay mayor had a chance to state their case during a forum Tuesday night at a packed City Hall.  David Ward and Shawn Fairchild fielded submitted questions from the public and those in attendance for ninety minutes.  The westside waterfront development was a major question that elicited two different visions by the candidates.  Fairchild says public access is a key to any development once the Ordinary High Water Mark ruling is final. 



Ward says private development will be crucial to the success of any westside growth on the waterfront factoring in the Tax Incremental District (TID).   



The 19 questions ranged from how to encourage better civility on the city council to providing more affordable housing.  The election is Tuesday, April 2.  You can watch the video of Tuesday’s mayoral forum that was sponsored by the Door County League of Women Voters with the link below.





Construction delay gives Fish Creek more preparation time

Fish Creek businesses were given a mixed bag of news earlier this year when it was announced the Wisconsin Department of Transportation was delaying the downtown section of its Highway 42 project for one year. The Fish Creek Civic Association had been working for months to prepare for the reconstruction of the street, with some businesses scheduling vacations instead of opening their doors. While the delay until March 2020 could be frustrating, Mark Kantola from the DOT says it will have a positive effect for taxpayers.

Fish Creek businesses and the DOT were complimentary of each other during the planning process. Kantola says the 63 businesses attending its last meeting was extremely high for a community. One of Door County’s most successful retailers, Mitch Larson, owner of On Deck Clothing in Sturgeon Bay, Fish Creek, and Sister Bay, said he is not worried about construction.  Larson said he’s impressed with the cooperation of the DOT, that he’s been through a three-year construction project in Sister Bay and that all his stores are undergoing remodeling that will make 2019 a good year.

Frostman hopes to connect agencies to address workforce issues

Secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Caleb Frostman hopes state agencies can work together to address some of the employment issues facing businesses. One area of focus could be the Department of Corrections and the DWD working together to identify individuals who could benefit from vocational training while serving out their sentence. Frostman, the former executive director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation, says state agencies and private employers need to be creative in how it addresses the employee shortage and the skills gaps they are facing.

Former Governor Tommy Thompson suggested earlier this year establishing vocational training at some jails to help prisoners find work after their release and hopefully not continue the cycle of incarceration.

Bridge Up out brewing itself

Some tap lines are running dry at Sonny’s Italian Kitchen in Sturgeon Bay thanks to the popularity of its Bridge Up Brewing Company. Brewmaster Trent Snyder saw the first of his beers poured at the end of January, rotating through a variety of different brews. Sonny’s Italian Kitchen owner Jason Estes told’s Nick Freimuth that less than two months into the venture, they may already have to upgrade its current brewing system.

Snyder says he brews two to three days a week to keep up with the demand for the trio of beers currently on tap and the future kegging of an Irish red ale for St. Patrick’s Day.



Gibraltar DECA earns state awards

Gibraltar High School’s DECA, the Association of Marketing, Management and Entrepreneurship Students, won several awards at the State Career Development Conference last week.  The Chapter earned awards for service work on the GO BO Foundation, MDA and Jacksonport Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Gibraltar DECA advisor Mary Witteborg shares some of the award-winning work done by students.


Witteborg received a pin and was recognized for her 30 years of being an advisor.  Two area business people also traveled to Lake Geneva.  Mert Larsen of On Deck Clothing and Teri Berndt of Nicolet Bank were judges for the 52 different project based and performance roleplay events. 


(Photo of Connor Duffy and Brandon Stillman)  

DNC in Milwaukee significant to Door County

Door County hopes to capitalize on Monday’s announcement that the 2020 Democratic National Convention will be held in Milwaukee.  Director of Communications and Public Relations at the Door County Visitors Bureau Jon Jarosh says the timing of the convention could not be better for showcasing the state. 



Will Gregory, president of the Door County Democratic Party, says the chosen location shows the importance of the Midwest in the upcoming presidential election. 



The convention will be held from July 13-16 at the Fiserv Forum.   Milwaukee was chosen over Miami and Houston.  


Free Skin Cancer Screening offered in Kewaunee County

In an effort to educate the public on the most common cancer in the country, Kewaunee County officials are holding a free skin cancer screening in Luxemburg next month.  Medical professionals will be giving spot checks, discussing the signs of skin cancer and sharing advice on how to protect your skin.  Kewaunee County Public Health Director Cindy Kinnard says the event is free for all ages and is important especially in this area. 



You can get examined for skin cancer for free on Saturday, April 6 at the Prevea Luxemburg Health Center from nine until noon.  Register and schedule your appointment by calling the Kewaunee County Public Health Department in advance.     

Vehicle smashes into Razors Edge Barbershop

A one-vehicle accident caused damage to a Sturgeon Bay business building Monday morning with no reported injuries.  A Sports Utility Van smashed the floor-to-ceiling windows in the Razor’s Edge Barbershop building on Madison Avenue in Sturgeon Bay about 10:30 am Monday, according to Razor’s Edge owner Dennis Anschutz.  He describes what happened.



 Anschutz says, fortunately, no one was sitting in the waiting area by the corner of the building that was hit.  The Razor’s Edge remained open after boarding up the corner of the building with plywood.  The Sturgeon Bay Police Department was not available for comment on if the man's vehicle suffered damage and if he was cited for a violation.     



(photo by Nick Freimuth)


Trees getting tapped for future syrup

It is later than he usually does it, but Hillside Apples owner Bill Roethle still expects the sap to run strong from his trees in Casco.  Roethle and his son Brad usually begin tapping trees for sap collection in late February, but the cold and the snow prevented them from getting out before early Monday morning. He says some people had some sap flowing over the weekend, but Roethle believes there is still time before his 300 tapped trees really start producing.

Roethle expects his trees will produce at least 1400 gallons of sap so he can produce approximately 35 gallons of syrup. The snow has also made pruning his apple trees more of a chore than usual, but Roethle says the early cover helped protect the root systems over the winter.

Sturgeon Bay veteran visits Oval Office for signing

An executive order signed by President Donald Trump last week had the audience of a Sturgeon Bay Marine veteran. Jack Brandenburg, a current relief mate with Ohio-based Interlake Steamship, was selected to witness the signing of the executive order designed to make it easier for military veterans to transition to jobs in the domestic maritime industry. Currently, much of the training done in the military does not qualify for the  merchant mariner documentation required by the U.S. Coast Guard  to work on a ship. With help from the American Maritime Partnership, Brandenburg expects that to change.


Brandenburg says he was humbled to be inside the Oval Office with all of its history and to be able to shake the hand of the President.
The Oval Office photo is an official White House photo taken by Shealah Craighead; the press conference photos are by AP photographer Manuel Balce Ceneta.

Cuellar remembered for pioneering Door County's Hispanic community

Roberto Esquivel Cuellar will go down as one half of the first Hispanic family to settle in Door County, but he will be remembered for so much more. Cuellar and his wife Rosa moved to Door County in 1962 after spending some time working in the orchards previously. He was involved in several local organizations, but it was establishing the Hispanic Resource Center for families in Door and Kewaunee Counties that he was most known for in his life. Imelda Delchambre helped Cuellar establish the organization that helps 100 Hispanic families every year. She says he was her right hand man on almost everything.

Cuellar passed away last Thursday at the age of 74. You can read the full obituary online with this story. 



Roberto Esquivel Cuellar, affectionately known as “Loco” by friends and other community members, 74, fell asleep in the loving arms of his family at home in the Town of Jacksonport, and awoke in the arms of the Lord, Thursday afternoon, March 7, 2019.

     He was born September 30, 1944 in Acuña, Mexico, the son of Enrique and Julia (Esquivel) Cuellar. Robert was adopted by MariaCuellar and was raised by Tomas D. and Francisca B. Cuellar. Robert attended school in Del Rio, TX. He met Rosa Elvia Sifuentes at a bridge, and they were united in marriage on April 4, 1962. Robert had spent time in Door County, WI working in the orchards, and he and Rosa, relocated there a few weeks after they were married. They were the first Hispanic family to settle in Door County.

     Robert was initially employed with Roen Orchards in Ellison Bay, then Berns Brothers Lumber Co. in Sister Bay (which was eventually purchased by Lampert’s Lumber). He was most recently employed with Ace Hardware in Sister Bay.

     Robert helped establish the Hispanic Resource Center for families living in Door and Kewaunee Counties, along with Imelda Delchambre. He served as treasurer for the Hispanic Resource Center and was a volunteer firefighter for the Town of Liberty Grove. Robert was a former member of the Knights of Columbus in Kewaunee and was a longtime parishioner of St. Rosalia’s in Sister Bay (now Stella Maris Parish-Sister Bay site). He loved fishing on Kangaroo Lake amongst other areas and hunting. Robert enjoyed bowling and especially liked grilling out on his deck (no matter what season it was). Faith and family were central in his life.

     He will be deeply missed by his beloved wife, Rosa, with whom was blessed with nearly 57 years of marriage; children, Maria San Juanita “Mary Jane” Cuellar (Jeff) Simkins of Las Vegas, NV; Roberto (Marcia) Cuellar of Sturgeon Bay, Carlos (Diana) Rodriguez of San Antonio, TX, Enrique “Henry” Cuellar of Egg Harbor, Cynthia (Jose) Cuellar Rodriguez of Milwaukee, Daniel (Brittany) Cuellar of Egg Harbor; grandchildren, Joseph and Rachel Pesina, Christina Clark, and Jeffrey and Cynthia Simkins, Tyler Cuellar, Carlos Jr. and Mateo Rodriguez, Michael and Cristian Cuellar Rodriguez, Andrew Grutzmacher, Chanta Christianson, Nahaiva and Aliciá Hoffman, and Jacinda and Chiliná Cuellar; great-grandchildren, Joaquin, Antonio, Makenna, and Jaxon, N’talia and Jaxon, and Denzel and Dakota; siblings, Maria Guadalupe Esquivel, Maria del Jesus Esquivel, Maria H. (Jose) Sandoval, Juan Francisco (Blanca) and Jose B. Cuellar, Celia (Claudio Jr.) Meza, and Rotelena Cuellar; brothers-in-law, Alfredo Jimenez and Armando Perez; many other relatives; and good friends.

     Robert was reunited with his parents; grandson, Nicholas Cuellar; great-grandson, Keygan Cuellar; siblings, Tomas Cuellar, Maria Elva Jimenez, and Maria Dolores Perez; and other relatives.     

     A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at Stella Maris Parish-Sister Bay site with Fr. David Ruby as celebrant. He will be laid to rest in the church cemetery.

     Visitation for family and friends will be held at the church on Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. until 11:45 a.m.

Sturgeon Bay business hopes to spark park adoption

Quantum PC owners Erin Helgeson and Nathan Drager hope a conversation with Sturgeon Bay Common Councilmember Laurel Hauser turns into more city parks being adopted by local businesses.  The city of Sturgeon Bay began the program last year to offer community members a chance to give back while making the area parks safer and more beautiful with a little extra attention and work. Helgeson and Drager picked Garland Park because of how close it is to their business. She hopes once the snow melts their employees can make a difference and inspire others.

Helgeson says the paperwork, which is included with this story online, is easy to fill out. The city lists thirteen parks as being adoptable.  



Click here for Sturgeon Bay Adopt a Park program information



Melting a welcome, but cautious sight

Despite ice and snow melting from area roadways, Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says motorists should still be wary of dangerous traveling conditions. Daytime high temperatures are expected to be at or above freezing for six of the next seven days. That could leave some area roadways with standing water, which Joski says could present issues to motorists whether it stays wet or it freezes overnight.

Joski also warns the combination of warm air and cold snow could lead to foggy conditions. He advises motorists to leave additional distance between vehicles and to drive slower to adjust to the changing conditions of the area roads. You can read more about this subject from Sheriff Matt Joski online with this story.






         I have been accused many times of being an eternal optimist, and I will plead guilty as charged. On that note, I am hopeful that we are on the verge of spring. I believe we have experienced about as much winter as any community should have to experience and are now due for a warmer weather reward for our tenacity and endurance. Although any warmer weather will be a welcome change it important to note that there are safety considerations which must accompany that change.  


          As cold gives way to warmth, fog will be a common occurrence in our daily lives, and bring with it the potential for hazardous driving conditions. Many of the same safety tips apply such as leaving additional distance between your vehicle and one in front of you. Due to the instant onset of limited visibility due to fog, what may seem reasonable can become following too closely in a very short distance. Just as you would not over drive your headlights in night driving, you should also reduce your speed when you observe that visibility has deteriorated due to fog. When approaching an intersection especially in rural areas, it may not be a bad idea to roll down your window as you may hear approaching traffic you may not otherwise see. A final tip in regards to driving in foggy conditions is to always make sure you have your headlamps lit. While most new vehicles are equipped with automatic activating headlamps at dusk, sometimes the fog is not enough to activate them and you may have to go old school and physically turn them on. (Just don’t forget to turn them off)


          The other hazard that comes with the spring can be the rapid melting that I hope we experience soon. This can create conditions where there may be standing water on a road surface. If not detected, this can create the potential for hydroplaning and inability to control your vehicle. As with the issue of visibility, being aware of the changing conditions on the road surface and reducing your speed will reduce the risk of finding yourself in a very dangerous situation.


          We have survived what will likely go down in the record books as one of the snowiest winters in history, and I look forward to discussing safety for activities such as walking and biking and not shoveling and slipping.




Wisconsin organization building a veteran outdoors community

A Wisconsin organization that helps veterans would like to bring their work into Door County. Wounded Warriors United of Wisconsin (not associated with the national organization the Wounded Warriors Project) helps organize hunting and fishing trips for veterans. The WWU have not had any events in the area yet, but it is a goal of theirs to bring their work to Door County. Otto Reetz, president of the WWU, says that non-veterans of Door County can help by donating access to boats or land for an event.



Reetz added that it's very important for veterans to have a community with each other. All donations go directly to the veterans. For more information go to or the Wounded Warriors United Facebook page.

Turning Point feels like a family for some

A Door County organization that helps people with developmental disabilities feels like a family for many of its clients. Since 2018, Turning Point of Door County has helped people who have already graduated from high school find jobs and live more independently. They work with businesses in the community to find positions that will work for their members' needs, allowing them to be an active member of their community. In Sturgeon Bay, they work at places like the YMCA and Econo Foods. One of Turning Point's clients is Tiffany Leist and she wants others to know they can find a place at Turning Point.



Turning Point is always looking for new volunteers to help run workshops or with any day-to-day needs. You can find more information about how to get involved on their Facebook page.

Door Cancer makes it easy to help others

A Door County non-profit organization is helping cancer patients stay above water financially. Door-Can will help pay non-medical bills for any Door County resident who has cancer. Terrie Haen, the treasurer for Door Can, says she was inspired to volunteer for the organization after going to their Spring Fling Fundraiser three years ago. 



Door Can is always looking for more volunteers and you can contact the president Barb Herdina through their Facebook page. The Spring Fling is set for May 17th at Stone Harbor Resort.

Jandu "Pride Pump" helps Sevastopol newspaper

Sevastopol Elementary School has brought back their newspaper and they’re getting a big help from the Jandu Petroleum “Pride Pump.” It had been about 10 years since the last elementary school paper was sent out before the start of this school year. The staff wanted to help get the students excited about writing again so it got started again. Now the paper is receiving a $464.46 donation from Jandu Petroleum through the Sevastopol “Pride Pump.” Fifth-grade teacher Stephanie Ayer and second-grade teacher Brooke Tanck are the leaders of the elementary newspaper. Tanck explains how this donation will help.



Two cents out of every dollar of gas spent at the “Pride Pumps” at the Jandu Petroleum stations in Sturgeon Bay and Carlsville get donated to an organization at Sevastopol each month.

Algoma Lions Club offering college scholarships

Any senior at Algoma High School looking to go into the healthcare field can look to the Algoma Lions Club for help. The Algoma Lions are offering two $500 college scholarships for seniors interested in majoring in healthcare. Applications are due by Friday and can be picked up in the guidance office at Algoma High School. A 500-word essay about what they plan to do with their career should be submitted with the application as well as a list of community organizations in which they’ve been involved. Rita Schiesser, a member of the Algoma Lions Club, explains why they offer these scholarships.



The winners will receive their scholarships in May during the Algoma High School Annual Awards Program.

Potential future plans shared at granary event

Potential ideas for what to do with the Sturgeon Bay Teweles and Brandeis granary were on display at the Union Supper Pub on Saturday. The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society hosted the event that started at 3 PM and lasted over two hours.


The restoration team was revealed and they made presentations on what could be done with the granary. Jeff Beane is an engineer with Silman Structural Engineers, a company based in New York, who also grew up in Door County. Silman has restored many historical buildings throughout the country. Beane says the granary is in fair to good condition and can be restored. He was in Sturgeon Bay in August for an inspection and then went back to the granary in the days leading up to the event.


James Dallman is an architect at La Dallman, which is a Wisconsin-based company. He presented his ideas of how a restored granary could inspire civic pride as well as encourage practical use. Some of his ideas included attaching a visitor center to it, building a public plaza around it and putting in a sculpture garden. Dallman suggested putting a precise model of the granary in an exhibit in the visitor center.



Questions were asked to Beane, Dallman and Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Vice President Shawn Fairchild. Some concerns people had were about handicap accessibility and whether the granary could be heated and air-conditioned. The granary itself would not be heated or air-conditioned as they would like to keep it as close to how it was. It is unknown at this time how accessible it would be.

Door County Civil Air Patrol helping youth

At the Door County Cherryland Airport the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program is teaching local youths about science, technology, and responsibility. The Civil Air Patrol is a non-combat unit of the US Air Force that focuses primarily on search and rescue. The local patrol meets Saturdays and trains cadets whose ages range from 12 to 21. At this past Saturday's meeting they were building model airplanes. First Lt. Louis Merck, Deputy Commander for Cadets, says anyone is welcome to come to their meetings and see what they're all about.



Beginning in April the Cadet Program will be meeting the first and third Saturdays of every month at the Cherryland Airport from 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM.

Prizes awarded in Sturgeon Bay cross country ski race

The SnowKraft Nordic in Sturgeon Bay hosted a cross country skiing event on Saturday that featured prizes for the top finishers. The race included a wide range of skill levels from beginner to high school state champion skiers. Members of the Ashwaubenon High School Nordic team, who won the state championship last year, were participants. Dave Ferguson, the president of the Door Country Silent Sports Alliance, was the director of the race. One of the participants, Larry Fish, had raced on the track before and talked about what it's like to ski the course.



The participants skied for either 7.5k or 15k and prizes were awarded to the top finishers. There was also a kids 1k option. The SnowKraft Nordic is a privately-owned ski and fat bike trail on Walker Road in Sturgeon Bay.



Southern Door FFA event draws big crowd

A big crowd and long lines at the silent auction mean a lot of money was raised for Southern Door FFA college scholarships on Friday night. The Southern Door FFA hosted a wine and cheese gala at Mr. G’s in Jacksonport. Around 300 people came to the event at $25 per ticket. The lines for the silent auction were long meaning even more money went towards scholarships. It was the 13th annual Southern Door FFA Wine and Cheese Gala. Rich Olson was at the very first one and is now the President of the Southern Door FFA Alumni. He says the event has grown a lot in the last 13 years.


The 14th annual Southern Door FFA Wine and Cheese Gala is already scheduled for next year, also at Mr. G’s.



Bruemmer Park Zoo continues its grand vision

The Bruemmer Park Zoo in Kewaunee has big plans for 2019. The Zoological Society of Kewaunee County has spent approximately $60,000 in recent years to help fund some of its biggest projects. Some of the projects on the docket for the zoo include an expansive pheasant exhibit and new homes for its deer, goats, and sheep.  Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Director Dave Myers says continually making improvements are important for the zoo.

The Zoological Society of Kewaunee County recently raised over $5,000 at its annual ZoupArt event with proceeds going to support the future pheasant exhibit.


Photo Courtesy of Bruemmer Park Zoo. Click here for the complete master plan.

Tips on Kayaking in Door County this spring

One of the pet peeves of Kayak Fishing Pro Bill Schultz has when it comes to kayaking has nothing to do with the kayak.  Using a paddle that does not serve you best is one purchase you can make that will make your kayak experience better.  Schultz says the lighter the better.



Schultz will be back in May with his bi-weekly series on kayak fishing in Door County on 

Common Cause Wisconsin applauds government reform measure

Reforms in how campaigns are financed, political boundaries are drawn, and voters make their choices passed the U.S. House of Representatives Friday, with those with Wisconsin ties split along party lines. Under the bill known as House Resolution No. 1, voters would be automatically registered and given more opportunities to participate while limiting the impact large donors could have on campaigns. The bill also addresses redistricting reform, something Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck has been championing the state to do for several years. Heck could not believe the bill did not have more bipartisan support.

The bill is likely to go nowhere after Friday’s vote after Senator Mitch McConnell said he would not bring it to the Senate floor. Wisconsin 8th District Rep. Mike Gallagher voted against HR. 1, echoing the sentiments of many Republicans saying it expands the federal government’s role in elections and restricts free speech. You can hear his thoughts on the bill online with this story.




School open enrollment approaching halfway point

Area public and private schools are trying to attract new students as the open enrollment period continues in the state.  Eight weeks remain for the open enrollment period that began on February 4. Open enrollment in Wisconsin is available to all students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade.  Marc Vandenhouten, principal for St. Mary’s Elementary School in Luxemburg, says all the Door and Kewaunee County schools offer great opportunities for students.



 Open enrollment, which has been available since 1998 in the state, ends on April 30.  An alternate open enrolment is offered to start on July 1.    


Sturgeon Bay readies for street improvements

The City of Sturgeon Bay just finished the bidding for the road work to be done in 2019.  The projects will start up in late April or early May, according to City Engineer Chad Shefchik.  A five year Capital Plan and Roadway Improvements summary includes ten reconstructions that include sewer and water replacement as well.  Shefchik shares some of the work to be done this summer.  



You can find a complete listing of roadway projects that the City of Sturgeon Bay will complete this year with this story.  


1) Georgia Street (from N 3rd Ave to N 4th Ave): Full reconstruction of the roadway. This roadway will have minimal changes but the project will include all new pavement, curbing, sidewalks, and replacement of the sanitary sewer & water mains. 2) Georgia Street (from N 4th Ave to N 5th Ave): Mill & pave. This project will include replacement of the pavement and spot replacement of the curbing & sidewalks. 3) Georgia Street (from N 5th Ave to 580’ east of N 5th Ave): Full reconstruction of the roadway. This roadway will have minimal changes but the project will include all new pavement, curbing, sidewalks on the south / east sides of the roadway, and replacement of the sanitary sewer & water mains. The sidewalks on the north / west sides of the roadway were replaced in 2018 by WPS and will remain in place. 4) Georgia Street (from 580’ east of N 5th Ave to N 8th Ave): Mill & pave. This project will include replacement of the pavement and spot replacement of the curbing & sidewalks. In addition, the sidewalk on the west side of N 7th Ave will be extended from its current termination point to Georgia Street. Typically the City has assessed the abutting property Owners for the cost of new sidewalks while the City pays for the remainder of the restoration work to complete the project. The 2019 Capital Roadway Improvements include an estimated special assessment of $3,414.30. This special assessment would be applied to 1 parcel. 5) N 3rd Ave (from Delaware Street to Alabama Street): Mill & pave. On this roadway segment the east curb line was installed with very little pitch resulting in poor drainage that contributed to the deterioration of the roadway. Therefore, the majority of the east curb line will be replaced and 2 new storm sewer inlets & crossings will be added that will drain water to the lawn area on the west side of the roadway. The additional storm sewer work will change the pitch of the curb line enough that rebasing of the roadway at these areas will also be required. Also, the storm sewer on the west side of N 3rd Ave near Delaware Street will be modified to direct more storm sewer water to the engineered wetlands in Sunset Park. The remainder of the project will include replacement of the pavement and spot replacement of the remaining curbing. 6) Alabama Street (from N 3rd Ave to 250’ west of N 3rd Ave): Mill & pave. This project will include replacement of the pavement and the removal of the “island” at N 3rd Ave to create a more traditional intersection. 7) E Pine Street (from S Madison Ave to S Neenah Ave): Mill & pave. This project will include replacement of the pavement and spot replacement of the curbing & sidewalks. 8) S Kendale Ave (from W Pine Street to Termination): Full reconstruction of the roadway. This project will include all new pavement, curbing, and replacement of the water main. In addition, the roadway width (from face of curb to face of curb) will be reduced by 2’-0” from 33’-0” to 31’-0”. This reduction in roadway width was required to reduce the cross slope of the roadway cross section and reduce the roadway pitch at the cul-de-sac on the end of the street. These changes will improve the roadway safety and allow for easier snow removal. 9) W Elm Street (from N Hudson Ave to N Duluth Ave): Mill & pave. This project will include replacement of the pavement and spot replacement of the curbing. 10) Sidewalk addition on the north side of Florida Street from N 7th Ave to the new development being constructed on the Amity Field site: The approved development currently under construction includes a sidewalk along Florida Street. This sidewalk addition will tie the sidewalk for the development to the sidewalks at N 7th Ave. The cost for this project will be billed to TID #3 (Note: the budget for TID #3 includes money for the proposed sidewalk addition).

Reported flu numbers down this year locally

The peak of the flu season may be over, but local health care providers warn that the virus usually remains until early April.  According to the Center for Disease Control data, as of the end of February, a high number of influenza-type illnesses were reported in 34 states including Wisconsin.  Leanne Pinkert, Infection Preventionist at Door County Medical Center, says, fortunately, this year’s flu strain is less severe and estimates less than a third of hospitalizations than the past year.



 The CDC recommends that as long as the flu is spreading, vaccination should continue and help with the potential spread of the disease.  You can find more information on flu prevention below.


Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club Trivia Night on March 16

A local trivia contest will again be benefiting youth programs in Door County on March 16.  The Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club is hosting the 16th annual Trivia Night next Saturday at the PATH building, formerly called Jaycee Hall in Sturgeon Bay.  Paul Schmitt, the event organizer, shares how the evening plays out. 


The Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club Trivia Night starts at 7 pm on March 16 with registration at 6:30 pm.  The winning team receives framed certificates and the $15 entry includes appetizers and door prizes.  The event has netted over $17,000 in the past 15 years for local Rotary projects in Door County.   Anyone interested in entering a team of eight players or less can register by calling Paul Schmitt at (920)493-6635 by next Monday. 


Door County judges endorse Neubauer

Two Door County Circuit judges are endorsing Lisa Neubauer for an open seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  Neubauer is running for the seat being vacated by retiring Justice Shirley Abrahamson.  She faces Brian Hagedorn.  Reserve Judge Peter Diltz and Judge D. Todd Ehlers endorsed Neubauer in a letter to the editor you can find at  Judge Ehlers, who served with Neubauer on the State Judicial Conduct Advisory Committee for years, shares why he is endorsing her. 




The Election is April 2. 

Sevastopol students play like "Fools" this weekend

Sevastopol students will take theater goers to Ukraine when their play “Fools” opens this weekend. Written by Neil Simon, “Fools,” is a comedy focusing on a Russian schoolteacher who moves to a town cursed with chronic stupidity for 200 years with the task of fixing it. Assistant director Carrie Mulrain says they have a lot of students involved.

The play will be performed three times during the weekend, including a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday. The play will play at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.   


Picture submitted by Carrie Mulrain

Highway crews prepared for more snow

The break was good while it lasted for the Door County Highway Department as another winter weather system approaches the area this weekend. Three to six inches of snow could fall Saturday night into Sunday with chances of freezing rain also mixed into the forecast. The week off from snow has allowed highway department crews to clear storm drains and make necessary repairs to their equipment. The higher temperatures will also help in the snow removal process, but Door County Highway Commissioner John Kolodziej warns you do not want it to warm up too quickly.



Kolodziej says the county-owned supply of salt is in good shape, but it has been directed to add more sand to the state-owned ice melt due to its low levels. 

Daylight Savings Time Begins Sunday

Fire Departments across the country like Gibraltar are hoping you check your smoke detectors when you change your clocks this weekend. Daylight Savings Time begins officially on Sunday at 2 a.m. when clocks are supposed to be moved ahead one hour. Gibraltar Fire Chief Andy Bertges hopes the semiannual routine helps save lives by serving as a reminder for people to check the batteries in their smoke detectors.

The change in clocks can also be a good reminder for homeowners to restock their emergency kit and check their furnace and water heater. 

Fifth Quarter Fishing Tournament canceled

Over $120,000 in community support annually for Sturgeon Bay causes could be gone after former Clippers and NFL player Casey Rabach was forced to cancel his annual fishing tournament and dinner this summer. Rabach and his wife Nicole have organized the annual event with other NFL Alumni to help support his Fifth Quarter Foundation, which pumps thousands of dollars into projects benefiting youth education, recreation, and women’s health. Its usual docking spot located near Stone Harbor Resort is unavailable due to the city leasing the slips on a permanent basis.  In the past, the Rabachs have moved the affected boats at their expense so the tournament could go on as planned. This year, Rabach says there was not the same level of cooperation between the slip holders and the foundation.



The city currently has verbiage in the contract with the slip holders for the Cruiser Yacht Show.


The Fifth Quarter Foundation would like to see similar verbiage put in for their event.

Rabach hopes a deal can be made in time for the tournament to take place next year. A call to Sturgeon Bay City Administrator Josh VanLieshout for comment has not been returned.

Door County nearing property purchase in Liberty Grove

Door County is working this month to finish the land acquisition of property adjacent to the Door Bluff Headlands County Park.  The purchase price for the wooded land will be $450,000 and was approved by the Door County Board last December.  County Administrator Ken Pabich says the property is part of a forest preserve program and will ultimately not cost taxpayers anything.  


Pabich adds that the land will remain a natural area and enhance the current trail system that is already in the Door Bluff Headlands County Park. 

Students receive free dictionaries from Algoma Lions Club  

Third-grade students in Algoma schools recently received a valuable learning resource from the Algoma Lions Club.  As part of the non-profit organization, The Dictionary Project, 65 students received a free dictionary.  Lions Club member Rita Schiessner says the books help encourage good writers and active readers.   She says the program is well-received every year in the schools. 



Schiessner says the Algoma Lions Club has been involved in the dictionary program for the past five years distributing more than 450 books to the third-graders.  

Transitional Living Program eases concerns for abuse victims

HELP of Door County is working to make the decision to walk away from domestic abuse easier for victims.  One of the real impediments to people leaving violent situations is the financial ability to find another place to live, according to HELP of Door County Executive Director Steve Vickman.  HELP of Door County offers a Transitional Living Program that addresses the need for victims to relocate away from their abusive partner. 


HELP of Door County’s mission is to eliminate domestic abuse through prevention services and to advocate for social change.  You can find more information on services provided by HELP of Door County with the link below.   

Eagle Bluff Lighthouse to get Historic Structure Report

One of the oldest lighthouses in Door County is going to get a structural review after 151 years.  The Door County Historical Society (DCHS) has commissioned a Historic Structure Report (HSR) for the Eagle Bluff Light Station in Peninsula Park.  DCHS Executive Director Bailey Koepsel explains how the report will help preserve the lighthouse. 



Preserve from Whitefish Bay has been selected to conduct the report and will have graduate-level students from the UW-Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning work on documenting the keeper’s dwelling, light tower, and more.  Koepsel says the public can help by sharing photos from the past of the Eagle Bluff Light Station that can help the historic structure team establish a timeline when certain changes occurred to the lighthouse.  

League making it easier to be better citizens

The League of Women Voters Door County is making sure people are just as informed about their local races as they are about those occurring on a statewide or national platform. LWV-Door County has already hosted candidate forums for Sturgeon Bay City Council, Southern Door School Board, and Sevastopol Town Board thanks to citizens requesting them to be held. To make it easier for people to get the information they want, the organization has posted links on their Web site and social media channels to make sure they can watch it at least once or view certain segments over again. LWV volunteer Shirley Senarighi says providing the video online can help people make better decisions.

A forum for the Sturgeon Bay Mayoral race is scheduled to take place on March 12th beginning at 6:30 p.m. You can watch the previous forums held by the LWV this year online with this story. 

Farmers skeptical of positive USDA report

Farmers like Egg Harbor’s Joe Haberli will believe a recent projection report from the United States Department of Agriculture when it appears in his bank statement. According to the USDA’s Farm Sector Income Forecast, their net increase could be at least 10 percent in 2019 compared to 2018 at $69 billion nationwide. That is still just over half of what it was just six years ago when it was marked at $123 billion. Farmers can expect to see more from milk and cattle and less from hogs and soybeans. Haberli, who milks 250 cows a day at his operation, says it is hard to be optimistic when prices have been low for several months.

The higher prices would be a welcome sign for farmers if it is true, who have seen their neighbors go out of business faster than they have since the 2008 recession.

Handling Northern Door's baby boom

Handling its biggest class of infants in several years is no easy task, but Northern Door Children’s Center in Sister Bay continues to be up for the challenge. The early childhood center currently has 17 infants enrolled, nearly twice of its usual amount. This means the center has had to dedicate more staff to the room so each infant gets the care and guidance they need at their young age. Karen Corekin-De La Mer from Northern Door Children’s Center says this is a crucial time for the child’s development.

More teachers mean more expenses to care for the infants, which is why the creation of the New Infant Assistance Fund was so important. In honor of its dog Nia, the NIA was established by a donor family to help reduce the cost for parents requiring infant care for their kids.

Weather opening eyes of school administrators

School administrators in Door and Kewaunee Counties have been forced to get creative with its scheduling to make up for lost snow and weather days. Some days have been switched from non-attendance or early dismissals and minutes have been added to periods to make up for the lost time. Algoma School District Superintendent Nick Cochart believes they are about four to five snow or cold emergencies away from having to tack on extra days to the school year. The kids are already starting school earlier and leaving much later to accommodate the time lost. He says the kids and the staff have stood up to the challenge.

Kewaunee School District recently announced class will be in session April 22nd in addition to the time they added to their school days earlier this year. You can check with your local school districts for the latest changes to their academic schedule.

Area cheesemakers win championships

Two Kewaunee County cheesemakers earned top honors in their respective classes at the United States Championship Cheese Contest held at Lambeau Field this week. Pat Doell and Roger Krohn from Agropur’s Luxemburg plant finished in first and second place in the mild provolone category. Krohn and Doell also entered cheese in the smoked provolone, part-skim mozzarella, and mozzarella categories. Speaking to last year, Doell credited others with their success.

Ben Shibler from Kewaunee’s Ponderosa Dairy Products won Best of Class in the Flavored String Cheese category his Fiesta String Cheese. Sara Richards from Door Artisan Cheese Company in Egg Hareligibleelgible for the contest's top honor of United States Cheese Champion with her Top Hat English Truckle Cheddar. Full category results are posted online with this story with United States Cheese Champion to be named Thursday night at a ticketed event.


Full Results Here

Southern Door musicians get symphony experience

Southern Door High School band member Alex Quigley and Sam Dean are taking their instruments to the big stage this weekend when they perform with the Green Bay Youth Symphony. It is a unique experience for Dean on trumpet and Quigley on French horn as they play at the Weidner Center with both orchestra and band instruments on stage after auditioning for their spots. Southern Door band director Naomi Files says it is great to have leaders like Quigley and Dean in her ensembles.

It is a busy time for Southern Door musicians as the school hosts its solo and ensemble festival on March 16th and its high school pops concert on March 25th.


Picture Courtesy of Southern Door School District



NEW Plastics molding new era with addition

NEW Plastics is getting a facelift at its headquarters located just off of Highway 54 in Luxemburg.  The work has been over three years in the making since the manufacturer earned its Safe Quality Food certification. In addition to other facility upgrades, NEW Plastics is constructing an 8,100 square foot corporate office and building a 4,500 square foot maintenance department in its place. NEW Plastics co-owner Lonnie Vincent says the new building will feature some environmentally conscious concepts.

Celebrating over a half-century of operation, Vincent thanked his employees for adapting to the changes made over the years to help meet their customer’s needs.

Kewaunee County Food Pantry getting more from donations

The Kewaunee County Food Pantry is making a difference for about 150 families a month.  Looking to keep their inventory up when the demand is high is one challenge being faced, according to President Ken Marquardt.  Canned goods are always needed but another idea can go farther in restocking the shelves at the pantry, according to Marquardt.  


The pantry can get between five to six pounds of food for every dollar donated, according to Marquardt.  The Kewaunee County Pantry is open on Mondays and Wednesdays for food pick up from 11 am until 1 pm.  The pantry is currently looking into adding evening hours one Wednesday of the month with the addition of a few more volunteers.  

Algoma Police Department promotes Gulbrand Thursday

The Algoma Police Department is recognizing one of their officers on Thursday night after receiving a promotion to sergeant.  The promotion ceremony for Sergaent Cody Gulbrand will be held at the City Hall at 6 pm where he will be taking the Oath of Honor.  Police Chief Randy Remiker says Gulbrand has demonstrated some great attributes that will fit his new position.



Gulbrand began as a Reserve Police Officer for the City of Algoma after graduating from NWTC with an associates degree in Criminal Justice with Highest Honors in 2012.  Since joining the Algoma Police Department fulltime in 2014, Gulbrand has become the department Evidence Technician Custodian.  He is also on the Kewaunee County SWAT team.  

"Safer lawns" topic at upcoming DCEC presentation

A special program at the end of March in Sturgeon Bay can teach you how to maintain and grow a safe and thriving lawn this spring.  The Door County Environmental Council (DCEC)is sponsoring a presentation at Crossroads at Big Creek on March 28 that includes tips on having a lawn which is more environmentally-friendly.  Dr. John J. Beck, a board member of the DCEC, says having a natural lawn is important for many reasons.  



The safe lawn presentation by the DCEC will be held at the John Collins Learning Center at 7 pm on Thursday, March 28. 

Appeal decision on Sturgeon Bay OHWM expected in May

A judicial decision on an appeal of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Ordinary High Watermark (OHWM) made in January for the Sturgeon Bay waterfront by 22 residents could come as early as mid-May.  A teleconference was held Wednesday morning by Circuit Court Branch 4 Judge Gregory Gill, Jr. of Outagamie County.  Attorney Brett Reetz representing the petitioners, including former city council and Waterfront Redevelopment Authority member Thomas "Cap" Wulf, argued that they have the standing to bring forward the appeal. 


Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Limbach representing the DNR says the petitioners do not meet the two standards of having been injured or shown a violation of the law. 


After hearing arguments by both parties, Judge Gill set a timeline that will have a written response by the petitioners by April 5 and a reply by the DNR by April 19.  Judge Gill says the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront, who negotiated a compromise with the City of Sturgeon Bay on the DNR's OWHM ruling, will be included in future hearings.   He says his final ruling will be made within 30 days after receiving the written arguments. 


Below is the entire 30-minute teleconference audio.






Birmingham veto overridden by Sturgeon Bay city council

Sturgeon Bay Mayor Thad Birmingham had another veto overridden by a 6 to 1 vote of the city council Tuesday. A majority of council members voted in February to withdraw the city from appealing a lawsuit with Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront. That decision halted construction of a hotel on property the Friends group argued would have been located on filled lakebed. According to the Wisconsin constitution, filled lakebed must be reserved for public use, not private development.


The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued a ruling in January that delineates where the ordinary high water mark (OHWM) is located on Sturgeon Bay’s west side waterfront. Property below the OHWM must be used for public purposes. Property above the line can be used for private development. That determination has now been appealed by several former members of the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority, among others.


Several council members have argued that the city needs to settle ongoing lawsuits and avoid engaging in litigation in the future.


Kelly Catarozoli called the city appeal of the case with Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront “silly.”



Birmingham said the city insurance carrier supports the appeal.



Council member Barbara Allmann said the ongoing litigation is costing the city too much money and should be settled. Kelly Avenson said she voted for the override of the mayoral veto because she wants the community to heal and move forward.


The only vote in opposition to the veto override was council member David Ward who agreed with Birmingham that it would be in the city’s best interests to continue as a party to the lawsuit.

Sturgeon Bay musician experiences Irish music and culture.

Bass player and vocalist Paul Sowinski of the band Big Mouth received a surprise 60th birthday gift from his wife, Ginny, recently that will be hard to top.  Sowinski, who lives in Fish Creek, traveled to Iceland and Ireland for a month along with fellow Door County musician Julian Hagan and his wife.  Besides taking in the scenic country sides and history, Sowinski had the opportunity to experience Irish culture and music in pubs throughout Dublin. 


Sowinski found it fascinating that when a solo performance started, everyone in the pub would stop talking and give 100 percent attention to the singer.  A 27-year performer with Big Mouth & the Power Tool Horns, Sowinski returned from his trip late last Thursday in time for a performance at the Lambeau Field’s Atrium on Saturday.  


(Photo contributed)


Schultz presenting at Sports Show this weekend

Door County Kayak Fishing Pro Bill Schultz will be a featured speaker at the Journal Sentinel Sports Show this Thursday in West Allis.   Schultz, who is a guest correspondent on during the summer, will be presenting a program on “Sturgeon Bay: Big Smallies All Season.  Schultz says the smallmouth bass fishing in Door County improved last year. 




Schultz practices “catch and release” when fishing in Door County waters.  The Journal Sentinel Sports Show is held Wednesday through this Sunday at the Wisconsin State Fair Park Exposition Center in West Allis. Schultz’s biweekly summer series on kayak and kayak fishing will return on in May.  

Southern Door FFA Alumni Wine and Cheese Gala Friday

The Southern Door FFA Alumni Club is hosting a Wine & Cheese Gala this Friday for the thirteenth year to help support the local chapter at the school.  Rich Olson, president of the Southern Door FFA Alumni, says the evening includes wine sampling and an array of different cheeses as well as brats, smoked salmon and dipping oils.  He shares how the proceeds will benefit the FFA program at Southern Door schools. 


Tickets are available online at or may be purchased at the door.  The event will be from 6:00 to 9:00 pm on Friday at Mr. G’s in Jacksonport.      


White snow means green for area businesses

The abundance of snow this year has meant an economic boon for some area hospitality businesses in Door and Kewaunee County.  With all the snowmobile trails open in the area, snowmobilers are frequenting establishments all along the way, according to Kevin Koutarek, owner of Tippycanoe in Euren.  He says the past weekend was huge for his business.


According to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, Wisconsin ranks as the nation’s leader in snowmobiling and generates over $1 billion of economic impact to the state.     


Lent begins with Ash Wednesday

Christians in Door and Kewaunee counties begin their Lenten journeys Wednesday with special services. Many will be marked with ashes on their foreheads as a symbol of their repentance entering one of the holiest times of the year. Interim Pastor Ken Kratz of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Kewaunee says the season of Lent is a wonderful time to remember God’s love.

Service times vary from church to church to commemorate the beginning of Lent, which ends on Easter Sunday on April 21st.

Adopt a Soldier helps a soldier smile

Unlike the care packages they send out multiple times a year, Adopt a Soldier Door County was able to make one veteran smile without packing a single box. A Vietnam veteran had his teeth pulled over a year ago and applied through Adopt a Soldier Door County to get a $1,000 grant to help pay for some of his new dentures.  The organization decided to cover the entire expense, which on average is about $1,500. Nancy Hutchinson from Adopt a Soldier Door County says it was something her committee felt they had to do.

From the candy bars packed into boxes to providing interest-free loans to Coast Guard members affected by the government shutdown earlier this year, Hutchinson says providing the support would not have been possible without the generosity of the local community.

Viral social media challenge worrying parents

An Internet hoax or not, the Momo Challenge is causing the Door County Sheriff’s Department to remind parents about basic Internet safety.  The Momo Challenge is accused of using hidden messages or imagery in YouTube videos and other social media channels to dare kids to do dangerous things and even commit suicide.  While proof of its existence is up for debate, it is leaving parents with plenty of questions. Door County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Pat Mc

Checking parental controls and adjusting device settings are two ways you can help protect kids from potentially dangerous content. You can find more tips online with this story.



Road construction hits Ephraim March 18th

You will have to be either creative with your route or follow the detour to get around Ephraim beginning March 18th. That is when Highway 42 will be closed in the village to thru traffic as the Wisconsin Department of Transportation begins its reconstruction project from the Sister Bay-Ephraim border to the town of Gibraltar.  Village administrator Brent Bristol says there will be plenty of signage to get around effectively, especially since the snow is making for some cramped quarters for motorists.

Highway 42 is expected to be reopened to thru traffic in Ephraim by the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Stages 2 and 3 are expected to be wrapped up by the end of June.


You can find more information on the Ephraim road construction and streetscape projects posted online here.

Local bakeries brace for Fat Tuesday and Paczki rush

The Lenten season begins with Ash Wednesday, but local bakeries are geared up for “Fat Tuesday”, a carnival celebration associated with Mardi Gras.  A polish donut, called Paczki, is a popular indulgence before Lent.   Alex Stodola of Stodola IGA in Luxemburg says the tradition of buying paczki in the area has grown over the years.



Paczkis are made from especially rich dough that contains eggs, fats, sugar, yeast, and milk featuring fruit and cream fillings.  Fat Tuesday always falls on the 47th day before Easter.  

Old Algoma Hardwoods continues to be in play for development

The City of Algoma is keeping its options open for business expansion in the old Algoma Hardwoods complex.  City Administrator Jeff Wiswell says if the city is to approve any construction for business purposes they must follow flood plain guidelines set down by the state and the federal government.  



The Hardwoods Masonite door production plant closed in 2017 and is currently being used for storage, according to Wiswell. 

Door County Library promoting STEAM with Challenge

The Baileys Harbor branch of the Door County Library is helping promote STEAM, science, technology, engineering, art and math with a special Mystery Bag Design Challenge.  Morgan Mann, Community Relations Librarian Assistant, explains how the month-long challenge works.




Mann says last year’s Mystery Bag Design Challenge included everyone from four years old to middle age participants.  The goal is to ignite curiosity and creativity while giving kids something to do over the upcoming Spring Break.   

Gov. Evers joins Clean Water summit in Door County

Governor Tony Evers joined a clean water roundtable discussion in Door County with community leaders on Monday afternoon.  The public meeting was hosted by the Door County Community Foundation and included nine local leaders along with Evers and his DNR secretary Preston Cole.  Evers declared 2019 the year of clean drinking water and wants to borrow $70 million to address water quality.   He says clean water is a critical issue that must be addressed.


The panel of local leaders included Brett Bicoy from the Door County Community Foundation, Chris Olson from the Door County Sanitation Department, Kevin Osgood from the Door County Maritime Museum, Tom Clay from the Door County Land Trust, Denise Stillman of Foremost Management Services, Dave Eliot of the Peninsula Pulse, Coggin Herringa from Crossroads at Big Creek, Mark Schuster of Bay Shore Outfitters, and Annie Egan from Celebrate Water Door County. 



You can find a video of the 35-minute roundtable discussion that was held on Monday with the link below.




Kewaunee County Sheriff supports new state identification proposal

Governor Tony Evers’ proposal to provide driver’s licenses and state identification cards to undocumented immigrants is getting support from law enforcement personnel like Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski.  Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature have come out and said it should not be a budget item as it currently stands and addressed fears it could be used for voting. Governor Evers argued during his budget address that giving undocumented immigrants the identification cards could make the roads and communities safer. Joski says he has been fighting for similar measures to be passed over the last decade, saying people should put the political rhetoric aside when looking at the issue.

Joski reiterated the cards should not open the door for entitlements or voting rights because they still would not be considered legal citizens.  Twelve states and Washington D.C. have laws on the book allowing undocumented immigrants the ability to have an identification card or driver’s license.

Businesses excited for future Sister Bay pharmacy

The Country Walk Shops in Sister Bay received a boost last week when it was announced a Hometown Pharmacy would be moving in this spring. The news comes just a couple weeks after Shopko announced it was closing its pharmacy as it reorganizes in bankruptcy. Blue Heron Glass Etching owner Mary Blichmann and Massage of Sister Bay owner Betts Williams sold approximately half of their location to Jaco Management to help facilitate the move. With the Piggly Wiggly undergoing its renovations, Blichmann is excited for what the additional foot traffic could mean for other businesses in the Country Walk Shops.

Without a pharmacy in the village, Sister Bay residents were going to have to rely on deliveries to the local clinic or the mail in order to get their medications.

Local reaction to Evers budget

Governor Evers announced his budget for the state on Thursday and there are mixed reactions in Door and Kewaunee Counties. Evers introduced the budget proposal Thursday night in the state Assembly chambers. Some of the major issues are raising the minimum wage, lowering penalties for marijuana possession and raising the gas tax. Will Gregory, the chairman of the Democratic Party of Door County, is excited for some of the changes that he hopes will come to the state.



Ron Heuer, the chairman of the Republican Party of Kewaunee County, says that Evers' budget is “insane.”



Many of the new provisions will have to pass the Republican-controlled state Legislature before becoming law. 


Apps are helping people be healthy

A Kewaunee County health coach says apps can be a good way to help you be healthy. Jody Anderson is a certified nurse and registered health coach at Succeed Health in Algoma. She says there are apps that can help you keep track of what and how much you eat as well as how often you exercise. Anderson says it’s important to get about 150 minutes per week of physical activity and apps can help you keep track of those minutes and hold you accountable.



One app Anderson recommends is MyFitnessPals. She says it’s important to find one that is easy and user-friendly for you.

Trap shooting in Sturgeon Bay getting more popular

A second-year program at Sturgeon Bay schools is gaining popularity and is helping students become more disciplined. The Clipper Clays is the target shooting team at Sturgeon Bay. Each week participants go to the Door County Rod and Gun Club and try to shoot as best they can to gain points against other teams in Wisconsin. There are different levels of teams depending on the age and skill of the student shooting. There are two middle school divisions as well as varsity and junior varsity for high school. Thirty two shooters were on all teams last year and this year there are 48. Matt Propsom is the head coach of the Clipper Clays and he says it’s important for students to try out for trap shooting because it’ll help you become more disciplined in life.



It’s early on in the shooting season as they try to keep it in between the winter and spring sports so more students can participate.

Early childhood screening available at Gibraltar

Parents in the Gibraltar School District have an opportunity to see if their young child may need special accomidations. Gibraltar School will be hosting an early childhood screening for three and four-year-olds on April 1st. The purpose of the screening is to see if your child may have special educational needs before they reach kindergarten. Mari Grenchik, the Pupil Services Secretary for the Gibraltar School District, says it’s a good way to prepare your child to get the right kind of teaching once they reach grade school.



The child must turn three by October 1st to be eligible for the screening. You can schedule an appointment by emailing Grenchik at Grenchik@Gibraltar.K12.WI.US or by calling 920-868-3284 ext. 258.

Prepare children to stay home alone during spring break

The spring break from school may result in children staying home alone.  A video training program from UW-Extension can help prepare children to stay home unsupervised.  The program teaches families how to develop a plan for emergencies.
Renee Koenig is the Family Educator at UW-Extension in Kewaunee County, she helped create the videos.  She says kids need to feel safe when home alone. 


“Parents want to feel confident about leaving their children unsupervised, that’s why we encourage parents to sit down with their children and watch the videos together.”  Koenig instructs parents to talk with their children about how they will handle difficult situations that could happen.  Setting family rules can keep children safe.  The video program provides tips for structuring the children’s time alone so they have plenty of activities to keep them busy and out of trouble.
There is no magic age at which children develop the maturity and good sense needed to stay alone.  But here are three signs that your child may be ready:
1. Your child indicates desire and willingness to stay alone.
2. Your child accepts responsibility and makes decisions.  For example, your child will follow your written directions for chores that need to be done while you are away.
3. Your child shows awareness of what others need.
For many children, these abilities can appear between 9 and 12 years of age.  Other children need more time.
“We hope this video training program will provide parents with the tools to put them at ease,” Koenig says.
Access the Home Alone video training online at or contact Renee Koenig at

Counties stronger together for Legislative Days

While bigger counties can handle their own issues by themselves, delegates for Door/Kewaunee Legislative Days have found they work better together. For 18 years county officials and citizens have teamed up to talk to state leaders about a number of issues, which this year include support for additional funding for improving rural broadband and maintaining the current school start date. Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation Chairperson Lonnie Vincent says projects like the over $4 million harbor improvement in Kewaunee may not have occurred without one county going to bat for the other. It is collaboration that makes it special.


The deadline to register to become a delegate is March 4th with trainings occuring in the middle of March. Door/Kewaunee Legislative Days is April 3rd and 4th. 

More snow means another day of clean up

Three to four inches of snow fell on Door County on Friday night into Saturday morning which means another long day of work for the highway department. Snow crews went out at around 3 AM Saturday to start clearing snow from the roadways. Rob Robison, the Construction Superintendent for the Door County Highway Department, says they hope to able to send crews home sometime in the afternoon on Saturday. Robison added that it’s imperative to clear as much snow as possible before more bitter cold temperatures come in. The forecast calls for low temperatures below zero on Monday and Tuesday nights. Robison says the road crews have been working extremely hard and putting in long hours.



Robison says equipment has started to break down but so far there has been enough time between snowfalls that they’ve been able to fix everything. Salt supplies are getting low but snow is not in the forecast until at least Friday. Robison is happy that crews will be able to take some days off coming up.

ARTA still going strong

The Ahnapee Regional Technical Academy may have changed a little bit in the almost two years since it was established, but the sense of collaboration is still strong. The partnership is now just between students at Algoma and Kewaunee high schools as they switch buildings for technical education and agriculture classes. Finding ways to offer dual credit courses and exposure to local experts have been important for the collaboration. Algoma Superintendent Nick Cochart says it has been a great partnership. 


Cochart says the kids who have participated in ARTA have really grown as they adapt to new surroundings and enjoy different course offerings. Thursday marked the end of National Career and Technical Education Month. 

Pet Insurance becoming more popular locally

Although most pet owners consider their furry friend as a member of their family, only an estimated two percent of pets nationally are insured.  Dr. Jordan Kobilca from Door County Veterinary Hospital in Sturgeon Bay and the Luxemburg Pet Clinic estimates that between ten and 20 percent of his clients carry pet insurance.  He says it is growing and strongly recommends pet owners do their research and find a policy that best fits their dog or cat.  Having pet insurance can make emotional decisions a lot easier when illness or injuries inflict pets, according to Dr. Jordan. 




Pet health insurance sales increased over 23 percent in 2018, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association.  

Refugee exhibit now open at Miller Art Museum

The “Mitli Mitlak” (Like You, Like Me) exhibition opened this weekend at the Miller Art Museum in Sturgeon Bay.  The new exhibit shares the contemporary visual works by artists with a narrative frame to tell stories of refuge, displacement, war, and culture.  Museum Curator Elizabeth Shoshany Anderson says a special theatre performance is complimenting the exhibit.  



 The accompanied free performances will be held all weekend at TAP in Sturgeon Bay. The Mitli Mitlak exhibit will stay up until April 15 at the Miller Art Museum. 

Principles of Collaboration

Collaboration has become one of the trendiest ideas in the non-profit world.  Donors and grantmakers are increasingly demanding it and the charities are responding accordingly.  Generally speaking, this is a good thing.
A strong and robust collaborative partnership leads to greater organizational efficiencies, increased effectiveness, and can accelerate the speed of social and/or systems change.  The problem is that too many efforts at collaboration are anything but strong and robust.  Donors and grantmakers have put so much pressure on charities to collaborate that partnerships are now being formed simply to relieve that pressure.  
The problem is that while a good collaborative partnership can lead to better outcomes, a bad collaboration isn’t just benign.  A poorly constructed collaboration can actually hinder a community’s ability to achieve its goals.  
Dr. Morten Hansen, a management professor at the University of California Berkeley, conducted a comprehensive study on collaborations.  He spent 15 years examining how different teams work with each other to achieve a shared goal.  Hansen says that the greatest surprise in his research is the realization that bad collaboration can lead to far worse outcomes than if the partners simply chose not to collaborate at all.  
For example, poorly structured partnerships between project teams can overwhelm schedules with unproductive meetings, distract the teams from focusing on their core missions, and create cloudy lines of accountability that actually result in less work getting done.  A poorly conceived collaboration can make things worse than had the partners simply tried to work by themselves merely and failed to achieve their goal.  There is significant research that suggests society is often better off if two organizations simply choose to go their own way rather than work together in a poorly constructed collaborative partnership.
Of course, just as a bad marriage should not cause a person to give up on the promise of love, the possibility of a bad collaborative partnership is not a good reason for an organization to decline to collaborate.  The rewards of a good partnership are simply too great to ignore.
In my many years of working in the world of philanthropy, I’ve helped facilitate the creation of numerous collaborations between charities.  One thing has become crystal clear to me.  Similar to a marriage, perhaps 80% of the likelihood of collaborative’s success can be directly traced to the selection of the right partner in the first place.  The challenge is to identify what constitutes the “right” partner.
In the case of my marriage, I chose someone incredibly determined, remarkably kind, and absolutely gorgeous.  Of course, if you’ve met my lovely wife Cari, you’re laughing out loud right now at the idea that I chose her.  It was sheer dumb luck that my “collaborative partner” chose me.  Thankfully, charities don’t have to search for a four-leaf clover before building a collaboration.  There are three principles an organization should use to be more deliberate when selecting a collaborative partner.
First, the partners need to have a shared or complementary vision.  Everyone involved must have their own clear vision of what defines success for the collaborative effort and those individual visions must be in harmony with one another.  It’s easiest when that vision is one and the same.  For instance, a public school and a church might both envision a safe place for kids to play in the neighborhood.  Collaborating together to build a playground is both obvious and logical.  The public school might use the playground on weekdays and the church only during Sunday school, but they essentially have a shared vision for the kids.
It isn’t always as obvious when organizations have different visions.  Collaboratives can still work among organizations with differing visions of success so long as they complement one another.  For instance, a housing charity’s vision might be to ensure that all working families have safe, affordable housing.  An economic development organization’s vision could be to help local businesses thrive.  Their visions are very different, but it makes perfect sense to work together to develop a multi-family housing unit.  The housing charity is all about putting working families in affordable homes and the economic development organization might be responding to the lack of workforce housing in the community.  Although each organization exists for a very different purpose, their visions complement one another and thus make them natural collaborative partners on this particular project.
Second, the partners should have complementary capabilities.  If the vision is to develop a vibrant intergenerational program, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for a children’s charity to attempt to collaborate with another youth-serving organization.  They have the same skill-set, namely, working with kids.  A better collaborative partner would be an organization that serves senior citizens because they have skills and experiences that complement those of the children’s charity.  In a successful collaboration, each partner will bring a capability which is both unique among those sitting at the table and critical to achieving the partnership’s goal.
Third, the partners must have shared values.  No matter how much two organization’s visions are in harmony and how complementary their capabilities, there inevitably will be bumps along the road.  The likelihood of two collaborating partners successfully addressing a challenge depends on their ability to work together under pressure.  How teams react when times get tough are dictated by their values.  Do you place a greater value on stewardship or innovation?  Does your organization prioritize teamwork or empower the individual?  Are you dedicated to a culture that is honest, open, ethical, and fair, or do you do focus on impact?
These are all real value statements from some of America’s largest companies.  They are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but they do say a lot about what these organizations consider the “right” or “wrong” way to get something done.  If you work with a partner whose values are in conflict with yours, you’ll spend a lot of time trying to resolve organizational conflicts simply about how you’re supposed to deal with one another.  When you collaborate with a partner that shares your values, your energy can instead be exclusively focused on getting the work done.
Bret Bicoy is President & CEO of the Door County Community Foundation.  Contact him at  

Southern Door 5th graders perform at CP Telethon

The Southern Door fifth grade class will be performing at the Cerebral Palsy Telethon this Sunday for the 37th consecutive year.  The yearly appearance has become a tradition including the announced donation total raised which has eclipsed the $58,000 mark in the past.  Southern Door fifth grade teacher Bridget Spude says the kids are excited to perform the musical this year. 





The Southern Door 5th grade class will perform at 9 am on Sunday on WBAY Channel 2.  The 65th CP Telethon started at 6:30 pm Friday and will run until 6 pm on Sunday.  



(Picture of musical courtesy of Ann Bretl)

Board supervisor not suprised by contamination report

Kewaunee County Board member Lee Luft is not shocked by Dr. Mark Borchardt's findings that much of the well contamination by coliform and nitrates in the area is caused by agricultural pollution. During the Midwest Manure Summit in Green Bay on Wednesday, Borchardt showed a relationship between the distance of wells to manure pits and septic system drain fields and how that could possibly infect wells with dangerous pathogens. Luft says with the equivalent of a major city's waste being spread on area fields every year with manure, there is a good chance you could attribute some water quality issues with it even with aging septic tanks also causing concerns.  


Luft says specific action steps by the county Land and Water Conservation committee likely will not be decided until after Borchardt's presentation at its meeting in April. 

Farmers look for next step after report release

The relationship of the distance between a home’s well and a farm’s manure pit related to its contamination is giving Kewaunee County farmers the information they need  to take its next step. Dr. Mark Borchardt presented his latest findings concerning well contamination in Kewaunee County during the Midwest Manure Summit held earlier this week at Lambeau Field in Green Bay. The studies showed coliform and nitrates found in contaminated wells can be more often traced back to agricultural pollution, especially when they are located near a farm’s manure storage site. Peninsula Pride Farms President Don Niles says with many homes in Kewaunee County located within three miles of a manure pit, farmers will have to adopt different agricultural practices to help protect the area’s groundwater. 


Many of the farming practices that could provide possible solutions are currently being studied at demonstration farms across the region. Borchardt will give the full report at the Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation meeting in April.

Pulsera Project supported at Southern Door

Michelle Gonzales Carmona, Southern Door High School senior, colored Southern Door High School with bracelets from the Pulsera Project. 


The Pulsera Project is a non-profit organization that originates in Central America. Connecting artists with United States schools give the artists a chance to make a profit for their communities and families. The goal of this organization is to “empower, educate, and connect” people of impoverished communities. 


Carmona has chosen this organization to accumulate her volunteer hours for the Global Education Achievement Certificate, GEAC. The Pulsera Project shipped a few bags full of woven bracelets to Southern Door being sold for five dollars each. Southern Door students colored the hallways with these vibrant bracelets as soon as they arrived.  Carmona says that she took part in this project because she “likes the cultural richness” and that it will benefit her in the future.


Picking dairy breakfast sites a tall task

Finding the perfect place to host thousands of people for a morning of delicious breakfast and agricultural fun can be difficult for organizers in Door and Kewaunee counties. Both the Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm and the Sevastopol FFA Dairy Breakfast rotate sites over the years, with Kinnard Farms in Casco and the Valmy Thresheree grounds their respective hosts in 2019. Sevastopol FFA advisor Dale Carlson says planning the event takes place months in advance and the hardest task is finding a place to host it.


Kewaunee County Breakfast on the Farm will take place on June 16th and the Sevastopol FFA Dairy Breakfast occurs a few weeks later on July 7th.

Algoma UMC considers leaving denomination

The sign in front of Algoma United Methodist Church could be partially covered by the time Sunday services begin due to a recent decision by the denomination. The United Methodist Church General Conference chose to uphold rules on Tuesday banning same-sex marriages and gay clergy under what is called the “traditional plan.” Pastor Jennifer Emert, who serves the Algoma UMC and West Kewaunee UMC, says she was emotionally flattened during the proceedings she believes chose to specifically discriminate against homosexuality. Members of her churches have asked about what flexibility they have removing the UMC designation from their name and if collections will go towards the denomination. Emert says the congregation was possibly due for a rebranding anyway, but this could be the final push.

Emert says she was supporting the “Simple Plan,” which would have removed language from the denomination’s Book of Discipline discouraging members of the Lesbian, Gay, and Transgender communities from full participation. Any changes would not go into full effect until 2020.

Cranberries the topic in Cherryland discussion

The state’s official fruit can thank Door County for helping it get a jump start on growing every season. Door County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Annie Deutsch will present some of her findings on cranberries when she hosts the session at the Aging and Disability Resource Center in Sturgeon Bay on March 12th. The area’s soils make large-scale cranberry production a pipe dream, but Deutsch says the success of the state’s number one fruit crop owes some gratitude to Door County.

The 1 p.m. presentation will cover how cranberries are grown and harvested in the state, which produces 60 percent of the nation’s crop every year.

Rotary Club announces Muckian Scholarship opportunity

Seniors from area high schools will have the chance for scholarships offered by the Sturgeon Bay Rotary Club.  Students who plan on attending two-year technical colleges next fall can start applying for the “Robert Muckian” scholarship.  Co-Chair John Swanson shares the background behind the scholarship. 


Swanson says between 15 to 20  students have applied for the scholarship annually in the past 12 years.  The Sturgeon Bay Rotary Club also offers academic scholarships called “Service Above Self” for seniors seeking a four-year education.  You can find application information at the Sturgeon Bay Rotary Club website.



Sevastopol cancels Friday classes

Weather has been to blame for several days of classes being canceled this winter, but Sevastopol School District has a different culprit for its latest closure. The district announced Thursday night and confirmed Friday morning that the school will be closed for the day due to a water main break. It will likely add to the time needed to be made up by the end of the school year due days canceled or cut short due to weather issues. 

Algoma reconstructing bridge this summer

One of the two bridges in Algoma will be getting a new facelift this summer.  The Second Street Bridge by the Algoma Marina will be removed and reconstructed in early September.  City Administrator Jeff Wiswell shares the timeline on the bridge work.



Wiswell says the bridge would then be put back into commission during the fall.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources just approved Algoma’s request for enforcing a new “No Wake Slow Wake” with signage along all waterways in the city, according to Wiswell.    


(photo courtesy of City of Algoma)

Forestville updating street signs in 2019

The town of Forestville is working on getting new street signs in their community.  The town board met last month and President Roy Englebert says roads and infrastructure were discussed in depth.  He says taking a drive through Forestville gives residents an idea of the improvements lying ahead.



Englebert adds the town will have to deal with costly repairs for roads over culverts that tend to heave up with the freezing and thawing temperatures in late winter.      


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