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News Archives for 2019-05

Kewaunee ATV Park working on improving trails

Kewaunee County outdoor enthusiasts have over 287 acres of wooded and rolling land to cruise on this year thanks to the Bay Lake ATV Club.  Volunteers have been busy this spring making improvements to trials at the Riverview ATV Park in Kewaunee.  Member Kelly Froehlich says bridges and water-crossings have been rebuilt while enhancing the habitat around the area.  He explains the procedure that has to be followed in order for the public to use the facility.



Froehlich says you can contact the Kewaunee County Parks Department to get your ATV Park sticker.  The Riverview ATV Park will host races later this summer in August. 


Dairy Days Dash giving back to volunteers

The streets in Luxemburg will be taken over by walkers and runners this Saturday with a specific cause in mind.   The Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s Dairy Days Dash 5K Run/Walk will benefit local non-profit programs that have helped with the event in the past. Luxemburg EMT, Kewaunee County Dairy Promotions, and Boy Scouts Troop 1042 have volunteered for all 14 years.  Organizer Sue Heim says the run/walk, which has attracted up to nearly a thousand participants in the past, is an event that the whole community has embraced.



The run/walk will begin and end at the Luxemburg Village Hall starting at 8 am Saturday.  You can find more information on the Dairy Days Dash 5K run/walk below.

Board member hopes large biodigester project stays away

Kewaunee County Board member Lee Luft hopes a large biodigester project that spurned the area for southern Brown County continues to stay away. Two weeks ago, the Town of Holland Board voted down a permit for B.C. Organics to build a $60 million manure digester in the community. It was two years ago when then-Governor Scott Walker spoke at the Agricultural Heritage Resources Center in Kewaunee about the public-private partnership with $15 million earmarked by the Public Service Commission. Luft says in the end, he feels there were too many concerns about a project of this size succeeding and addressing problems like truck traffic and odor.

Luft would rather see a large scale project like this occur in Dane County, which has about the same number of large farming operations as Kewaunee County but closer to the Department of Natural Resources and other state agencies. He also has no problem with individual farmers using their funds for their own, smaller scale digester projects such as the future natural gas production plant at Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy.   

Sturgeon Bay seniors aim to serve after graduation

Service to others is a theme Sturgeon Bay High School Principal Bob Nickel discovered when going through the end of the year routine with its graduation class. Of its 88 graduates, 12 students are heading into the medical field and four students are joining the military. That is just a small sampling of the eight different service-related occupations Sturgeon Bay students are looking into post-high school, which is something that really stands out to Nickel.

Behind co-valedictorians Josephine Morkin and Emily Tess and Salutatorian Violet Suher, Sturgeon Bay’s commencement ceremony will take place on Sunday at 4 p.m. inside the high school gym.

County takes next step towards Cana Island Interpretative Center

Visitors to the Cana Island Lighthouse near Baileys Harbor are a little bit closer to seeing a new interpretative center on the site. The Door County Board of Supervisors approved the transfer of $100,000 to the Cana Island Restoration Fund for Phase III projects which includes the proposed structure. County Administrator Ken Pabich says building the interpretative center is important so they can keep the lighthouse’s Fresnel lens, which is owned by the United States Coast Guard, on-site.

Pabich expects the expenditure to be recovered through higher numbers coming to the admission gate. The county and the Door County Maritime Museum partner together to help maintain the lighthouse, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.

Green Bay man dies in single vehicle crash

A Green Bay man died earlier Thursday morning in a single-vehicle crash in the town of Casco. Just after midnight, Travis DeGrave was traveling southbound on County Highway C near Prairie Lane when he lost control of his pick-up truck on a left curve, leaving the roadway while rolling it over in a nearby field. Crews from the Luxemburg Fire Department, Casco Fire Department, Luxemburg Rescue, and Casco First Responders were on the scene when they found DeGrave. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says it is a reminder that no matter when you are driving, you should pay attention to your surroundings.

Joski says no cause has been determined as the crash is still under investigation.

Senator Baldwin says aid not lessening impact of tariffs

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin says tariffs levied against China for unfair trading practices continues to negatively impact farmers in Door and Kewaunee counties.  That's despite $16-billion in federal aid to farmers to ease some of the effects of the tariffs.  Senator Baldwin says this second round of federal aid falls short because of other issues that have had a cumulative impact on farmers.



Baldwin says most farmers she's spoken with want fair trade to make their products attractive to offshore markets.

Kewaunee Marina coping with high water issues

The flooding of parking lots and boat launches at the Kewaunee Marina is causing more challenges than just the launching of watercraft.  Near-record, high water levels in Lake Michigan have impacted the Kewaunee harbor and river shoreline.  Kewaunee Marina Coordinator Melody Lacey says land erosion is another concern they have been dealing with daily.



Lacey says the high water has been a deterrent for boaters looking to launch their watercraft but Kewaunee Marina permanent seasonal slip owners are not experiencing any issues with their dock boats.  Water levels could rise another foot by mid-July before subsiding, according to Lacey. 



Reading program keeping children on track this summer

The Summer Reads program begins this Saturday at all the Door County Library branches.  Each of the libraries is giving a different incentive to encourage more reading by children once the school year is over.  Sturgeon Bay Youth Services Librarian Beth Lokken says it is important for kids to keep their reading skills sharp during the three-month summer break.  She says the Sturgeon Bay Library will be giving a special prize to those who log in their reading minutes. 



Kids who enter the summer reading program are encouraged to read 15 minutes a day during the three months.  This year’s program theme is “A Universe of Stories”.  You can find more information on the Summer Library Programs at




Pedal carts may be coming to Sturgeon Bay streets

You might be able to drive a pedal cart through parts of downtown Sturgeon Bay while drinking a beer or having a glass of wine.  The Sturgeon Bay city council voted last week to move forward on the adoption of an ordinance that would permit pedal carts on several routes that need to be approved by the city police and fire departments.  Jason Estes, the owner of Sonny's Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, proposed the pedal cart tours and received unanimous approval from the Community Protection and Services Committee who will be considering a draft ordinance at a meeting Monday afternoon.  Estes says the beer and wine would not be sold on the carts but passengers would be allowed to bring up to three 12-ounce beers or wine drinks.  He foresees many different uses for the pedal cart.



Estes says he has a custom-made pedal cart ordered that is being shipped from Europe and should be arriving in late June.  The pedal cart tours would be scheduled between 10 am and 10 pm, originating at Sonny's and using the Oregon Maple Street Bridge to reach Sturgeon Bay's east side.  The council will need to change the language in current ordinances that restrict open intoxicants on public property.


(photo courtesy of Door County Pedal Trolley)

"Caring" Sevastopol senior class graduates Sunday

Even after they walk across the stage on Sunday, the caring demeanor of Sevastopol’s senior class will continue. It was members of the senior class that spearheaded the benefit carnival for Sevastopol secretary Paula Symons, who passed away last week after a fight with multiple plasma cell leukemia. Principal Adam Baier says the senior class of fifty-six students is special for a number of other reasons too.

Led by valedictorian Ashley Ellefson and salutatorian Reetika Jandu, Sevastopol’s graduation will take place at the school’s elementary gym at 2 p.m. Sunday. As for the benefit carnival, that will still take place on June 10th at Sevastopol Town Park from noon to 7:30 p.m. 

Farmers wait out wet fields

With rain back in the forecast on Friday and Saturday, farmers on the Door peninsula may have to wait even longer to plant in their fields. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s crop progress report, only seven percent of the state’s corn and 27 percent of its oats have been planted, which is about 50 percent less than its five-year average. A saving grace for some farmers has been their cover crops, which is retaining the moisture and keeping the soil in place. One of the cover cropped fields farmed by Deer Run Dairy in Kewaunee has been planted while their tilled field across the street still might need a few days to dry out. Deer Run Dairy co-owner Duane Ducat says they will still need some help from Mother Nature.

The wet fields are only adding to the stress of farmers, which have a May 31st deadline for corn and a June 10th date for soybeans to either plant or take the money from a crop insurance claim.

Transportation advocates relieved with Door2Door Rides decision

Offering seven times more rides than they did in 2018 would have been a tall task for DoorTran Mobility Manager Pam Busch if it was not for the Door County Board of Supervisors agreeing to fund Door2Door Rides on Tuesday. Formal action will be taken next month, but the board decided to fund the shared ride taxi transportation system for the next three years at its current levels while it looks for cost efficiencies in the process. DoorTran provided about 5,000 free to reduced cost rides in 2018, which is a far cry from the over 42,000 Door2Door Rides did in that same time. Busch says it was good news for everyone that Door2Door Rides is sticking around.

Busch hopes DoorTran can help the county find solutions to fund the popular service, which has an estimated taxpayer cost of $170,000 in 2020 and up to $220,000 within five years.

City approves facade changes to former Advocate building

The City of Sturgeon Bay has approved facade changes to the former Door County Advocate building on 3rd Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.  The Community Development Department's Aesthetic Design and Site Plan Review Board gave the okay to Shirley Weese Young to make the changes.  Those are part of a renovation project that will aid the neighboring Third Avenue Playhouse or TAP. Community Development Vice Chairman Chris Sullivan Robinson says the plan is more restoration than renovation.


Sullivan Robinson says such a restoration will compliment interior work that is currently underway.


The Shirley Weese Young Revocable Trust bought the property from the Advocate's parent company Gannett last December for nearly $384,000.

Kewaunee wraps up harbor redevelopment surveys

Two public meetings and an online survey later, Kewaunee Community and Economic Planner Autumn Linsmeier is ready to get to work on the city’s harbor master plan. Before Monday’s deadline, close to 300 survey responses had come in offering their insight on a number of different things members of the Harbor Master Plan Task Force had not thought of before. Linsmeier says the ideas have been consistent with what the Waterfront Planning Committee created, but some plans like the Ahnapee Landing site will be improved.

The next Harbor Master Plan Committee meeting is this Thursday at Kewaunee City Hall.

Ambassadors promote dairy industry

Many know her simply as the “cow lady,” but to others, Renee Ebert plays an important role in promoting the dairy industry in Kewaunee County. A program through the Kewaunee County Dairy Promotion Committee, the ambassador program brings Ebert, Stacy Jauquet, Catrina Thiry, and Tasha Schleis to K-4 classrooms across the area to promote agriculture with activities and stories from the group Dairy Farmers of America. Ebert is known for the cow suit she wears to schools in Algoma while the others visit places in Luxemburg, Casco, and Kewaunee.  It is something she enjoys doing.

The Kewaunee County Dairy Promotion Committee also organizes the annual Breakfast on the Farm, which will be held at Kinnard Farms in Casco on June 16th.



Wisconsin Senator says Mueller statement lacks closure

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson says statements made by Special Counsel Robert Mueller after his decision to close his office and resign his post on Wednesday left him scratching his head. Mueller told reporters he would not testify in front of Congress, leaving his 448-page report to speak for itself. Senator Johnson says Mueller did not offer any closure and only gave Democrats reason to continue the investigation rather than move on to other things. He did say he wished Mueller would have looked into what predicated the investigation in the first place.

Senator Johnson says he supports Attorney General William Barr looking into previous transgressions potentially made by the Obama Administration.

Safer outdoor burning requires constant attention

As outdoor burning becomes more prevalent this spring, area fire departments are warning residents to use extreme caution when conducting any brush burning.  Fire safety recommendations before you start backyard debris burning include keeping all fires a minimum of 75 feet from all buildings, never using a flammable liquid to start a fire and to check for local burning bans or restrictions.  Brussels-Union- Gardner Assistant Fire Chief Jim Wautier adds another important safety tip for any outdoor burning.



No burning bans are currently in place in Door or Kewaunee Counties.  You can find a complete list of safety tips for the open burning season with the below link.


Door County YMCA Otumba Camp program begins June 22

One of the Door County YMCA’s popular Summer Camp programs has plenty of openings for kids this June.  The Otumba Park Half-Day Camp begins on June 22 and is a collaborative effort with the YMCA and the City of Sturgeon Bay.  Youth and Teen Development Director Tyler Powell, who has run the program in the past, says the camp includes fun activities for staff and campers.


The camp runs from nine in the morning until noon Monday through Thursday.    The YMCA offers three three-week sessions throughout the summer.  Open to all children seven to twelve years old, the Otumba program is $35 per session.  You can find more information on the camp below. 






Ages 7 to 12 Otumba Summer Camp is a collaborative partnership between the Door County YMCA and the City of Sturgeon Bay, which strives to provide an inexpensive, fun, and centrally located camp. Campers will meet at the shelter in Otumba Park each morning, utilizing the entire park to incorporate games, crafts, sports, reading, team-building challenges, beach time, and an occasional field trip within walking distance. The goal for this camp is to instill the four core values of the YMCA (honesty, caring, respect, and responsibility) into all camp activities. All participants will receive a morning snack and FREE nutritious lunch. Camp dates: Session 1- June 22 through July 9; Session 2- July 13 through July 30; Session 3, August 3 through August 21 Camp Times: Monday through Thursday, 9:00am-noon What to bring: Water Bottle, swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, sweatshirt or windbreaker Registration: Y Member: $35/session General Public: $35/session

Wausau man could be charged again for Nasewaupee fatal crash

A Wausau man could be charged with Operating While Intoxicated again after having previous counts dismissed in Door County Circuit Court last week. Jeffrey Olcott was behind the wheel of his truck when he struck a car traveling northbound on County Road PD. The crash killed 16-year-old Gabriela Jacques and 52-year-old Joseph Jacques while injuring another when they ran a stop sign at the intersection. According to court records, Olcott was charged with refusing to take a sobriety test following the crash on May 15th. That charge was dismissed on May 24th. On that same day, OWI charges were also dismissed after a citation was filed on May 22nd. The dismissals were made without prejudice, meaning Olcott could be charged again. In an email sent to, Door County District Attorney Colleen Nordin said “this matter is still under investigation by the Door County Sheriff’s Office and the Wisconsin State Patrol.  A charging decision will be made once the investigation is complete.”

Gibraltar seniors remembered for community service

With the Gibraltar High School preparing for their commencement ceremony this Sunday, the legacy of the class of 2019 is being recognized for the community service they have done over the years.  Secondary Principal at Gibraltar Gereon Menther says this year’s seniors have gone above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to community involvement. 



Speakers at the commencement ceremony will include valedictorian Evan Henry and Monique McCormack, the salutatorian.  The Gibraltar High School graduation will be held at the Door County Auditorium starting at 2 pm on Sunday.  


Higher water levels a boon for Lake Michigan fishing

Tom Kleiman of Kewaunee sees rising water levels on Lake Michigan as a concern for his waterfront property and an asset for his business.  Kleiman owns Accurate Marine and Storage and Kewaunee Tackle Company.  He says the wet spring that's flooding lakeshore properties is also flooding marshes.  That's improving Lake Michigan fish stocks and over the summer will attract more fishing fans.



Kleiman believes current water conditions will likely result in some large even record-setting sized lake trout and salmon this summer and next year. 

Cherry blossoms at peak finally

Area orchard owners are hoping for a bumper crop of cherries and apples later this summer, but local sight-seers can enjoy the beauty of blossoms that appeared over the past week in Door County.  Steve Wood of Wood Orchard in Egg Harbor and Sturgeon Bay says the tart and sweet cherry tree blossoms have already bloomed.  He says farmers and orchard owners are just getting ready for a busy harvest season that will happen in later July with cherries and early fall for apples. [WOOD] Wood expects a good harvest of cherries this year as long as severe weather, like hail and high winds, can be avoided.  


Casco Marine memorialized with 10th annual softball tournament

As Memorial Day ceremonies were celebrated throughout Door and Kewaunee Counties Monday morning, a 1997 graduate of Luxemburg-Casco High School will be memorialized this coming weekend.  The 10th annual Lance Corporal Dean Opicka Softball Tournament will be held at the Casco Village Park from Thursday through Sunday.  Opicka served in the Marines and Operation Iraqi Freedom and was one of three L-C graduates who died in the Iraq War.  Dennis Opicka says the softball tournament and motorcycle ride on Saturday is a perfect way to remember his brother.  



The softball tournament begins at 6:15 Thursday evening with the motorcycle ride on Saturday beginning at 11 in the morning.  All proceeds from the events benefit the Lance Corporal Dean Opicka Memorial Fund that supports local academic scholarships and local hardship gifts.  Over $100,000 has been raised in the last ten years.


(Photo courtesy of LCPL Dean Opicka Memorial facebook account)  

Governor Evers applauds Peninsula Pride's conservation efforts

It might have been too wet to plant, but it was dry enough for Governor Tony Evers to check out the fields at Deer Run Dairy in Kewaunee on Tuesday. Owned by Derek and Duane Ducat and Dale Bogart, Deer Run Dairy is part of the UW Discovery Farms network currently experimenting with no-till planting and cover cropping techniques. Deer Run Dairy also invested in a digester in the last decade to turn manure into electricity for the farm and bedding for its over 1700 cows. Governor Evers told the crowd that as much as Democrats and Republicans are trying to outdo each other right now, this is something they could work on together.

Bogart says it was important for the governor to see the efforts being made in Kewaunee County.

Peninsula Pride Farms President Don Niles asked the governor to continue to invest in producer watershed grants to help offset the costs associated with implementing conservation practices and give them time to allow their efforts to have a positive impact.



Teamwork emphasized at High School Home Construction Project Dedication

A new custom built home that was completed in Sturgeon Bay by six area high school student builders was dedicated in a ceremony Tuesday afternoon.  The single story 1,825 square foot ranch style home was a project sponsored by the Door County Economic Corporation who partnered with the Door County Home Builders Association and the Sturgeon Bay and Sevastopol School Districts.  Sturgeon Bay tech instructor Seth Wilson says the tenth home built by the students in the past 12 years was an incredible team effort and commitment this year.



The home at 118 North Columbia Avenue has been purchased already.  You can read the complete press release and watch the video of Tuesday’s home build dedication and open house below.



Granary to make June return to the west side

You will get a second chance to see the Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator cross the Maple/Oregon Street Bridge next month. The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society announced Tuesday on their Facebook page that the granary would be leaving its temporary home on the city’s east side back to its location on the former Door County Cooperative site on June 20th. Backed by an anonymous donor, the granary made its first move across the bridge in March 2018 before it was announced earlier this year that it would be making the journey back. The DNR gave the group permission to move it back even as the ordinary high water mark for the site is being appealed by a group of Sturgeon Bay citizens.

Auctioning off the farm

A Kewaunee auctioneer is seeing land being sold at lower amounts due to below normal commodity prices and other factors. It comes at a time when auctioneers across the state are keeping themselves busy as the numbers of dairy farms in Wisconsin dwindle at a rate of over two a day according to the USA Today-Wisconsin Network. Rick Basken of Basken Auctions in Kewaunee says many of the smaller farms in the county have been gone for years, leaving just the land to go to market.  Crops are not making things easier with commodities like soybeans currently priced at near record lows. Basken says farmers looking out for each other are also keeping prices low for farmland.

Basken does not see many farm auctions occurring in Kewaunee County where animals and implements are sold in the near future, but says smaller operations in nearby Manitowoc and Brown Counties could be next if commodity prices do not improve.

High water levels help ferry

While the higher than average water levels are causing havoc for some industries, it certainly is not for the Washington Island Ferry. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, water levels in Lake Michigan have risen seven inches in the past month with another two possible in June thanks to the wet spring. For the Washington Island Ferry, high lake levels mean fewer adjustments for their ramps and docks, though the big jumps between highs and lows are not good either. Washington Island Ferry President Hoyt Purinton says high lake levels also save them on the big expense of dredging before the season even starts.

Purinton says the strong economy and stable fuel prices helped the Washington Island Ferry get by to work on additional projects even as they annually spent thousands of dollars on dredging during the years of low water levels.

Area DI teams successful at Global Finals

Two teams from Sevastopol excelled on the world stage last week during the Destination Imagination Global Finals last week, posting a pair of third-place finishes. Both the elementary and secondary school teams in the Monster Effects-Engineering category took third for their presentations. The elementary school team, which competed against about 80 others, also earned the Renaissance Award for outstanding design, engineering, execution, and performance. Sevastopol DI supervisor Sally Borkovetz says Wisconsin teams, specifically Sevastopol, are getting national and global recognition.

Sevastopol’s elementary fine arts team took 10th in the competition, which also tied Sturgeon Bay’s team. Algoma’s Project Superheroes took 38th overall in the service learning category. This year’s DI Global Finals was held in Kansas City, Missouri.




New painting exhibit at Miller Art Museum

A new painting exhibit that will feature portraits and still lifes is coming to the Miller Art Museum in June. A still life is a painting of an arrangement of objects. It will showcase the works of Alicia Czechowski, a Detroit artist. A few of her works are included in the Miller Art Museum's permanent collection. This exhibit will combine those works with a few from other Wisconsin museums as well as some created specifically for Miller. Elizabeth Meissner-Gigstead, Executive Director of the Miller Art Museum, says the works often appear simple or mundane but draw you in.



The exhibit will open on June 1st with a free reception. Alicia Czechowski herself will be there, giving an artist talk starting at 5:30 PM.

Summer means fresh vegetables have peak nutrients

A Kewaunee County health coach says the summer is the best time to improve your diet with fresh vegetables. Jody Anderson, a registered nurse and certified health coach for Bellin Health in Kewaunee County, suggests going to local farmers markets to get fresh fruits and vegetables. She says fresh veggies mean they will have peak nutrients as opposed to getting them in the cold winter months.



Anderson also recommends exercising at least once per day and setting a goal to participate in one of the local runs or walks. She says it’s even better to do that with a friend and hold each other accountable.

Algoma Community Wellness Center gets Pride Pump boost

The Algoma Community Wellness Center (ACWC) will be able to buy some new equipment thanks to the April donation from the Jandu Petroleum Pride Pumps. The ACWC hopes to use the donation to help fund the purchase of more materials for their senior chair-based exercise classes, which have become a very popular option. Zach Blahnik, Operations Director at the ACWC, says they appreciate the donation and will help them continue their work creating a space in the community for people to connect.



The Wellness Center is attached to Algoma High School and provides classes for the community as well as for the students. The Algoma Pride Pumps are located at Lake Street and Jefferson Street as well as 4th Street between Clark and Fremont. The Pride Pump promotion is a joint effort of Jandu Petroleum and

Summer learning for Door County employers and sister city students

You'll see a few more students from Door County's sister city of Jingdezhen, China waiting tables and working in different stores this summer.  The county is hosting a larger delegation of J1 visa students from Jingdezhen this year.  County Board Chair Dave Lienau is among those who are hiring J1 students for his business, Sister Bay Mobil.  He says the young people have a great work ethic that benefits business owners when they need them most.  Lienau says students also benefit as employers make sure they have time to take in the best that America and Door County have to offer.



Lienau says the sister city arrangement with Jingdezhen has made it possible to assess a student's English proficiency.  He says that's never a hindrance to being hired since students tend to improve their language skills quickly when on the job.

Sturgeon Bay honors fallen veterans in service

A crowd of veterans and civilians came out to the Sturgeon Bay Fire Station to honor their fallen soldiers on Memorial Day morning. Rainy weather moved the ceremony inside the fire department bays which began at 10 AM. Door County Veterans Services Head Scott McFarlane emceed the ceremony and he thought it was appropriate as it made for a more intimate setting. McFarlane considered this to be a special Memorial Day celebration as the 75th anniversary of D-Day is on June 6th.


U.S. Rep.Mike Gallagher for the 8th District and veteran of the Marines was the featured speaker. Gallagher said it’s important to especially honor Vietnam War veterans as they were not as celebrated as soldiers from other wars.



After Gallagher spoke, the names of every Door County resident who died in battle was read off. These included veterans from the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and Enduring Freedom. After each name was read, a bell was rung.


The Peninsula Symphonic Band performed patriotic songs before and after the ceremony, as well as the national anthem during it. The ceremony ended with a three-volley salute.



Earn your boating safety certificate

You have an opportunity to earn your Boating Saftey Certificate in Door County in June. Wisconsin law requires anyone born after Jan 1st, 1989 to have a Boating Safety Certificate issued by the DNR. This covers the operation of any motorized boat or personal watercraft, such as a jet-ski. A boating safety course must be taken to get this Certificate and the DNR will be offering this course over the course of 4 afternoons June 10th to the 13th. Lou Pasquesi, Lt. Commander at the Door County unit of the United States Power Squadron, is helping lead the course and he says it will cover a number of areas.



Pasquesi added even if you were born before 1989 that it's an important course to take if you plan on operating a boat. This course will be happening in Sturgeon Bay and Sister Bay. Pre-registration is required and the course costs $20 to cover materials and DNR fee for the certificate. You can register by contacting Lou Pasquesi or Bob DeNoto or visit the Power Squadron website. Contact information is available online with this story.


Lou Pasquesi Phone Number: (920) 421-2214

Bob DeNoto Phone Number: (920) 493-0287

More discussion making prevention easier

Your conversations about the negative effects of alcohol and tobacco should make room for mental health and prescription drug abuse issues according to Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski. The third week of May is traditionally designated as National Prevention Week by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Each day the conversation shifts to different issues like underage drinking, illicit drug use and suicides. Joski says addressing the prevention side of the issues could have a big effect in limiting its total impact.

Joski emphasized the importance of resiliency when it came to preventing some of the behaviors that lead to destructive decisions. You can read Sheriff Matt Joski’s full article on National Prevention Week online with this story.



The third week of May has traditionally been designated as National Prevention Week bringing awareness to the many issues that our communities struggle with.

       Sunday is marked as Prevention and Cessation of Tobacco Use. We have seen an increase in awareness of the health hazards associated with tobacco use, however there is much work left to do especially in the area of youth tobacco use. Unfortunately, with the advent of electronic cigarettes otherwise known as vaping, we have seen an increase in their use which brings with them their own unique challenges and health risks.

       Monday is marked as Prevention of Underage Drinking, which is an issue we have spent many resources in both education and enforcement and continue to reach out to the community to educate our young people about the many dangers and pitfalls of underage alcohol consumption. We have seen successes in this area as we now have the widespread adoption of school codes which hold the students accountable if they make the choice to consume alcohol. This message must be followed through in the home as well so that a consistent message is sent increasing our chance to truly influence our youth.

        Tuesday is marked as Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Use. This is notably our biggest challenge in our communities as we continue to see widespread use of varying drugs. Over the years we have seen the popularity of various narcotics come and go, but the presence of drugs in general continues to take its toll on both those who live with the addictions as well as those who die from them. We must continue our vigilance to the suppression and ultimately eradication of these drugs from our communities. These efforts must be two fold in that we work to eliminate the availability through enforcement while at the same time eliminating the demand through treatment. We are very fortunate to have professionals dedicated to each of these efforts in their respective disciplines.

         Wednesday is marked as Prevention of Alcohol Abuse. This issue is separate from prevention of underage alcohol because it is in fact its own serious issue facing those under the legal age as well as those who can legally consume. This issue includes such behaviors as binge drinking which unfortunately Wisconsin is rated as one of the top states for this behavior. This also brings awareness to alcoholism in general, which has claimed too many marriages, jobs, families, and even lives. Very few of us are able to say we have not seen this sickness affect someone, and we must call awareness to this issue even if that person is not receptive. I have always said, I would rather have someone angry with me and alive than to attend the funeral of a friend.

         Thursday is marked for Suicide Prevention. This is not always easy to identify and unfortunately is not recognized until after the tragic event. Our most effective tool to combat suicide is our own daily interaction with those around us. We must always be sensitive to what our family and friends are going through. What might seem like a small matter to us may seem insurmountable to the next person.

          Friday is marked as the Promotion of Mental, Emotional, and Behavior Well Being. While our well being in these areas may be directly tied to the decisions we make or the circumstances we find ourselves in, for some it is truly a medical condition. We must all be compassionate to those around us who may be suffering from a mental health condition which in many cases is only manageable through constant medical attention. We must also realize our own individual obligation to intercede when someone we know is visibly struggling and help them in their journey.



Roundabouts have been a success story in Door County

With more traffic being in Door County for Memorial Day weekend, some intersections are moving more efficiently thanks to roundabouts. In the past two years, roundabouts have been installed in Sturgeon Bay. Mark Kantola, Wisconsin Department of Transporation Regional Communications Manager, says the roundabouts have been improving the flow of traffic. Kantola added roundabouts are also a safer option.



Kantola says many in the state are still unsure, there’s an increasingly positive opinion regarding roundabout usage.

Help bees thrive over the summer

The Door County Beekeepers Club (DCBC) is gearing up to help their hives thrive this summer. On Tuesday, they will be having their monthly meeting at Crossroads and this month’s focus will be on diseases that can strike a hive and how to care for them. Wisconsin Agricultural Department Bee Inspector Dan Ziehi will be speaking at the meeting, explaining how to identify diseases, when to treat them, and how to do so without affecting the honey. Dennis Marquardt, part of the executive committee of the DCBC, says they welcome the public to these events to help encourage interest in the insects.



The lecture part of the meeting will start at 6:30. Beforehand, they will be performing a “hive dive“ at 5:30, opening up the beehive at Crossroads to see how the queen and her brood are doing. This event is free and open to the public.

Industrial agriculture film makes Wisconsin debut in Sturgeon Bay

Filmmaker Matt Wechsler would love to move his family from Evanston, Ill. to a more rural setting like Kewaunee County, but his latest movie has given him second thoughts. Wechsler’s documentary “Right to Harm” tells the stories of five rural communities across the country that have been negatively affected by the growth of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in the United States over the last ten years. Weschler never knew what was going on in Kewaunee County when he would travel to Door County on vacation.  After filming in the area, Wechsler believes the fault does not necessarily fall with the CAFO owners but with the state agencies regulating them.

“Right to Harm” will make its Wisconsin premiere on May 30th at Sturgeon Bay’s Crossroads at Big Creek beginning at 7 p.m.



$500M increase may be coming for school funding

School districts in Door and Kewaunee counties will be getting some help desperately needed in the next state budget. More aid is coming for schools like Gibraltar, Washington Island, and Sevastopol that currently get little to no funding from the state. Low spending districts like Southern Door and some Kewaunee County school districts will see a minimum level of funding set along with an increase in per-pupil spending. First District Rep. Joel Kitchens says some of the suggestions made by the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding will have to wait until after the budget process is completed.

The 2019-2021 budget approved by the Joint Finance Committee features a $500 million increase in education funding, which is about a third of the $1.4 billion Governor Tony Evers requested.

Sunset Park packed for Sturgeon Bay Fine Arts Fair

Sunset Park brought in close to 100 art vendors for the 21st Annual Sturgeon Bay Fine Arts Fair Saturday and Sunday. Hundreds of visitors gathered to take in the beautiful art and nice spring weather. Pam Seiler, Executive Director for the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center, says close to 100 art vendors from all over Wisconsin and the Midwest came to the fair. Seiler shared what keeps people coming back year after year.



Tents were set up with paintings, sculptures, jewelry and more. There was a face-painting station and other arts and crafts activities for kids. Pictures from the Sturgeon Bay Fine Arts Fair can be found below.


Gibraltar school employees offered grants to continue school innovation

Teachers and other employees in the Gibraltar Area School District will again have financial incentives to help the schools run more efficiently. For the fifth year, the board of education is awarding innovation grants to district employees.  Those grants will help employees find new and better ways to do their jobs better. School board president Mark Weborg says the program has had past success making the education process easier for staff and students alike.


Weborg says the number of grants is based on what the budget allows from year to year.  He calls it money well spent to provide for smoother school operations. 

Mapping the way for Door County businesses to sell in Jingdezhen

An initial road map for doing business in Jingdezhen, China is generating enthusiasm for companies considering selling their goods in Door County's sister city.   The Ad Hoc Jingdezhen Sister City Advisory Committee has started the effort to make it easier to export Door County products, with help from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.  Committee member Laura Vlies Wotachek says potential exporters are attracted to growing their business modestly or being part of a cultural exchange.



Space is already in place for Door County products at Jingdezhen's main mall in a converted ceramics factory.

SBU canal dredging landfill takes in non-toxic soils

The Sturgeon Bay Utilities landfill used to store dredging material from the Sturgeon Bay Shipping Canal is non-toxic and extensively tested before storage.  The utility is currently seeking a new DNR permit to operate the 30-acre site.  The landfill can take in tens-of-thousands of tons of material from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or the U.S. Coast Guard in a season or none at all.  SBU Operations Manager Cliff White says the landfill tests all material for PCB's and is not about to run out of space anytime soon.



A public meeting on the SBU's request for a new DNR permit for the landfill will be held May 29th at the Sturgeon Bay Utility offices on East Vine Street in Sturgeon Bay.  The meeting starts at 3:30 PM.

Sister Bay man still putting Turkish Peace Corps service to work

A Sister Bay resident who served in Turkey as a member of the Peace Corps is using that experience to attract foreign workers in a tight labor market.
Bill Surbaugh spent two-years as an agriculture specialist in the village of Ashai Chiylanl, Turkey.  His tour from 1966-1968, however, had Surbaugh handling many other duties outside of his specialty.



Since his Peace Corps service concluded, Surbaugh has returned regularly to visit the friends he made, whom he now considers family.  He and his son visit Turkey each January to recruit J-1 students for his son's vacation rental business in Grand Marais, Minnesota.  With some 50 Turkish students working in Northern Door County at one time, Surbaugh found himself befriending more than a few in time of need.



Bill Surbaugh also helped Turkish farmers learn to grow crops with fertilizers, which they previously never used.

Gibraltar juniors looking forward to next year's graduation

The Gibraltar class of 2019 graduates on June 7th and the next group to finish high school after them is planning ahead. The Viking class of 2020 is already raising money for next year’s graduation festivities. They got a boost with a $328.40 donation from the Jandu Petroleum Pride Pumps promotion for April. That money will go towards the Senior Banquet of 2020. Laura Meikle is the class advisor for the class of 2020 and she says this donation takes some pressure off of students to raise money during the school year.



This year’s senior banquet took place on May 15th. During the banquet, seniors are rewarded with scholarships and awards by their teachers.

Memorial Day a county wide celebration

From placing flags on Southern Door gravesites on Sunday to throwing a wreath into the water at Schoolhouse Beach on Washington Island on Monday, Memorial Day is more than just a holiday weekend in Door County. With ceremonies also taking place in Sturgeon Bay and Sister Bay, Memorial Day is the only holiday that recognizes the ultimate sacrifice made by military families. County Veterans Service Officer Scott McFarlane will be the master of ceremonies for the Sturgeon Bay ceremony featuring  United States 8th District Congressperson Mike Gallagher as its keynote speaker. McFarlane says it is important to know Memorial Day is not just a historical holiday.

The Sturgeon Bay ceremony will be held inside the city’s fire station while celebrations in Southern Door, Sister Bay, and Washington Island will be held outdoors. You can find the full schedule online with this story.



FORESTVILLE TOWN (MAPLEWOOD)---------------7:20(split squad)
NAMUR (PIT ROAD)  -------------------------7:30(Split Squad)
BROCKHAUSEN -------------------------------7:40 (Split Squad)
MIESERE -----------------------------------7:50 (Split Squad)
BROWN -------------------------------------7:55 (Split Squad) 
WHITE STAR----------------------------------------------------------------------------------8:30
PRECIOUS BLOOD-----------------------------------------------------------------------------8:40
ST. JOE CATHOLIC (Fox Ln.)-----------------------------------------------------------------8:50
BREAK (9:20-9:45)
CLAY BANKS TOWN-------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10:25
MOUNT OLIVE----------------------------------------------------------------------------- -10:45
SHILOH MORAVIAN---------------------------------------------------------------------------10:55
OLD CATHOLIC (BETWEEN MAPLEWOOD & FORESTVILLE)-------------------------------------------12:10
Sturgeon Bay:  On Monday, May 27th, brief ceremonies will be conducted at Bayside Cemetery at 8:30 a.m., St. Joseph’s Cemetery at 9:00 a.m., and Sturgeon Bay Health Services (formerly known as the Dorchester) at 9:30 a.m.  The main ceremony will be at 10:00 a.m. in the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department bays.  The Chaplain will be Pastor Sauer and the speaker will be Congressman Gallagher.  The Peninsula Symphonic Band will play patriotic music before and during the ceremony.  American Legion Post 72 will provide the rifle squad and Andy Anderson and Mary Nickel will sound echo Taps.  Refreshments will be available after the ceremony and will be provided by Marine Corps League Detachment 1130.  Chairs will be available – please bring lawn chairs if you are arriving closer to the start time of the ceremony – as the number of chairs is limited.  
3.  Northern Door:  Monday, May 27th – at both 8:30 a.m. (Hendrickson Park) and 10:30 a.m. (Little Sister Cemetery) – please see the Sister Bay attachment.  The public is encouraged to bring lawn chairs. 
4.  Washington Island:  Monday, May 27th.  The Island ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. at Bethel Church.  There will be a prayer, patriotic music, and a program based on the American Legion Centennial Celebration.  The emphasis of the program will be on Islanders’ veterans involvement in the wars of the Centennial time period.  Everyone will then march to the cemetery where there will be a reading of the names of departed comrades, rifle squad, and a bugler sounding Taps.  Everyone will then march to Schoolhouse Beach – where there will be a laying of a wreath in the water for those lost at sea.  A bagpiper will play Amazing Grace. 

Jacksonport celebrates the summer with Maifest

Warm and sunny weather brought a large crowd out to Jacksonport for the first day of Maifest on Saturday. The festivities included an art fair, concession stands and live music. The main event was the Maifest parade which started at 10:30 AM. It was led the by Jacksonport Fire Department and the Sevastopol High School marching band. The parade began at Hwy 57 and Cave Point Drive and went for 7/10 of a mile ending just north of the village. Pictures and video of the parade can be found below this story. 


The 47th annual Maifest will continue on Sunday with a 10K run and 2-mile fun run at Lakeside Park starting at 9 AM. All other festivities can be found at Lakeside Park and Erskine Rest Area at the intersection of Hwy 57 and County V in Jacksonport.


Busy Memorial Day weekend at state parks

Newport State Park is ready for all the visitors sure to come this Memorial Day weekend. It’s one of the busiest weekends of the year for Wisconsin State Parks with the weather finally starting to warm up. Newport State Park Manager Michelle Hefty says that there is so much to do at Newport that the trails and beaches shouldn’t be too crowded. The park is also hosting a presentation called “Birds and Wildflowers of Door County” on Sunday. Hefty shared what you might see if you participate.



“Birds and Wildflowers of Door County” is free. A Wisconsin State Park sticker is required. The event starts at 1:30 PM.

Local firefighters have security protocols during emergency responses

Firefighters in Door and Kewaunee counties are subject to the same security risks during emergency responses like the one that resulted in the death of an Appleton firefighter.  While law enforcement officers provide traffic control around fire scenes, they'll accompany firefighters and emergency medical technicians to other calls on an as-needed basis.  Ephraim Fire Chief Justin McDonald says if his firefighters believe they're responding to any situation where their security may be at risk, they're told to call for protection immediately.


Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says each community can decide whether to send officers along on each fire department or EMS call.  Joski says his deputies will respond when requested by fire departments or if they're out on patrol.



Appleton Police also responded to the medical call with Appleton Firefighters and paramedics.  They returned fire after the man the emergency crews had tried to help refused treatment, walked away and opened fire with a pistol.  One police officer was injured by gunfire.

Southern Door kicks off graduation season

The first of the peninsula’s eight high school graduations takes place on Sunday at Southern Door. Seventy students will walk across the stage to get their diploma before life takes them a variety of different routes including college, tech schools, and the military. Southern Door High School Principal Steve Bousley says the personal growth he has witnessed in the senior class over the last four years has been wonderful, even when they struggled at times.

With Alexis Wery and Regan Norton as its valedictorian and salutatorian, Southern Door High School’s commencement ceremonies will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Southern Door Auditorium with a live stream available on Facebook.

Immigration attorneys extremely busy locally with sponsorship challenges

Advocates for Hispanic immigrants in areas including Door and Kewaunee counties say immigration attorneys they work with are very busy with citizenship efforts.  That includes laws governing sponsorship of immigrant parents by adult children who are U.S. citizens.  Sister Melanie Maczka, the co-founder of Casa ALBA Melanie, says their immigration attorneys level with people during the initial consultation process.



Those consultations are held Wednesday by appointment only at Casa ALBA Melanie in the Hispanic Resource Center on South Madison Street in Green Bay.

Law officers say buckle up and stay safe for Memorial Day weekend

Law enforcement officers want you to have fun over Memorial Day weekend in Door and Kewaunee counties. They also want you to stay safe.  So, the Door and Kewaunee County Sheriff's Departments want visitors to remember that seat belt use is mandatory.  Door County Chief Deputy Patrick McCarty urges all drivers to ensure they're following the rules and recommendations for the road.


The Click it or Ticket campaign is a statewide effort to ensure drivers are using seat belts and other restraints.  The fine for failure to use seatbelts is $10.  Failure to use child restraints can result in fines ranging from $10 up to $75 depending on a child's age.

Door County Board to decide fate of transportation program

The Door County Board of Supervisors will be addressing the future of the Door County Transportation Program at the upcoming meeting on Tuesday morning.  Beginning in 2020, taxpayer cost 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.  Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says he expects the board to take some action on Tuesday. 



Other agenda items to be covered at the Door County Board of Supervisors meeting include finalizing funding for the Cana Island visitor center project and a proposed automated boat launch reserve to provide a digital version for people to pay at three boat launches in the county.  The county board will meet at 9 am on Tuesday at the Door County Government Center in Sturgeon Bay.    

Sturgeon Bay staying on track with street projects

Early season street repairs are progressing nicely in Sturgeon Bay despite the unpredictable and challenging weather conditions this spring, according to City Engineer Chad Shefchik.  He says crews have been able to keep on schedule and the work necessary to prepare for new asphalt surfacing is nearly completed on three projects.



Shefchik says the asphalt company contracted with the city should be rolling into town soon and be able to lay the new surfacing down by early June.  Other street projects in Sturgeon Bay scheduled for later this summer include reconstruction on Georgia Street between North 4th Avenue and 8th Avenue plus a small stretch on Kendale Avenue, according to Shefchik. 



Demand remains high for Kewaunee County Food Pantry

Kewaunee County Food Pantry is making an impact with about 150 families in the area on a monthly basis.  Some 12,000 pounds of food is given away each month to families in need, according to Kewaunee County Food Pantry resident Ken Marquardt.  He says the pantry is always in need of canned foods and other supplies. 



The pantry can get between five to six pounds of food for every dollar donated, according to Marquardt.  He says to accommodate families who may work during the day and still qualify for assistance, the pantry is now open the third Wednesday evening of the month from 5 until 6 pm.  The Kewaunee County Food Pantry is located on Sunset Avenue in the Algoma Industrial Park area. 

Safety First to Start our Kayak/Kayak Fishing Season

It’s Memorial Day Weekend in one of the most beautiful vacation spots in the country.  And, with over 300 miles of shoreline on Green Bay and Lake Michigan, a kayaker’s nirvana to enjoy paddling, and, for the anglers, outstanding fishing.

It’s been a cool spring, with water temperatures in many locations as cold as 50 degrees, so, when you take to the water in your kayak take precautions.  Be sure to wear your PFD, put your phone in a plastic waterproof bag, wear proper clothing in case you tip, and, be sure to tell someone where you’re launching and will be kayaking.  Also, be aware of the weather conditions.  In Door County, the wind can shift quickly making conditions dangerous.  With the big water and quick weather changes, I stay close to shore.  

Now that I’ve touched on some important safety tips, it’s time to get on the water and enjoy kayaking.  Top to bottom, there are no bad places to paddle your kayak or kayak fish in Door County, you are surrounded by beauty everywhere.  And, there are dozens of kayak and boat launches throughout the county, with many roads that dead-end at the water’s edge where you can launch, just be sure to park your vehicle off the road.

For you anglers, and especially us smallmouth bass anglers, the water will be warming, with smallies heading to the shallows to spawn.  You should have good luck from Little Sturgeon Bay all the way to Gills Rock, as well as several spots on the lakeside.  As always, I hope you catch, take a nice picture and release that smallie.  Or, as the Wisconsin Smallmouth Alliance signs say, “Free the Fighter”.  Also, please don’t try to catch smallies that are guarding a bed.  

If you are new to kayaking, there are several kayak outfitters in the county who would be happy to guide you.  And, I am always happy to answer your questions.  Just email me at  



Babcock prepares for final Memorial Day as CVSO

She will never stop her Memorial Day weekend tradition of putting out American flags at a cemetery by her home near Manitowoc, but the end of Jane Babcock’s time as the Kewaunee County Veterans Service Officer is getting closer. Babcock will participate in Kewaunee’s celebration, which includes a 10:15 a.m. parade beginning at the high school before an 11 a.m. Memorial Day program takes place at the Kewaunee County Courthouse. Similar ceremonies are scheduled to take place in Luxemburg at 10 a.m. in front of the Bank of Luxemburg and at Legion Park in Algoma beginning at 11 a.m. Babcock says she has enjoyed her time being the Kewaunee County CVSO.

Babcock will officially leave her post in the middle of June when fellow Army veteran Rob Stearns takes over as the CVSO.

Death's Door Maritime Museum featuring new exhibits

Following last year’s name change, you will be able to find some new exhibits at the Death’s Door Maritime Museum in Gills Rock. Door County Maritime Museum officials are committing themselves to rotating exhibits in and out on an annual basis to keep visitors coming back to its northern campus where the area's commercial fishing industry is a major theme.  Executive Director Kevin Osgood says without ten residents going to the bank to get the first $10,000 in operating costs for the Gills Rock building 50 years ago, the Door County Maritime Museum as we know it today may have never existed.

More interactive exhibits are expected to be added to the Death’s Door Maritime Museum by the July 4th holiday. You can learn more about the Death’s Door Maritime Museum by watching our video online with this story.





State superintendent experiences island life

You could have confused State School Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor with a lifelong resident as she interacted with students and staff of the Washington Island School District earlier this week. With experience with schools in Madison, Taylor visited Wisconsin’s smallest district as a part of a statewide tour. Washington Island School principal Michelle Kanipes says she set the tone early on by thanking staff members and engaging with students and teachers. During the day, Taylor was not just showered with good conversation and island fare, but also hugs from students. Kanipes hopes her experience resonates with her when she returns to Madison.


Washington Island School District is not just the smallest in the state, it also ranks among the most unique with approximately 94 percent of its operating costs covered by island property taxes. 


Kewaunee County Board waits on state on water quality measures

It is now up to the state to act after the Kewaunee County Board nearly unanimously approved two water quality-related measures during its meeting on Tuesday. The board first threw its support behind a state Senate bill granting up to $2,500 to property owners to help remediate tainted wells with high levels of nitrates. It then passed a resolution requesting the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to extend testing of the Ahnapee River after Door County finishes its drawdown of the Forestville Millpond. Board chairperson Robert Weidner says it is important to keep up with items that could help improve its water.


The Kewaunee County Board also passed a third resolution unanimously that would ask construction crews to not use pavement sealers containing a toxic coal-tar base for county projects unless they are forced to by the state or federal government.  

Highway 42 roadwork starts Tuesday in northern Door County 

Drivers around Sister Bay will have the holiday weekend free of construction work before a resurfacing project begins next Tuesday.  The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced Thursday that Governor Tony Evers officially signed the $3.9 million contract to improve a six and one-half mile stretch from Gibraltar Road to Country Walk Drive in Sister Bay.  DOT Regional Communications Manager Mark Kantola says the road construction schedule will take into consideration the busy tourism season.




Kantola says the resurfacing project will also include storm sewer repairs and culvert replacement.  He adds that the road construction should be completed by October of this year.  

Brussels Lions Club "Filling the Float" to fight hunger

A local organization will be helping their neighbors in need with the Fill the Float Food Drive this Saturday in Brussels.  The Brussels Lions Club is joining the fight against hunger in the area with a campaign that is in the bag, literally.  Member Jared Spude says the food drive idea was the brainchild of Jason Vogel who was part of the Brown County Sheriff’s Department's food drive of filling a squad car.  Spude shares how the program will work on Saturday in Brussels.



The Fill the Float Food Drive will be held from 9 am until 3 pm at Marchant’s Foods in Brussels on Saturday. 



(photo contributed)   Jared Spude and Jason Vogel of Brussels Lions Club



Local used car demand increasing drastically

As the price for new vehicles continues to go up, local used car buyers and dealers are reaping the benefits.  According to, the average new vehicle sold this year is over $36,000.  That is up almost thirty percent over ten years ago when the average new vehicle was $28,000.  Jesse Yahnke, General Sales Manager at Jorns Chevrolet in Kewaunee, says a decade ago they sold many more four-door sedans.  



Yahnke adds that currently, it is much more difficult for dealerships to keep an inventory of used vehicles on the lot.



Six years ago, the average monthly payment for a new vehicle was $462 per month, compared to $556 per month this past February, according to  

Sturgeon Bay Fine Art Fair growing with unique artwork

Over 90 artists from around the country will be participating in the annual Fine Art Fair this Saturday and Sunday in Sturgeon Bay.  The event that started over twenty years ago with about 40 artists has grown to nearly 100 exhibitors.   Sturgeon Bay Visitors Center Executive Director Pam Seiler says the array of artists displaying their work will be diverse. 



The Fine Art Fair will also have a “paint your own sturgeon” for children to participate in as well, according to Seiler.  The Sturgeon Bay Fine Art Fair will be held Saturday from 10 am until 5 pm and Sunday from 10 am until 4 pm at Sunset Park on North Third Avenue.   


ATV ordinance heads back to Kewaunee County committee

An ordinance opening up off-highway vehicle usage on Kewaunee County roads will head back to committee. The Kewaunee County Board voted to table the item until it can be discussed again by its highway safety committee. Sheriff Matt Joski helped craft the ordinance to allow All-Terrain Vehicles and snowmobiles drive on the road as long as they followed some other rules such as a minimum age of 16 years old and restricted areas and hours of operation. In the time since it has bounced around different committees and various meetings Joski admits he has concerns on adding another type of vehicle on area roadways that already have cars, trucks, and farm equipment. He says the ordinance is about standard enforcement throughout the county since it is up to the individual townships on whether or not the vehicles are allowed.

Joski says you can never give out enough information and looks forward to working with the different county committees over the coming weeks to address additional concerns with the ordinance.

DCMC opens new rehab facility

Helping patients find more affordable healthcare solutions and work with their therapists more efficiently is the goal of the new Door County Medical Center Rehab Services facility in Sturgeon Bay. By shuffling storefronts in the Cherry Point Mall, Door County Medical Center’s Rehab Services facility was able to double in size to offer services in physical, occupational, speech, and massage therapy as well as sports medicine. Director of Rehab Services Deb Whitelaw-Gorski says a lot of input went into developing the space to make sure they got it right to better serve the community.


Door County Medical Center held its grand opening festivities for the new facility on Wednesday. You can watch a video tour of the building and the services it provides online with this story. 

DNR opens door for granary move

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is open to entering into a lakebed lease with the city of Sturgeon Bay while the appeal of the ordinary high water mark for two west side parcels is under review. The city could then lease the land to the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society to place the granary back on the west side for the first time in over a year on a temporary basis. City administrator Josh VanLieshout says whether the OHWM moves more waterward or not, the DNR sees no harm if it keeps the lakebed leasing process moving. As of right now, the DNR is also not requiring any additional permits or approvals for the temporary placement. VanLieshout emphasizes that even though the DNR is allowing it does not mean the granary is ready to move just yet based on the development agreement the city has with the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society.

The OHWM for the parcels located at 92 S. Maple Street and 100 S. Maple Street was determined by the DNR in January but has since been challenged in court by a group of local citizens.



Click here to see memo from City Administrator Josh VanLieshout to Sturgeon Bay Common Council members. 

Gag order on non-residents rejected by Sturgeon Bay city council

If you're a Sturgeon Bay business owner but not a resident of the city you almost lost your ability to speak during the public comment section of city council meetings.


A recommendation from the Community Protection and Services committee would have changed the long-standing policy of public comment at council meetings to only citizens of the city of Sturgeon Bay.
That proposal was opposed by council member Kelly Avenson.  Her motion to remove the language about public comment to city residents was adopted with only council member Gary Nault opposed. Nault argued in favor of restricting the ability to comment to city residents only.


Avenson said that giving people an opportunity to be heard is an important part of the job of an elected official.

Breitlow honored as an L-C Distinguished Alum

The Luxemburg-Casco School District community will pay tribute to one of its own next week when it awards Al Breitlow with the Distinguished Alumni Award. After graduating from Casco High School in 1956, Breitlow went on to spend 49 years in education including stops at Lone Rock, Southern Door, and Green Bay School Districts. When Breitlow addresses the class of 2019 on their graduation night, Luxemburg-Casco High School Principal Troy Haws hopes they are able to take away something from his lifetime of experiences.

Breitlow will be officially honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award on May 29th when Luxemburg-Casco High School hosts its graduation ceremonies. The school district has honored alumni with the award since 1990.

Sevastopol students organizing carnival benefit for Symons

Three high school students at Sevastopol High School are planning on an event for a former elementary school secretary.  Reetika Jandu, Ashely Schultz and Kayla Kopisky have been organizing a community-wide carnival to be held in June for Paula Symons.  Jandu says they felt compelled to do something for her because of the impact she had on them over the years.  




Jandu says the outpouring of support by school staff, students and the community has been impressive.  The benefit event will be held at the Sevastopol Town Park on June 10 from noon until 7:30 pm.  Activities include an FFA petting zoo and a wide range of carnival games.    

Area fire departments rehearse rescues with new life-saving tools

Local firefighters trained together Tuesday evening to test out new life-saving equipment from the Baileys Harbor Fire Department that they hope they never have to use.  Gibraltar, Baileys Harbor, and Ephraim Fire Departments honed their skills while collectively simulating the stabilization of a vehicle while safely removing passengers.  Gibraltar Fire Chief Andy Bertges says all three departments will go out on any major fire or rescue calls together.  He says the challenge is to secure vehicles and prevent airbags from deploying while extricating any victims from a crash.



The Mid-Door County training events are done on a monthly basis by the three fire departments.  Bertges adds that more volunteers are needed for local fire departments in northern Door County.  


(photo courtesy of Gibraltar Fire & Rescue)


Boys and Girls Club begins new director search

For the first time in eight years, a new person will be at the helm of the Boys and Girls Club of Door County at the end of this week. Julie Davis will leave her post as the organization’s executive director to pursue a new opportunity in Milwaukee. In her place, the Boys and Girls Club of Door County Board of Directors has named Brian Stezenski-Williams as the interim executive director. Stezenski-Williams is not a stranger to the Boys and Girls Club, having previously served as the Wausau Area chapter’s executive director for more than 20 years. In a statement from the board, they thanked Davis for her eight years serving the youth of Door County along with the donors and volunteers for their continued support. You can read the full statement from the Boys and Girls Club of Door County Board of Directors online with this story.



Dear Friends of the Boys & Girls Club of Door County,


As many of you know, Julie Davis has led the Boys & Girls Club of Door County as

executive director the past eight years, during which she has made a huge impact on

the lives of countless children in our community. On May 24, Julie will be leaving us to

take a new professional opportunity in Milwaukee. The Boys & Girls Club of Door

County Board of Directors would like to thank her for her years of dedication to our

community and the club.


Moving forward, we are confident that the Boys & Girls Club of Door County will

continue to provide the learning and support our children need. We are excited to

welcome our interim executive director, Brian Stezenski-Williams. Brian comes with

more than 20 years of leadership experience as a former executive director at the Boys

& Girls Club of the Wausau Area. As the board of directors, we are eager to leverage

Brian’s expertise to assist in executing our mission.


As we get ready to embark on our summer educational programming, we want to thank

all of our outstanding donors, dedicated volunteers and hard-working staff for making it

possible for us to serve this need in our community. On behalf of the Boys & Girls Club of Door County, we truly appreciate the entire team that makes everything possible.


If you have any questions for us during this time of transition, please contact Brian by email at or phone at (920) 818-1046.



The Boys & Girls Club of Door County’s Board of Directors


Fran Shefchik, Richard Board, Inge Bacon, Larry Brunette, Leland Burnett, Mary Croft,

Stewart Fett, Elfriede Leporte, Tom Lutsey, Jim Olson, Erich Pfeifer, Arleigh Porter, Ann Smekal and Marti Spitell Ziegelbauer

Local Coast Guard Auxiliary shares boating safety tips

As the boating season starts to pick up with the Memorial Day weekend approaching, the U.S. Coast Guard and other local organizations are reminding boaters to be prepared before heading out on the water.  Coast Guard Auxiliary member Jeff Feuerstein reminds everyone that everyone aboard a watercraft needs a personal floatation device.  



This week is National Safe Boating Week.  The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary held a vessel safety check last Saturday in Sturgeon Bay.  You can find a list of tips from the U.S. Coast Guard on how to stay safe on the water with the link below.








VFW placing flags at cemeteries this week to honor veterans

The tradition of placing the American Flag on the graves to honor the veterans buried in Door County and around the country will continue this week before Memorial Day.  The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 3088 will canvas Sturgeon Bay area cemeteries this Friday and put out over 1,400 flags on grave sites, according to Post Quartermaster Bill Graf.     


Anyone willing to help the VFW out on Friday should meet at the Bayside Cemetery chapel at 9 AM.  Pizza lunch at the VFW clubhouse will be provided at noon for volunteers.     

Sturgeon Bay turns to state government for resolution of future waterfront issues

The Sturgeon Bay city council is looking to legislators, Governor Tony Evers and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Preston Cole to avoid future waterfront development issues like those in which the city is ensnarled.



A group of citizens successfully challenged Sturgeon Bay waterfront development plans for a west-side hotel project, claiming the property is located on filled lake-bed.  At issue is the location of the ordinary high water mark (OHWM).  The property below the OHWM must be held in trust for public use.  Property above the OHWM may be developed.


Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront successfully challenged development citing the Wisconsin constitution that protects filled lake-bed for public use.  That ruling is being challenged by a citizens group that includes former Waterfront Redevelopment Authority and city council member Thomas "Cap" Wulf.


City Administrator Josh VanLieshout told council members Tuesday that the DNR has acted more as a mediator and less a regulator in the Sturgeon Bay case.




Mayor David Ward said the DNR gives conflicting signals about the location of ordinary high water marks.  



Council members Kelly Avenson and David Hayes spoke against sending the memo to legislators, the governor, and DNR secretary and were joined in voting in opposition by Seth Wiederanders.  The request for clarification was passed by a vote of four to three.


Josh Van Lieshout and David Ward's full comments are below.







Mayor David Ward

Compon Council

From: 105h Van Lieshout, City Administrator


May 21, 2019 Common Council Agenda Item 10

Date: May 17, 2019

As this Common Council has been wrestling with the prior Council's decision to negotiate and stipulate to an OHWM at 92 East Maple Street, it has become apparent that the policy concerning how urban waterfronts interplay with political decisions and the law is subject to significant oscillation. There are other waterfront areas in the City that, at some point in the future, may need to be redeveloped and without clear laws or consistent policy, it could make recycling those lands in the future either unattractive or at worst impractical or impossible.

There are a number of public policy considerations that you may wish to raise with the Governor's Office and leadership at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Some of those policy considerations include:


• The authority of the DNR to engage in and act upon political compromises between parties. In the matter of the OHWM at 92 East Maple Street, the City, WRA and Friends of Sturgeon Bay were engaged in litigation. The result required a declaratory ruling from DNR. The DNR, for whatever reason, chose to ratify a political compromise, rather than exercise their duty and authority. The central question being, "Is it permissible for a state agency to exercise their legal authority in manner that serves as mediation between otherwise private parties? Other policy considerations that are site specific, but could be anywhere in Wisconsin include how will the DNR deal with urban waterfronts like that of the City which have a long history of industrialization, development, environmental contamination, dereliction and the like.


The Council is aware the City has been working diligently on reinventing its waterfront for nearly 30 years. This reinvention has relied upon a predictable and repeatable positon from regulatory agencies, including DNR, that saw redevelopment as a good thing and in keeping with the best interests of the public. However, as in the case of Sturgeon Bay, the DNR no longer seems to be willing to look at all the issues broadly and is willing to abdicate their decision making authority and convey that authority to private parties. 
Points that the DNR should be encouraged to look at when examining urban waterfronts where the customary markers of the OHWM have long been washed away might include: 

• Benefit to the human environment. 
Will the redevelopment plan address groundwater and soils contamination? 



o Does the plan limit human contact with contaminated ground water and soils? 

• How will public access to the waterfront be enhanced? 

o Will access be improved with walks, docks, etc.? 


Will the improvements serve other segments of the public good? 1100 
o Agriculture

o Transportation

O Manufacturing

o Tourism

o Education 
o Etc.?


Does the determination in an urban waterfront support other public goals? 

o Other goals may include: 

- Removal of blight Employment 
. Recreation THE · Tax base 
Remediation of contaminated ground water and soils 
• Re-use of land 
* Efficiency in land use patterns 
• Does the declaration prevent the economic feasibility of the opportunity to address other public interests? 

o Will the declaration make it unattractive for redevelopment? o Will the declaration harm ability to address soil and ground water concerns?


o Will the declaration cause the owner to seek other uses that limit or prevent 
public access or do not address soil and groundwater concerns?


Does the declaration protect, enhance, or indifferent to, the water resource that the 
public trust doctrine is designed to protect? 

o will navigation be harmed or enhanced?

o Will shoreline habitat be harmed or enhanced?

o Will fisheries be harmed or enhanced? 

Whether raising these issues with Governor Evers, Secretary Cole, or the Legislature will have an impact on matters pertaining to 92 East Maple Street is unknown; however, given the redevelopment patterns in the City of Sturgeon Bay, the issues created by DNR in their dealing with the West Waterfront will undoubtedly come again. The playbook has been written for all to see; there is no reason to believe that DNR wouldn't transfer their decision making responsibilities in the future. 

If you as the Council are so inclined, you may wish to send a letter to the Governor's office and Secretary informing them of these policy concerns and request they reconsider their January 2, 2019 declaratory ruling and look again at the issue from a matter of good public policy versus convenience of trying to satisfy litigants. 


Door & Kewaunee county routes on the Bayshore to Lakeshore bike tour

A tour to promote biking as a fun way to keep healthy will include legs through Dyckesville, Algoma, and Kewaunee next month.  The BayCare Clinic Century Bayshore to Lakeshore tour returns for a third year on June 1.  The tour offers a choice of 15-mile, 30-mile, 60-mile, and 100-mile routes.  BayCare spokesman Femi Cole says the Bayshore to Lakeshore tour is not a timed race.  He calls it a chance for people and families to experience what they often miss when traveling by car.



The BayCare Clinic Century Bayshore to Lakeshore tour starts and finishes at BayCare Clinic's headquarters on Kepler Road in the I-43 Business Park in Green Bay.  Proceeds from the ride benefit the BayCare Clinic Foundation, which supports causes and
organizations that help provide improved health.

Granary return to Sturgeon Bay west waterfront delayed

Sturgeon Bay's controversial Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator will not be making a return trip over the Oregon Maple Street bridge to its former west-side location by Memorial Day weekend, as supporters had hoped.

The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation has a development agreement with the City of Sturgeon Bay to return the granary to the west-side waterfront.

According to a memo shared with council members at Tuesday's  council meeting, City Administrator Josh VanLieshout says, "There a lot of deliverables from the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation before the grain elevator is to be moved onto temporary staging site."

None, VanLieshout said, have been received from the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society.


 The entire memo and audio of VanLieshout's comments to council members can be found below.




To: Mayor David Ward  Common Council 
From: Josh Van Lieshout, City Administrator 


Re: May 21, 2019 Common Council Agenda Item 12 Date: May 17, 2019 
I have been asked to provide an update on the status of the implementation of the Development Agreement between the City of Sturgeon Bay and the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation, Inc. 

For the City the following has been completed: 

• Review and "mapping" of the agreement to identify City obligations and developer 
obligations and due dates 

• Per the terms of the development agreement, informed SBHSF that the City will not be 
relocating the fill on 92 E. Maple Street. The Developer will be responsible for this task. Had one telephone conversation with Mary Beth Peranteau (SBHSF Attorney), City Attorney Jim Kalny, CDD Marty Olejniczak, Mayor Ward and myself, Verbally, DNR is willing to go forward with submerged lands lease despite the OHWM challenge. Verbally DNR does not need to approve temporary placement of the grain elevator below the OHWM, this is useful as it eliminates conflict with the ATC project. 

Other notes: 
Inquiry from Joe Moede about timeline from SBHSF for moving the grain elevator following indication from SBHSF that the move would happen on or before Memorial Day. Inquiry from Mike Till, asking about permits needed to move the grain elevator 

• There are a number of deliverables from SBHSF before the grain elevator is to be moved onto the temporary staging site as of this writing none have been received. Those deliverables include: written acknowledgement from DNR regarding working on the site, various certificates of insurance, performance and payment bonds, site plan, demonstration of structural stability on the temporary site, soil suitability for temporary staging, executed ground lease for the temporary location, DCCF Certificate, and permits for moving the structure. 

Southern Door looks to fill school board position; Sternard resigns

Door County Sheriff Tammy Sternard has decided to step down as a member of the Southern Door School Board.  The Southern Door County School District is now seeking applicants to fill the vacancy.  Superintendent Patti Vickman says Sternard’s resignation letter stated that it was a difficult decision and she felt it was in the best interest of both the school district and then her new role at the Door County Sheriff’s office, with having a new resource officer in the district, to keep those two interests separate.  Vickman explains the policy for the application process. 



Vickman said the school is appreciative of Sternard’s long tenure on the school board including serving as president.  The next meeting is scheduled for June 17.  The new board member would serve through April of 2020.   

Algoma finishing up landscape project near marina

The Algoma Marina area is getting a makeover this spring thanks to grant money, donations, and the help of volunteers.  The landscaping project that started a few weeks ago at Christmas Tree Ship Point is nearly complete.  Algoma Parks and Recreation Director Sara Robertson says the area is a popular spot for all to enjoy.



Robertson says two mature trees that were on an impaired list were removed to make room for the improvements and new design.  She says the finishing touches are waiting for two new benches that are expected to arrive and be installed later this week.   


(photo courtesy of Algoma Park and Rec)


Youth apprenticeship program giving students a new look at school

Luxemburg-Casco School District Superintendent Glenn Schlender is not afraid to say that the traditional setting for students is not for everyone. Instead, many of its students are finding more success outside of the classroom through its youth apprenticeship program. Taking just a couple classes a day, students are finding a new opportunity at local businesses. Schlender says 33 students are participating in the program this year and he is seeing a big difference in many of them.

Luxemburg-Casco and Kewaunee School Districts are teaming up on a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development so they become their own entity. The program’s success could go a long way in addressing the current skills gap in the American workforce that is only expected to grow more as baby boomers hit retirement age.

Washington Island Art and Nature Center prepares for another season

Its opening day is still a few weeks away, but the Washington Island Art and Nature Center is already curating an exciting slate of exhibitions for the season. From Astrid Stromberg’s recycling of fabric scraps to the paintings of Margaret Young, the Washington Island Art and Nature Center’s exhibitions are just part of what makes the seasonal destination special. ANC Director Laura Waldron says they have been hard at work with other exhibits as well.

Opening for the season just a few days earlier, the ANC will host its opening reception on June 14th. 



Pen pals finally meet each other

A pen pal letter campaign brought the oldest and youngest generations together on Tuesday afternoon at the Door County Community Center.  Eighteen Sturgeon Bay fourth-graders from Heidi Richard’s class at Sunrise School and twelve senior citizens who have been sending correspondence to each other for the past six months met face-to-face.  Diane Evenson of Sturgeon Bay, a former school teacher, says letter writing is an important pastime that should go on forever.



Evenson’s pen pal Brayden says it was a fun learning experience. 



The students had to guess which adult was their pen pal by clues given at the introduction on Tuesday.  The pen pals then shared their letters again with an ice cream social before the fourth-graders returned to school. 




Bellin Run Elites Headline One-of-a-Kind Coaches' Event

Area track and cross-country coaches can learn from elite runners and legends of the sport during the first-ever Bellin Run Coaches’ Clinic on Saturday, June 8 at Bellin Health Titletown Sports Medicine & Orthopedics.
Tapping into the iconic 10K’s most accomplished runners just hours after they cross the finish line, the clinic will include Olympians and Olympic trials qualifiers who will share their secrets of coaching success.
“This event allows us to bring together some of the greatest minds — and feet — in running to share their experience and expertise on a variety of timely and relevant topics,” said Bellin Health running expert Nate Vandervest. “We’ve assembled an incredible panel and we think this will be an invaluable afternoon for the coaches who attend.”
The Coaches’ Clinic will be keynoted by four-time Olympian and past New York Marathon, Boston Marathon and Bellin Run Champion Meb Keflezighi. Recently retired from competitive running, Keflezighi continues to be one of the sport’s best-known and well-respected names. He’s become a Bellin Run crowd favorite known for staying at the finish line to congratulate runners long after his race is over.
The event’s breakout sessions also will feature some of running’s biggest names, past and present:
Coaching Mental Stamina — 2016 Olympic marathoner Jared Ward
Fueling a Runner’s Body — Four-time Olympic trials qualifier and 2017 Bellin Run champ Kaitlin Gregg Goodman
Training Cycles for the High School Runner — Two-time Olympic trials qualifier and 2018 Bellin Run champ Brendan Gregg
Panel discussion with running legend “Boston Billy” Rodgers and all runners
The event runs from 1-5 p.m. at Bellin Health Titletown Sports Medicine & Orthopedics, 1970 S. Ridge Road. Cost is $50 per participant and registration is required by Friday, May 24. For information and to register, visit 


Ephraim to reopen Highway 42 Friday

The hard closure signs are coming down in Ephraim in time for the Memorial Day weekend rush. State Highway 42 through the village has been completely closed for just over two months as work was done to add new curbs, street lighting, and sidewalks among other details as a part of Ephraim’s Streetscape project. Village Administrator Brent Bristol says it is nice to see four years of planning become a reality.

Even though the hard closure ends Friday, there will be flagging operation during the rest of the road reconstruction project when the Wisconsin Department of Transportation begins their work. The project is scheduled to be completed by June 28th.


Photo by Tad Dukeheart

Projects keep Dyckesville Lions busy

The Dyckesville Lions Club is living up to their motto of “We Serve” as they begin wrapping up a number of projects across Kewaunee County. Over the weekend the Dyckesville Lions Club unveiled a number of improvements at Red River County Park including a new scoreboard and fencing for its baseball field. A club of just 40 people, the Dyckesville Lions have pumped over $50,000 into Red River County Park over the last five years. Lions Club President Jay Mastalir says a lot of hard work has gone into the popular spot.

The club will also unveil a renovated “Lion’s Den” at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds this summer to make it more weatherproof and comfortable for its guests during the fair.



Door County represented at fallen fire fighter's funeral

Door County fire departments were well represented in Appleton at the funeral services for slain Firefighter Mitch Lundgaard.  He was among three people struck by gunshots during a response to a medical emergency last week.  Ephraim Fire Chief Justin McDonald says a contingent of firefighters from throughout Door County traveled together to pay their respects and to keep local departments staffed for emergencies.



Door County firefighters were among other departments statewide paying their respects and aiding Appleton firefighters.  The Madison Fire Department provided an engine and five firefighters to help staff Appleton Fire Station 1 while members of Station 1 attended funeral services for Lundgaard. 


(photo courtesy of Appleton Fire Department facebook) 

Meeting to dig up dredging issues

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is planning a public meeting to address the disposal of dredged materials in the area this Wednesday in Sturgeon Bay.  The plan is to continue using the facility on Barge Road that is owned by Sturgeon Bay Utilities (SBU).  According to DNR hydrogeologist Jackie Marciulionis the biggest concern usually is how the dredging material may impact the environment nearby. 



Maciulionis says the higher lake and bay levels in the area have made for less demand for dredging this year. The primary users of the disposal facility include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the US Coast Guard, and private property owners.  The public meeting will be held at 3:30 on Wednesday afternoon at the SBU office on East Vine Street.   


Sister Bay Lions Club Car Show this Sunday

Community service programs will benefit again from the Memorial Day Car Show this Sunday in Sister Bay.  The Sister Bay Lions will once again be sponsoring the free event that includes a call to colors, a flag presentation, and a car show.  The car show features antique, muscle cars, rat -rods, and motorcycles.  Butch Schramm from the Sister Bay Lions says there will be a fun Wooden Car Building event for kids as well on Sunday.  


Over 35 sponsors help the Sister Bay Lions put on the car show every year, according to Schramm.  The Sister Bay Lions Club Memorial Day Car Show will be at the Country Walk Shops in Sister Bay from 9 am until 3 pm on Sunday.  


Fireworks returning to Shanty Days

The Algoma skies will once again light up with fireworks at the Shanty Days festival this summer after a one-year hiatus.  High water levels forced the cancellation of fireworks last year, but Sara Krouse of the Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce says a committee was set up to work with a vendor to make the Sunday night tradition make a comeback.



Krouse says the 33rd Annual Shanty Days festival will again include the parade, car cruise, juried arts and crafts fair, food, music and more.  The Shanty Days celebration will be held from August 9-11.     


Kewaunee County Board to consider ATV/UTV ordinance Tuesday

You may see more all-terrain vehicles on Kewaunee County roadways in the near future if the board approves a new ordinance Tuesday. Under the ordinance, the county would establish a template for towns to use when drawing up their own rules for ATV and UTV usage. It would also raise the age of drivers on public roads from 12 to 16, set a maximum speed of 35 miles per hour, and create restrictions on the hours of operation. Sheriff Matt Joski says the ordinance is designed to help keep things consistent county-wide for law enforcement.

The Kewaunee County Board will vote on the change during its meeting on Tuesday beginning at 6 p.m. at the administration center in Kewaunee. You can read Sheriff Joski’s explanation of the proposed ordinance online with this story.  During the meeting, the board could also pledge its support for Senate Bill 137, which would award grants of up to $2,500 to eligible homeowners with private wells containing high nitrate levels.




Over the past few months, many of the townships throughout Kewaunee County have been contacted by their constituents requesting the authorization to use ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles) and UTVs (Utility Vehicles) on the public roads. These requests are not unusual and there are many areas throughout the state which do allow for use of public roads by these types of vehicles, however the presence of these vehicles co-mingled with regular vehicular traffic creates some concerns.


To begin, we should understand how the current state law applies to this subject. State Statute 23.33(11) as enacted under ACT 87 allows a Town Village or City to authorize the operation of ATVs/UTVs on their roads regardless of posted speed limit as well as state and county roads within their territorial boundaries that have posted speed limits of 35mph or less. What this means is that if a Town allows for the use of ATVs on their Town Roads, and either a State Highway or County Road which has a speed limit of 35mph or less runs through that Town, ATVs and UTVs would be allowed on those sections of road. However once that State or County Road’s speed limit goes above 35mph the use of it for ATVs and UTVs is prohibited.


While the prospect of allowing these types of vehicles on our public roads raised many concerns for me as Sheriff, the decision is not mine to make and the best that I can do is establish the most effective safety guidelines so as to minimize the potential for accidents and injury.

It was with this in mind that we established a workgroup comprised of Town Officials, County Officials, and DNR representatives to create a County Ordinance which would serve as a template for any of the Towns which felt compelled to allow the use of these vehicles on their roads.


The reason for a County ordinance is to provide my Deputies with the authority to enforce the various restrictions which went above and beyond what the current state law has articulated. While we enforce Federal and State laws, as well as County ordinances, we do not enforce Town, City, or Village ordinances, thus the reason for the County ordinance. One example of these provisions is the age limit for operation. By state statute anyone 12 years of age or greater could operate an ATV on a public roadway. We had some serious concerns about this age and instead put the age of operation at 16 with a valid driver’s license. Another limitation we placed within the ordinance is a maximum speed of 35mph for operation on public roads, along with hours of operation restrictions. We also addressed the potential for loud noise as we state in the ordinance that any vehicle operating on the public roads would be prohibited from modified exhausts.


While many other communities have allowed for the use of these vehicles on their roads, I am proud to say that Kewaunee County is unique in that we have provided a standard ordinance which not only creates consistent language to minimize confusion, but also a mechanism by which we can take effective enforcement action to keep our roads safe.


Allowing for these vehicles on our roads is a decision prompted by interest from our community, and it is our hope that this will be a benefit to those wishing to travel by use of ATV or UTV. It is important to note that if issues arise this ordinance can be retracted as quickly as it was enacted. I am confident that through mutual respect we can welcome these vehicles and still maintain the safe and enjoyable community we all call home. To view the draft of this ordinance, read below:



  1. Authority. The Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors adopts the provisions of this Ordinance pursuant to the authority of Wis. Stats. §23.33(11) and §350.18.


  1. Regulation of All-Terrain Vehicles. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this Code, the statutory provisions of Wis. Stat. §23.33 and Wis. Admin. Code NR §64 describing and defining regulations with respect to all-terrain vehicles are adopted and by reference made a part of this Code as if fully set forth herein. Any act required to be performed or prohibited by any statute or administrative code incorporated herein by reference is required or prohibited by this Code. Any future amendments, revisions, or modifications of the statutes or administrative code incorporated herein are intended to be made part of this Code in order to secure uniform statewide regulation of all-terrain vehicles.


  1. Operation of ATVs or UTVs on ATV Routes. The operation of an ATV or UTV on a roadway that is an approved ATV Route and signed in accordance with Wis. Stat. §23.33(8)(e) by Kewaunee County or any city, town or village is subject to the following provisions:


  1. Any operator or passenger shall comply with all federal, state, and local laws, orders, regulations, restrictions and rules, including Wis. Stats. §23.33 and Wisconsin Administrative Code NR §64.
  2. Operators shall observe a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or the posted speed limit, whichever is less.
  3. Operators shall operate on the paved surface on the extreme right side of the roadway. 
  4. Operators shall ride in single file.
  5. Operators who were born on or after January 1, 1988 must have completed an ATV safety certification course.
  6. Operators must be at least 16 years of age and possess a valid driver’s license.
  7. No person may operate an ATV or UTV on an ATV Route at any time before or after the Operating Hours. Operating Hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 20 minutes after sunset for the Southern Area of Zone A under Wis. Admin. Code NR §10.06(2). The term “Operating Hours” shall have the same meaning as “Shooting Hours” for small game under Wis. Admin. Code NR §10.06(5).
  8. Every ATV/UTV shall be equipped, maintained, and operated so as to prevent excessive or unusual noise. No person shall drive an ATV/UTV on an ATV Route unless such ATV/UTV is equipped with a muffler or other effective noise-suppressing system in good working order and in constant operation. It shall be unlawful to use a muffler cutout, bypass, or similar device on any ATV/UTV upon an ATV Route. No person shall modify or change the exhaust muffler, the intake muffler, or any other noise-abatement device of an ATV/UTV in a manner such that the noise emitted by the ATV/UTV is increased above that emitted by the ATV/UTV as originally manufactured.


  1. Regulation of Snowmobiles. Except as otherwise specifically provided in this Code, the statutory provisions in Chapter 350, Wisconsin Statutes, describing and defining regulations with respect to snowmobiles are adopted and by reference made a part of this Code as if fully set forth herein. Any act required to be performed or prohibited by any statute incorporated herein by reference is required or prohibited by this Code. Any future amendments, revisions, or modifications of the statutes incorporated herein are intended to be made part of this Code in order to secure uniform statewide regulation of snowmobiles.


  1. Penalties.


  1. Any forfeiture for a violation for the State Statutes adopted by reference in this Chapter shall conform to the forfeiture permitted to be imposed for violation of such statutes as set forth in the uniform deposit and misdemeanor bail schedule of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference, including any variations or increases for subsequent offenses, which schedule is adopted by reference.


  1. Any violation of this Chapter not included in the uniform deposit and misdemeanor bail schedule of the Wisconsin Judicial Conference shall have a cash deposit of seventy-five dollars ($75.00) plus court costs and one-hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) plus court costs for a second violation of this Ordinance within a 12 month period.


  1. Enforcement. This ordinance shall be enforced by any law enforcement officer authorized to enforce the laws of the State of Wisconsin.



  1. Effective Date. This ordinance is effective upon passage and publication. 


Ferry ready for another big season

You can count on the Washington Island Ferry being prepared for another busy year when it expands its trip offerings on Friday. Higher water levels have allowed the ferry line to extend and raise their dock platforms and the lack of ice has allowed crews to focus on getting its fleet ready. Washington Island Ferry President Hoyt Purinton expects another big summer as spring gets off to a cool start.

Friday marks the first day the Rock Island Ferry will operate with four round trips daily. The ferry schedule will hold steady at 11 roundtrips until the first day of summer when its daily slate nearly doubles. 

Future OHWMs to be addressed during Tuesday council meeting

The controversy surrounding the former granary site on Sturgeon Bay’s west side has others at city hall looking at future conflict points with the area’s ordinary high water mark. On May 15th, alderpersons David Hayes and Kelly Avenson requested the Sturgeon Bay Common Council discuss getting an OHWM determination on all city and Waterfront Redevelopment Authority-owned land in Tax Increment District #2 and #4. Hayes says the request is designed to protect the city from future lawsuits concerning the unknown.

 Two days later, city administrator Josh Van Lieshout released a memorandum requesting the Common Council discuss a variety of policy considerations with state officials to a develop a consistent measure of what can and cannot be done to urban waterfronts. In the memorandum, Van Lieshout says it likely similar issues could arise again and requests the Common Council to ask Governor Tony Evers, Department of Natural Resources Secretary Preston Cole, or the Wisconsin Legislature to “reconsider their January 2, 2019 declaratory ruling and look again at the issue from a matter of good public policy versus the convenience of trying to satisfy litigants.”  The two items are scheduled to be discussed during Tuesday’s Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at city hall.

Destination Imagination teams prepare for Globals

Students from Algoma, Sevastopol, and Sturgeon Bay will take on the world this week at the Destination Imagination Global Finals in Kansas City. Five of the nine BayLake Regional teams hail from the three schools as they compete in a number of different challenges ranging from service learning to solving structure problems. With a season that spans almost the entire school year, BayLake Regional co-director Robyn Harper says it has been great to work with these students over the last several months.

Algoma and one of Sevastopol’s three teams kick things off at the Kansas City Convention Center on Wednesday. Sevastopol will also have teams compete on Thursday and Saturday and Sturgeon Bay’s squad will present on Saturday. You can see their full schedule online with this story.



Washington Island in line for relief aid

Washington Island is in line to receive the monetary aid needed after last year’s electric cable failure. The underwater cable froze over last winter and failed in June of 2018, forcing the Washington Island Electric Collective to use generators to bring power back to the island. Because of the small size of the community, Washington Island didn’t initially qualify for FEMA assistance to offset the cost of the repair, estimated at around $4 million. Since then Senator Andre Jacque and Representative Joel Kitchens have been working to correct this. Sen Jacque says he wanted to make sure small electric cooperatives like Washington Island’s would be protected and eligible for relief. 



Washington Island will receive $2 million from the state that will be given towards the repair and replacement cost if officially signed off on by the Legislature and Governor Tony Evers. 

KCEDC has its focus on broadband

The people of Kewaunee County have demanded better broadband service and the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation (KCEDC) has made it their top issue in the next year. That was discussed at the KCEDC annual meeting on Thursday. The county has created a task force to try to address it, and some members of the KCEDC are involved. Richard Baker, executive director of the KCEDC, says the investment by Kewaunee’s local government and their willingness to commit money towards the issue create a big advantage moving forward.



Baker was also introduced to the other KCEDC members at the annual meeting as he became executive director in January of this year.

100 Women Who Care helps Door CANcer, Incorporated

A local charity that helps cancer patients and their families got a big financial boost from some caring women.  Members of 100 Women Who Care of Northern Door County, a giving circle with nationwide chapters, selected Door CANcer, Incorporated for a $14,000 donation.  100 Women Who Care members donate $25 per individual or $100 per four-person teams each quarter and nominate charity recipients.  Barbara Herdina, President of Door CANsays the money will meet her organization's needs for a month.



100 Women Who Care of Northern Door County co-founders Peggy Reinecke and Ann Morgan say that helps fulfill the group's mission.



100 Women Who Care's previous quarterly donations were in the $7,000 range.  They've increased their giving because the group just keeps on growing and is always looking for new members.

Southern Door art gets boost from Pride Pumps

Jandu Petroleum has given a boost to the Southern Door Art Department with their April donation from the Pride Pumps promotion. The donation will go to the general fund that feeds many of Southern Door’s art programs. Southern Door Art Director George Ouimette says there is not a specific plan for the money but they can always use money for their big annual projects and new equipment.



You can find the Southern Door Pride Pump at the Jandu Petroleum station in Brussels on County Road DK. Two cents from every gallon bought at the Pride Pump goes towards a program at the school specified on the pump. The Jandu Petroleum Pride Pump promotion has meant several thousand dollars have been donated to school districts in Door and Kewaunee Counties.

Wisconsin gets clean water grants

Door and Kewaunee County may see improved drinking water thanks to grants from the federal government. The EPA announced that Wisconsin will be receiving about $43 million from the Clean Water Fund Program and about $18 million from the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program. This is aimed at making improvements to aging water and wastewater infrastructures. Dean Hoegger, executive director of the Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin says one of the main problems these funds should be used to help address is lead coming from older drinking water pipes.



What specifically will be done with the funds has not been determined yet but could be allocated towards wastewater issues in Kewaunee County. The federal funds will help replace the $40 million that was originally in the state budget but have been turned down by the Legislature.

Sevastopol getting a clearer picture on new school additions

The Sevastopol School Board and residents will get some clearer views of how the new additions to the school building will look.  The district's CORE Team met this week with Bray Architects to review tentative plans for the project.  That meeting focused on the shop and agricultural education areas.  Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says the layouts of both areas are now coming into view.



Bray Architects will have a presentation on the building project at the Sevastopol School Board's regular meeting on June 20th at 7:00 PM in the high school on Highway 57 in Institute.

Algoma sets meetings on 2nd Street Bridge and condo projects

Algoma residents will have to find alternative routes around the 2nd Street Bridge.  The Wisconsin Department of Transporation is set to begin construction work on a new bridge next month and completion is scheduled for October.  A public meeting will be held to show people the detours around the construction zone.  Mayor Wayne Schmidt says that will help people during their daily commutes and during the Shanty Days celebration.   



While the 2nd Street bridge reconstruction is underway, Algoma will also be extending utility lines to the new Bell Harbor condominiums development. The public meeting on these projects is scheduled for May 30th at 6:00 PM in Algoma City Hall on Fremont Street.

Measles symptoms to watch

The Door County Department of Health wants you to be aware of what to look for when it comes to the measles. There has been an outbreak in this country with 23 states reporting cases of it. Those include neighboring states like Illinois, Michigan and Iowa. So far no reported cases have been found in Wisconsin. According to Sue Powers, Health Officer for Door County, symptoms of measles can be similar to less severe diseases, starting often with a cough, runny nose, fever and irritation in the eyes. The classic red rash often doesn’t appear until a few days later, usually beginning along the hairline. Powers says measles cases often develop complications that make it more dangerous.



Because it is an airborne illness, the disease can spread quickly and individuals can be contagious before knowing that they have measles. Powers added the safest protection against the disease is the MMR vaccine, which is routinely given to children under 3 as two booster shots but can be administered to anyone.

Over $120,000 raised for Door CAN at Spring Fling

More than $120,000 was raised to support those dealing with families who struggle with cancer at an event Friday in Sturgeon Bay.'s own Nick Freimuth MC'ed the event and he said he was blown away by all the support from the community.



Door CAN will use all the proceeds to help those struggling with cancer in Door County to cover non-medical expenses.

Focusing on northern pike at Crossroads this week

You can learn about one of the most important fish in Lake Michigan at an event in Sturgeon Bay this week. Continuing the Celebrate Water Door County Initiative, Crossroads at Big Creek will be hosting a lecture focusing on the predatory northern pike. Dr. Patrick Forsythe, Associate Professor of Biology at UW-Green Bay, will be presenting the lecture on Wednesday. Forsythe says the pike are an important species in the lake as top predators but also draw people's interest with their more unique habits.



Dr. Forsythe plans to cover a number of aspects of northern pike research, looking at how human actions like dam removals along Duck Creek have affected the populations as well as how climate change may affect the species. Forsythe added he hopes to make it interesting to both children and adults. The lecture beings at 7 PM.

Algoma bringing letter-writing back

An Algoma group is trying to bring back an art that has gone out of style with the advancement in technology. A group of Algoma residents gets together once per month to create connections through the art of letter writing. They meet at Yardstick Books on the third Sunday of every month. Heidi Raak, owner of Yardstick Books in Algoma, says the idea behind the Society comes from a desire to keep the practice of letter writing alive as a way of creating and maintaining communities. Raak added everybody likes getting and reading a handwritten letter.



The next meeting will take place on Sunday at Yardstick Books at 2 PM. For each meeting there is a theme that participants are asked to write about. This month the theme is water as part of the Art of Water Algoma is participating in currently. The events are free and open to the public. All ages are invited to participate.

Foster parents wanted for older children in Kewaunee County

Kewaunee County is always looking for people willing to serve as foster parents, especially for children of selected age groups.  The Kewaunee County Department of Human Services is working with state officials to help attract those who've considered the foster care program.  Human Services Director Dana Johnson says candidates who can work well with older children are especially needed.



Johnson says Kewaunee County's program works with parents of children in foster care to help them become better parents once a child returns home.



Anyone interested in becoming a foster parent can contact the Kewaunee County Department of Human Services on Lincoln Street in Kewaunee.

Door and Kewaunee families get life-saving medical debt relief

Some families facing huge medical expenses in Door and Kewaunee Counties have been saved from large debts for medical treatment.  Life Church of Green Bay paid nearly $4400 to settle the medical bills of five Door County families and $25,000 to do the same for four Kewaunee County families.  That was done through the national non-profit group RIP Medical Debt.  Privacy laws prevent the church from releasing the names of the beneficiaries, though Life Church Lead Pastor Sonny Hennessy says one letter of gratitude shows the effort is a life saver.



Life Church paid off $4.4-million in medical bills for about four-thousand Wisconsin residents for pennies on the dollar.  There are no applications for the program.  Recipients were chosen without their knowledge based on their need and their history of paying small amounts regularly.

DCEDC supports bill to help rural areas develop broadband

Door and Kewaunee Counties would see improved efforts to develop broadband internet under a bill reintroduced in the U.S. Senate.   The Access to Capital Creates Economic Strength and Supports Rural American Act, also known as ACCESS, would help rural telecommunications companies submit streamlined reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jim Schuessler says that would help accelerate broadband development locally.



 Under current guidelines, rural telecommunications companies would be forced to pay higher SEC reporting fees and put them at a cost disadvantage compared with larger telecom firms.

Wery and Norton top Southern Door Class of 2019

Alexis Wery and Regan Norton are this years' 2019 Southern Door High School Valedictorian and Salutatorian.  Valedictorian, Alexis Wery, has participated in both sport and academic programs over her high school career. At Southern Door, Alexis is involved with Varsity Softball as their pitcher and is a four year Math Team member. Her Junior year, Lexi attended Badger Girls as a Sports Delegate. Outside of school, through the local Sturgeon Bay YMCA, Alexis has attended both Door County and Wisconsin state Youth In Government session.  Alexis plans on pursuing genetics through cancer research with a degree in pathology. 


Salutatorian, Regan Norton, has dedicated herself to both sports and academics over the years. Regan has participated in softball, volleyball, and basketball. She is a member of Big Brothers Big Sisters, SHIELD, and 4-H. Outside of School, Regan, as well, has participated in the YMCA's Youth In Government on both county and state level.  Regan plans to major in Political Science and Spanish. 


Both graduates have achieved many scholarships and awards at Southern Door's 2019 Award Ceremony.



Lexi Wery





Regan Norton



Door County continues health and human services boards merger talks

The newly merged Door County Department of Health and Human Services will continue to operate under the supervision of two separate boards this year.  That cames after the latest meeting of the public health board which looked at the possible merging of the two boards.  Department of Health and Human Services Director Joe Krebsbach says any merged board would have to meet specific state statutes and have specific candidates for board membership.



Krebsbach says the board merger proposal will likely be brought up again at a late summer meeting.  Any proposal would have to be approved by the Door County Board of Supervisors.  Krebsbach says the earliest the health and human services boards could be merged would be next year.

Engineer says Potawatomi tower can be repaired

A noted engineer from Jacksonville, Florida is giving hope to the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society that the Potawatomi State Park tower can be saved.  Dr. Dan Tingley, Senior Engineer and Wood Technologist with Wood Research and Development, spoke to the public at the Door County Community Foundation this past Tuesday and shared information on the current condition of the Potawatomi tower.  He says there are enough good components in the current tower to warrant restoring it.



Dr. Tingley says advances in technology in the past two decades have made it possible to understand timber structures and know how to find what he calls the “bad actors” before it causes failure in the tower.  The findings from Dr. Tingley will now be studied by engineers contracted with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to ultimately determine if the tower can be repaired or replaced.  You can listen to the entire interview with Dr. Tingley below.



Help of Door County celebrating 40 years in June

A local organization combating domestic abuse will be honoring their past when they celebrate serving Door County the past 40 years.  Help of Door County will be celebrating their 40th anniversary next month in Egg Harbor during the annual meeting.  Executive Director Steve Vickman says the evening will include music, awards and a reflection the last 40 years of the organization.



Help of Door County’s 40th Year Celebration will be at 5 pm at the Kress Pavilion on June 20.  You can RSVP for the event by calling Help of Door County by June 17.   

Wisconsin illustrator has book signing in Sister Bay

You’ll have a chance to meet and get a book signed by a Wisconsin illustrator in Sister Bay on Sunday. Renée Graef has a new book out called “Sport: Ship Dog of the Great Lakes”. It’s about a fictional dog named Sport who lived from 1914 through 1926 exploring lighthouses and boats on Lake Michigan. It documents real-life events that happened during that time period. Graef says it’s not just an illustration book but has a story as well.



This is the first children’s book published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press. Graef is a lifelong Wisconsinite. She has illustrated other books about Wisconsin. Graef will be at Peninsula Bookman in Sister Bay on Sunday from 1 to 2 PM.

Saturday will have Luxemburg residents "rummaging" around

The streets around the village of Luxemburg will be buzzing with activity all day on Saturday.  The 30th annual Luxemburg Rummage Sale will be held with 80 residences participating in the two-day event.  The organized village-wide sale is sponsored by the Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce.  President Alex Stodola says the community always looks forward to interacting with their neighbors, especially this time of year.  He says a map of the 80 locations involved in the Luxemburg Rummage Sale is available through the Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce Facebook page or website. 



The village-wide rummage sale began Friday and you can find a link to a digital map below.





Sturgeon Bay lunch fund gets Pride Pumps donation

Some families of Sturgeon Bay students have a chance to get help paying off lunch balances from the school year. The Sturgeon Bay lunch fund has received a donation of $541.97 from the Jandu Petroleum Pride Pumps promotion. This money can go to families who owe money for school breakfasts and lunches. Many families qualify for free meals or meals for $0.40 but others may fall just short of qualifying for those rates. Jenny Spude, the Food Service Director for Sturgeon Bay Schools, says these families sometimes only make money over the summer and can’t pay as the school year goes along. She added thanks to the Pride Pumps donation if families can put up any money for the meal balance, that the school will be able to match it. Spude continued the school will never turn a student away who needs a meal even if they don’t have the money.



Spude was very thankful to Jandu Petroleum and the Pride Pumps donation. It can be difficult to apply for grants or other donations because there are qualifications or stipulations for the money. With the Pride Pumps, the money just goes to the departments which give them the freedom to put it into any project.

Sturgeon Bay 7th graders uninjured after school van accident

A Sturgeon Bay School District van carrying nine students and a teacher was hit by another vehicle Friday while being driven to Milwaukee for a class field trip.  The crash occurred on Interstate 43 near Sheboygan, according to Sturgeon Bay School Superintendent Dan Tjernagel.  He says, fortunately, nobody in the van was injured.  


The TJ Walker Middle School field trip was planning a visit to Discovery World in Milwaukee.  No other details are available at this time as the crash is still under investigation.  


Door Kinetic Arts Festival gaining notoriety

Three years in Baileys Harbor is helping Door County become even more recognized nationally as an arts community. Entering its fourth year, the Door Kinetic Arts Festival invites dancers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians to perform and give workshops during the weeklong event. Festival producer Alan Kopischke says the word is spreading far and wide about how great the event is to attend.


Harold Green, Lucky Plush Productions, and Sossy Mechanics are just some of the guests appearing at this year’s Door Kinetic Arts Festival, which will take place June 9th-14th at Bjorklunden in Baileys Harbor.


Cherry blossoms beginning to pop in Door County

One of Door County’s biggest attractions for sight-seers this time of year is the cherry blossoms throughout the local orchards.  Typically blooming in mid to late May, the cherry tree blossoms appear to be on schedule again this year, according to Steve Wood of Wood Orchards in Egg Harbor and Sturgeon Bay.  He shares this week’s current status.


Wood says his cherry trees survived the winter well and appear ready for a good harvest later this year.  According to the Door County Visitors Bureau, there are over 2,500 acres of orchards in Door County.  


Many farmers still waiting to plant crops

Another wet spring has area farmers delaying their planting plans for May. Similar to last spring when a major April snowstorm pushed back spring planting two to three weeks, many farms have not put corn or soybeans in the ground, according to Jim Wautier of Church Site Farms in Brussels.  He says some farmers have started planting but many are still playing the waiting game.



Wautier says the slow start of the planting season can be made up quickly with a good of stretch weather to help the crops grow.  Farmers say it takes most corn seeds over 100 days to mature, and soybeans take 60 to 70 days from planting to harvest. 


Spartan Influence Camp benefits students with disabilities

A special camp put on by the Luxemburg Casco football team is making a big impact in the community.  The Spartan Influence Camp will be held this Saturday at the Luxemburg-Casco Sports Complex.  The 90-minute camp will give students with disabilities from five to 21 years of age a chance to be active and learn more about the sport of football.  Spartan Head Coach Dillon Maney says the event is a service learning project for all involved and builds leadership skills for all his players, especially the six who served as camp coordinators. 


This is the second year the L-C football program has put on the Spartan Influence Camp which anticipates about 20 area youth participating.   


Armed Forces Day has deep meaning in area 

Only three days are set aside every year to honor military personnel and one is sometimes overlooked, according to a local veteran services officer.  Scott McFarlane of the Door County Veteran Services Office says Armed Forces Day, which is this Saturday, honors all active and former military members.  He says Armed Forces Day has a little more significance in this area. 


The Door County Veterans Service Council will be holding a breakfast Saturday at the Corpus Christi Hall in Sturgeon Bay to raise money for Door County veterans in need.  


Boat towed to safety near Fish Creek

Two men fishing offshore in Fish Creek were rescued on Thursday afternoon after their bass boat took on water.  The Gibraltar Fire and Rescue, the DNR and the U.S. Coast Guard responded to a distress call around 2 pm.  Assistant Fire Chief Jared Anderson says the boat had lost power and was drifting and taking on water when they arrived on the scene. 


The rescue took about one hour, according to Anderson.  He says the men called 911 to report the issue with their boat.  No further details are available at this time. 


(photo courtesy of Tad Dukehart)


DCMM, County partnership crucial for Cana's 150th anniversary

You can help the Door County Maritime Museum celebrate yet another milestone this year in Baileys Harbor. The Cana Island Lighthouse is celebrating its 150th anniversary, allowing visitors to travel across the causeway by tractor before exploring the grounds and climbing the tower’s 97 steps. The Door County Maritime Museum and the Door County Parks Department have team up since 2006 to preserve the site, which will include a complete restoration of the tower and keeper’s house and a new interpretative center and restroom facilities. Even though the Door County Maritime Museum has been associated with the Cana Island Lighthouse since the 1970s, Executive Director Kevin Osgood says the partnership has been important to preserving the historic buildings on the site.

While the Cana Island Lighthouse will officially mark its milestone on August 7th, the neighboring Baileys Harbor Range Lights celebrates its 150th anniversary on June 7th. The lighthouse is available for tours through the end of October. You can also hear more stories about Cana Island Lighthouse by watching our video with Executive Director Kevin Osgood and Deputy Director Sam Perlman online with this story.



Dark store loophole remains open

Communities like Sturgeon Bay will not be able to count on the Wisconsin Legislature in their battles with big-box retailers over property assessments. Senate Republicans blocked efforts to close a loophole allowing retailers to challenge their property taxes by comparing their stores to those that are vacant. After being removed from Governor Tony Evers’ budget, the bill presented in the Senate had the bipartisan support of 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats before a vote on the issue was prevented. State Senator Dave Hansen calls the move hypocritical.

The city of Sturgeon Bay and Wal-Mart are currently in the middle of settling on a new property assessment after it was challenged in 2018. While groups like the League of Wisconsin Municipalities say the “Dark Store Loophole” enables big retailers to avoid paying their fair share for services, others like the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce argue closing it would villainize businesses providing jobs in the community.

Hutchinson honored by Coast Guard

Adopt-A-Soldier Door County founder Nancy Hutchinson pointed the finger at everyone else Wednesday when the United States Coast Guard recognized her for her efforts supporting local military members. Hutchinson has raised thousands of dollars for the troops since the organization was founded in 2008 to do everything from sending care packages to soldiers at home and abroad to providing interest-free loans to Coast Guard members struggling to make ends meet during the government shutdown. She received a signed letter of appreciation from U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl L. Schultz, a plaque of recognition from the three units stationed in Sturgeon Bay, and a challenge coin for her efforts. A humble Hutchinson says it is the community that deserves the thank you.

Hutchinson and Adopt a Soldier are currently collecting items for their Fourth of July boxes to be sent. For those looking for inspiration, the theme of the box is campfire s’mores.



Conservation takes center stage in Kewaunee County

Students from Kewaunee County’s three middle schools learned Wednesday how close to home conservation practices are taking place. During the annual Kewaunee County Conservation Day, students traveled to Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy, Kinnard Farms, Wagner Tree Farm, a wind farm in Rosiere, NEW Plastics, and the Besadny Fish Hatchery to learn how conservation practices are used in their everyday life. Soil specialist Jamie Patton showed students how important it is to pay attention to the earth below them.

Kewaunee science teacher Peggy DeGroot says it is important for her students to see these conservation practices first hand.

The annual event is organized by the Kewaunee County UW-Extension office and has been held for over 15 years.



Door County businesses can learn to sell goods in China

Door County businesses can learn more about selling their products in China. The Door County Sister City Ad Hoc Informal Advisory Group meets May 20th They'll discuss recent meetings designed for easier exports to the main mall in Door County's Sister City of Jingdezhen.    Advisory group member and County Corporation Counsel Grant Thomas says the county has developed what it calls a road map to ship goods to Jingdezhen.



Thomas doesn't believe that the current tariff battle between the U.S. and China will impact selling Door County products overseas.  If you're interested in learning more, the Door County Sister City Ad Hoc Informal Advisory Group will meet starting at 9:00 AM in Room C102 at the Door County Government Center on Nebraska Street in Sturgeon Bay.

Death's Door Knockers starts YouTube channel

A Door County improv troupe is sharing its style of comedy to the world. Death’s Door Knockers has started a YouTube channel and have made their first ever music video to celebrate. The song is called Boomers Keep on Rockin’ which was written by members of Death’s Door Knockers and filmed at Cherry Lanes in Sturgeon Bay. It will debut on the channel on Friday. The troupe was founded as an improvisational group for people over 50 years old by Ross Dippel. He explains how the song started as a parody to “Chattanooga Choo Choo”.



Dippel says the group plays games and does improv related to Door County. They meet every Sunday at one of their member's house who has a set up a film studio. Contact information is available online with this story if you are interested in joining them for one of their meet-ups.



History lesson on Bob Dylan

You have an opportunity to learn more about someone who’s considered to be one of the greatest songwriters ever in Sturgeon Bay. There will be a discussion about Bob Dylan at the Sturgeon Bay Library on Thursday at 2 PM. John Harris will be leading it and talking about Bob Dylan’s autobiography “Chronicles”. After the discussion, there will be a singalong to some of Dylan’s greatest works. Morgan Mann, the Community Relations Library Assistant for Door County Libraries, says this is your chance to sing with other Bob Dylan fans.



If you own “Chronicles” or any other book on Dylan, you are encouraged to bring that along with you. The event is free and open to the public.

Door County needs foster parents from all walks of life

Wisconsin counties including Door County need more foster parents to care for children facing challenges at home.  The Door County Department of Health and Human Services says there are currently 10 children in foster care and 13 licensed Foster homes.  Doreen Goddard, Manager of Children and Family Child Protection and Youth Services, says there is always a need for foster homes to help children and, at times, other foster families.



Goddard says sometimes foster children need to be placed in age-specific homes or with those who can handle special needs.  She adds that candidates from all walks of life can become foster parents.



Anyone interested in becoming a foster parent in Door County can contact the Department of Health and Human Services office at the Door County Government Center on Nebraska Street in Sturgeon Bay.

Local impacts from latest U.S./China tariff battle

The latest tariff battle between the United States and China will be felt by Door and Kewaunee County investors, farmers and many other businesses. Bank of Luxemburg President Tim Treml says the only unknown is the extent of such impacts, especially during a prolonged standoff.  Treml says investors with 401K retirement plans and other investments will be affected differently based on their current ages.



Treml says some sectors of the economy such as home and commercial construction won't likely slowdown although some cutbacks are not out of the question.



Treml recommends that investors meet with their financial advisors to decide the best course of action and adjust as the tariff battle plays out.

Grant keeps up STEAM program at Southern Door Elementary

Southern Door Elementary School's Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math program, also known as STEAM, will be running at full capacity with help from Centurylink.  The school has been awarded a nearly $4900 grant from the Centurylink Clark M. Williams Foundation.  STEAM program teacher Jessica Meacham says the grant money will be used for some key upgrades for STEAM projects.



Meacham says she applied for the grant money in January and was informed this month that Southern Door Elementary School had been selected for the grant.

Egg Harbor uses natural approaches for municipal lawns

Parks, picnic areas and other lawns owned by the Village of Egg Harbor have a few more weeds and insects because the village uses no artificial chemicals for weed and pest control in those areas.  Village Administrator Ryan Heise says Egg Harbor has long favored greener approaches on municipal lands.



Such practices help reduce the risk of algae blooms in the harbor and Green Bay caused by phosphorus-based fertilizers. Heise says Egg Harbor is also committed to promoting native vegetation with help from an expert.


Heise believes Egg Harbor adopted environmental-friendly practices long before it was cool.

3rd Annual Open Door Pride Festival coming in June

Open Door Pride is stepping forward to celebrate the community’s diversity with the third annual Open Door Pride Festival coming in June.  Founder and organizer Cathy Grier says the mission of the organization is about “inclusion for all”.  She says next month’s event comes from humble beginnings and will be even bigger this year. 



The Open Door Pride Festival will be held at Martin Park in Sturgeon Bay on Saturday, June 22 from 11 am until 5 pm.  You can find a lineup of activities that are planned with this story below. 







3rd annual LGBTQIA+ Pride Festival in Martin Park! The day will be packed with music, entertainment, and family-friendly activities. All are welcome to celebrate our diversity!
On site our Open Door Pride ART station:
Screening ODP logo, Ribbon Project, Chalk , What’s My Pride? Project photo, Door Prizes and special guests
Entertainment lineup: Saint Saunter (DJ); Cathy Grier + The Troublemakers featuring special guests; Genevieve Heyward; Dorothy Scott; Woolen Lover; Gender Confetti; Andria Belly Dancer; Johnny Delorit; Kinder Creatures. and with Zen Jen QiGong to open the event.
Fun for the whole Family, Vendors and Art Activities


Local group trying to keep tobacco out young hands

The Lakeshore Tobacco Prevention Network is on a mission to reduce tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure in the area.  A state-level initiative, designed to drastically decline the access of tobacco products to youth through better education, is being promoted locally.  Wisconsin WINS is the initiative that uses positive reinforcement to reduce illegal tobacco sales to minors.  Coalition Coordinator Cath Tease says last year’s numbers show that one in three attempts to purchase tobacco resulted in a sale during compliance checks in Door County.  She says the goal is to inform parents and store clerks about how tobacco products are being marketed to children.



Tease says the challenge is dealing with the next generation of addictive tobacco products including E-cigarettes and other tobacco products that are not regulated like conventional tobacco.  You can find educational information about these new products and free training available for staff of retailers with a license to sell tobacco products below.

Riverview ATV Park hopes to open Saturday 

Outdoor enthusiasts can look forward to the Riverview ATV Park in Kewaunee opening for the season soon.  Depending on the weather, the Kewaunee County ATV Park plans on opening this weekend, according to Bay Lake ATV Club member Kelly Froehlich.  He shares some of the improvements and projects being done to the trails this year. 



ATV riders can cruise 20 miles of trials on 287 acres of wooded and rolling terrain at the Kewaunee County ATV Park.  Froehlich says all ATVs must be registered with the State of Wisconsin and all dirt-bikes and off-road motorcyclists must purchase a $25 park pass that is good for the entire season.  

Local pantry being "thrifty" with donations

Feed and Clothe My People of Door County does more than operate a food pantry that helps out over 300 families a month.  The organization also runs a thrift store located in the Sturgeon Bay building.  Executive Director Estella Huff says the 14th Avenue Thrift Store is a key component to keeping the food pantry running smoothly.



Huff says Feed My People - Clothe My People also collects cash donations that allows it to purchase in bulk from local supermarkets.  Food items like hot dogs, ground beef, and chicken can be then frozen and distributed when demand increases around the holidays and busier times.  Feed and Clothe My People is open from 2 pm until 6 pm on Mondays and Thursdays, and 10 am until 2 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. 



Names released in Sunday's fatal crash

The names of the two victims who died as a result of the two-vehicle traffic crash on Sunday evening in Nasewaupee have been released.   According to the Door County Sheriff’s Department, the 16-year-old driver of the BMW was Gabriela Frances Jacques of Green Bay and the 52-year-old passenger was Joseph P. Jacques of Green Bay.  Another passenger, 20-year-old Marisa Toussaint Jacques of Austin, Texas, was injured.  The driver of the pickup Truck who was uninjured has been identified as 60-year-old Jeffrey Olcott of Wausau.  The initial investigation revealed that the BMW failed to stop for a stop sign on County Road PD when it was hit by the pickup truck that was traveling through the intersection at County Road C.  The accident remains under investigation by the Door County Sheriff’s Department.   


Continue to garden after life changes

You’ll have an opportunity to learn tips, tricks and tools to continue gardening even when you down-size to a smaller home. UW-Extension Master Gardener Program Director Mike Maddox will help people make small adjustments to how they garden as their ability to complete some of the tasks change. Door County UW-Extension Agriculture Educator Annie Deutsch says raised flowerbeds are becoming more popular.

Maddox will give his free program at the John Miles County Park Fairgrounds on May 31st from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Sheriff applauds local efforts addressing mental health awareness

For people suffering from mental health issues, Sheriff Matt Joski says Kewaunee County does a great job making sure no one feels alone. Some of the efforts include trainings in the suicide prevention protocol known as QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer), implementing trauma-informed care across several Kewaunee County-based entities, and hosting emotional wellbeing workshops. Joski says everyone has their own struggles, but the key is to control the issues rather than be controlled by them.

He also adds resilience is an important skill for others to embrace, which means turning those struggles into teachable moments rather than downfalls. You can read the entire article by Sheriff Matt Joski online with this story.




May tends to be a very busy month as it relates to awareness initiatives. Among the many issues that we focus on, few are more important than Mental Health Awareness. One of the reasons it is so vital to focus on Mental Health Awareness is that as a culture, there still remains a great deal of hesitation in discussing not only the subject but to a greater extent, our own personal state of mental health. We think nothing of calling a medical physician when we have a physical ailment, or sharing with friends and family if we had a recent medical emergency or procedure. This is not the case when it comes to our mental health. We tend to hide the circumstances or symptoms hoping no one will ever detect or know what we are going through. We isolate ourselves when dealing with a mental health struggle, and even more tragic, we tend to withdraw from those around us who are showing symptoms of their own personal struggle.


Just as in anything we attempt to confront and conquer, we must first identify it and call it for what it is. The Webster Dictionary’s definition of mental health is: a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional wellbeing. Wikipedia also expands it and goes on to state that from the perspectives of positive psychology, mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life, and to create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. This last word, “Resilience” is important as this is our ability to live not in the absence of trauma or struggle, but to use those experiences as a source of strength and endurance. The ability to control our mental health rather than to be controlled by it is a skill which requires deliberate effort each and every day.


I think it is important to state right from the beginning that we are all broken in one way or another. We have all faced trauma or struggles in our lives which we carry with us every day. It is very easy to just compare scars, but it is more essential that we share what we are going through or have gone through to empower those around us and provide an environment that encourages the ability to share their own struggles. It is through the sharing that we are able to be a resource for each other especially in a society with very limited number of professional mental health practitioners. We are each the first line of defense in any mental health crisis, and without knowing it, each one of us could be the difference between another person’s reasons to live versus giving up hope.


We should all challenge ourselves to rise above simple conversations of sports, politics, or local gossip, to conversations which have deep meaningful impact in our lives or that of our family and friends. We should not be afraid to stop and take the time to really hear the answer when we say “How are you doing today?” for more information on mental health and what we can all do to support a healthy mental health, go to:

Locally we also have some great work being done on the subject of mental health awareness including many trained in the suicide prevention protocol of QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) as well as some great information which is shared through our very own emotional wellbeing workgroup which meets on a regular basis. For more information on our local initiatives please contact Renee Koenig of the Kewaunee County UW extension.


Rising waters lead to new fishing spots

Rising lake levels are allowing anglers to go to places they have not been able to fish for a long time. Lake Michigan levels are well above average after reaching record lows in 2013 according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This is forcing some fish species like smallmouth bass to travel farther to find shallower waters. Fishing guide and Sturgeon Bay Open Bass Tournament organizer JJ Malvitz says anglers are taking note of how the higher lake levels are changing their strategy.

Water levels are rising on the bay side as well, which will host the Sturgeon Bay Open Bass Tournament this weekend beginning on Friday.  

Washington Island Ferry to add to its fleet

President Hoyt Purinton jokes the newest addition to its fleet might need a “Buy Local” sticker on it after the Washington Island Ferry announced Tuesday that Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding would be building its next vessel. The new ferry will be the fleet’s biggest at 124 feet long and capable to hold as many 28 vehicles and 150 passengers. Similar to the Washington Island Ferry’s Arni J. Richter, the Madonna will have icebreaking capabilities, something that gives Purinton more peace of mind for the winter months.

This marks the third time Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding has constructed a vessel for the Washington Island Ferry, which last added to its fleet in 2003. When the Madonna is completed in late May 2020, it will be the ferry line’s fifth ship.  

Southern Door to get new middle school fab lab

The Southern Door School District was awarded a $25,000 state grant for a fab lab in the middle school by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).  School Superintendent Patti Vickman says Southern Door was one of twenty schools in the state to receive funding through the WEDC program.  She says the new middle school addition will perfectly complement the high school fab lab that is being utilized by about two-thirds of the student body.



Vickman says the grant money will be used to purchase 3D printers, vinyl cutters, and wood engravers to get the fab lab started in the middle school. 

Boat safety check event held this Saturday

Boaters will have the opportunity to get their watercraft checked for safety this Saturday in Sturgeon Bay.  The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary is kicking off National Safe Boating Week by conducting a vessel safety check event for trailered boats.  Coast Guard Auxiliary member Jeff Feuerstein shares what the free service will provide for boat owners on Saturday. 



Feuerstein says the vessel safety check will be held from 9 am until 3 pm on Saturday at West Marine in Sturgeon Bay.  Boaters can just show up or call to schedule a specific time.  You can find contact information for this event or arranging a Vessel Safety Check at your convenience with this story online.

Potawatomi Tower study by SBHS disclosed Tuesday

The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society is not ready to accept the DNR’s decision to dismantle the Potawatomi State Park Tower.  The organization is holding an informational meeting Tuesday night with hopes to encourage the DNR that the 87-year old structure is something that can be supported and saved.  SBHS President Christie Weber says the presentation will be by structural engineer Dr. Dan Tingley who was commissioned by the SBHS to look into the feasibility of saving the 75-foot wood tower.



The informational meeting will be held at 6 pm at the Door County Community Foundation on Third Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) closed the tower in 2017 and had a USDA analysis done by experts earlier this year that confirmed there was “significant decay” of the Potawatomi State Park tower.  The DNR agreed to have engineers look at that report and Dr. Tingley’s report to ultimately decide if the tower can be repaired or be replaced.  

Kewaunee FFA Alumni award scholarships to students; John T. Pagel Animal Lab announnced

Nine students involved in the Kewaunee Future Farmers of America (FFA) program received scholarships to further their education in college.  The Kewaunee FFA Alumni presented the scholarships last Saturday at the 70th annual Awards Banquet held at the Ag Heritage Center.  Randy Charles, the FFA teacher from Kewaunee High School, says the opportunity to promote agriculture with the young leaders in the community is important.  He says a special dedication was held during the banquet as well. 


Over $3500 was awarded in scholarships by the Kewaunee FFA Alumni this year.  The annual Tractor and Truck Pull is held every June to raise money for the scholarships.  This year’s 17th annual event takes place on June 21.  You can find a list of FFA scholarship recipients below.  

This year’s recipients are: 
Paul Wery
McCoy Walechka 
Dylan Steinhorst 
Kassidy Smidel
Travis Reinke 
Karina Hager 
Sara Dax 
Teresa Chandler 
Ashlee Siegmund


(photo courtesy of Kewaunee FFA Alumni facebook)

Kewaunee County to ask for TMDL study extension

You can thank the drawdown of the Forestville Millpond for a potential delay in the final report regarding the health of the Ahnapee Watershed. The Kewaunee County Executive Committee unanimously approved a resolution requesting a testing extension on the Ahnapee River by two years. The study of the impaired waterway was supposed to conclude this November, which is right about when the drawdown of Forestville Millpond was set to begin. The drawdown of the mill pond is expected to take place over the next two years. Kewaunee County Chairperson Robert Weidner says it only makes sense to ask the Department of Natural Resources for more time.

A resolution will go before the Kewaunee County Board for its approval during its meeting on May 21st. The Ahnapee River was part of the DNR’s Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study that would develop a plan aiming to control pollutants and improve water quality over time.

Ephraim businesses handling road closures

Memorial Day weekend cannot come soon enough for businesses in Ephraim. That is when the hard closure of State Highway 42 is expected to end and will switch to flagging operations during non-peak traffic hours through June 28th. Ephraim businesses have had to get creative to get visitors to come shop and dine in the village since initial work began in March. Ephraim Tourism Administrator Lane Methner says they have done a good job emphasizing the beauty of taking the village’s back roads rather than the extra time spent in the car.

When the Ephraim streetscape project is completed, residents and visitors will see a reconstructed Highway 42 complete with storm sewer repairs, curb and gutter upgrades, sidewalks, and new decorative streetlights. 

Bellin crowned Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair

Paige Bellin will hit the ground running as Kewaunee County’s recently crowned Fairest of the Fair. The only person in Saturday’s competition held at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds Exposition Hall, the Luxemburg-Casco graduate would spend the week at the fair with her family as she competed in the horse show. Becoming Kewaunee County’s Fairest of the Fair is a tremendous opportunity according to Bellin.

Bellin’s abbreviated term will include appearances at the Casco Run/Walk Memorial Day weekend, next month’s Breakfast on the Farm and the Kewaunee County Fair July 11th-14th. Her Junior Fairest of Fair, Savannah Bailey, was crowned last fall.  



Two dead, one hospitalized after Nasewaupee crash

Two people are dead and another remains hospitalized after their vehicle was struck by an oncoming pickup truck Sunday evening in the town of Nasewaupee. The Door County Sheriff’s Department and five agencies reported to the intersection of County Highways PD and C at around 6:40 p.m. after a car failed to stop at the stop sign before being hit by the pick-up truck. A 52-year old Green Bay man died at the scene while two other passengers, a 16-year-old Green Bay woman and a 20-year-old woman from Austin, Texas were airlifted to Green Bay to treat life-threatening injuries. The 16-year-old Green Bay woman, who was driving the vehicle that was hit, died early Monday morning while the status of the other passenger is unknown. The driver of the pick-up truck was not injured.  No names have been released until family members are notified and the accident remains under investigation.

Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club will continue dictionary program

For the sixth straight year, the Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club (SBBRC) will be handing out dictionaries to all Door County third graders. At the beginning of the next school year, the SBBRC will go to every school in Door County to hand them out. Greg Dietz, the President of the SBBRC, says the students love getting their dictionaries.



The SBBRC just held their 19th annual Fine Art Awards of Excellence on Sunday, May 5th at Crossroads at Big Creek. Students in Door County received awards in the areas of art, choral music, instrumental music, drama, forensics and journalism.

Help of Door County helping with ACE's

A Door County non-profit is trying to help children deal with adverse childhood experiences (ACE’s). Help of Door County is trying to build a better community to help out children who may be witnesses to domestic violence and other traumatic experiences. Steve Vickman, Executive Director of Help of Door County, says children who have ACE’s can carry all sorts of mental, emotional and even physical problems in adulthood. Vickman notes the importance of making sure kids get the emotional support they need when going through something like domestic violence.



Vickman added kids who experience ACEs have a higher likelihood of developing alcoholism, drug use, depression and early heart disease.

Wisconsin gets $3 million for Alzheimer's research

Families in Door and Kewaunee Counties may get some help in dealing with relatives with Alzheimer's. A federal grant of $3 million from the National Institute of Health has been secured for Wisconsin’s continued research into Alzheimer’s Disease. The Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center at UW-Madison (WADRC) has been a leader in research and development surrounding the disease. This funding will allow an increased focus on research into prevention and slowing the impact Alzheimer's makes. Senator Tammy Baldwin helped secure this federal funding and says she’s proud of the work being done in Wisconsin to help aid the more than 5 million Americans currently suffering from the disease. 



The WADRC will use these funds to focus on a number of key areas of research including looking for biomarkers and improving patient care to reduce caregiver stress. This research will potentially help identify risk factors for the disease and continue creating better support systems for those caring for Alzheimer’s patients.

Senior Health & Wellness Day offers life-saving screening

Older residents can learn more about the YMCA's Northern Door Center in Fish Creek and possibly get some life-changing advice.  The Y is holding its “Senior Health and Wellness Day on May 16th.  Megan Schneider, Adult Health and Wellness Director, says the event offers plenty of options to help seniors get smart about good health.



Schneider says some seniors who've gone through the health screening have come away with some life-saving recommendations.


The Senior Health and Wellness Day runs from 8:00 AM until 12:00 PM at the Northern Door Program Center on Gibraltar Road in Fish Creek.  Lunch will be served and Door Tran will provide free transportation to the event for those who call in advance.

Door County Indivisible wants state to accept Medicaid expansion

A Door County organization believes the state should accept more federal money for Medicaid. The process of constructing the biennial budget has begun in the state legislature this past week and it once again brings up the discussion around Medicaid expansion in Wisconsin. The Republican majority has already voted down Governor Evers’ inclusion of accepting federal funding to expand Medicaid. Mike Brodd of Door County Indivisible says this may not reflect the majority views within the state because of poor district lines. He says accepting the federal money for the expansion is the fair decision.



An estimated $1.6 million is available in federal funding for Medicaid.

Gibraltar band members performed at State Solo Ensemble

Fifteen members of the Gibraltar band performed at the State Solo and Ensemble Festival this year. The event was held at the UW-Green Bay campus on May 4th for the band. Charlie Eckhardt, leader of the Gibraltar band program was very proud of all the participants. There are three levels of performers when it comes to the Solo and Ensemble Festival; Class A, Class B and Class C. All who qualify for the state festival are in Class A. He says it’s part of a long journey to work hard and truly get to the level of a Class A performer.



Many of Gibraltar’s performers received a score of 1, which is the best possible. Some of those performers were Eric Hoyerman, Angel Jauregui and Simon Kopsichke among others.

Ephraim keeping village public lawns green without phosphorus

The Village of Ephraim is living up to its' status as a Wisconsin Green Tier community by eliminating sources of phosphorus on municipal properties.  The concern over possible uses of fertilizers with phosphorus on village-owned lawns was raised during a meeting of the village wastewater committee.  Public Works Manager Russ Salfi spoke with the lawn care contractor and found that the village is doing its' part to keep phosphorus from running off into Eagle Harbor.



Currently, the Village of Ephraim has no ordinances that prevent homeowners from using lawn fertilizers with phosphorus.  Salfi says an effort to inform private property owners about alternatives to phosphorus-based fertilizers is a possibility for the future.

Bugs can be a good thing in your garden

Your beautiful Door County garden may not need the bug killer spray the next time you see an insect in it. There are some insects that are good and healthy for your garden according to Wild Ones member Karen Newbern. She will be making a presentation at Crossroads at Big Creek on Thursday talking about inviting bugs to your garden. Newbern says she knows that sounds counter-intuitive.



Newbern added that ladybugs and the praying mantis are good insects to have. This event was rescheduled from April 11th which was moved due to bad weather. The begins at 7 PM.

Volunteers needed for Door County skilled nursing facility

The Door County Medical Center Auxillary is looking for a dozen people to volunteer at the new skilled nursing facility in Sturgeon Bay.  It's scheduled to open in August.  Gloria Heck with the DCMC Auxilliary says volunteers are needed to help residents feel right at home in the 30-bed nursing center.



Heck is hoping volunteers will have the same kind of economic impact at the Skilled Nursing Facility that they have at Door County Medical Center.  She says last year volunteers put in 13,000 hours at the hospital which would cost roughly $365,000 if those functions were handled by paid employees. 

Door County health officials applaud Wisconsin effort promoting immunization

The Door County Department of Health and Human Services is fully supporting Wisconsin's latest effort to get young children immunized.  The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is launching a radio and multimedia advertising campaign aimed toward pregnant women and parents of newborns of children up to three-years-old.  The effort promotes the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.  Door County Public Health Director Sue Powers hopes parents take that message to heart.


Powers recommends parents consult with their child's doctor if they have questions about immunizations. They can also contact the Door County Department of Health and Human Services located on Nebraska Street in Sturgeon Bay.

Grants help Door County expand fight against invasive plants

The Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department is getting state help for a two-fold attack on aquatic invasive plant species.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources awarded a grant of just over $49,800 for a community education effort.  Door County Conservationist Krista Lutzke says that will help people better report invasives and use responsible boating practices.


The DNR also awarded Door County $45,780 to hire a pair of temporary full-time staffers to expand invasive control efforts.


Both aquatic invasive plant control efforts are scheduled to take place this summer.

"Gramping" becoming a trend in Door County

As more Baby Boomers become grandparents in Door County they are taking the opportunity to spoil their grandchildren by taking them on trips. “Gramping” is becoming the new trend where grandparents skip a generation and don’t take the parents along with them.  Sue Wehrli of Wehrli Travel in Sturgeon Bay says this is becoming much more popular. She has set up gramping trips to a Dude Ranch in Montana and to Costa Rica. Wehrli says it’s a good way for kids to gain new experiences without their parents.



Wehrli Travel is located on Glidden Drive in Sturgeon Bay.

New contract keeps Sturgeon Bay building inspections operating

Construction and renovation projects in Sturgeon Bay won't be delayed now that the city has contracted with a new building inspection company.  The bid from Door County Inspection, LLC was approved this week.  Sturgeon Bay Community Development Director Marty Olejniczak says that will keep building projects on schedule following the decision by SAFEbuilt, LLC to terminate operations throughout Northeast Wisconsin.



The new contract with Door County Inspection, LLC takes effect on Monday, May 12th.

Recommendations approved for Cana Island Interpretive Center

The planned Cana Island Interpretive Center could go before the full Door County Board of Supervisors by months end. That comes after the Facilities and Parks Committee recommended approval of the county's share of project funding and bids from contractors.  Wayne Spritka, Facilities and Parks Department Director, says those recommendations are among the final steps before construction begins.



The nearly 2000 square-foot interpretive center will cost nearly $593-thousand.  The recommendations now go before the Door County Finance Committee on May 20th and the County Board of Supervisors on May 28th.

Algoma getting help from experts with LED street lighting

The City of Algoma is using expert guidance as it transitions to LED street lights.  Such lights are more cost-effective than current lighting systems  The city wants to avoid the problems other communities have faced with buying and installing LED systems that fail long before their useful life ends.  Public Works Director Matt Murphy says that's where “Focus on Energy” is helping with Algoma's three-year LED transition plan.



The City of Detroit spent $185-million for LED street lights that were expected to last a decade.  It's now spending up to $10-million to replace bulbs installed from 2014 through 2016  that are starting to dim.  Detroit is also suing the manufacturer to recover its' costs.

Hauser named Assistant Director of The Crossroads at Big Creek

 Laurel Hauser has been named assistant director of Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay. Hauser brings to Crossroads experience as development director for the Door County Land Trust, a free-lance writer, a former newspaper editor and a member of the Sturgeon Bay Common Council.  Hauser believes all of her experiences will work well for the 200-acre nature preserve on Michigan Street near Highway 42/57.



It was those experiences that Matt Luders, President of Crossroads at Big Creek's Board of Directors, says made Laurel Hauser the logical choice for the newly created position of assistant director.



Laurel Hauser says her involvement with The Crossroads at Big Creek is almost part of her family's DNA.  Her father-in-law was among those who backed the idea of a school forest preserve in Sturgeon Bay, her sister-in-law was married at Crossroads and Hauser and her family spent many days on the preserve's trails.

Kewaunee County tourism numbers continue to grow

Kewaunee County is one of the fastest growing tourism spending areas in the state.  According to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism report released last Friday, Kewaunee County ranked second in the state for the increasing percentage in tourism spending last year.  Kewaunee County increased from  $20 million in 2017 to $23.5 million in 2018.  That increase was the second highest among counties in Wisconsin as well. The new numbers also show that Kewaunee County is first for increasing its percentage of tourism jobs as well as total labor income and second for the most change in total business sales as well as state and local taxes. 

Showcase of Homes starts this weekend

Eight Door County homes and waterfront cottages will be featured this weekend and next for the annual Showcase of Homes.  Open houses are Friday and Saturday this weekend and Friday, Saturday and Sunday next weekend.  Jeff Dorner, treasurer for the Door County Home Builders Association says the tickets can be purchased in advance or right at the eight homes.



In the past 15 years, proceeds from the Showcase of Homes have gone to charities and the High School Home Construction project, according to Dorner.  You can find a map of the eight homes featured below.

Demand for food donations remains high in area

Feed and Clothe My People of Door County is continuing to serve over 300 families a month from their Sturgeon Bay location.  The organization, which began in 1982, collects and distributes much-needed foods and supplies for local residents in need.  Director Estella Huff says the pantry could use additional food donations at this time.  She shares what Feed and Clothe My People could use to restock the shelves.



Huff says Feed and Clothe My People has refrigeration and a freezer to store items like milk, oleo, bread and meats that are purchased by the pantry through money raised in the Thrift Store.  Feed and Clothe My People is open from 2 pm until 6 pm on Mondays and Thursdays, and 10 am until 2 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. 


Threat being investigated at Southern Door High School

An alleged threat that was directed at students at Southern Door High School is being investigated by the Door County Sheriff’s Department.  School officials have identified the individual who was making the threats with information but no direct evidence that a “hit list” with names of Southern Door students exists.   High School Principal Steve Bousley says school officials were made aware of a perceived threat on Wednesday. 



Bousley added that students were assured Friday morning at school that precautions will be taken to maintain safety.



Door County Sheriff’s office officers will be on-site for additional security.  You can see the letter sent out Friday to all Southern Door High School families and staff with this story below.


Click here to see letter sent by Southern Door School District to parents


Church leaders tack on miles for faith communities

It is not out of the ordinary for a priest in Door and Kewaunee County to host multiple services in different locations in a given weekend. At least 10 churches in Door and Kewaunee Counties have such an arrangement, spanning multiple denominations. Pastor Daniel Schuster certainly does not mind the 10-minute commute between St. Mary’s Catholic Church and Holy Trinity Parish in Casco. In fact, he says it is a throwback to a time over 100 years ago when all the buildings, schools, and pastoral staffs did not exist.

The priest shortage has been especially noted in the Catholic faith, where church leaders in the Vatican are entertaining a number of ideas to address it.

Birders return to Washington Island for festival

You can help try to top last year’s number of 146 species seen at this year’s Washington Island Birding Festival beginning on Thursday. Limited to just 60 registrants, birders will team up with professional guides to explore Washington, Plum, and Rock Island while thousands of birds fly through during their migration. Laura Waldron from the Washington Island Art and Nature Center says the timing is perfect for the festival.

The Washington Island Birding Festival, which runs May 16th-19th, includes ferry transportation to Rock and Plum Islands and other activities. You can find the full schedule and registration information online with this story.



School year winding down with senior projects

High school seniors at local high schools are not looking ahead to what is on the other side of graduation quite yet. They are instead focusing their efforts on special projects required for graduation. At Gibraltar, seniors are completing projects benefiting the community, like Ryan Kropuenske’s Steps for Change Benefit Walk to support the Door County Medical Center Ministry Fund this weekend in Baileys Harbor. In Algoma, students are putting the final touches on what Middle and High School Principal Nick Cochart calls “capstone projects” where they tackle issues like developing a positive culture around masculinity. Cochart says the conversations he has with students as they complete these projects are why he loves his job.

High school graduation ceremonies will take place over the coming weeks, beginning with Southern Door on May 26th.  

Joint Finance Committee strips Medicaid expansion, marijuana legalization

Governor Tony Evers will have to wait for another day to see if some of his proposals will be passed by the Wisconsin Legislature. The Joint Finance Committee eliminated some items proposed by the governor in his budget, including expanding Medicaid, legalizing medical marijuana, and capping school choice enrollment. Speaking last week after marijuana-related proposals were rumored to likely get axed from the budge, State Senator Andre Jacque says it was likely because it was not considered a fiscal item.

State Senator Dave Hansen predicted after last month’s JFC hearing that this draft would get rejected. He thinks it is likely Governor Evers will veto a lot of what he sees from a Republican-produced budget.

Members of the Wisconsin Legislature return to the floor on Tuesday.

Belgian Heritage Center hosts author sharing World War II story

A Milwaukee area author will speak about her teenage years in Belgium during the chaos of World War II at the Belgian Heritage Center later this month.  Irene Litz-Barre, will give her presentation about her book, “Following the Lines:  World War II as Experienced by a Belgian girl”.  She will recount her family’s ordeal after the German invasion in May of 1940.  Barb Chisholm from the Belgian Heritage Center says the author will share a compelling story of a family struggling to reconnect and stay safe during the war. 



Litz-Barre will speak at 10:30 and 11:30 on Saturday morning May 25 at the Belgian Heritage Center which is located in Namur on County Road DK.  There is no charge for the event and Belgian pie and coffee will be served.  


Pet owners reminded to keep up on flea and tick prevention

Pet owners should protect their furry friends from the hazards of certain insects as they spend more time in the outdoors this spring and summer.  Dr. Jordan Kobilca from Door County Veterinary Hospital and the Luxemburg Pet Clinic recommends that heartworm prevention is done year round and that flea and tick prevention is done through the late fall.  He suggests some tips on keeping your pet safe.



Common signs of flea and tick presence on your pet can include excessive scratching, licking or biting at the skin, hair loss, scabs, and pale gums.  You can find more information on recommended Flea and Tick Prevention for your pet below.


Summer fun vehicles need proper insurance

With motorcycles, recreational vehicles, and watercraft being used extensively during the upcoming months, people are reminded to check with their insurance agents to make sure they are covered.  Special vehicles may be treasured toys for adults but the responsibility of finding insurance coverage may not be as fun.  Nicole Kirstin of Robertson Ryan & Associates in Kewaunee says it is always a good idea to review your policies.



Kirstin says riders on existing policies work well and is a good way to bundle more than one type of insurance together.  She says most companies offer discounts when bundling auto as well as homeowner insurances.   


Martinez artworks featured in New Mexico gallery

Fiber artworks made by Wence and Sandra Martinez of Jacksonport will be on display at a juried exhibit in New Mexico this month.  Embudo Indigo by Wence and Semillas Red by Sandra will be featured in the “Fiber as Metaphor” at the galleryFRITZ in Sante Fe beginning with a reception next Friday, May 17.  Sandra in an interview earlier this year said her and Wence have had the honor of having artwork placed in museums around the country.   



The fiber art display will stay up through the end of May.  The exhibit is associated with the annual New Mexico Fiber Art Crawl which is a three-day celebration held in northern New Mexico.


(Submitted image of artwork)  

Organic farming seeing growth

Health benefits and a growing demand for the products they produce is why dairy farmer Kevin Wilke of Sturgeon Bay believes more operations are joining him in going organic. According to Pew Research, the number of organic farms has grown 56 percent since 2011, with Wisconsin ranked number two in the country with over 1,200 in operation. Wilke says farmers have to forget what they were taught when they were younger and embrace change in order to successfully make the switch like he did back in 2012.

In addition to using natural techniques to control weeds, pests, and illnesses, Wilke’s herd of cows are required to head out to the pasture at least once a day.  Located just a few miles away from Wilke R Organic Farm, the DeFere Family Dairy in Sturgeon Bay was recognized by Organic Valley for being the “cream of the crop” for having the highest milk quality in Wisconsin among its members.

Luxemburg-Casco School District to break ground Friday

A new era for Luxemburg-Casco School District begins Friday morning when the first shovels break ground for several of its referendum-related projects. Part of the $27.8 million referendum plans, the district will begin work on a new community fitness center, middle school, gym, and other upgrades centered around its campus in Luxemburg. Superintendent Glenn Schlender says after months of planning, it is starting to feel real.

Luxemburg-Casco School District will host the groundbreaking ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. outside of the high school. Portions of the projects will be completed during the upcoming academic year while the middle school should be ready by the fall of 2020.

Mental Health Cafes to be held countywide

You will have four opportunities this month to discuss parenting children with mental health issues with others in the community. The Mental Health Parent Cafes are set up around a series of group questions and topics with participants sharing their stories while building a support system along the way. Door County UW-Extension Family Relationships Educator Tenley Koehler says events like these help parents know that they are not alone.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, half of all lifetime mental health conditions begin by age 14. The Mental Health Parent Cafes will take place May 14th at the Northern Door YMCA, May 16th at Southern Door Elementary School, May 23rd at Hope Church in Sturgeon Bay, and May 29th at Washington Island School. All sessions will begin at 5:30 p.m. with free childcare available. 



Seat belt usage continues to rise

Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski is proud of parents changing the culture around wearing seat belts. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, seat belt usage is at an all-time high at 88 percent of drivers and passengers buckling up. It lags neighboring states, but it is up nearly five percent from five years ago. Some of the biggest changes come from motorists with children that have to consider weight and age when safely putting them in their vehicle. Thanks to technology, parents are doing a great job buckling them up according to Joski, though it has created a side effect.

The DOT says three out of every four child safety seats are not installed correctly. You can read the rest of Joski’s article celebrating Seatbelt Awareness Month online with this story.




With May being recognized as a month of seatbelt awareness as well as a month where we will see additional enforcement for compliance, I felt it appropriate to get this article out early in the month.


Most of us have had the experience of following a vehicle and realizing that the kids inside the vehicle seem much too mobile to be properly wearing their seatbelts. While we may also observe adults not wearing seatbelts, our concern for the well being of children tends to cause us much more anxiety. Below are some basic facts in regards to Wisconsin’s seatbelt and safety restraint laws.


Wisconsin State statute 347.48 addresses seatbelts and safety restraints as follows:

347.48(2m)(b)” If a motor vehicle is required to be equipped with safety belts in this state, no person may operate that motor vehicle unless the person is properly restrained in a safety belt.”

What this means is that if the vehicle came equipped with safety belts you must wear them.


347.48(4) defines the use of safety restraints for children. This pertains to any child under the age of eight.

  • If the child is less than one year old or weighs less than 20lbs, then the child should be properly restrained in a rear facing child seat in one of the rear passenger seat positions.
  • If the child is less than 4 years old or weighs less than 40 lbs, then the child should be properly restrained in a forward facing child seat in one of the rear passenger seat positions.
  • If the child is less than 8 years old or weighs less than 80 lbs the child should be properly restrained in a booster seat.


I hope that this provides some basic information which will help those of us who have kids, but may not know some of the determining factors as to when we should have them in the proper safety restraints. For more information including fines you can visit the following website:


Bottom line is that we should as adults set the example by wearing our seatbelts, and for those of us that are parents, take the time to make sure our precious cargo is also secured properly. Also, the law has recently changed in that law enforcement can initiate a traffic stop based on our observation of a person not wearing a seatbelt. In other words “Click It or Ticket”

Local support for arts programming legislation

Whether it is from the stage performing a one-man show in Sturgeon Bay or putting on a multi-day festival in Baileys Harbor, Alan Kopischke knows first hand the impact strong arts programming can have on a community. It is why Kopischke was in Madison earlier this year testifying on behalf of a bill getting attention this week that would pump $500,000 into arts projects statewide. The hope is that the grants would provide a stimulus for jobs in the state, something Kopischke says arts programming does relatively efficiently.

The bills already have bipartisan support in the state Senate and Assembly including its author, First District Rep. Joel Kitchens. Arts Wisconsin is also calling for action on a separate bill supporting apprenticeship opportunities for youth looking for a career in the arts.

Peninsula Park adding tribute wall with improvements

Upgrading the amenities located within Peninsula State Park is nearing completion as the area's largest park readies for the busy season.  Friends of Peninsula State Park Business Manager Steve Strucely says there are plans for a special tribute wall unveiling to thank those who made the park improvements possible this year.


Peninsula State Park recently announced the delayed construction of the new Eagle Tower until later this year.  Strucely says that was due to the higher estimated costs of building materials from the original budget. 

Baldwin introduces new Medicare legislation

Medicare may soon be an option for more families if legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin passes. Senator Baldwin has introduced new legislation aimed at helping those above the poverty line access fairly priced health insurance. The Choice Medicare Act, drafted by Baldwin in collaboration with senators from Oregon and Connecticut, would allow those who were not previously financially eligible for Medicaid or Medicare to choose to enroll in the program. It would also allow employers to offer Medicare for their employees. Senator Baldwin says she hopes this option would both allow for better coverage choices and create more competition to help drive down private insurance costs as well.


Baldwin says Medicare is often rated as the most popular and efficient insurance system. She has previously supported creation of a public insurance option as well as expanding Medicare coverage to those over 50 rather than just those over 64.

Sturgeon Bay City Council shows support for Door 2 Door

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council supports talks with the Door County Board of Supervisors on the future operations of the “Door 2 Door” public transportation service. Council members approved a letter to the county at Tuesday night's meeting.  While it doesn't spell out what contributions the city might make to “Door 2 Door”, Community Development Director Marty Olejniczak, says it's a vote of confidence from Sturgeon Bay.



City council member Seth Wiederanders supports ways to consistently fund the operational costs for “Door 2 Door”.  Such funding is needed to help residents with few other transit options.



Wiederanders says the fares for “Door 2 Door” services, which are $3.50 one way or $1.75 for seniors citizens or those with disabilities, are the most affordable way for many residents to get to their destinations.

Helping young people locally with mental health challenges

Young adults and teens in Door and Kewaunee Counties and statewide face mental health challenges unknown to their older siblings and even their parents.  Many of those issues can be linked to the rise of social media.  Barbara Johnson-Giese, Door County Medical Center's Behavioral Health Coordinator, says some young people are communicating more with technology and feeling equally disconnected from society.



 Johnson-Giese says the first step is to reach out to parents and admit there are problems.  Other times other adults or grandparent can make the effort to seek help easier.



The Door County Department of Health and Human Services can assist young people or anyone else in finding help for mental health issues by logging onto

Kewaunee County Dialogue Series focuses on farming crisis

A representative from the Wisconsin Farmers Union will be in Algoma next week to discuss important issues facing Door and Kewaunee County residents, especially farmers.  As part of the ongoing Kewaunee County Dialogue Series, Kara O’Connor, who is the Director of Government Relations, will share concerns over agricultural consolidation in the area and the importance of supporting fair trade.  Jodi Parins of the Democratic Party of Kewaunee County, who is hosting the non-partisan event, says it is imperative to enhance both farm profitability and soil and water quality to restore vitality to local rural communities. 


The Kewaunee County Dialogue Series event is free to the public and will begin at 7 pm at the Hotel Stebbins next Wednesday, May 15th.  You can find more information on the series with this facebook link below. 




Help of Door County building  youth program

Between 15 and 20 teens are meeting weekly at Help of Door County to discuss building safe relationships throughout their lives.  FYRE, which stands for Forging Youth Relationships and Education, is a Help of Door County program that will make an important impact on the community, according to Help Executive Director Steve Vickman.  


The FYRE program is held every Monday night and is open to all high schoolers throughout Door County.  You can find out more information about this program by contacting Help of Door County. 


Lake Michigan water levels reducing Whitefish Dunes beach

Rising water levels on Lake Michigan will mean crowded beaches at Whitefish Dunes State Park this summer.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is forecasting higher water levels on all of the Great Lakes this year.  Erin Brown-Stender, Work Unit Supervisor for Potowatomi State Park and Whitefish Dunes State Park, says no matter where tourists go on the beach they won't have to walk far to wade or swim.



Brown-Stender says water levels are also restricting beach access near the Whitefish Dunes Nature Center.



While the water levels on Lake Michigan are higher than last year, they're not setting new records.  The Corps of Engineers says Lake Superior, Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie, on the other hand, are expected to surpass lake levels set in the 1950s and the 1980s.

New council member wants rules on public comments

A new member of the Sturgeon Bay city council would like to impose rules on members of the public speaking at council meetings.

Gary Nault was elected in April and suggested at Tuesday’s meeting that the mayor be given a right to end public comments if an individual’s character is attacked.



Council Dan Williams also stated that a 6:30PM rather than 7:00PM starting time should also be considered. For the past two years council meetings have been held in the evening, something Alder Kelly Avenson said she would like to see continue. Council meetings had previously been held with a starting time of noon.

Algoma police warn about fraud and scams

Of all the calls that the Algoma Police Department responds to on a daily basis, fraud and scam cases are the most prevalent.  According to, one in every ten American adults lost money in a phone scam in the past year.  Police Chief Randy Remiker says the scammers are getting bolder and more sophisticated. 


Chief Remiker adds that if the caller or solicitor is offering something that seems too good to be true, it probably is a scam.  He says never to give personal information over the phone to anyone claiming to work for the federal government.  Any correspondence by government agencies would typically be sent by certified mail rather than over the phone, according to Remiker.   


Door County Indivisible calls for redistricting

A local organization took their message calling for Fair Voting District Maps to a Joint Finance Committee Budget Hearing in Green Bay recently.  Door County Indivisible expressed concerns over Gerrymandering while calling for a non-partisan approach to drawing voting district maps.  Member Mike Brodd of Sister Bay says the last election exemplifies why Governor Tony Evers’ current proposal for redistricting after the 2020 census should be approved. 



Brodd adds that Fair Districts will give both Republican and Democratic parties an opportunity to win elections, help keep representatives accountable, and lead to compromise and a healthy democracy. 


(photo submitted)   

Left to Right: Judy Brodd, Jim Black, Glenna Peters, Mike Brodd, JoAnne

Morris, Renee Fiedler, Jack Fiedler. Not shown Cheryl Culver – Representatives of Indivisible

Door County at Joint Finance Committee State Budget Hearing Green Bay April 24, 2019.



Vans Lumber & Custom Builders recognized as Best of Door County for home builder

A third generation family-owned business has been awarded the “Best of Door County” in the home builder category.  Van’s Lumber & Custom Builders in Dyckesville won the distinction in a recent poll on  The Vandenhouten family began the business in 1950 as a lumberyard and now specializes in custom residential and light commercial construction as well.  Eric Vandenhouten, one of four brothers working at Van’s, says the honor of winning the Best of Door County belongs to the dedicated employees and their customers.



Van’s Lumber & Custom Builders will be holding their annual Customer Appreciation Event on Wednesday, May 22 with a brat fry with demos and displays at their Dyckesville location.

Kewaunee to host first harbor input session Thursday

You can begin helping the city of Kewaunee create a plan for its lakefront this week. The city has already released an online survey for residents, but the first of two public input sessions are slated to take place Thursday night from 6-8 at Kewaunee City Hall. The sessions come after the Kewaunee County UW Extension presented the results of its charrettes project for the site over a year ago. Kewaunee Community and Economic Planner Autumn Linsmeier says the public will weigh in on some of the sites identified during that study.

If you can’t attend this Thursday’s session and want to make your voice heard, a second meeting will be held in the Kewaunee High School theater on Tuesday, May 21st from 6-8 p.m. or you can take the survey included online with this story.



Door County camp hosts first camporee with girls

Girls camping in Door County is not a novel concept, but it was for the Voyageur District Scouts BSA Spring Camporee last weekend at Jax Camp in Sturgeon Bay. It was the first time the district held a camporee since girls were first allowed to form their own troops earlier this year. Two girl-only troops participated in the spring camporee, with patrols within each unit taking part in a number of scored activities with hopes of winning special awards at the end of the weekend. There are currently no Scouts BSA troops in Door and Kewaunee counties allowing girls in their ranks, but scouting volunteer Adam Vandenbush of Baird Elementary School PTO Troop 1401G in Green Bay says he can tell the interest is brewing.

Vandenbush says Troop 1401G performed well at the camporee, bringing home the award for best camp gadget. Since the Boy Scouts of America went co-ed last year, Brussels Lions Club Pack 4140 is the only chartered organization in Door and Kewaunee Counties offering opportunities for boys and girls.

Addressing affordable housing in Door County

A local organization is hoping through education and action that they will be able to address the affordable housing shortage in Door County. Interfaith Prosperity Coalition of Door County began two years ago to address concerns about the lack of services in northern Door. They discovered improving affordable housing in the area would have the biggest impact on the quality of life in northern Door. With that in mind, they contacted similar communities like Nantucket, Massachusetts and developed a film to help educate people on what the lack of attainable and affordable housing is doing to local families. Diana Wallace from the Interfaith Prosperity Coalition says their efforts now focus on the entire county and those who understand the issue can embrace the changes necessary to fix the problem.

You can learn more about the issues associated with affordable and attainable housing in Door County during three presentations being held this month in Sister Bay, Sturgeon Bay, and Brussels. The coalition’s short film and information on those three sessions can be found online with this story.



Christmas Tree Ship Point gets make over

After having trees getting recently removed from the site, Christmas is coming earling to a popular Algoma viewing spot. Thanks to the Door County Realtors Association, Community Improvement of Algoma, the Community Development Committee, and a donation in memory of Helen Vlies, Chrismas Tree Ship Point is getting a makeover. New flagstone steppers, native plantings, and other amenities will replace the trees that had to be removed because they made the city’s impaired list. Algoma Parks and Recreation Director Sara Robertson says the upgrades for Christmas Tree Ship Point are welcome.


Robertson says thanks to the grants and donations, visitors to Christmas Tree Ship Point should see the improvements over the coming weeks.

Armed Forces Day Breakfast includes Wendt remembrance

The Door County Veterans Service Council will be remembering Ken Wendt at an upcoming Armed Forces Day Breakfast later this month.  Wendt, who passed away in February, was active with the AMVETS since 1972 in Door County.  Scott McFarlane, Door County Veterans Service Officer, shares the planned ceremony at the breakfast.



The Armed Forces Day Veterans Breakfast will be from 7 am until 11 am on Saturday, May 18 at the Corpus Christi Social Hall in Sturgeon Bay.  Proceeds from the breakfast will go towards supporting Door County veterans in need.  


Mail deliverers helping "Stamp Out" hunger locally

Local residents are once again being asked to participate in a food drive spearheaded by mail carriers in Door and Kewaunee Counties.  The nationwide food drive sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers in conjunction with the U.S. Postal Service is this Saturday.  Mail carriers will be collecting non-perishable food donations left by mailboxes during their scheduled route.  Local coordinator Darrel LeCloux explains how the 27th annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive works.


Over 17,000 pounds of food was collected last year by the Sturgeon Bay mail carriers and a total of 25,000 pounds in Door County.  Food items should be put into plastic or paper bags and set out by mailboxes on early Saturday morning, according to LeCloux.


Labor shortage in trades continue in area

The labor shortage in construction is challenging many contractors and builders in Door and Kewaunee County, according to one local builder.  A recent report from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCA) shows that nearly 80 percent of construction companies want to hire more workers this year.  John Nimmer from Forest Construction in Luxemburg says the opportunity to work in the trades has never been greater.


The construction industry has lost 600,000 jobs since the 2008 recession, according to the AGCA study.  Nimmer, who has been in the building industry for 40 years, adds that the workplace safety protocols have drastically improved over the years.


Area dairy farmers waiting for milk prices to increase

Declining milk prices have local dairy farmers concerned about the future of the industry.  Wisconsin lost over 600 dairy farms in 2018, according to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.  Rich Olson of Olson Family Farm in southern Door County says the current price of milk and other commodities are not rebounding yet. 




The dairy industry contributes over $43 billion to the state’s economy every year.  Olson says he is cautiously optimistic that the milk prices could be much better by later this year.    

Updates coming on property assessment litigation

Sturgeon Bay taxpayers could be paying more money to the city depending on how two lawsuits progress in the coming months. The city and Wal-Mart continue to discuss the property tax assessment of its property alongside Egg Harbor Road. Like many big-box stores across the state, Wal-Mart is arguing it should be paying less in property taxes based on the status of stores that sit empty, commonly known as the “dark store theory.” Closer to the water Stone Harbor Resort and the city have brought in separate appraisers to assess the east side property after taxes there were argued to be too high. City administrator Josh Van Lieshout says the money has to come from somewhere if they have to pay back the two entities.

TID #2 is in good shape according to Van Lieshout, so the impact of a reassessed Stone Harbor Resort would be relatively minimal. Van Lieshout will give full updates on the two lawsuits during Tuesday’s Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at city hall.

Local programs already available for cover cropping

Kewaunee County Land and Water Committee Chairperson Chuck Wagner will keep a close eye on what Dane County plans to do to address agricultural run-off in the Madison area. Dane County is encouraging farmers to sign up for its $750,000 pilot program encouraging them to plant cover crops and other plants in their fields. By turning fields traditionally used for cash crops into prairie lands or space for cattle to graze, the hope is the county can help curb agricultural run-off from lakes and streams. Wagner says running a similar program in Kewaunee County has not been discussed, but there are ways farmers can still get a little help getting started.

Although it is not very lucrative, Wagner says cover cropping and no-till farming could help farmers save on fuel while improving the health of the soil and crops.

Door County tourism sees another year of growth

Door County continues to see tourism spending grow locally. Visitor spending was up 2.26 percent in Door County in 2018, totaling $366.6 million. That is good for seventh overall in the state, behind much bigger counties like Milwaukee, Brown and Walworth. Jon Jarosh from the Door County Visitor Bureau says the impact can be felt much further than the walls of a hotel or boutique shop.

The state of Wisconsin reported Monday the overall impact of tourism reached $21.6 billion in 2018, with direct spending totaling $13.3 billion. The DCVB is kicking off National Travel and Tourism Week with its annual breakfast Tuesday at Stone Harbor Resort. You can listen to the full interview with Jon Jarosh online with this story.


DCVB's Jon Jarosh and's Tim Kowols chat about this year's tourism numbers


Lemens Hardware happy to keep it local

You can still find Hank the golden retriever greeting customers at Lemens Hardware in Luxemburg, though he has a little bit more room to explore as he approaches his sixth birthday. The Lemens family celebrated the grand opening of its new location over the weekend after 70 years at its old home on Main Street. It has taken some time for Lemens Hardware to grow into the former Batten True Value space off of Highway 54, which is about four times larger than the old location. Owner Jim Lemens says it was important to him to keep a local hardware store running strong in Luxemburg.

Lemens hopes with the extra space there will be more opportunities to host customers for different events at the store. As for Hank, he will wait for your next visit at his spot near the front of the store waiting for a friendly pat on the head.

Senator Baldwin introduces legislation to help manufacturers

Some new legislation introduced by Senator Tammy Baldwin may help manufacturers in Door County. The Small Shipyard Grant Program is designed to help small shipyards across Wisconsin get federal funding to rebuild, repair, and purchase new equipment. But there is a loophole that allows the grant funding to be used to purchase commercially-available products manufactured outside the United States. Senator Baldwin says the legislation is designed to close that loophole.



Baldwin mentioned Sturgeon Bay-based Marine Travelift as an example of a company that would benefit from the legislation. Marine Travelift employs nearly 200 workers and uses materials sourced locally in Wisconsin to produce boat handling equipment.

Northern Door YMCA Senior Wellness Day

Seniors in Northern Door have an opportunity to learn how to be healthier and live longer. The YMCA in Fish Creek is hosting the Senior Health and Wellness Day on Thursday, May 16th. There will be presenters from the Door County Medical Center and Prevea. Fitness classes geared toward seniors will also be going on at the event. Executive Director of the Door County YMCAs Tom Beerntsen shares what you will hear at the YMCA that day.



The Northern Door Senior Health and Wellness Day begins at 8:30 AM and will end at around 12:30 PM with a free lunch. The event is free but you have to sign up beforehand and registration is limited. Go to the Fish Creek YMCA to sign up or log on to

Fishing season provides an economic boost

With fishing season underway this weekend Door County should see an economic boost. JJ Malvitz, a fishing guide for JJ’s Guide Service in Sturgeon Bay, says anglers from all over the country and Canada come to Door County in the spring and summer. Big mouth bass and walleye are the targets for anglers in the Bay of Green Bay and other lakes and rivers in Door County. Malvitz says those anglers taking fishing trips to Door County add a nice economic boost right before the busy tourism season.



Malvitz added that even experienced anglers should review some of the rules and laws before getting on their boats for the season.

Successful microbrewer prepares to open shop in Egg Harbor

A million dollar investment in Egg Harbor opens to the public May 23 as the One Barrel Brewing Company of Madison unveils its second Wisconsin microbrewery.  It'll also host a beer garden during the summer months.  The project was aided by the Door County Economic Development Corporation's revolving loan fund.  DCEDC Executive Director Jim Schuessler says the project is a good investment based on the track record of One Barrel's owners Peter and Jennifer Gentry.



One Barrel will create eight full-time jobs in Egg Harbor and will operate year round.  Schuessler says One Barrel is also helping Wild Tomato Pizza grow its' business.

Migratory birds are back at Peninsula State Park

A Peninsula State Park naturalist wants to help you appreciate the beauty of birds. On three consecutive Tuesdays starting on May 7th, Peninsula State Park is hosting a birding walk from 8 to 9 AM. Migratory birds are making their way back into Door County with the weather getting warmer. Warblers and other shorebirds may be seen on the short walk which will be about a half mile. Peninsula State Park naturalist Kathleen Harris shares what makes birding so special.



Harris encourages people to bring their own binoculars as there are only a few to use at the park. You can park at the Weborg lot and meet at the Weborg Shelter building. On Friday, there will also be a bird walk and that one will meet at Nelson’s Point at 8 AM. These walks are all free but a state park vehicle sticker is required.

Ephraim Library taking suggestions for book club

If you have a book you’ve been dying to talk about you can suggest it be discussed in the next winter book club at Ephraim Library. Tuesday is the last Ephraim book club meeting for this past winter. Morgan Mann, the Community Relations Library Assistant for Door County Libraries, says they will be talking about plans for next winter’s book club.



The book they will be discussing is The Rent Collector by Camron Wright. The meeting will start at 10:30 AM. The Ephraim summer book club begins on Tuesday, May 21st when they’ll be discussing Enigma of China by Qiu Xiaolong. That also begins at 10:30 AM.

Door County considers merging public health and human services boards

Door County is considering the possibility of creating one board to develop policies for the newly created Door County Department of Health and Human Services.  Prior to January 1st, public health and human services were administered as separate departments.  However, public health and human service policies are still overseen by two separate boards.  When the Board of Public Health meets May 8th, it will take up a proposed merger of the two boards.  Health and Human Services Director Joe Krebsbach says any merger must address all functions legally required of the two boards.



The Door County Board of Public Health will meet May 8th at 8:30 AM at the Door County Government Center on Nebraska Street in Sturgeon Bay.

Fire chiefs ready to talk on county EMS future

The Door County Fire Chiefs Association is opposed to a privately-operated EMS system. The membership, however, is willing to work with the county to find ways to make the system work better.  The association this week went on the record against Door County's request-for-qualifications from contractors interested in running EMS.  Sister Bay-Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht, the association's president, recognizes the county's right to operate EMS or any other service cost-effectively.  He says fire chiefs hope the county will meet with them to discuss the future of EMS.



Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says, as in the past, fire chiefs and other community leaders will be consulted before any action is taken on the emergency medical service.

DPAS continuing celebration of moon landing anniversary

You can take a trip back to May of 1969 to see what NASA was doing to prepare to land on the moon with the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society (DPAS). DPAS is holding their May meeting on Tuesday with the focus being on NASA and the Apollo space program. This year is the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Dave Lenius is on the board of directors for DPAS and he says other members will be sharing their own personal work they've done recently.



The May meeting will be at 7 PM on Astronomy Campus at Crossroads at Big Creek. You don't have to be a member of DPAS to join the meeting and it is free to attend.

Kids Gardening Day at Sturgeon Bay Library

Your child has an opportunity to grow their own vegetable all the way from a seed to a full-grown plant at the Sturgeon Bay Library next Saturday. The event is Kids Gardening Day geared towards elementary school-aged children. It will be hosted by the Door County UW-Extension in collaboration with the Door County Seed Library. Annie Deutsch, the agriculture educator at the UW-Extension, says it will give kids a good hands-on experience of growing of seeing the growing process from seed to vegetable.


Participants will be able to take their seeds home to take care of it on their own. The event will run from 9:30  to 11:30 in the morning on Saturday, May 11th at the Sturgeon Bay Library. It is free and open to the public.

Shipyard Tours given on beautiful Saturday

The sun was shining and the lines were long for the Shipyard Tour at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and CenterPointe Yacht Services on Saturday. The Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay presented the 26th Annual Shipyard Tour. Visitors got a look at the giant cranes and huge boats at the shipyard. It’s the only day tours are available of Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and CenterPointe Yacht Services.  Scott Bader is on the Rotary Shipyard Committee and he said the best part of the tour is seeing all the giant boats on the tour.



Peter Glassen is the Facilities Manager for Fincantieri, and he helped organize the event. With all the rain in the past week, crews had to get everything dry for Saturday so nobody would slip on anything.



Tickets were $15 and all proceeds went towards Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay and all their projects. Bader said over 1,000 tickets were sold online before Saturday.


Greener electrical power becomes the rule in Wisconsin

Homes and businesses in Door and Kewaunee Counties are getting the majority of their electricity from natural gas and renewable sources.  That follows a national trend where coal-fired generating plants are being closed and natural-gas, wind, and solar facilities are taking over.  Wisconsin Public Service spokesman Matt Cullen says the company is making strides in reducing its carbon footprint.



Cullen says that's due in part to simple economics.  Natural gas has become cheaper to use while solar and wind power technologies have improved their cost-effectiveness.



The trend away from fossil fuels will continue in Wisconsin. WEC Energy Group, WPS's parent company,  recently got state approval for a pair of solar generation projects.

Nine Months that Changed Everything

As a father of six children, I have personally experienced the monumental difference nine months can make in a life.  Apparently that applies to charities as well.  Over the last three fiscal quarters the leadership of the Boys and Girls Club of Door County has made dramatic changes and is successfully addressing its financial crisis.  
Quite simply, the Club had become a victim of its own success.  After opening the David G. Hatch Center in 2016, the Club had more activity space than ever before.  With a good heart and the right spirit, the Club’s leadership threw their doors wide open and invited in every child who needed them.  
Unlike a business in which new customers translate into more profits, whenever a new group of kids walk through the door, the Club loses more money.  Most of its children/customers could never afford to pay the full cost of the services they receive, yet the Club must always maintain a ratio of at least 1 adult for every 15 kids.  More kids mean greater costs but almost no new revenue.  The Club’s a non-profit precisely because there is no profit to be made.
Throughout 2018, the Club was running an absolutely alarming deficit.  It had to borrow money to meet its current obligations and was having difficulty covering payroll.  That’s when the Club’s leadership came to visit us at the Door County Community Foundation.
After a painstakingly thorough evaluation of the Club’s financial crisis and proposed workout plan, we at the Community Foundation felt confident enough to encourage the people of Door County to join us in giving the Club a second chance to thrive.  We sent letters to our friends and I wrote the column “Don’t You Quit.”  I’m pleased to report that not only did our community give the Club that second chance, it’s now well on its way to thriving.
Since the crisis began, the Community Foundation has been receiving regular strategic and financial reports and has met with the Club’s leadership on several occasions.  Our most recent meeting was just a few days ago with the Club’s Chief Executive Officer Julie Davis, Chief Financial Officer Cindy Neuville, and Board member Erich Pfeifer.  I’m pleased to report that things are trending in a very optimistic direction.
On the revenue side of the ledger, consultants were brought in to help implement proven strategies to acquire new donors and a Stewardship Committee was created to better engage current donors.  As a result, the number of donors increased by 29%.  Nationally, the average donor retention rate (the percentage of last year’s donors that gave again this year) typically hovers around 45%.  The Club’s is 61%.
On the expense side, the Club has consolidated operations and found efficiencies in how it deploys staff.  As a result, payroll was cut by 14% and overall expenses were reduced by 17% as compared to the fiscal year before the crisis began.
Of course, all these changes come with a human cost.  The Club cannot afford to serve the same number of children that it did a year ago.  Then again, the reality is that the Club couldn’t afford to serve all those kids last year either.  The only way it was possible last year was to borrow money and go into debt.
Gratefully, because of our community’s generosity over the last few months, the Club is now completely debt free.
The fundamental causes of the Club’s financial crisis were overly optimistic revenue assumptions combined with an exceedingly aggressive program expansion.  While that was a strategic mistake and a long-term recipe for disaster, we should pause for a moment to celebrate the spirit behind those decisions.  
Within the leaders of our Club is the compelling and sometimes overwhelming desire to help every child who needs them.  That’s the kind of spirit we want in those who run our Boys and Girls Club.  Yet we also need the leadership of human service organizations to make sure that their heart remains in balance with their head.  While we might want to rescue everyone who’s fallen into the water, we must also ensure that we aren’t so overwhelmed that we end up sinking the boat.  
The Club has used our community’s recent generosity wisely.  It has plans for future growth, but those plans are realistic, appropriate, and should be implemented at a far more measured pace.  Thankfully, it appears that the Boys and Girls Club of Door County will be here for our children for many years to come.
Bret Bicoy is President & CEO of the Door County Community Foundation.  Contact him at  

Public input sought on Plum Island hunting and fishing

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could open Plum Island and a portion of Detroit Island to deer hunting along with fishing from Plum Island's shores. So the agency is seeking public comment on those plans.  Fish and Wildlife spokesman Dustan Hoffman says the deer hunting proposal is needed to enhance environmental protection of the lands.


The last updates to hunting and fishing programs in the Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge, which includes Plum Island and Detroit Island,  was in 2012.  An open house on the latest revisions will be held at Washington Island School in the Rutledge Room is set from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM on May 8th.

Get weather spotting training in Sturgeon Bay

You have an opportunity to help the National Weather Service (NWS) spot dangerous storms and save lives in Sturgeon Bay next week. On Wednesday, May 8th, the NWS is hosting weather spotting training at Crossroads at Big Creek. At the program, participants will learn to recognize and report severe weather conditions to the NWS. Door County Emergency Management Directory Dan Kane will also be helping at the event. Kane says this event is for anybody with an interest in weather.



The program begins at 6 PM and will last about 90 minutes. It's free and open to the public with no registration required.

Rules and boating safety to consider as fishing season opens

Fishing season starts this weekend and the Department of Natural Resources reminds people there are different fishing rules for Green Bay and inland lakes in Door and Kewaunee Counties.  Conservation Warden Chris Kratcha says some fish species that can be harvested on the bay are off-limits for now.



Warden Kratcha also reminds fishing enthusiasts that life jackets are a must, especially with current water temperatures in the 40's.  If you've fallen overboard, Kratcha recommends making your way to the stern to get back into the boat.  He adds that can also be done easier with the proper equipment.



Kratcha also recommends keeping a throwable floatation device attached to a rope to throw to someone who's fallen into the water.

He also recommends you practice tossing it while on land so you know how far you can throw it before taking to the water.

Open Door Bird Sanctuary readies for summer opening

Birds of prey that currently call the Open Door Bird Sanctuary in Jacksonport home will again inspire educational opportunities this summer.  Rob Hults, the executive director, says the 2019 season will start next month but people can receive private tours of the facility any day during the week year around.  He shares some of the recent improvements and additions to the sanctuary. 



The Open Door Bird Sanctuary is located on 34 acres of land just south of Jacksonport on County Road I.  The sanctuary will be open to the public on Saturdays from noon until 4 pm starting on June 22 through August.   

Ag Heritage Center offers big venue in Kewaunee County

The Agricultural Heritage & Resource Center is planning another year of big activities in Kewaunee County.  “Spring on the Farm” next weekend will showcase the second of a three-year series called “Our Dairy Past, Featuring Krohn Dairy”.   Jim Rabas of the Ag Heritage & Resources says the facility is utilized for many different events throughout the year. 



The Ag Heritage Center will host a kick-off this Saturday called an Evening of Rock and Roll with the Spice Band.  You can find the entire 2019 schedule of events planned through the fall season with the link below.


"Best of Door County" Pharmacy winner dispenses Golden Rule

In a little over four years, Bay Hometown Pharmacy in Sturgeon Bay has claimed the distinction of winning three consecutive years of the “Best of Door County” from polling by  Owner and pharmacist Jake Blazkovec credits his staff for following the “golden rule” when it comes to customer service.



Bay Hometown Pharmacy opened in February of 2015 and is located on the corner of Jefferson Street and North 7th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.  It is one of over 40 independently owned Hometown Pharmacies in the state. 

Sunrise students take field trip to Madison

The fifth graders from Sunrise Elementary School in Sturgeon Bay experienced a field trip to Madison and our state capitol on Thursday.   73 students along with their teachers and parent chaperones had the opportunity to learn the inner-workings of our state government.  Fifth-grade teacher Aaron Pairolero says the opportunity to learn outside the classroom impacted many of the students. 


The fifth-grade students also visited the Veterans Museum and Physics Museum. in Madison.  They concluded with a tour of the University of Wisconsin campus.  Pairolero added that the students took many different nuggets away from the field trip with one commenting after the return to Sturgeon Bay that she wants to be the next governor of Wisconsin. 


(submitted photo)


Joski completes military lifesaving course

Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski believes training he recently completed at Fort McCoy in western Wisconsin could be extremely effective in helping save lives. A member of the Wisconsin National Guard, Joski completed the combat lifesaver course with about 30 other soldiers so they can be better equipped to provide critical first response to injuries in the field. He believes the skills he learned this week validates what his department and others are already trying to do in case of emergencies.

Joski says Kewaunee County residents are very fortunate to have great first responders in the communities they serve, a group he believes helped prepare him for some elements of the course.

Another Secret Treasure of Door County: Novel Bay Books

When I walked into Novel Bay Books on 3rd Avenue in Sturgeon Bay, Liz Welter, one of the owners asked me what I was currently reading. When I answered that I was reading Barbara Kingsolver’s first novel she smiled broadly and told me how much she loved the Bean Trees and added that it was so different from her other novels like The Poisonwood Bible or Laguna.


Liz and partner John Maggitti really know, and really love, books. It’s hard to believe that this is their first commercial venture…for anything.


Not too long ago Liz was working as a reporter for the Door County Advocate and John was making weekend commutes from his job in Marshfield, Wisconsin. After a year of this tedious commute John was finally able to leave his job in Marshfield and join Liz full time in Sturgeon Bay. They wanted something that they could do…together. After long analysis they realized that they both loved reading and a storefront became available on 3rd Avenue. So they took the plunge and opened Novel Bay Booksellers. John, being very handy, crafted many of the bookshelves himself and even put in a metal ceiling back in the reading room. Liz is constantly updating book selections, especially the children and young adult choices.


Together they make a wonderful team. They are eager to help anyone who enters the store who may want a personal suggestion or a gift for a friend. And when they’re not stocking shelves or working with a customer you’ll find them doing what they love so much. Reading.



Keeping homes safe during renovations

You can see the hard work of remodeling your Door County getaway or Kewaunee County home go up in smoke if you do not take the proper precautions. The National Association of Home Builders expects renovation spending to grow by three percent over the next two years. Exposed wires, dangerous machines, and other factors can easily see that work disappear because of a fire. Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says when doing some remodeling in your home, there are some basic things you should do to protect yourself from potential fires.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, blazes in structures undergoing renovation cause an average of four deaths and 16 injuries every year, costing property owners $108 million annually.

Kewaunee County sees continued growth in tourism

The blue waters of Lake Michigan and white slopes of Winter Park continue to bring in the green for Kewaunee County.  In the tourism impact report released this week, Kewaunee County saw the second highest growth of direct visitor spending in 2018 at over 17 percent from 2017. That is noteworthy because the growth experienced was even bigger than the jump Kewaunee County saw in last year’s report when it had Farm Technology Days to thank for the bump. Tourism coordinator Jennifer Gonzalez says more people are stopping in Kewaunee County on their way to Door County and the surrounding area, partly because of its outdoor recreation activities.

The number of tourism jobs and total labor income have followed Kewaunee County’s growth in tourism over the last year, capturing the top spot for percentage growth in those two areas.

Housing shortage impacting local real estate market


If your Door County home is valued between $150,000 and $250,000 it will probably sell fast, according to Sturgeon Bay realtor Ame Grail.  With millions of seniors citizens staying in their homes longer than prior generations, home buyers and area realtors are feeling the housing shortage crunch.  According to economists at Freddie Mac, over 1.4 million homes have been kept off the market by owners born from 1931 to 1947.  Grail says the demand for homes covers all prices and locations.



Grail says homes in the Sturgeon Bay area that list for between $150,000 to $250,000 are either non-existent or sold immediately after being put on the market.  She says the housing shortage is a national crisis that showed up in other parts of the country before impacting local listings and also causing increases in rent costs.  


Learning to become Uber/Lyft drivers in Northern Door

Sister Bay wants to help Northern Door County residents become rideshare drivers.  The village began developing ride share services about a year ago and wants to attract more drivers.  So one-day classes will be held to help those who'd like to be Uber or Lyft drivers.  Sister Bay Advancement Association Coordinator Louise Howson says the course will show students the basics of being part of a rideshare service and that could help fill a transportation gap in Northern Door.



The Uber/Lyft drivers class is free to all interested residents.  It's scheduled to be held May 30th at 1:00 PM the NWtC-Sister Bay campus on Bay Shore Drive with a second class set for 5:00 PM at the Door County Brewing Company Music Hall on Highway 57 in Baileys Harbor.

Mattice retires as Kewaunee County Human Services Director

This past Tuesday was the last official day for Bob Mattice as the Kewaunee County Department of Human Services Director.  Retiring after more than 30 years with the department, Mattice,66,  also worked in child protective services, juvenile justice, and  foster care before becoming the director about three years ago.  Mattice says positively impacting the lives of youth was the most rewarding part of his job over the years. 



Mattice, 66, who lives in Green Bay and has always lived in northeastern Wisconsin, plans on enjoying his time around his home getting jobs done and traveling more.  Dana Johnson is the new Kewaunee County Department of Human Services director replacing Mattice.  



(Mattice pictured in center with green shirt and black tie.  Submitted photo when Kewaunee County was being recognized by the Wisconsin Alliance for Drug Endangered Children program)

Cherry and apple orchard blossoms may be later

With thousands of anticipated visitors flocking to Door County to witness the spring blossoms this month, one local orchard owner says you may have a little longer wait this year.  Steve Wood of Wood Orchard in Egg Harbor says the cooler temperatures may delay the blooming slightly this year.  He gives the typical timeline for the cherry and apple blossoms. 


Door County has over 2,500 acres of cherry orchards alone, according to the recent Door County Visitor’s Bureau newsletter.  Reportedly over eight million pounds of cherries are produced by area orchards every year during the summer adding to Door County’s economy. 

Students grow enthusiasm in new greenhouse

Sturgeon Bay High School students showed off their new greenhouse Wednesday as a part of an open house for the community. The new facility broke ground last summer and opened in time for the first students of the school’s new sustainable living class. Senior Kyle Bruemmer says they have learned about what it takes to grow a crop.

Matthew Moxon, also a senior, says the greenhouse has helped expand his interest in gardening.

Bruemmer and Moxon have been able to taste the fruit of their labor with some of the plants harvested from the greenhouse being used for school lunches.



Dealing with your toddler's temper tantrum

The next time your kid throws a fit in public while you are traveling around Door County, take the advice of one of their favorite cartoons and let it go. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, a person’s brain is not fully developed until their 20s with some skills like judgment and decision-making not complete until later. That means when toddlers are having a temper tantrum, it is because they simply do not have the skills yet to manage their emotions because their brains have not fully developed. Door County UW-Extension Family Relationships Educator Tenley Koehler says it can be tough to let your child cry it out, especially since it is not necessarily how our parents handled us growing up.

Koehler recommends riding the tantrum out and then having a really good conversation with your child about their feelings and how they can approach the situation differently the next time.

Door County fire chiefs oppose EMS privatization

The fire chiefs of the ten departments in Door County are unanimously opposed to the proposed privatization of the Door County Emergency Medical Service.  In a news release sent to,  the Door County Fire Chiefs Association wrote  they “strongly believe that public safety (Law Enforcement, Fire and EMS) are best provided by public entities who are focused on customer service and ultimately answer to the public they serve.”  The news release also stated, “ we do understand that the county has the right to consider the termination of the County provided EMS services....(that) would allow for the possibility of a private ambulance service to enter into EMS coverage contracts for Door County.”  Those feelings are shared by some at the local government level.  Ephraim Village Board President Mike McCutchen is concerned about a possible for-profit entity running EMS.
Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says the county is ready to work with community leaders and firefighters on EMS operations.


Potential contractors have until July to submit proposals to Door County.

Kewaunee County students get a taste of government

High school students from Kewaunee, Algoma, and Luxemburg got a chance to walk in the shoes of a county employee Wednesday as a part of the annual youth government day. In the morning students toured Kewaunee County’s courthouse, sheriff’s department, jail museum, and administration center before participating in a mock trial in the afternoon. Kewaunee junior Vanessa Guillen says she wanted to participate because she wanted to learn more about how the whole county judicial system works.

Kewaunee County Corporation Counsel Jeffrey Wisnicky hopes the students realize they are becoming adults soon and the stuff they do on a daily basis matters.

Wednesday marked the 55th year of the youth government day, which is sponsored by three local American Legion Posts.



Michigan Street Bridge will close next week

You may have to change your route if you’re driving in Sturgeon Bay next week. The Michigan Street Bridge will be closed from 8 AM to 3 PM on Tuesday, May 7th and Wednesday, May 8th. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) will be performing routine bridge inspections. WisDOT will also be cleaning the bridge which they do every year when winter ends. Dale Weber is the bridge maintenance inspection program manager for WisDOT, and he says there is nothing for people to worry about when it comes to the health of the bridge.



Drivers are encouraged to use the Maple/Oregon Bridge or the Bayview Bridge during the closure.

Casco store stays open during a Day Without Latinos protest

It was business as usual at El Dorado Express convenience store in Casco, even as other Hispanic-owned businesses statewide closed for the day as part of the Day Without Hispanics and Immigrants protest at the state capitol building.  The goal was to show the consequences of not having immigrants in the workforce for jobs few other people will do and how Hispanic-owned businesses contribute to the economy.  Ernesto Perez owns El Dorado in Casco. He says through store employee Edith Garcia that closing his store would leave Hispanic residents with few other options to get groceries.  He also questions the effectiveness of such protests.



Protest organizers hope the Day Without Hispanics and Immigrants will push lawmakers to adopt the new state budget, which allows illegal immigrants to get drivers licenses so they can work in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin counties get expanded Medicaid funding in state budget

Door County would receive $7-million while Kewaunee County would get $5-million if a proposed expansion of Medicaid is approved in Wisconsin. That's part of the  Department of Human Services budget proposal. That would help the counties expand Medicaid coverage to new clients, maintain aid to current Medicaid recipients, provide additional funding for long-term care and increase funding for physicians.  Each county will be able to decide how to spend that money to administer local Medicaid programs.  Kewaunee County Human Services Director Dana Johnson likes that approach.



Wisconsin's Department of Human Services estimates the $2.6-billion in Medicaid funds will save Wisconsin taxpayers nearly $325-million.

Babysitting training available at Northern Door Children's Center

Teens interested in making some extra money babysitting over the summer have a chance to get ahead on the competition in Sister Bay this weekend.  Northern Door Children’s Center is hosting their annual babysitter training course on Saturday. Karen Corekin-DeLaMer, education and community relations coordinator from the Northern Door Children’s Center, says the program is designed to help teens 12 and up get started in babysitting.



The program lasts from 9:30 to 2 on Saturday. It's $25 which includes all supplies, lunch, and a certificate of completion. Those interested should call the Northern Door Children's Center at 920-854-4244.

Celebrating the 100th birthday of Tug John Purves

A cold, rainy, windy day didn't prevent people from coming out to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Tug John Purves at the Door County Maritime Museum on Wednesday. Speakers shared the history of the Tug John Purves which was originally named the Butterfield. Stories were shared about all the hard work put into the boat after it was donated to the Maritime Museum in 2003. Paul Graf, one of the speakers at the celebration and one of the many who volunteered time to clean up the tugboat, said over 32,000 hours were put into the rehab effort. Kevin Osgood, executive director of the Door County Maritime Museum, says the Tug John Purves is a good reminder of the great history of Door County.



Osgood added by taking the special "Nuts and Bolts" tours, you can hear some of the other stories that happened on the boat. The event was free and open to the public. Extra chairs were needed in the Bridge Room at the museum to accommodate everyone in attendance.




Key wildlife habitat in Gibraltar-Ephraim now protected

Wetlands that are home to part of the headwaters of Ephraim Creek and Hidden Springs, which are located in the Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp State Natural Area, will remain unspoiled.  The Door County Land Trust has purchased the 40-acre parcel in Gibraltar Ephraim Swamp State Natural Area, which runs from the northern edge of Ephraim limits south to Peninsula State Park and east to Townline Road.  Land Trust Development Director Cinnamon Rossman says the wetlands help protect the quality of water flowing into Eagle Harbor and provides some much-needed habitat for migratory birds.



The newly protected wetlands were owned by one family for several generations.  The Door County Land Trust was able to buy the wetlands with grant funding through the Environmental Protection Agency's Great Lakes Protection Initiative.  Other grant funding came from Wisconsin's Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program.

Kewaunee County warns of CodeRED scam

Kewaunee County is trying to protect its residents about a new phone scam. On Monday, an Algoma resident received a phone call saying it was from the CodeRED Emergency Alert System. The caller told her to call one of two phone numbers in regards to a refund. Instead, she dialed the Kewaunee County Emergency Management to make sure it was a scam. Kewaunee County no longer uses the CodeRED system for mass residential notification. They now use the “Rave Alert” system. Kewaunee County Emergency Management Director Tracy Nollenberg says the system is free to join and they will never call about money.



Nollenberg advised that if you do get a scam call like this one to just ignore it or report it to the Kewaunee County Emergency Services. She added it’s a good idea to sign up for the Rave Alert system Kewaunee County now uses. It replaced the CodeRED system on January 1st, 2018.

Air travelers need to get REAL ID in 2020

Travelers from Door and Kewaunee Counties who use their drivers' licenses for identification at airports will need REAL ID enhancements by October 1, 2020.  That's when the Transportation Security Administration will require all passengers on domestic flights to have compliant identification showing a white star in a black circle in the upper right corner.  Otherwise, passengers will not be allowed to board.  The REAL ID Act was adopted in 2005 and states have been phasing it in on licenses or legal identification cards.  Sturgeon Bay travel agent Sue Wehrli, with Frosch International, says other existing documents can help air passengers avoid a lot of hassle.



Those whose drivers licenses expire in 2020 can automatically get REAL ID-compliant at renewal time.  Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles Administrator Kristina Boardman says residents whose licenses don't expire for years can also upgrade easily. Though Boardman recommends bringing along a Social Security card, a birth certificate or a passport.         


The REAL ID Act was enacted in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks to improve minimum security standards for air travel.

Shipyard Tours coming Saturday

Maritime lovers and visitors will have the opportunity to see first-hand the operations of the shipbuilding industry in Sturgeon Bay this weekend.  The Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay is presenting the 26th Annual Shipyard Tour this Saturday.  Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and CenterPointe Yacht Services will be offering tours beginning at 9 am on Saturday.  Lee McConkey, Rotary Interact director, says visitors will get a unique insight into the shipbuilding industry. 


Proceeds from the Rotary Shipyard Tour ticket sales benefit the Door County Rotary Youth Interact program through the YMCA.  You can find more ticket information for this year’s shipyard tours with the link below.

The Grain Loft gives weddings a rustic backdrop

A random drive down Highway 42 near Algoma made David and Stacey Vecellio's dreams of creating a second wedding/event center a reality. The Vecellio's came across the former Flying Pig gallery and garden area. It's now been transformed into The Grain Loft, a rustic, stylish, wedding and reception venue.  StaceyVecellio says the Grain Loft is a bride-to-be's ideal one-stop wedding shop that is also a stress-buster.



The Grain Loft is available for wedding parties and special events with up to 200 guests for 12-hours. That includes a dining area and bar services.  There are also no pre-set wedding packages that wedding and event organizers have to choose from.  David Vecellio says customers are in control of how they want to celebrate their special day.



The Vecellio's will open The Grain Loft for a public preview on May 10th from 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM.  It's located on Highway 42 just south of Algoma.

Maas Floral credits personal touch in winning Best of Door County

The variety and personal touch are two hallmarks that Maas Floral and Greenhouses in Sturgeon Bay has attributed to winning the Best of Door County in the floral category.  Todd Maas has owned and operated the family-run business since 2000.  He says he believes the staff at Maas Floral is the reason behind the honor.



With currently six greenhouses behind the main building, Maas Floral has tripled in size in the past 19 years.  Carrying one of the largest selections of nursery and greenhouse plants and flowers in Door County, Maas adds that they pride themselves on the variety of plants including the unique and exotic banana plant.  This is the third year in a row that Maas Floral and Greenhouse has captured the “Best Florist of Door County” in the poll.   

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