News Archives for 2019-07

McFarlane retires as Door County CVSO

 There will be one less friendly face for local veterans to contact in Door County when they are in need of services. Door County Veterans Service Officer Scott McFarlane resigned from his position in advance of Tuesday’s Administrative Committee meeting.  Complementing a 30 year career in the U.S. Army, McFarlane served as the CVSO for 13 years with six of those while he was deployed. Figuring out the federal Veterans Affairs system can be tricky, but McFarlane is proud of the impact he has helped provide in Door County.

McFarlane’s official retirement date is September 27th.  He will help in the transition as a new CVSO is expected to be hired in the coming weeks.

Bookworms heading to Kewaunee

After being a staple in the lives of Algoma children for the last 17 years, the Kewaunee County Wisconsin Bookworms are heading south. Beginning this school year, the group will share their love of reading with 4K classrooms in the Kewaunee School District. The program distributes seven  books and bags for the students to read together during the course of the school year. Bookworm volunteer Janice Gilbertson says it is great to see the impact the program has had on children, especially those who still remember her seventeen years later.

The Kewaunee County Wisconsin Bookworms recently received a $1,000 donation for the program, which relies almost entirely on private donors for support.

Finances an obstacle on Washington Island

Figuring out how to operate a town that goes from 700 people to attracting 300,000 people year-round is part of the reason Washington Island town chairperson Richard Tobey decided to run for office. The town recently instituted garbage fees to help fund the landfill’s over $140,000 in annual operating costs.  It is also trying to figure out ways like donation boxes to fund the $80,000 it takes to care for parks on the island.  Tobey says the fee structures being put in place are to more evenly split the costs between everyone who works, lives, and plays on the island.

With a little help, Tobey believes progress in those two areas could help relieve some of the infrastructure pressure on Washington Island. The town board meets on Wednesday at 6 p.m. where they will discuss what is next for its park committee which had four of its members resign.

Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department work to keep the peace

Not every time you see a patrol car in Kewaunee County will a ticket or an arrest follow. There has been a reduction in crime in certain areas, but the number of calls to help continue to rise in part because of civil matters. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says when it comes to responding to events like child custody and property disputes, deputies are there more to keep the peace than anything else.

Joski says if you find yourself in the middle of a civil dispute to understand why the officer is serving that role. You can read more about this topic with Sheriff Joski online with this story.




Although I try to keep my articles fresh and attempt to cover new material each week, there are some topics that I feel should be and need to be re visited. The topic of civil laws versus criminal laws and the extent to which we are able to assist in a matter which is civil in nature continues to cause some confusion, and places law enforcement officers in unnecessary circumstances in which they feel obligated to assist, but cannot.

      I have been asked many times about how busy we are in law enforcement recently. I am assuming that people are curious as to how many major crimes take place, or what the trend is in comparison to past years. In recent years we have seen a reduction in most areas of crime; however our calls for service continue to increase. Some of the most frequent calls for service relate to civil matters. These calls involve things such as child custody, property disputes, eviction orders, and restraining orders. I would like to focus on these civil calls, as they not only seem to be increasing, but they bring with them some misunderstanding of law enforcement’s roll in regards to them.

      Generally there are two classifications of legal process; criminal, and civil. Those of us in law enforcement focus on criminal, as that is our primary purpose. We do however assist in civil calls in support of court orders. Primarily this is in the capacity of keeping the peace. We may keep the peace as one party removes their property in response to an eviction, or recent separation. We may keep the peace as property is being recovered as part of repossession. We may also keep the peace as children are being transferred from one parent to another. You may notice a theme running through these and that is our obligation to keep the peace. Many times officers are asked for advice, opinions, or recommendations. These unfortunately put the officers in a tough situation, as they may in fact have opinions, or good advice to give. It is best we stick to the purpose for which we are there for, and that again is to keep the peace. If you find yourself in a situation where law enforcement is summoned to respond in support of a court order, please understand and respect the capacity, in which that officer is serving.


Schools recycling cartons as MILK Act offer choices

Area schools may have more milk options in the cafeterias if new legislation is passed in the U.S. Senate, but recycling of cartons has definitely seen a bump in Sturgeon Bay.  The Milk in Lunches for Kids (MILK) Act was introduced last month in Washington D.C. by U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson to allow schools to offer more than just low-fat or fat-free milk.   Jenny Spude, school food director for the Sturgeon Bay School District, says she has not seen much change in milk consumption, or requests for that matter, the past few years.   However, she says one milk-related change seen recently at school came about by a student-driven, carton recycling project three years ago. [SPUDE] The program was started by student Georgia Feldman at Sunrise School and was part of a Door County Community Foundation Youth Grant, according to Spude.  T.J. Walker Middle School also implemented the successful initiative last year as the students continued the program for the older grades.  


K-D Salmon Tournament Starts Friday and offers economic boost

The 37th Annual Kewaunee Door Salmon Tournament starts this coming Friday and local businesses can expect an economic boost.  The largest summer fishing tournament on the Great Lakes has attracted over 3,000 anglers in the past, according to co-organizer Kevin Naze.  He says fishing offers a huge boon to the area economy during the summer months.



The nine-day tournament runs until July 27 and includes over $50,000 in prize money including a first place $10,000 cash prize and mounting of the winning salmon.  You can find more information about the 37th Annual K-D Salmon Tournament with the link below.

Sexual harassment being underreported in workplace

Responding to sexual harassment on the job is sometimes a difficult decision for employees, according to Steve Vickman, executive director of Help of Door County.  He says many victims are concerned about their career situation and possible retaliation by their harasser.  Vickman cites two different statutes that cover harassment in the workplace.



Statistics show that sexual harassment happens to 40 percent of the women in the workplace, but only 25 percent of those incidents are reported, according to Vickman. 


For more information on confronting sexual harassment in the workplace go to the link below.



Stuck to oppose Gallagher in District 1 Congressional race

Wisconsin’s 8th congressional district representative Mike Gallagher will be facing a new challenger in the 2020 election.  Amanda Stuck, an Appleton Democrat currently serving in the State Assembly, announced her decision to run on Sunday.  She says there are not a lot of people like her in Washington, D.C. right now.



Stuck says she decided to announce her candidacy early in order to have time to talk to people all around the district and raise the necessary funds to get her message out.  You can listen to the entire interview with Stuck below.




Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church celebrates anniversary

A building dedication and the union of two Northern Door congregations will be celebrated at Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church in Ellison Bay this weekend. It was 25 years ago that Zion Lutheran Church in Sister Bay and Trinity Lutheran Church in Ellison Bay voted to merge into one congregation and to build a new 220-seat sanctuary. In the years since, the building housing Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church has grown to include a bell tower, a pipe organ, and an additional wing. While the building has changed, Pastor Jim Honig says the people’s dedication to the church has not.

Shepherd of the Bay Lutheran Church will host a celebration organ concert on Saturday at 7 p.m. and an anniversary service on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. featuring former Pastor Bruce Foster.

Parking issues creep into Egg Harbor

Egg Harbor officials are learning about the unintended consequences with the popularity of some of its new businesses. Last week, village administrator Ryan Heise summarized a number of parking concerns that have crept up in recent years as on-street parking near businesses became scarcer and started to spill into lots of neighboring businesses.  It also covered the results from a parking study completed in June recommending the village look into creating more parking or manage its current inventory more efficiently. Heise says it is a good problem to have, but it still needs to be addressed.

He also says he is looking into how the villages of Ephraim and Sister Bay handle their parking situations this summer for additional ideas.

Local farmer reflects on Dairy Task Force 2.0 efforts

Sturgeon Bay farmer Moriah Brey has her fingerprints on a plan aiming to help the ailing dairy industry in Wisconsin. Tapped by Governor Scott Walker at last year’s Farm Technology Days in Wood County, Brey and 30 other individuals with ties to the agriculture industry met over several months to help address the many issues that are leading to an average of two farms a day calling it quits. Recognizing the importance of exports and technology, funding for local roads, and encouraging young people to enter the industry were just some of the 51 recommendations made by the group. Brey is proud of the collaboration that took place to narrow down their ideas and develop a plan.

Of the 51 recommendation made by the task force, Brey says 19 of them are already in action.

Storms flood roads, cause power outages

A strong band of storms through Door County Monday morning caused residents to scramble for flashlights in their homes and alternate routes on their morning commute.


After hitting a peak of approximately 135 customers affected by power outages early Monday morning, the number shrank to just 24 customers stretching from Sturgeon Bay to Ellison Bay by late morning according to Wisconsin Public Service.




Flooding was the issue on some local streets including 14th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay, where the police department had to shut down the road due to high waters.  Door County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director David Van Dyke had to cut through parking lots and wade through eight-to-twelve inches of water to get to his office and the Restore. Despite flood waters getting to just within a few feet of their doors, he says everything inside was fine.


Across the street at Bonnie Brooke Gardens, a rain gauge read that just over four inches of rain had fallen in just a few short hours. Store manager Gail Savage says nothing got damaged and actually helped.

Both Van Dyke and Savage predicted their storefronts would be open for business by the late morning to early afternoon.



Great weather creates great times for Brussels Lions Belgian Days

Sunny and clear skies, a passion for baseball and great family fun made the 58th Annual Brussel Lions Club Belgian Days a rousing success.  The two-event helps the Lions raise money to help meet the needs of those with disabilities and medical issues and keep the Lions Club park well maintained for community use.  Lions Club President Jim Wautier says the event scored big with parents of the 25 youth baseball teams that took part in the Big Dog Tournament.



Belgian Days also introduced those attending to Belgian-style food, which is one of the main attractions for those who return each summer.

Food and fun underneath the Brussels Lions Club shelter at Belgian Days




Two of the 25 youth baseball teams taking part in Belgian Days in Brussels


Summer finds Door County Sheriff's deputies logging more road time

Summer is the peak road time for Door County Sheriff's Deputies and that has not eased since the July 4th holiday.  More deputies are added to road patrols as summer events dictate and during all summer weekends. Field Services Lieutenant Robert Lauder says Door County's patrols are kept at minimum strength with help as needed from state troopers.



Lieutenant Lauder asks that visitors make life easier for road patrol officers and other drivers by leaving home a bit earlier when traveling to Door County.

Immigration raids have some people in Door and Kewaunee Counties nervous

Some Hispanic speaking residents in Door and Kewaunee counties are nervously watching as Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents conduct raids on illegal immigrants.  While the raids are not targeting the Milwaukee area or other portions of Wisconsin, Imelda Delchambre,  with the Door and Kewaunee Counties Hispanic Resource Center, says the latest actions by ICE have people she knows very uneasy.



The most recent ICE raids in Door and Kewaunee counties took place last year.  Delchambre says the arrests of three people at that time are still too fresh for some Hispanic residents.  She also says such raids impact the larger community.



ICE is targeting over one-million undocumented residents and that includes families.

Algoma School District offers incentives to attract and keep teachers

 The Algoma School District's efforts to attract new teachers and retain existing instructors is paying off thanks to incentive programs.  Algoma had four teaching vacancies for the 2019-2020 school year and was challenged in finding candidates who were a good fit for the district and the positions they applied for.  Superintendent Nick Cochart says in response to a limited pool of prospective teachers the Algoma district made a few changes.



Of the four open teaching positions,  three have been filled and one is expected to be staffed soon.

Artists concepts for school additions come to Sevastopol

Taxpayers in the Sevastopol School District will be able to see some preliminary artists concept drawings of the new school building additions.  Representatives of Bray Architects will present the conceptual drawings during a presentation at the school board's June meeting.  Those drawings will show how the additions will appear from the outside and the halls and rooms from the inside.  Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says the drawings reveal everything in great detail.



More of the school addition concept designs can be found on the Sevastopol School District website.

Door County unlikely to compete for labor during Democratic convention

Tourism leaders believe Door County is unlikely to find itself competing for workers with the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee next year.  Local officials and restaurant and hotel owners in Milwaukee say they're already facing shortages of service industry workers and are looking at how to fill that gap to meet convention demand.  Door County Visitors Bureau President and CEO Jack Moneypenny, however, doesn't believe traditional summer tourism areas will lose service workers to Milwaukee.  He says the length of the convention won't make it worth most worker's time to forsake areas like Door County.



Moneypenny says Door County continual faces employment challenges during the travel season.  Businesses have to adjust when big events, such as Fyr Ball, Fourth of July or the Pumpkin Patch Festival take place.  Moneypenny expects Milwaukee businesses will do the same during convention week.

Area lawmakers differ on an effort to limit governor's veto power

State senators from our area differ in their views of a plan to limit line-item veto powers for Democratic Governor Tony Evers and future chief executives.  Republican lawmakers want to adopt a constitutional amendment that would prevent Wisconsin governors from using line-item vetoes to shift funding from one area of the budget to another.  That follows Governor Evers' shift of $65-million more than the legislature wanted into education. State Senator Dave Hansen, a Democrat from Green Bay, believes talk of an amendment is motivated more by partisan concerns than fiscal responsibility.



Former GOP Governor Tommy Thompson was well known for using the so-called “Vanna White” veto to change words and sentences in his state budgets.  State Senator Andre Jacque, a Republican from De Pere, believes change is needed to prevent further abuses of a governor's veto power.


Before such an amendment could go before voters the proposal would have to be adopted in two consecutive legislative sessions.

Little rest for contractors helping homes and businesses facing Lake Michigan's rising waters

A Door County marine construction company is putting in six-day work weeks. It's all in an effort to help property owners and businesses prevent erosion from Lake Michigan's rising waters.  Mike Kahr, the owner of Deaths Door Marine in Ellison Bay, says lake levels have stabilized a bit. So he and his specially trained crew are working to help waterfront businesses and homeowners adjust to the changing conditions and save their shorelines.



Kahr is also recommending that lakefront property owners take action now before fall.



Kahr has worked with marine construction for over 40-years and saw similar high lake levels in 1986.

A bright future for electric bikes

A Door County cycle enthusiast sees bright future for electric bicycles.Randy Sahs, former president of the Door County Silent Sports Alliance, sees future economic development opportunities by promoting E-Bikes. Enhancing heath, fitness and tourism are just a few.




E-Bikes are available at Nor Door sports in Fish Creek and Sturgeon Bay and at Edge of Park in Fish Creek.

Law Enforcement can use your eyes

 Sturgeon Bay Police Department has some advice for reporting distracted or reckless drivers. Captain Dan Brinkman says Sturgeon Bay is unique because of the State Highways running  through the city. Most calls start in the northern and southern parts of the county. Brinkman explains what drivers should do when they encounter a reckless or distracted driver.



 Brinkman adds you should keep your distance, give as much information as you can to the dispatch center  like license  plate number, number of people in the vehicle and vehicle color.

 Brinkman says reporting is good because the driver could be having a medical condition, is overtired or just plain reckless.


Algoma Community Musical Theater gets boost from Pride Pumps

The Algoma Community Musical Theater was able to put on their summer musical with the help of a donation from the Jandu Petroleum Pride Pumps. The show that was put on was Seussical Jr., a musical based on the works of Dr. Seuss. The Algoma Community Musical Theater helps students and the community come together according to Jennifer Massey on the board of directors. Massey says it allows adults to get into musical theater and to work with students.



The Algoma Community Musical Theater was the May recipient of the Jandu Petroleum Pride Pumps Promotion with the donation intended for the summer musical. The Pride Pump promotion is a joint effort of Jandu Petroleum and The promotion raised over $11,000 for Door and Kewaunee County school districts for the 2018-2019 school year.

Kewaunee County summer school keeping children active

Your children have a chance to be active and learn healthy habits with classes taught by the Kewaunee County Public Health Department this summer. Spots are still available for the “Day Camp for Kids” July 29th through August 2nd. The camp will be taught by Kewaunee County Public Health Community Health Educator Anna Westmark. She has been teaching cooking, babysitting and fitness classes this summer, The upcoming “Day Camp for Kids” will combine all of those things. Westmark is a dietician and loves that the children are enjoying the healthy meals being made.



There are still open spots in the camp which is open for first through sixth graders. It costs $15 per day for a half day and $25 for full days. Or you can choose to go for the whole week which is $50 per week for half days and $90 for full days.

Door County Seed Library has been big success

A new program in Door County has been more popular than the creators of it could have imagined when it began. The Door County Seed Library began on March 2nd of this year. It’s a program where people can go to the Sturgeon Bay Library and “check out” seeds at no cost and plant them in their own gardens. The seed library was able to get started because they got many different seed companies to donate packets to them. Penne Wilson is one of the founders of the Door County Seed Library and she says they underestimated how many seeds they would need but there are still many packets left. Wilson adds the ultimate goal is to have people save enough seeds and then donate them back to the seed library. 



Wilson wants people in Door County to have more sustainable fresh fruit and vegetables along with other plants and flowers. The Door County Seed Library is teaching a free composting class at the Sturgeon Bay Library on July 20th starting at noon.  

Big Band Jazz students coming to Birch Creek on Sunday

The final Symphony Show at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor is Saturday night and they welcome in a new group of young musicians on Sunday. Big Band Jazz students will be arriving at Birch Creek on Sunday and their first performance is only three days later. Birch Creek Executive Director Mona Christensen says the students are ready for how fast things move there and the Big Band Jazz performances are always exciting to watch.



Vocalist Katie Ernst will be a part of the performances in the first week of shows from Wednesday, July 17th through Sunday the 21st. Wednesday’s opening night show begins at 7:30 PM.

Historical Society open to new granary location

The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation wants to be a “good neighbor” when it comes to supporting the recommendation by the Sturgeon Bay Ad Hoc Waterfront Planning Committee to have the Teweles & Brandeis granary located closer to the Oregon Street Bridge corridor.  President Christie Weber says the organization is thrilled that the waterfront committee included the granary in future plans of the westside redevelopment, but that any new agreement with the city regarding the location would have to keep the structure on the state and national historic registry.  She also is concerned about possible additional costs for a change from the formerly approved and original site.



Weber adds that the process to get the national historic registry to approve any state approval for a change of location of the granary could take months.  The recommendation by the ad hoc committee cites that the alternative site would “frame” the west waterfront area with two tall buildings; the granary and the Door County Maritime Museum’s new lighthouse tower.  It would also be a more visible site that frees up more space and allows for a larger central public space on the waterfront.  The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will meet at 7 pm next Tuesday to discuss the new West Waterfront Redevelopment plan.   


Here is a link to the 41-page recommended plan. 

Discovery trail being explored extensively at Ridges Sanctuary

The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor has seen an increase of use of the trails and boardwalk at the nature preserve this summer.  Steve Leonard, the executive director, says with the recent blooming of plants and flowers, families have taken advantage of hikes and programs at the Ridges.  He says the accessibility of the trails makes for a very pleasant experience for the entire family.



The family discovery trail is an opportunity for families to visit a stream, capture butterflies, build forts, and play in the boneyard which is by the sand dune area, according to Leonard.   Besides the trails and nature center, the Ridges Sanctuary is home to the Range Light that is found at the Cana Island Lighthouse which is celebrating the 150th anniversary this year.  The Ridges Sanctuary is located just off Highway 57 north of Baileys Harbor. 




(photo courtesy of Ridges Sanctuary) 

Ahnapee State Trail to be limited due to road construction

Walkers and bikers of the Ahnapee Trail will have to take a detour near Kewaunee in the next few weeks.  Starting next week the Kewaunee County Highway Department will begin pavement replacement of the County E from Miller Street to the bridge over the Ahnapee State Trail.  Todd Every, Kewaunee County Highway Commissioner explains the plan.



County E will be closed in late July from Miller Street to County FF to replace the bridge over the Ahnapee State Trail.  The detour for trail users will be posted taking people from County C to 5th Street to Miller Street in Kewaunee.  The road projects are expected to be completed by mid-October, according to Every.

Area farmers looking for hot, dry weather to boost crops

With the above-average rainfall impacting fields and crops earlier this summer, area farmers are starting to see the benefits of sunshine and warmer temperatures in July.  Rich Olson of Olson Family Farm is optimistic that the late season planting of corn and soybeans can make up for lost ground.



Olson says the corn stalks in the area could use some hot, dry weather to spur a growth spurt.   He estimates that crops are one to two weeks behind schedule.  Areas of Door County have picked up just over one inch of rain so far in July, including  in Egg Harbor and less than a tenth of an inch in Sister Bay, according to  

Success beyond the ribbons at Kewaunee County Fair

Some of the money spent at the Kewaunee County Fair in Luxemburg this weekend will have a larger impact beyond the event’s closing on Sunday. Organizations like the Dyckesville Lions, Algoma FFA Alumni Club, and Holy Rosary Church run the food booths along the midway at the fairgrounds. Over 90 percent of the funding for Algoma FFA Alumni Club activities comes from serving food all seven days of the fair. Member Paul Moede says the support they get at the fair helps them be a guardian angel for the community.

Blake Jauquet of Luxemburg has worked with his pigs for months, but will say goodbye to them as they enter the show ring one final time Saturday afternoon during the fair’s animal sale. Jauquet says the money earned will go towards his future college education.

The Kewaunee County Fair runs through Sunday afternoon.



GED gives students new direction

It was not until Algoma’s Connor Fritsch decided to get his General Education Diploma that he felt he could begin chasing his dreams of teaching.  Just over 300,000 students nationally took the GED test in 2017, which measures a student’s competency in five different areas. Fritsch decided he wanted to take his life into a new direction, so he started taking GED courses at the Luxemburg Regional Learning Center of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. He says deciding to take that path was the best decision he could have made.


Instructor Nancie Brennan says attending GED classes is a great investment, especially since they are free.


Fritsch will continue his studies at NWTC before transitioning to UW-Green Bay where he hopes to major in education so he can become a history teacher. You can contact NWTC Luxemburg to learn when their next GED classes are taking place.



Open meetings violation alleged in challenge to Forestville recall effort

 An organizer of a recall campaign against Door County District 3 Supervisor Roy Engelbert says affidavits challenging the recall petition may violate the Open Meetings Act.  Six voters who signed the recall petition filed affidavits with the Door County Clerk's office saying they were not aware of the purpose of the petition.  Village of Forestville President Terry McNulty, who's one of the organizers of the recall efforts against Engelbert and District 2 County Supervisor John Neinas, says the affidavits were collected by other village officials and he believes the district attorney needs to look into the matter. 

McNulty also believes the petition language clearly stated the purpose was to recall Engelbert. left voicemail and email messages to Engelbert, who's also board chair for the Town of Forestville, Town Supervisor Jason Tlachac and Town Clerk Ruth Kerscher for comment.  No phone or email responses were received.

Sarters take over marine towing business

The familiar green tugs docked in Sturgeon Bay officially have new owners. Don and Julie Sarter partnered with Sharon and Susan Selvick of Selvick Marine Towing back in 2014, but completed the sale of the business Thursday morning. After taking over for one family, Sarter hopes to continue the business with his own.

Renaming the business to Sarter Marine Towing may not be only change coming to the tug boats in the near future. The Ad Hoc West Waterfront Planning Committee recently recommended a possible secondary site for mooring the tug boats in addition to possible restrictions to fueling and pumping operations, maintenance activity, and dock wall space. The Selvick family had been operating the tug boats since 1969. 

Months of hard work shine at Kewaunee County Fair

One division after another, youth are seeing the fruits of their labor at the Kewaunee County Fair in Luxemburg. Ribbons dotted the junior fair projects inside the exposition hall as judges continued to rate the best of the best in the open class. Pilsen Skylighters member Megan Salentine saw her ice cream quilt get first place and best in show ribbons before the Wisconsin State Fair deemed it worthy of its show next month. Salentine says it is great to see the talents of so many in the community.

Out in the barns, many were waiting for their chance to display their animals while others were walking back from the show ring with their own ribbons. Junior Fairest of the Fair Savannah Bailey will be handing out several awards herself, but she was happy the ram she got to show walked away with a blue ribbon.

Judging of other animals runs through Sunday morning, highlighted by the round-robin showmanship competition Friday night at 6:30 p.m.

Sturgeon Bay teaching staff nearly filled while support staff still needed

The Sturgeon Bay School District is nearly at full strength when it comes to teaching staff.  Now the district is focused on building its pool of substitute teacher and teacher associates for the 2019-2020 school year.  Superintendent Dan Tjernagel says his district, like others in Door and Kewaunee counties, are relying on social media for recruiting and some financial incentives.



Tjernagell says the district is awaiting school board approval to fill the last open full-time teaching position.  That's expected to happen when the Sturgeon Bay board meets July 17th.

Help of Door County Offering Legal Advocacy

Seeking relief from abusive partners can be an overwhelming process and Help of Door County provides a service to benefit victims.  To alleviate stress on victims of domestic violence the agency provides legal advocacy.  Executive Director Steve Vickman says Help of Door County offers the service to help victims escape the harmful situation without worrying as much about the legal struggle.



Additionally, victims receive help transitioning into their new, safer life through Help of Door County’s resources. More information on legal advocacy provided by Help of Door County can be found below.


Plan for Sturgeon Bay west side completed

The City of Sturgeon Bay Ad Hoc West Waterfront Planning Committee finalized the redevelopment plan at a meeting Wednesday night.  The recommendation will now go to the Sturgeon Bay Common Council next Tuesday for discussion.  Councilmember Gary Nault asked for an agenda item for discussion on how the Teweles & Brandeis granary and the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation agreement with the City may be impacted with the revised recommendations from the Ad Hoc committee, according to administrator Josh Van Lieshout.  The committee was formed last fall to study past redevelopment plans and current realities associated with the west side waterfront.  Van Lieshout expects the Sturgeon Bay Common Council to get more public input before ultimately sending the recommendation on to the Plan Commission.  You can see the entire 41-page report of recommendations from the Ad Hoc West Waterfront Planning Committee with the link below.

Recycling is only good if items are truly recyclable

To recycle or not to recycle that is the question many may have when deciding how to dispose of waste.  Steve Estes of Advanced Disposal in Sturgeon Bay says although people’s intentions may be to be eco-friendly, they can be hindering the recycling process.  He shares some of the more commonly misplaced items that are thrown into the recycle bins.



Estes says more and more companies are using recyclable packaging and that the general public is becoming more educated in the positive impact that recycling can have on the environment.  Checking the bottom of any container for the recycle logo is a safe way to know if it can be recycled.  Reportedly 60 to 80 percent of recyclable items are actually recycled nationwide.

Former Gibraltar fire rescue boat finds new home

While the Town of Gibraltar Fire Department's new Gibraltar Rescue 50 fire rescue boat responded its first calls, the former rescue vessel has found a home with a private owner.  The 30-year-old, 22-foot-long Boston Whaler Sentry was sold for $35,000, with the money used to defray part of the cost of the new boat.  Fire department Captain Adrian Murre says the Sentry still has a long useful life ahead, however it had some limitations when it came to increases in water rescue calls.



It didn't take long for Gibraltar Rescue 50 to prove it was a worthy replacement for the Boston Whaler Sentry.  Within 18-hour after it was christened, Gibraltar Rescue 50 responded to two incidents.

Sturgeon Bay marijuana ordinance change moves to full common council

A proposed ordinance change to eliminate fines for marijuana use on private property is on its way to the Sturgeon Bay Common Council.  The city's Community Protection and Services Committee voted 3-0 to approve and forward the proposal.  Common Council member Seth Wiederanders, the proposal's sponsor, says some clarifications are still needed as to what defines private property.



Wiederanders hopes the proposal revising the fines for marijuana use on private property will appear on the common council's July 16th meeting agenda. 

Youth mission trip helps rebuild hurricane victim's homes

Twenty-two members of the Moravian Church in Sturgeon Bay recently returned from a youth mission trip from North Carolina that was devastated by a hurricane last September.  The group worked with a disaster relief team out of Wilmington on the week-long Hurricane Florence recovery project.  Tracy Vreeke, who was one of six chaperones on the trip, says the group of teens focused on rebuilding homes in the impoverished area of Burgaw.  She describes the living conditions of residents who had lost nearly all their possessions in the hurricane.



Vreeke says the mission group of sixteen teens worked hard in the extreme heat and humidity to accomplish the rebuilding of five homes the last week in June.  The area has not received much state or federal aid, according to Vreeke.  You can see pictures of the Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church youth mission trip below.












Sturgeon Bay Police solve felony thefts


Sturgeon Bay Police have recently solved a series of retail and felony thefts. Last Tuesday officers  responded to investigate a theft at the BP Convenience store on  Egg Harbor Road. An out-of-state man walked around the store, stole a cheeseburger  from a cooler and then noticed a brief case that was set down by a vendor visiting the store. The suspect then grabbed the briefcase and fled . Sturgeon Bay Police Captian Dan Brinkman says officers were able  to identify the suspect as he was arrested the night before by Sturgeon Bay Police for Operating a Motor Vehicle while Intoxicated.



The briefcase as well as several shoplifted items from area stores were found  in the vehicle . All items the victim lost at the BP Store were returned. After being charged with OWI in Kewaunee County suspect was released to Sturgeon Bay Police and booked into the Door County Jail. Charges of retail theft and felony theft were  refered to Door County District Attorney. Investigation is on going.

Your Right to Know: Bill would block scrutiny of lottery winners

When University of Wisconsin-Madison student journalist Peter Coutu investigated frequent lottery winners in Wisconsin in 2018, he uncovered a pattern: the owners and clerks of stores that sell lottery tickets seemed to have more luck than normal. 


In his article for Wisconsin Watch, Coutu consulted a statistical expert, who concluded that the lucky streaks among some of the frequent winners of the Wisconsin Lottery defied any reasonable explanation. 


In all, Coutu found that three of the top 13 frequent winners had close ties to the retailers selling them the winning tickets. Another expert noted in the article that retailers get a cut of the winnings, providing additional temptation to cheat.


When Coutu joined the Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Norfolk, Virginia, later in 2018, he conducted a similar investigation. He found that many of the frequent winners in that state also were lottery retailers. One, the owner of a Newport News store, had cashed in 140 lottery tickets worth more than $400,000, including 23 tickets purchased at his own store.


The findings prompted policy changes in the Virginia Lottery, including scrutiny of frequent lottery winners — which Wisconsin already does — and a requirement that winners disclose any ties to lottery retailers. It also sparked criminal investigations into some potentially fraudulent winnings. 


But such independent examination of suspicious lottery activity would no longer be possible in Wisconsin under the recently introduced Lottery Privacy Act. AB 213, sponsored by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, and Rep. Gary Tauchen, R-Bonduel, would allow winners to shield their names from the public. 


In announcing the bill, Tauchen said he was responding to concerns that jackpot winners could be targeted for fraud, abuse and harassment. “Just because you win the lottery,” Vos said, “it shouldn’t mean you lose your right to privacy.”


Virginia recently passed a bill to shield the names of some lottery winners — but only those who claimed a ticket worth $10 million or more. In 2017, Texas allowed lottery winners of $1 million or more to conceal their identity. Delaware, Ohio and South Carolina all let anyone who wins remain anonymous. But in New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a similar measure, saying it would “undermine the transparency that provides taxpayers confidence in the integrity of the Lottery.”


To be sure, privacy issues are important — but so is public integrity. And the Wisconsin Lottery is big business. 


Since it launched in 1988, the lottery has generated $4.3 billion in property tax relief. Players have won $8.2 billion in prizes. And retailers have gotten $920 million in bonuses for selling winning tickets. 


Customers buy tickets with the assumption that their odds of winning are the same as anyone else’s. Politicians should not be chipping away at that trust. 


Lottery spokeswoman Patty Mayers told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in April that the agency favors the current policy, which “protects the integrity of the lottery” and is “rooted in a tradition of transparency.”


That is the right approach. Shielding the names of winners would make it hard for the public and the media to figure out whether the lottery is on the up-and-up — or whether we are being bamboozled.

Your Right to Know is a monthly column distributed by the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council (, a group dedicated to open government. Dee J. Hall is the council’s secretary and managing editor of Wisconsin Watch.

Liberty Grove may need to add signs to beach

Leaving kayaks on the Ellison Bay Community Beach are creating problems the town Parks and Property Committee intend to address at an upcoming meeting. The Liberty Grove Parks and Property Committee will recommend to the town board to add signage to the beach to show where you are allowed to leave kayaks and other boating materials. Cathy Ward, Chair of the Parks and Property Committee, says there is not enough room on the beach area for families and kayaks to occupy. New signage would force people to leave their kayaks on the west side of the beach by the rocks.



The Liberty Grove Town Board meeting will take place on July 17th.

Children come down with "swimmer's itch" on Clark Lake

A parasite in Clark Lake may have caused children to get “swimmer’s itch” around July 4th. Swimmer’s itch shows up as itchy, red welts and the level of irritation varies on how many flatworms have gotten in your skin and on the person. About two-thirds of people who come in contact with the flatworm parasites have no reaction at all. According to Door County Public Health Officer Sue Powers, flatworms are in many bodies of water in Wisconsin. She says there is no test for the presence of the parasites, but "swimmers itch" is easily preventable.



Powers adds Clark Lake will not be shut down to swimmers and to just follow the preventative steps if you decide to swim in any body of water. Clark Lake is located next to Lake Michigan between Valmy and Jacksonport.

Commercial fishing operator supports Michigan bills on lake trout harvests

A Door County commercial fishing operator would like to see Wisconsin lawmakers adopt similar legislation on lake trout harvests now being considered by the Michigan legislature.  A pair of bills under consideration in Michigan would allow commercial fishers access to 10-percent of the catchable lake trout and 20-percent of walleye based on quotas set by conservation officials.  Supporters say rules aimed a promoting naturally reproducing lake trout population have succeeded to the point of threatening other species like perch. Charlie Henriksen, who owns Henriksen Fisheries in Sister Bay, supports legislation giving commercial fishing access to lake trout.  He says lake trout and walleye are competing with perch and other species desired by sportsmen.


Henriksen says commercial fishing operations are doing their own catch composition study to see the number of species coming up in their nets beside the whitefish they're allowed to catch.

Kewaunee Harbor Plan coming into focus with design team drawings

Kewaunee residents will soon get a clearer view of the city's master plan to link the downtown with Kewaunee harbor.  Concept drawings of the project will be presented to the Harbor Master Plan Task Force by the UW-Extension Design Charrettes team.   Autumn Linsmeier, City of Kewaunee Community and Economic Development Planner, says the presentation will take the goals of the task force and show how they could look in finished form.



The UW-Extension design team is expected to bring it's concept drawings before the Kewaunee Harbor Master Plan Task Force in mid-August.

Car accident in Red River sends teen to hospital

A teen is in a hospital after being struck by a car in Red River. Just before 2 PM on Wednesday the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department responded to a two-vehicle accident where an 18-year-old woman was unconscious and trapped in her car. The woman was at a stop sign and pulled out into the intersection of CTH AB and CTH S in Red River. Her 2006 Chevy Equinox was struck by a 1999 Dodge Truck driven by a 43-year-old man. Sheriff Matt Joski says she pulled out into an uncontrolled intersection.


Luxemburg Rescue, the Luxemburg Fire Department and Lincoln/Casco First Responders also tried to get the driver out of the vehicle. Once they were able to get her out, she was flown to a medical facility in Green Bay with substantial injuries. The accident is still under investigation. We will update you with more details as soon as they become available.

Door Can partnering with Capital Credit Union for July

Door Can is partnering with Capital Credit Union in Sturgeon Bay as their fundraiser for the month of July. You can donate $2 and put a ribbon up on their “Tree of Hope”. There are different color ribbons for the many kinds of cancer like pink for breast cancer and light blue for prostate cancer. You will also receive a ribbon of your own when you donate the $2. Kathy Haase, Member Service Representative for Capital Credit Union, says the whole staff was excited to partner with Door Can.



You have until August 2nd to put a ribbon on the “Tree of Hope.” On the 2nd, Capital Credit Union will be hosting a brat fry with all proceeds going to Door Can. Capital Credit Union has two Sturgeon Bay locations, one on the east side and one on the west.

Smaller Door County schools lose under current state aid system

While the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is increasing state aid to local school districts this year, two smaller Door County communities will get less money.  Gibraltar Area Schools will receive just over $450 less than last year.  The Sevastopol School District, on the other hand, will see it's share of state school aid drop by nearly $12,000.  Sevastopol School Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says the current state funding is based on property values and that leaves Sevastopol and Gibraltar taxpayers to make up the difference.



Luedtke says Sevastopol's budget is readjusted after the amount of state aid coming in is known for certain. 

Local pharmacist welcomes new drug law

A new drug bill signed into law by Governor Tony Evers Tuesday has the backing of a local pharmacist.  Jake Blazkovec, managing partner of Bay Hometown Pharmacy in Sturgeon Bay, says the "step therapy" legislation is a big win for consumers and healthcare providers.  He says the new law will make it easier for patients to get needed prescription drugs.



The official signing by Gov. Evers of the Senate Bill 26 was held at the Hometown Pharmacy location in Janesville.  Blazkovec credits local legislators Sen. Andre Jacque and Rep. Joel Kitchens in helping to get the bi-partisan bill approved. 

Economy and water expert to speak in Egg Harbor Thursday

The village of Egg Harbor is hoping some free beer and pizza will encourage people to commit to improving water quality issues in the area.  This Thursday, a Water Talk presentation will be held in Door County featuring David Naftzger, the Executive Director of the Conference of Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers.  Egg Harbor Administrator Ryan Heise shares what attendees can expect at the “Growing the Region’s $6 Trillion Economy & Protecting the Great Lakes” presentation.



The conference, which is headquartered in Chicago, recently released a resolution to protect drinking water against contaminants.  The presentation will begin at 5 pm at the Kress Pavilion in Egg Harbor on Thursday and is hosted by the Door County Environmental Council (DCEC). 


(Photo courtesy of DCEC)   

Fr. Krueger settling in as new Sturgeon Bay pastor

Parishioners of Corpus Christi Catholic Church and Holy Name of Mary in Maplewood welcomed their new pastor at this last weekend’s masses.  Fr. Ryan Krueger, 35, was assigned to the parishes starting on July 1 after having served as pastor at Good Shepard Church in Chilton for the past five years.  He says he is looking forward to getting to know his parishioners on an individual basis and serving them.



Fr. Krueger grew up in the Fox River Valley and graduated from St. Mary’s Central High School in Menasha in 2002.  He went to a seminary school for eight years before being ordained a priest in 2012 and serving as an associate pastor at two parishes in Green Bay.    

Polka music still going strong in Kewaunee County

A music and dance style that originated in the Czech Republic nearly 200 years ago is alive and well in Kewaunee County.  Happy Hoppers Dance Club features polka music one Sunday a month at the Rendezvous of Luxemburg.  Kelly Froelich, the owner of the Rendezvous, explains why polka music still attracts big turnouts at his upstair's dance hall.



Froehlich says the four-hour event features different polka bands every month.  The Rendezvous will host the John Valenta Band this Sunday starting at 1 pm. 


(photo courtesy of Happy Hoppers Dance Club) 





Movie visual effects specialist presentation in Sturgeon Bay

Aspiring filmmakers and movie buffs have a chance to learn from an experienced visual effects artist in Sturgeon Bay on Wednesday. Craig Newman has worked on huge movies like “Titanic”, “Speed” and “James and the Giant Peach” and he will be discussing his experience in the movie industry at the Sturgeon Bay Library. Laura Kayacan, Adult Services Librarian at Door County Libraries, says Newman will also show some clips from movies that he’s worked.



Newman will be at the Sturgeon Bay Library from 2 to 3 PM on Wednesday. He’ll be back there on Thursday as well when the library shows “Tron”, another movie Newman worked as a scene coordinator. That showing will start at 1 PM. Newman has retired from the movie industry and now lives in Sturgeon Bay.

Beranek ready for world premiere

Just over 20 years old, Midsummer’s Music Composer in Residence Jacob Beranek is ready to see another original piece of his get performed. Wednesday’s world premiere of “Quintet for Winds” is the sixth piece he has written for Midsummer’s Music and the 70th he has written in his lifetime. The piece features five performers, but Beranek admits he bent the rules a little bit when it came to the instrumentation.

The first of five performances of the piece written by the Vanderbilt music student will be Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Woodwalk Gallery in Egg Harbor.



Kewaunee County Fair judging underway

Though the public will not get to see them until the doors officially open on Thursday, thousands of projects got their first look from judges Monday at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds in Luxemburg. The Junior Fair entries ranged from delicious cakes and expertly crafted models to photographs and sewing projects. Kewaunee County 4-H Youth Educator Jill Jorgensen says it is not just about how the project looks, but also what the youth participants say about it during face-to-face judging that counts.

Open class entries in several different categories will be judged on Wednesday, which is also when some of the first animals will arrive on the grounds in advance of the Kewaunee County Fair July 11th through the 14th.



Haberli hopes for a tomorrow in farming

If Joe Haberli had declared bankruptcy three years ago, he believes he might still be milking cows today. Haberli Farms in Egg Harbor auctioned off their cows and equipment last month after the stress of paying back vendors and trying to make a living got to be too much. With milk and crop prices low, making the numbers work on a daily basis took a toll on his family, a relationship he says is starting to get stronger again. A couple of weeks after seeing his livelihood go to the highest bidder, Haberli says he never thought that he would be where he is now.

Despite having several offers for work elsewhere, Haberli says he hopes he can stay in agriculture by doing some cash cropping and raising heifers for other farms in the area.

Waiting game continues for new prison

Kewaunee County will have to wait a little longer if it still wants a new state prison to be built in the area. A replacement for the aging Green Bay Correctional Institution was included in the budget sent to the desk of Governor Tony Evers at the end of June, only to be vetoed a few days later. According to the USA Today- Wisconsin Network, the Democratic governor nixed the $5 million plan to acquire land and request proposals because he would like to continue to explore ways to reform the criminal justice system. The village of Luxemburg and city of Algoma have expressed interest in seeing a future state prison built in their communities. Prior to the budget decision, Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Robert Weidner told that a lot of considerations would have to be made before even a single shovel could break ground if a new prison is ever approved.

Kewaunee County was also considered a player for the GBCI replacement during previous budget discussions, but a deal to build the projected $300 million facility could not be reached.

Boat travel continues as Algoma bridge gets removed

As the Second Street Bridge in Algoma is being rebuilt, marine traffic will still be able to navigate the Ahnapee River and gain access to Lake Michigan.  The bridge construction began last Monday and is expected to continue through October.  Algoma Public Works Director Matt Murphy says the holiday traffic through the city went smoothly this past weekend.  He says boaters still can go through despite the challenging high water.



The old Second Street Bridge should be completely removed by Wednesday this week, according to Murphy.  He adds that the Algoma Marina has seen a substantial increase in activity at the boat ramp since the Kewaunee Marina closed due to excessive flooding. 

59th annual "House and Garden Walk" set for July 30

An event that spans nearly six decades will again showcase some of Door County’s most beautiful properties later this month.  Sponsored by the Door County Medical Center Auxiliary, The 59th annual House and Garden Walk will take place on Tuesday, July 30 from 9 am until 5 pm and feature five homes.  Committee chair Gloria Heck says local artists will be part of the event as well.



The Walk will showcase two homes in Sturgeon Bay, along with one each in Egg Harbor, Fish Creek, and Sister Bay.  All proceeds from the House and Garden Walk will be earmarked for the Door County Medical Center Skilled Nursing Facility and Hospice Care Center that is scheduled to open in August.  You can find ticket information with the posting below.


(photo submitted)



The Door County Medical Center Auxiliary is hosting its 59th annual Door County House and Garden Walk on Tuesday, July 30th, from 9 am – 5 pm.  Five unique and beautiful homes located throughout Door County will be showcased.  All of the homes will feature local Door County artists who will be painting and sharing their techniques.  Included in the day is a Featured Art Gallery (located on the route) with local artisans displaying their creative designs.  All proceeds from this event will benefit Door County Medical Center’s Skilled Nursing Facility and Hospice Care Project.  Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 on the day of the Walk.  For more information visit our website:



Kiddy Showmanship gives youth introduction to exhibiting animals

Luxemburg-Casco third-grader Molly Salentine hopes to follow her big brother and sister into the hog show ring in the future, but she will first try her hand again at showing calves with other kids this Sunday at the Kewaunee County Fair. Sponsored by the Luxemburg-Casco FFA Alumni, the Kiddy Showmanship Show allows recent graduates of preschool through second grade an opportunity to show animals just like the big kids. Instead of guiding big cows around the show ring, kids will put their showmanship skills to the test with calves. Salentine says she learned a lot after participating in the event for the first time last year.

Kiddy Showmanship takes place on Sunday at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds at 2 p.m.

Door County Historical Museum Celebrated Leonard and Ruth Potier

Ruth Schmelzer Potier was celebrated at the Door County Historical Museum(DCHM) last Saturday as the first woman from Door County to enlist in the US Navy as a Wave and was  part of the 2nd Regiment nationwide. Ruth enlisted January 2nd,1943 and  her deployment would be for the duration of the war. The Potier family donated their military uniforms and memorabilia to the museum and will go on display for the first time. Ruth married Leonard Potier , a Pearl Harbor survivor, on January 5th,1945 while home on leave.

Uniforms were required at all times for Waves in public.Leonard passed away in 2000 and Ruth, now 97, is proud of their service to our country. She is very honored to have their uniforms and memorabilia on display at the DCHM at the corner of 4th and Michigan Street in Sturgeon Bay.

Vintage Home and Garden Fair looks for more items

You have about a month to give new life to an old piece for a good cause. Door County Habitat for Humanity is looking for more items for its second annual Vintage Home and Garden Fair on August 24th at Lazy L Ranch in Sturgeon Bay. The event showcases the repurposing abilities of area volunteers with all proceeds going to benefit affordable housing efforts in Door County. Executive Director David Van Dyke says the time is now to beat the entry deadline for this year’s fair.

Last year’s Vintage Home and Garden Fair saw about 400 items get donated to be sold, raising well over $10,000 for Door County Habitat for Humanity. You have until August 9th to choose your item, repurpose it, and return it to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

Two bids submitted for Door County EMS operations

Two companies, including one based in Wisconsin, have submitted requests for qualifications for the operation of the Door County Emergency Medical Service.  American Medical Response, or AMR, headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado provides EMS management services to communities nationwide.  Curtis Ambulance Service of Milwaukee has partnerships with the City of  Milwaukee, the Town of Dover, the City of Delavan and several other Wisconsin communities.  County Administrator Ken Pabich says under both proposals Door County EMS would remain a municipal service with a private partner.



Both requests for qualifications have been submitted for consideration by the Door County Public Safety Committee.  Pabich says any final consideration of either proposal is likely several months away.

Sister Bay celebrates Freedom Fest Saturday

After letting other Door County communities share the spotlight for the Fourth of July, Sister Bay will celebrate Independence Day its own way this weekend. In its third year, Freedom Fest will feature food and kids activities throughout the day before giving way to the fireworks show at dusk. Sister Bay Advancement Association Coordinator Louise Howson says it gives residents and visitors another weekend to celebrate.

Sister Bay’s Freedom Fest takes place this Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.


Click here to find out more information about the festivities.

Community Blood Center to host first public blood drive in Door County

For the first time since it partnered with Door County Medical Center in May, The Community Blood Center will host its first blood drive for the public on Tuesday. The CBC is the sole provider of blood and blood-related products for Door County Medical Center and it hosted its first drive with hospital employees as a part of the announcement. David Klundt from CBC hopes this is the beginning of many more blood drives in Door County, especially since donors are hard to come by during the summer.

Klundt says with a shelf life of about 42 days, much of the blood donated at its local drives will stay in the community. The CBC’s blood drive will take place on Tuesday from 12 to 3:30 p.m. at Door County Medical Center.


Click here to find out how you can sign up for a slot online with this story. Walk-ups are also allowed.

Septic application presentation highlights committee meeting

Septic and sludge application is not a common practice in Kewaunee County, but it is still drawing some attention at the Land and Water Conservation meeting this week. Alexis Peter from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will give the presentation on septic and sludge application, which spreads the waste on some fields in similar fashion to how farmers distribute manure. Committee member Lee Luft says the interest in the topic comes after studies have shown pathogens from bovine and human sources are playing in a role in water quality issues.

The Land and Water Conservation committee will have a public hearing on a comprehensive plan amendment before its regular Tuesday meeting at 8:15 a.m. at their office in Luxemburg. 

Portable planetarium teaching children about space

Children in Door County are getting introduced to outer space with a new portable planetarium. The Door Peninsula Astronomical Society has been taking their new planetarium to Door County Libraries and there are more events scheduled in July. Dave Lenius, a board member of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society, says the shows they’ve put on have been entertaining and informational. He thinks it’s amazing how much they’re able to do with a small, blow-up planetarium.



The planetarium’s next visit will be to the Washington Island Library on July 15th from 2 to 3 PM. It will also be at the Baileys Harbor Library on July 17th from 6 to 7 PM and the Egg Harbor Library on July 31st from 10 AM to noon.

Door County Land Trust and UW Oshkosh helping restore Ephraim wetlands

The Village of Ephraim is getting outside help to develop a plan to restore the Ephraim Wetlands.  Heavy snows and a wet spring have combined to raise water levels in the nature area.  That's limiting public access to the area because most walkways are submerged.  Village Board member Cindy Nelson, who's chair of the Physical Facilities and Utilities Committee, says the village is working with the Door County Land Trust and UW-Oshkosh to develop a restoration plan.



A grant application to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Knowles-Nelson Stewardship is being considered for the Ephraim Wetlands restoration plan.

A hike through a rare-type of forest set in Baileys Harbor

Amateur naturalists can take a hike back in time through a rare, old-growth forest in Baileys Harbor.  The Climate Change Coalition of Door County will take a limited number of people through Toft Point, which is named after the family who first settled the property and preserved it from logging and other development.  Coalition member Dick Smythe says Toft Point has a big influence on the climate of eastern Door County.



The guided hike entitled Toft Point: A Nature Lover's Dream will be held July 20th and August 27th and each tour is limited to 15 people.  The tours cost $50 a person and will depart from the Ridges Beach parking lot on Ridges Road in Baileys Harbor.

Wisconsin's online sales tax collection rule equals income tax relief

Some tax relief is in store for Door and Kewaunee county taxpayers. Sales taxes for online purchases made in Wisconsin from out of state businesses will now be collected under the Marketplace Bill signed into law by Governor Evers.  It's designed to provide more parity between online retailers and traditional stores.  Wisconsin State Senator Andre Jacque says there's broad support for the new rules which will benefit individual taxpayers.



Under the Marketplace Bill rules, tax rates for the first and second tax brackets will be cut starting with the 2019 and 2020 tax year and will continue for each succeeding tax year.

Tradition lives on at Sevastopol FFA Dairy Breakfast

The past connected the present in more ways than one during Sunday’s Sevastopol FFA Dairy Breakfast at the Valmy Thresheree grounds. Thousands took advantage of the cool morning to enjoy breakfast, take a cruise on a hay wagon, and check out some of the old farming implements located on site. Sevastopol FFA Alumni President Dan Ploor has been at all 38 of their breakfast events and says it is great to see the event continue through the generations.

Sevastopol FFA Sentinel Rachel Hietpas says the event is a great way to connect today’s members with those of yesteryear.

The Sevastopol FFA Dairy Breakfast is the biggest fundraiser the organization hosts with all funds going towards different projects, scholarships, and trips.



Dual keyboard piano and orchestra combine at unique Birch Creek event

A unique dual keyboard piano will perform with the Birch Creek Symphony Orchestra for two shows featuring a piece written specifically for two pianos.  The piano, built by Peter Nehlson of Washington Island, is based on Ignaz Pleyel's designs from the late 1800s to the early 1900s.  The Poulenc Concerto for Two Pianos will be performed with concert pianists Jeannie Yu and Jodie DiSalvo on the keyboards.  DiSalvo says the unique piano teamed with the orchestra should be a the event of a lifetime.



Peter Nehlsen, who put in over 2,000 hours and one year of work on his two keyboard piano, gets giddy at the thought of his creation matched with an 85 piece orchestra.



In addition to the dual-keyboard piano Nehlsen also had to construct a special platform for the instrument because the Stage of Stars at Birch Creek just didn't have enough room.  The performances are set for July 11th and 12th at Birch Creek Music Performance Center on County Road E in Egg Harbor.

Warmer weather means car batteries need to be checked

Cold temperatures make people think of failing car batteries more than warm weather but a Sturgeon Bay auto technician says summer is the time they fail a lot as well. Randy Sahs, owner of Sahs Collision and Service Center, says car batteries fail at about the same rate and maybe even more often in the summer than the winter. It’s especially important to get your battery checked before going on a long road trip according to Sahs.



Sahs adds getting a routine inspection and checking the air conditioning is important in the summer.

Funding cuts leave Door County Job Center's future uncertain

The Door County Job Center faces an uncertain future this fall because the Bay Area Workforce Development Board has eliminated funding for the facility.   The job center is run through We Are Hope, Incorporated at the organization's offices in the Cherry Point Mall on Egg Harbor Road in Sturgeon Bay.  Kim Carley, Executive Director of We Are Hope Incorporated, says job center operations will continue through September.  So her organization is now looking at any other potential funding sources to keep the job center going.



The Bay Area Workforce Development Board in Green Bay operates job centers in eleven counties.  They've been funded through the federal Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act.  Executive Director Jim Golembeski says some programs offered through the Door County Job Center will continue, though cuts in federal funding make it impossible to keep the center operating past September.



The Door County Job Center caters to about 300 people each summer.  Kim Carley hopes those who've used the program will send their testimonies of how the program helped them as We Are Hope, Incorporated looks for new funding. 

Big increases or moderate to slight decreases in state aid for local schools

Some larger Door and Kewaunee county school districts will see large increases in general school aid while smaller districts will receive slightly less.  The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction estimates about $4.74 billion for 2019-2020 general school aid.  That's an increase of just over $83 million dollars from last year.  The Luxemburg-Casco School District and the Kewaunee School District will each see just over $299-thousand dollars more this school year.  Sturgeon Bay will receive just over $78-thousand dollars less, Sevastopol's state aid will drop nearly $12-thousand and Gibraltar will receive just over $451 less than last year.  Daniel Bush, DPI's Director of School Financial Services, says smaller districts can lose aid through a combination of property values and fewer students.



Bush says that's why some school districts hold the line on spending toward the end of the school year.



Declines in student populations from the third week in September through the end of the school year can push some districts over the state revenue caps and reduce state aid.  Bush says that happened to the Washington Island School District several years ago. It lost what little state it was getting.  The district will receive no state aid for 2019-2020.

Interpretive trail tells Ellison Bay Bluff park's unique attractions

Visitors to Door County's northernmost park will be able to learn more about its unique features while hiking.  Ten interpretive signs are in place along a nearly mile-and-a-half long hiking trail at Ellison Bay Bluff County Park.  Ben Nelson, Door County Park Superintendent, says hikers will learn of the park's natural attributes that were formed over the millennia.



The Ellson Bay Bluff County Park interpretive trail was made possible through donations from the Friends of Door County Parks Incorporated and the family and friends of the late Norbert “Trip” Kroening III.  Nelson says “Trip” frequently visited the 174-acre park, and first-time trail visitors will quickly understand why he hiked there.



The interpretive trail at Ellison Bay Bluff County Park is the first of its' kind in Door County.    

Boat ramp closure reduces bookings at Kewaunee motels

The rising water levels on Lake Michigan have led to the closure of the Kewaunee Municipal Boat Launch and eroded some business for local motels.  Vicki Vollenwieder, co-owner of the Coho Motel, says cooler weather over the Memorial Day weekend slowed fish runs and kept customers away.  She says now the fish have made their way to the waters off of Kewaunee, though fishermen have access to only one private boat launch.  So, Vollenwieder says 4th of July weekend bookings are down.



Vollenwieder, like many other business owners, is hoping that warmer weather will be enough to allow the municipal boat launch to reopen by Labor Day weekend.  That would help them salvage part of the summer tourism season. 

You can alert DNR if you see endangered animals

You can help the Wisconsin DNR keep track of endangered birds, some of which reside in Door County. If you spot a bird that you know are rare or endangered, you can report it to the DNR. A couple of examples are the Black Tern and Caspian Tern. Joe Henry, ecologist for the DNR focused on North Eastern Wisconsin, says reporting birds helps them keep better track of how many of a specific species are left.



You can contact Henry if you want to report any birds or any other animal that may be endangered. Henry’s contact information is available online with this story.


You can email Joe Henry at or call his office at (920) 662-5194.


Area farmers may face shortage of corn silage supply

The late planting season throughout the farm fields in Door and Kewaunee Counties has put area farmers already concerned about enough feed for their cattle through the winter.  Rich Olson of Olson Family Farm in southern Door County says he anticipates a lesser crop later this summer.



Olson says the soybeans are at the stage of spraying to control weeds and are more on track for the season than the corn thus far.  He says local farmers are currently cutting their second crop of hay for the season this week. 

Make Sure the Boaters Can See You --Kayak series Part IV

When I’m here in Door County I fish from one of my Jackson kayaks or my Yar-Craft fishing boat.  This week I have been out in one of my fishing kayaks or my boat a number of times.  I know first-hand how busy our beautiful Door County waters are with watercraft of all types, including plenty of kayakers.

With the kayaks having such a low profile, they are hard to see sometimes.  And, many times those pleasure boaters have a number of people in the boat talking, laughing and probably not always looking for or able to see small watercraft like kayaks.  For this reason, I’ve always liked having fishing and recreational kayaks that are brightly colored.  I like bright orange, lime green or chartreuse, white, red, etc.  Those darker greens, grays and browns tend to blend into the water and are much less visible.

A good thing is that many of the recreational kayak paddles come with yellow, orange or white blades that can be seen for quite a distance.  Another accessory I’ve used is the YakAttack VISIFlag that comes with a bright orange flag on a flexible shaft that flies a few feet above the kayak.  These only cost about $40 and come with an easy to attach track to secure the shaft to your kayak.  If you are out early or late with low-light, I might suggest their VisiCarbonPro with a light on top.

As always, when on the big waters of Green Bay or Lake Michigan be as safe as possible.  For you smallmouth bass anglers, fishing this season has been slow with the cold spring, but, with the warmer weather and rising water temps it has improved up and down the peninsula.  If you have any questions about kayak fishing or kayaking in general, please email me at

Vans Lumber & Custom Builders recognized as Best of Kewaunee County for home buillder

A third generation family-owned business has been awarded the “Best of Kewaunee County” in the home builder category.  Van’s Lumber & Custom Builders in Dyckesville won the distinction in a recent poll on  The Vandenhouten :: VAN-DIN-HOOT-IN :: 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 Lumber & Custom Builders, says the honor of winning the Best of Door County goes back to  the company’s history of satisfying the needs of their customers.  [ERIC VANDENHOUTEN]  Van’s Lumber & Custom Builders, which was awarded the Best Home Builder of Door County earlier this year, also won the Best of Kewaunee County for hardware stores.  


Kewaunee County Fair parade plans being finalized

The capstone of the 102th annual Kewaunee County Fair will again include the parade on Sunday, July 14.  The parade, like the fair, will be held a week earlier this year and coincide with the 100th Anniversary of the American Legion.  “Salute to America” is this year’s parade theme.  Alex Stodola, president of the Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce, says that this year’s parade will have a very special grand marshal that will be leading the way.



The Kewaunee County Fair parade will start at 11:30 Sunday morning on July 14.  Businesses and organizations wishing to enter should just show up behind Simonar Shell on Main Street an hour prior to the parade, according to Stodola.

New initiative for "green" downtown Sturgeon Bay

The new owner of the old Door County Advocate building in Sturgeon Bay is hoping to convince other businesses on Third Avenue to become more eco-friendly.  Shirley Wiese Young has started an initiative to make the Sturgeon Bay downtown a carbon-neutral, fossil-free community.  Virg Temme, the architect that is currently remodeling the old Advocate building for Young, says the reception has been positive so far by downtown businesses to install solar panels on their rooftops.



Temme says Young has just finished her tenure on the national board of directors for the Sierra Club and is still currently on the board for Ceres, one of the premier organizations trying to curtail climate change. 



Link to story on Young's remodel of the old Door County Advocate building at 235 N. 3rd Avenue.


Door County Libraries will try to break world record

You have a chance to be a part of setting a new world record in Northern Door County. On July 16th participants at the Egg Harbor Library will try to set the world record for most rockets launched at once. You can bring your own non-igniting types of rockets which means air or water pressured. Morgan Mann, Door County Libraries Community Relations Assistant, says you can come into the Egg Harbor Library anytime before the 16th and make your own.



The program begins at 10 AM on the 16th. Registration is not necessary but if you do, it ensures your name or group will be included in the final count. This event is a part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. On the same day, the US Space and Rocket Center will attempt to launch 5,000 rockets into space which would break the world record.

Learn about bizarre Wisconsin events in Egg Harbor

Wisconsin has a long history of bizarre events like UFO sightings and mysterious creatures and you can learn about them in Egg Harbor. On July 22nd at the Kress Pavilion, the Door County Historical Society will sponsor Chad Lewis who will present  “Bizarre History of Wisconsin: Strange Stories from Our Past".  Lewis, a researcher of the strange and unusual in Wisconsin, says occurrences in Door County include UFO’s seen over Lake Michigan.



Lewis is a Wisconsin native whose background is in psychology. The event will be at 6 pm on July 22nd and also include a dinner.  Cost of the program is $23 for members of the Door County Historical Society or $27 for non-members. You must make a reservation by July 15. Instructions on how to register for the event are online with this story. Chad Lewis will also be speaking at the Sturgeon Bay Library on Tuesday, July 23 at 2 PM and the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Library on Wednesday, July 24 at 2 PM. The library events are free.

Guided kayak tours available at Peninsula State Park

You have a chance to see Door County in a whole new way. Guided kayak tours are now available on Friday mornings at Peninsula State Park through the end of August. You can get a tour from an experienced trained naturalist and get a view of Peninsula State Park from the water. Peninsula State Park Naturalist Kathleen Harris says you get a different perspective of Door County from the water and learning about the ecosystem.



Harris added the tour is mostly for adults and older children. The guided kayak tours cost $24 and the money goes back into supporting educational programs at Peninsula State Park. They are offered in the mornings on Fridays from 10 to noon. Harris says you should pre-register for a tour by stopping by the Peninsula State Park Nature Center or calling the park. Contact information is available online with this story.


The phone number for the nature center is 920-854-5976.

What home sellers and buyers need to know before a building inspection

Home buyers and sellers in Door and Kewaunee counties can face some tense moment waiting to find out what issues or potential issues a home building inspector might find.  The inspector's findings can mean tens of thousands of dollars in repairs or upgrades. And that could cut into a sellers profit or send potential buyers elsewhere.  David Hoffman, owner of Source Building Services, LLC in Sturgeon Bay, says both parties need to know that building inspectors will thoroughly check everything inside and outside.  They'll even look for long-forgotten utilities underground.



Hoffman recommends that sellers come clean with known problems and not try to hide them.



Some home inspectors will go the extra mile and check and report potential risks to houses from items like dying trees.

Sturgeon Bay council member encouraged by Vos stance on medical marijuana

Sturgeon Bay City Council member Seth Wiederanders is pleased with Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos's call to legalize medical marijuana use in the state.  Representative Vos hopes to meet with his caucus to discuss legalizing medical cannabis this fall.  Wiederanders is planning to introduce an ordinance change that would eliminate fines for using marijuana in one's home or other private property.  He welcomes Vos's decision.



Wiederanders says he's heard from one constituent who would benefit from medical marijuana and is lacking peace of mind for using it at home.



Wiederanders is proceeding with plans to introduce his ordinance change eliminating fines for use of marijuana on private property next week.  It's expected to be introduced when Sturgeon Bay's Community Services and Protection Committee meets on July 8th at Sturgeon Bay City Hall on Michigan Street at 4:00 PM.

Summer finds Door County Sheriff's deputies logging more road time

Summer is the peak road time for Door County Sheriff's Deputies and that will only increase after the July 4th holiday passes.  More deputies are added to road patrols as summer events dictate and during all summer weekends. Field Services Lieutenant Robert Lauder says Door County's patrols are kept at minimum strength with help as needed from state troopers.



Lieutenant Lauder asks that visitors make life easier for road patrol officers and other drivers by leaving home a bit earlier when traveling to Door County.

Door County cherry crop slowed by cool spring

The cherry picking season may start a little later this summer in Door County but the wait may be worth it.  According to Steve Wood from Wood Orchards in Egg Harbor, the cool and wet spring weather earlier may have slowed the ripening of the tart and sweet cherries on the trees. 



Wood says he expects southern Door County orchards to begin picking operations within the next two weeks.   He says his orchard has fortunately avoided any wind or hail damage to this point of the season.

Training makes perfect for Ultimate Air

It is what is done outside the work site that helped Ultimate Air in Luxemburg earn the title “Best of Kewaunee County” in HVAC Install/Repair in a poll. Ultimate Air owner Jeff Blemke and his team go through at least 100 training hours every year, with some of that time occurring outside the usual work day. Blemke says he always wanted a company where people could get great service and honest answers. He believes his team is a big reason why he has been able to achieve that.

Blemke says technology has been the biggest game-changer for the HVAC industry as customers can access their system from anywhere and technicians can diagnose potential issues effectively. 




Algoma Police Department reminds property owners to maintain lawns

With grass lawns growing rapidly from the hot and wet weather recently, local law enforcement is warning property owners to make sure to mow their grass regularly.  Algoma Police Chief Randy Remiker says homeowners can be cited not maintaining their lawns.  He says if the grass gets longer than eight inches, property owners can be held accountable. 



According to the Algoma ordinance on the books, a property owner has three days to comply with the order to mow the lot.  If mowing is done by the city and is not paid, the amount will be placed on the tax roll as a special charge.   

Futurity brings families to show circle

Families will be dressed to impress next Saturday night with their cows in tow during the Kewaunee County Fair’s futurity contest.  A staple of the Wisconsin State Fair and various other dairy shows, a cow’s journey to futurity night actually begins three years before they ever step into the ring. Exhibits coordinator Darlene Boeder has participated in every Kewaunee County Futurity and says picking the perfect cow as a calf takes some guesswork.

This year’s Kewaunee County Futurity takes place July 13th at the fair beginning at 7 p.m. Boeder says you can enter calves born this summer for the 2021 Kewaunee County Futurity.

Heavy traffic on roads expected all weekend

With the 4th of July falling on a Thursday, expected travel the next several days around Door County is expected heavier with the extra-long weekend.  According to AAA, the number of drivers is expected to increase over four percent from last year.  Door County Sheriff Department Lieutenant Bob Lauder says extra patience and planning is advised this weekend on the roads.



Lauder says distracted driving is a major concern.  He suggests putting your phone down or give it to a passenger in the vehicle. The state patrol gives additional support to the Door County Sheriff’s Department during holiday weekends, according to Lauder.

Plans moving forward on alternative high school in Casco

Luxemburg-Casco and Kewaunee School Districts are working together on an alternative high school option for students. The new concept will be located at the current Luxemburg-Casco Middle School, which will move from Casco to Luxemburg as a part of the current referendum projects. Superintendent Glenn Schlender says the alternative high school will allow students currently unsuccessful in a more traditional setting to thrive.

Schlender says the project is in the early stages as he and Kewaunee School District Superintendent Karen Treml talk with others about their own alternative programs.

New mothers art exhibit in Algoma

There is a new exhibit in Algoma which will showcase mothers working as artists. The James May Gallery in Algoma is hosting “Mother + Artist” starting on Friday. The exhibit will feature art work from working mothers. Kendra Bulgrin is the director of the James May Gallery and will also have art featured in the exhibit. She says when you become a mother, your art can’t help but reflect your experiences as a parent.



There will be an opening reception on Friday from 5:30 to 8 PM at the James May Gallery. On Saturday, many of the artists featured will be on a panel discussion where they will take questions. Pictures of some of the art work can be found with this story online.


Secret Treasures of Door County: Bridge Up Brewing Company

Some people on the Peninsula think they have to drive up north to get a delicious wood-fire pizza. They have no idea that Sonny’s Pizza on the waterfront in Sturgeon Bay has been creating pizzas exactly like this for years. But an even bigger surprise is to discover that Sonny’s now has their own micro-brewery …right on the ground floor.


It’s called Bridge-Up Brewing. And it’s run by Trent Snyder.  Landing here was somewhat serendipitous for the former Sister Bay resident. But Trent and his wife wanted to move from Minnesota and decided that Sturgeon Bay would be a great place to raise a family. Fortunately, Trent’s long time love, passion and hobby was brewing beer. Sonny’s was looking for a Brewmaster and, as they say, the rest is history.


Nestled on the ground floor you’ll find a small room with some big tanks for making the beer and a cooler for storage. For the past year Trent has been fine-tuning some of the recipes and the results of his success can be sampled upstairs at the bar or in the restaurant. And I can tell you first-hand, they are really, really good.


Click here to see more pictures!

Feed and Clothe My People in need of volunteers 

Although Door County Feed and Clothe My People’s inventory to provide for those less fortunate is at adequate levels, more volunteers are needed.  Estella Huff, executive director, says donations of food and clothing has been going strong this summer so far, but the organization could use a few more people to help with the work around the facility.



Huff says the thrift store located in front of the building helps raise funds that go towards the purchase of food and supplies for the pantry.  You can find more information and hours for the Door County Feed and Clothe My People below.

Sturgeon Bay Trail Warriors looking for youth riders

A new mountain bike team in Sturgeon Bay is looking for middle school and high school students to join them. The Sturgeon Bay Trail Warriors is just getting started as practices begin on July 16th. They will be a part of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) Wisconsin Cycling League. Kids in 6th-12th grades are eligible. Randy Sahs is a member of the Sturgeon Bay Trail Warriors and he says cycling and mountain biking are lifelong activities. 



Anyone interested in joining the Sturgeon Bay Trail Warriors should contact Randy Sahs or stop by Sahs Auto Collision and Service Center. Sahs’ contact information is available online with this story.


Sahs cell phone number:  920-461-1121

Total solar eclipse brings back memories of 2017

The total solar eclipse seen in South America on Tuesday brought back fond memories for a member of the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society (DPAS). Back in 2017, a total solar eclipse appeared in the US and DPAS celebrated it at the Stonecipher Astronomy Center in Sturgeon Bay. Dave Lenius, a board member on DPAS, says hearing about another total solar eclipse triggers memories of all the comradery that was brought about here in 2017. Lenius shares why he thinks eclipses bring people together. 



DPAS will be hosting a viewing night at the planetarium at Crossroads at Big Creek beginning at 7 PM on Saturday.

Washington Island Electric Cooperative gets budget funding

Washington Island Electric Cooperative customers may see their monthly bill go down at least $10 a month thanks to a provision in the state budget signed into law Wednesday. The provision will award the cooperative up to $2 million over the next two years to help pay for damage to an underwater cable providing power to the island. Ice shoves had taken its toll on the cable until it eventually malfunctioned in 2018. Manager Robert Cornell is thankful for the bipartisan support.

Cornell says customers saw a $20 monthly increase as a result of the $4 million repair bill to the line before Governor Tony Evers signed the budget. Washington Island Electric Cooperative members will pay for the repaired cable over the next 30 years. 

4th of July a time for reflection by veterans

As families travel and partake in picnics and fireworks this 4th of July weekend, a Door County Veteran Services Officer says this holiday will have local veterans reflecting on their service to our country. Scott McFarlane shares his thoughts about Independence Day.  [MCFARLANE]  McFarlane says area Vietnam War veterans still have time to sign up for the bus trip to Manitowoc in September to visit the Wall That Heals.  Veterans and their families can call the Door County Veterans Services Office to reserve seats on the trip planned for September 14.  There are about 2700 veterans in Door County, according to McFarlane.  Door County will have 4th of July parades starting at  10 am in Baileys Harbor and 1:30 pm in Egg Harbor on Wednesday.         

Learning how mechanized fire fighting has evolved in Sturgeon Bay

Visitors to the Pioneer Fire Station at the Door County Historical Museum in Sturgeon Bay will see how mechanized fire fighting has evolved to help firefighters better contain and extinguish flames.  Green Bay Metro Firefighter David Siegel, author of the book “Forces of Change” about the development of the Green Bay department, will conduct a program using the historic fire engines at the museum.  Those include a hand pumper, a steam-powered fire engine, an acid-solution powered water pumper and an internal combustion engine-powered pumper.  Siegel says the equipment at the Pioneer Station shows the evolution of mechanical fire fighting, including the rare acid-solution fire engine.



Siegel says having ready access to such historic equipment showcases the changing technology in ways that power-point technology just can't.



The program on the history of mechanical fire fighting will be held at the Pioneer Fire Station on North 4th Avenue on July 13th starting at 10:00 AM. Museum officials recommend advanced registration because space will be limited.  if there is enough interest a second session will be offered at 11:00 AM.

High lake levels bring challenges and benefits to commercial fishing

Higher water levels on Lake Michigan are bringing challenges and benefits to commercial fishing operations in Door and Kewaunee Counties.  The rising lake levels have already forced Kewaunee's municipal boat launch to close.  Charlie Henriksen, the owner of Henriksen Fisheries in Sister Bay, says commercial fishing operators also have trouble when mooring their vessels.



The rising waters, however, could also be working in commercial fishing operators' favor.  Henriksen says there are signs that fish stocks are improving.



Henriksen says some commercial operators with sheds along Lake Michigan and some of the tributaries are finding their storage sheds unusable because water has flooded the buildings.

Kitchens calls passing Sturgeon Bay tax increase a "tough road"

State Rep. Joel Kitchens (R) told the Sturgeon Bay city council Tuesday that implementing a sales tax to fund city street improvements will be a “tough road.”



An amendment to the state budget introduced by Kitchens to allow a Premiere Resort Area Tax (PRATT) to be implemented in Sturgeon Bay was rejected by the Joint Finance Committee.

City voters approved a one-half percent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects in Sturgeon Bay.  State legislation to allow the collection of an additional sales tax is required in order to implement the PRATT.   

Kitchens also said the transportation budget approved by the Joint Finance Committee is good for local government. 


Kitchens is working with Rep. Rob Swearingen of Rhinelander to pass legislation that would allow communities like Sturgeon Bay and Minocqua to increase the sales tax for transportation purposes. 

Granary opponent continues fight

Sturgeon Bay city council member Gary Nault wants to take another look at the development agreement with the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society that’s resulted in the return of the Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator to the west-side waterfront.  Nault had consideration of the agreement placed on the agenda for Tuesday’s council meeting but asked that it be tabled in order to consider information he will present at the next council meeting on July 16th.



Nault said he could not comment on the information when contacted by

Laptop, iPhone stolen from Jandu Petroleum

A laptop computer, iPhone, briefcase and glasses were stolen on Tuesday from a Jandu Petroleum convenience store according to a Facebook post from Parv Jandu. It happened at the BP on Egg Harbor Road and N 18th Ave at about 3:30 PM. There is surveillance video of the man who stole the items. He was driving an older Ford Explorer with no front license plate or bracket. The back license plate was from Illinois or Iowa. He is described as having blonde hair with bald spots, tattoos on both arms and about 5’10”. There is a $100 cash reward if anyone has any information that will lead to his arrest. Parv Jandu’s Facebook post with pictures of the suspect can be found with this story.

Wills can eliminate lengthy probate process

You may not be able to take your money with you when you die, but having a prewritten trust or will speed up the where it goes after.  Jim Downey from Blazkovec, Blazkovec & Downey in Algoma and Sturgeon Bay says the goal of an estate plan is to pass on assets in the most efficient method possible.  He says probate is the least efficient manner to settle your estate.



Downey says there is not just one right answer to accomplish the same goal.  He says it is just a matter of what level of complexity is necessary to do it whether you are doing it by a trust or another vehicle.  According to an AARP survey, 60% of Americans lack a will or estate plan.

"Cathy Grier and The Troublemakers" featured at Summerfest

Local musician Cathy Grier and her band The Troublemakers will return to play this Saturday at the “world’s biggest music festival”.  Performing at Summerfest in Milwaukee, Grier and her band will jam out numerous original blues songs for over 90 minutes at the BMO Harris Pavilion.  Grier says the crowds and atmosphere at Summerfest are incredible.



Grier, a native of New York who moved to Door County three years ago, organized the third annual Open Door Pride Festival in Sturgeon Bay that drew over 500 people last month.  This will be the third year in a row that Grier and The Troublemakers have performed at Summerfest. 



(photo courtesy of Ty Helbach/


Simonar Shell claims "Best of Kewaunee County" for convenience store

Variety of products and great customer service are two reasons Simonar Shell can lay claim to being the best convenience store in Kewaunee County.  Simonar Shell was voted the best convenience store in a recent poll on  Danny Raduenz, store manager, says the commitment of the employees is a key part of the Simonar Shell success.



Simonar Shell, established in 1999, is home of Chester’s Chicken and Piccadilly Pizza.   It is located at 1625 Main Street on the west side of Luxemburg.   

Sturgeon Bay Trail Warriors looking for youth riders

A new mountain bike team in Sturgeon Bay is looking for middle school and high school students to join them. The Sturgeon Bay Trail Warriors is just getting started as practices begin on July 16th. They will be a part of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) Wisconsin Cycling League. Kids in 6th-12th grades are eligible. Randy Sahs is a member of the Sturgeon Bay Trail Warriors and he says cycling and mountain biking are lifelong activities. 


Anyone interested in joining the Sturgeon Bay Trail Warriors should contact Randy Sahs or stop by Sahs Auto Collision and Service Center. Sahs’ contact information is available online with this story.

Door County gets ready for Fourth of July festivities

From Maplewood to Washington Island, Door County residents and visitors will not have a shortage of activities going on to celebrate Independence Day. Gills Rock, Baileys Harbor, Egg Harbor and Sturgeon Bay are some of the other communities with activities planned, with some beginning the celebration on July 3rd. Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center Executive Director Pam Seiler says the events provide great exposure to nearby local businesses.

Egg Harbor will have their fireworks display on July 3rd while Washington Island, Baileys Harbor Sturgeon Bay, Maplewood, and Gills Rock will light up the sky on July 4th. You can find a complete schedule of Independence Day celebrations for Door and Kewaunee Counties online with this story.


MAPLEWOOD: Fireworks on July 4th at 9:30 p.m.

WASHINGTON ISLAND: Pancake 7-10, Fireworks at Dusk



Kewaunee County Jail "an end of an era before the era"

One phrase in the report released by Venture Architects last month about the Kewaunee County Jail left Sheriff Matt Joski with both a sense of pride and embarrassment. The report called the current facility “an end of an era before the era,” pointing out the facility’s small size and antiquated equipment. Joski says it is a shame it has taken so long to address the jail but is proud of the men and women who have taken the building’s shortcomings in stride. After having a chance to digest the report, Joski says it gives the jail planning committee and the public a direction to go into as the project hits its second phase.

Phase two of the jail planning study will put a heavy focus on the operational and architecture of any new facility they plan to create. You can read Joski’s full statement about the current status of the study online with this story.



At the County Board meeting, Venture Architects provided their Phase One report. As you may recall, we had embarked upon the study of current Public Safety Building which includes our Jail as well as Communications Center and supporting administrative offices. The overall study was to be conducted in three separate phases with a report out at the completion of each phase. This most recent presentation is the culmination of the work done in Phase One. This report had six components; Background, Assessment of Bed Needs, Physical Assessment of current facility, Selected Options, Recommendations, and Next Steps.

    As with any journey, you must first understand where you are starting from and thus the background portion of the report. This is information which I have reported in the past as it relates to the current facility and its many limitations as well as our current staffing model.

    The next component of determining bed needs would seem to be very straight forward, but it contains many variables which if ignored would fail to provide accurate needs both currently as well as into the future. Some of these variables which were incorporated are classification requirements, peak housing factors and a maintenance factor. These factors are all very important as we have an obligation to future generations as we plan for the next 50 years making sure that we incorporate any and all factors into our plans so that they too can benefit from our vision. It is important to note that our considerations for capacity is based strictly on our own need as a community and not that of another community or a desire to house out of county, or state/federal inmates. We have an obligation to those in our community as it relates to both incarceration as well as treatment and programs, and it is that obligation which we are focused on.

     The physical assessment of our current facility was an interesting portion of the study as we were finally able to shed light on the many facility issues we have been struggling with for so many years. There was an interesting statement during these conversations from our Jail Inspector who, when referring to our facility and its outdated components stated that we are “Of an Era before the Era”. I say this with both a sense of embarrassment as well as a sense of pride; embarrassment that we have neglected this facility for so long, but proud that the men and women working within its walls have mitigated the many risks and shortfalls by their professionalism and dedication to the care of those we are responsible to keep safe.

      The fourth component is truly the first step in a tangible outcome and that is the selection of options. There was a great deal of thought and discussion that went into the various options which resulted in three possibilities. One option is always to do nothing, which would require us to continue sending our inmates to other facilities in the hopes that they themselves do not reach capacity resulting in our expulsion from those facilities. This option of outsourcing is a dangerous and negligent approach to our obligation as a county. The next option would be to raze the current building and build a new facility on the current site. This option brings with it many limitations due to our current footprint which would result in a great deal of inefficiencies both in structure and staff operations. The third option is to build just a jail/communications center offsite and leave the Sheriff’s Department Offices in the basement of the Courthouse. The fourth option is to build a new facility offsite which would include all of the Sheriff’s Department operations much like what was encompassed in the current Public Safety Building upon it construction 50 years ago. These selections lead us to the final step in phase one which was to recommend that Kewaunee County begin planning for a New Law Enforcement Center.

     This brings us to our next steps which will be under consideration in the upcoming months. These steps include public awareness and outreach, review of phase one report by the various county committees, and ultimately a decision to embark upon phase two of our study which will look at the operational and architectural programs of a potential new facility. I would again invite anyone who has an interest in the subject to please give me a call and we can have a discussion of any questions or concerns you may have as well as a tour of the current facility. Also, the report which I have been referencing will posted to our website under the “Facility Update” link.

Agriculture on display at Sevastopol FFA Dairy Breakfast

A lot more than just cheese, milk, and ice cream will be on display when the Sevastopol FFA Dairy Breakfast takes place this weekend at the Valmy Thresheree grounds. Of course, dairy products with Door County roots will be featured, but the all-you-can-eat meal will also feature locally produced cherries, syrup, strawberries, and juice. Door County may be a tourist mecca now, but Sevastopol FFA advisor Dale Carlson says attendees will see the area’s roots are still in agriculture.

Hayrides, live music, and a petting zoo are all a part of the Sevastopol FFA Dairy Breakfast, which takes place Sunday from 6 to 11:30 a.m.

Nelson retires as NWTC Luxemburg Regional Manager

From a tiny office at Holy Trinity School in Casco to its facility along Highway 54, Sarah Nelson has seen first hand the ability to touch the lives of area students after 19 years as the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College- Luxemburg Regional Learning Center Manager. Tuesday marks the final day for the retiring Nelson, who helped oversee a number of initiatives including the collaboration of Kewaunee County schools to form the Ahnapee Regional Technical Academy. Nelson is proud of her time at the center, saying it was important for her to always be an advocate for the students.

As NWTC decides on her replacement, Nelson says she has no definitive plans for retirement yet other than helping with her parents and playing grandma to her grandkids.

Old Door County Advocate building goes green

The old Door County Advocate building on North Third Avenue that was purchased last December is going through extensive remodeling.  Architect Virg Temme was hired by the new owner, Shirley Weese Young, to give the old downtown building a new interior look and an eco-friendly design.  She describes the improvements made to make the building green.



Temme explains the two biggest architectural challenges in remodeling the building.



The building will house three apartments on the second floor and a gallery called “Space” on the first floor that will have musical presentations and exhibits.  Temme says the north side of the building will offer a lobby and office expansion of the Third Avenue Playhouse.  The project should be done by November, according to Temme.    


Local animal shelter looking for cat people

A growing number of cats and kittens are available for adoption at the Door County Campus of the Wisconsin Humane Society.  With a huge influx of cats this time of year from the breeding cycle, the area shelter is asking people to consider adopting a pet.  Shaina Allen, the marketing coordinator for the Door County campus, explains why the adoption of pets is so important. 


The Wisconsin Humane Society is currently encouraging adoption by waiving fees for all adult cats that are adopted in July.  You can find more information about the adoption hours at the Door County Campus of the Wisconsin Humane Society below.


Monday: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Thursday: Closed
Friday: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Sunday: Closed


Fireworks can cause stress to pets

The evening skies may be filled with beautiful arrays of fireworks this week to celebrate Independence Day, but the noise generated could pose stressful to animals. Pets often become frightened or disoriented by the sounds of fireworks.  Dr. Jordan Kobilca of Door County Veterinary Hospital says the best thing to do is to leave your furry friends at home before heading out to enjoy the fireworks.  If you need to bring your pet along, Dr. Kobilca has some advice.



Dr. Kobilca says if you are entertaining at your home you should keep your pets away from the actual fireworks.  He says in addition to the burns and trauma that fireworks cause, the chemicals in the fireworks are harmful as well

Algoma bridge closed for rebuild until November

Travelers through Algoma started taking a detour on Monday as replacement of the County “S” Second Street Bridge began.  The project is expected to take four months, according to Kewaunee County Highway Department Commissioner Todd Every.  He shares the official detour route established by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.



Algoma Public Works Director Matt Murphy says the stretch between Navarino Street and North Water Street should reopen by the first week in November. The second phase of the project planned for later August south of the bridge will include installation of sidewalks and street lights as well as stormwater and wastewater relays.    


Hearing for Carlton farmland preservation set for next week

Making sure the comprehensive plans for the town of Carlton and Kewaunee County are the same is one of the goals of next week’s Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation meeting. The town of Carlton recently designated some additional property to be eligible for farmland preservation credits. Committee member Lee Luft says the hearing is being held because the additions came in after Kewaunee County already submitted their comprehensive plan. Luft says the extra credits can be quite helpful for farmers.

The public hearing for the amendment to the Kewaunee County comprehensive plan will be held before the Land and Water Conservation committee convenes at 7:45 a.m. before the regular monthly meeting begins at 8:15 a.m. 

Van Dyke excited about new Rotary role

You can add another title to Baileys Harbor resident David Van Dyke. In addition to being the executive director of Door County Habitat for Humanity and the treasurer for the Egg Harbor Lions Club, Van Dyke recently received the gavel to become the Sturgeon Bay Breakfast Rotary Club’s newest president. He has been a member of the organization for the last four years, taking part in many Rotary projects including being a host family for the club’s youth exchange program. Van Dyke says whether it is building homes or providing much needed funding, it is all about supporting the community.

Van Dyke takes over for former President Greg Dietz, whose daughter Megan will follow in his footsteps on the executive committee as she became the club’s treasurer for the next term.  

Methodists begin to see direction after Wisconsin conference

The pastor of United Methodist churches in Algoma and West Kewaunee made her mark on the discussion of same-sex marriage and gay clergy. Pastor Jen Emert helped author an amendment approved at last month’s Wisconsin Annual Conference of United Methodists rejecting the more traditionalist plan approved by the General Conference in February that took a stricter stance against same-sex marriage and gay clergy. The amendment also went as far as apologizing to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community for the harm the decision may have caused. Emert believes people are beginning to learn what February’s decision means and what the options are moving forward.

As for the future of the Algoma and West Kewaunee United Methodist Churches, Emert says the congregations will wait to see what happens in the next few years, which include a heavily progressive delegation from Wisconsin attending the Jurisdictional and General Conferences in 2020.

Restaurant hopes Idlewild parade becomes summer tradition

While Fourth of July parades in Egg Harbor and Baileys Harbor get the headlines, an Idlewild restaurant hopes to see its community’s event get just as popular. In its thirtieth year, the Downtown Idlewild Parade on July 6th will travel on County M from Hainesville Lutheran Church towards Sherwood Point Lighthouse before stopping at CJ’s Bar and Grill. Last year’s event drew over 30 entries to the parade as visitors lined the road. CJ’s Bar and Grill owner Claudia Grosbeier, who has helped organize the parade for the last two years says it is a time of gathering for the area’s residents and visitors.

Floats are due at Hainesville Lutheran Church by 11 a.m. before the parade starts at noon. As for other Independence Day parades in Door County, both are on Thursday with Baileys Harbor starting at 10 a.m. and Egg Harbor stepping off at 1:30 p.m. The city of Kewaunee will host their Independence Day parade on July 3rd beginning at the elementary school at 6:30 p.m.

Birds of prey at Peninsula State Park

You and your children have a chance to see some birds of prey up close and personal at Peninsula State Park. On Tuesday, Open Door Bird Sanctuary will be bringing a prey bird to the Peninsula State Park White Cedar Nature Center. In the past, they’ve brought various kinds of hawks and owls. Peninsula State Park naturalist Kathleen Harris says the goal of the event is to teach about the importance of prey birds.



The event is free but a Wisconsin State Parks sticker is required. 

Heatwave could cause issue to roads

As summer weather hits the Door County area concrete could begin to buckle and come apart.  The occurrence is not unusual, according to John Kolodziej, the Highway Commissioner of Door County. He says, fortunately, Door County does not have many concrete roads.  Even though no road buckling has been reported,  Kolodziej says that the state highways will buckle and crack in the heat.  Warmer temperatures will lead to the roads to expand and for the concrete to push upward causing surface cracks. Kolodziej offers tips should you drive upon road buckling or cracking. 


Kolodziej adds that the concrete must be eventually replaced.   He says crews will use an expansive product to help the concrete from breaking again later on down the road. 

Help of Door County program looks for healthy manhood

A special program offered at Help of Door County is working to end the cycle of domestic abuse.  Steve Vickman, executive director of Help of Door County, says men grow up in a society and environment to “man up” and “don’t cry”.  He says a program specifically for batterers that includes a 26 week course for men as well as a 12 week class for women is being held.



Vickman says Help of Door County believes these programs work to reintegrate both men and women back into society.  You can find more information on programs offered at Help of Door County with by going to



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