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News Archives for 2019-07

Bridge replacement and other projects mean detours for Kewaunee County drivers

Starting in early August drivers in Kewaunee County will have to make some adjustments as bridge replacement work begins.  The span that carries County Highway E over the Ahnapee River will be closed for construction work that will extend into fall.  Kewaunee County Highway Commissioner Todd Every says other work is also planned for the area around Highway E.




Bridge replacement work is also currently underway on County Highway S.  Every says completion on that project will take until mid-autumn.



Drivers will also have to contend with resurfacing work on County Highway FF between State Highway 42 and County Highway E through August. 

DCEDC looks to tower rules changes and grants for broadband

The Door County Economic Development Corporation says rule changes covering the use of communications towers would make broadband expansion easier.  The DCEDC's Technical Council has adopted a resolution calling on Door County to change the rules that prohibit other potential services from using existing towers.  Executive Director Jim Schuessler says other counties that allow multiple users of a single tower are seeing benefits.



The DCEDC is also hoping that new state funding will aid local governments that want to improve their broadband access.



The DCEDC has made broadband expansion a priority to help existing businesses, attract development and aid health care providers. 

Algoma fights back from Crescent Beach erosion

Algoma is fighting back from wind and wave action on Lake Michigan that eroded a large section of Crescent Beach.  Over the winter high water levels and gusty winds created a five-foot drop at the beach's south end.  Algoma Parks and Recreation Director Sara Robertson says erosion control experts and volunteers are combining their talents to reduce the risk of further damage.


 Robertson says additional vegetation and native grasses will be planted this fall to help lock the remaining soil in place.

SBU line workers help restore electricity to central Wisconsin

Utility workers from Door County helped get the lights and air conditioning back on in central Wisconsin communities left without power following last weekend's storms.  Sturgeon Bay Utilities sent four line workers to help Wisconsin Rapids Water Works and Lighting Commission restore power to 10,000 customers.  SBU is a member of the Municipal Electric Utilities of Wisconsin which has it's own mutual aid program.  The SBU employees volunteered to help and brought along tools and materials needed to restore power. SBU Operations Manager Cliff White says each member utility can find itself in need of help at one time or another.


Two Sturgeon Bay Utility employees also went to restore electrical power in Kaukauna.  Overall, 90 municipal utility workers volunteered to help communities affected by the storm.

Door County Highway Commissioner calls state transit grants a good start

Door County will benefit from Wisconsin's new $75-million transportation grant program.  Door County Highway Commissioner John Kolodziej :: CUH-LOH-JAY :: says the program, which is part of the new 2019-2021 state budget will make up for some recent years of stagnant transportation funding.  Kolodziej says, however, it's a short term fix.


Kolodziej says he's still not certain how the grant program will work.  Local transportation officials will learn more when they meet in Sheboygan July 27th. 

Algoma Public Works sprucing the city up for Shanty Days

Algoma's Shanty Days celebration is still about a week-and-a-half away and city public works crews are now at work preparing for the three-day event.  This week DPW workers are focusing on cosmetic updates and clean-up work.  Public Works Director Matt Murphy says those efforts are intended to help the community shine for visitors.


As Shanty Days approaches next week, public works crews will put up temporary no parking signs and get the Shanty Days 5K run-walk route laid out.  Murphy says crews are having to adjust the 5K course to accommodate a bridge rebuilding project.


Shanty Days kicks off at 3:00 PM Friday, August 9th with concerts and a 9 ball singles pool tournament and ends at dusk Sunday, August 11th with a fireworks show.

State Treasurer shares plan to deal with retirement crisis

The new State Treasurer for Wisconsin is looking to address the retirement crisis facing many in the state, especially those in Door and Kewaunee counties.  In an interview Tuesday with, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski says the numbers show that half of all Wisconsinites have less than $3,000 saved for retirement.   She says the solution may lie within a state-facilitated retirement plan like Oregon’s Roth IRA program that began a little more than two years ago.



Godlewski says an AARP survey shows that over 80 percent of Wisconsinites are concerned about the increasing cost-of-living and having enough money to maintain their lifestyle after retirement.  She adds the plan would be to work with small businesses to provide saving tools, like automated deposits from paychecks, through a state retirement program.  You can listen to the entire interview with State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski below. 




(Photo courtesy of Sarah Godlewski)

High lake levels make for dangerous breakwaters

Record high water levels in Lake Michigan have made for dangerous conditions on the breakwaters along the lakeshore in Door and Kewaunee County.  Fortunately relatively calm conditions earlier this week allowed for people to safely enjoy the tall ships from the breakwater in Sturgeon Bay and Algoma.  Cindy Jarema, Deputy Chief of Operations for the Army Corp of Engineers, offers some advice for anyone venturing out on the piers and breakwater this summer.



Jarema says the breakwaters were designed for navigation rather than recreational purposes.  She says although the public is not restricted in walking on the breakwater, instances have occurred in the past where the Corp of Engineers in coordination with the local community put up barriers closing any access due to safety concerns.


Honor Flight gives local Vietnam veteran memorable trip

For Sturgeon Bay resident and veteran Ken Pollack, the Old Glory Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. was like an early present for his 72nd birthday this Saturday.  Pollock was one of 115 Vietnam War veterans from Northeastern Wisconsin who was on the “Mission 51” Honor Flight last Friday.  Serving in the military from 1966-69, Pollock served as a tank commander for the First Marine Division in Vietnam.  After an overwhelming welcome at the Washington D.C. airport on Friday, Pollack says the tour began with an emotional visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. 



Pollack says one of the most memorable parts of the trip was a ribbon-cutting for a dedication of a flag from the D-Day Invasion that was brought back by a World War II veteran.   The veteran, who was present, stood from his wheelchair saluting the flag before donating it to the Smithsonian Institute.  After a surprised “mail call” on the flight coming home, the 18-hour day concluded with a return to the EEA grounds in Oshkosh in front of thousands of cheering people.  Pollock says the incredible outpouring of support during the Old Glory Honor Flight experience made up for the less than friendly reception many veterans received after returning from the Vietnam War.


Kewaunee's Bennett excited for new role

New Kewaunee principal Mike Bennett reported to class early this summer to get a head start on the upcoming school year. Bennett previously worked as a teacher and an administrator in Texas before moving closer to family in northeast Wisconsin. Bennett says a conversation with students led him to the decision to begin his 25th year in education at Kewaunee High School.

Developing cell phone and dress code policies, meeting with local businesses and families, and finishing up student handbooks will take up most of Bennett’s time leading up to Kewaunee High School’s first day of classes on September 3rd.

Outdated software, slow speeds plague computers

Computer users in Door County are learning their old desktops may be worth more trouble than they are worth. Aging hardware and the looming loss of support for Windows 7 have been the most common issues creeping up in computers brought into Quantum PC in Sturgeon Bay. Erin Helgeson from Quantum PC says even with a complete computer tune-up and cleaning, there is a good chance your computer will not be able to handle an upgrade to Windows 10.

Helgeson suggests users bring in their computers to see what options they have before Microsoft ends its extended support of Windows 7 on January 14th, 2020.

Scandinavian tradition dances on

From ages two to 86, over 120 dancers will celebrate their heritage this weekend at the Washington Island Scandinavian Dance Festival.  Dancers have been working on their routines for about month with some participating in the event for the first time while others have made it an annual part of their summer. With 75 years of history behind it, multiple generations of families participate in the Washington Island Scandinavian Dance Festival annually. Organizer Kari Gordon says it is the community that makes it special.

The festival performance will be on August 3rd at 7:30 p.m. at the Foss Outdoor Stage.

Kewaunee County Livestock Judging Team places 3rd at state

Members of the Kewaunee County Livestock Judging Team proved they know their animals Monday at the state competition in Madison. Kimberly Van Donsel, Marie Prodell, Daria Ahrens, and Desiree Ahrens took third in individual reasons team division, where the four had to explain why they placed different animals in certain places. Judging team coach Rebecca Van Donsel says it was great to see the improvement over last year.

Individually, Prodell took fifth in the sheep division and sixth in the reasons division. Last year, only two individuals from Kewaunee County qualified for the state competition.

Olson reflects on Fairest reign

Claire Olson will be more than just a trivia answer when she officially finishes her reign as Door County’s first Fairest of the Fair on Wednesday night. The UW-River Falls agriculture studies major was crowned as the 2018 Fairest just before last year’s Door County Fair and has since attended several events in the area including parades and a performance of Northern Sky Theater’s “Dairy Heirs.” Olson says she has been imparting some of what she learned during her time onto the 2019 Door County Fairest of the Fair, Katie Guilette.

Even after she helps crown Guilette on Wednesday during a ceremony held on the midway at 7 p.m., Olson will still represent Door County at the Wisconsin Fairest of the Fair competition held in Wisconsin Dells in January.

Local veterinarian talks declawing

With New York becoming the first state last week to ban cat declawing, a local veterinarian is sharing the consequences of the controversial procedure.  The practice was banned to ensure that animals were no longer subjected to inhumane and unnecessary procedures, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Dr. Jordan Kobilca from Door County Veterinary Hospital in Sturgeon Bay says the procedure can be painful for cats.



Before choosing to declaw, Dr. Jordan suggests pet owners explore other options, like scratching posts, to help deter animals from being destructive with their feet.  He recommends that declawed cats never be left outside where they would be defenseless.   


Used corvette sales sizzling this summer locally

One of the biggest Chevrolet Corvette dealers in the state can testify to the national popularity of that model in the area.  An automotive report released last week showed that the Corvette was the most popular used car this summer.  Jesse Yahnke, sales manager at Jorns Chevrolet in Kewaunee, believes the interest surrounding the new 2020 Corvette is creating the increased sales of the used Corvette this summer.



The report showed General Motors claiming the second and third most popular used vehicles this summer as well with the Silverado and Tahoe, respectively.  You can find the list of the top ten hottest used cars this summer with this story online.


Author searches for Door County ancestors

You have an opportunity to hear one woman’s search for her Door County ancestors. Mary Lou Forier has written a book called “TALLAK! Immigrant” and she will be discussing it at the Sturgeon Bay Library on Thursday. The book is partly her family history, part life in the 19th century and part how-to genealogy. Morgan Mann, Community Relations Library Assistant for Door County Libraries, says this talk could be very important to people interested in genealogy or the history of Door County.



Forier’s talk is free and open to the public and begins at 11 AM on Thursday at the Sturgeon Bay Library.

Terminal illness care program offered Friday

A special program that helps people deal with the dreadful news of a family member or friend diagnosed with a terminal illness will be held this Friday.  The two-hour free course called “Caring for those facing terminal illness: from diagnosis to final hours” will be held at the Aging & Disability Resource Center in Sturgeon Bay.  Marggie Hatala, an RN and End of Life Doula from Doulagivers of Door County will offer practical, emotional and spiritual information in dealing with end-of-life issues that may make people feel uncomfortable.  Hatala says she will share ways people can reach out without feeling like they are being bothersome.



The “Caring for Those Facing Terminal Illness:  From diagnosis to Final Hours “program is from 1 pm until 3 pm Friday.  You can contact the ADRC for more information at 920-746-2372.


Accident a reminder for off-road safety

A second major incident involving an off-road vehicle in Kewaunee County is causing riders to practice extra caution when traveling on the trails. A 28-year-old New Franken man was airlifted from near the Riverview ATV Park in Kewaunee after suffering head injuries in a dirt bike accident.  The incident comes a month after 78-year old Wayne Paral died in a utility terrain vehicle (UTV) accident in the town of Carlton. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski is urging riders to be aware of their speed and surroundings when traveling.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, 380 recreational vehicle incidents were reported in 2018, including 67 deaths and 325 people injured.

Islanders get close to musicians during annual festival

Musicians from accomplished symphonies converge on Washington Island for an annual festival over the next ten days. The Washington Island Music Festival features several opportunities to catch musicians from symphonies in Milwaukee and Colorado perform in addition to guest lectures and rehearsals. Board member C. Hamilton Rutledge says the festival is especially meaningful for the children who get to see the musicians outside of their time on the stage.

The Washington Island Music Festival runs through August 9th with many of the performances located at the Trueblood Performance Center.    


Photo from Washington Island Music Festival


Click here for schedule of events

Birdsall ready for Door County Fair vacation

While others are booking rooms at area resorts, retired Sturgeon Bay priest Tony Birdsall takes his five-day vacation every year at the Door County Fair.  For nearly a century, the family name has been synonymous with the Door County Fair, dating back to Birdsall’s parents entering projects since the 1920s. Birdsall himself has entered projects in the Door County Fair since he was a young boy aside from a few years when he was assigned to be a pastor at Catholic churches outside of the area. Citing his love for competition and chickens, Birdsall says he also likes seeing kids have their own success at the fair.



Dubbed the “Chicken Priest,” you will most likely find Birdsall tending to his dozens of chickens in the poultry and rabbit building, where he served as a Door County Fair superintendent for several years. If not, Birdsall says he reserves Thursday for cutting flowers to be entered in the open class division.


Picture from Corpus Christi Parish


Sturgeon Bay, Algoma welcome Tall Ships

After being docked on Green Bay’s Fox River over the weekend, nine vessels have their bows pointed toward the Door Peninsula. The Nicolet Bank Tall Ships Festival pulled into Sturgeon Bay late Monday afternoon before they are set to depart for Algoma Tuesday morning ahead of their challenge race to Kenosha. Having the ships docked along the waterway overnight presents a tremendous opportunity for people to connect to the Great Lakes’ sailing history according to Door County Maritime Museum deputy director Sam Perlman.

After mustering around Sherwood Point, the nine vessels of the Nicolet Bank Tall Ships Festival fleet are docked at locations near the Door County Maritime Museum, Stone Harbor Resort, Centerpointe Yacht Services, Graham Park, and Sawyer Park. You can find a full listing of activities leading up to their 8 a.m. Tuesday departure online with this story.


Click Here for the complete schedule of Nicolet Bank Tall Ships Parade of Sail



Eagle Tower construction waiting on bid process again

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is still waiting on bids that were requested earlier this month for the new Eagle Tower project in Fish Creek.  Steve Strucely, business manager for Friends of Peninsula State Park, says the bids should be in by mid-August.  The high costs associated with reconstructing Eagle Tower in Peninsula State Park delayed the beginning of the construction this summer when initial bids came in well above budget.  Strucely hopes this time around the bids come closer to the planned budget.



The lowest bid for the project in the spring was at $3.6 million which was considerably higher than the $2.07 million that was originally budgeted for the tower.  The design for the new 60-foot observation tower includes a handicap-accessible ramp that is about 850 feet long.  The original Eagle Tower was dismantled in 2016 due to safety concerns caused by the deterioration of the wooden structure.  



Milk prices edging up this summer for local dairies

The trend of milk prices is slowly going in a positive direction for area dairy farmers.  Plagued by a depressed milk market the past few years, local farmers are cautiously optimistic that the gradual upward swing in prices for milk will continue.  Jim Wautier of Church Site Farm in Brussels says there has not been much change this summer, but the slight increase is better than the alternative.



 According to Hoards’ Dairyman as of mid-July, the price of August Class I fluid milk was $17.89 which was up 71 cents from last month.  The price was at a little more than $15.00 back in January of this year.  Record high milk prices peaked in 2014 before steadily declining through 2018.

Continuity key to Algoma Motors' success

Jim and Jeff Rabas , owners of Algoma Motors, have seen a lot of change in the automotive industry over the past half-century but one constant remains.  Selected as the Best of Kewaunee County for "new and used auto car dealer" and "service repair", Jim Rabas says continuity has been vital to Algoma Motors’ success over the years.  Having sold vehicles to four generations of buyers in Kewaunee County, Rabas says communications with staff and building relationships with customers are keys.



Jim and Jeff’s parents Jim, Sr. and Millie Rabas started Algoma Motors in 1937 with franchises for GM truck, Pontiac, Nash, Hudson Terraplane, Eagle, and John Deere tractors.  Algoma Motors currently employs 18 people and is a Buick and GMC dealer.  

Documentation key to reporting sexual harassment 

With staggering statistics showing sexual harassment impacting a majority of people, a local domestic violence service organization is providing information on how to effectively report it.  According to an online survey by Stop Street Harassment, 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men had experienced some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime.  Steve Vickman, executive director of Help of Door County, says it is absolutely crucial to document everything if you feel you are being sexually harassed.



Vickman adds that is it also important to tell a trusted friend or family member and to write down details of the conversations while keeping records of your job performance and productivity.  He suggests keeping documentation outside of your workplace at home with backup and to be careful about recording anyone without their consent since it may be illegal.   

Pickleball permanent courts coming to Sunset Park

The battle over the use of tennis courts in the Sturgeon Bay for pickleball play may have a more permanent solution by next year.  Pickleball, the reportedly fastest growing sport in America, has made for long discussions at the recent city council and park and recreation committee meetings.  Mike Barker, municipal services director, shares the city’s plan for this summer.


Barker adds that the plan is to give pickleball players permanent courts in 2020 if a $40,000 budget request is approved.


Pickleball courts dimensions are about a fourth of the size of a full tennis court.  Players will continue to use the temporary nets and lines on the court this summer at Sunset Park, according to Barker.  


Health tips on exercising in heat 

Exercising in hot weather can put extra stress on your body while risking serious illness, according to one local health coach.  Jody Anderson, a registered nurse from Succeed Health in Algoma, says to keep your body cooler and healthier this summer while working out you can take some proactive steps.  She says water is a key way to stay hydrated and also curb your appetite. 



Anderson adds that drinking water can help boost your metabolism to burn more calories and cleanse your body’s system.  She suggests that adults should drink before they feel thirsty and increase consumption when doing more activity.  You can find more health tips on safer exercising in the heat with the link below.   

States top Ag official dealing with farm crisis

With an average of nearly two farms a day reportedly going out of business in Wisconsin, the state’s top agricultural officer says local farms can prosper by continuing to find market presence.  Brad Pfaff, the secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, visited Door County earlier this month and told what he is doing to address the problem.


Pfaff adds that Door and Kewaunee farmers need more opportunity to get money from the marketplace and also lower their cost of doing business, especially through technology advances.  You can hear Pfaff’s entire interview below.



New exhibit at Nobel House showcases old wedding gowns

A new exhibit at the Alexander Nobel House in Fish Creek will take you back to Victorian Era England. The Gibraltar Historical Society, which owns the Noble House, has acquired 16 wedding gowns from between 1850 and 1950. The exhibit is called “Victorian Wedding Customs and Gowns.” Many were donated by residents and visitors to Door County who didn’t want to see their mother’s, grandmother’s or great-grandma’s dress hanging in a resale shop according to Gibraltar Historical Society Director Laurie Buske. She says the wedding dresses of today are inspired by the gowns from this period.



“Victorian Wedding Customs and Gowns” will run until mid-October. Admission to the Noble House is $5 and it is open from 10 AM to 3 PM Tuesday through Sunday. Pictures of the gowns can be found online with this story.


Man injured in dirt bike accident in Kewaunee County 

A dirt bike accident at the Riverview ATV Park in Kewaunee injured a 28-year-old New Franken man late Saturday afternoon.  According to a Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department release, the man was flown by Eagle III helicopter to a Green Bay hospital after suffering from non-life threatening head injuries.  The dirt bike accident was reported shortly before 5 pm Saturday by two Manitowoc area men who noticed not seeing the driver of the ATV for over an hour in the park and took another lap before leaving.  The New Franken man was found in the far southeast corner of the trail system and received medical attention by numerous agencies before being flown to the Green Bay hospital.  No further details are available at this time on his condition.        


Safe Kids Day Door County back for another year

Families can have a fun day while also learning how to keep their children safe at an event in Sturgeon Bay. The third annual Safe Kids Day will be put on by the Door County Department of Public Health on August 17th at the Door County Fairgrounds. Safe Kids Day will have a number of different booths each teaching about preventing injury. The Door County Silent Sports Alliance will have a booth on bike safety and the Door County Sheriff’s Department will be talking about firearm safety. Chelsea Smies, health educator at the Door County Department of Public Health, says this event is designed for kids to have fun and keep them from getting hurt in the future.



A number of emergency vehicles will be on hand to keep children entertained. An Eagle Three Helicopter will land at 11 AM to noon. Safe Kids Day is free to enter and food and drinks will be available to buy that will benefit 4-H programs in Door County. The event will last from 10 AM to 2 PM.

Carlsville Day 2019 is big success

Beautiful weather, fun events and live music made for a busy and successful Carlsville Day on Saturday. Some of the highlights of Carlsville Day were a Wild West reenactment, a cherry pie eating contest and art vendors from all over the state. Carlsville Day Coordinator Verna Kreutz says she was very happy with the turnout. Kreutz adds what made this year’s day special was the Sister Bay Fire Department sending a couple of fire trucks.



Carlsville Day was on both sides of Highway 42 between Morning Sun Road and the Jandu Petroleum Express. Trolleys took people around to the area’s businesses including the Jandu Petroleum Express and Harbour Village Resort. It lasted from 11A to 5 PM.




100+ Women making a difference

A new organization in Northern Door County has been making a big impact in the community. 100+ Women Who Care is a national organization that gives money to non-profit organizations. The Northern Door County chapter was launched in March of 2018 by co-founders Peggy Reinecke and Ann Morgan. The group meets four times per year to pick a non-profit organization that impacts the Northern Door County community. Each member of 100+ Women brings $100 to each meeting and all the money goes to one non-profit. The next meeting is on Monday and 100+ Women of Northern Door is now up to 239 members. Reinecke says not only do deserving organizations get the funds they need but it also helps women learn about philanthropy.



Monday’s meeting will start at 5:45 PM at the Kress Pavilion in Baileys Harbor. 100+ Women will pick from three organizations to donate the money. They are BookNook Gardens, Boys & Girls Club Door County and Door County Medical Center Auxillary. So far they have donated $7,600 to STRIDE, $11,200 to the Sunshine House, $13,300 to HELP of Door County and $14,000 to Door CANcer.


Pictures courtesy of Ann Morgan


Birch Creek Jazz Ambassadors finishing up another busy season

Birch Creek Music Performance Center has been showing off their advanced jazz students in Door County this summer. The Birch Creek Jazz Ambassadors is Birch Creek’s advanced jazz band and they have been performing at locations all over Door County. On many days, they perform multiple times at different locations. The ambassadors are picked at an audition at the beginning of each jazz session. José Encarnación is the director of the Jazz Ambassadors and he says the students love going out to show their talents in the community.



The Birch Creek Ambassadors will next play at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor on Wednesday beginning at 2:30 PM.

Renovation funds sought by Door County for former Younkers Store

The former Younkers building on 4th Avenue in downtown Sturgeon Bay will get a $487,000 makeover paid for by Door County taxpayers. The building was purchased by Door County for the county's archives and records.  The 2020-2024 Capital Improvement Projects resolution requests that money for building repairs. Door County Administrator Ken Pabich explains what that work would entail.



The capital improvement projects resolution will be brought before the board of supervisors for consideration in November.

Important to keep an eye on children while swimming

With the warm temperatures this weekend, a day at one of Door County's lakes may sound like a good time for the family but it’s important to keep a close eye on children while they’re swimming. Especially swimming in a lake or a pond the water conditions can change rapidly. Ellen Knipfer is a nurse practitioner at Door County Medical Center who has treated many swimming-related injuries. She also used to be a lifeguard and she got used to seeing parents go off and do other things while their children were in the water. 



Knipfer adds people need to be aware Lake Michigan has a strong undertow and that can develop quickly. Other tips include wearing a life jacket when going boating and don’t drink alcohol while going swimming.

All Kewaunee County departments now have oversight committees

All Kewaunee County departments now have a clearer understanding of where they should report. The county did some reorganizing and changed some rules about how departments report to their oversight committees. Kewaunee County Board Chairman Robert Weidner says this has not been a big issue but there is now more clarification about which departments report to which committees. 



The next date for the Kewaunee County Board meeting is not known at this time.

Cherry-picking time is here

The cherry-picking season has finally begun this summer in Door County.  Steve Wood from Wood Orchards in Egg Harbor says the recent hot weather has given the cherry crop a boost despite recent rainstorms.



Wood says sweet cherries typically ripen earlier than tart cherries which were a little later this year than what local growers anticipated.

Scam alerts for Door and Kewaunee County

Scam artists are getting more creative and bolder in tricking people out of their money and local law enforcement agencies are informing the public to take heed.  Kewaunee Police recently received a complaint from a resident who received a letter in the mail that was made to look like it was from the Kewaunee Police Department.  It requested $10 to be sent to the National Police Association in Texas.  The Door County Sheriff’s Department reported on a social media post earlier this week that a person posing as a member of the department called a community member using a spoofed phone number to make it look like the general non-emergency number.  The caller told the potential victim that he had a warrant out for his arrest and unless he made arrangements to post bond he would be arrested the next day.  Both the Kewaunee Police and the Door County Sheriff’s Department ask people to be careful not to give personal information to callers or solicitations that could be perpetuating a scam.  You can find the two local scam alerts posts by both agencies below.



Kewaunee County cited in bi-partisan task force hearing on groundwater quality

The Wednesday hearing by the Assembly’s Water Quality Task Force in Stevens Point shared research about the contamination of groundwater in Kewaunee County.  The message from scientists who testified was that the nitrates from agricultural runoff are a serious health risk.  USDA scientist Mark Borchardt, who recently spoke in Door and Kewaunee County, says agricultural practices must change in order to protect the groundwater in the state.  In an interview with last month, Borchardt said residents on the peninsula are well aware of the steps needed to protect area water resources.



Borchardt testified at the hearing that the depth of the wells in Kewaunee County had no effect on whether or not the water was contaminated.  He added though that the proximity to cropland appeared to be a direct connection.  


Door County Eye Associates seeing change at the top

A family business succession plan has just been implemented at Door County Eye Associates in Sturgeon Bay. Dr. J. Eric Paulsen has been the top optometrist at Door County Eye Associates since 1984 and now his daughter Annika will be taking over. Annika just started officially on Monday and the transition from father to daughter will be a slow one. Eric Paulsen will be staying on full time for at least the next year according to Annika and then sticking around part-time after that. Annika has been observing her dad work since she was 12 years old and found as she was going through school that she couldn’t get away from working with eyes.


Annika says the Door County Eye Associates is getting ready for next year with 20/20 being the ideal vision for patients. There will be fun activities, educational programs and good deals for their patients next year.


City looking to appease tennis and pickleball players

The conflict over the noise and use of the outdoor courts at Otumba and Sunset Parks is being addressed by the city of Sturgeon Bay.  Residents near Otumba Park expressed the noise concern of pickleball during the public discussion of the last city council meeting.  Claire Morkin, who lives on Joliet Avenue, shared her idea to keep the noise pollution caused by pickleball down at the neighborhood park.



District 2 councilmember and Park and Recs committee chair David Hayes, says one of the courts will remain only a tennis court at Otumba Park while two of the four courts at Sunset will be striped for pickleball.  At a committee meeting Wednesday, Hayes heard from tennis players who wanted the city to keep some dedicated courts for tennis playing only.  He says a line-item budget was recommended for next year that would make Sunset Park a more attractive setting for pickleball.



While the nets are lower for pickleball you can fit at least two courts on a single tennis court.  Pickleball reportedly is the fastest growing sport in the country that uses elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong.   


Midwest chronic wasting disease control efforts under discussion in Madison

Door and Kewaunee counties are among 16 in Wisconsin where deer herds have not tested positive for chronic wasting disease.  Controlling the spread of the nervous system disorder has been the topic of a conference in Madison. Wildlife biologists from throughout the Great Lakes region have been sharing information on proven CWD control methods.  Dick Baudhuin, with the Door County Deer Management Council, believes effective control efforts will be found in areas with large deer herds, like Buffalo County or on private game reserves.



Baudhuin also says drop off disposal kiosks for the remains from harvested deer are a step in the right direction for controlling the spread of CWD.

New transportation grant program offers help for county highway departments

Door and Kewaunee counties would benefit from $75-million in new transportation grant funds for local and county highway departments.   The one-time funding for transportation projects is part of the recently approved 2019-21 state budget.  County and local transportation officials are still learning the specifics of the grants.  Kewaunee County Highway Commissioner Todd Every says once those details are known his department could adjust its' five-year capital improvement budget to include the grants.  Every says such funding is expected to target specific areas.



Wisconsin's Department of Transportation is scheduled to meet with local and county transit leaders August 27th to explain more about the transit grants. 

An interesting first month on the job for Sister Bay Village Administrator

Beau Bernhoft expected some challenges during his first month as Sister Bay Village Administrator and he hasn't been disappointed.  Bernhoft became Sister Bay's first full-time administrator after nearly two-years of interim leadership.  He says all has gone well while facing a major land preservation effort and a lot of little things that had been left undone.



Bernhoft says moving to Sister Bay from Oak Creek is one of his better decisions and has no regrets for coming here with his family.

Peninsula State Park Nature Center addition starting soon

The Friends of the Peninsula State Park just signed a contract to begin the expansion of the Nature Center.  The project which has been in the making for the past several years has taken a back seat to the new Eagle Tower which will hopefully be erected sometime next year, according to Steve Strucely, business manager of the Friends of Peninsula State Park.  He says hopes are to open the new nature center next spring.



The proposed plan for the Nature Center at Peninsula State Park will increase the footprint of the building to add accessible indoor restrooms, a new meeting room for up to 50 people, along with program space.  The second phase would include additional parking and an outdoor observation deck, according to Strucely.  


Area food pantry uncertain of proposed food stamp cutbacks

The Kewaunee County Food Pantry is uncertain whether it would serve more people if the Trump Administration cuts back on the number of food stamp recipients.  The USDA proposal would close a loophole that allows those receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits to automatically become eligible for food stamps without further checks on their income or assets. That would result in a cost savings of  $9.4-billion over five years. Ken Marquardt, president of the Kewaunee County Food Pantry, says the impact from such cutbacks would depend on each client's situation.



Marquardt says the pantry isn't concerned about running low on food.  He says shelves are adequately stocked for now.

Sports physicals provide safer student participation

With the high school fall sports less than a month away, local healthcare providers are encouraging parents to get their child’s physical examinations scheduled.  Physicals for students who participate in organized sports are a requirement to ensure healthy participation.  Melissa Fleischman, team leader from Bellin Health in Sturgeon Bay, says if your child did not have a physical last year, he or she is due for one this upcoming school year.



Bellin Health offers a free coupon for an EKG test that needs to be done in Green Bay.  The $20 physical fee gets donated back to the student’s school, according to Fleischman.  

Exhibitors prepare for show day at Door County Fair

Many exhibitors are under a week away from being judged at the Door County Fair in Sturgeon Bay. Thousands of projects will be on display in the exhibit halls and barns as a part of the junior fair and open class divisions. Part of the judging includes a one-on-one interview with the exhibitor as they talk about specific details about their project. Door County 4-H Educator Dawn Vandevoort says many of the judges sitting across from the exhibitors have been in their shoes before and just want to have a conversation about their project.

The first projects judged at this year’s Door County Fair will be on Wednesday beginning at noon.

Door County Board addresses parental decision to vaccinate kids

Door County supports public safety over personal convictions when it comes to potential health crises.  The Door County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution supporting Assembly Bill 262 which would change the options parents could put on daycare, nursery school and school records to opt-out of vaccinations for communicable diseases.  Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says the bill would protect most parental rights. It would give public health officials the chance to reduce children's exposure to diseases such as whooping cough and measles.




Assembly Bill 262, which would eliminate the personal convictions option against inoculations, was introduced for consideration last month

Tips on picking out an early childhood center

Now is the time for parents in Door and Kewaunee Counties to make sure their pre-kindergarten children have a place to go when summer says its final farewell. According to several studies, approximately 90 percent of a child’s brain growth happens in the first five years. Karen Corekin from the Northern Door Children’s Center in Sister Bay says you can get an idea if an early childhood center is right for your family as you walk in their doors.

Northern Door Children’s Center begins working with children as young as six weeks old for their programming which runs year-round.

Sturgeon Bay church staying put for mission trip

Instead of heading out of town to lend a helping hand, youth at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay will keep their mission trip local this year. For the first time, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church is hosting the Door County Mission Trip where they will perform community service projects throughout the city. Members of a church in Merrill, Wisconsin will also join them for the weeklong experience which will include helping out at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, cleaning up the yards of area veterans, and baking cherry pies for distribution. Prince of Peace Pastor James Gomez hopes it gives participants a different view of Door County.

Gomez hopes to be able to invite more churches to participate in the Door County Mission Trip in future years. The approximately 20 youth members will participate in service projects from July 28th to August 2nd.

Stars align for preservation of Sister Bay's Pebble Beach

A failed project in southern Wisconsin and the generosity of the property owners and village officials are allowing the Door County Land Trust to protect Sister Bay’s Pebble Beach. The village of Sister Bay and the Door County Land Trust announced Wednesday it was partnering up to purchase the property which includes 600 feet of shoreline and 17 acres of land. The property’s owners, the Luber and Downey families lowered the original asking price of $3.6 million to $2.5 million to protect the land from possibly being subdivided for future development. With the village contributing $1 million, Door County Land Trust Executive Director Tom Clay says securing a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for another $1 million took some luck.

The organization hopes to raise $500,000 to fund the remaining amount of the purchase before it closes on the property in September. Clay says the village of Sister Bay hopes they will be able to fund their portion of the cost with help from a Knowles-Nelson Stewardship grant.


Photo By Dan Eggert


Protect Pebble Beach Promo from Door County Land Trust on Vimeo.


Bilodeau comes full circle with Habitat

Two years after being selected herself, Kendra Bilodeau is now on the other side of the table for Door County Habitat for Humanity. Bilodeau and her two children were the 40th partner family to benefit from Door County Habitat for Humanity’s home build project back in 2017. In the years since, she has continued to volunteer and was recently named to the organization’s board as its secretary. Serving as a member on the selection committee and the family coordinator as well, Bilodeau says she can be that person she did not have going through the process as somebody who has been in their shoes.

Executive Director David Van Dyke says having a former partner family member on the board brings an important perspective to their discussions.

While home build 42 continues in Sturgeon Bay, Bilodeau and Van Dyke hope more families in need of a "hand up" come to their offices to apply to become a future partner family.

Electric car market facing obstacles locally

The power demonstrated by a Ford F-150 that managed to pull over a million pounds of railcars 1,000 feet on Tuesday was impressive, but a local Ford Dealer says the future of electric and hybrid vehicles in the area is still years away.  Jim Olson, who owns three automotive dealerships in Sturgeon Bay, says range and cost are two challenges facing the electric vehicle market.



Olson says the new hybrid vehicles are being put into the luxury brands.  He adds that projections show by the year 2030 electric cars with still only represent about 30 percent of the auto market.  

Estates generally close within a few months

The disbursement of money and assets from a will or trust can be done in a relatively fast manner if it is set up right, according to one local attorney.  Reportedly over half of all Americans do not even have a will or last testament.  Attorney Jim Downey of Blazkovec, Blazkovec & Downey in Algoma and Sturgeon Bay, says the executor of the will should be able to allocate the funds fairly quickly to beneficiaries if the trust administration is set up correctly.  He explains reasons some trusts may stay open for longer periods of time.



Trustees are responsible for managing the assets involved with an estate.  The distribution of trust assets may need the guidance of an attorney or CPA the more complicated the estate.  State law requires that estates be closed within 18 months from the time of death, according to Downey.   


Luxemburg Lions' woodworking benefits the community

Whether it is fun or rest you are looking for, the Luxemburg Lions Club is making sure you can have it. Over the last few years, the Luxemburg Lions Club has produced at least 15 benches for placement in front of businesses across the village and a number of gaga pits for area schools. Lions Club member Kayla Bosman says it is a unique way for the organization to do its outreach and get its name out in the community.



The Luxemburg Lions Club also supports other initiatives throughout the year including vision testing and scholarship giving. The organization raises its funds through a number of different events throughout the year like summer weekend brat frys and winter bingo.

U.S. Coast Guard in Sturgeon Bay watching for illegal fishing charters

U.S. Coast Guard personnel in Sturgeon Bay continually monitor for illegal fishing charter operators.  Coast guard sectors throughout the Great Lakes have stepped up efforts in recent years to crack down on illegal charters.  Those efforts led to a Michigan man surrendering his Merchant Mariner's Coast Guard license after he was arrested for an illegal excursion on Lake Michigan and the Chicago River.  Chief Warrant Officer Andrew Wight, who works with the U.S. Coast Guard's Marine Safety Office in Sturgeon Bay, says the coast guard prefers to help charter owners understand what is and isn't permissible before taking stronger enforcement measures.



Wight says the bottom line is to ensure safe fishing and boating for all and protect charter operators who play by the rules.  Similar operations are also underway in Chicago, Detroit, Key West, Florida, California and Hawaii.

Salmon Tournament tales recall the ones that were caught and got smaller

Anglers in the Kewaunee/Door Salmon Tournament have more than their share of fish tales, although many are focused on the fish they caught that then got lighter as they came into shore to register.  Tournament organizer Kevin Naze says salmon fishing on Lake Michigan is unlike angling from a dock or an inland lake.  He says he's heard many similar stories of anglers emotions when a salmon strikes.



Anglers who've been unsuccessful in landing a salmon still have their chances to make up a few fish tales.  The Kewaunee/Door Salmon Tournament runs through Sunday, July 27th.

WFIC Column: The scourge of privacy

I like privacy as much as the next person. I don’t want anybody tapping my phone or peeking through my windows. I’m even irked that whenever I go online to shop for, say, chainsaws or hiking boots, every other web site I go to afterward reminds me of my interest in these products.

But as an advocate for open government, I am troubled by the extent to which public officials are using privacy in order to shut down access to public information. They say it’s necessary because the public can’t be trusted not to do horrible things.

One manifestation of this was the decision last year to remove records of dismissed cases from the state’s online court records system. The change was supported by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, who like me was a member of a committee that looked into the issue. (I opposed the change.) 

Vos argued that the information had to be removed to keep people from using it to discriminate against others whose names appear on the system, officially known as Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (WCCA). For instance, if employers learn that someone was accused of a crime, even if it was dismissed, they will refuse to hire that person. Yet Vos also told the group that he regularly hires ex-cons in his various businesses, and finds them to be excellent workers.

And that gets to the heart of the matter: pure arrogance. Those who want to purge public information believe: “I am a good person who knows that not every charge is valid and even actual convictions shouldn’t be used as a basis for judging future behavior. But other people are not nearly as good as I am and will discriminate brazenly and illegally. So we must keep them from obtaining this information.”

Yet purging information from WCCA, which many people incorrectly call CCAP, means that the system no longer provides a comprehensive picture of what happens in our courts. Right now, for instance, every former prosecutor whose last case ended more than two years again has a 100 percent conviction rate, since all of the cases that did not lead to a conviction have been purged from public view.

Currently awaiting scheduling (and likely passage) in the Wisconsin Legislature is a bill with broad bipartisan support to greatly expand the availability of expungement of criminal convictions, which entails sealing court files and removing information from WCCA. Again, this is being done to “protect” those who have been convicted against the unfair and irrational judgments of members of the public.

Recently, a state appellate court ruled that judges can order the redaction of dismissed eviction cases from WCCA. The court bought hook, line and sinker the argument advanced by Dane County Circuit Court Judge Frank Remington, who said he wished he had the authority to order this purge because “everyone goes on to CCAP and just simply assumes that if someone files an action, you must be guilty of something and you can never sort of break away and get a fair shake.”

Neither Remington nor Appeals Court Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg, who wrote the ruling, offered any evidence in support of their contention that people other than themselves lack the capacity to reach fair conclusions about a dismissed eviction case. Instead, the public, in their view, is little more than an insensate mob eager to latch onto any excuse to discriminate.

In 2015, concerns about privacy — or so they said — led lawmakers to end the requirement that significant donors to political campaigns disclose where they work. As Wisconsin Democracy Campaign noted at the time, “This makes it much more difficult for the media and the public to know whether employees of a specific company are all giving to a candidate in the expectation that their candidate will do the company a favor if that candidate wins.”

Now, Vos and other GOP lawmakers are pushing a bill that would allow winners of the state lottery to remain anonymous. They say it is needed to protect lottery winners from harassment. Yet the bill’s proponents, Vos included, have offered no evidence of any actual harassment endured by lottery winners. None.

The director of the Wisconsin State Lottery, Cindy Polzin, opposes the change, saying releasing winners’ names helps prevent fraud. Indeed, the nonprofit investigation news outlet Wisconsin Watch last year published a story about suspicious repeat lottery winners that could not have been written were it not for access to winners’ names.

But the proponents of shielding names are determined to force this change. “Just because you win the lottery,” bill sponsor Rep. Gary Tauchen (R-Bonduel) declared, “it shouldn’t mean you lose your right to privacy.”

A handful of other states have passed bills to shield the names of some lottery winners. In Delaware, Ohio and South Carolina, all winners can remain anonymous. But in New Jersey, then-Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a similar measure, saying it would “undermine the transparency that provides taxpayers confidence in the integrity of the Lottery.”

Perhaps the most outrageous recent example of secrecy in the name of privacy is the news that Jake Patterson, the man convicted of abducting 13-year-old Jayme Closs and killing her parents, has been moved to an out-of-state prison whose location is not being disclosed, according to a state Department of Corrections spokesperson, “for his safety.” So now Wisconsin is officially sending people to secret prisons to protect their privacy. Don’t ask, because the state won’t tell.

In April, I attended the annual summit of the National Freedom of Information Coalition in Dallas, Texas. One theme that came up was the embrace of privacy as a justification for keeping official state secrets.

Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information, said there have even been cases in which information on officer-involved shootings is being withheld on grounds of officer privacy. He told that group, “If you label something as pro-privacy, there’s almost nothing the legislature and judges will not affirm.” 

He added; “I sometimes think if you told people today that you wanted to create a book with everyone’s name, address, and phone number and put it on people’s doorsteps, you’d be tarred and feathered.”

I don’t mind if the law keeps people from installing secret cameras in my house. But when the state of Wisconsin decides to disrupt my life by filing bogus charges against me that are later dismissed, I bloody well want for there to be a record of it. I will trust that others can look at it and see that it was dismissed without assuming that I must have been guilty of something.

In fact, I have never met a single person who did not think that he or she had the ability to make rational judgments about people who are accused or even convicted of crimes, or who have been the subject of an eviction action. But many of them believe their fellow citizens are too stupid and too mean to do the same. 

The evocation of privacy as a justification of official secrecy is really just part of a larger push on the part of public officials to limit what the public can know about the actions and inactions of government. It serves their own interests more than anybody else’s. 

Bigger crowds expected for Tall Ships Festival viewing in Algoma

One of the best viewing locations for the vessels sailing in the Nicolet Bank Tall Ship festival will be available in Algoma.  Crescent Beach will host the Nicolet Bank Tall Ships Muster at 1:00 PM July 30th. That's when the ships are expected to be at full sail as they make their way from Green Bay.  The event will also include beach games for all, a ducky pool and competitive coloring for kids.  Sara Krouse, Executive Director of the Algoma Chamber of Commerce, expects the muster to be better attended than 2016 because there's more promotion this time.



Former Door County Maritime Museum Executive Director Robert Desh will staff a swivel gun to fire salutes to the passing ships in hopes they'll fire salutes in return.  Anyone interest in the best views should arrive early.  Krouse says in 2016 Crescent Beach was already crowded by 11:00 AM.


Door County Board keeping same compensation structure

The Door County Board of Supervisors could not come up with enough votes to change the payment structure for its future members at Tuesday’s meeting.  The new resolution would have changed to a salary basis from the current per diem way, according to County Administrator Ken Pabich.



Board members voted 12-8 to consider the change but a supermajority, 14 votes, was needed to pass the new resolution.  Currently, all representatives get paid a per diem of $50 for the first meeting hour and then $25 per hour for additional hours including committee meetings.  The proposal was for a flat $542 a month salary.  The Door County Board of Supervisors also passed a five year Capital Improvements Plan and approval of three grants for the Soil and Water Department that looks to control invasive species.  $$

Larsen gets "dream job" at Pebble Beach Golf Resort

Door County native James Larsen turned an opportunity to work at the U.S. Open this past June into a permanent position as a bartender at the iconic Pebble Beach Golf Resort in Monterey, California.  Larsen moved to California from Door County several years ago and shares how the dream job became possible.



Larsen says the timing was perfect with the U.S. Open being played and he landed a job working in the Rolex tent near the fourth hole tee-off.    The experience gave Larsen the chance to rub elbows with some of golf’s greatest dignitaries.



Subsequently, Larsen was offered a bartending position at the Beach Club in the century-old Pebble Beach Golf Resort that became a public course in 2001 and employs about 1,000 people.  Larsen will have a chance to share his many stories with fellow Sturgeon Bay High School classmates at his 30th class reunion next weekend in Door County.  


Old west side school developer targets fall of 2021

The conversion of the old west side school in Sturgeon Bay into an apartment complex will take more than two years to complete.  The process will require needed permits and eventual purchase of the property by Northpointe Development in Oshkosh.  Developer Andy Dumke says the plan is to obtain state historic tax credits and workforce housing credits with hopes to break ground in 2020.  He says plans are to maintain some of the historical items still inside the old school and start renting in the fall of 2021.



Dumke says the roof that had been leaking has been temporarily fixed to prevent any further deterioration.  He estimates that the monthly rent for the apartments will be in the $750 to $950 range.  The three-story building will house 10 apartments while the addition being built will add another 30 units to the complex.  The west side ballfield south of the school will have to be removed for the additional expansion making the 40-unit apartment project financially viable, according to Dumpke.

Rendezvous of Luxemburg making events special in Kewaunee County

One of the oldest establishments in Kewaunee County has a few new awards to add to its collection.   The Rendezvous of Luxemburg, which has hosted thousands of occasions from wedding receptions to class reunions for more than 70 years, garnered the most votes in a recent “Best of Kewaunee County” poll on  Owner Kelly Froelich says his staff takes pride in making the events memorable and easier to organize for guests up to 300 people. 


The Rendezvous claimed three “Best of Kewaunee County” categories for wedding reception facility as well as conference and banquet hall.   Located three miles southwest of Luxemburg at the corner of County N and Rendezvous Road, the Rendezvous also offers a full bar and restaurant with an eight-lane bowling alley in the downstairs area.

Car care tips for family trips

With many families taking their annual summer trip the next several weeks, one local auto technician is providing tips on a safer and smoother drive.  Randy Sahs of Sahs Auto Collision and Repair in Sturgeon Bay suggests that you have your vehicle’s tires inspected before packing up and heading out.  He says the tread may not be safe enough, especially for longer travels.



Sahs also recommends that you check the battery since severe heat can impact it as much as cold weather in the winter.  He says having coolants checked for temperature ranges and purity is important as well as fluid levels in your vehicle.  You can find more car care tips for summer travel below from AAA.




Internet outages provide valuable lesson for businesses

Some customers at Door County businesses over the weekend were left with a hard decision: scrape together enough cash to pay for their purchase or walk out. Saturday’s storm was the latest reminder of what can happen when a business loses power or its Internet connection. Many were unable to accept credit or debit cards for payments, which is how 80 percent of Americans prefer to make their transactions according to Nathan Draeger of QuantumPC in Sturgeon Bay spent much of his weekend troubleshooting for clients, saying having a fall back option for the Internet is a good idea.

Draeger says a downed tree in Two Rivers was the culprit for most of Door County losing their Spectrum-provided Internet connection for a couple hours Sunday.

Washington Island Lions Club makes impact felt

With 62 members in a place that is just 35 square miles big, there is a good chance you will run into someone from the Washington Island Lions Club or something they helped accomplish. The Washington Island Lions Club holds a number of events every year including last weekend’s Fly-In Fish Boil to help support a number of different projects like scholarships, Door County League baseball, and youth sports. Lions Club member Joel Gunnlaugsson says like many civic organizations in Door County, their numbers are not just made up of locals.

The Washington Island Lions Club, which also supports statewide initiatives like its camp in Rosholt and vision test, will raise money at its next event, the Island Fair on August 17th.



Grubs, powdery mildew popping up on area lawns

A Door County landscaper is telling customers not to fret too much about some issues he is finding in lawns across the area. Now is the time when small animals are tearing up grass to feast on grubs that have been destroying grassroots since the spring. Prior to the recent rains, some lawns were inflicted with a powdery mildew that shows up a lot during dry spells. Rob Ahlswede from Ahlswede Inc. says some yards were getting close to going dormant because of the lack of moisture.

Ahlswede says a regular treatment program can help prevent some of the issues from ever occurring.

Storm clean-up keeps crews busy

Most of Door and Kewaunee Counties have been able to turn on the lights for the last couple days, but area businesses continue to help in the clean-up efforts after last weekend’s storms. Dave’s Tree Services in Egg Harbor has five crews dedicated to just storm clean-up efforts and owner Todd Burke estimates it will take about two weeks of 10 to 13 hour days to complete. He believes it was not the worst storm the county has seen, but for property owners living between Sevastopol and Baileys Harbor, the damage was quite extensive.

Burke recommends property owners have an arborist come out and do a check of the land to point out trees that may have issues down the road.



Stephens tops Becker's Healthcare list of CEOs

The new chief executive officer at the Door County Medical Center is quickly getting recognition on the national circuit.  Brian Stephens, president and CEO, was recently named to the Becker’s Healthcare “70 Critical Access Hospital CEOs to Know in 2019” list.  The award is for hospitals that are designated for providing necessary healthcare to rural areas.  Stephens says the honor is a reflection of all the people that work at the Door County Medical Center.



Stephens previously held the position of a chief administrative officer and has worked at the hospital since 2005. Door County Medical Center will be celebrating the grand opening of the new Peter and Jelaine Horton Skilled Nursing and Hospice Center on August 1st.  

Ridges Sanctuary offering educational lake lessons

The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor is bringing nature closer to visitors with guided hikes and a new Thursday educational session.  A free program called “Lake Lesson” will be offered at the Ridges Sanctuary every Thursday at 7 pm through August.  Steve Leonard, executive director says the special programs along with guided hikes are a great way for families to learn about the nature preserve.



This Thursday’s program is about the renowned naturalist Roy Lukes who passed away two years ago and was recently inducted in the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame.   You can find the complete schedule of events for the Ridges Sanctuary below.


State grant money sought for Dorr Hotel project

The Dorr Hotel project in Sister Bay could benefit from state money for downtown redevelopment and return some much-needed lodging space to the community.  The Sister Bay Village Board, the project's developer Jaco Management and the Door County Economic Development Corporation recently met to discuss some next steps for the Dorr Hotel. The possibility was raised of obtaining WEDC grant money for the hotel.  The village board approved that idea.  DCEDC Executive Director Jim Schuessler says the bulk of the project would still be paid for through private funds.  He says state grant money would help enhance community benefits.



Groundbreaking for the Dorr Hotel project had been scheduled for this year but a firm date has not yet been set.

Algoma streets recover from epic flooding

Heavy rains last Saturday caused unprecedented flooding in the city of Algoma.  Over five inches of rain was reported in Algoma over a 45-minute span on Saturday afternoon, according to Public Works Director Matt Murphy.  About nine blocks of flooding occurred on city streets along the river and low-lying areas.  Murphy says Algoma Fire and Rescue helped immensely in the crisis.



No damages were reported after the water was pumped out by Sunday morning.  The only casualty of the street flooding was one stalled vehicle on the street, according to Murphy.  He says 25 homeowners reported basement flooding.  


(photo courtesy of Algoma Fire Department) 

Local crops withstand storm

Farmers in Door and Kewaunee Counties were able to let out a sigh of relief after only small cases of crop damage were found following the weekend’s storms. High winds and precipitation led to power outages and flash flooding across northeast Wisconsin. In Forestville, Paul Wallace was able to make sure his dairy barns were closed up before the storms hit on Friday night. He is thankful they didn’t get hit as hard as other areas did.

The late cherry harvest may have actually saved some trees from being knocked over according to Wood Orchard owner Steve Wood. He says the immature fruit kept the trees more resistant to the high winds.

According to the Wisconsin Public Service outage map, power has been restored to much of Door and Kewaunee Counties as thousands across the state are still recovering from the weekend’s storms that produced at least four tornadoes according to the National Weather Service. 

Celebration set for Cana Island Lighthouse

No gifts are necessary for the 150-year-old Cana Island Lighthouse when it celebrates its anniversary next month. The Door County Maritime Museum is putting on the celebration for the Baileys Harbor icon that was constructed in 1869. Deputy Director Sam Perlman says the celebration is not just about the lighthouse itself, but also the people who helped keep the lights on from the time it was built to when the Coast Guard took over and made it automated in 1944.

Cana Island Lighthouse will celebrate its big day with the nearby Ridges Range Lights on August 7th from 3 to 6 p.m.




Entrepreneurial services making a difference

Without the Door County Economic Development Corporation, Cody Bolton may have never made the leap from employee to owner of his Fish Creek business. Bolton recently became the new owner of Fish Creek Scenic Boat Tours after working under the guidance of former owner Eric Lundquist since 2013. With help from DCEDC’s entrepreneurial services program, he was able to write his business and financial plan and find a lender to make the purchase. DCEDC Executive Director Jim Schuessler says the experience showed the importance of succession planning.

Schuessler says with help from the Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, they were able to develop a plan to help keep the company in sound financial shape for years to come.

Kewaunee County Back to School Drive keeping up with demand

Kewaunee County Public Health Director Cindy Kinnard is happy that as the number of needy families goes up, the generosity of the community grows right along with it. Families currently receiving free lunches, on FoodShare or the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, or in an emergency situation, can register to benefit from the county’s Back to School program until August 5th. Last year, 330 students received school supplies and other necessities from the program, which is up from approximately 200 kids a dozen years ago. Kinnard says she is proud of the support the Back to School program has received over the years.

You can drop off donations for the Back to School program at locations across Kewaunee County, including local churches, participating businesses, and the Public Health office in Kewaunee. The distribution date is August 14th from 12:30 to 5 p.m. at Lakehaven Hall in Kewaunee.

Tall Ships bring big business to Sturgeon Bay

You will not find Christopher Columbus when a replica of his Santa Maria pulls into Sturgeon Bay next week, but local businesses can expect to see plenty of foot traffic. The Santa Maria and eight other vessels will spend overnight in Sturgeon Bay following its weekend docking at the Nicolet Bank Tall Ships Festival in Green Bay. The nine ships will be docked across the city for residents and visitors to get a close look at before they set sail for Algoma and Kenosha as a part of the Tall Ships Challenge race on July 30th . Pam Seiler from the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center says the extended stay is good news for area businesses.

The tall ships, which last paraded on the waterway in 2016, are expected to arrive in Sturgeon Bay between 3-4 p.m. on July 29th.

Farm equipment creates confusion for motorists

As farmers in Door and Kewaunee Counties play catch up in the fields this summer, different kinds of equipment are creating confusion for law enforcement.  Implements of husbandry, agricultural commercial motor vehicles, and commercial motor vehicles each play important roles in the agriculture industry while also having their own set of rules operators need to abide by as they hit area roadways. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says constant communication with farmers is key.

Joski is happy to see farmers adding better signage and markings on their vehicles as well as more attention to detail when it comes to traveling on area roadways.



     As the summer growing season kicks into full gear, we continue to see various types of equipment on the roads in support of the many agricultural operations which go on each and every day. Each specific operation brings with it a unique piece of equipment which may be operating on our roads and subsequently different guidelines and laws which govern that piece of equipment while it is on the roads.

      There are three basic categories of equipment which you may see from time to time. The first is an IoH (Implement of Husbandry). This category includes those pieces of equipment we typically associate with agriculture such as tractors, combines, and choppers as well as the equipment they may be connected to such as plows, cultivators, and planters. There are specific laws pertaining to lighting, width, height, and weight which govern these units. One important law related to these pieces of equipment is that unlike other units on the road which you may pass in a no passing zone if they are going less than half the posted speed limit, if you find yourself behind Implements of Husbandry, you are not to pass them when in a no passing zone. Also, these units are exempt from registration so although you may see a slow moving vehicle sign on them, you will not find a license plate.

      The next category of equipment is titled AgCMV (Agricultural Commercial Motor Vehicle) which may appear to be a typical commercial vehicle such as a straight truck or tractor trailer combination, but due to the modifications for agricultural use and the purpose in which they are used they too have special exemptions. While they must adhere to the various lighting and width/height limitations, they are exempt from standard registration which you would see in the next category of CMV.

       The last category of equipment is that of a CMV (Commercial Motor Vehicle). These units, although being used in pursuit of agricultural business, are treated the same as any other commercial motor vehicle. They must be registered and equipped no different than their counterparts, and those operating them must have proper licensing.

       In regards to who can operate various agricultural units on a public roadway, there are some varying factors. For implements of husbandry, they can be operated by any person age 16 or greater, as well as any person 14 years of age or greater that has completed an approved tractor operation safety course. For AgCMV’s the operator must again be 16 years of age and possess a valid Class D Drivers License. For Commercial motor vehicles, the operator must possess a CDL (Commercial Drivers License)

        In regards to both registration and licensing of both AgCMV and CMVs, there are further differences which can change the requirements. If a unit is owned by the farm and operated by an employee of that farm in pursuit of that farm’s agricultural operations, then the operator would not need a CDL but rather just a class D license. If that same piece of equipment was hired out to another farm, then those drivers would then need a CDL. This is also the circumstances surrounding registration of AgCMVs.


In all matters pertaining to the rules of the road, all of these units must adhere to all of them. This includes abiding by speed limits and stopping and yielding right of way at controlled intersections. The only exemption is for IoH which may occupy more than their lane of traffic. These units due to their width may cross the centerline, however must still yield that lane for oncoming traffic.


It is easy to see how this can become confusing even for those of us who work in the law enforcement profession, and we are very fortunate to have our partners in the State Patrol Motor Carrier Division who assist us in enforcement here in Kewaunee County. If you have questions regarding the various rules and restrictions related to the operation of such equipment below is a great link to learn more.

Making terminal illness care easier to handle

The Door County Aging and Disability Center hopes a presentation next Friday helps you handle the emotional load of caring for someone with a terminal illness. According to the Washington Post, many people do not think about their death until the very end, with approximately 30 percent of Americans sharing their last breaths at home rather than a nursing home or hospital. Registered Nurse Marggie Hatala from Doulagivers of Door County hopes people walk away from her presentation more comfortable with their loved ones as they help out in the final days.

Hatala will give her presentation, “Caring  for Those Facing Terminal Illness: From diagnosis to Final Hours” on August 2nd from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Door County Senior Center.

Professional development key for L-C teacher retention

Luxemburg-Casco Superintendent Glenn Schlender is thankful the research on motivation is rendering good results for its teacher retention efforts. Schlender says research shows if money is not a huge factor for them, autonomy, mastery, and purpose are great tools for motivation. Those three factors loom large as the district designs its professional development opportunities for its staff. Training like its Lucy Calkins literacy program is keeping teachers around and catching the attention of UW-Green Bay, according to Schlender.

He also adds that improving teacher pay remains a big priority for the district. New facility upgrades also can’t hurt teacher retention rates. Last week, Luxemburg-Casco School District announced two 4K rooms were finished and footings for other new building additions were underway. You can read that full update online by clicking this link.

Guilette prepares for Fairest reign

Southern Door alum Katie Guilette has a busy year ahead of her before she is officially crowned Door County Fairest of the Fair next week.  The Bellin College student has spent 15 years as a 4-H member showing several projects at the Door County Fair in areas like crafts, preservatives, and gardening. She says she got interested in the program after speaking with the reigning Fairests Claire Olson and Helen Parks.

Guilette will not have a junior Fairest this year when she is crowned on July 31st, the opening night of the Door County Fair. Despite not having another person running for Fairest against her, Guilette will still go through the interview process this Thursday at the Door County Government Center.

K/D Salmon Tournament a family tradition for Kleiman

Having his father in the shop Friday afternoon carried extra meaning for Accurate Marine owner Tom Kleiman, Jr. as he weighed in fish for the opening day of the Kewaunee/Door Salmon Tournament. It was Tom’s dad, Tom, Sr., who helped start the K/D Salmon Tournament over 35 years ago as a way to get anglers from the Milwaukee and Chicagoland areas to head north in search of trophy salmon. Tom, Sr. says after a similar event in Michigan failed, starting  their own tournament made sense.

Accurate Marine is Kewaunee’s tournament weigh-in station for the first time, which carries a significance not lost on Tom, Jr.

Anglers wanting to fish the waters near Kewaunee can still launch from the nearby Salmon Harbor Marina after city officials were forced to close its public ramp earlier this summer. Accurate Marine is one of five weigh-in sites for the K/D Salmon Tournament, which runs through July 27th.




Hundreds still without power in Door and Kewaunee Counties

Crews from Wisconsin Public Service are still working around the clock to make sure every one of their customers has power, including approximately 800 in Door and Kewaunee Counties. As of 11:30 a.m. Sunday, about 230 homes in Door County and 600 in Kewaunee County have been without power since the first wave of storms hit Friday evening and a second one around midday Saturday. WPS spokesman Matt Cullen says the damage found in Door and Kewaunee Counties is pretty consistent with what was found in the rest of the storm’s path.

The power stayed on but it is the water that is causing the most issues at Potawatomi State Park. Staff went around twice during the weekend to alert campers about the severe weather that dumped several inches of rain in the area. Park Superintendent Erin Brown-Stender considers themselves lucky.

For both Cullen and Brown-Stender, they hope everything will be back to normal in the coming days.

Storms cause slow day for Lions Club Fly-In Fish Boil

It was a beautiful day for a fish boil on Washington Island, but the problem was getting there. With severe thunderstorms covering much of the state on Saturday, only about 20 planes were able to make it to the Fly-In Fish Boil sponsored by the Washington Island Lions Club. Airport manager Dick Donelly says the annual event is usually busier on his side of things, but believes it will still be the kickoff for what is traditionally a crowded week in the skies.

Funds raised during Saturday’s events will go towards several different projects done by the Washington Island Lions Club.  EAA Airventure in Oshkosh runs through July 28th.  

Town of Egg Harbor apartment project inspired by employee housing shortage

Work is underway on a new eight-unit apartment building that a Carlsville employer hopes will make it easier to attract employees.  The Town of Egg Harbor recently approved the project by Parv Jandu, who also owns a convenience store nearby.  Jandu says he's starting with one building and an eye on the future.



Jandu says the apartment building will be open to all potential tenants, though his initial motivation would be to offer job hunters something extra.



The eight-unit apartment building will be located on Monument Point Road in the Town of Egg Harbor. Jandu hopes to have it completed by November.  

Severe weather causes flooding, tree damage and a business closure

STURGEON BAY, WI (Terry Kovarik) -- Severe weather brought thunderstorms, heavy rains and tornadic winds to Door and Kewaunee counties.  That brought down some tree limbs and caused spot flooding on portions of some streets, including portions of N. 14th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.  Weather conditions also prompted one business to close for the first time in recent memory.  Shirley Tanck, co-owner of  The Farm, a rural and agriculture themed visitors center, says people were showing up early in the day.  By afternoon, however, conditions warranted closing early.



Tanck hopes to have things cleaned at the farm to try and make up for lost business on Sunday. 



Veterans have a chance to see "The Wall That Heals"

Time is running out for Door County veterans to sign up to see “The Wall That Heals” in Manitowoc. “The Wall That Heals” is a replica of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. Veterans and active-duty troops can bring along one guest for free to go see the wall at the Manitowoc Expo grounds. Buses are scheduled to leave from the Sturgeon Bay ADRC building on September 14th at 10 AM. You must register with the Door County Veterans Service Office by August 1st. Nancy Hutchinson from Adopt-A-Soldier Door County, says there are only four people signed up to go and she would like to have those buses filled.



Local Army veteran Dennis Ott has seen “The Wall That Heals” and he says it is quite an experience.



“The Wall That Heals” will be at the Manitowoc Expo grounds from September 12th through the 15th. The Door County Veterans Service Office phone number is included in this story.


Door County Veterans Service Office phone number: (920) 746-2226

Door County supervisor targeted for recall on petition insufficiencies

Door County Supervisors John Neinas and Roy Englebert won't be facing the possibility of recall for now.  Petitions circulated by the Friends of the Forestville Dam were determined by Door County Clerk Jill Lau to have an insufficient number of legal signatures to authorize a recall election.  John Neinas, who announced previously that he's not seeking re-election next April, says that's good news for taxpayers. also reached out to Roy Englebert for comment but our calls were not returned.  Recall organizers started the campaign after the majority of supervisors voted in favor of a Department of Natural Resource plan to drawdown the Forestville Dam Mill Pond as part of a sediment clean up effort.  



(John Neinas requested his full written statement be posted with this story)





Door County YMCA in need of volunteers

You have an opportunity to give back to the community by volunteering at either Door County YMCA location. There are many programs the YMCA needs help with including the food program running over the summer. Children can get a free lunch with the summer foods program which runs Monday through Friday. It runs through August 23rd. Door County YMCA Volunteer Coordinator Nicole Howard says they are really in need of people on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 



For those of you planning ahead to September, the YMCA also needs volunteers for when children go back to school especially for helping out the sports programs. If you are interested in volunteering, you can contact Nicole Howard. Her contact information is available online with this story.


The number to volunteer is (920) 743-4949 and ask for Nicole Howard. 

Her email is

Retired army veteran gets overdue medals

Richard Verheyen, a U.S. Army veteran with Kewaunee County ties, finally got some overdue honors for his service.  Verheyen served during the Korean War as an army nuclear weapons specialist.  When he left active duty in 1985,  He served as a drill sergeant with the Army Ready Reserve in Kewaunee and served during Operation Desert Storm.  It was only by chance that he learned he was eligible for ten different citations including the National Defense Service medal.



Verheyen received his medals during a brief ceremony at U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher's office in De Pere. 


Local home builders seeing smaller houses with more accessories

Despite a national trend that shows the average new-home is reportedly declining in size with younger people entering the market, a local builder is seeing that increase with older people downsizing.  Craig Vandenhouten, co-owner of Van’s Lumber and Custom Builders in Dyckesville and Egg Harbor, says although more smaller homes are being built in the area, many are coming with requested accessories to make life easier for elderly in their golden years.



Vandenhouten says his clients are just looking to stay longer in their homes.  He says the home construction demand in Door and Kewaunee County has been off to a strong start in the first half of 2019.    


WPS crews encounter storm damage while restoring electrical service in Door/Kewaunee counties

Wisconsin Public Service crews are working through the aftermath of Friday's severe thunderstorms while trying to restore electric service to customers in Door and Kewaunee counties.  WPS says about 44,000 customers in the company's service area are without power as of late Saturday morning, including over 1100 in Door County and several in Kewaunee County.  WPS Senior Communications Specialist Matt Cullen says power lines were downed by a 
combination of high winds and heavy rains.



Cullen says it's not known approximately when electric service will be restored.  He also urges people to keep away from downed power lines until repairs are made.

Storms leave hundreds without power in Door County

3:00 PM 07/20/19


Wisconsin Public Service now reports electrical power outages affecting 665 customers in Door County and 3 customers in Kewaunee County.



8:55 AM 07/20/19


Severe storms and high winds have left just over 1100 customers without electricity in Door County. According to the Wisconsin Public Service website, the bulk of the power outages are north of Sturgeon Bay.  Many of those locations are still awaiting repair crews and the estimated time of service restoration is unknown.  That means customers like Dave Resch of Little Harbor will be in the dark a bit longer.



According to the WPS website, the exact causes of the outages in Door County are unknown.  

Outdoor fire safety stressed despite wet weather

The relatively low amount of reported grass fires in the area this summer have area fire departments thankful, but still advising people to be vigilant if any outdoor burning or campfires are being done.  Brussels-Union-Gardner Assistant Fire Chief Jim Wautier says the excessively wet spring and summer has meant fewer calls for out-of-control fires in southern Door County.



Wautier adds that most of the fire department calls this summer have been for vehicle accidents on the highway with the increase in traffic.  He strongly recommends that if you start any fire outside be sure to always be present.



  Keep in mind the wind conditions when burning and always fully extinguish any fire before leaving the area, according to Wautier.  

Sun Protection on the Water, So Important! - Kayak Series V

Part of being on the water in Door County is being out in the sun.  Most of us have probably had far too much sun exposure and don’t need any more.  I’m on the beautiful waters of Door County many days a year and see the barely dressed to people like me who take protection from the sun to an extreme.      

For me, whether out in my Yar-Craft fishing boat or one of my Jackson Kayaks chasing smallmouth bass, or, just enjoying a pleasant paddle on the lake, I’m protected from the sun.  Starting from top to bottom, I always wear a hat with brim, polarized sunglasses, a gaiter to protect my ears, neck and part of my face.  I wear a good sunscreen of at least 50 SPF on any exposed areas, including areas of my face not covered by the gaiter.  I wear sun gloves, long sleeve fishing shirts and pants that have UPF protection built in.  Even with the pants and water shoes, don’t forget to put sunscreen on your ankles and tops of your feet not covered.

When giving talks at sports shows I note that I’m on the water to catch and release smallies, not get a suntan.  If the fishing is slow, I’m usually off the water, although I do enjoy recreational kayaking.  So, please be careful, cover-up and wear sunscreen.

Speaking of smallmouth bass, finally the weather and water has warmed up.  Fishing is still funky after the very cold spring and high water, but, is picking up.  It’s important to practice catch and release to help sustain the fishery.  And, please try to get that smallie in the boat or kayak fast and back in the water quickly.  If you want a picture, have the camera ready.  Ideally, the fish should be back in the water in under a minute.

As always, if you have any questions you can email me at



18th annual Carlsville Day growing with the addition of new businesses

A tiny unincorporated community in Door County is seeing its yearly festival grow bigger and bigger every year.  The 18th annual Carlsville Day celebration will be held next Saturday, July 27 and coordinator Verna Kreutz shares what will be new for visitors next weekend.



Carlsville Days will also include live music, a wild west reenactment, a cherry pie eating contest and water wars at Harbor Village Resort.  You can find more information on Carlsville Day which is sponsored by the Carlsville Business Association with the link below.    


Forestville recall organizers ponder next step after petitions disqualified

An effort to recall two Door County supervisors is now uncertain since petitions were disqualified by the county clerk's office.  The recall was in response to county approval of a drawdown plan at the Forestville Mill Dam Pond.  The Friends of the Forestville Dam want supervisors Roy Englebert and John Neinas recalled because there was overwhelming opposition to the drawdown from residents.  Village of Forestville President Terry McNulty, one of the recall organizers, says time may be working against the group's efforts.



Some of the petition signatures were illegible while others came from people who are ineligible to vote.  County Clerk Jill Lau says some of the pages were invalid because they were not the original petition pages.



The Friends of the Forestville Dam say even if they can get a challenge before a judge within the next five days it's uncertain whether they can get a recall election scheduled.



Wagner honored at Brewers game

The only ovation louder than one for Josh Hader nailing down a save in the Milwaukee Brewers 5-4 victory Wednesday may have been for Luxemburg’s Chuck Wagner. The Brewers honored Wagner as its “Hero of the Game,” recognizing his service to the country as a member of the United States Army’s 1st Air Cavalry during the Vietnam War. Drafted in 1970, Wagner never received the proper “welcome home” when he returned from his tour of duty in 1971 as he was mistreated by people protesting the war. Those memories 48 years ago made days like his Old Glory Honor Flight trip in 2017 and Wednesday’s standing ovation by over 35,000 people feel extra special.

Wagner says he was moved by the number of people who came up to him to thank him for his service after the Brewers made the announcement after the third inning, including fellow Vietnam veterans that may have served with him at the same time.

Photo submitted Chuck Wagner 

 Power outages in Madison block access to marriage and death certificates


Fires at two Madison electrical substations are preventing people in Door and Kewaunee counties from getting copies of marriage licenses, death certificates or other vital records.  The fires knocked out electricity to 11,000 customers including state government offices.  Mary Leist, Door County's Chief Deputy Register of Deeds says her office has been informed that access to vital records won't be available until Monday at the earliest.



Electricity has been restored to state government buildings. Wisconsin's Department of Transportation, however, says DMV Customer Service Centers are not able to issue driver license/IDs at this time. That's because the DMV’s federally required verification system remains disconnected from branch offices. 

Exhibitors prepare for Door County Fair

Over 400 exhibitors are entered to participate in the Door County Fair in two weeks. Everything from cows and pigs to flowers and knitted hats will be on display for judges to rate and people to see. July 31st marks the first day projects can be placed in their exhibit space with judging taking place throughout the week. Door County 4-H Coordinator Dawn Vandevoort says there are things exhibitors can do ahead of time to make check-in day go smoothly.

Junior Fair items need to be checked in on July 31st by 7 p.m. while open class entries have until 6 p.m. August 1st. You can find a full judging schedule by clicking on this link.

Every year Christmas in July for tree farms

It may not feel like it, but tree farmers in Kewaunee County know the Christmas season is coming fast. It takes the other eleven months of the year to get ready for four weeks of Christmas tree cutting and wreath making. Tammy Aissen from Aissen Tree Farm in Pilsen says the summer is the time where her family and their employees work hard to make sure their over 50,000 conifers have that great Christmas shape.

Weed control and mowing the farm’s hundreds of acres takes place the rest of the summer as their trees make their eight to ten year journey from the field to someone’s home.

Sunset School closure a possibility

Closing Sunset Elementary School is one idea being discussed as Sturgeon Bay School District takes a long look at its facilities plan. The Sturgeon Bay School Board received a summary of the findings from recent assessments performed by Eppstein Uhen Architects and Miron Construction. The studies looked at how the district can improve its safety and security, building components and systems, educational flexibility, and operational efficiency and building utilization. Standing out in the report is a laundry list of improvements needed at both Sunrise and Sunset Elementary Schools, which are the district’s oldest buildings. In a press release from the school district, EUA principal and Sturgeon Bay alumnus Eric Dufek said, “based on the current capacity and anticipated enrollment trends, the district has an opportunity to realize operational efficiencies and other savings by closing Sunset Elementary School.”


The full report is expected to be available sometime in August. District residents will be able to weigh in with their thoughts via a community-wide survey that will be mailed in September. You can read the full release from District Superintendent Dan Tjernagel below:


On Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at a School District of Sturgeon Bay Board of Education
meeting, the School Board received a summary of findings of a recent assessment of all district facilities. The District engaged Eppstein Uhen Architects (EUA) in February 2019 and Miron Construction in May to complete this assessment and support the District with long?range master planning for its facilities. The Facilities Assessment includes an architectural review of building conditions; evaluation of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems; review of ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessibility, safety and security. In addition, a capacity and utilization study was conducted to evaluate how space is used, and a separate review specifically focused on how the District’s learning environments support today’s instructional practices. The full report, as well as the summary presentation, will be posted to the District website ( soon under a new District Facility Study tab on the District page. A hard copy of the report will be available for public review in the District Office sometime in August after the District receives it.

The findings of the assessment include needs in four categories: safety and security, building components and systems, educational flexibility, operational efficiency and building utilization. The report indicates that while the District’s facilities are well?maintained for their age, many of the systems and components, such as mechanical and plumbing systems, windows and roofing are in need of replacement. These needs are greatest at Sunrise & Sunset schools which are the District’s oldest buildings. In addition, the study found various accessibility issues across the district for those with mobility impairments.

The capacity and utilization study found all of the District’s buildings currently under student capacity. The study also noted that the tech ed, family and consumer education, and library spaces are outdated for modern use and that schools throughout the district lack flexible and small-group learning spaces to support current and future programming for students at all grade levels.

Following the presentation of a summary of the facilities study findings, Eric Dufek, EUA Principal and Sturgeon Bay alumnus, presented two potential long?term solutions and two alternative ideas to the challenges described in the report. “Based on the current capacity and anticipated enrollment trends, the district has an opportunity to realize operational efficiencies and other savings by closing Sunset Elementary School.”

“Next steps will be to allow the School Board to digest the completed study once available, as well as share findings with and gather feedback from the community so that we can identify the highest priorities of our stakeholders in order to assemble a long?term plan” said Superintendent Dan Tjernagel. District residents will have the opportunity to share feedback via a community?wide survey that will be mailed to all households in early September.

Farmers inquiring more about industrial hemp

Farmers in Door and Kewaunee Counties struggling to make ends meet could soon turn to industrial hemp if they are willing to take on the risk. Well over 1,000 people applied for growers licenses in Wisconsin according to the LaCrosse Tribune just two years after industrial hemp farming became legal. While the demand for industrial hemp’s by-products is booming, the UW-Extension is warning people about going too fast as it is an expensive venture to get into with a thin margin for error. Door County UW Extension Agriculture Agent Annie Deutsch says farmers are interested, they just need the information.

The UW Extension recently created a website specific for farmers looking for resources to get into industrial hemp farming. You can find those links below.


Door County Habitat for Humanity looks for volunteers

A couple of extra hands are needed to help Door County Habitat for Humanity finish their most current home build. Volunteers actually officially finished last year’s home earlier this month as they poured concrete for the driveway and sidewalks of the Purdy family, last year’s partner. Walls went up on Tuesday after completing the decking last week. Executive Director David Van Dyke says they are certainly ahead of last year’s pace because of the more favorable weather, but more volunteers are always welcome.

Habitat volunteers help build the home of this year’s partner family, the Brights, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


Picture courtesy of Megan Dietz



Heat advisory for pets 

With temperatures and humidity soaring this week, area veterinarians are warning pet owners to take every precaution to keep your furry friends cool.  Extreme exposure to sun and heat can lead to your dog experiencing dangerous health effects.  Dr. Jordan Kobilca from the Door County Veterinary Hospital shares some of the signs your pet may show if suffering from heatstroke. 



Animals should never be left alone in vehicles, according to Dr. Jordan.  He recommends keeping any outdoor activity to a minimum and only during the early morning or later evenings.  You can find tips to keep your pets safe in extreme heat with this story online.   


High lake levels not dampening K-D Salmon Tournament interest

Higher water levels on Lake Michigan will make docking a challenge for the 37th Annual Kewaunee/Door Salmon Tournament.  Enthusiasm among salmon anglers, however, remains strong.  Tournament co-organizer Kevin Naze believes those launching their boats at Kewaunee will adjust as needed.




Naze also believes that the tournament remains attractive with an all-inclusive entry process and the prize money available.



The Kewaunee Door/Salmon Tournament casts off starting Friday, July 19th and runs through Saturday, July 27th.

Area orchards getting boost from heat

Cherry and apple growers in Door and Kewaunee Counties are seeing their crops get a little extra boost this week thanks to the heat. The cool, wet spring delayed blossoms on trees for a couple of weeks, but hot, humid temperatures through the weekend are expected to speed up the ripening process. Cherry growers for much of Door County are about a week behind from where they were last year. Steve Wood from Wood Orchard in Sturgeon Bay says rain could cause issues as they look to start harvesting next week.

Bill Roethle of Hillside Apples in Casco says the hot temperatures are helping his crop move along faster as well.

Some cherry orchards in southern Door County are already open for picking as the rest of the area gears up for what is hopefully a productive harvest season.

Door County Medical Center treating more people with heat-related illnesses

The hot, humid weather rolling through Door and Kewaunee counties is taking a toll on some people.  That's keeping Door County Medical Center's Emergency Department busy.  Dr. Ryan Cantzler says so far most of the cases handled by the ER staff are people suffering from dehydration.


Dr. Cantzler recommends anyone who feels overwhelmed by the heatwave can stop in at the emergency room, which is located on S. 18th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.

Old West Side School to be developed for housing

The Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission considered a preliminary plan for developing the old West Side School into an apartment complex at a Thursday meeting.  Northpointe Development from Oshkosh purchased from Shipyard Partners who had bought the historic building from the city in 2004.  The development calls for converting the old building along with an addition, according to Mayor David Ward, who also chairs the plan commission.



Ward says the plan is based on getting state credits for restoring a historic building and also credits for affordable housing.  Developers Andy Dumke and Cal Schultz, will seek a Plan Unit Development (PUD) from the city by December when returning with detailed floor plans and lists of materials to be used for the project.  


(photo courtesy of Wisconsin Historical Society)


Sturgeon Bay to take another crack at pot fines

An attempt to eliminate fines for possessing small amounts of pot was narrowly rejected by the Sturgeon Bay city council Tuesday.

The proposal, advocated by council member Seth Wiederanders, would have dropped the $100 first offense fine for possessing an ounce or less of marijuana and $200 for additional convictions. Court costs of $163 per conviction would still have been charged.

Wiederanders cited overwhelming public support for legalization of medicinal marijuana in an April advisory referendum. Support for legalizing recreational use was also approved by only by a 37-vote margin.

The proposal to remove fines for possession of small amounts of marijuana in your home was defeated by a vote of four to three. Council members Wiederanders, David Hayes and Kelly Avenson voted in favor of the action and Kirsten Reeths, Dan Williams, Gary Nault and Helen Bacon voted against.

The Community Protection and Services committee, chaired by Williams, will re-visit the fines for possession of small amounts of marijuana at a future meeting.

More Republicans join redistricting fight

Democratic state Senator Dave Hansen renewed his fight for redistricting reform on Tuesday with more Republicans on board including local Assembly member Joel Kitchens. Sen. Hansen has brought up a redistricting reform bill every two years since 2012. He would like the state to adopt a non-partisan approach similar to what is already being done in Iowa. Senator Hansen believes more legislators should listen to what their constituents are saying.

Rep. Kitchens, who joined fellow Republican Assembly members Todd Novak and Travis Tranel in supporting the bill, could not be reached for comment. Governor Tony Evers included a provision for redistricting reform in his version of the 2019-2021 budget, but it was taken out by the Joint Finance Committee.

Sextortion increasing nationwide

Even computer users in Door County are experiencing a nationwide trend that is only growing bigger as people become more connected. Sextortion occurs when someone blackmails you by threatening to distribute private or sensitive information in exchange for money or other favors. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Compliant Center, over 51,000 cases were reported last year while costing victims $83 million. Since many sextortion cases start with a threatening email, Erin Helgeson from Quantum PC says you should first determine if it is credible before taking additional steps.

Helgeson says they have encountered a handful of sextortion incidences in recent months. To protect yourself, she suggests you practice safe browsing habits and keep passwords up to date.

Animal sale connects youth to community

The meat bought at next month’s Door County Quality Market Animal Sale tastes a little better once you learn where it comes from. Dozens of local youth projects from the beef, hog, lamb, rabbit, and poultry barns will be shown one final time in the show ring before they are bid on by local residents and businesses. Committee secretary Annie Rabach invites potential buyers to walk through the barns and visit with the youth before they place their bids.

Committee member Krissy Phillips has seen plenty of her kids’ animals get bought at the sale and she is happy that they understand it is all part of the process.

Last year’s sale brought in $83,000 for local youth. The Door County Quality Market Animal Sale takes place during the Door County Fair on August 3rd. Registration begins at 6 p.m. before the sale starts at 7 p.m.

Namesake village enjoying We Like It Where?

While Northern Sky Theater’s “We Like It Where?” plays to audiences this Thursday and Saturday at Peninsula State Park, a celebration based on the musical’s inspiration will be occurring over 120 miles away. This weekend, Winneconne residents and visitors will be celebrating Sovereign State Days, a four-day reminder of the time over 50 years ago when the village seceded from the state after it was left off the map. Jordan Dunham helps organize Sovereign State Days and says he has enjoyed the extra attention Northern Sky Theater has helped bring to the relatively unknown story.

Dunham says Northern Sky Theater and the musical’s writers, Corrie and Stephen Kovacs, did a great job involving the village in the process, which included a read-through performance at its local high school.


Learn more about Sovereign State Days in Winneconne by clicking here



Healthy diet as well as water helps in extreme heat

Runners and outdoor enthusiasts are being advised to take extra precautions when doing their workouts and routines the next few days.  Local temperatures are expected to reach the high 80s along with extremely humid conditions.  Jody Anderson from Succeed Health in Algoma says besides staying fully hydrated by drinking a lot of water, eating the right foods can help replenish fluids in your body.



Anderson, a registered nurse and health coach, says that now is a perfect time to nourish your body with fresh fruits and vegetables at the many farm markets in the area.  


Kuhns brings  "Carbon Man" to life on stage 

Roger Kuhns, a local writer, geologist, and filmmaker, has written a monologue recently that delves into where America is today when it comes to climate change understanding and legislation.  “The Continuing Adventure of Carbon Man” will make its first public performance Thursday night in Door County.  Kuhns says he was inspired to write the play after returning from Washington D.C. as part of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby.



Kuhns calls the monologue a knitted story that is an optimistic message that searches for guilt-free electricity, an insatiable need for coffee, the drama of diets and other comedic-dramatic sagas.  “The Continuing Adventure of Carbon Man” will start at 7 pm Thursday evening at the Woodwalk Gallery in Egg Harbor.  You can find ticket information on the show below.


Tickets are $20 at the door.  You can reserve general seating or a pre-show picnic table by calling (920)629-4877 or (920)495-2928


(photo contributed) 

Council member becomes one-man granary wrecking ball

Sturgeon Bay city council member Gary Nault made several attempts Tuesday to side-track a development agreement that would result in city ownership of the Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator.

Location and preservation of the granary have been a controversial issue. The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation and the City of Sturgeon Bay entered into a development agreement earlier this year. That agreement preserves the granary at its original location with the city accepting ownership when preservation efforts are complete.

Nault introduced a motion at Tuesday’s council meeting that would have blocked the city from accepting ownership of the granary.



Nault also asked that Mayor David Ward be required to form a committee to meet with the anonymous financial donor who pledged $1.25 million for the granary project.



That request was ruled out of order by Ward and Nault requested that it be placed on a future meeting agenda.

Nault also asked that consideration of the development agreement be placed on the agenda for every city council meeting until members determined it no longer necessary.

That, according to Ward, would require the presence of the city attorney at all council meetings. Councilmember Kelly Avenson said that would be a very expensive requirement. She proposed an amendment to Nault’s motion that changed “consideration of” the development agreement to “discussion of.”
That was adopted 4 to 3 with council member Helen Bacon joining Avenson, David Hayes and Seth Wiederanders in support.

Nault’s proposals to derail the development agreement will be on the agenda when the Sturgeon Bay city council meets again on Tuesday, August 6th at 7 PM.

Sturgeon Bay City Council gives warm reception to west waterfront planning committee recommendations

Recommendations to develop Sturgeon Bay’s westside waterfront from a ten-member ad hoc planning committee got positive reviews from members of the city council Tuesday.


According to committee co-chair Laurel Hauser, the recommendations reflected compromise among people with different views on how to develop the waterfront. 



Council member Dan Williams said the recommendations make a lot of sense.


Alder Gary Nault told members of the planning committee they did a great job.


Mayor David Ward noted the recommendations come with the unanimous support of all ten committee members and this he is getting positive reactions to the proposals.


The recommendations include reducing the number of tugs to be moored on the waterfront and moving the Teweles and Brandeis granary closer to the Oregon Street bridge. That would involve negotiations with new owners of the tug boats, Don and Julie Sarter of Sturgeon Bay and also the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation. The historical society foundation has a development agreement that now calls for the granary to be permanently located on its original site which is slightly north of the location proposed by the ad hoc planning committee.

You can read the committee’s entire report linked with this story.

Anniversary of moon landing being celebrated Saturday

The 50th anniversary of the first moon landing is on Saturday and the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society is celebrating with a special viewing night of the moon. The viewing night begins at 7 PM on Saturday where the night will start off with planetarium shows at the Astronomy Center. Tours of the Astronomy Center will be given until 10:48 PM when the moon will rise. Dave Lenius, a member of the board, says they will use their new telescope technology to show live pictures of the moon.



It is free and open to the public. The Astronomy Center is located at 2200 Utah Street in Sturgeon Bay.

Dangerous extreme heat challenging area this week

With high temperatures and humidity expected throughout the area in the next several days, Public Health officials are asking residents to make every effort to stay cool during this heatwave.  Extreme hot temperatures can be dangerous and even deadly.  Door County Health Department Public Nurse Katie Van Laanen shares some tips to beat the heat.



Van Laanen adds that you should watch for symptoms of heatstroke or dehydration like dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.  She says no pets or children should ever be left in vehicles for any amount of time.  


Tips provided by the Department of Health Services 

Follow these tips to stay safe during extreme heat:

• Stay in air conditioning. When possible, stay in air conditioning on hot days. If you don’t have air conditioning, head to libraries, malls, and other public spaces to keep cool.

• Check on loved ones. Be sure to check on older friends and neighbors who live alone and don’t have air conditioning. 

• Avoid going outside during the hottest part of the day. If you have to be outside, stick to the cooler morning and evening hours. Wear light, loose clothing and take frequent, air-conditioned breaks.

• Beware of hot cars. Never leave a person or a pet in a parked car, even for a short time. On an 80 degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes.

• Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water on hot days. Avoid alcohol and hot, heavy meals. Watch your local weather forecasts so you can plan outdoor activities safely. Pay attention to any extreme heat alerts.

Remember that anyone can get sick from the heat. In Wisconsin, people ages 15-34 are the most likely to go to the emergency room for getting sick from the heat. No matter your age or how healthy you are, it’s important to stay cool and hydrated and check the forecast before heading outside.

If you start feeling overheated, weak, dizzy, nauseated or have muscle cramps, you could be experiencing heat illness. Move to air conditioning, drink water, get under a fan, and put on cool washcloths. If your symptoms worsen or don’t improve, go to the emergency room. 

State agricultural official visits Door County

The new secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) made his first official visit to Door County Tuesday.  Brad Pfaff, who was appointed by Governor Tony Evers earlier this year, traveled the area and made stops at Waseda Farms, a certified organic farm in Baileys Harbor and Brey Cycle Farm, a dairy operation south of Sturgeon Bay.  Pfaff told that he talked with area farmers about the importance of creating markets.



Pfaff will become the official secretary of the DATCP when members of the leadership in the state senate move forward his and other secretary cabinet member names to the Senate floor to be approved. You can listen to the entire interview with Secretary-designee Pfaff below.   




Kewaunee Veterans Car Show sets record

Despite competing against other planned events in the area last weekend, the Kewaunee Veterans Car Show attracted record numbers of vehicle entries and visitors.  The car show is sponsored by the local American Legion and VFW post.  American Legion District Vice-Commander Terry McNulty says the weather, timing, and setting was a perfect recipe for a successful show. 



The Kewaunee Veterans Car Show included 20 categories as well as Diamond in the Rough and Best of Show.  Proceeds from the event went towards veteran programs offered by the American Legion Post 29 and VFW Post 3392.  


(photo contributed)


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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