News Archives for 2019-08

Sturgeon Bay schools ready for new year

As the Sturgeon Bay School District welcomes new staff this week for training that started on Monday, the administration department is dealing with registration with students and parents.  Sturgeon Bay School Superintendent Dan Tjernagel says the summer was filled with facility upgrades and improvements.  He shares the summer maintenance that was just completed at the Sturgeon Bay campus. [TJERNAGEL]  Tjernagel says other school staff will report next Monday as they prepare for the first day of school on September 3rd.  


Door County park gets bigger

The Door Bluff County Park Headlands Natural Area grew by about 73-acres earlier this year.  Now the Parks Department is getting close to paying off a $450,000 short-term loan from the county's general fund.  The Wisconsin Coastal Management Program this week will present Door County with a check of just over $104,000 to go toward that loan.  The county bought the property from the Hidding Family Trust, which Parks Superintendent Ben Nelson says had owned the property for decades and left it in its natural state.



Nelson says the timing of the Hidding Acquisition was important as Door County prepares to draw up it's Parks Master Plan.



With the grant from the Wisconsin Coastal Management plan in hand, the remaining portion of the short-term loan is expected to be paid off when a grant from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund is received by year's end.

Door County home sellers are smiling

Door County is outpacing the rest of the state regarding home sales. Locally, there was a 4.1% bump compared to three percent in all of Wisconsin. Just as impressive are the lightning-quick contract signings according to realtor Ame Grail:


Grail says the big drivers for the sellers' market are falling mortgage rates and tight inventory. Rates have fallen by over one and a quarter percent since last fall. While vacant land remains readily available, the bottleneck seems to be in the cost of materials. The pinch in inventory has people clamoring for finished homes, meaning the excellent selling conditions are expected to continue.

COREMatters to teachers, law enforcement

Teachers and law enforcement personnel in Door and Kewaunee Counties came together last week to put more focus on the learning experience of their local students. Teachers from five of the peninsula’s seven school districts joined the sheriff’s departments at Kewaunee Grade School for COREMatters training. The CoreMATTERS Project is a multi-dimensional program focusing on social-emotional learning, empathy, and respect through a variety of different activities including Tae Kwon Do. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski is excited to be among the first in the state to help institute the COREMatters Project curriculum at local schools.

Joski says students will be able to participate in some of the program’s activities through their normal physical education time.



Ruckers pass through Kewaunee County

Four St. Norbert College students marching through Kewaunee County Monday and Tuesday know the pain they feel during their journey over the next week do not begin to compare to what is felt by area veterans every day.  Karsen Sherrick, Kellen Witty, Quinn Schoenberger, and Devon Johnson began their 140-mile journey with heavy backpacks from the Brown County Veterans Memorial in Ashwaubenon on Sunday as a part of the fourth annual For Them Ruck March benefiting military charity Hooah Wisconsin. Witty says they appreciate all the support they get along the way, including the Luxemburg and Kewaunee Fire Departments.

The four students and ROTC members hope to raise not just $20,000 but also awareness for the issues plaguing American veterans by the time they reach Milwaukee on Saturday. 

The English Inn Fish Creek on the market

Diners in Fish Creek may soon have to find a new place for that all-you-can-eat Friday fish fry and beef wellington. Citing a number of issues including his own personal health, owner Randy Daubner is selling The English Inn’s Fish Creek location. Daubner says a young family can have a lot of success with it.

Daubner says he continues to love the restaurant business and will continue to run The English Inn’s Green Bay location. The listing price was recently reduced to $2.6 million.

Home destroyed in Nasewaupee fire

An early Sunday morning fire has left a Nasewaupee man without a home. Units from the Southern Door Fire Department reported to the scene on Edgewood Court just after 3 a.m. Sunday with the garage of the home fully engulfed. The homeowner told firefighters he heard popping before going to check on what the sounds were, only to be pushed back by flames. Originally called into the dispatch center as an explosion, Southern Door Fire Chief Gary Vandertie says they are not quite sure what caused the fire yet.

No injuries were reported as the fire remains under investigation. The Southern Door Fire Department received aid from agencies like the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department, Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department, and Algoma Fire Department until they cleared the scene at 6:30 a.m.

Town of Egg Harbor apartment complex ready to start framing work

An eight-unit apartment complex near Carlsville is starting to rise.  The building is being developed by Parv Jandu, owner of Jandu Petroleum.  Foundation work started in late July and Jandu says the building's walls will start taking shape soon.



Jandu originally planned for the apartment building to attract workers to his convenience store.  It'll be open to other tenants as well and two of the units have been leased.

Historic tractors on display in Valmy

A great crowd showed up for this year’s Valmy Thresheree. The 37th annual event was organized by the North Eastern Wisconsin Antique Power Association and ran from August 16th through the 18th. Throughout the weekend event-goers were able to enjoy 50 to 100 year old tractors, watch tractor pulls and participate in the pig mud wrestling competition. Valmy Thresheree organizer Ralph Bocheck says the tractors that are made today would not be able to keep up with some of the historic tractors that were on hand.



Bocheck adds that next year’s event will feature Wisconsin-built machines but non-Wisconsin made ones will still be able to be shown at the event.

Governor touts DOT grants for local transit projects as a good start

 Governor Tony Evers is promoting a grant program to give local governments in Door and Kewaunee counties and statewide money for additional road repair work.  The $75-million grant program was agreed to during negotiations for the 2019-2021 budget.  During a visit to Northeast Wisconsin, Governor Evers called the grant program a first step to more reliable funding for state and local roads.



Wisconsin Department of Transportation Assistant Deputy Secretary Joel Nilsestuen joined Governor Evers on his recent visit.  He explained briefly how communities can apply for the grants and the types of local projects they'll benefit from.



The state legislature rejected the gas tax proposal.  The one-year transportation grant program was adopted as an alternative option. 

Rain holds off for traditional Belgian celebration

Mother Nature was kind to the Belgian community in Door County as it was perfect weather for their annual Belgian Kermiss in Brussels. Kermisses date back to the late 1800’s when Belgian immigrants wanted a way to celebrate the harvest festival. Kermiss represents a Catholic Church mass and following the service each Belgian community would hold a celebration filled with food, music and activities. The Belgian Kermiss in Brussels stayed true to heritage and featured traditional Belgian foods like booyah, trippe, and Belgian pies. Co-Chairman of the Belgian Heritage Center Joe Alexander was happy the rain held off so the event would go on without a hitch.


The Belgian Heritage Center in Brussels is open on weekends during the summer if you would like to visit and learn about the community.

Sturgeon Bay graduates give back by winning competition

A sail painted by two Sturgeon Bay High School graduates received the most votes at the Nicolet Bank Tall Ships in July. Quincy Gibson and Ellie Johnson are 2019 graduates and before leaving the school they painted a sail that won the school’s arts program a $1,000 scholarship from the PMI Entertainment Group Foundation. The students went up against 8 other schools and were given artistic freedom with the only rule being that the sail is 80% covered. The artists decided to paint two tugboats during the sunset and chose this design because they wanted to stay true to the Door County area and believed the beauty of the boats during that time of the day captured it perfectly. Sturgeon Bay High School art teacher Nicole Herbst says the way Gibson and Johnson worked together was magical.



Both Gibson and Johnson will continue to study art at the college level. The check presentation from PMI Foundation to the school’s art program will be on August 19th at Sturgeon Bay High School at 11 A.M.

Airbnb paying wrong town

The town of Forestville has faced a problem when it comes to the popular Airbnb. The online rental company provides residents the opportunity to rent out their homes or cabins to tourists. When a residence is rented out a room tax is collected by Airbnb and it is supposed to go to the town the residence is located in. Airbnb determines where the payout goes to by zip code and that is where the problem for the town of Forestville is happening. Town Board Chairman Roy Englebert says the company should be paying by the municipality, not zip code.



According to Englebert, the town of Forestville has sent a letter to Airbnb asking to fix this problem and he hopes it gets resolved by 2020.

Local cyclist unsure of bike lane barriers

What makes sense in Milwaukee may not here in Door County according to a local cyclist. Concrete bike lane barriers were recently put up in Milwaukee and are used to distinctly separate motor vehicles and bicyclists to help slow down traffic, prevent collisions and avoid conflicts. Sahs Auto Collision and Service Center owner and frequent bicyclist Randy Sahs says while he sees the benefit of bike lane barriers, he doesn’t think they’re necessary in Door County.



Sahs adds that putting in regular bike lanes or fiberglass markers instead of barriers would work better in Door County.

Paddleboard fishing safety 101

With paddleboarding becoming more popular in the area, fishing while paddleboarding is up and coming too. Paddleboarding is very similar to surfing, however, the user pushes the board along with a giant paddle rather than with their arms and legs. The activity can be a great workout and riders can also fish while enjoying the water. Fishing, however, can make standing on a paddleboard more difficult which is why Door County Conservation Warden Christopher Kratcha says riders need to know their boards before trying anything new.



According to the Kratcha, to ensure maximum safety riders should always wear their life jackets while out on the water and not just have it along.

Kelsey Fox hopes big city digital skills will help Door County businesses and students grow

Kelsey Fox's digital skills helped Briggs and Stratton grow and she hopes to repeat that success with the Door County Economic Development Corporation.  Fox was recently hired as a Workforce Development Specialist.  She welcomed the chance to come home and help build up local businesses and show high school graduates there are career opportunities close to home.



Fox also says the opportunity to return home to Sturgeon Bay, with the support of her husband and kids, was an added bonus

Soar on the Shore rises to new heights

Crescent Beach in Algoma was filled again on Saturday with people watching kites take to the sky. Amateurs all the way to the Wisconsin Kiters, who are as close to professional as kiters can get, were on hand. They came ready to fly just about everything. Dual line kites and quad line kites displayed precision as their movement was synchronized to music. And then there was the big ones, life-size whales. Wisconsin Kiter President Charlie Mazzulla talks about the different sizes:



If you’re interested in joining the Wisconsin Kiters, click on the link

Safe Kids Door County draws a crowd in Sturgeon Bay

The Eagle III emergency air ambulance helicopter knows how to make an entrance. It swooped in at the Door County Fair Grounds and landed at a makeshift helicopter pad to a throng of spectators at the annual Safe Kids Door County event. After the landing, families were free to meet and talk to the pilots. Also on hand were EMT and ambulance services, fire departments, and law enforcement. For the second year, the Gibraltar Fire Department was running the “Firefighter Challenge.” Assistant Fire Chief Jerrad Anderson explained the course:


Check out a video of the copter landing on the Door County Daily News Facebook page.


Local law enforcement and ACLU question social media posts of impaired drivers

The Door County Sheriff's Department and the American Civil Liberties Union question the concept of putting photos of those arrested for impaired driving on social media.  By months end, booking photos of those arrested for drunk or impaired driving will appear on the Dodge County Sheriff's Department Facebook page.  It's part of an effort to reduce vehicle accidents due to speed, stop sign offenses and impaired driving.  Such information has long been available to news media outlets and appears in some sections of local newspapers.  Door County Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says his department would have to consider the backlash of such postings based on similar experiences in other cases.



The Dodge County Sheriff's Department plans to post disclaimers reminding readers that all suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  Tim Muth, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin,  however, says the speed of social media could impact a suspects' right to a fair jury trial.



No date has been set for when the Dodge County Sheriff's Department will begin posting impaired driving suspects photos on Facebook.  But the department says it will start sometime before August 31st. 

Dont forget boating safety as Labor Day approaches

The summer is coming to an unofficial close during the busy Labor Day holiday weekend in two weeks. In Door County, that means a lot of boating. The Wisconsin DNR was in Sturgeon Bay on Saturday showing off the capabilities of their patrol boat. That doesn’t mean you want to rely on them to bail you out of a bad situation though. DNR Officer Jordan Resop says that one of the easiest ways to stay safe on the water is to remember the FLOAT plan:



Officer Resop says he’s on the boat almost every day, patrolling Door County’s vast shoreline.

Luxemberg Casco fishing team is a go

There's something fishy at Luxemburg-Casco High School and Brian Eisch couldn't be happier. As Eisch describes it, he was "voluntold" he would be coaching the Spartans' newest squad. Fundraising should start as soon as the final approval goes through with an eye towards participating next summer. The team is linked to the Bass Master series and Eisch has some special guests lined up:


There is an extracurricular component to the team. In addition to competition, shoreline fishing is part of the experience as much as guidance allows. Eisch says he expects plenty of participation. 

Casco Lions Days swinging for the fences

The 42nd annual Casco Lions Days event is sure to be a home run. The weekend is anchored by the all-ages softball tournament. It's a three-day competition that started Friday night with evening games at the Village Park. Sunday a Parade gets things going at 11 AM traveling from the Village Kitchen restaurant to the park before ball resumes at the diamond. Mark Jandrin explains that the softball used to be only an old-timers affair:


The Casco Lions club counts 37 members and is active in the community including Casco Fire and towards good causes like muscular dystrophy research. You can connect with the Casco Lions at their Facebook page,

Master Gardener program in full bloom with graduation ceremony

The Door County Master Gardener program is budding with 13 new members. Education classes began in January, three hours every Wednesday running through April for twelve weeks. The courses aren't University science but botany, entomology, and other topics are covered. On top of the curricula, Master Gardener applicants have to volunteer 24 hours throughout the summer. The Master Gardeners tend to several spots throughout Door County and they run the Garden Door which is close to being a full botanical garden providing plenty of opportunities. With education and volunteering requirements complete, Master Gardener Carrie Sherrill said it was time to celebrate at graduation:


Spots fill up fast for each year's class, head to to find out how you can become a Door County Master Gardener in 2020.


Two free concerts at Adult Band Camp

When something is free it always seems better and that includes the two free concerts at the Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor this weekend. The organization runs an Adult Band Camp which provides adults with the opportunity to learn music and/or refine skills. During the weekend members from the camp will perform two free concerts that are open to the public. Executive Director of Birch Creek Mona Christensen says the free concerts bring in as many people as the paid concerts.

The first free concert will be on Saturday August 17th at Juniper Hall beginning at 4 P.M. The final concert and the conclusion to the Adult Band Camp will be on Sunday August 18th at the Dutton Performance Barn. A pre-concert will begin at 1:30 P.M. with the big performance beginning at 2 P.M.

Hall of Fame taxidermist featured at Door County Historical Museum

Master taxidermist Mike Orthober will be showcasing his skills at the Door County Historical Museum next Saturday, August 24.  The “Season of Life” exhibit at the museum has been growing over the past twenty years.  Orthober has mounted a variety of specimens including birds and mammals.  He will be mounting a new bird and talking about the art and science of taxidermy.  Well known for his work in taxidermy, Orthober has won national and world-wide awards and was inducted into the National Taxidermy Hall of Fame last month in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  He shares some of the more challenging subjects he has worked on in the nature diorama.



Orthober will be at the Door County Historical Museum from 10 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. next Saturday, August 24.   Admission is free to the museum which is located on North Fourth Avenue in downtown Sturgeon Bay.

Picking the Right Paddle: So Important --Kayak Series VII

I’ve touched on this in the past, but after the kayak itself, the next big question relates to your paddle.  For years I have recommended buying the lightest, most expensive paddle you can afford.  Lighter paddles are less fatiguing, meaning you can enjoy your time on the water longer and feel less sore at the end of a day. 


Based on my experience over the past 15 years, I use 30-ounces as a guide for paddle weight.  Personally, I use paddles in the 25-ounce range. For those of you using a sit-in kayak a traditional sized blade is fine, but, for the wider, heavier fishing sit-on-tops, look to getting a paddle with an oversized blade to push your kayak even better.  A paddle I’ve recommended over the years for kayak fishing is the Aqua-Bound Manta Ray Carbon and for recreational kayaking, the Sting Ray Carbon, both are under 30 ounces and reasonably priced at $199.  Paddle length is also an important consideration. This is based on your height and the width of your kayak. Most outfitters can help.


It's prime time to catch and release those smallmouth bass.  As always, take a quick picture of your trophy and “Free the Fighter”.  Here are a couple lure tips I’ve mentioned in the past, but, are worth repeating for you smallie anglers.  One is the Ned Rig presentation with the Z-Man soft plastic lures. This finesse presentation is productive from a few feet deep up to 20 feet.  It’s just a very slow stop and go retrieve with a little twitching. The other is swimming a Kalin’s Lunker Grub or Keitech Swimbait on a jig very slow and steady.  I catch and release hundreds of smallies each season and this is all I use.  


Yes, unfortunately, the end of summer is in sight, but don’t put those kayaks or fishing gear away just yet.  From September through November can be great smallmouth bass fishing and with the colors changing later in fall, great for recreational kayaking.  As always, if you have any questions, please email me at

City sidewalk costs can be deferred and financed

The walking on sidewalks is commonplace around Sturgeon Bay, but the paying for new sidewalks and its maintenance became a subject of concern at the last city council meeting earlier this month.  Chad Shefchik, the city engineer, shares how the financing of sidewalks and other improvements has been handled for years in the city.



Shefchik adds that maintenance and spot replacement comes out of the city’s budget.  City Administrator Josh Van Lieshout says the assessment of new sidewalks is by the linear or square feet of the sidewalk surface.  He says property owners receive a standard notification well in advance to the assessment of the project.  Deferments of the special assessments can be done by the city council for a period of time, indefinitely or until the property transfers.  Sturgeon Bay property owners can also finance the special assessment by stretching out payments on their taxes over six to twelve years with an interest rate that is only one percent above prime, according to Van Lieshout.

Grain harvest picking up the pace

After a slow start to the grain harvest, places like Rio Creek Feed Mill are seeing more truckloads by the day. On July 31st, the mill had only seen 10 loads of grain delivered to its Luxemburg plant, down from 90 last year and 80 in 2016. As the weather has dried out, the pace has picked up. Rio Creek Feed Mill agronomist Adam Barta says the amount of grain farmers have been able to produce this year, commonly known as yields, have been at or below average.

Barta says a recent United States Department of Agriculture report about actual acres planted and yield estimates have made the markets more volatile. He suggests making sure you get the price you need by either bringing it in right away or storing it until the markets improve.



How parents can keep their kid's school technology and smartphones safe

The first day of classes is just over two weeks away in Door and Kewaunee Counties.  Computer experts say the final days of summer vacation are a good time to ensure their kid's high-tech gadgets are safe and secure.  Erin Helgeson, co-owner of Quantum PC  Services in Sturgeon Bay, says a check-up of home computers, I-Pads and Chromebooks anti-viral software is a must.



Helgeson says similar security measures should be taken with smartphones.  That can be done with some simple discussions between parents and children and using apps to prevent social media access when it's appropriate.



Helgeson says the best resources on smartphone security would be input from other parents who've used parental controls and apps for their kids.


(Image by Pexels from Pixabay)

Kewaunee County ATV UTV regulations getting tweaked

Just like an off-road vehicle suspension, ordinances sometimes need some fine tuning. Several towns are pumping the brakes on ATV UTV ordinances until tweaking is wrapped up at the county level. Kewaunee County Supervisor Robert Weidner confirmed the changes:

County officials are working on the regulations at the behest of several townships but Weidner notes there are safety issues regarding ATV or UTV use on paved roads. This is confirmed by several manufacturers. Polaris' rider safety page on its website reminds operators that all of its vehicles are specifically engineered for off road trails only. All townships who have approved the ordinance already will need to reapprove the new language assuming county acceptance in September.


Kinnard rides waves to marine travel market

A boat trip with a friend turned into a new business opportunity for Kinnard Heating and Cooling owner Tom Kinnard. Experienced with air conditioning units at homes and businesses, Kinnard’s friend had him look at the broken system on the boat they were on and eventually got it running. Fourteen years later, Kinnard has two employees dedicated to installing and servicing air conditioning units on boats. Kinnard says unless you know boats, it is a very specific and difficult market to get into without proper training.

The high water levels are causing some issues for marine air conditioning systems according to Kinnard. He says weeds and other debris from the water have been causing issues with the boat’s intake and filters.

Washington Island Fair celebrates community

Those traveling through Door County this weekend can still satisfy their fair kick on Washington Island. The Lions Club is hosting their annual Island Fair on Saturday on the grounds of Washington Island School. Starting with a parade at noon, the community heads down to the “fairgrounds” to sample local fare and enter exhibits into competitions. Lions Club member Joel Gunnlaugsson says it may not compare in size to other fairs, but it is still a great time.

The Island Fair, which supports several community and Lions Club initiatives, runs until 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Tradition lives on at Algoma Performing Arts Center

A project dating back to the President Franklin D. Roosevelt administration continues to bring high-quality entertainment to the city of Algoma. Built in 1935, the Algoma Performing Arts Center has been an important piece for cultural programming in the school district and the community. In 2008, it received over $250,000 in renovation work to preserve the auditorium located at Algoma Elementary School for generations. After being selected by readers and listeners of as the best performing arts center in Kewaunee County, Algoma Superintendent Nick Cochart credits a group of individuals who wanted to take its success to a new level.

The Algoma Performing Arts Center brings in a number of acts throughout the year in addition to being the home of performances for elementary, middle, and high school students.

Sen. Johnson hoping "Operation Safe Return" helps with border crisis

In an effort to resolve problems at the United States and Mexico border, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson is pushing for a new program called “Operation Safe Return”.  Johnson, chair of the Homeland Security Committee, says the crisis at the border is overwhelming but the program he is suggesting has gotten some bipartisan support.



Johnson says “Operation Safe Return” is only one step towards helping, but the asylum laws need to be addressed soon.  He adds that many of the asylum claims are not valid causing a clogged up court system.  You can listen to the entire interview with Sen. Johnson with this story below.





Hauser finding fulfillment with chaplain role

John Hauser of Sturgeon Bay turned a 25-year career in banking and serving on the Sturgeon Bay School Board into a calling in chaplaincy.  Starting as a chaplain for Door County Medical Center (DCMC) four months ago, Hauser says working for a catholic hospital fits well in serving a multitude of people.  He says the culture and caring at the facility helps him fulfill his calling.   



Hauser assisted in moving residents into the new Peter and Jelaine Horton Skilled Nursing Center and Hospice Care this past week.  Prior to starting at DCMC, Hauser worked as a chaplain intern at hospitals in Grafton, Hartford, Two Rivers, and Green Bay.    


DNR looking for local help on deer herd management

A program to help the Department of Natural Resources manage the deer herds in the area is looking for local involvement.  Operation Deer Watch asks for people to voluntarily record their observations and sighting of deer.  Brian Dhuey, wildlife and survey analyst for the Wisconsin DNR, shares what information the program will gather from now until the end of September. 



You can find more information on Operation Deer Watch and how to participate in the program with the link below.


Proposed Food Stamp changes will affect free or reduced meal program at local schools

The Trump Administration has proposed changes to SNAP benefits that will lower food stamp rolls by an estimated three million Americans nationwide. This potentially could have a big impact on the number of students in Door County receiving meal assistance from school districts. Food Services Director for Sturgeon Bay Jennifer Spude says nearly half of reduced meal students qualify automatically because of their inclusion in programs like SNAP:


Losing access to food stamps means applying with complicated forms. While it is unknown what percentage of students rubber stamped for reduced meals are SNAP beneificiaries, it is clear that changes in that program will ripple out into others.

Local psychologist questions law enforcement plan to ID impaired driving suspects on social media

A Sturgeon Bay psychologist suggests law enforcement agencies carefully consider using social media to post the names and photographs of people arrested, though not convicted of impaired driving.   Dr. Dennis White says he understands why the Dodge County Sheriff's Department hopes such postings on the department's Facebook page could help prevent drunk or buzzed driving.  Dr. White, however, believes that could damage the reputations of those later found not guilty.

Information on all arrests is currently available to news outlets and is regularly published under designated columns in some newspapers. The Dodge County Sheriff's Department plans to begin posting the ID's of those charged with impaired driving by August 31.

Missing person found safe in Ephraim Wednesday night

Door County Sheriffs and Ephraim emergency personnel responded to a missing persons incident Wednesday night. A man with dementia became separated from his family. He was missing for approximately one hour before being located by members of the Fire Department. The man had traveled a mile before Ephraim Fire made contact. Ephraim Fire Chief Justin MacDonald says you should carry a recent photo of family members who may be suffering from dementia:


MacDonald says it's always a good day when a missing person can be found safe and sound. He added that all emergency services involved acted swiftly and as a cohesive unit.


(Photo courtesy of Tad Dukehart)


Valmy Thresheree turns history into family fun

Over 200 antique tractors and pieces of farming implement will make their annual trek to Valmy this weekend for a celebration of Door County’s agriculture history. The Valmy Thresheree is in its 37th year and will place a special emphasis on historic tractors and implements produced by Farmall and International Harvester.  Valmy Thresheree organizer Ralph Bochek says the event is a great way to see some of the implements in action.

The Valmy Thresheree runs from Friday night through Sunday and includes tractor pulls, demonstrations, and mud pig wrestling.


Click Here for complete Valmy Thresheree schedule

Governor Evers in Northeast Wisconsin to say the time is now for gun background checks

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers says there's sentiment in Door and Kewaunee counties and statewide to take action on background checks for firearms purchases.  Governor Evers indicated during a visit to Northeast Wisconsin that he may call a special legislative session to take up background checks.  He believes there's public support to act now.



Governor Evers believes the longer Assembly and Senate GOP leaders delay action on background and red-flag checks the more it could hurt them. State Senator Andre Jacque was available for a recorded interview but did release the following statement to


“It is difficult to know what can or should be done legislatively that would actually stop these atrocities from occurring where individuals are hell-bent on mass murder, especially frustrating since many of these incidents arise from lack of enforcement of existing gun laws and background check requirements, and those looking to kill people aren’t concerned about being law-abiding in pursuit of doing so.


I am happy to have worked with my colleagues on common sense bi-partisan reforms that retain second amendment and due process rights and treat firearm offenses with the seriousness they deserve and would be happy to help find future areas of agreement. For example, I was a co-author with former area Rep. Garey Bies of 2013 Wisconsin Act 321 which created a standardized procedure for the surrender of firearms by persons subject to a domestic abuse or child abuse injunction, or subject to an order prohibiting the respondent from possessing firearms issued in connection with a harassment injunction. I also supported both in committee and on the Assembly floor 2017 Act 145 which created new crimes and penalties for providing false information in the purchase of firearms, straw purchasers, and human holsters, and 2017 Act 310 which requires a mandatory minimum period of incarceration for firearms offenses.


Mental health is certainly an issue for anyone who is seeking to murder innocent people, regardless of the weapon they are using to carry it out, and it should certainly be a public policy concern regardless of party.”


(Image by Jason Gillman from Pixabay)

Dairy Business Association against proposed livestock siting rule changes

Changes to the livestock siting rules in the state could make a bad problem worse for some dairy farmers in Door and Kewaunee Counties. Twelve different hearings at six unique sites are being held to talk about the changes which include updating nutrient standards and new odor management systems based on property line setbacks. Dairy Business Association Government Affairs Director John Holevoet says the changes are pretty dramatic to the way livestock siting has been handled before whether you are a small or a large dairy.

Livestock siting rule hearings are taking place across the state over the coming weeks, including Thursday’s sessions in Oshkosh. Holevoet hopes a common middle ground can come out of these meetings.




Earlier this week, we spoke to Town of Lincoln chairperson Cory Cochart about his thoughts on his thoughts of the possible changes.

Extra work pays off for Village Kitchen

Long days have reaped big awards for Casco’s Chris Jacobs. Her restaurant, Village Kitchen, won four Best of Kewaunee County awards in a recent poll conducted at by claiming the top spot for breakfast, sandwich, fish fry, and catering. Her loyal base of customers comes from all over Brown, Door, and Kewaunee Counties, often coming multiple times a week. Jacobs says it means a lot to be voted the best for a lot of different things.

The Village Kitchen does not do a lot of catering due to time and staff constraints, but Jacobs says she appreciates being thought of when it comes to feeding groups of people for meetings, celebrations, and other events.

YMCA getting ready for busier fall season

After-school programs, swimming lessons and other activities for adults will be starting up again once the fall season begins at the YMCA’s of Door County. The gym floors at both YMCA locations in Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek were updated over the summer. Registration for fall programs begins on August 19th for members and the 21st for non-members. The fall season begins the day after Labor Day on September 3rd. CEO of Door County YMCA’s Tom Beerntsen says in addition to all the programs for children, there will also be many new classes for seniors.



You can stop by either YMCA location to sign up for classes or sign up online or by phone. Contact information for Door County YMCA’s is posted online with this story.



Sturgeon Bay location:  920.743.4949

Fish Creek location:  920.868.3660



Chapel Lane Log Houses featured at historical talk

The Baileys Harbor Historical Society will host a program next week on the architectural importance of the eleven log houses located on Chapel Lane along the shoreline.  Roy Cole, member of the society and a resident on Chapel Lane shares the uniqueness of the neighboring log homes.



Cole received permission from all the owners of the log structures to take current photos.  That along with historic pictures that were found enabled him to record a timeline and deeds of the properties that date back over 100 years.  The Log Houses of Chapel Lane presentation will be at 7 pm next Wednesday at the Baileys Harbor Town Hall and is free to the public.


Union Fire destroys car, damages home

 A car in the town of Union is a complete loss after it became engulfed in flames Wednesday evening. Crews from the Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department reported to the scene on Tru-Way Road between County Road X and Swamp Road around 6 p.m. after the homeowner called 911 to report his car had caught on fire. While some firefighters concentrated their efforts on putting out the blaze, others turned their focus to the nearby mobile home and steel building to prevent further heat damage. No exact cause has been determined, but B.U.G. Fire Chief Curt Vandertie suggests the fire could be linked to work the owner was doing on the car earlier in the evening.

The owner was able to move two other nearby cars before the fire got out of control, preventing other possible property damage. No injuries were reported and the investigation will continue Thursday morning.



Sewage spill closes Peninsula State Park Golf Course clubhouse

Homeowners along Crystal Springs Road in Fish Creek are being advised to boil their water before use after a sewage spill at Peninsula State Park. According to a release from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, a damaged sewer line coming from the park’s clubhouse caused the spill.  The clubhouse will remain closed while the sewer pipe is repaired and the spill is cleaned up. The boil order is a precaution due to groundwater in the area, but the DNR says there is no threat to the public or its drinking water. The agency expects repairs and clean-up efforts to be completed in the coming days. Northeast district supervisor Mike Bergum could not be reached for this story.

Eagle Tower Project At Peninsula State Park Still Overbudget After Second Round of Bids

The Eagle is still grounded after a second round of bids to erect a new Eagle Tower at Peninsula State Park. The project remains a little over a million dollars over the budget set out by the Department of Natural Resources. Since 2016, the Friends of Peninsula State Park have raised $750,000 to help bridge the gap. The contributions have come from over 1,300 individuals, showing great community support for the project. Steve Strucely from the Friends says the group does not plan to raise any more money but says the DNR is working hard to make the Tower a reality:


Wisconsin DNR is still hopeful the funds can be found in time for a fall groundbreaking.


Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands hand out Volunteer of the Year Award

Being a Lesnjak of all trades pays off in northern Door County. The Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands (FOPPI) helps to maintain and promote Plum Island in conjunction with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The heads of both organizations selected Amy Lesnjak as Volunteer of the Year. FOPPI Marketing Director Patti Zarling says Amy helped out on a variety of fronts. In addition to bookkeeping and the website Amy lent a hand to several events:



Plum Island is open to the public from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year but volunteer efforts continue year-round. If you would like to assist FOPPI, find out more at

Late summer means more visitors looking to stay in Door County

The Door County Visitor Bureau knows late summer is here based on the number of phone calls and drop-in visits from people looking for rooms.  The bureau says the peak season is here for hospitality businesses.  Communications Director Jon Jarosh says events and other attractions over the past two weeks have drawn visitors in larger numbers.



Jarosh recommends anyone looking for one last Door County summer getaway to book rooms as soon as possible.

Door County wants more detailed proposals from EMS bidders

Door County is looking for more detailed proposals from the two firms interested in helping operate the county's emergency medical service.  The Public Safety Committee has interviewed American Medical Response based in Greenwood Village, Colorado and Curtis Ambulance Service of Milwaukee.  Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says the committee will now seek expanded proposals from both firms in the equivalent of second job interviews.



Pabich also says the county would like to hold public meetings to explain more about the proposals being considered and to get citizen input.

J1 student visa workers keep Door County tourism humming after Labor Day

Door County tourism business will continue on after the Labor Day weekend with a lot of help from overseas students.  Young men and women with J1 student visas are taking on more importance this month as more U.S. students get ready for the Fall semester.  Phil Berndt, with the Door County Visitor Bureau, says J1 students have a different school calendar and that is a big boost to the area economy.



J1 students throughout their time in the U.S. also get four weeks to visit the U.S. and spend some of their money supporting local businesses.

Town of Sevastopol looks at rules to cover short-term home rentals

Town of Sevastopol residents can currently rent out their homes to vacationers without township approval.  That may soon change.  The town's Property Management Committee is considering a draft ordinance on licensing and regulation of short-term rentals.  Town Supervisor Linda Wait says the ordinance proposal is designed to have consistent operational guidelines and address some issues raised by neighbors.



The draft ordinance on short-term home rentals is similar to one adopted by the City of Sturgeon Bay.  The proposal must now be considered by the full town board to decide whether further action is needed.

Kewaunee County Food Pantry looking for more personal care products

The Kewaunee County Food Pantry is going beyond providing just food to underprivileged people in the area.  The pantry has seen an increased need for personal care items.  Ken Marquardt, president of the Kewaunee County Food Pantry, says his organization can help where other services may not.



The Kewaunee County Food Pantry, which is located on Sunset Avenue in Algoma, is having its annual Fall Rummage and Bake Sale next Thursday through Saturday from 8 am until 6 pm.  Donations can still be dropped off during operational hours on Mondays and Wednesdays.   

Soar on the Shore takes flight Saturday

Every coin toss is coming up kite tails at 11 AM Saturday in Algoma. Friends of Crescent Beach Steering Committee Coordinator Cathy Pabich was busy making tips Tuesday for the colorful flyers. Children will be taught how to make their own and the Wisconsin Kiters Club marks Algoma as a stop in their summer tour. Pabich notes that depending on the weather, the event can draw quite the crowd.



There’s more than kites to Soar on the Shore. It is being billed by the Chamber of Commerce as a kite fly and beach party. For a list of events visit

DCMC receives Community Engagement Award for nursing course

The Door County Medical Center (DCMC) was nationally recognized recently for its partnership with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) in building the area’s workforce in the medical field.  Since the inception of the program that expanded off the Nursing Assistant Course offered at NWTC, 242 high school students have completed the course and another 175 still needing testing.   DCMC Education Coordinator Renee Glesner says the nursing classes taught by NWTC faculty with classroom, lab and clinical portions offered at the hospital is a perfect fit for the area. 



Door County Medical Center received a $2,500 grant by the national law firm of Quarles & Brady and Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative for the best example of a rural hospital engaging in joint efforts in their community.  


(photo courtesy of DCMC)

Sturgeon Bay man accused of sex crimes ordered to undergo competency evaluationĀ 

Duryea Johnson of Sturgeon Bay will be evaluated for competency before going on trial for child sex crimes he is accused of committing.  Last Friday, the 28-year-old Johnson appeared in court for a preliminary hearing stemming from his arrest on June 25 by a Sturgeon Bay undercover police officer who posed as a 15-year-old boy online.  Johnson sent text messages asking for a meeting for sex, according to the criminal complaint.  District Attorney Colleen Nordin explains how the process will play out.



Nordin says the proceedings are effectively suspended until the determination of Johnson's competency is completed while he is held on bond.  Johnson faces two charges including one count of causing a child older than 13 to view or listen to sexual activity and another count of using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime.  The next scheduled hearing will be October 7th, according to Nordin.   


(Photo courtesy of Door County Jail) 


Gibraltar helps give students a smart start

Gibraltar Area School District is making sure its youngest new students get off on the right track. Thanks to an innovation grant, kindergarten and first grade students will get a chance to experience an average school day thanks to Gibraltar’s Smart Start program. Superintendent Tina Van Meer says it is beneficial to the students and their teachers to learn some of the rules and procedures ahead of time.



The first unofficial days of school for the kindergarten and first graders will be August 19th through the 22nd before the official start of the year on September 3rd.

Water quality, odor control among proposed livestock siting ordinance changes

Despite having sixteen confined animal feeding operations within its borders and becoming a national talking point for water quality issues, Kewaunee County residents will have to travel quite a distance to get their voice heard at upcoming livestock siting ordinance hearings.  The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection will host six public hearings discussing the changes, with the closest one being Thursday’s session in Oshkosh. Rule changes include water quality standards and procedures for permitting. Town of Lincoln chairperson Cory Cochart says it is a step in the right direction, though some help is needed.


Since the town of Lincoln passed the livestock siting ordinance in 2012, it has only been used once after Kinnard Farms in Casco applied for a conditional use permit for its renewable energy plant.


High water causing more issues for local departments

Pulling your watercraft a few extra feet onto shore could keep Door County Fire Departments closer to home for other emergencies. There has been a significant increase in the number of emergency calls for empty watercrafts this summer, which sends multiple departments into action just in case the situation is more serious than a case of forgetfulness. Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht says people need to get used to having high water.



Hecht recommends writing your name and contact information on your vessel to possibly prevent a multiple agency search and to help you get your property back quicker.

Door County Community Foundation funds Bjorklunden battle against invasive plant

Bjorklunden, the northern campus of Lawrence University, hopes to enhance its' natural setting near Baileys Harbor with a grant to eradicate the invasive garlic mustard plants.  The Door County Community Foundation awarded a $500 sustainability grant to Bjorklunden to pay for control efforts.  Jane Whitney, a volunteer at Bjorklunden, says that will provide a long term solution to the invasive weeds.



Whitney says the $500 grant will pay most of the expense of hiring a company that specializes in the control of invasive plants. The grant was made through the Community Foundation's Ruth & Hartley Barker Memorial Fund and the Open Spaces Fund.

Fire safety for outdoor burning requires attention

Although the area fire departments have been relatively quiet this summer responding to fire calls, a local fire official shares some important tips on safely burning outside.  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 but people should always stay with controlled burning. 



Wautier asks anyone who may be burning outside to keep in mind the wind conditions and to always fully extinguish any fire before leaving the area.   You can find more tips on safe burning below.

Sturgeon Bay street construction working through contractor delays

Keeping scheduled contractors on time for street construction has area municipalities working hard to get projects done.  Heavy rainstorms the past few weeks have caused some delays from outside contractors.  Chad Schefchik, Sturgeon Bay city engineer, says the big rain events earlier this month have caused some challenges. 



 Shefchik says crews are currently reconstructing two alleys on 10TH Avenue and Superior Street.   Major projects include Georgia Street between North 3rd and 7th Avenue as well as Kendale Avenue off West Pine Street in Sturgeon Bay.  That work is progressing well, according to Shefchik, with curbing being installed by the end of this week.    

Pet owners reminded to keep up on flea and tick prevention

Pet owners should remain vigilant about protecting their furry friends from the hazards of certain insects in the outdoors.  Dr. Jordan Kobilca from Door County Veterinary Hospital and the Luxemburg Pet Clinic recommends that heartworm prevention is done year-round and that flea and tick prevention is done through the late fall.  He suggests some tips on keeping your pet safe.



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



Recommendations for Flea and Tick Preventative





We recommend Frontline Plus & NexGard for flea and tick control on dogs.  Frontline is a topical which is put on your dog between the shoulder blades once a month.  NexGard is a oral chew given once a month; a lot of owners find this is much easier!





We recommend Revolution for flea control on cats.  This product has been proven to be safe and effective and also has the additional benefits of treating ear mites, lice, heartworm, and some intestinal parasites in cats.

Frontline is also recommended for cats as well!



Unfortunately, at the Door County Veterinary Hospital we see reactions to some of the over-the-counter flea and tick products.  Some of the reactions that may occur range from skin irritation, G.I. upset, lethargy and even seizures.  Please contact your veterinarian if any of these symptoms occur when using over-the-counter products.


                                                                                                                                                                            We would also like to bring to your attention that during the Fall and early Winter seasons is the time in which the fleas and ticks are more active. They are trying to find a warm body to attach to and nest in to get away from the cooler temperatures. Staying on flea and tick prevention until the first full frost is the best way to help keep your pets covered from the harmful effects of fleas and ticks.

Liberty Grove honors Ellison Bay explosion hero

Over 10 years after an explosion rocked the community, the town of Liberty Grove is honoring one of its heroes from that day. Cheri Nikole Simon was 12 years old when a propane tank explosion killed two people, injured several others, and destroyed nearby buildings. Simon escaped, but went back into the damaged building to rescue her younger cousin. Liberty Grove Town Chairperson John Lowry says Simon, who is now an EMT in the Phoenix area, deserves the overdue recognition.

Simon will be formally recognized for her bravery at the Liberty Grove Town Hall during the board’s Wednesday meeting at 5:45 p.m.

Local youth cap off successful fair week

Youth from Door and Kewaunee Counties are bringing home plenty of awards from this year’s Wisconsin State Fair. In the barns, the Kewaunee County Dairy Project had a lot of success, boasting several grand champions and reserve champions in their respective classes. Algoma High School Senior Megan Moede was the biggest winner, exhibiting the Supreme Champion Cow and Grand Champion Bred and Owned Cow. Moede says having the best cow in the state across all breeds was great, but having it bred and owned from her family’s farm two years in a row makes it even better.

While the Kewaunee County Sheep Project boasted the best educational display and Savannah Bailey’s Grand Champion Ewe, Sturgeon Bay’s Jadacey Teska brought home her state fair hardware a different way. Teska earned the Judge and Fan Favorite Award in the Wisconsin State Fair’s junior amateur talent competition.


Photo courtesy of Aerica Bjurstrom



Polka masses continue on tradition

Some outdoor masses in Door and Kewaunee Counties on select weekend dates certainly have their own beat to them. According to the Religion News Service, the history of the polka mass dates back to the 1970s at an Ohio catholic church. In the article, Rev. Jerome Lajack of West Side Cleveland Church pointed to changes made during Vatican II that allowed churches to celebrate mass to reflect different languages and cultures. Since then, polka bands have played arrangements of the Lord’s prayer and other traditional hymns and psalms. Father Tony Birdsall of Sturgeon Bay has said his fair share of polka masses and he believes they have their place.

Birdsall will be the presiding priest during the polka mass held during this weekend’s Valmy Thresheree.

Sheriff asks communities to prepare for school buses

You will be able to find a familiar sight on area roadways in Door and Kewaunee Counties beginning next month when school is back in session.  School buses will be hitting the streets to pick up and drop off kids for classes, sporting events, and other activities. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski warns motorists to be careful maneuvering around buses, especially when they are coming to a stop.


With more people walking around as well to get to school, Joski recommends pedestrians and motorists be more attentive. 



      It is hard to believe, but in a few weeks the new School year will be commencing. As usual it is hard to determine whether the kids or the parents are more excited to begin the new school year.          

      I hope that all had an enjoyable summer, and would like to take some time to re-focus on some safety reminders that we should all be aware. For those driving out on the country roads, be aware that you will be sharing that road once again with the school buses. Give them the attention and respect they deserve. If you are driving on the streets of the Cities and Villages be aware of the increased pedestrian traffic. Do not assume that the child about to cross the street will see you and will stop.

     For this week, I would like to focus on the rural environment and touch on a few of the basic statutes that relate to school buses. From time to time I get asked “When does the oncoming vehicle need to stop for a school bus about to load or unload”. State Statute 346.48 “Vehicles to stop for school buses displaying flashing lights” states that any vehicle approaching from either the front or the back of a school bus with its flashing lights activated must stop not less than 20 feet from the bus and shall remain stopped until the bus resumes motion or the operator of the bus has extinguished its flashing lights. This statute also directs the driver of the bus that they must activate those flashing lights 100 feet prior to the location of the subjects to be loaded or unloaded.

    State Statute 346.485” Owners liability for vehicle illegally passing a school bus” describes the process by which the driver of the school bus documents the incident, and reports it to law enforcement, thus allowing law enforcement to cite the owner of the vehicle regardless of who the driver is. This is different from most statutes in which we issue the citation to the driver.

These laws do not pertain to drivers on the opposite side of a divided highway when the school bus is loading or unloading.

    Aside from these two statutes, it is also important to note that school buses will and do make wide right turns, and that due caution should be used when near a bus at or near an intersection. And finally, please remember that those drivers have a lot going on inside that bus. Please give them the space and time that they deserve considering the cargo they are carrying. Next week, I will cover some safety tips for those eager learners traveling by foot to their academic institutions.

Grants helping Door Bluff Headlands Park Natural Area expand

A series of grants is helping the Door County Parks and Facilities Department pay off property purchased to expand the Door Bluff Headlands Park Natural Area.  The county recently received a $50,000 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant for the expansion.  The nearly 73-acres adjoining Door Bluff Headlands Park were purchased for $450,000.  Parks and Facilities Superintendent Ben Nelson says the grant monies will go to cover short term financing from Door County.



In all, five grants will be used to repay that short term loan.  On August 20th, the Parks and Facilities Department will receive a $100,000 grant from the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program.  The final grant from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund is expected by years end.

Shanty Days features something for everybody

The 33rd Annual Shanty Days in Algoma concluded Sunday. On Saturday the public was able to participate in the 5k Run/Walk and Kids Superhero Run, duke it out in the “Battle on the Beach” volleyball tournament and enjoy the Shanty Days Parade. For the final day, event-goers were able to enjoy a Porkie Pancake breakfast at the Algoma Fire Department, win awards and prizes at the fishing tournament and watch the fireworks over Lake Michigan at dusk. Director of the volleyball tournament Levi Zeitler says it’s important to have a wide variety of activities to make Shanty Days a success.

Other weekend activities included a Saturday parade, a pool tournament, a fishing contest, and live music.



Tourism steady despite high lake levels

Tourism at Newport State Park is steady this summer even though rising water levels on Lake Michigan have caused problems. The dark sky viewing at the park has seen this biggest increase in popularity this year due to the International Dark Sky Designation. Newport State Park is one of 18 designated state parks in the U.S. and only the second in the Midwest. Park Manager Michelle Hefty says even though lake levels are higher this summer the park is still making the most of it.


Newport State Park has the Perseus Meteor Shower viewing coming up on the night of August 12th.

Larsen breaks wind to beat out competition

The 2019 Sikaflex Challenge took place at the Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay on Sunday. 13 teams took on the challenge of creating original boats for the annual race. Captain of “Breakin’ Wind” and first-time challenger Andrew Larsen says growing up watching the event inspired him to participate.



“Breakin’ Wind” was one of six boats that were able to complete the course at this year’s event.

Luxemburg Casco construction project on track

The Luxemburg Casco School District construction project is on track. The $27.8 million project includes adding two kindergarten classrooms and a new main office to the primary school, replacing asphalt in the parking lot, putting up new walls for the gymnasium at the high school, and building a new middle school. District Superintendent Glenn Schlender says that even though the project is going smoothly right now, parents and students should still expect some difficulties.

To see picture updates of the construction project you can visit the district website.

Hope Church pastor Richard Feyen retiring after 10 years

Reverend Richard Feyen will officiate his last service at Hope United Church of Christ in Sturgeon Bay on September 1st.   Feyen says the congregation is in much better shape than when he arrived from St. Germaine 10 years ago.  The church was in the midst of a crisis of faith and declining membership.  With a vibrant community now in place,  Reverend Feyen decided this was a good time to retire.  He says his proudest accomplishments were helping create a welcoming atmosphere and making Hope Church more than just a building.



Feyen and his wife have purchased a motor home.  They plan to visit their five-daughters and their families and just see the country, though they plan to maintain their primary residence in Kewaunee County.  Reverend Gary Brinn from Maine will join Hope Church as pastor on October 1st.

Super rare boat at the Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Festival

One of the world’s rarest boats was on display at the 29th Annual Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Festival in Sturgeon Bay Saturday. President of Higgins Classic Boat Association Jeff Dave owns a 1949 Higgins 23ft Convertible. Dave has owned the boat for about 4 years and says it took him 18 months to restore it which included putting in a new engine that brought the boat’s horsepower from 140 to 300. Dave says the boat he has is one of less than ten in the world.



Dave’s boat has won an award at each Door County Classic and Wooden Boat Festival he’s attended.

Algoma School District gets more state school aid for 2019-2020

The Algoma School District is getting more financial aid going into the 2019-2020 school year.  The district received just over $4,570,000 in general school aid.  That's an increase of just over $241,000 from 2018.  Superintendent Nick Cochart says there are currently no plans for the extra money other than basic needs.


The additional money represents about a six-percent increase in state aid from 2018.

High water levels slowing work on Cana Island Visitors Center

High water levels on Lake Michigan are slowing though not stopping construction of the new Cana Island Visitors Center.  The causeway between the park and the mainland is submerged under several feet of water.  That's made it impossible for trucks to drive to the island to pour concrete for the center's foundations.  Door County Facilities and Parks Director Wayne Spritka, however, says work is proceeding thanks to a bit of improvising by contractors.



Cana Island remains open to visitors as contractors do their work.  Spritka says the slowdown will likely delay completion on the visitors center until mid-October.

Jacksonport celebrates 150th anniversary

The town of Jacksonport celebrated their 150th anniversary on Saturday at Lakeside Park. During the afternoon, residents were able to play family games, have fun in bounce houses and enjoy drinks and music. In the evening Jacksonport taxpayers were offered the opportunity to dig into roasted pig and chicken. Jacksonport Clerk and Treasurer Theresa Cain-Bieri says just under 700 people reserved a spot for the dinner.



After the dinner, the public was able to watch fireworks while also enjoying music and drinks.

Finding other ways to be happy and healthy important

Members of the Door County Medical Center were present at the 33rd Annual Shanty Days in Algoma on Saturday. As a way to encourage kids to be more happy and healthy the medical center had a table set up where children and their families could color t-shirts. Chief Business Development Officer Kevin Grohskopf says it’s important to keep the body healthy and happy as a whole.



 The Door County Medical Center has a clinic and rehab service in Algoma. 



Cherry crop damaged slightly by storms

As the cherry crop comes to a close, area orchards are looking bounce back from some wind and hail damage in the last week.  Steve Wood of Wood Orchard in Egg Harbor says this might be the last weekend of significant pick-your-own cherries.  He says the storms that rolled through recently did have an impact on the cherry crop.



Wood adds that growers did end up with a good harvest for the season despite the disappointing finish.  He estimates the sweet cherry crop to be done in the next week as well.   

Area superintendent applauds Wisconsin's one-stop health student resources website

As a new school year approaches, families in Door and Kewaunee counties can now get information on health resources for their children in one location. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is now featuring a new section on its website entitled “Back to School Resources for Parents”.  It covers subjects ranging from school immunizations to free or reduced-fee dental care to mental health services.  Sevastopol School District Superintendent Kyle Luedtke calls such a one-stop health care shop just what some parents need.



In addition to resources from the Department of Health Services, the “Back to School Resources for Parents” webpage provides links to services from the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Public Instruction.

Door County evaluating bidders for EMS partnership

Door County officials are in the middle of interviewing the two companies interested in partnering to operate the Door County Emergency Medical Service.  American Medical Response, or AMR, headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado and Curtis Ambulance Service of Milwaukee responded to the county's request for qualifications.  Interviews have been conducted with both firms and Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says the Public Safety Committee is now evaluating their presentations.



The Public Safety Committee will further discuss the EMS requests for qualifications and the two bidders when it meets at the Door County Justice Center on Duluth Avenue in Sturgeon Bay at 11:00 AM Monday, August 12th.

Neighbor to Neighbor recommends WDVA grants for non-profits serving veterans

Organizations in Door and Kewaunee Counties that serve veterans can get some much-needed help through the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Non-Profit Grant program.  The grants are available to any 501-(c) (3) group that provides any type of service or financial assistance to veterans.  Ann Bennett, Executive Director of Neighbor to Neighbor, says a nearly $3200 grant in 2016 helped her organization provide wheelchairs to veterans in need through Door County Medical Center and VA facilities in Green Bay and Milwaukee.



Bennett recommends the WDVA Non-Profit grant program to any group that provides benefits to veterans.  Organizations can apply for funding until August 30th.

Door County taking calls daily on beach erosion

The Door County Land Use Services Department is taking calls about beach erosion daily. That comes after several summers of hardly taking any calls at all. Calls looking for advice on dealing with erosion came in as water levels on Lake Michigan began rising. Department director Mariah Goode says anyone looking to control erosion impacts may need permits from the county and the State of Wisconsin.



Goode also says lakefront property owners should check with city, township or village officials to see whether local permits are required for any work related to erosion control.

Waterfront properties facing big time land erosionĀ 

Near record high Lake Michigan water levels has kept construction companies busy placing rock along Door County’s shoreline this summer to stop land erosion.  Mike Kahr of Death’s Door Marine in Ellison Bay says he and his crews are working six to seven days a week to keep up with the demand.



Kahr adds that even though water levels should start receding this fall, more severe conditions, like high-velocity winds, are likely to cause even more erosion later in the year.  He notes that besides the regular permit which is needed, the Department of Natural Resources has been issuing emergency permits more readily as more shoreline property owners seek to protect their land investment.




Kewaunee County ATV Park hosts races Sunday

Nearly one hundred motorcycle and motor-cross enthusiasts will descend on the Kewaunee County Riverview ATV Park this Sunday for the Wisconsin Cross-Country Hare Scramble.  The event, which is put on by RPA Off-Road, is one of 15 races that is held around Wisconsin during the race circuit.  Kelly Froelich of the Bay Lake ATV Club says the day begins with young dirt bike racers that are beginners.



Froelich says the hare scramble has drawn over 300 spectators in the past.  All race entry fees collected go into the maintenance and upkeep of the trails at the Riverview ATV Park.  You can find a schedule of this Sunday’s Wisconsin Cross-Country Hare Scramble with this story online.




(Photo courtesy of Visit Kewaunee County)

Flood damage not always covered with homeowners policy

Heavy thunderstorms this past week have property owners concerned about flooding and damages being covered, according to one local insurance agent. Mike Walston from Robertson Ryan & Associates in Kewaunee says your homeowner’s policy may only cover some types of flooding.  He explains the three scenarios in which flooding may be covered by your homeowners.



Walston recommends that you check with your insurance agent to find out if that coverage is on your regular homeowner’s policy.  Additional flood insurance policies can be taken out for the replacement cost of any damages, according to Walston.

Dual keyboard piano put to unique use

The dual keyboard piano at Birch Creek Music Performance Center is playing a unique kind of music. It was originally intended to play traditional French classical music and is being used during the Big Band Jazz Shows at Birch Creek. The final time to see the dual keyboard piano playing jazz is Saturday night. Mona Christensen, Executive Director at Birch Creek, says the shows featuring the piano and jazz have just been very unique.



Tickets are still available for the final Big Band Jazz Show at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor. The concert begins at 7:30 PM. Concerts at Birch Creek will take a break after Saturday as the performance center gets ready for the fall concert series. That begins on August 31st.

Festival connects public with artists

You can paint a stained glass goat and hang out with Door County artists from a variety of disciplines this Saturday in Sister Bay. In its 17th year, the Door County Festival of Fine Arts features not just the work of local artists, but also the processes and techniques used to create their pieces. Sister Bay Advancement Association Coordinator Louise Howson says its emerging artists tent is giving two Gibraltar students and an alum an opportunity to show off their work as well.

The Door County Festival of Fine Arts runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Sister Bay’s Waterfront Park. 


Click here for more information on the Door County Festival of Fine Arts

Northern Sky Theater sets opening date for creative campus

It will be "curtains up" when “Dad’s Season Tickets” becomes the first show to play Northern Sky Theater’s Creative Center stage on August 31st. The final touches are being put on the project, which includes the 248-seat Barbara and Spencer Gould Theater in Fish Creek. It has been just over a year since Northern Sky Theater broke ground on the $8 million center, which has artistic director Jeff Herbst excited to have everything they do under one roof.

Tickets still remain for the world public premiere of “Dad’s Season Tickets” on August 31st.

Kewaunee Power Station meeting scheduled

You can weigh in on how the decommissioning of the Kewaunee Power Station near the town of Carlton is going at a meeting next month. The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission scheduled the Kewaunee Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act meeting to help identify best practices and to establish a local community advisory board. This is part of a congressional plan to host 11 such meetings and national webinar to be submitted as a part of the Nuclear Energy Innovation Act passed in  2018. Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Richard Baker says establishing a community advisory board could be beneficial.

The meeting is scheduled to take place on September 24th from 6-9 p.m. at the Town of Carlton Hall. After ceasing operation in 2013, the final stage of the Kewaunee Power Station’s decommissioning is expected to begin in 2069 before being completely closed in 2073.

Long road for Old Quarry RV Development

A plan to build a 117 unit recreational vehicle resort near George K. Pinney Park and Marina in the town of Sevastopol is garnering some attention from local property owners. According to a newsletter sent to members of the Bay Shore Property Owners Association, the 57-acre parcel on the site of an old quarry could be developed in the future by Tom Goelz and Mike Parent in the same style as similar resorts in Michigan. Outside of a submitted conceptual plan, Mariah Goode from the Door County Land Use Department says not much else is known until the developers submit their formal application.

Several hearings will need to take place before a conditional use permit for the land currently zoned for recreational and commercial purposes is granted. Bay Shore Property Owners Association Board Member James Mitsche says the organization has not taken a position on the development yet, but they have formed an ad hoc committee to pull together additional information and suggest courses of action. The Bay Shore Property Owners Association will host a special meeting of its board on Tuesday to discuss the plan.

Vickman to retire from Help of Door County

Help of Door County will be looking for a new executive director for next year.  Steve Vickman, who has been serving as the top official of the organization the past three years notified the board of directors that he will be retiring as of January 1st.  Vickman says the decision was bittersweet but he is proud of the accomplishments made by the organization under his leadership.  He says he is really grateful for talented and dedicated staff.



Vickman says a search is underway for his replacement and that he will stay on during the transition of leadership.  Applications are being accepted now at Help of Door County through August with interviews planned for September.  


Pickleball organizer shares growth of sport and involvement

As the city of Sturgeon Bay makes plans for more pickleball courts in the parks, communities around the country are forming organizations to keep up with one of the fastest-growing sports.  Gordon Statz from Royal Oak, Michigan is part of one of the most active Pickleball organizations in the country that actually took the initiative to help set up and maintain courts in the park system.  He says the ten-year-old club became a formal non-profit organization in the past two years allowing it to do more things.


Statz adds that the group has hosted several major summer pickleball tournaments that have attracted over 250 players the past couple years.  He says funds raised through the tournaments has covered nearly the entire equipment and improvement costs to the courts.  Sturgeon Bay recently announced plans to give pickleball players permanent courts in 2020 at Sunset Park if a $40,000 budget request is approved.  The city is in the process of striping the courts for this summer at Sunset and Otumba Parks. 



(photo courtesy of Southeastern Michigan Pickleball Association) 


Higher lake levels lead to fewer beach closures from e coli bacteria

The rising water levels on Lake Michigan have lead to shoreline erosion and also kept e coli bacteria from forming.  During previous summers, beach closures due to e coli have been common.  Sara Robertson, Director of Algoma's Parks and Recreation Department, says so far this summer e coli has not been a problem.



Robertson says testing for e coli bacteria continues at Crescent Beach and others around Algoma.

Trade war continues assault on farmers

Farmers in Door and Kewaunee Counties were dealt another blow earlier this week when China announced it was canceling all purchases of agriculture products from the United States. The news came as the United States placed a 10 percent tariff on about $300 billion worth of Chinese goods according to Modern Farmer. Rick Adamski, who represents Door and Kewaunee Counties in the Wisconsin Farmers Union, believes the latest blow is politically motivated since well over 70 percent of farmers said they supported President Donald Trump in a recent Farm Pulse Survey. Adamski says farmers are not in a healthy condition right now.

According to the U.S.-China Business Council, $250 million in oilseeds like soybeans and grains were exported to China from Wisconsin. Adamski says the Wisconsin Farmers Union is working towards addressing supply management so a better return on their investment is available.

Descendants attend historical event

Descendants of former lighthouse keepers were in attendance for the 150 year celebration of the Cana Island Lighthouse. On August 7th the public had the opportunity to tour the island and lighthouse for free while also getting to hear stories from former lighthouse keepers’ descendants. The U.S. Coast Guard was also in attendance to raise the flag and let it be known how important the Cana Island Lighthouse has been and will continue to be. Door County Maritime Museum Executive Director Kevin Osgood says that the event will join the previous celebrations as a moment in history.



The Door County Maritime Museum is currently building a new visitor and interpretive center on the island as it continues to restore the physical structure of the lighthouse.

Local pharmacy growing as Walgreens future in doubt

We’re not sure if the Sturgeon Bay Walgreens store is on the list of 200 to close but a local pharmacy owner says the trend is looking like to be for less big box chain pharmacies.  Walgreens plans to shutter 200 stores in the country which represents about three percent of its 10,000 locations in the U.S.  Jake Blazkovec, pharmacist and owner of Bay Hometown Pharmacy in Sturgeon Bay says he believes people are looking for more of a local connection when dealing with medications and prescriptions. 



Blazkovec adds that Hometown Pharmacy has grown from 29 locations when Bay Hometown Pharmacy opened in 2015 to 70 locations in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula.  Walgreens reportedly does not plan to release a complete list of store closures.   

Humane Society funds to be directed to stay local

The town of Sturgeon Bay is making sure its contributions to the Humane Society of Wisconsin stay in Door County. The concern was originally brought up during its July meeting by the town board after a recent fund drive. At its August meeting, Board member Carol Schuster says they were told that if funds donated to the Wisconsin Humane Society were to stay in Door County, it had to be designated for that particular campus.

The Door County Humane Society consolidated with four other affiliates of the Wisconsin Humane Society last year to save on costs.

Algoma School District aids student transition

Algoma School District is making sure its students do not get lost in the shuffle of changing grades. The district is hosting an open house for new middle and high school students on August 15th so they can get used to their new expectations. Students will even go through a mock day just so they can get used to everyday details like passing periods and lockers. Algoma Superintendent Nick Cochart also serves as the middle and high school principal and says kids need to get over the myths of the transition.


Algoma Elementary School will host its open house on August 28th in advance of the district’s first day of classes on September 3rd.

Door County Land Trust reaches goal for Pebble Beach Restoration

It took just two weeks for the Door County Land Trust to reach its $500,000 goal for its preservation efforts of Sister Bay’s Pebble Beach. A generous donation by Sister Bay’s Bob and Mary Wiley helped close the gap for the $2.5 million purchase of the area, which includes 17 acres of undeveloped land and 600 feet of shoreline.  Door County Land Trust Executive Director Tom Clay told last month that their work will not be done just because they raised the money.

The land surrounding Pebble Beach is being purchased with assistance from the Village of Sister Bay through possible future funds from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program and a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Door County Land Trust expects to close on the property in September. 

Legislators offer contrary views on phone-in meetings

State Senator Dave Hansen and Rep. Joel Kitchens feel differently when it comes to calling into committee meetings in Madison.  The debate has grabbed national headlines after Democratic Assembly member Jimmy Anderson charged Speaker Robin Vos with excluding him from committee hearings because of his disability. Rep. Anderson is paralyzed from the chest down as a result of a car accident in 2010 and requires the assistance of health aides to help with many tasks. Senator Hansen says Democrats and Republicans routinely call into committee meeting in the state Senate and believes they are not disruptive.

The few times Rep. Kitchens has called into meetings in the past he felt he was not a part of the process.  Rep. Kitchens is the committee chairperson for the environment committee Rep. Anderson sits on and says if he was asked, he would make accommodations.

Rep. Anderson told last week that he has a right to call into meetings because of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Sonny's trolley approved for use

You will now be able to get a pedal cart tour through parts of downtown Sturgeon Bay while having a drink. The Sturgeon Bay city council voted on Tuesday to approve Sonny’s Restaurant and Pizzeria pedal trolley. Jason Estes, owner of Sonny’s, says rides will begin on August 12th. He has received great feedback from people who can’t wait to try the trolley.



The pedal cart tours can be scheduled between 10 AM and 10 PM, originating at Sonny's to go to Sturgeon Bay’s east side. Beer and wine will not be sold on the carts but passengers are allowed to bring up to three 12-ounce beers or wine drinks. The pedal trolley must be reserved before taking it out at



Women's Fund of Door County celebrates 10 years of impacting community

The Women’s Fund of Door County celebrated their ten-year anniversary of work in the area with the annual luncheon at Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay on Wednesday.  Over 340 people attended the event that began with a panel discussion on the topic, “Women thriving in Door County Business:  What Can We Learn and How Can We Do Better”.  Co-Chair Jennifer Moeller says the Women’s Fund of Door County is committed to making a positive impact in the community through grants and special programs.



Kim Anderson Kelleher, a Gibraltar High School graduate, was the keynote speaker at the luncheon.  She shared her journey from Door County to New York where she has worked in media, marketing, and advertising as a publisher for Time and Sports Illustrated.  Since 2018, the Women’s Fund of Door County has awarded over 90 grants to non-profit organizations and area schools including a dozen in the past year.  You can see a video from the Women’s Fund of Door County 10th Annual Celebrate Women! Luncheon below.



Algoma fishing competition teaches lessons to the next generation.

A local fishing competition provides children and their families the opportunity to win prizes while also learning life lessons. The Algoma Shanty Day’s Fishing Contest kicked off on August 7th and runs through August 11th. The competition is open to children and adults of all ages and has the opportunity to win more than $1,000 worth of cash and prizes. The money and prize items are not the only things participants will receive though, they will also have the opportunity to learn environmental and conservation lessons as well. Tournament organizer Kevin Naze says that he started this event over 30 years ago as a way to give back to the community where he grew up.



Tickets for the event range in price from $3 to $10 and all tickets are entered in the random drawing. The award ceremony will be at 9 A.M. on August 11th and Naze says that everyone who attends the ceremony will go home with some sort of prize. If you would like to find out more information on the Shanty Day’s Fishing Contest you can visit their website or Facebook page.

Struggling Sturgeon Bay family stuck with big bill

A Sturgeon Bay family of six, including one child with a serious medical condition, is not only facing foreclosure on their home for the past six years but also a $3,000 bill from the City of Sturgeon Bay for sidewalk installation in front of their 7th Avenue home.


Jaclyn Paszczak appeared during a public hearing at Tuesday’s meeting of the Sturgeon Bay city council and asked for a break.



City policy for new residential developments is to have the cost of sidewalk installation paid for by the developer. In cases where that has not happened in the past, the practice is for the homeowner to be assessed. That sticks a struggling family with an unexpected $3,000 bill.


That policy, Paszczak says is just not fair. She explained that it is very stressful for a family facing the issues she is dealing with to be surprised by such a significant unanticipated cost. She told that her family is hopeful that the cost of sidewalk installations can be spread over all the taxpayers of Sturgeon Bay and not one individual family.

Horseshoe Bay Farms enters second phase of preservation

Eight months after the purchase of Horseshoe Bay Farms in Door County, the nonprofit organization has hired a design firm to help preserve and rehabilitate the historic site.  TEN x TEN, a landscape architectural company from Minnesota, will begin working on a master plan for the farm property that is on the state and national register of historic places.    Andy Gill, a board member of Horseshoe Bay Farms Incorporated, shares some of the work that is currently being done to the original nine barn structures.



Gill says two historic cottages that were located along the shoreline were moved last year to the 8.5 acres of farm property for preservation and future use.  He says the master plan includes hosting public engagement opportunities and eventually making Horseshoe Bay Farms a destination and possible tourist attraction.  



(photo courtesy of Horseshoe Bay Farms) 


Thomas "Cap" Wulf turns city council meeting into episode of "To Tell the Truth"

Former Sturgeon Bay city council and Waterfront Redevelopment Authority members Thomas “Cap” Wulf turned a Tuesday joint meeting of the plan commission and city council into an episode of the old television game show “To Tell the Truth.”

Wulf spoke during the public comment period in opposition to the ad hoc westside waterfront planning committee. He said that he had a confidential conversation with the lead consultant for the firm that was hired to develop a waterfront plan for the city.



Wulf’s accusation was emphatically denied by Ed Freer, the consultant for the company hired by the city, Short Elliot Hendrickson of Madison.



Wulf used the public comment period during the council meeting to again state he was told in a private, confidential conversation that the city tied the hands of potential developers.



Wulf has been an outspoken critic of preserving the Teweles and Brandeis granary and the development agreement with the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation.


Tuesday’s meeting, however, is not the first time Wulf has been accused of not telling the truth. A headline in the Madison Capital Times “Tort reform supporter bends truth about own legal history” includes information about Wulf telling State Rep. Tony Staskunas that he never needed to sue anyone. That was refuted in the newspaper article which cited eleven cases ranging from $84.61 to $4,000 in which Wulf, as president of Wulf Brothers Inc., sued others.


The article also pointed out that Wulf was caught and fined the maximum monetary amount of $10,000 for “leveraging information he was privy to as a council member to successfully bid on the heating contract for a $2.5 million development project.”

Sturgeon Bay waterfront plan moves forward

The work of the Sturgeon Bay Westside Waterfront Planning Committee received another strong endorsement Tuesday during a joint meeting of the Sturgeon Bay City Plan Commission and City Council.

A near-unanimous vote means the city will move forward on a plan drafted by a diverse group of citizens with varying interests in Sturgeon Bay’s westside waterfront.

City Development Director Marty Olejniczak explained that not everyone got what they wanted but everybody got something.


Plan Commission member Dennis Statz said the work of the ad hoc committee was better than the original waterfront development plan.



Statz called the Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator the most historic and pivotal structure still existing in Sturgeon Bay.  (Listen to complete comments at end of this story)



City council member Kirsten Reeths called the plan good but then joined Plan Commission member Jeff Norland in voting against it.



Mayor David Ward said he favors accepting the report as a conceptual plan and considers it a starting point.



Recommendations include reducing the number of tugs to be moored on the waterfront and moving the granary closer to the Oregon Street bridge. Sturgeon Bay business owner Jeff Tebon called on the council to hold a referendum vote on where the granary should be located. Tebon cited the view of the bridges when approaching on Neenah Avenue as something the city should preserve.




Tebon said he is not for or against the granary but is concerned about its location.

The original development agreement with the City of Sturgeon Bay and Sturgeon Bay Historical Society Foundation calls for the granary to be permanently returned to its original location. The ad hoc Waterfront Planning Committee report suggests moving the grain elevator a few hundred feet closer to Maple Street at the Oregon Street bridge.


Dennis Statz full comments:



Click below for the full 41-page report by Ad Hoc Committee:

Door County Beekeepers Club teaching families about bees

You and your children have a chance to learn about bees and beekeeping in Sturgeon Bay later this month. The Door County Beekeepers Club is hosting a community honey harvest at Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay on August 24th. Members of the beekeepers club will be extracting honey from hives that you will be able to eat there. Protective bee suits for adults and children will be available to wear so you can get up close to the bees. Mark Lentz, co-president of the Door County Beekeepers Club, says the club wants to get children interested in bees so they will have a bigger interest in protecting them in the future.



The overuse of pesticides and losing habitats are major threats to bees all the over the country according to Lentz. He adds that about 42% of the bee population died off in 2018 in the United States. The community honey harvest will begin at 9 AM and will last until noon at Crossroads on the 24th.

Sail Training Foundation concluding sailing lessons this week

The end of another successful sailing season for the Sail Training Foundation in Sturgeon Bay is wrapping up this week.  About 85 children and 15 adults participated this summer and learned the skill of sailing a boat.  Since 1952 the Sail Training Foundation has offered classes at the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club.  Program Director David Robertson says the Sturgeon Bay channel is a perfect backdrop for sailing lessons.



Robertson says as the student’s progress they access the outer bay and beyond the two bridges as far as waters off Potawatomi State Park.  The Sail Training Foundation will hold their annual end of season celebration and awards banquet next Monday.  You can find more information on the Sail Training Foundation and sessions offered with the link below.


(photo courtesy of Sail Training Foundation)


Richard Rose Culinary growing and getting national exposure

Some fine wooden kitchenware made in Door County has come a long way in two years and is gaining national attention.  Richard Rose Culinary moved its retail operation called Cutting Boards and More to a larger store on Jefferson Street in Sturgeon Bay.  Richard Odea and Rose Miranda initially wanted to sell their unique cutting boards and other wooden kitchenware at their own retail location as well as online.  Rose Miranda says she fell in love with Door County during an Odea family wedding.  She says the proximity to raw materials made the decision to move from Tucson to Sturgeon Bay very easy.



The handcrafted cutting boards and other items are made at the DCEDC Business Development Center, where additional manufacturing equipment was recently installed.  Richard Rose Culinary is known for making kitchenware of all shapes and sizes.  Miranda says their product quality is gaining national exposure.



In addition to Richard Rose Culinary wood products, the Cutting Boards and More shop also sells other Door County products.  Those include   “Chocolate Chicken” coffees and candies, “Cherry De-Lite” products, “Sweetie Pies,” “Uncle Tom’s” candies and products made by “A Sturgeon Bay Bowl Turner and Potters.”

Area farmers seeing crop improvement with corn and soybeans

Local farmers are benefiting from favorable weather lately that is boosting their late-planted crops.  A slow start to the planting season that was delayed by a couple of weeks from heavy rainfall in early May has rebounded nicely, according to Rich Olson of Olson Family Farm in southern Door County.  Olson is optimistic that this year’s crop will still be bountiful.


Olson says the field corn is typically chopped for silage in September while soybeans in early October.  He expects the harvest to be a week or two later this fall.  Corn prices which hit an all-time high of $8 a bushel nationally in 2012 were at $4.05 a bushel as of Tuesday, according to    


Business education helped rear admiral from Sturgeon Bay move through ranks

Sturgeon Bay native and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Paul Schlies says much of what he needed to know about leadership came from his business education.  Schlies attended Marquette University and graduated in 1989 with a degree in business administration.  He says no matter what a sailors' rank is business and military principles have a lot of interchangeability.



Rear Admiral Schlies was named Commander of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group on June 21st.  He previously served as deputy commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet in Bahrain.

Classic and Wooden Boat Festival closes out Maritime Week festivities

It is full steam ahead for Maritime Week in Sturgeon Bay. Starting last Saturday, Maritime Week hosts a number of different events not just celebrating the area’s heritage but also its local Coast Guard members, veterans, and their families. Capping the week off is the Classic and Wooden Boat Festival held at the Door County Maritime Museum. In its 29th year, the Classic and Wooden Boat Festival features a number of historic and beautiful vessels in its parking lot and activities along the city’s west waterfront. Door County Maritime Museum deputy director Sam Perlman says one of its most popular events, the Sikaflex Boat Building Challenge, is also returning.

The Classic and Wooden Boat Festival takes place this Saturday and Sunday beginning at 10 a.m.


You can find more information about this event by clicking this link.

Door and Kewaunee Counties represented at state fair

With their local shows in the rearview mirror, youth from Door and Kewaunee Counties hit the Wisconsin State Fair this weekend in search of success. Kewaunee County’s Charlene Robinson, Isabella Haen, and Paige Bellin along with Door County’s Katie Guilette participated in Monday’s Fairest of the Fair reunion while local projects lined the Wisconsin State Fair’s youth exposition hall. Busy Badger 4-H member Matthew Boeder arrived at the fair earlier this week with his rabbits and sheep along with other project participants. He says showing at the state fair is a lot different than the county fair.

Royal Raider 4-H member Marie Prodell is the lone Kewaunee County representative exhibiting in the beef show, but she says it is a great time for her to catch up with other exhibitors in the Wisconsin Junior Hereford Association.

You will be able to catch a glimpse of the projects exhibited by youth from Door and Kewaunee Counties through the Wisconsin State Fair’s close on August 11th. Later this week we will catch up with members of the Kewaunee County Dairy Project, which won over 10 supreme, grand, or reserve champion awards for their cattle.



Open house scheduled to ease Gibraltar student confusion

Construction projects at Gibraltar Area Schools could leave some students feeling a little lost on their first day of classes in September.  The district’s $4 million-plus project includes a new security entrance, a remodeled library/media center, and new classrooms. As a result, parts of the school will be closed to students and staff and even some courses will be taught in mobile classrooms in the district’s parking lot. Gibraltar Area Schools Superintendent Tina Van Meer hopes an open house for students on August 28th from 4 to 5 p.m. will help them become more familiar with where they will need to go on day one.

Van Meer says even with some minor issues along the way, the projects are still expected to be finished on time for a completion date shortly after the district’s holiday break.

Baldwin looks to expand Great Lakes Restoration InitiativeĀ 

U. S. Senator Tammy Baldwin introduced a bill that will continue the funding for the Great Lakes restoration.  The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2019 reauthorizes the initiative for another five years while incrementally increasing the funding from the current $300 million levels to $475 million by 2026.  Sen. Baldwin says the bi-partisan legislation is critical for the health of the region, including Door and Kewaunee counties.



Baldwin co-sponsored the bill with ten other senators along with 40 members of the House of Representatives.  Since 2010, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has provided more than $2.5 billion to fund over 4,700 projects throughout the Great Lakes region. 


Algoma Youth Club keeping kids busy in summer

With children still a few weeks away from returning to school, the Algoma Youth Club is giving adolescents a place to socialize and entertain themselves.  Sara Robertson, director of the Algoma Parks & Rec Department, says the building, known locally for years as the old “dugout” is a great place for youth to meet and just hang out.



Robertson says the Algoma Youth Club is open from 6:30 until 10 pm on Friday and Saturdays now and will be open additionally on Wednesday nights when school starts.  She says one adult supervisor with one high schooler is on duty in the summer while three people are staffed during the busier school year. 



Caring for pets during the "dog days" of summer

The so-called dog days of summer are here and a local veterinarian is offering some advice on keeping your pets safe during the traditionally hottest month of the year.  Dr. Jordan Kobilca of the Door County Veterinary Hospital and Luxemburg Pet Clinic says extreme heat and direct sunshine can be dangerous for your dog.



 Dr. Jordan adds that dogs can suffer from heatstroke and sunburn much like humans.  He says pets showing signs of excessive panting and difficulty breathing, along with lethargy or weakness may be suffering from heatstroke.  Pets should be brought into a cool place Dr. Jordan advises and taken to a veterinarian immediately. 


Differences between a will and an estate plan

As people plan for succession in business or the distribution of family assets, decisions and wishes should be put in writing, according to many local experts.  Attorney Bob Ross of Ross Estate Planning in Sturgeon Bay explains the major differences between a simple will and an estate plan.



Ross adds that an estate plan requires conversations with family members and even your doctor.  He says that way any end-of-life decisions are made in advance and your wealth and values are passed on to your family members.

Fake websites scamming anglers and hunters

Anglers and hunters in Door County need to make sure they’re not buying their licenses from scam websites. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says they know of two websites that are taking fees for hunting and fishing licenses and then only giving away information on how to get your licenses. These rogue sites are also collecting personal data. Chris Kratcha, the Conservation Warden stationed in Sturgeon Bay, says the best way to make sure you’re getting a real license is to go through the GoWild website.



Kratcha adds if you think you’ve been scammed to contact the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Vaping causing lung disease in Door County

Door County teenagers and young adults have recently gotten sick from vaping. In all, 11 people from Wisconsin have come down with fatigue, chest pain and shortness of breath. For another seven people, it is suspected vaping made them sick. Sue Powers, Door County Public Health Officer, says tobacco is changing and parents need to be aware of what’s available now.



Some who have gotten sick have gone so far as needing a machine to help them breathe. A few have recovered from treatment. It is unclear whether all who have developed lung disease will recover fully. Powers adds there are no definitive studies about the long-term effects of e-cigarettes and vaping.

Getting kids back into the school routine

The director of a northern Door County daycare facility says parents need to get kids ready to go back to school earlier than later. During summer break children are usually allowed more freedom and will get off the routine they had been doing during the school year. Karen Corekin-DeLaMer the Education and Community Relations Coordinator for Northern Door Children Center recommends starting to get your children back into the school routine a couple of weeks before school starts.



Getting your children on the routine early will help them prepare for getting up early in the morning and get used to the school schedule.

New LEGION Act triples qualified veterans

More than 6 million U.S. veterans will now be qualified to receive benefits from the American Legion. Recently, President Trump signed into law the LEGION Act which extends the ongoing declared period of war back to 1941 and also reduced the number of eligibility periods from seven to two. Originally, veterans were only qualified to receive benefits from the American Legion if they served during the seven periods of war which were determined by congress. Now all veterans who served during World War I and from Pearl Harbor day onward will be eligible to receive them. Deb Logerquist the Commander of American Legion Post 72 in Sturgeon Bay says this has been long overdue.



Some of the benefits that the eligible veterans are now able to receive include insurance, veteran discounts and the access to assistant service officers.

Last chance to get felt Christmas ornaments at Door County Library book sale.

You’ll only have one more chance to purchase a popular holiday ornament when you go to the next Door County Library book sale. The event will be held Monday, August 5th through the Thursday, August 9th at the Fish Creek Library from 11 A.M. to 5 P.M with all the proceeds going to benefit the library. On Monday and Tuesday only, there will be the chance to buy Barb Bicker’s felt Christmas ornaments and Door County Library Community Relations Library Assistant Morgan Mann says this will be the final time Bickers is doing this.



The Door County Library will have another book sale on August 31st at Sister Bay Village Hall. If you would like to find out more information on Door County Library or look at their upcoming events you can visit their website or Facebook page. 

Rural roads provide danger for motorists

Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says stop signs can provide just as much danger for motorists as big hills and tight turns on rural roads. Controlled intersections are where only one of the intersecting roadways has a stop or yield sign to alert traveling motorists. Joski says the confusion that can take place if you are not paying attention is why controlled intersections are among the most dangerous in the county.

Joski recommends drivers eliminate all distractions and practice defensive driving when traveling. You can read more about this topic online with this story.




     I always enjoy getting feedback on these articles and am appreciative of any suggestions for future article topics. This week is one such request and it focuses on controlled intersections. As we review the various vehicle accidents over the past few years, we look for areas of our county where there is a greater potential for accidents than others. In looking over the many road factors such as curves, hills, or even road conditions, one factor stands out among the rest and that is the existence of a controlled intersection.

     A controlled intersection is where one of the roadways has right of way with no stop sign or yield sign, while the intersecting roadway is controlled by either a stop sign, stop light, or yield sign. It is easy to see where this could become a hazardous environment as the potential for one or both of the vehicles to make a maneuver which could place both vehicles in harm’s way.

     While the vehicle approaching the intersection with the control device has an obligation to stop or yield, it is also incumbent on the vehicle with the right of way to understand their role in a potential accident. Many times I am asked “What are the most dangerous intersections?” and my response surprises most people. Many expect that the intersections with poor visibility are the greatest risk, which we have found not to be true, and this is why. Those intersections which have poor visibility are approached with a greater level of caution. Those intersections with a good field of view in all directions are minimized and the due regard given when approaching them is often at best complacent. Those traveling with the right of way many times assume that the vehicle at the stop sign sees them, and many times those approaching the intersection with the control aren’t as vigilant.

      The question was also asked about who has right of way at a four way stop when two vehicles arrive at the same time? The answer is that you always yield to the right. This may be confusing as with the advent of roundabouts, you yield to the vehicle from the left.

     A big part of navigating safely not only when approaching controlled intersections, but also driveway approaches, merging lanes or even oncoming traffic is to always practice good defensive driving habits. Never assume that the vehicle coming at you in the opposite lane is going to stay in that lane. Don’t assume that the vehicle in a driveway is not going to pull out in front of you. In the same respect if you are stopped in your lane attempting to make a left turn, keep your eyes not only on the traffic coming at you from the front, but also those vehicles approaching from behind you who may not realize you are in fact stopped in traffic.

     Unfortunately, in today’s culture we tend practice more “Offensive Driving” than “Defensive Driving”. Many times our focus is elsewhere, and by the time we realize the reality it is too late. Operating a motor vehicle is both an amazing privilege and a massive responsibility. Whether you are a new driver navigating the roads with limited experience or a veteran driver who has logged thousands of miles, your propensity for an accident are very similar. The first may make errors due to lack of experience or judgment, while the second group may make mistakes due to complacency and unchecked bad habits. Last year I provided some information on a skills test which any one of us can take just brush up on our driving knowledge. I would like offer this again. Please go to our website at and click on the

 “” link. I wish everyone safe travels throughout the rest of the summer and beyond!

Algoma Library Friends annual Shanty Days Sidewalk Special Sale offers a variety of items

A big variety of items will be available at this year’s Algoma Library Friends annual event. From August 9th to the 11th many different genres of books, DVD’s, puzzles and more will be up for purchase at this year’s Shanty Days Sidewalk Special Sale. The event will be held at the Algoma Book Corner which is directly across the street from the Fire Department and Algoma Library Friends volunteer Sally Peterson says all the profits go to helping finance purchases for the library.



The Algoma Book Corner is open on Fridays, Saturdays and some Sundays from 11 A.M. - 3 P.M. If you would like to find out more information on the event or the Algoma Book Corner you can visit their Facebook page.

U.S. Coast Guard thankful for community support

After receiving tons of support from the Door County community earlier this year, members of the U.S. Coast Guard returned the favor at a fundraiser for Adopt a Soldier on Saturday in Sturgeon Bay. During the event, children were able to go on a Coast Guard boat and learn about all the different parts and functions it has. BM3 Jacob Hallam says the support they’ve received has been impactful, especially when Adopt-a-Soldier provided gas and grocery gift cards during the government shutdown.



The U.S. Coast guard plans to be at all upcoming Adopt-a-Soldier events.

Launching Your Kayak for Door County Smallies

With over 300 miles of shoreline there are plenty of places to launch your kayak
to find Door County smallmouth bass.  Here are a few great places to launch
where you can find smallies to catch and release this time of year. Most kayak anglers stay close to shore, where, in shallower water and around docks you’ll always find fish.  Although, they tend to be smaller, but, still fun. Bigger fish can be found in deeper, 8 to 20-foot depths.

I suggest heading north from Sturgeon Bay and a good starting point is launching
at Murphy Park and fishing Horseshoe Bay to the north. There are many roads in
Door County that dead-end at the water making great access points to good
fishing.  Along White Cliff Road going north out of Egg Harbor there are several of
these roads that get you onto the east shore of Egg Harbor and south end of
Juddville Bay, nice locations to find smallies.

In Peninsula Park, there’s a great kayak launch at Tennison Bay.  Launching at the Sister Bay Park puts you on smallies both north and south.  There’s a nice launch at Garrett’s Bay that gets you on the bass there and Hedgehog Harbor. On the Lake Michigan side is the free DNR launch for Rowleys Bay.  The bays farther south all have places to launch and hold smallies, however, not in the numbers you see on the Green Bay side.

If you are looking to do some Door County kayak fishing, use these tips, but, also
get on Google Maps to find those roads that dead-end at the water and other
access points. The wonderful thing about Door County is that even if the fish
aren’t biting, you are kayaking in some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable,
a real bonus. And, our Door County smallmouth bass get a tremendous amount of fishing pressure, so, please practice catch and release!  If you have any questions, I’m always happy to help at

Algoma Library visitors asked to help supply teachers

Those looking for some new late summer reads at the Algoma Public Library are being asked to help teachers keep their classroom supplied this fall.  The library and the Algoma Optimist Club are asking parents to consider buying some extra pencils, notebooks or erasers and placing them in a pair of bins at the library.  The donated items will then be given to instructors at a Teachers Meet and Greet event at the library. Katie Haasch, Adult Service Librarian, says small donations make a big difference for students and teachers who sometimes have to reach into their own pockets to pay for supplies.



School supplies will be collected at the Algoma Public Library on Fremont Street through August 27th.

Food stamps cutbacks will impact Door County workers and their kids

A proposal to reduce the number of food stamp recipients would be felt in Door County, although it's not yet known how many people would be impacted.  The Trump Administration is proposing nearly $230-billion in cutbacks to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, over the next decade.  The proposal calls for a nearly $17-and-a-half billion dollar cut in 2020.  Joe Krebsbach, Door County Director of Health and Human Services, says even though it's not known which clients would be removed from the program any cutbacks concern him.



Since 2011, federal figures show the average monthly benefit per recipient has fallen from nearly $134 each month to about $126.

Common Council meets earlier for west side waterfront hearing

Discussion for the future of the west side waterfront is forcing Sturgeon Bay Common Council members to meet an hour earlier on Tuesday. It will join the city plan commission for a public hearing on the recommendations made by the Ad Hoc West Waterfront Planning Committee before each governing body votes on it. That meeting will begin at 6 p.m. inside the council chambers at Sturgeon Bay City Hall. Following that meeting at 7 p.m., the Sturgeon Bay Common Council will convene for its regularly scheduled Tuesday session. After the council weighs in on allowing commercial quadricycles, alderperson Gary Nault will reintroduce efforts to make changes in the city’s development agreement with the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society. He wants the council to consider a liquidated damages clause in the development agreement and for the city to remove its obligation to accept the donation from the foundation of the Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator.

DCEDC tabs Sturgeon Bay native for workforce development

A Sturgeon Bay native with corporate success in southeast Wisconsin is coming home to aid workforce development efforts for the Door County Economic Development Corporation.  Kelsey Fox, a 2005 Sturgeon Bay High School alumnus, previously worked for OneTouchPoint Communications Group and Briggs and Stratton.  DCEDC Executive Director Jim Schuessler says Fox will bring marketing and communication skills needed to promote Door County to employers and job hunters alike.



Kelsey Fox will be introduced to the DCEDC Board of Directors when it meets August 12th.

YMCA partners with Southern Door School District

The Southern Door School District is getting a little extra assistance with its after school program this fall thanks to a federal grant.  Called the 21C Program, it is offered to students in kindergarten through fifth grade and will include working on math and reading skills, improving interpersonal and cooperative skills, and there will be field trips as well. The Door County YMCA-facilitated program does not just help the students. Site Director Stephanie Dejardin says the families of the students receive help too.



If you are interested in the 21C Program you can call the Barker Center in Sturgeon Bay for more information

Packed house for Adopt-a-Soldier fundraiser

The Door County community was out in full force to support Adopt-a-Soldier at their fundraiser on Saturday. The pancake breakfast fundraiser was held at the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department firehouse where a check for $23,000 was presented. Founder and Director of Adopt-a-Soldier Door County Nancy Hutchinson says she appreciates all the support they’ve received.




Adopt-a-Soldier recently sent out 160 boxes for Labor Day and will be beginning the prep for Halloween in September. 

Fair provides celebration for dairy families

As their industry struggles around them, the Door County Fair provides a place of joy for area dairy families. Economic hardships have left about eight families remaining in Door County to show dairy cows at the fair, many of which are being represented in the fairgrounds’ cattle barn. Jim Wautier has been the Door County Fair’s dairy superintendent since a new barn was built on the grounds over 20 years ago. His roots in showing dairy cattle at the Door County Fair dates back to the 1950s. He says the fair families are close-knit.

While some won ribbons in the show ring during Friday’s competition, all will make some money during the fair thanks to a local cheesemaker buying the milk produced during their five-day residency.

Northern Sky's Grandberry juggles summer roles

If you thought remembering your lines for one musical was tough, talk to Northern Sky Theater’s Lachrisa Grandberry. She is featured in all three shows of Northern Sky Theater’s summer slate, which includes “Windjammers,” “We Like It Where?” and “Dairy Heirs.” While she is still getting used to the bugs that tend to fly past her on stage at Peninsula State Park, Grandberry says she loves the people and the challenges of performing in different kinds of weather.

Grandberry is a freelance artist who performs in Milwaukee and Chicago when not at Northern Sky Theater. Her second summer season at Northern Sky Theater ends on August 24th.

Efforts forming for Door County ice arena

Madison resident and aspiring Sturgeon Bay business owner Casey Stankewicz hopes he and others are able to generate enough support locally to build Door County’s first indoor ice arena. The unpredictable weather in Door County the last few winters has generated limited ice time at outdoor rinks located in Sturgeon Bay and Sister Bay. The closest rinks for hockey, figure skating, and curling are close to an hour away in Green Bay where ice time is competitively scarce.  Stankewicz recently went to a Sturgeon Bay Parks and Recreation Committee meeting and is also talking to county residents like retired hockey coach Joe Baldarotta to “get the puck sliding” in the right direction. He believes an indoor ice arena would be a tremendous asset to the community.

Stankewicz hopes to pick up the pieces from past efforts to help create the ice arena and operate it as a non-profit.

Future plans for the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society

Even though the 50th anniversary of the moon landing has passed, the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society is still celebrating. The organization will continue with the Apollo series and go into some of the sky labs, satellites and space stations that followed the moon landing. Door Peninsula Astronomical Society President Dave Lenius says they have a viewing night on Saturday where you can see a number of astronomical sights.



The viewing will begin at 7:00 P.M. regardless of sky conditions.  

Disabled state rep may sue over no phone meetings

A Wisconsin state representative is hoping that his ordeal will eventually give more attention to disabled people in places like Door and Kewaunee counties and throughout the State of Wisconsin. Wisconsin State Rep Jimmy Anderson, a Democrat for the 47th District in Fitchburg, is paralyzed from the chest down and is not being allowed by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to participate in committee meetings by phone.  Vos, a Republican from Rochester, says having someone phone into meetings can lead to things being disruptive and ineffective. The State Assembly does not allow members to phone into meetings now, but that could be overturned with a vote. The State Senate does allow for phone-ins. Anderson says he has a right to call into meetings because of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and is considering suing for the right to do that. 



Anderson says a silver lining of this situation is more attention gets paid to the issues of people with disabilities. 



Anderson was paralyzed in 2010 when a drunk driver hit the vehicle he was in, killing his parents and brother. 

Caretaking a full-time job for fair kids

Though they might sneak to midway for a ride or two during the Door County Fair’s five days, many of the exhibitors put in a full day’s work every day. Barns are busy in the morning as exhibitors feed and water their animals as well as switch out their bedding so they have a clean place to sleep. Show days mean an extra bath and pampering before they hit the ring later in the day. Meghan LaCrosse of the East Maplewood Beavers is in her last year of showing beef cattle at the fair and shows up at 7 a.m. to care for her animals. She says it is hard but rewarding work.

Fellow member Fiona Battle’s exhibiting career is in its early stages with her rabbits, ducks, turkey, and chickens. She says taking care of her animals in the small animal and poultry building is one of her favorite things to do.

Animals at the fair will be exhibited through the event’s close on Sunday.



Presentation attendance leaves water quality advocate frustrated

Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin Executive Director Dean Hoegger is disappointed with how their invitation to a presentation last week was received by the nearly 60 people they personally invited. Held at the Door County Community Foundation, the presentation focused on the cancer-causing traits of coal-tar based sealants often used on parking lots. The Clean Water Action Council sent invitations to government officials and school district administrators to the presentation, citing the importance of switching to sealants without toxic polycyclics. Of the 60 invitations, only two attended. Hoegger says it was frustrating to see, especially since the invitations were made in the name of children’s health.

He says for a few bucks more, parking lot pavers could rely on less toxic latex or asphalt-based sealants. Sheboygan, Manitowoc, and soon Green Bay have already passed ordinances banning the use of coal tar-based sealants.

Construction at Sevastopol School still on schedule

The $25 million construction project at Sevastopol school is still going according to schedule. The construction project will be replacing the two oldest sections of the school which date back to 1924 and 1946. The final designs for the project are expected to be determined by the end of October or early November, with the bidding process taking place in January or February. Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says that they are hoping to start the construction in the second half of the school year.



The plan is to move into the new sections of the school in the fall of 2021. In a separate project, the school is also renovating their 1965 gym and cafeteria.

Midsummer's combining music and poetry

Poetry and music will combine to create beautiful art in Sturgeon Bay on Saturday night. “Piano Virtuoso as Composer” will be performed by Midsummer’s Music at Hope United Church in Sturgeon Bay starting at 7 PM. Midsummer’s Music sent a piece of music from the concert to a poet from Write On Door County. That poet will read a poem they wrote inspired by the music at the concert. Midsummer’s Music Executive Director Allyson Fleck says when music and poetry combine, it can make beautiful art. 



Tickets are still available for "Piano Virtuoso as Composer" at Hope United Church. They cost $29 for adults, $10 for students and kids 12 and under are free.

New icebreaker would benefit Door and Kewaunee counties

Door County, Kewaunee County and Northeast Wisconsin would benefit greatly from a new U.S. Coast Guard Great Lakes icebreaker.  The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee approved a bill this week authorizing a new Mackinac-class ice cutter for the Great Lakes.  James Weakley, President of the Lake Carriers Association, says area shipyards, utilities and manufacturers rely on icebreakers to bring in supplies during the winter.  He adds last winter's conditions took a toll on the current cutter fleet.


The Sturgeon Bay-based cutter Mobile Bay was also out of service last winter while undergoing life-extension renovation on the East Coast.  Weakley says a new icebreaker could also mean new business for area shipyards.


The authorization bill for the new Great Lakes icebreaker is expected to go before the full Senate after the August recess.

Minor car improvements can help in the long run

A Sturgeon Bay auto technician says that getting minor fixes on the body of your vehicle can help the vehicle run better and longer. Scratches, bumps and dings on the body of your vehicle can eventually lead to costly repairs if left untreated. Randy Sahs, owner of Sahs Auto Collision and Service Center says that a minor scratch down to the primer could get corroded due to the salt and chemicals being put on our roads and highways.



Other tips that can help keep your car running better and longer include getting a routine inspection done and also testing your battery. 

Staats to donate animal sale funds to Adopt-a-Soldier

Buying a pig at the Door County Quality Market Animal Sale on Saturday night could have a tremendous impact that will be felt around the world. Sturgeon Bay’s Braelyn Staats is donating the proceeds from the sale of her pig Star to Adopt-a-Soldier Door County. Staats’ father Jason is currently serving in Afghanistan with the Wisconsin National Guard and frequently receives care packages from the organization. In her first year showing pigs at the Door County Fair, Staats is looking forward to helping Adopt-a-Solider Door County as a thank you for everything they have done for her family.

Staats and Star will first hit the show ring Saturday morning in the pig show before the Door County Quality Market Animal Sale kicks off later at 7 p.m. For many, the money earned from the sale of their animals goes towards their future college education.



Altrusa continues back to school tradition

On Saturday, Altrusa International of Door County will be holding their 21st annual Back to School Fair. The project helps Door County children and families be prepared for the first day of school by providing them with necessary items. During the event, over 600 qualified children will receive backpacks, a box with grade specific school supplies, a school spirit shirt, toiletries, and a certificate for gym shoes and socks. Altrusa member Nancy Kexel-Calabresa says this isn’t the only educational event the organization does, they have a Reading Friends program as well.

This event is not open to the public, but you can always donate money to Altrusa for next year’s fair.

Senator Baldwin secures authorization for new icebreaker for Great Lakes

Bi-partisan legislation to authorize an additional Coast Guard icebreaker passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee Wednesday is headed to the full Senate.  U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin says the authorization for the U.S. Coast Guard to procure the icebreaker will help improve an inadequate icebreaking capability that cost the U.S. economy over $1 million and 5,000 jobs.  She says the Coast Guard is limited right now.



 Vessel delays last winter caused slowed down cargo deliveries that estimates showed cost the federal government over $125 million in taxes and $46 million lost by state and local governments.  The new Coast Guard bill will be considered further when the Senate returns to work after the August break.   


Historic Kewaunee hotel opens under new ownership

The Karsten Hotel has reopened this summer under new ownership with a new name.  Alex Yanik, a California real estate investor, purchased the historic inn earlier this year and starting making rooms available in June. The Karsten Hotel had closed last year and Yanik says he is excited to add another hotel development to his worldly resume.



Yanik says plans are to eventually reopen the restaurant and original bar, which features stained glass and classic woodwork.  The new name incorporates the Karsten Hotel name that goes back to 1912 but will be known as the Karsten Nest Hotel.  Yanik says the 23-room hotel has busy this summer and he looks forward to updating more of the rooms and the building in the future. 

Ag Heritage Center hosts Czech and Kolache Festival

A festival that brings hundreds of people to the Agricultural Heritage Farm in Kewaunee County every year is this weekend.  The 12th annual Czech and Kolache Festival opens Saturday morning at 10 AM and features Czech and Slovak food, dance, and entertainment.  Orv Konop says the preparation of making the European pastry takes a lot of work.



Konop adds that the entertainment will include a brass band, Czech singers and a Kroj Style Show that will model colorful costumes that have been handed down for many generations. You can find more information about the festival online with the link below.   

New Sturgeon Bay care center celebrates open house

The Door County Medical Center celebrated the ribbon-cutting and open house of the new Pete and Jelaine Horton Skilled Nursing and Hospice Care Center in Sturgeon Bay on Thursday afternoon.  A big crowd gathered outside to hear Brian Stephens, DCMC CEO and president,  thank the Horton family and others for making the $5 million state-of-the-art facilities possible.



The center is 25,000 square feet and will provide care in a “two-neighborhood” approach that will have a total of 30 private skilled nursing resident rooms.  You can see a video of the ribbon-cutting ceremony and the open house below.






Nitrate contamination draws governor's focus

Kewaunee County Board member Lee Luft believes the area is ahead of the game when it comes to addressing nitrate contamination in water. Governor Tony Evers announced Wednesday his plans to direct state agencies to develop new standards for nitrates found in ground and surface waters. The move comes about a year after the state passed new NR-151 rules, which places limits on where, when, and how much manure can be spread. According to Wisconsin Conservation Voters, drinking water with high nitrate levels has been linked to different kinds of cancer, diabetes, and thyroid conditions.  Even though not a lot of specifics to the plan are available, Luft says it is important to develop a baseline on where water quality is across the state, something Kewaunee County already has thanks to numerous studies.



Luft lauded efforts already underway by area farmers and the Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Department for helping address some of the concerns.

Sister Bay car accident leaves two with life-threatening injuries

Five people are injured after a three-car accident in Sister Bay Wednesday, including two currently in life-threatening condition. 


It happened between 4:30 and 5 PM on CTH 57 north of Orchard Rd. The Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department, Sister Bay-Liberty Grove First Responders, Ephraim Fire Department, Baileys Harbor Fire Department, Door County Emergency Services and the Door County Sheriff’s Office all responded to the scene. The investigation says a 26-year old Baileys Harbor woman was driving an SUV southbound and hit a northbound car driven by a 25-year-old Sister Bay man. The SUV then continued southbound and hit another car head-on driven by a Freeport, Illinois man. The two people in the third are the ones with life-threatening injuries with the driver being taken by Eagle III helicopter to Bay Area Medical Center in Green Bay. The passenger was taken to Door County Medical Center. She was then transferred by air ambulances to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. The driver of the SUV is at Door County Medical Center with serious, non-life-threatening injuries. The two people in the second car only had minor injuries and are not in the hospital. 


STH 57 was closed until 9:25 PM while the Door County Sheriff’s Department and Wisconsin State Patrol were investigating the crash. It appears alcohol was a factor. 


There has been a rash of accidents in Sister Bay this week. On Tuesday night, five people were taken to the hospital from a crash at Highway 42 and Town Line Road. There have also been three or four other car accidents in the area according to Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht. He says he doesn’t have a specific explanation for why all of these accidents are happening now but urges drivers to be extra cautious on the roads.



Hecht credits all the volunteer firefighters in the area for responding and working extra the past couple of days.



We will update this story as more information becomes available.

Higher water levels recorded on Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan is experiencing near record-setting water levels this summer. This past winter's healthy snow patch and very wet spring and early summer have caused the water levels to rise more quickly. According to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, Lake Michigan, along with Lake Huron are about an inch away from the water level record set in 1986. They're not the only lakes being affected by high water levels, the other Great Lakes are experiencing it as well. Even though Lake Michigan hasn't had record-setting levels yet, Keith Kompoltowicz, the Cheif of Watershed Hydrology for the Core of Engineers in Detroit says this is still significant.



The high water levels reportedly have caused erosion on the shores of Door and Kewaunee Counties this summer. Although there is a regulation plan that regulates the outflow of Lake Superior into the St. Marie River, Kompoltowicz says total water level control is not possible due to the natural water supply for the lakes.

Judges weigh in on Junior Fair entries

The ribbons earned at this year's Door County Fair are not just about what happens when they come face to face with their judges. Hundreds of participants entered exhibits Wednesday in several different categories. MaryBeth Wohlrabe judged the photography competition and says she considers past projects as well as what is in front of her before awarding ribbons.


Third-grader Maddon Cihlar saw his paper mache projects from school and his chocolate chip cookies earn two blue ribbons and one red ribbon. He says more kids should enter their projects in the future.



You can find Cihlar's creations along with hundreds of other projects in the Junior Fair building at the Door County Fairgrounds.  



Three-vehicle crash closes Sister Bay roadway

A portion of Highway 57 was closed in Sister Bay Wednesday evening as a result of a three-vehicle crash.


According to the Door County Sheriff's Department, deputies and the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department responded to the crash on Highway 57 near Scandinavian Lodge at around 4:45 p.m. 


Door County Emergency Services, Ephraim Fire Department, Baileys Harbor Fire Department and Northern Door First Responders also came to assist with the incident. Highway 57 was closed between Country Walk Drive and Orchard Drive while the Door County Sheriff's Department and Wisconsin State Patrol investigated.


The crash comes just a day after two other accidents occurred in Sister Bay that resulted in injuries. We will have more information on this incident as it becomes available.


Photo credit to Tad Dukehart

Door County Fair cements Ash family bond

With eight family members working and some others exhibiting, it is hard to explore the Door County Fair without running into a member of the Ash family. Tom, Thad, and Tim Ash are all following in the footsteps of their father as members of the Door County Fair Board. Tim says he caught the bug when he was a 4-H member showing sheep and beef cattle in the barns.

His nephew, Aaron Ash, is also following in his family’s footsteps as the fair’s beef and sheep superintendent. He says the fair is a time of bonding for him and his father.

You can find members of the Ash family around the Door County Fair until the event’s close on Sunday.



New book shows beauty of Door County

A new book coming out will be showing the beauty of Door County. Starting in August, author and photographer Tom Jordan's newest book: Door County - "The Places and Faces, All Four Seasons" will be available for purchase. The novel will feature pictures and stories about each season and is just $75, with all the profits going to supporting Literacy Door County, whose mission is to teach english, writing, and speaking to local adult immigrants. Although Jordan's previous two books were finalists for awards, the author and photographer believes this newest piece is even better.



Door County - "The Places and Faces, All Four Seasons" can be found at Novel Bay Books in Sturgeon Bay.

Search Our Site


Is the Republican Speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly just being mean by not accommodating a Democratic legislator who is paralyzed?
Add a Comment
(Fields are Optional)

Your email address is never published.

Sports Poll

With under two months to go, where do you think the Milwaukee Brewers will finish at the end of the season?
Add a Comment
(Fields are Optional)

Your email address is never published.

Obituaries are provided as a service of the

Schinderle Funeral Home of Algoma



Sign up for our Daily Electronic Newspaper and/or our Shopping Show newsletter!


Get the latest news with our Daily Electronic Newspaper delivered to your inbox.


Get the latest updates for our Shopping Show delivered to your inbox every Friday.