News Archives for 2019-08

Peninsula Symphonic Band begins tuning instruments

The Peninsula Symphonic Band will be tuning their instruments as rehearsals for its 2019 fall/winter season begin on September 9th. This will be the 29th year the band will perform their fall and winter concerts. For their fall concert on Veteran’s Day the band will play patriotic and historical pieces and be joined by Baileys Harbor pianist Sara Bong who has over 40 years’ experience playing the piano. The holiday concert on December 12th will feature Christmas music and the band will be joined by the Community Choir of Door County. Director of the Peninsula Symphonic Band Jason Palmer says anyone who has musical experience is welcome to join the band.

 


Rehearsals for the Peninsula Symphonic Band will take place in the Sturgeon Bay High School band room and will be held weekly from 7 P.M.-8:30 P.M.

Descendants' portrayal adds charm to cemetery walk

A tour in Ephraim will give the community the opportunity to learn about historical residents from the village. The 9th annual “Dearly Departed” Cemetery Walk will take place on September 9th and features portrayals of four people who were an important part of Ephraim’s history. Chairman of the Ephraim Moravian Church Cemetery Walk Committee Lonnie Vitse was inspired to start this event after seeing one in Iowa. Two of the people being highlighted will be portrayed by their descendants which Vitse says adds a different element to the tour.

 

 

The event is free and open to the public and will take place at the Ephraim Moravian Cemetery. The first tour will begin at 1 P.M. with a second tour taking place at 2:30 P.M.

Support group helps those going through divorce

A Door County support group is offering those who are going through or have been through a divorce the opportunity to come together and help each other through the pain they are experiencing. DivorceCare is organized by Bay View Lutheran and Tanum Forest Lutheran Churches and uses professionally made videos as discussion guides to cover topics such as anger, depression, finances and more. The support group is used in over 15,000 churches worldwide and was brought to Door County last year as residents had to travel to Green Bay to attend such meetings. The program will meet weekly for 13 weeks and members can join or leave at any point. Tanum Forest Lutheran Church Pastor Peter Mannoja says DivorceCare does great job of making members feel like they are not alone.

 


Bay View Lutheran Church Parish Nurse Lou Ann Brown adds the program is open to all ages, even if their divorce happened years ago.

 

 

DivorceCare will begin meeting on September 12th at Tanum Forest Lutheran Church and run through December 5th with another 13 week session taking place in the spring. There is a $20 registration fee but sponsors are available if you are unable to cover the cost. To find out more information on DivorceCare you can visit divorcecare.org.


Lambeau Exhibit coming to Belgian Heritage Center

The Belgian Heritage Center in Brussels recently had a successful Belgian Kermiss and is looking to continue that success with their upcoming events. Coming up on September 14th, the center will be hosting their second annual Hunter’s Raffle where prizes including firearms, crossbows and homemade outdoor products can be won. On October 5th and 6th the center will host the Festival Fire event where a historian will reenact the Peshtigo Fire through the eyes of her great-grandmother. Then in November the center will work with the Green Bay Packers for their Lambeau Exhibit Unveiling. Co-Director of the Belgian Heritage Center Joe Alexander says the exhibit is in honor of legendary Packers head coach Curly Lambeau who is a descendant of Belgian immigrants.

 

 

The Lambeau Exhibit Unveiling will take place on November 9th; a start time for the event will be posted at a later date. Raffle tickets for the Hunter’s Raffle can be bought at the Belgian Heritage Center or the Steel Wheel Saloon.

DCMC's Vandertie honored with ambassador award 

 Sandy Vandertie, long-time nurse at the Door County Medical Center, recently received the 2019 Rural Health Ambassador Award.  The annual award is given to hospital members who have gone above and beyond to promote their respective organizations and have made significant contributions to rural health care in general.  CEO and President of DCMC Brian Stephens says Vandertie is well deserving of the award.

 

 

Stephens says Vandertie served as the co-lead medical director for the Door County Triathlon and is active in many community programs.  

 

 

(photo submitted, Brian Stephens, Sandy Vandertie, and Jeremy Levin at the presentation of Rural Health Awards)

Spude enjoying his work as census canvasser

A local in-field address canvasser for the upcoming 2020 census is gathering important data in the Sturgeon Bay area.  Bob Spude of Sturgeon Bay applied for the job two months ago with the federal government and recently started logging information that goes directly to the Bureau of the Census.  He explains his duties covering the Sturgeon Bay area so far.  

 

 
Spude says his census work schedule is flexible and will conclude in early October.  He adds that the temporary job allows him to interact with many friendly people he never met before.  The initial canvassing will cover about 65% of the people, according to Spude.  The actual Census Day will be April 1 with non-response follow-up after.  The Census director will deliver apportionment counts to the president at the end of 2020. 

 


Fire safety stressed for holiday weekend

With Labor Day weekend bringing thousands of visitors to Door County for camping and outdoor enjoyment, local fire department officials are reminding people to adhere to basic fire safety when having any campfires.  Brussels Union Gardner Assistant Fire Chief Jim Wautier advises campers to make sure fires are allowed on the property and to make sure a fire pit is provided.  He shares one tip to avoid any potential disasters.

 

 

Wautier says to be aware of wind conditions and to never use flammable fluids when starting a fire.  Always have water handy and make sure to fully extinguish the fire when leaving the campfire area.  You can find a list of campfire safety tips below.    

 

 

https://www.reserveamerica.com/articles/camping/top-10-tips-for-campfire-safety

Town of Sturgeon Bay learns of coal tar risks

Town of Sturgeon Bay board members will learn of some dangers of using coal tar sealants for asphalt road resurfacing.  Coal tar sealants contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons,  also know as PAHs, which are known carcinogens.  In fact, the sealants can contain up to 70,000 parts-per-million of PAHs compared with an average of 50 parts-per-million in asphalt.  Dean Hoegger :: HOH-GUR :: with the Clean Water Action Council says as the sealants wear away they can easily put children at risk.

 

 

The State of Minnesota and many Wisconsin communities, including the City of Green Bay, have already banned the use of coal tar sealants.  Hoegger will discuss coal tar sealant dangers when the Town of Sturgeon Bay board meets September 2nd at the town hall on Tacoma Beach Road at 7:00 PM.

 

 

(photo courtesy of CleanWisconsin.org) 

County supervisor opens eyes about water quality

Members of the community were able to voice their concerns and opinions about water quality at a public hearing held by the Northeast Wisconsin Water Quality Task Force in Green Bay Wednesday.  At the meeting officials from Brown and Kewaunee counties were offered the opportunity to speak about water quality issues in their respective counties. County Board Supervisor Lee Luft and Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Director Davina Bonness were the two officials who represented Kewaunee County during this time. Afterwards, members of the community were allowed the floor and District 3 Kewaunee County Board Supervisor Chuck Wagner took this opportunity to voice his own personal problems with water quality which he says opened up eyes.

 


Wagner adds that he would like to see more money added to the county’s land and conservation department to help combat the water quality problem.


Stickers saving first responders time

An orange sticker from the Sturgeon Bay U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary on your boat could be as important as the life jacket in it. Since first responders in northern Door County reported an uptick in watercrafts floating in area waters unattended, the U.S.Coast Guard Auxiliary has worked hard to make sure more boaters have the time-saving decals. By having them affixed to the vessel, first responders can try to contact the owner before a large scale response even begins. Vice Flotilla Commander Jeff Feuerstein says the response has been great.

Feuerstein says you can pick up the stickers at some local businesses, the Sister Bay-Liberty Grove Fire Department, and from the U.S. Power Squadron tent at this weekend’s Marina Fest.

Why Join? Boy Scouts

Interest is growing among girls in northeast Wisconsin when it comes to Boy Scouting. Thousands of girls nationally have joined the organization since Cub Scouts opened their doors in 2018 and the newly branded Scouts BSA followed suit earlier this year. Although there are currently no girl-only Scouts BSA troops in Door and Kewaunee Counties, Bay-Lakes Council Field Director Doug Ramsay says local packs in the area offer a bright future.

Voyageur District Associate Bob Pekol, who covers Door and Kewaunee Counties, says boys and girls should join the Cub Scouting and Scouts BSA programs because of the wide variety of activities and the ability to make a difference. Local packs and troops will have recruitment nights in the coming weeks. This is the second in a multi-part series of organizations kids can join as the school year begins.

Owners mounting campground defense

Brenda Lange likes her view overlooking George Pinney County Park just outside of Sturgeon Bay, but her fight against a proposed campground is about more than that. Earlier this month, members of the Bay Shore Property Owners Association and other local residents began voicing their opposition to a proposed recreational vehicle village on top of a nearby abandoned quarry ledge. The 57-acre lot would be capable of hosting up to 117 RV vehicles among other amenities. Lange says there are many reasons why they do not want to see the land developed.

Lange says she would not be opposed to the county taking over the land to expand Pinney County Park. No applications have been filed by the developers to begin the zoning process.


2007 Gibraltar musical cast gets "Encore"

The cast of Gibraltar’s 2007 musical will join the Avengers, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the Muppets on Disney’s new streaming service this fall. The Gibraltar alums will perform “High School Musical” for the Disney+ show “Encore,” a project produced by actress Kristen Bell allowing former students to reprise their roles with the assistance of professional directors, choreographers, and voice coaches. It was a special experience for Gibraltar musical director Lizz Thomas to see her students perform again, especially Allison Pfeifer, who was cast for the lead role but did not actually get to take part in it when she was in high school.

Thomas also makes a cameo in the production for “Encore,” though you will have to wait until November 12th for Disney+ to launch and to check out the episode.

 

Picture courtesy of Lizz Thomas

 

 

Mayor looking forward to west side development

Now that the appeal by a citizens group of the Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) for the west side waterfront in Sturgeon Bay has been denied, Mayor David Ward hopes the focus can be on the future development and the plan set forth by the Ad hoc Westside Waterfront Planning Committee. 

 

The ruling by Judge Gregory Gill, Jr. this week stated that the 22 petitioners, which included former chair of the Waterfront Redevelopment Authority and council member Thomas “Cap” Wulf and former Door County Economic Development Corporation director Bill Chaudoir, had no legal standing for the appeal.  Other petitioners included John Wiese and Dr. Joan Wake, who was recently appointed to the ethics committee.  You can find a list of all the appellants and the case summary with the link below the story.

 

Mayor Ward says the West Waterfront Development plan that was adopted conforms to the existing OWHM ruling made by the Department of Natural Resources.  He says he wants to push forward and start on the proposed promenade that is closest to the water where there is little dispute.  Ward added that if no future appeals are made, the city will probably go back to Judge Raymond Huber with hopes to remove the injunction placed on the two land parcels where a defunct hotel plan fell through two years ago.  Huber ruled in February of 2017 that the land was artificially-filled lakebed and was under the protection of the Public Trust Doctrine. 

 

 

  https://wcca.wicourts.gov/caseDetail.html?caseNo=2019CV000013&countyNo=15&index=0

Luxemburg-Casco receives largest grant for tech equipment

The Luxemburg-Casco School District was one of two schools to receive the biggest grant from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.  The DWD presented a half-million dollars to 16 school districts in the state to help fund technical education equipment.  David Gordon, career and technical education coordinator, says the grant will really help students looking for careers in advanced manufacturing.  He explains what will be done with the grant money and the community partnership the school has with D & S Machine Service and Olson Fabrication. 

 

 

Gordon says about 40 Luxemburg-Casco High School students are expected to benefit from the new equipment beginning this year.  

Safety features make vehicles safer for teens

As college students drive back to school and area high school teens start classes to get their driver’s license, parents are looking for the safest and most sensible vehicles their child to drive.   Statistics show that young drivers are more likely to be involved in car crashes.  Jim Rabas of Algoma Motors says all new cars have built-in safety features that make it difficult to recommend one specific model over another.  He says today’s vehicles are safer than ever.

 

 

Rabas says smaller vehicles like coupes are less cumbersome to handle than sedans and SUVs but that bigger and heavier vehicles are considered safer with the additional metal in front.  He notes that air-bags and other standard safety features in today’s new vehicles provide for safer driving.  You can find a link to the ratings of the safest vehicles recommended by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for teens below.

 

 

 


https://www.iihs.org/ratings/safe-vehicles-for-teens

 

Monarch Tagging Day at Crossroads September 7

The public is invited to participate in a monarch butterfly tagging event next Saturday, September 7 in Sturgeon Bay.  Crossroads at Big Creek will be hosting the annual Monarch Tagging Day with guest naturalist Karen Newbern.  After a short program, attendees will be able to spread out through the Big Creek Preserve to capture, tag and release monarch butterflies.  Director Coggin Herringa says every year some families even bring monarchs they capture at home to be tagged at Crossroads.  She says a lot can be learned from the migration of the butterflies.

 

 

Newbern’s brief program will be held at 2 pm Saturday at the Collins Learning Center followed by the netting and tagging of Monarchs by anyone who wants to participate.  

 

Homebuilding trickles down locally

A lot goes into building a home, which means a nationwide slowdown has a trickledown effect to local businesses. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, a lack of skilled labor and affordable land is to blame for U.S. home construction falling four percent in July. On the other hand, apartment and condominium complex construction has kept local contractors like Sturgeon Bay’s Kinnard Heating and Cooling busy as they design full heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Owner Tom Kinnard says local construction helps everyone out, whether they are building or not.

Home sales remain hot in the state with the Wisconsin Realtors Association reporting a three percent jump in July over last year at the same time.

Developers needed after Baileys Harbor plan axed

It is back to square one for stakeholders in Door County looking for solutions to its affordable and seasonal worker crises. Greg and Jamie Schab canceled its real estate deal in Baileys Harbor after the Door County Board voted to approve a zoning ordinance amendment allowing only 20 percent of a campground to consist of camping cabins. That all but crushed a plan for the Schabs to build 16 cabins near Ahrens Road in Baileys Harbor that could have addressed about 20 percent of the housing needs in Door County for seasonal workers. The Door County Economic Development Corporation gave the plan its blessing, but now that it is gone, executive director Jim Schuessler says someone else now needs to step up, or the crisis will continue.

Schuessler says a similar project could live on in an area that is not subject to Door County’s zoning ordinances or if a town board offers a variance to allow it to proceed.

Why Join? Kewaunee County 4-H

With 13 clubs spread out across the area, almost every community in Kewaunee County has a 4-H Club to call its own. Clubs host meetings approximately once a month while project meetings for different focus areas like livestock, dogs, and more meet periodically throughout the year. Kewaunee County 4-H Educator Jill Jorgensen says allowing members to join in Kindergarten and stay through their freshman year of college helps keep membership engaged.

Jorgensen says kids in Kewaunee County should give 4-H a try because of the wide range of opportunities available to them including showing at the fair, camping, and leadership training. You can learn more about 4-H by contacting the Kewaunee County UW-Extension office or attending their open house on October 12th at the fairgrounds in Luxemburg. This is the first in a multi-part series of organizations kids can join as the school year begins.

 

 

Cadets get head start on careers

The track record is speaking for itself when it comes to the Sturgeon Bay Police Cadets program. Serving area students between the ages of 14-20, the Sturgeon Bay Police Cadets gives a chance to those wishing to pursue a career in law enforcement hands-on opportunities to craft their skills. Over the past two years, the program has seen two members attend Northeast Wisconsin Technical College to pursue criminal justice degrees, members Triston Beauchamp and Rhian Murphy earn promotions, and Siera Becker get hired on by the Door County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy. Cadet program advisor and Sturgeon Bay Police Officer Brandon Shew says he is really proud of the group.

Shew says the program has also helped some members realize a career in law enforcement is not for them without bearing the cost of going to college. 

 

 

Door County EMS voting on new contract

Members of the Door County Emergency Medical Service will hold a ratification vote September 3rd on a new three-year contract.  That follows approval of the tentative pact by the Door County Board of Supervisors.  If approved, members of IAFF Local 4982 would see an average two-percent pay increase.  Door County would see a new system that's more effective in tracking overtime costs.  Local 4982 President Brandon Schopf says the agreement is a good one for his membership and taxpayers.
 

 

 
If approved, the new agreement with Door County EMS would be retroactive to January 2019. 

Local Veterinarian downplays supplementary vitamins

The pet supplement market may be booming nationally, but one area veterinarian is advising pet owners to be wary of giving their dog or cat and additional vitamins.  According to a recent report by Packaged Facts, pet supplements is estimated to be a $636 million industry.  Dr. Jordan Koblilca of the Luxemburg Pet Clinic and Door County Veterinary Hospital in Sturgeon Bay says most dog foods have the right amount of daily nutrition needed for a healthy pet.

 

 
Dr. Jordan emphasizes that the only time supplements and nutraceuticals may be needed is if your pet has arthritis or a hip condition.  

 

Judge denies appeal of Sturgeon Bay OHWM

An appeal of the ordinary high water mark ruling determining where development can occur on Sturgeon Bay's west side waterfront has been denied.   According to Attorney Brett Reetz, who represented the petitioners, Circuit Court Branch 4 Judge Gregory Gill, Jr. denied the standing to challenge the ruling made by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  Judge Gill ruled that any damages of any waterfront owner worried about the meander line established by the DNR for the OHWM was “speculative”.  Reetz added that he disagreed with the ruling but understood the basis of the decision since the same legal reasoning would have been applied to the original appeal set forth by the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront. He was unsure of what the next steps will be for the petitioners.     

Congressman Mike Gallagher in Sturgeon Bay

GOP Congressman Mike Gallagher and about ten members of his staff took advantage of the August recess to visit Door County Wednesday. Gallagher has a van tour across the Eighth Congressional District this week as his reelection campaign begins already for 2020. One of his stops was an hour-long tour of the Hatco factory, a sprawling 400,000 square foot facility on the south end of Sturgeon Bay. The tour was conducted by Hatco President David Rolston and Vice President of Manufacturing Steve Christoferson. An emphasis was placed on automation in the Hatco assembly line. Gallagher has been to Hatco before and says it is important to expose their story to Washington DC.

 


When Congress reconvenes on Wednesday, Gallagher has a list of issues he would like to find bipartisan support to tackle including prescription drug prices and the USMCA trade agreement.

 

Wisconsin Bird Initiative focused on declining flocks

Birds that are commonly seen along shorelines in Door and Kewaunee Counties are declining in numbers along with other species in Wisconsin.  The job of finding the cause and reversing those declines is the mission of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative. The Department of Natural Resources program started about 15-years ago to help develop more bird-friendly practices. Those include improving native vegetation to attract more insects, which are vital food sources for birds. DNR Section Chief Craig Thompson says without such practices bird populations that are well-known in Wisconsin will continue to drop.

 

 

Also at risk are wild bird species that dwell in the remaining plains areas of Wisconsin and migratory birds that summer in Wisconsin and head to tropical areas in the winter. 

The Farm offers personal agriculture experience

When Shirley Tanck and her husband were looking to retire in 2001 they decided to buy The Farm.  The agricultural-themed attraction north of Sturgeon Bay is one of Door County's most popular attractions.  David Tanck, Shirley's son, started working at The Farm as a teenager and continued through college.  The original owners told David they were looking to sell. Shirley Tanck says the 40-acres of hardwood stands, gardens, animals and historic buildings give people a personal connection with farming.

 

 

The vegetable gardens have become one of the more popular attractions at The Farm.  More people are asking questions about growing their own food.  Tanck believes experienced and first-time gardeners are also looking to cultivate a little peace of mind.

 

 

The hardwood stands are also popular during the fall color season. The Farm is located on Highway 57 and is open from Memorial Day through mid-October.

 

Picture by Tom Jordan

Southern Door resource officer serving as a teacher

Door County Sheriff's Deputy Greg Medlen begins his new assignment September 3rd as school resource officer for the Southern Door County  School District.  The district's first resources officer has already reached out to students, parents and faculty during Southern Door High School's opening football game.  Medlen says he plans to attend as many after school activities as possible.  He'll also serve as a teacher for a program called CORE Matters to promote positive attitudes and actions.

 

 

You can meet up with Deputy Medlen at the Southern Door County School District's open house Wednesday August 28th.  That's being held at the school buildings on Highway DK in Brussels starting at 4:30 PM.


(Photo courtesy Door County Sheriff's Office)

We Welcome All campaign growing in acceptance

A campaign to make Door County businesses feel more welcoming to people of diverse backgrounds is growing.  The “We Welcome All”  campaign started earlier this year with 40 businesses and community groups in Northern Door County that put signs with the “We Welcome All” logo in their windows.  That's now grown to about 75 participants with the addition of others in Sturgeon Bay and Southern Door County.  Program coordinator Paula Christensen says businesses and customers have embraced the “We Welcome All” concept. 

 

 

The “We Welcome All” campaign started when some Door County visitors from different cultural backgrounds said they felt hostility from a few businesses and employees.

Survivor Network calling for more transparency from church

A case of a former Franciscan brother under current criminal investigation for raping and physically assaulting African-American children from Mississippi on trips to Appleton and St. Francis, near Milwaukee, is bringing more questions than answers at this point.  According to the Associated Press, two black Mississippi men were secretly paid $15,000 each by Franciscan Friars to remain silent about their abuse claims from Paul West.  The statute of limitations for Wisconsin is still in effect and Mississippi does not have a statute of limitations.  Peter Isley of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says the archdiocese of Milwaukee is not doing what they should to protect child safety right now.  He says the reports are credible and that church officials are not acting responsibly.

 

 

Isley says West remains in the Appleton area and taught fifth grade at a Catholic school for ten years there in the early 2000s after he left the Franciscan order in 1998.  He says he does not know of any pending charges or other active investigations in northeastern Wisconsin.       

 

Packer original Golden Girl featured at Door County Historical Museum

The Door County Historical Museum will honor the 100th Anniversary of the Green Bay Packers with a special exhibit of the “Golden Girls” featuring a local celebrity. Mary Jane Van Duyse Sorgel of Sturgeon Bay led the Green Bay Packer cheerleading squad from 1959-1972.  She along with other Golden Girls from that era will be on hand at the museum next Saturday to meet with people and share stories.  Sorgel says she has many fond memories of working for the Packer organization and remains a die-hard fan yet today.

 

 

The display at the Door County Historical Museum will be called “Mary Jane and the Golden Girls”.  You can meet Mary Jane and some of the Golden Girls on Saturday, September 7 from 10 am until 2 pm. 

 

(Photo contributed)  

Car care tips for holiday travel

Many area families are making travel plans for the upcoming holiday weekend and one automotive repair shop owner has car care tips before embarking on the trip.  Randy Sahs of Sahs Auto Collision and Repair in Sturgeon Bay says checking your vehicles oil and tire pressure is a good start.  He adds that the tire tread is important to check before driving any distance.  

 

 

You can find more car care travel tips below.

 

 

  

9 Pre–Road Trip Car Maintenance Checks

1. Engine Oil. ...

2. Transmission and Differential Fluids. ...

3. Hoses. ...

4. Belts. ...

5. Engine Coolant. ...

6. Tire Pressure and Tread. ...

7. Brake System. ...

8. Battery.

9. Test drive vehicle on highway to make sure it is operating correctly

Sister Bay Summer Bus ready for holiday

The Labor Day weekend and Marina Fest means extra visitors to Sister Bay. It's not always easy to get around town but the Summer Bus can help. The bus will be running this Thursday through Saturday as normal according to Community Coordinator Louise Howson of the Sister Bay Advancement Association.
 


The bus makes stops at a variety of hotels and lodges plus dining and retail locations across town. The bus hits each location every half hour. It provides a free alternative to finding parking on the main drag. The Summer Bus is also a safe option for visitors who intend to celebrate the long weekend with an alcoholic beverage.

 

Kewaunee County featured in hearing

Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Director Davina Boness and committee member Lee Luft will be featured speakers during a public hearing addressing water quality on Wednesday. Green Bay is one of 12 sites for public hearings for the Speaker’s Task Force on Water Quality, which began its statewide tour in May. Bonness and Luft will speak alongside Brown County officials about their local efforts addressing the issues facing the community and what else can be done to protect surface and groundwater. Luft encourages residents to come out and share their stories with members of the task force and the general public.

Wednesday’s hearing will take place Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. inside Fort Howard Hall at UW-Green Bay’s Weidner Center. Other invited speakers during the session include representatives from the Wisconsin Wetlands Association, Fox Wolf Watershed Alliance, Wisconsin Realtors Association, and Alliance for the Great Lakes.

Creative Campus, new show ready for debuts

A set of world premieres is ready for this weekend in Fish Creek. Not only will Northern Sky Theater’s production of “Dad’s Season Tickets” be new to its guests, but so will its stage. The Gould Theater is part of Northern Sky Theater’s creative campus, which will house almost everything the organization does under one roof after years of being spread out across northern Door County. Artistic director Jeff Herbst says the early reviews of the building before staff began to slowly move in were those of tears of joy and awe.

Seats for its grand opening celebrations are sold out this Friday and Saturday night, but “Dad’s Season Tickets” runs with a Packers game-friendly schedule through October 26th.  

 

 

Southern Door Elementary earns state recognition

Being Eagle Proud and Eagle Strong earned Southern Door Elementary School extra kudos from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction earlier this week. The DPI and the Wisconsin RtI Center recognized the school at the bronze level for implementing behavior expectations that has helped students close achievement gaps and increase the number of kids graduating and going onto college or a career. Southern Door School District Superintendent Patti Vickman says they have been able to achieve this by working together.

Vickman says Southern Door Elementary was one of the first schools in the state to institute the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports system, better known as PBIS. The system is now a staple at school districts across the country.

Lindsay at peace in rural sanctuary

Lazy L Ranch in Sturgeon Bay always had a higher purpose according to its owner Bill Lindsay. He and his late wife Suzanne Lindsay bought the property six years ago as a rural retreat for themselves, but also as a way to reach out to the community. In addition to hosting Saturday’s Door County Habitat for Humanity Vintage Home and Garden Fair, it has also hosted other events for organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of Door County. Lindsay says there is an educational aspect of it as well.

Lindsay is excited to host future events and visits for many years to come.

Sevastopol basketball works the paint

Sevastopol basketball is taking advantage of a new Sturgeon Bay Utility program in the offseason. Electric Supervisor Jason Bieri says he has noticed the bases of lightpoles throughout Sturgeon Bay have been marred by snow removal equipment and corrosion is setting in. For years, the utility has used youth groups to paint fire hydrants in a cost-effective manner so Bieri has expanded the program to utility poles as well. The program allows the utility to avoid pursuing claims against property owners and contractors. With that in mind, donations to the boys by residents and local businesses are strongly encouraged when they're hard at work. Basketball teammates Spencer Evenson, Jack De Young, and Cole Devorak were already up to three dozen utility poles painted along Michigan St and Kentucky St. in east Sturgeon Bay Tuesday morning.

 


Bieri hopes that by combining a better looking Sturgeon Bay, pride in a day's work, and community support, the program will really take off in summer of 2020 when students are again on vacation.

Taxidermist continues his passion after Hall of Fame induction

Mike Orthober, a nationally renowned taxidermist from Egg Harbor, has no plans on retiring after being inducted in the International Hall of Fame in Sioux Falls, South Dakota last month.  Traveling to put on seminars around the country while still finding time to mount birds and animals for the Whitefish Dunes State Park and Door County Historical Museum have Orthober continuing his life-long love of taxidermy.  He explains how he first became interested in his craft at the young age of 11.

 


Orthober, 58,  says the most challenging taxidermy mounts of the thousands he has done over the years are hummingbirds.  Some of those works are displayed in the diorama at the Door County Historical Museum.   That exhibit features over 140 of his birds and several reptiles and fish along with trees as part of the natural setting.  Orthober adds that he plans on restoring more old cars in the future, which he compares similarly to the art of taxidermy.  

 

(photo contributed)

 

Sturgeon Bay Greenhouse Lab starting first full year

The lunches at Sturgeon Bay High School will be fresher from the beginning of school this year with the help of the new greenhouse.  The Growing and Learning Lab opened in late 2018 and has been highly successful, according to Superintendent Dan Tjernagel.  He says the organic nature of the fresh foods being grown is beneficial in multiple ways.

 

 

Tjernagel credits Food Service Director Jenny Spude with working with students in utilizing the greenhouse lab to realize environmental and fiscal benefits to the school district.  The school year begins next Tuesday for most area students.

 

Lincoln Kermis draws huge crowd 

The fourth Sunday in August has special meaning for generations of farmers and residents in northwest Kewaunee County.  Benefiting from nice weather this year a record 589 people showed up this past Sunday for the outdoor mass at St. Hubert Church in Lincoln for the annual kermis.   Co-organizer Todd Thayse shares how important the tradition is to the locals.

 

 

The Lincoln Kermis has been coordinated by the St. Peter & St. Hubert Parishes in Rosiere and Lincoln as part of their church picnics since 1997.  The polka mass began the festivities at 10:15 Sunday morning after a brief concert.  Thayse adds that the Lincoln Kermis offered entertainment all afternoon and concluded about 5 pm. 

 

 

(photo courtesy of St. Peter and St. Hubert Parish) 

 

Youth Exchange already planning for next school year

The Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay has its sights set on 2020-2021 regarding the Rotary Youth Exchange program. An informational meeting is set for September 10th to begin the selection process for local students looking for an international experience. The meeting begins at 5:30 PM at the Sturgeon Bay Public Library. RYE lasts a full school year and each student will spend time with at least two host families, usually three. Rotary Member Barb Herdina says Rotary International is hands-on in planning the year to control expenses but there's still a steep cost to students in the program.

 


Applicant interviews happen on September 23rd. In addition to sending students overseas from Sturgeon Bay, Rotary welcomes exchange students as well. They are always looking for host families. If you have any questions, contact Barb Herdina at 920-737-5996.

Selling affordable housing

Two Door County affordable housing projects are being greeted with opposition. In Sturgeon Bay, a popular softball field is at stake when it comes to plans by Northpointe Development to turn an old school building into 40 apartment units. A plan to turn a former cherry processing site into a series of seasonal housing units is also being met with brushback by local residents in Baileys Harbor. Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jim Schuessler says the big picture regarding affordable housing in the area needs to be understood.

A housing study released by the DCEDC earlier this year showed Door County short hundreds of workforce rental apartments and other affordable housing options.

Hindsight plots highlight presentation

“What could have been?” is the question that will be answered at an upcoming presentation at the Peninsular Agricultural Research Center in Sturgeon Bay. The Peninsular Fall Agronomy Field Day is a companion to an earlier spring meeting as farmers struggled to get crops planted because of the weather. That led to several “hindsight plots” that focused on different strategies for alternative silage and cover crops affected by the rainy spring. Door County UW Agriculture Educator Annie Deutsch says weeds were something they struggled with all summer in the test plots.

The field day is set for September 4th at the Peninsular Agricultural Research Center from 10 am to 4 p.m.

 

Marina Fest remains a thank you

While a simple note could have sufficed, supporting the local marina has turned into one of the biggest weekends of the year in Sister Bay. Marina Fest returns this weekend to the village’s waterfront with music, food, kids’ activities and fireworks. Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht helps organize the event as well as flips pancakes for its annual Saturday morning breakfast. He says Marina Fest is a reminder of the community’s support for the marina back in 1993.

Sister Bay Marina Fest runs from Saturday through Monday.

Bicyclists, motorists share safety responsibility

Those cycling around Door and Kewaunee Counties can help themselves on area roadways.  Motorists are required to give bicyclists plenty of space when sharing the road, especially when it comes to passing. That being said, Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says bicyclists need to realize they have to follow the same rules of the road cars and trucks do, right down to how you communicate.

Joski says despite the large volume of bike riders in the area including last month’s Scenic Shore 150 mile Bike Tour that went through Kewaunee County, it has been relatively quiet when it comes to incidents.

 

FROM SHERIFF MATT JOSKI

As a follow up to the recent article on back to school safety, I wanted to expand on one issue in particular  that also relates to our returning students as well as the continuation of a popular summer past time; bicycling.

     We are very fortunate to live in a community of such natural beauty. People from near and far spend countless hours pedaling many miles either as individuals or as part of groups raising money for charities. Some of these rides take place on the many miles of the Ahnapee Trail, while others share the road with those traveling in motor vehicles. Even for those riding on the trail, there are numerous points where the trails must cross or merge with public roadways, and because of this some very basic and important safety tips apply to both scenarios.

      Visibility is a major safety consideration when on a bicycle due to the decreased size of the bicyclist’s profile both when being passed and met by a motor vehicle. Any efforts to bring attention to both the rider as well as the bike itself are always a good practice. Either light colored clothing and or reflective materials will help in being identified by a driver at a much greater distance, thus giving the driver of a vehicle much more time to navigate safety around the bike and its driver.

     This brings us to the next safety tip: Navigating around a bike traveling on a roadway. The most frequent complaint I receive from bicyclists is that vehicles do not provide a safe distance when passing. If you as a driver of a vehicle cannot provide for a safe distance between your vehicle and bike when you are passing, it is best you follow until the opportunity is there to pass them as you would a slow moving vehicle. I can say from experience, that there is nothing more frustrating and scary as feeling the gust of wind created by a vehicle which passes you leaving mere inches between you and the fenders.

     Now to the bicyclist, please operate your bike with the traffic, not against it. Sometimes people get confused as the common practice for walking is to go against the traffic. Also, those street signs are meant for you as well. Just today I was driving down the street and a bike failed to stop at a stop sign missing me by inches. Fortunately, I was in my Sheriff’s truck and took the opportunity to educate the young lad. Another good tip is to use the traditional arm signals. I know we were all taught them as kids, and yes they are still relevant when operating a bicycle. These signals are your way of communicating to vehicles you share the road with.

     As we are entering the beautiful fall color season and the ability to enjoy it by either vehicle, or bicycle, let’s not forget to do it safely, and if you are the type who would rather drive a vehicle to enjoy the scenery, please don’t forget about the rest of us on bikes. Stay Safe!

 

Lavender harvest nearly complete on Washington Island

Airport Road on Washington Island smelled great on Saturday, and it wasn't all barbecue. Before the smoke and sauce caught your nose, lavender proved a delight to your olfactory glands. Lavender farms are so popular on Washington Island that they anchor their own festival earlier in the summer. Master Gardener Carrie Sherrill notes "Island lavender" is highly sought after because of the textbook growing conditions.

 


Some farms have as many as 20,000 plants in the ground with peak blooms happening from mid-June through August. By now, most of that lavender has been spoken for but you still have the opportunity to get some for yourself. 

Algoma Chamber of Commerce is hiring

Sara Krouse is leaving her position as Executive Director of the Algoma Chamber. That means the organization where business is its business is putting out the, "Now Hiring" sign. Algoma Chamber Board President Tracy Nelson says they're looking to fill the job within a month but they won't settle. The role comes with a lot of responsibilities, mostly regarding tourism.

 


Krouse's strength was her marketing background, helping businesses with limited resources make their pitch to the world far outside their front door. Nelson wants someone who knows Algoma and who can continue that momentum.

 

Grant helps library preserve digital records

The Door County Library is getting help to ensure digitized historical records and documents are preserved for the long term.  The library received a Curating Community Digital Collections grant from Wisconsin Library Services.  Adult Services Librarian Laura Kayacan says that's allowing the Door County Library to bring in outside help from UW-Milwaukee and St. Norbert College to provide guidance on the most effective way to preserve digital records.
 


Kayacan says Door County Library had three storage systems including master files, back-ups, and access copies online.  What the library didn't have were back-ups on two different formats.  Kayacan says it's preservation systems included DVD's which are not effective over the long term. 

Sturgeon Bay considers revising sidewalk payments

Some Sturgeon Bay property owners are getting a more convenient way to pay for costly sidewalk improvements.  Changes are also expected in the way payment is made for future sidewalk work.  Concerns were raised this week by some homeowners on North 7th Avenue about repaying the costs of curb, gutter, and sidewalk work along their property.  Board of Public Works Chair Helen Bacon says the board will allow the property owner to defer the costs.  She adds that some changes are being proposed to help other property owners understand the scope, cost, and payment for future improvements.

 

 


Those proposals will go before the Sturgeon Bay Common Council when it meets on September 3rd.

World-renowned musician returns to Washington Island

If you're gonna throw a barbecue, you need blues music. Or at least something close. Alex Wilson says his eponymous band is a mix of classic and contemporary blues along with some country twang and a little rockabilly thrown in for good measure. There's original music too. That eclectic Americana came to Death's Door Barbecue on Washington Island Saturday. Wilson is busy in the summer, doing four to six shows a week across the Midwest. He's a sought-after commodity overseas in addition to his American audience.
 


Wilson has performed at Death's Door BBQ four times now and Door County residents request him every year according to Chairman and President Dick Jepsen. Look for new music from Wilson's Group online at alexwilsonband.com early next year. It might sound something like this.
 

 

 

Jail study funding locked up in Kewaunee

Phase II is a go for the Kewaunee jail study. The County Board on Tuesday approved $67,000 to study five different options. Kewaunee County Supervisor Lee Luft says a new Law Enforcement Center, a jail and sheriff's department multi-use facility, is the most likely of the options. It could be built at the current jail site or at a different location. Everyone is in agreement that 80 beds are needed. The big question is about size, whether to build it all now or add on over time.

 


The option that seems least likely is to close the current jail entirely and send detainees to sites elsewhere. Kewaunee County would still be on the hook for all costs related to the detainees including transportation and housing which is an expensive proposition.

 

Bridges beats even Canada to Thanksgiving

Our neighbors to the north give thanks in October, but that's too late for Bridges Door County. The organization helps make the Door Peninsula feel like home for foreign students working on J-1 Visas. Most of the jobs are summer jobs and as the season winds down, the students return to their home countries. One of the highlights are the Tuesday night events where up to 250 students, friends, and staff members get together for everything from barn dances to jet skiing. Bridges President Dave Detert says event attendance dwindles later in the season:

 


That makes the final Tuesday so special, Thanksgiving dinner. First at six pm the students learn golf before sitting down for turkey at seven pm at the First Baptist Church. This year's Thanksgiving dinner is on September 17th.

 

Crescent Beach fall cleanups coming soon

Keeping Crescent Beach in Algoma clean is a year-round effort. There's a big cleanup in the spring aided by the Boy Scouts. Friends of Crescent Beach Steering Committee Coordinator Cathy Pabich says efforts during the summer are more frequent but smaller in scale. The "weekly walkers" comb the sand for litter and debris. They also tend to small projects such as giving the posts where the volleyball net hangs at center court a paint job. Pabich credits the city of Algoma for the excellent condition of the beach:

 


The larger fall cleanups are organized in conjunction with the Algoma School District.

 

Wartella to become Door County Veterans Service Officer

Beth Wartella is being recommended to be the next Door County Veterans Service Officer.  Wartella currently serves as an administrative assistant of that office.  Her appointment is expected to be made when the Door County Board of Supervisors meets on August 27th.  County Administrator Ken Pabich says the county went through a lengthy search process and determined Wartella was the best candidate.

 

 

Wartella will take over for retiring Veterans Service Officer Scott McFarlane on September 9th.

Madness for monarchs at Ridges Sanctuary

The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor hosted a Monarch Madness on Saturday. The event served as a way for the community to learn about the monarch butterfly life cycle and migrating habits. The event kicked off with a presentation on monarch butterflies and how their migration down to Mexico is the longest of any insect. Afterwards, the community was able to tag and release monarchs to track their migration south. Ridges Sanctuary Program Manager Katie Krause says the event was started as a way to educate the community on the importance of monarch tracking.

 

 

Krause adds having the community participate in tagging the butterflies is more important than the process itself as it educates while also allowing them to interact with the butterflies first hand.

Honey harvest educates community on bees

The Door County community was educated on the importance of bees during the inaugural Community Honey Harvest at the Crossroads at Big Creek on Saturday. Organized by the Door County Beekeepers Club the event allowed event-goers of all ages to learn about bees while participating and watching activities and demonstrations. These included a children’s educational area, candle making demonstrations and hive and honey extraction demonstrations. Co-President of the Door County Beekeepers Club Mark Lentz says the event was created as a way to educate the community on the importance bees play in our environment.

 

 

The community was also able to try many different kinds of honey, a honey lemonade and honey mead. Everyone attending the event was able to take home a pollinator plant as well.

Vintage Home Fair draws crowd

Dozens of people lined up just before the doors opened for the second annual Vintage Home and Garden Fair benefiting Door County Habitat for Humanity. The barn at Lazy L Ranch in Sturgeon Bay was filled with countless upcycled and antique items while just outside its doors were butterfly houses acting as pieces of world-class art near beautiful flowers and other plants. ReStore Manager Megan Dietz says the event really puts the creativity of the community on display.

Saturday’s Vintage Home and Garden Fair raises thousands of dollars to support Door County Habitat for Humanity’s home build and preservation projects.

 

 

Local veteran-to-veteran efforts honored

The mission of helping military veterans transition back to civilian life in Northeast Wisconsin communities, including those in Door and Kewaunee counties, got some well-deserved recognition from  Representative Mike Gallagher.  County and tribal veterans services officers and college veterans support groups were individually honored with copies of a Congressional Resolution recognizing all local veteran-to-veteran programs.  Kewaunee County Veterans Service Officer Robert Stearns has seen first hand how veterans reaching out to newly discharged service members has been a life-changer.

 

 

The resolution was sponsored by Representative Gallagher and Representative Ron Kind.  Gallagher, a veteran himself, says such programs are effective because those who've served share a common view.

 

 

The resolution by Gallagher and Kind encourages the use of veteran-to-veteran programs throughout the federal government and Congress.

Local auto shop owner recommends inspections sooner than later

Using synthetic oils for vehicles can make the car run better and longer but a Sturgeon Bay auto shop owner says that does not mean vehicle owners should hold off on getting routine inspections. Synthetic oils can withstand heat and contaminants longer than standard motor oils and depending on the manufacture can last anywhere from 5,000 miles to 12,000 miles before needing to be replaced. Sahs Auto Collision and Service Center owner Randy Sahs says while synthetic oils can extend the time needed in-between oil changes; vehicle owners should still bring their cars in for routine inspections.

 

 

Sahs adds that vehicle owners should check their owner manuals and talk to a qualified service center to see what kind of oil is recommended and how often they should bring their vehicles in for inspections.

New educational program coming to Northern Door Children's Center

The Northern Door Children’s Center in Sister Bay will be introducing a new educational program. Called Loose Parts, the program will be available to the entire center and allows children the opportunity to create new toys using recycled materials. Community Relations and Education Coordinator Karen Corekin-DeLaMer says the program touches on many school subjects.

 

 

Corekin-DeLaMer adds the children’s center is looking for donations of recycled materials that the children can use during this program. The Northern Door Children’s Center is also looking for full-time teachers and still enrolling at the 4K level.

Volunteer firefighters battle more than blazes

The village of Ephraim’s volunteer fire department is facing a couple of problems that are not fire-related. Along with not finding enough volunteers to help fill the day time staffing, the department is also facing the problem of some employers not letting volunteers leave work to handle emergency situations. Fire Chief Justin MacDonald says this problem is causing their response times to be slower.

 

 

MacDonald adds that his department is always looking for more volunteers and to remember to have a safe Labor Day weekend.

Local pharmacy owner reacts to governor's executive order

The owner of Bay Hometown Pharmacy in Sturgeon Bay is behind Governor Tony Ever’s executive order addressing the high cost of prescription drugs.  Gov. Evers signed an executive order this past Tuesday that will create a task force to reduce prescription drug prices in the state.  Pharmacist Jake Blazkovec says the idea is good but he is not overly optimistic that the resources spent on it will make a big difference at this time.  He says right now the insurance companies are dictating to pharmacies and physicians what they can and cannot prescribe.

 

 

Blazkovec says drug companies are looking to recoup their research and development and patent costs while insurance companies are not assuming as much risk as manufacturers and pharmacies.  He adds that the task force formed by Gov. Evers will at least shed more light on the problem of high prescription drugs.  

 

Wisconsin Governors escapes to Door County -- Part II

The popularity of Door County brings many prominent people to the area including past governors of the state.  The Jacksonport Historical Society will have a program next month featuring three families connected with past Wisconsin governors.  Molly Reynolds, daughter of John W. Reynolds, Jr.,  who served as governor from 1963 until 1965, will be on a panel with her cousin and relatives of the Patrick Lucey and Jim Doyle families.  Reynolds, who was six years old when her father was the governor, recalls eavesdropping while dignitaries were being entertained at the family “compound” in Jacksonport.

 

 

Reynolds says her great-grandfather was one of the founders of Jacksonport and her grandfather, John W. Reynolds, Sr. was actually born on the family farm just off Highway 57.  The “Great Escape for Governors and Their Families” program will be held at the Jacksonport Town Hall starting at 7 pm on Thursday, September 12. 

 

(photo courtesy of wisconsinhistory.org)

 

Birch Creek Fall Concert Series starts next weekend

The end of August will begin the fall concert series and bring one of Door County’s favorites to the Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor.  Liam Teague, a renowned steel pan virtuoso and steel band director for Birch Creek’s Percussion Session, will be performing next Saturday.  Mona Christensen, the executive director, shares the music that will be played by Teague and an ensemble.

 


The fall series begins on August 31.  You can find the schedule and ticket information online with this story below.  The season will finish up with the Birch Creek Associate’s Annual Fall Fundraiser on October 12 at Juniper Hall with a jazz club-style bistro.  All proceeds benefit Birch Creek students. 

 

 

  http://birchcreek.org/tickets/

 

Forcing insulin prices down

Senator Dave Hansen hopes Wisconsin follows Colorado’s lead when it comes to keeping insulin affordable for its users. According to a 2016 medical journal piece, insulin prices have nearly tripled since 2002. As a result, one in four insulin users have asked their doctors for cheaper medication or have tried to ration their supply to get by. A Democratic-led bill would follow in the footsteps of a law passed in Colorado earlier this year capping the price at $100 a month. Senator Hansen says for some, it is the matter of life or death.

The Green Bay lawmaker has also reintroduced a revised bill to allow college students to refinance their debt and allow people with bad or no pension program to buy into the state’s. In both cases, he says Republicans need to sign on for them to have a chance of passing.

Tentative contract between Door County and EMTs

A tentative three-year contract between Door County and Door County Emergency Services is on its way to the Board of Supervisors.  The county's Joint Negotiating Committee and Administrative Committee approved the deal with International Association of Fire Fighters Local 4982.  County Administrator Ken Pabich says the tentative pact provides a modest pay increase for EMTs and allows the county to better track overtime costs.
 

 

If approved by the board of supervisors next week, the pay increase will be retroactive to January 1st.

Door County concierge for babies

You can leave the strollers and pack-and-plays at home the next time you have infant travelers coming to Door County. BabyQuip connects with local residents to form the country’s largest baby gear rental service with everything from cribs, booster seats, and other items too cumbersome to pack for a visit to the area. Carrie Tjernagel and her cousin Renee Sauer are the local baby concierges for Door County, handling the delivery, set-up, and pick-up for the items. Tjernagel says it is a trend that is picking up nationally.

Services catering to parents with young kids like BabyQuip could grow even more popular as millennial families are touring places together in record numbers according to the Family Travel Association.

Agronomists struggle with advice

The effects of tough grain markets and fickle weather have made life tough for agronomists like Rio Creek Feed Mill’s Adam Barta. Farmers got a late start to planting this year, with some crops no less than two weeks off of last year’s pace. That is coupled with prices for wheat and corn taking a hit last week due to a higher than anticipated supply of the crops despite the rain making some fields unplantable. Barta says it has been tough recommending ways to make the numbers work, especially for dairy farmers dealing with deflated milk prices.

Despite the challenges, Barta says the season is still going well thanks to some recent warmer weather. He also hopes the late-season frost that can come in stays away for as long as it can. 

 

Sturgeon Bay physician narrowly approved to ethics committee

Dr. Joan Wake was appointed to the newly-formed city ethics committee Tuesday by a vote of four to three. Wake’s appointment was opposed by council members David Hayes, Kelly Avenson and Seth Wiederanders. Hayes cited Wake’s involvement appealing the ordinary high water mark ruling on the westside waterfront. 

 Council member Kirsten Reeths suggested Wake’s appointment be put on hold until the ordinary high water mark ruling appeal is completed. Wake was nominated for the position by Mayor David Ward.

Suicide prevention walk provides education and HOPE

A local organization will be hosting a walk to remind the community of the struggles that come with suicide and suicide prevention. According to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention suicide is the 10th leading cause of the death in the U.S. but even with it being one of the leading causes of death not much is talked about it. To have more known about suicide and suicide prevention Prevent Suicide Door County - Nathan Wilson Coalition is holding their 4th Annual Walk for HOPE on September 7th at Martin Park. The organization started the event as a way to educate the community on the signs and risks that go along with people who are considering suicide. Board of director’s member Monica Nelson says the name of the event is meant to be a reminder.

 

 

The Walk for HOPE is open to the public and will begin at 5 P.M. There will be counselors at the event for anyone who would like to speak with one and there will also be the opportunity to purchase a t-shirt for $10 with the proceeds going towards the organization’s educational endeavors. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide the Door County Crisis/Suicide Intervention 24/7 Hotline is (920) 746-2588 and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is (800) 273-8255.

Healthy Way Market gets city financing

A Sturgeon Bay health food store is getting a $250,000 loan to expand at a new location on Third Avenue. Healthy Way Market will move into a now-empty building at 142 S. Third Avenue.

The money comes from a revolving loan fund. Owner Adam Goettelman told city council members Tuesday he hopes to hire an additional twenty-five to thirty employees.

 


The interest rate is 4% for a five-year term amortized over twenty-five years.
Goettelman will make interest payments only until June 1, 2020.

Wisconsin Governors found Door County escapes

Although Jacksonport is a small town, it can claim to have three governors of Wisconsin who still have strong family roots to Door County.  The Jacksonport Historical Society is hosting a special program next month that features members of the Reynolds, Lucey and Doyle families sharing memories of their times in Jacksonport.  Paul Lucey, the son of the late Governor Pat Lucey will be one of four presenters.  He says the family has been coming up every year to their Jacksonport cottage in the summers since 1957.

 

 

Lucey will be a panelist along with Molly Reynolds and her first cousin Kay Noel and Governor Jim Doyle’s sister, Catey Doyle.  The “Jacksonport:  Great Escape for Governors and Their Families” program will be held at the Jacksonport Town Hall starting at 7 pm on Thursday, September 12.  

 

Pantry growing as need stays high

When families struggle to afford the necessities in life, a local organization is stepping up big time.  With the help of additional volunteers, the Kewaunee County Food Pantry is positively impacting over 150 families a month, according to President Ken Marquardt.  He explains the amount of support the organization is providing for families in need every month.

 


Marquardt adds that the pantry recently expanded hours and is open on the third Wednesday of the month from 4:30 until 7 pm besides Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 until 1. The Kewaunee County Food Pantry is holding their annual Fall Rummage and Bake Sale this weekend from 8 am until 6 pm through Saturday. 

 

 

Stuck campaigns in Door County

8th District Congressional candidate Amanda Stuck was in Door County campaigning on Thursday.  Stuck was in Sturgeon Bay for the annual Potluck Picnic held by the Door County Democratic Party.  In an interview with DoorCountyDailyNews.com, Stuck shared the issues that are being brought up to her consistently on the campaign trail.

 


State Rep. Stuck announced her candidacy last month and is currently serving in the State Assembly for the Fox Cities in District 57.  She will face the incumbent, Republican Mike Gallagher, in the 2020 election.  You can listen to the entire interview with Amanda Stuck below.

 

 

 

 

Bill makes birth control easier to get

Sturgeon Bay Republican state Representative Joel Kitchens hopes a bill he introduced earlier this year helps curb unplanned pregnancies. Under the bill, pharmacists would be able to prescribe birth control pills, something that currently needs a doctor’s approval. Rep. Kitchens understands the opposition many social conservatives may have with the idea, but he says it could potentially save the state money down the road.

The bill received a hearing last week and picked up several Republican co-sponsors, including Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. Rep. Kitchens hopes the bill receives a vote later this fall. 

Pot penalty shrinks in Sturgeon Bay

The Sturgeon Bay city council voted Tuesday to eliminate a fine for possession of marijuana on private property and to make penalties for possession on public property the same as those for open intoxicants.

Council member Seth Wiederanders has been a proponent of decriminalizing marijuana possession since being elected.


Sturgeon Bay voters narrowly approved an advisory referendum in April supporting recreational use of marijuana. The vote to approve medicinal use was passed overwhelmingly.

Gary Nault was the only council member to vote against the resolution.

 

For the reductions to become effective a majority of city council members at  two consecutive meetings must now approve the changes.

 

Picture courtesy of the City of Sturgeon Bay

Vehicle ordinance gets tweaked

Kewaunee County is one meeting away from allowing some new vehicles on area roadways. The first reading of the Chapter 25 All-Terrain Vehicles and Snowmobile ordinance passed the Kewaunee County Board on Tuesday night with one minor change. Under the proposed ordinance, ATV and UTV riders would need to carry liability insurance with them if they were going to be using county roadways. Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Robert Weidner says it comes down to safety.

The ordinance would become law if the Kewaunee County Board approves it again at their September meeting. Weidner says communities that have already passed ATV/UTV ordinances would be able to amend theirs to fit the county standards.

CPR program exceeding expectations

The success of its CPR education program continues to boggle the mind of Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department Chief Chris Hecht. When the department decided to host the course a few years ago, they set a benchmark of four classes held a year to consider the program a success. In June alone the department offered seven different classes. Hecht says local businesses and the community as a whole are buying into the importance of knowing CPR.

Upcoming class dates are September 19th and October 17th, but larger groups can also request their own scheduled time. The $30 fee covers books, materials, and CPR masks to earn the two-year certification.

4-H keeps dog tails wagging

Dogs got treats and Kewaunee County 4-H members got ribbons at a recent state dog show. The Kewaunee County 4-H Dog Project combined to bring home seven first-place medals and several top-five finishes at the Wisconsin 4-H State Agility Show held in Middleton. 4-H Dog Project president and Casco Comet member Macey Ledvina brought home five such awards with her dogs Trixie and Denver.  Ledvina says there is a little more to preparing for a show with her dogs than there is for exhibiting other animals.

She hopes other kids with pets in Kewaunee County join her in the 4-H Dog Project, saying it is a great way to strengthen your connection with them. Ledvina and other project members are looking to next compete with their dogs at upcoming American Kennel Club events.

 

Photo by Lisa Cochart

Half Century Club celebrates reunion

If you graduated from Sturgeon Bay High School 50 or more years ago, you are invited to the Women’s Half Century Club luncheon coming up next month.  The 36th annual reunion is being hosted by the Class of 1967.  Julie Johnson Gebauer, one of this year’s organizers, says the oldest class represented this year is the Class of 1943 with three alumni coming as guests.  She says the afternoon is filled with reminiscing and nostalgia.

 

 

Gebauer says about 140 graduates participated in the last few years and this year’s class of 1969 attended at the current Sturgeon Bay High School location.  You can find more information about this year’s Women’s Half Century Club reunion below.

 

 
 
(PHOTO submitted)  The Class of 1967 is hosting the 36th Annual Women’s Half Century Reunion Luncheon this year.  Committee members from left to right include:
Front Row:  Sally Schlise, Sally Brotcke, Selene Gilbert, Julie Pinney
Back Row:  Judy Leonhardt, Suzanne Maddox, Julie Gebauer
Not Pictured:  Nancy Robillard, Kathy Anderson, Candy Daoust

 

 


Press Release
Women’s Half Century Club of Sturgeon Bay High School Luncheon

Women’s Half Century Club of Sturgeon Bay High School will meet for a luncheon on September 6, 2019.  The women will gather at 11:30 am, at the Lodge at Leathem Smith, 1640 Memorial Dr, Sturgeon Bay, WI.  The 36th Annual Reunion is open to all women who graduated or attended SBHS, 50 or more years ago.  Invitations are sent to those who attended the luncheon in the last two years and to all women graduates of the Class of 1969.
If any women graduates/attendees would like to attend or know of others who are not aware of this event, please share this information, or call Julie Gebauer, 920-743-7749.  Reservation payment is due by August 26, 2019, in the amount of $28.00, including tax and tip.
The luncheon-buffet menu, served at 12:30 pm includes salad and rolls, honey baked chicken, beef tips, garlic mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables, a vegetarian pasta option and slice of cherry pie with whipped topping.
If you have any questions, or if you would like to be included in future mailings, please call Julie.  This year’s event is hosted by the Class of 1967 committee.

Kewaunee County fills backpacks for kids

Over 15,000 donated school supplies were distributed to children last week at the annual Back to School Program in Kewaunee.  The event, organized by the Kewaunee County Public Health Department, saw about 300 kids pick up needed school supplies at Lakehaven Hall.  Director Cindy Kinnard says the community support continues to grow by leaps and bounds each year.

 

 

Kinnard adds that one person unanimously donated more than $1,000 worth of supplies as well as a couple who collected supplies at their wedding and shopped for more items with their wedding gift money.  

 

Milwaukee e-scooters problem unlikely in Door County

E-scooters, like e-bikes, are becoming more popular and are also creating more problems but are not as likely in Door County. The scooters are available at docking stations in big cities and can be rented out just like an e-bike. In Milwaukee, three tourists reportedly rode e-scooters onto the very busy Interstate 94 causing a dangerous situation. Sahs Auto Collision and Service Center owner and frequent bicyclist Randy Sahs says while the e-scooters could work in some areas of Door County he believes the roads here are too rough for the tiny vehicles.

 

 

Sahs adds that e-bikes would work better in Door County as they can be operated by both electricity and peddles which makes them safer and more efficient.

Washington Island hosts premier culinary event Saturday

The 8th annual Death's Door BBQ ignites on Saturday on Washington Island. The event is a rare "double header" featuring a private competition the night before for vendors and judges already on the island. Once the public hits the grounds on the 24th, the barbecue train takes them straight to the food. Each vendor prepares chicken, pork ribs, pork and beef brisket. The meat is turned in as Saturday afternoon progresses for evaluation by Kansas City Barbecue Society certified judges. There are 30 vendors this year, which Chairman Dick Jepsen says is right in the normal range:

 


Jeff Vanderlinde of Shiggin' and Grinnin' Restaurant says he has come to Death's Door BBQ three times now and returns because of the great hospitality. He says Washington Island thinks it's a treat to host the participants, but really it is the participants receiving the treat.

 

Powell named new director at Northern Door YMCA

The Northern Door YMCA in Fish Creek has a new executive director.  Tyler Powell was promoted to his new position on Monday after serving as the youth director at the Sturgeon Bay YMCA.  Powell’s father Dan was the previous Executive Director at the main YMCA location in Sturgeon Bay when Tyler was still in college.  He says following his father’s footsteps could not have worked out any better.

 

 

The 32-year-old Powell grew up in Janesville and graduated from Luther College in 2013 before attending law school.  While he attended school Powell worked in the YMCA aquatic department for five years.  He says he has no regrets in not pursuing his law career and loves working for the non-profit organization.  

 

(photo submitted)

 

Grant moves Dunes Lake restoration forward

Restoration of Dunes Lake in the Town of Sevastopol will be half-way to completion with help from a Wisconsin Coastal Management Program grant.  Some restoration work on the 48-acre lake has already been completed. The $100,000 grant will fund Phase II of dredging needed to help restore waterfowl and fish habitat.  Greg Coulthurst, with the Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department, says the grant will allow them to build on past successes.

 

 

Coulthurst says the total cost of restoring Dunes Lake is expected to run about $1.2-million.  The lake is home to threatened or endangered bird species like the osprey, the Caspian tern and the grey egret.

Fundraising on target for Pebble Beach

Fundraising to buy Pebble Beach between Ephraim and  Sister Bay is picking up momentum through local and federal fundraising.  The 600-foot beach and 17-acres of adjoining land are being purchased for $2.5-million dollars.  Sister Bay Village President Dave Lineau met with Wisconsin Department of Administration officials who informed him that local fundraising efforts will get a big boost in the form of a federal grant.

 

 

Lineau believes the Pebble Beach purchase will close well before the September 30th deadline.  He also expects an additional grant to come from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund after the purchase. Those funds will go toward repaying the loan through the Village of Sister Bay.

Affordable housing beats ballpark

Sturgeon Bay city council members voted to move forward on a 40-unit apartment complex located in part on what is now the west side ball field Tuesday.

 

Council members debated the importance of affordable housing versus a ball field many in the community support preserving.

 

Northpoint Development of Oshkosh has proposed turning the west side school into ten apartment units and constructing a thirty-unit addition on what is now the ball field. The 30-unit addition would be affordable housing. The ten units in the former school building would be rented at market rates.

 

Carl Brindenhagen told council members that losing the west side field will mean the end of softball in Sturgeon Bay.

 

 

Mayor David Ward predicted that if the resolution supporting Northpoint Development is not approved the school will be torn down.

 

The vote to move forward in support of the Northpoint Development project passed by a vote of five to two with council members Kirsten Reeths and Gary Nault voting in opposition.

Micro-surfacing of streets begins this week

The City of Sturgeon Bay will be resurfacing streets this week with a micro-surfacing mixture that efficiently extends the life of asphalt pavements.  Five stretches of roadway in Sturgeon Bay will be closed to traffic and parking this week as work is completed.  City Engineer Chad Shefchick explains what the new resurfacing means to the streets.

 

 

Shefchik says the streets are only closed for two hours to allow the mixture to dry.  He adds that the resurfacing does not serve as repairing or repaving of roadways.  You can find the list of streets that will be closed for micro-surfacing this week below.

 

 

N 7th Ave – from Jefferson Street to Louisiana Street
N 5th Ave – from Jefferson Street to Michigan Street
S Hudson Ave – from W Pine Street to W Spruce Place
S 10th Ave – from Michigan Street to Superior Street
Rhode Island Street – from S 8th Ave to S 12th Ave

Door County gets three Wisconsin coastal grants

Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan was at Pinney County Park Tuesday afternoon to announce three coastal grants to county government programs. Brennan handed two checks to the Door County Soil and Water Conservation Department: $100,000 for the Dunes Lake Restoration Phase II project and roughly $46,700 for integrated invasive species education and outreach. The Facilities and Parks Department got $104,636 for the Door Bluff Headlands Hidding Acquisition project. The Wisconsin Coastal Management Program gives out $1.6 million annually. Door County got about a fifth of that Tuesday. 

Adopt-A-Soldier "Hallmark project" goes beyond cards

It was a full house at Torrence Lautenbach's residence. Adopt-A-Soldier Door County welcomed in Habitat for Humanity and the US Coast Guard to renovate the exterior of Lautenbach's home. Adopt-A-Soldier Door County President and Founder Nancy Hutchinson calls the work a Hallmark project. Hutchinson says it is the organization's first:

 


They were working on the deconstruction of the front landing and back deck today. Coast Guard Canal Station is available after Labor Day to come back and do the second phase of the project. That consists of taking the existing wheelchair ramp to connect to a new deck so that there is an egress at the residence that is ADA compliant. 

Lauscher honored for 42 years of sports sponsorship

A long-time supporter of athletics in Kewaunee County was honored Sunday at the Casco Lions Club softball tournament.  87-year old Donna Lauscher was surprised to be the center of attention when she arrived at the ballpark to watch her sponsored team, Jim’s Bar and Grill, play.  Mark Porath, who helped organize the ceremony and played on teams back in the late 1970s says Donna is a special sports fan. 

 

 

Lauscher says friend Cheryl Bellin brought her to the ballpark to see her boys play and was surprised by nearly 90 people who had played over the years including nearly all of the original team’s ballplayers from 42 years ago.

 


Lauscher received a special plaque and bouquet of flowers for her 42 years of sponsoring teams in leagues and tournaments.  Jim and Donna Lauscher purchased the bar in 1965 and had six children and have four grandchildren.  Their son Les has since taken over the bar business. 

 

(photo courtesy of Lori Tebon)

 

 

Farm markets practice patience

The trickle-down effects of a rainy spring are being felt by farm markets in Door and Kewaunee Counties. As orchards and other crop farmers w ere a couple of weeks behind, that wait was passed down to the farm markets selling the products on their shelves. The late harvest of local cherries and fruit from Michigan brought with it many questions for Wood Orchard Market owner Crista Kochanski. She chose to take a positive approach to the issue.

Apple fans will have a similar wait ahead of them according to Kochanski, who says their early producing varieties at Wood Orchard are a couple of weeks behind schedule.

Liberty Grove continues broadband work

The town of Liberty Grove hopes to begin work on new towers to improve Internet access for the area in the near future. A site near the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department’s Ellison Bay station is the proposed site for one such tower as the board considers a lease agreement with Door County Broadband during its Wednesday meeting. With many people not wanting a tower in their backyard, Town chairperson John Lowry says finding other potential sites is tough.

Lowry says the site in Ellison Bay near the fire station is located on town property. The Town of Liberty Grove Board meets on Wednesday beginning at 7 p.m.

Steps taken towards new town hall

The town of Lincoln is one step closer to having a new town hall to call its own.  The board has been meeting with BJP Construction in Casco in recent weeks to potentially build the new facility. While the size of the building has not changed much since electors originally approved the project a few years ago, some of the details have over time. Town chairperson Cory Cochart hopes there is enough room to potentially house its Emergency Medical Services vehicles.

Cochart says any other additions or features would likely have to wait pending elector approval. The Town of Lincoln Board hosts its meetings on the first Monday of every month.

ATV riders aiding business success

Kewaunee County businesses can only hope they bring in the numbers Door County establishments do when off-road vehicles routes are expanded. Several towns in Door County have ordinances allowing ATVs and UTVs to ride on local roads as long as they follow certain rules such as speed limits, signage, and age requirements. Allowing more access to ATV and UTV riders has been good for business according to John Grosbeier, who owns CJ’s Bar and Grill in Idlewild.

While Kewaunee County officials wrestle with the issue at its next meetings, Grosbeier hopes more riders come to celebrate the life of his cousin and show off their vehicles at their ATV/UTV show this Saturday.

Sen. Johnson talks prescription drug costs 

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson would like to attack the high cost of prescription drugs on two fronts.  With prescription drugs now accounting for about 40 percent of all the health spending among high-cost patients, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study, Sen. Johnson would like to see the senate address two issues he believes both political parties can get behind.  In an interview last week with DoorCountyDailyNews.com, Johnson shared what can hopefully be accomplished in the U.S. Senate after the August recess.

 

 

Sen. Johnson says he does not currently work on the health committee but wants to help craft legislation through them that will be effective at restraining the growth in drug prices.   

 

Insurance impact on college students returning

The greater distance away from home a college student is may be harder for parents in Door and Kewaunee counties to accept, but it could also mean saving money on auto insurance.  As young adults head out and back to campuses around the state and beyond, Local agents remind parents to check their auto insurance for possible discounts if their child does not keep a vehicle at school.  Kristen Chaudoir of Robertson Ryan and Associates in Kewaunee explains why you should look into your policy.

 

 

Chaudoir adds that students typically do not need renters insurance.  She says that the parent’s homeowner policy usually offers an extension of coverage as long as the student is considered a full-time resident of the household. 

 

 

(MIke Walston and Kristen Chaudoir of Robertson Ryan & Assoc. pictured)   

 

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 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 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 for sale

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 http://wisconsinkitersclub.com/

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, https://www.facebook.com/Casco-Lions-Club-613921878678560/

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 dcmga.org 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 kayakfishingwisconsin@gmail.com

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 DoorCountyDailyNews.com 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.  

 

https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/WildlifeHabitat/summerdeer.html

 

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 DoorCountyDailyNews.com:

 

“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 DoorCountyDailyNews.com 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.

 

Website: doorcountyymca.org/

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 plumandpilot.org.

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 https://visitalgomawi.com/soar/.

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 evaluation 

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.

 

 

https://smokeybear.com/en/prevention-how-tos/backyard-debris-burning

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

 

Dogs

 

 

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!

 

 

Cats

 

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.

JOSKI1

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

 

MORE FROM SHERIFF MATT JOSKI

      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 erosion 

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.

 

https://www.visitkewauneecounty.com/events/2019-08/wixc-hare-scramble-2019-08-11/

 

 

 

(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 DoorCountyDailyNews.com 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 DoorCountyDailyNews.com 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 DoorCountyPedalTrolley.com.

 

 

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 DoorCountyDailyNews.com 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:

 

https://www.sturgeonbaywi.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/West-Waterfront-Redevelopment-Recommended-Plan-by-ad-hoc-committee.pdf

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.

 

https://www.sailtrainingfoundation.com/

 

(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 macrotrends.net.    

 

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 Initiative 

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.

 

 

FROM SHERIFF MATT JOSKI

     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 www.kewauneesheriff.com and click on the

 “Driving-Test.org” 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 kayakfishingwisconsin@gmail.com.

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.

 

http://agriculturalheritage.org/?page_id=336   

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

STURGEON BAY WEATHER

Poll

Do you support Sen. Dave Hansen’s legislation to allow the people to enact laws by initiative and referendum?
Add a Comment
(Fields are Optional)

Your email address is never published.

Sports Poll

At 5-1 on the season, are the Packers contenders or pretenders?
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

Obituaries

Newsletter

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.