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News Archives for 2019-09

Celebrating miracles 160 years later

A small church in the town of Champion is celebrating a milestone 160 years in the making this week. It was October 1859 when a young Adele Brise is said to have encountered an apparition of Mary, the mother of Jesus. In the years since that faithful meeting, the grounds of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help has become a place of other miracles with over 150,000 pilgrims visiting the site every year. The construction of its Mother of Mercy Hall and the landmark anniversary has only added to the site’s popularity according to events coordinator Corrie Campbell.

October 1st kicks off the National Novena to Our Lady of Good Help, a nine-day period of reflection featuring prayers, guest speakers, and special masses.


Click here to find the schedule of the National Novena to Our Lady of Good Help

Habitat shoots for October dedication

A Sturgeon Bay family is just a couple of weeks away from being able to move into its new home. Door County Habitat for Humanity will dedicate its 42nd home on October 16th, over a month ahead of last year. The team of volunteers has been hard at work drywalling, insulating, plastering, and painting the home to get it ready for the Bright family. It will once again be one of the biggest homes Door County Habitat for Humanity has built in its history due to the size and physical limitations of the family. Construction supervisor Chuck Stone says the last two years will benefit the organization and partner families for years to come.

Ahead of the 4 p.m. dedication on October 16th, volunteers can help with the home build on Tuesdays and Thursdays while also bringing non-perishable food items to help pack the Bright family pantry.




Picture courtesy of Door County Habitat for Humanity



High river levels make fish lives easier

Salmon making their way to the Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility in Kewaunee will have almost as easy of a time as you do getting to this weekend’s open house. High river levels have helped the fall salmon run start earlier than usual, though facility manager Mike Baumgartner says he expects about the same number of fish to make their way there for processing and egg collection. Baumgartner believes the fish that do make it will be in much better shape than years’ past.

Baumgartner says the facility will be the primary egg collection site for the region this fall since high lake levels will not allow the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to spawn chinook salmon from its Strawberry Creek location in Sturgeon Bay. The Besadny Anadromous Fish Facility hosts its open house this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Click here for more information on this year's Open House

Speakers series haunts in opener

Ghost stories kick off the Maritime Speaker Series this Thursday in Sturgeon Bay. Hosted by the Door County Maritime Museum, the monthly series got expanded this year to include October and May in response to the popularity of the events. Dan Heibler will present “Ghost Stories of the Great Lakes” when he gives his first of two presentations during this year’s series. DCMM Community Engagement Manager Carrie Dorski says guests can expect to hear stories they have never heard before.

The Maritime Speaker Series takes place on the first Thursday of every month and is free of charge with the donation of a non-perishable food item. 


October 3 – Dan Heibler: “Ghost Stories of the Great Lakes”

November 7 – DCMM Volunteers: “The 100-Year History of the Tug John Purves”

December 5 – Paul Kuenn: “What it Means to be a Friend of Plum and Pilot Island”

January 9 – Dan LeMere: “The ABCs of ABS and the Winter Fleet”

February 6 – Dr. Don Mikulic: “The Ledge, the Lake, and the Limestone”

March 5 – DCMM Curator Rhys Kuzdas: “Built for Battle: Sturgeon Bay and World War II”

April 2 – Dan Heibler: “Myths and Mysteries: Legends and Lore of our Great Lakes” 

May 7 - Wes Oleszewski: “World War II & The Great Lakes”


Corn dry down Monday in Sturgeon Bay

A corn dry down is scheduled Monday from 9 AM to noon at the Door County Co-Op located at Highways 42 and 57 and Y Inn Road. A similar event happened last week in Luxemburg in Kewaunee County with the average moisture in the corn tested at 73.1 percent. Kewaunee County Agriculture Agent Aerica Bjurstrum says that is significantly above levels where harvesting can happen.


Conditions the past week have been far from perfect to see moisture content come down. Under ideal weather, it can drop by a half percent per day which means harvest is still 10-20 days away.


Helping local families aid loved ones with Parkinson Disease

Parkinson Disease is a life changer for patients in Door and Kewaunee counties and their families.  So, Sturgeon Bay United Methodist Church is bringing in a noted nurse practitioner to provide answers on the changes and challenges of the disease.  Dacy Reimer, :: DAY-SEE RYHMER ::  with Lakeside Neurocare in Fond du Lac, will speak to the church's Parkinson Disease Support Group on October 3rd.  Reimer says education is needed for all who've been diagnosed with the disease and caregivers to understand what their future holds.




Riemer previously served with the Regional Parkinson Center in Milwaukee and worked with drug testing trials.  She says patients and caregivers need to understand that medications have changed dramatically in recent years.




Dacy Reimer recommends patients and caregivers become active with Parkinson Disease support groups so they can see they're not facing the disease alone.  Reimer's program is open to the public free of charge. It's scheduled for 12:30 PM, October 3rd at the Sturgeon Bay United Methodist Church on Michigan Street in Sturgeon Bay.

Fall is busy for Violence Intervention Project

September and October see a spike in activity at the Violence Intervention Project in Algoma. VIP serves Kewaunee County dealing with sexual assault counseling and different forms of domestic abuse, from physical to verbal. Advocate Danielle says dealing with relationship problems is a process that doesn't happen overnight. She says history shows it has a seasonal component to it. 


VIP is available for walk-ins at their office at 1405 Division St of Algoma. There is also a 24-hour help line for support in a crisis including sexual assault response.


Brussels Boy Scout Troop reequips

Mike VerHagen became Committee Chairman for Boy Scouts Troop 1140 out of Brussels as his son advanced in the program. VerHagen led an organization whose motto is "Be prepared," but he found his Troop had several pieces of antiquated equipment. VerHagen and the boys took inventory in the spring identifying items needed for camping as most important. VerHagen says of all the Boy Scout activities, camping remains the favorite because of the freedom scouts have to follow their interests.


The Boy Scouts have 12 key principles and VerHagen says the corporate donations such as small cook stoves and cleaning kits promote ideas like "Leave No Trace" and the concept of being "Thrifty."


Bummy Ball now a Door County tradition

Randy Bumgardner established a pick-up basketball game during his time as a physical education teacher at Sturgeon Bay High School which is still going strong. The court contests have been dubbed "Bummy Ball" and can draw 30 participants ranging in age from teens to almost 70 years old. Bumgardner encourages anyone to join in, even from other communities. He says you are guaranteed to learn something about the game.


Bummy Ball is a throwback. Every basket counts for one point and the first team to seven wins. That means no three-point line. Games start at 5 PM on Wednesday evenings, 5:15 when basketball is in season.


Personnel changes close Sturgeon Bay DNR service counter

Hunters and anglers who buy their licenses at the Department of Natural Resources Service Center in Sturgeon Bay will have to make other arrangements next week.  The current customer service representative is moving to a new position. So the service counter will close until further notice starting Tuesday October 1st.  A new representative has been hired and is going through the training process. DNR  Warden Chris Kratcha says until further notice customers will have to get hunting and fishing licenses and other services at alternate sites.


A list of the other nearby license vendors will be available outside the DNR Sturgeon Bay Service Center on South Neenah Street, which will also remain open for non-license business. 


List of license vendors in Door and Kewaunee Counties:

Fall is the time to plant

The fall season in general is a great time to plant because of the cooler weather. For perennials, shrubs, and trees it is actually the best time to get your hands dirty in the garden. Work in late September and October pays dividends come next July when everything blooms. For those interested in color in the spring, bulbs present a great option. Master Gardener Carrie Sherrill says that bulbs are easy to plant but watch out for the wildlife.


Tulips are probably the most well-known spring blooming bulb. Assuming they survive the deer, they burst into full bloom in early May.


Belgian Heritage Center in the classroom

Historian Barb Chisholm traces her Belgian ancestry back to the 1800's and she helps bring that to life in area classrooms. Chisholm visits schools to talk about the Peshtigo fire and the subject of the migration of Belgians to Wisconsin in pre-Civil War America. Chisholm relates the journey in a way that kids today can understand.


The Belgian Heritage Center normally closes except for prearranged tours at the end of October. This year, the center will be open until Thanksgiving weekend due to the unveiling of a new exhibit on November 9th.


Domestic violence underreported in gay community

Help of Door County is seeing increased activity at its office but among the LGBTQ community that trend is not as clear. Executive Director Steve Vickman says that domestic violence centers on control, including physical control, which means 86 percent of cases reported are male-on-female. Men who suffer abuse are less likely to come forward due to the stigma attached.


October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Vickman hopes the effort will help all who need to come forward to take the necessary steps.


Pills can be disposed year-round

National Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday October 26th but Door County residents do not have to wait until then to dispose of prescription and over-the-counter medicine. In Door County, drug drop offs can occur at the Sheriff's Department lobby Monday through Friday during regular business hours, 8 AM to 4:30 PM. Deputy Sheriff Pat McCarty points out there are things you should avoid bringing.


The restrictions to the program make Drug Take-Back Day so important. It happens on a weekend when more people are off from work and items that are taboo the rest of the year are accepted. The Door County Sheriff's Department does participate in the event. For 2019, it will happen on October 26th.


Big Brothers Big Sisters expands to Washington Island

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Door County mentored one student on Washington Island last year, but their footprint is about to expand. Coordinator Patty O'Rourke says several pairings have just occurred.


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Door County tries to create meaningful mentorships for the students involved. The organization looks for "Bigs" that can relate to those they are guiding while complementing their personalities and offsetting risky behaviors or troubles the students may be prone to. The organization now serves every school district in the county.


Photo courtesy of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Wisconsin Facebook page

Carbon Man takes on climate change in Door County

Look, on the grounds of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County!  It's a geologist!  It's an entertainer!  It's Carbon Man!  His alter-ego Roger Kuhns, a Wisconsin native and frequent Door County visitor, will single handedly take on the topic of climate change in the one-man show “The Continuing Adventures of Carbon Man”.  It's Kuhns's way of using humor to reach people who want to see things change for the better and those who remain skeptical. 




Departing from the humorous presentation of a serious subject, Kuhns points out that changing climatic conditions are playing a role in Door and Kewaunee Counties futures.  That's because those changes are making some areas of the country too dry or too wet to live.  He believes the Great Lakes region is appealing to some people and that could create some additional drawbacks.




Roger Kuhns and “The Continuing Adventures of Carbon Man” will appear at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County on Water Street in Ephraim at 7:30 PM October 19th. 

Apollo anniversary sparks interest in moon

July 20th was the fiftieth anniversary of Neil Armstrong's walk on the moon and the milestone has created renewed intrigue in Earth's only natural satellite at the local level. Door Peninsula Astronomical Society President Dave Lenius says this summer has produced many first-time participants to the organization's viewing parties.


The moon is currently in a cycle where it is close to Earth providing unique events such as super moons, eclipses, and blood moons with regularity. International Observe the Moon Night is next Saturday and the Astronomical Society has an event planned for the evening.


Door County flu vaccine clinic schedule announced

Six flu vaccine clinics are scheduled between Thursday, October 3rd and Friday, October 18th in Door County. The clinics will only serve adults. Children's vaccines shots should be scheduled by appointment. Door County Public Health Officer Susan Powers says that there are differences between the adult vaccine and the children's version.



Powers refused to make any predictions about the severity of this year's flu strain or the number of people who could be affected. Vaccines are suggested for all adults but pregnant women, the elderly, and also young children are most at risk. The vaccine costs $38 dollars unless covered by Medicare or private insurance.



Whitefish Dunes adjusts to shoreline erosion

Shoreline erosion from high water levels on Lake Michigan has been a bane for waterfront property across Door County and Whitefish Dunes State Park is no different. Given the draw the lakeshore property provides, the park is hit harder by erosion compared to others in the Door Peninsula. The sandy beaches and swells have been mostly inaccessible this year. Still, Interim Park Manager Erin Dembski says attendance has hung in there, roughly in line with 2018 for the summer months.


Water levels fell in August for Lake Michigan and are entering a period of seasonal decline which should alleviate some of the erosion problems for the park.


Safety first during fall hiking

Door County is one of the premier foliage showcases in all of Wisconsin which means a lot of hikers will be on local trails who lack experience and familiarity with the area. That combination could lead to troubles unless proper precautions are taken. Dave Ferguson is the President of the Door County Silent Sports Alliance, a group which includes many hiking enthusiasts among it. Ferguson says to keep others in the loop.


Peak fall color is expected in Door County in Mid-October according to the Travel Wisconsin Fall Color Report.


Honor Flight offered for area Korean veterans

The Old Glory Honor Flight of Northeast Wisconsin has announced a Return to Korea trip for 2020.  Similar to the Return to Vietnam earlier this year, the no-cost trip for veterans is planned for May of next year.  Vietnam War veteran Ken Pollock of Sturgeon Bay, who served in the U.S. Marines, was part of the recent Return to Vietnam this past July.  He recommends any veteran to experience what he called a wonderful opportunity.



Return to Korea veterans are encouraged to bring along a guardian that is at least one generation younger than themselves to act as a companion and caretaker on the trip to Washington D.C.  You can find more information on the Return to Korea with this story below.





News Release: 


Old Glory Honor Flight is proud to announce Return to Korea. This trip will be similar to our Return to Vietnam trip earlier this year but will focus on another very deserving group -- our local Korean war veterans. This no-cost trip will be planned for May, 2020 (specific dates to be determined).

A separate application will go live on our website in the coming days for those vets interested in participating. Up to fifty veterans will be selected at random from this list of applicants.  Who is eligible? For this mission, any active duty military serviceman or woman, living in Northeast Wisconsin who served in Korea between the dates of June 27, 1950 – October 15, 1954 is eligible to participate.  US Navy vets serving in the waters off the Korean peninsula during that time frame are also eligible.  

Why Return to Korea? "Our recent Return to Nam trip has shown us the healing power of having vets return to their former battlegrounds," said Renee Schroeder, board member of Old Glory Honor Flight. "With the participation of the South Korean government, the opportunity to do this is just too important to miss."

To ensure safety, the veterans chosen to participate in Return to Korea veterans will be encouraged to bring along a “guardian” that is at least one generation younger then themselves who is physically capable to act as a companion and caretaker for the veteran. The trip is free for the Korean war veterans, but their guardians will be required to pay $500 to offset trip expenses.

Old Glory Honor Flight, a volunteer-driven organization, will continue to operate its regular schedule of flights to Washington D.C., and participation in the Washington flight will not affect eligibility for Return to Korea. Old Glory Honor Flight will partner with the well-established and veteran-run Military Historical Tours and the Republic of Korea government for this special event, and funding for Return to Korea will be separate from our other funding efforts.

Old Glory Honor Flight is a registered 501(c)3 organization.  Corporate and individual donations are encouraged.   Please visit for more information, and thank you for your support.






Good time to review your estate plan 

As the fourth quarter of 2019 approaches, reviewing your current estate plan or will is always a good idea, according to one local estate planner.  Attorney Bob Ross of Ross Estate Planning in Sturgeon Bay says updating one’s estate plan is important when changes occur in your family.



Ross says people may want to make changes to their advance financial and health care directives in the future.  Using charitable contributions for tax advantages and the planning for a nursing home stays are also two frequently asked questions in regards to establishing an estate plan, according to Ross. 


Community stepping up for Feed My People of Door County

As the holidays approach in the next couple of months, area food pantries usually see an increase in demand for food and supplies.  Estella Huff, executive director of Feed and Clothe My People of Door County, says they typically serve over 300 families monthly.  She says the support offered by the community is always there for the pantry.



Huff adds that paper products are always in demand as well as canned foods.  Feed and Clothe My People is open four weekdays a week and also operates the Thrift Store that raises additional funds for the organization. 


Sturgeon Bay high school celebrates homecoming

Sturgeon Bay homecoming festivities started at 4 PM with the parade. The route this year began at the high school winding down Michigan Street to 4th Avenue. The participants made a right on 4th to Jefferson and circled back to Michigan Street via downtown's 3rd Avenue. The marchers ended back at the high school. Following the parade was a tailgate at 5 PM and a giant bonfire near Memorial Field before the football game against Algoma. 



Bonfire at Memorial Field in Sturgeon Bay before it was lit.

Northern Lights visible this weekend

The Door Peninsula will have the right conditions this weekend for a dazzling Northern Lights show as long as Mother Nature cooperates. Sunday is expected to be cloudy with another round of rain but Saturday evening could provide a narrow window to view the Aurora Borealis. Sister Bay Advancement Association Assistant Coordinator Miluzka McCarthy says the tight timeframe may help draw crowds.


Packing an entire weekend of spectators into a handful of hours amplifies the impact. Sister Bay and Ellison Bay's location on the western side of Northern Door County make them prime viewing locations for the Northern Lights. 


HVAC companies give back

Heating and cooling companies like Ultimate Air will be helping warm more than just homes next month. The Luxemburg business will be heading to Whitelaw, Wis. next Saturday to install a furnace for the family of Nancy Froelich through the Lennox Feel the Love program. Nominations are taken throughout the year by HVAC businesses throughout the country to reward people who have been giving of others but not necessarily to themselves. It will be the sixth year Ultimate Air has participated in the program and owner Jeff Blemke says it is a day he looks forward to every time.

Blemke says even though the installation will take place in Manitowoc County, all of his employees, their families, and many Luxemburg businesses are still supporting the event through donations and their time.

Healing Project lends support

From the newly diagnosed to those in remission, The Healing Project at Door County Medical Center makes sure cancer patients are never alone. The Healing Project began in 2012 to help those inflicted with cancer rebound with integrative therapies to help improve their physical, mental and spiritual health. Acupuncture, massages, and nutrition counseling are just some of the different ways outreach assistant Jennelle Berg says The Healing Project can help produce better outcomes.

The Healing Project offers its services to a limited number of patients for free every year. Door County Medical Center fundraises annually to help offset the costs through a variety of different ways including next week’s Shop and Dine event.



Chocolate milk bans worry nutritionists, farmers

Local farmers and nutritionists are not keen on the continuing assault of milk consumption. New York City public schools are proposing a ban on chocolate milk sales due to its sugar content. It follows similar efforts in places like San Francisco and Washington D.C.   Rachel Bauer, a registered dietician from the Kewaunee County Public Health Department says there are some health benefits to chocolate milk.

The move also comes at a time when Americans are already drinking less milk with sales dropping $1.1 billion in 2018 according to Dairy Farmers of America. Rich Olson from Olson Family Farms in Sturgeon Bay says the beverage demands are not in their favor.

Bauer adds chocolate milk and other school lunch items are just one piece of the entire day when it comes to making sure your kids are eating healthy.

New station hopes to increase numbers, training

Baileys Harbor is the latest community to see its fire department get a long-overdue facilities upgrade. Earlier this month, the town approved by a wide margin the construction of a new fire station on the site of its current one at Park Road. Baileys Harbor Fire Chief Brian Zak is happy the new space will allow the department to have a little more elbow room when it comes to training, their equipment, and other daily tasks. He is also hopeful the facility will aid in its recruitment of more volunteer firefighters. The old station will have to be torn down sometime in March to make way for its replacement, which Zak says will force equipment to get shuffled around for a few months.

If all goes to plan, the new Baileys Harbor Fire Station should be ready for occupancy by next November. Jacksonport and Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Departments have all gotten new facilities built within the last two years.



Photo credit to Baileys Harbor Fire Department Facebook page

Apples in prime picking season

Area apple orchards are busy harvesting the plentiful crop this fall.  Steve Wood of Wood Orchards in Egg Harbor and Sturgeon Bay says they are picking three varieties at a time.  He updates the progress of Door County’s most popular apples.



Wood says the apple quality is very good this year and that his orchards have avoided any severe weather damage that would negatively impact his apple crop.  

Algoma street construction progressing as waterway closure delayed 

As the new Second Street Bridge installation continues, the City of Algoma is getting the street construction nearby completed on-schedule.  The stretch from Navarino Street south to Steele Street has been under reconstruction the past month.  Algoma Public Works Director Matt Murphy says the streets should be back open for the public by the middle of October.



Murphy says construction crews will be alternating between First and Second Streets to prepare the roadways for blacktopping and completion by October 30th.  The closure of the waterway beneath the Second Street Bridge has been delayed another week until October 6 as falsework on the bridge is being completed.  The bridge is still expected to open by the middle of November, according to Murphy.   


Flood insurance becoming more important locally 

With near-record rainfall reported locally this month already, many property owners are inquiring about flood insurance.  Nicole Kirsten of  Robertson, Ryan & Associates in Kewaunee says homeowner should check on their existing insurance policy.  She says if you live in a flood zone a separate policy is typically needed.



Kirstin says many policy coverage caps vary with the worth of your home and its contents.  She adds that flood insurance is mandated through the federal government and premiums should be quoted at the same price based on your specific address and flood zone information.   New flood insurance policies require a 30-day window before coverage becomes active.    


Kewaunee homecoming features tractor parade

Homecoming week at Kewaunee High School was capped off by the annual tractor parade. Students came to class Thursday morning perched high atop John Deere green, Case IH red, and Kubota orange. Students in grades K-12 got to interact with the vehicles from a safe distance. Principal Michael Bennett says all four classes in the high school march, or drive, in the parade. 



There is no class Friday so the parade was scheduled for seventh period on the final day of instruction for the week. Bennett says that next year they may try to introduce an educational aspect to Bring Your Tractor To School Day.


Photo courtesy of Kewaunee School District Facebook page.



Salute to Veterans dinner November 9th

The Catholic Community of the Greater Sturgeon Bay Area has scheduled its 2nd annual Salute to Veterans dinner for 5 PM on Saturday, November 9th at the Corpus Christi social hall on Duluth Avenue. Veterans get first crack at the tickets through one of the four parish offices or the Veterans Service Office. The tickets are complimentary and available only to veterans from September 30th to October 15th. The general public can purchase the remainder according to Parish Mission Planning Group facilitator Bill Sauve.


The dinner will feature entertainment and veterans will enjoy a special performance by the Community Choir of Door County. 


Keeping youth involved

Local organizations like Door County 4-H are always looking for ways to keep their oldest members still engaged. While “last moments” with a group are inevitable, the demands of other opportunities available to them could cause them to drop out sooner. Door County 4-H’s Junior Leaders program brings kids from across the area together to do activities but also take on leadership roles. Door County 4-H Educator Dawn Vandevoort says their Junior Leaders are pivotal to the organization’s success.

Ahead of National 4-H Week, Door County 4-H will host an informational meeting for its Junior Leaders program on Sunday from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Junior Fair Building in Sturgeon Bay.

Pumpkins survive the weather

Thousands of pumpkins are expected to go from patches to doorsteps in Door and Kewaunee Counties over the coming weeks. Many pumpkin growers across the state were not excluded from the pain other farmers experienced this year as the cold, wet weather claimed a large portion of their crop. Hillside Apples owner Bill Roethle says while smaller pumpkins and gourds may have struggled a little bit, he is still happy with this year’s batch in Casco.

To keep your pumpkins and other gourds looking as good as the day you brought them home, it is recommended you keep it on a dry surface, watch out for cold weather, and wait as long as you can before you carve it.

Michigan Street Bridge closes next week

Motorists in Sturgeon Bay will have to find alternate routes next week as the Michigan Street Bridge gets a major upgrade. The bridge will be closed October 1ST through the 3rd from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. as thirteen high-definition cameras are installed. Mark Kantola from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation says the upgrade from analog to digital is important.

The Maple/Oregon Street Bridge and the Bayview Bridge will remain open for motorists during the camera installation.

Homecoming calls for safe fun

Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski hopes you have a happy homecoming as long as it is safe. While there have not been major incidents in Kewaunee County related to homecoming in recent memory, the concern for kids illegally drinking and driving and going overboard with “decorating” is still there. Joski says homecoming can be a special time as long as you make good decisions.

Joski says parents also need to make good decisions as well during homecoming week. It is against the law for adults to provide alcohol and other drugs for underage parties.



As I have done in the past, I would like to spend time bringing some attention to safety during our Homecoming festivities.  This time of year brings with it not only the games and other school activities that our kids are involved in, but also the social activities which are such an important part of their lives. As we approach the season of homecoming games and dances we should encourage our kids to make good decisions, and more importantly be an example of good decisions. To the kids, let your parents know where you are going to be and with who. For those areas where “decorating” is allowed, please be respectful of those who do not wish to be part of this tradition. When traveling from one place to another, please use caution and adhere to the rules of the road.


Be aware of the consequences of drinking, and remove yourself from situations which you don’t feel comfortable. To the parents, provide a safe environment for them in the form of gathering places in your homes, and always re-assure them that you will be there if they find themselves in a place they no longer wish to be. It goes without saying that those under 21 should not be drinking, and the consequences both legally and academically are not worth it. It is also illegal for those over 21 to provide alcohol to minors. This may seem like common sense, but there are those adults who rationalize providing alcohol to minors by having the parties at their home, or by taking keys. Regardless of how you justify it, it is still illegal, and the consequences can be far reaching. I hope that everyone has a safe Homecoming season both on the field as well as off the field.

Farmers need dry weather

After another rainy week in the Door Peninsula, farmers are running out of time to get their crop harvested. Rich Olson of Olson Family Farm says he is most worried about corn. Harvest should have happened already in a normal year. Olson concedes that a poor harvest could help boost prices and crop insurance would make the prudent farmer whole in time. However, Olson says that operations at his farm are dependent on having the corn in hand.


Olson needs two weeks of dry weather since the ground is fully saturated. That includes fields that have been tiled for drainage. The one saving grace could be that the planting season was late this spring meaning the harvest timetable is behind as well.


National public lands celebration highlights value for Wisconsin

Public lands and outdoor sports add to the quality of life in Door and Kewaunee counties, as well as Wisconsin overall, and will be celebrated September 28th.  The National Public Lands Day and National Hunting and Fishing Day pay tribute to the conservation work funded by hunters and anglers through license fees and excise taxes on sporting gear.  With over six-million acres of public lands available for access, Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Biologist Josh Martinez says they're an asset for outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy hunting and fishing or just want to get away from urban or suburban life for a while.



The National Public Lands Day and National Hunting and Fishing Day is also a time to celebrate the economic impact of outdoor recreation. The DNR says people who want to get into the outdoors annually add nearly $18-billion in business for Wisconsin.

DCEDC working to develop younger workforce

With signs that there are fewer young workers in Wisconsin,  the Door County Economic Development Corporation is working to change that trend close to home.  A Wisconsin Public Policy analysis of census data found that the state's workforce has declined by nearly 35,000 workers over four years.  That's in conjunction with an overall decline in residents under 18-years old who are a key source of younger workers.  DCEDC Workforce Development Specialist Kelsey Fox says the corporation is taking steps to stem that trend in Door County and keep younger workers close to home.  



The DCEDC is also working with high school age students with visits to businesses taking part in Manufacturing Day on October 4th to see the career opportunities available in Door County.

Banker favors tax-free home down payment accounts

A bill to create tax-free savings accounts for first-time homebuyers in Wisconsin is getting a thumbs up from one local banker. The legislation would allow first-time home shoppers to save up to $50,000 for a down payment. Tim Treml, President and CEO of the Bank of Luxemburg says such tax-free accounts are a win-win for consumers and taxpayers.



Neighboring states with similar home down payment savings accounts include Minnesota and Iowa. 

Pickleball and tennis players learn to coexist

The Door County Pickleball Club has been instrumental in helping to usher in outdoor pickleball to Sturgeon Bay. In August 2018, two pickleball courts were added at Otumba Park. This past August, six pickleball courts were painted at Sunset Park. Club President Jay Renstrom says open scheduling exists for both sports with an exception made for a tennis group at Otumba Park.


The DCPC has seen explosive growth in its first year, recently purchasing wind screens for the courts at Sunset Park. Renstrom hopes to begin tournaments next summer.


Kewaunee businesses lead charge for broadband access

Since last year, Kewaunee County has been doing a broadband internet study and businesses are out in front as far as demanding better access. Many would assume it's parents. Children in Kewaunee County often have to travel long distances to the local library to find wi-fi for internet to help with homework. The lack of access affects businesses too, hindering them from doing transactions that most take for granted.


For a county that sees high tourist traffic, the inability to process credit cards means lost sales. Many travelers do not like to carry large amounts of cash, preferring to pay with plastic when away for the weekend or on vacation.


Photo and painting exhibit on Auschwitz coming to Algoma

A photo and painting exhibit designed to remember the lessons of the atrocities of the Auschwitz concentration camps is coming to Algoma's James May Gallery.  Award-winning Swedish photographer Orjan Henriksson will display and speak about his exhibit entitled Auschwitz KZ I and II, which were taken during a one week visit to camps I and II.  Henriksson says, in a written statement, that he wanted the black and white photographs of vacant areas of the camps to contrast with the multitudes of people who died there and those who survived.  Henriksson's photos will be presented alongside the color minimalist paintings by Kyle McKenzie, an art professor at Missouri Southern University.  Kendra Bulgrin, Director of the James May Gallery, says the exhibit will be more intense than past showings and will stir up some emotions.



Both Henriksson and McKenzie will hold “Artist Talks” at 7:00 PM when the exhibit opens on October 3rd at the James May Gallery on Steele Street in Algoma.  Admission is free.

Potawatomi fall weekends are crowded

If you plan on visiting Potawatomi State Park in the fall for the color or hunting seasons don't be surprised if you encounter a wait to get in. Park Manager Erin Brown Stender says the size of the park, over 1,200 acres in total, allows for a range of activities that aren't possible at smaller venues. The Friends of Potawatomi host the Run Wild event October 12th which includes hundreds of runners doing up to a quarter marathon. An easy way to beat the lines is to reserve a spot with the park's new online system.


Potawatomi is open year-round and offers lots of winter sports options as well.


"Love" still the best treat for your pets

With pet owners always trying to fine the right dietary balance for their beloved furry friend, a local veterinarian offers advice on treats.  Dr. Jordan Kobilca of the Door County Veterinary Hospital in Sturgeon Bay and Luxemburg Pet Clinic says the best treat you can give your pet some TLC.  Occasional healthy treats are okay to give your pets, according to Dr. Jordan.


Dr. Jordan adds that you should not feed any salty or fatty foods as treats, as well as any table scraps.  You can find tips on the best treats for dogs below.


More millennials enjoying green thumbs

The popularity of houseplants among millennials has seen a huge spike locally as well as nationally.  According to the, young people are turning to plants, which require less attention than pets, to provide something to nurture.  Reportedly more millennials are showing interest in plant collecting with the postings on Instagram.  Todd Maas of Maas Floral and Greenhouse in Sturgeon Bay says he has seen a trend of younger consumers taking pride in growing plants, herbs, and vegetables.



Maas adds that succulent gardens are currently the most popular plant by far and gardening, in general, is crossing over many generations.    


Mental Health Minute on unraveling our tangled strings

Here’s Psychologist Dr. Dennis White with a Mental Health Minute.  



You can listen to Dr. White’s weekly Mental Health Minute played four times daily on all five radio stations of 




Algoma library recruiting writers and artists

The Algoma Public Library is inspiring young and old to improve their writing craft.  Offering Teen and Adult Creative Writing Workshops monthly, the library is seeking more avid writers to participate.  Braelyn Dempsey, the young adult librarian, says the classes are structured to instill the most creative writing possible.  She shares the advice received during her college days.



The Algoma Library is also offering an Inktober Art Contest with registration taking place from October 1 through October 16 and submission turned in by October 23 for prize consideration.  You can find a complete list of Algoma Public Library activities and schedules below.   








News release:  


Inktober Art Contest
Starting October 1
For the budding artists to the professionals, stretch your fingers and flex your skills.
Inktober is a time to test your artistry and the Algoma Public Library is ready to help.
Registration Period: October 1 to October 16 at 7:00 pm
Submissions will be accepted anytime once registration is submitted, but must be submitted to the Library by October 23rd at 7:00 pm to be considered for prizes. Entries will be displayed and voted on at the Algoma Public Library. All ages may enter. Prizes to be announced.
Teen Creative Writing Workshop
Thursday, October 3,2019 – 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Join us every FIRST and THIRD Thursday from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM for our Teen Creative Writing Workshop. Sharing of new or old pieces is encouraged, but not required.

After School Movie
Friday, October 4, 2019 – 3:15 PM to Movie End
Join us at the Algoma Public Library for the showing of a family friendly movie. We’ll be showing E.T. (rated PG) at 3:15 PM. Popcorn will be provided by the Library.

Teen Advisory Group
Monday, October 7, 2019 – 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Teens in grades 6th - 12th grade, discuss program planning, activities that can be done at the library, and items to purchase for the Young Adult Area. We'll also have an activity to help out the community.

Adult Creative Writing
Tuesday, October 8, 2019 – 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Meeting on the second Tuesday of every month. We will have writing prompts and activities for those looking for inspiration. The first hour will be writing, the time left will be for sharing our pieces.

Teens After School Games
Monday, October 14, 2019 – 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Every SECOND and FOURTH Monday, starting September 9th, at the Algoma Public Library. We will have board games, card games, and, once in a while, video games.

Homecoming celebrations carry importance

Former students from across the region will be coming back over the coming weeks as high schools in Door and Kewaunee Counties celebrate homecoming. Southern Door kicked off the annual rites of fall for the area last week with Sturgeon Bay, Gibraltar, and Kewaunee taking their turn this time around. Pep rallies, bonfires, football games, and dances keep the students engaged with homecoming all week long. Don’t be fooled though. Gibraltar Secondary School Principal Gereon Methner says the staff members get pretty involved as well.

The public is invited to select homecoming events, but a small fee may be required. Luxemburg-Casco, Algoma, and Sevastopol conclude homecoming season with their schedules of activities next week.



Ferry rides the weather waves

It has been quite the season so far for the Washington Island Ferry, especially when it rides between the raindrops. The wet weather contributed to slower traffic on some days, but rider counts swung hard the opposite way when they were greeted with sunshine. Ferry President Hoyt Purinton says the recent warm temperatures and the start of the fall colors really bring people aboard.

Rain has actually been a blessing on some days according to Purinton, who says it helps knock down the fog and improve visibility. The Washington Island Ferry runs 11 roundtrips daily between now and October 27th before it cuts down that schedule in half. Its service to Rock Island ends on October 14th.

Student-made motorcycle finds local home

An Idlewild restaurant owner will not have to travel far on his new motorcycle to talk to the people who made it. John Grosbeier from CJ’s Bar and Grill won the “Lone Wolf,” a motorcycle rebuilt by members of Algoma High School’s Wolf Tech program, at a recent event held at Green Bay’s Vandervest Harley-Davidson. Grosbeier took a detour on his way home to show the bike off to the students and express his gratitude. Even though the bike took second in the contest held at the Northeast Wisconsin Motorama car show in March, Grosbeier says it is a winner to him.

Algoma Wolf Tech teacher Matt Abel says it was important for his students to see their work in action and to see the joy it brought.

Even though he turned down Grosbeier’s offer to take it for a spin, Abel did make sure he taught the new owner some of the high-tech features of the motorcycle including its Bluetooth light and music system. Abel hopes they are able to compete in the contest again next year.



Why Join? Girl Scouts

While other youth organizations around them are branching out to be more co-ed, local Girl Scouts leaders are sticking with what they know best. Forty-six troops dot Door and Kewaunee Counties with various opportunities available. Like many organizations, more emphasis has been placed with science, technology, engineering, and math skills to help fill in possible job needs in the future. Melissa Loest from the Girls Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes says their program allows members to be themselves.

While many of the recruitment events have come and gone, Loest says girls can join a troop at anytime.. This is the final part of our series about organizations kids can join in the opening month of the school year.

GM Strike impacting local dealers

As the United Auto Workers members continue to remain on the picket line against General Motors, area car dealers are dealing with the local ramifications of the strike.  Both United Auto Workers and General Motors representatives are reportedly preparing for a long strike that began over a week ago.  Jim Rabas, co-owner of Algoma Motors GMC-Buick, says the strike is having a big impact on inventory levels at his dealership.



Rabas adds that his parts department is affected as well.



Rabas hopes the labor dispute can be resolved quickly between the UAW and GM because the strike is slowly crippling his business operation.   


League of Women Voters host registration drive

While this Tuesday is National Voter Registration Day, the Door County League of Women Voters will be celebrating on Wednesday with a registration drive.  The event will be held at the Door County ADRC/Community Center and will assist people electronically to change names or addresses.  Member and Voter Service co-chair Barb Graul says if you are a new voter you will need to bring proof of residency.



The voter registration drive will be held from 11 am until 1:00 pm at the Community Center on North 14th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.  If you wish to update your registration and are not able to attend, you may call the contact number below to schedule another time and place.



Call Barb Graul 920-743-6842

Domestic Violence Awareness Walk scheduled

Help of Door County is bringing more awareness to the impact of domestic violence with a community walk next week.  Executive Director Steve Vickman says the goal is to raise more awareness about domestic violence and the impact it can have on the community.  He shares what the event will all entail.



The Walk will begin at Sawyer Park on Wednesday, October 2 and canvas both downtown bridges in Sturgeon Bay.  October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  You can find more information on services provided by Help of Door County with this link below.     

Door County wells needed for groundwater research

UW Oshkosh researchers want to develop a database on groundwater activity throughout Door County and need help from private well owners.  The UWO Environmental Research and Innovation Center wants to begin the groundwater quality study this fall. It hopes to recruit private property owners wanting their wells tested for nitrates and ecoli bacteria.  Greg Kleinheinz, Director of the Environmental Research and Innovation Center, says information gathered through the testing will give property owners and Door County officials a clearer view of groundwater quality.




Those interested in being part of UWO's research must sign up for the program by October 18th.  Forums for those chosen will be held November 4th from 6:00-8:00 PM at the Town of Gibraltar Fire Department and November 6th from 6:00-8:00 PM at The Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay.  


Anyone interested in signing up to have their wells tested can fill out a form at the Door County Public Health Department on Nebraska Street in Sturgeon Bay or online at

Moravian church adds second Blessing Box

The Sturgeon Bay Moravian Church is adding a Blessing Box to the community to help people with food needs when pantries are not open. It's located at 322 4th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.  The free-standing pantry is similar to the pocket libraries and based on the principle of taking what you need, bring what you can and above all be blessed.  The Reverend Matt Knapp, the pastor of the Moravian Church, says the second Blessing Box location fits in with another nearby effort to bring food to those in need.



A dedication ceremony for the Blessing Box is scheduled for Sunday, September 29th at 11:30 AM at the 4th Avenue location.  This is the second Blessing Box in Sturgeon Bay.  The first one was erected by Prince of Peace Lutheran Church at Michigan Street in Sturgeon Bay.  


Monarch butterflies tagged at Southern Door schools

Last Friday, Marisa Pitzen and her mother, Dawn Pitzen, held a presentation on monarch tagging at Southern Door School. Marisa is a middle schooler at Southern Door and has been working on tagging monarch butterflies over the past three years with the University of Kansas. This 2019 Marisa was officially titled a citizen scientist. 
Marisa and her mother brought ten monarch butterflies to Southern Door to give her classmates a real-life tagging demonstration. Afterward, they brought the monarchs outside, with Marisa’s fifth-grade class in pursuit, to free them tagged and ready for milkweed. 
During the presentation, Marisa and her mother shared that they are not the only ones who can help out monarch butterflies. If you see one tagged, you can take a picture of its wing and upload the code you see on the sticker to help track those butterflies. Marisa encourages others to grow milkweed to support these gentle creatures. 





Treatment court on the way

Door County is a grant away from establishing its own treatment court for drug offenders. The county is in the running for a state Treatment Alternatives and Diversion Program grant, which is designed for counties without the treatment court. Instead of strictly incarcerating people, treatment courts take a more problem-solving and public health approach to making sure they get the help they need. Judge David Weber has championed the cause since he took the post well over a year ago and says they have been hard at work making sure all the pieces are in place.

This would be the second grant the program has earned after receiving one earlier this year from the federal Bureau of Justice Administration to fund training. Weber believes they could start hiring team members by the first of the year and have the treatment court up and running by the middle of 2020.

Late season makes eating healthy easier

You have your pick of the crop when it comes to eating healthier in Door and Kewaunee Counties this fall. Fruits like apples and vegetables like potatoes are beginning to hit their peak after being behind schedule for much of the growing season. Adjusting your diet to fit the peak season for such foods is key to keeping healthy according to Jody Anderson of Succeed Health in Algoma.

Anderson says eating within the season has other positive impacts on the community such as increased sales for independent growers at farm markets and protection for the environment.

DARE replaced at some schools

Door County Sheriff’s Department Juvenile Investigator Chris Neuville will be sharing his teacher’s hat with other officers this coming school year. The law enforcement-based program known as D.A.R.E. will only be taught at Washington Island School and St. John Bosco in Sturgeon Bay after Southern Door, Gibraltar, and Sevastopol hired resource officers over the summer. Those schools will be taught by their resource officers some of the same lessons through the newly developed COREMatters Project curriculum. No matter the program, Neuville says kids are eager to learn.

The COREMatters Project focuses on social-emotional learning, empathy, and respect building through a number of different activities.



Ice skating coming to Kewaunee

You will be able to lace up your ice skates as soon as this winter at Dana Farm in Kewaunee. The Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors approved a $40,000 donation from Kewaunee County- Wisconsin Farm Technology Days to create the ice rink, build a warming shelter, and renovate the nearby childhood home of Ransom Moore. The Kewaunee County icon is credited with helping start 4-H in Wisconsin over 100 years ago. Board chairperson Bob Weidner says it will be an asset to the area.

Located near the popular Winter Park, ground on the project is expected to be broken sometime this fall. Ice skating at the rink will be free, but you will have to make sure you have the proper equipment yourself before you go.

Common council member encouraged by medical cannabis bill

A Sturgeon Bay Common Council member is encouraged to hear of bipartisan support for a bill to legalize marijuana for medical use.  The bill would allow people with diagnosed illnesses or disorders to legally obtain cannabis with a prescription from their doctor at state regulated dispensaries.  It would also require the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to set quality standards for growers, producers and sellers.  Sturgeon Bay Common Council member Seth Wiederanders, who supports legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use, calls the bill a good step for people who are hurting.




The bill is the first effort to legalize medical marijuana in Wisconsin since a similar bill failed in 2001. Since then, numerous communities have passed non-binding referendums in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.  

Reducing your risk of a lightning strike

A meteorologist says an indirect lightning strike that injured an electrical service employee in Kewaunee last week was a rare occurrence, although not uncommon.  In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says so far this year 17 people nationwide have been killed by lightning strikes.  Scott Berschback, meteorologist at NOAA Weather Station in Green Bay, says people should know that even though they can't see lightning they're at risk of being struck by just being outside.  He says when you hear thunder it's time to take action.




Berschback says your odds of being struck by lightning are 1-in-700,000 chances.  While that's rare, the Wisconsin Lottery Office estimates those are greater odds than winning the Powerball jackpot with your chance of nearly 1-in-292,000,000. 

Packers Game Day Bus set to be busy this week

The Packers are in the middle of a four-day stretch that features two home games and, for the Kewaunee Area Chamber, that means big business. Many fans come from out of town to attend games, or just to tailgate. Lodging in Green Bay fills up quickly which means out-of-towners look east to Kewaunee County to spend the weekend. The relaxed small-town atmosphere is an attraction as well. Chamber Administrative Assistant Cassie Jelinik says people from across the country take advantage of the Game Day Bus.



The bus is round-trip transportation starting three hours before kickoff for twenty dollars per person. It makes stops in Algoma, Kewaunee, and Ellisville. The bus returns one hour after the game has finished. It departs Green Bay from the Moose Lodge.

Operation Warm underway in Kewaunee County

The Violence Intervention Project is spearheading Operation Warm in Kewaunee County again this year. The movement was begun in 1998 in Pennsylvania by Dick Sanford. The goal is to provide new or gently used coats and apparel for children and adults during the winter. Locally, there are two dates to know about. The coat drive runs through October 7th. You can drop off clothing at 22 locations across the county. Families registering for a coat must do so by October 18th. Danielle from VIP stresses the need to enroll prior to the distribution date.


Operation Warm also provides the ability to purchase new coats through its website. Last year over 100 coats were handed out in Kewaunee County alone. 



Volley Tots enrollment surges in Kewaunee

Kewaunee's Volley Tots program is experiencing a boost in attendance. Last year, 32 girls were enrolled. The 2019 class was over 50 by the middle of last week, before any same-day registrations occurred at the first session on Saturday. Volley Tots is a five-week program that teaches fundamentals of the game to first through sixth graders in Kewaunee. Organizer Greta Bloniarz says it is important to keep young girls interested in the game at an age where playing opportunities can be hard to come by.


Volley Tots is a feeder program for junior volleyball and eventually high school teams in the county. The increased enrollment should produce a trickle-down effect for years to come.


Harvest Fest a boon for local businesses

Third Avenue shut down on Saturday for vendors, classic cars, and chalk art drawing throngs of people to Sturgeon Bay. For Sonny's Italian Kitchen, that meant setting up a temporary booth on the other side of the canal from its permanent location to take advantage. The Brick Lot Pub and Grill is located at Third and Jefferson, adjacent to where John Soukup was etching a chalk mural. The professional artist from Cedar Rapids, Iowa added something new to the Brick Lot experience. Owner Wendi Carter says Harvest Fest is a great help to her business.


Fall weekends normally present high traffic for the Brick Lot. Carter says the extra touches of Harvest Fest help turn it into one of the biggest days of the season.


Algoma addresses storm water flooding

The City of Algoma is going green when it comes to controlling storm water and snow runoff while also protecting Crescent Beach.  The city will  put a plan for a bioswale, or flood water retention pond, out for bids in January.  Bioswales and rain gardens are being looked at by communities to ease the runoff loads on storm sewers.  Matt Murphy, Algoma Public Works Director, says the bioswale project is the first of its kind for the city, which is looking for ways to divert runoff from going directly into Lake Michigan.



The City of Green Bay is looking at expanded use of bioswales and rain gardens to reduce flooding that has occurred with repeated torrential rain falls and changing climate conditions.

Sevastopol school paper to address community issues

The Sevastopol Elementary School newspaper made a successful return last school year and will be focusing on issues beyond the classrooms.  The Pioneer Press returned after an absence of several years and was enthusiastically embraced by staff, students and parents.  The paper plans to put out four issues this year instead of three.  Students will be covering the renovations and building replacements approved by voters.  Newspaper advisor Brooke Tanck says this years focus will also be on bringing current community issues into focus for younger readers.




The bulk of this year's Pioneer Press writers will come from the fifth grade, although students from all grades will have input on story ideas.

UPDATE: Highway 42 reopened north of Carlsville

UPDATE: The Door County Sheriff's Department has advised that 42 has been reopened as of 11:45 AM.


Highway 42 was closed Sunday morning north of Carlsville because of a multi-vehicle accident. More updates to come as information becomes available. 


Scene of the accident

Milk centerpiece of new beverage guidelines

Milk's primary role in the new guidelines for millions of American children means a great economic opportunity for Door Peninsula dairy farmers. The new Healthy Drinks, Healthy Kids guidelines say that water and milk should be the primary beverages for young kids. UW-Extension Kewaunee Nutrition Educator Kaila Stencil says the key is avoiding added sugars. Consumers are about to get help with that.


Because so much of the dietary intake for toddlers and infants is liquid based, what beverages are consumed affects health as much as what is eaten. Previous guidelines from the USDA suggested limiting juice and sugary drinks but that is a far cry from the new advice to stick to small servings or to thin it out using water.



Rare "birdcage" lighthouse in Door County

The Fall Door County Lighthouse Festival is a great chance to see one of the last birdcage lighthouses in the United States. For a variety of reasons, namely the quality of construction, most lighthouses from before 1850 have collapsed or been torn down. In the early part of the next decade, American lighthouses switched from using Winslow Lewis lamps and the birdcage design to the more modern housing for a fresnel lens. In that transition period, some lighthouses were built in the older style. Only a handful exist in the US today according to enthusiast and filmmaker Jake Heffernan.


The Old Bailey Harbor Lighthouse last had a functioning lamp in 1869 but the structure is still there. It was replaced by the Range Lights on the property of the Ridges Sanctuary.


Debate exists over cutting back perennials

Gardening experts split over the proper time to cut back perennials. The traditional view is to do so in the fall and there are benefits to that course of action. If the plant is suffering from disease then an autumn trim followed by a long, dormant winter can help the plant come back healthy next year. On the flip side, leaving perennials untrimmed gives birds access to a meal in winter according to Master Gardener Carrie Sherrill.



Sherrill says that she goes about half and half each year as far as the number of perennials she trims back in the fall. She says she will always keep the occasional stalk to ensure what she calls "winter interest." For gardeners, just having something poking out above the snow is better than nothing at all. If plants are not cut back in autumn, they can be pruned back through late April when new growth is just beginning to sprout.

Chalk the Bay adds color downtown

Coinciding with Harvest Fest, Chalk the Bay brightened up downtown Sturgeon Bay Saturday. Professionals and community members took part with the Door County Public Library organizing the showcase. John Soukup arrived in town last night, his first ever trip to the Door Peninsula. He is based out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Soukup used nearly 60 sticks of chalk to etch a mural of a young girl in nature. Soukup has a background in graphic design and says at times that chalk can be a difficult medium to work with.


Soukup does chalk art at roughly a dozen festivals each year. He stressed how impressed he was by the overall event as it filled Third Avenue with art, vendors, and classic cars for several blocks.


Photorealistic chalk drawing being worked on


Public defender pay raise eases backlog

Wisconsin's 2019-2021 budget won't provide Door and Kewaunee counties with additional assistant district attorneys.  Increased compensation for public defenders, however, is expected to help process cases faster.  Currently, court appointed attorneys receive $40-an-hour.  Door County District Attorney Colleen Nordin says increased compensation will help some defendants finally get their day in court.




Nordin says her office could use a half-time assistant district attorney, which was not included with the recent state budget.  She adds she and Assistant DA Nicholas Grode have been able to keep up with current case loads.  The increased compensation for court-appointed attorneys will make their jobs even easier.

Classic car show has everything

Diane Seiler was in Sturgeon Bay for Harvest Fest Saturday showing off her 1984 Mercury Cougar Tiffany. Seiler's car may have a Detroit name but it couldn't be further from Motown metal. The car was custom built in Miami to be shipped to European celebrities to replace their Rolls Royce. Seiler wasn't in costume this year but she has been known to honor the car's cinematic heritage.


The car show was put on by the Old Bolts Car Club based in Sturgeon Bay. The classic car show drew hundreds of entrants to Third Avenue. The cars were parked on both sides of the road stretching for blocks east of Michigan Street. 


Mercury Cougar Tiffany


Dedication at Algoma's Christmas Tree Ship Park

Christmas has come early to a park near the Algoma marina. There was a dedication Thursday at Christmas Ship Tree Park, named for the booming commodity trade in the 1800's. Algoma Parks and Rec Director Sara Robertson talks about all of the groups who made the park possible.


The park provides a great view of the iconic Algoma Pierhead Lighthouse. Over 50 ships dedicated solely to carrying Christmas trees to Milwaukee and Chicago passed by the point over the years. A well-known captain of one of the Christmas tree ships was born in the city of Algoma as well. The renovations honor that heritage.


Outdoor pickleball courts in Sister Bay

Pickleball is now an option at the Sister Bay Sports Complex. Lines were added to the existing tennis courts. The two Sister Bay tennis courts play host to four pickleball courts, one on either side of the center net. The Advancement Association made purchases as well including specialized pickleball nets. The nets are housed in a storage unit at the court and there are two options for those wishing to engage in a pickleball match according to enthusiast Stephan Reynolds.


The fee is $10 for the reservation. Pickleball is a social game with 15 or 20 participants regularly cycling through on a court so the outlay is nominal. The sport is booming in popularity with the Door County Pickleball Club being formed to advance participation in outdoor games during the summer months.


St. Joseph's Church begins restoration work

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Sturgeon Bay is undergoing a huge restoration project this fall.  The century-old building is under both the National and Wisconsin Historic Registry.  The project, which is currently in phase four of the restoration timeline, began masonry repairs two weeks ago and will also include repairing the huge Rose stain glass window in the choir loft.  Dianne Coopman, a finance council and ad hoc restoration committee member, says this is by far the largest restoration project on the church in recent history.



Coopman says the mason and window restoration work will cost an estimated $230,000.  She adds that the fundraising efforts conducted in the last few months successfully exceeded that amount allowing a cushion in case of cost overruns.  The complete project is expected to be completed by the end of November.  


Sevastopol schools honors Bellin Health for support

By continuing to provide counseling support and staff development for unmet mental health needs in the Sevastopol School District, Bellin Health was recognized for its efforts last school year.  Bellin Health was recently honored as part of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards 2019 Business Honor Roll program.   Marilou Counard, director of Business Development & Ambulatory Clinical Services at the Bellin Psychiatric Center, says Bellin has a strong relationship with the school district and the STRIDE community program.  She hopes the program can build off of last year’s success.



Counard says a mental health therapist visits the Sevastopol schools one day a week and works with students who are in need of services that are not available in traditional outpatient settings.  


Historic Goodrich Ship featured at Gibraltar Talk

The Gibraltar Historical Association will share the stories of a bye-gone era of steamships in Door County at the end of the month.  The final Gibraltar Talk of 2019 is Monday, September 30 and will be a presentation on the Goodrich ships that transported people from Chicago and Milwaukee to Door County.  Jim Baye, a Great Lakes diver and historian, will share his collection of stories connected with items from the Goodrich ships.  Gibraltar Historical Association Director Laurie Buske says Baye has a fondness for the Goodrich ships and its history that will be shared a week from Monday.



The Gibraltar Talk on the Goodrich Steamship will be held at the Gibraltar Old Town Hall on Maple Street in Fish Creek.  The event is free to the public with refreshments served.



(photo submitted)


Press Release :


Gibraltar Historical Association announces our Final Gibraltar Talk of 2019.
                                                         September 30thth    Goodrich Ships

Curiosity and love for a bye gone era, is the reason for a presentation on the Goodrich Steamship and a display of a notable Goodrich ship collection.  Founded in 1856 as a Chicago-Milwaukee transportation service and eventually delivering summer guests to beautiful Door County. Jim Baye Great Lakes Diver/Historian will share his fascination with Goodrich ships, his collection and stories connected to these items. 
 Throughout the summer the Green Bay waters were part of the trip by the Georgia and Carolina, departing from Chicago to Mackinac Island, with each boat completing a round trip in a week. One arrived in the middle of the week the other came at week’s end.  Often the steamship’s whistle could be heard in the neighboring town of Ephraim.  

Fish Creek’s story would not be complete, without a glimpse into the early 1900’s and the arrival of the Great Lake steamers. Various ships plied the waters of Green Bay and delivered tourists to their summer retreat where the air was fresh and cool.  The Carolina was but one of these ships and its arrival in early summer was always reason for great excitement. Merchants readied their storefronts with fresh coats of paint and filled their shelves with supplies. The last curtain was pressed and hung, welcoming guests to the summer resorts.  Women and children of the town joined the menfolk at the dock to greet the ship.  Wagons and buggies lined the waterfront waiting to take guests to their respective hotels.  Another summer had begun. The streets of Fish Creek bustled with activity. The Goodrich Ship era running from 1856- 1933 most likely was one of the reasons Fish Creek became the quaint village it is today.

Gibraltar Historical invites you to learn more about the Goodrich Ship line, share Goodrich Ship memories or bring items you have collected. GHA will have the book, Red Stacks over the Horizon by James L. Elliott available for purchase. Come down to Gibraltar’s Old Town Hall, 4167 Maple Street, on Thursday, September 30th, at 7:00 p.m. in beautiful Fish Creek. 
The event is free and all are welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be served.



We also invite you to come and visit the Alexander Noble House Museum featuring Victorian Wedding customs and gowns. 

Tuesdays-Sundays, 10-3:00 with a small admission of $5.00.

Ferry build progressing

In the eyes of Door County residents at least, the “coolest thing made in Wisconsin” is beginning to take shape in Sturgeon Bay. Work on the Washington Island Ferry’s newest vessel named the Madonna began in August at Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding. When it is complete, Madonna will be 124 feet long with a capacity of 28 vehicles and 150 passengers, making it the largest in the Washington Island Ferry fleet. The ferry will also give the company extra flexibility in the winter because of its ice-breaking abilities. Washington Island Ferry President Hoyt Purinton says with every one of his regular updates on the project, he is happy Madonna is being made in Door County.

While the ferry line expects its newest vessel to be delivered in May 2020, you only have until Sunday to make sure Madonna beats pickles made in Bear Creek as the “Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin.”

Southern Door celebrates Homecoming 2019

Southern Door High school has been celebrating this past week with their 2019 Homecoming. The week has been filled with dress-up days and decorating every inch of the high school walls, halls, lockers, and the gymnasium. From prep day on Monday, squad day, generation day, tv show theme, and finally class shirts on Friday, students are coloring the hallways in school spirit. 

Monday, students gathered late after school at their football field for their annual powderpuff game. It ended in a tie between Juniors and Seniors. 

The Senior class of 2020 won the Spirit Jug last year, Southern Door’s Homecoming glorious prize, and show their hopes in winning it again. 

The homecoming game Friday night evokes a large student support section that carries loud cheers. SD football athletes go head to head with Oconto. 

SD Homecoming concludes with the annual High School dance Saturday night. 




Photo above is Seniors of 2020 Powderpuff Team
Monday game
Photo courtesy of Southern Door Parent





Seniors hand painting posters
Hallway posters
Photo: Delilah Rose


Mrs Delwiche
Feelings on Homecoming




SDHS Gym Teacher
Mrs Virgin
Feelings on Homecoming






SDHS Senior
Mixed Feelings on Homecoming




SDHS Junior
French Foreign Exchange Student
(Audio in French) “Homecoming is new for me. I’m excited!”




SDHS Sophomore
Dislikes about Homecoming



Mental health just as important for farmers

National Farm Safety and Health Week in Door and Kewaunee Counties is focusing just as much on the mental side of things as much as the physical. The annual campaign, which coincides with the fall harvest season, focuses on safety around tractors, confined spaces, and other agricultural aspects. Recently, more emphasis has been placed on farmers’ mental health as the suicide rates have started to climb. Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Aerica Bjurstrom says as important as it is to take care of your fields and your animals, it is even more imperative to watch over yourself during this stressful time.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the agricultural sector is the most dangerous in the country with 581 deaths in 2017. National Farm Safety and Health Week runs through Saturday.

Lightning strikes man in Kewaunee Thursday

Just after nine o'clock Thursday morning, a 30-year-old man was indirectly struck by lightning in Kewaunee. He was on the job as an employee of MJ Electric from Michigan. The worker was holding an uncharged power line when lightning struck the conduit. Kewaunee Police and Kewaunee Rescue responded. Assistant Chief James Kleiman Jr. was one of the officers on the scene.


Lightning strikes are rare and are treated similarly to exposure to an electrical shock. Kewaunee Rescue transported the man to Aurora Hospital for additional care. His status is currently unknown.


Adjustment for young students needed

You do not have to worry about young children and their parents eventually getting used to their new preschool routine according to Karen Corekin-De La Mer from the Northern Door Children’s Center in Sister Bay.  According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, 4K enrollment statewide has been climbing since 2016, which also means more kids leaving a home care setting for the first time. If there are a few tears shed on the playground or sad faces when you drop them off, Corekin-De La Mer says to not fret too much about it.

Corekin- De La Mer advises parents to ask their children specific questions about their day and not to be afraid to drop the teacher a message every now and then to see how they are doing.

ATV ordinance goes to municipalities

Local municipal bodies in Kewaunee County now have a blueprint to go off of when they introduce their own all-terrain and utility vehicle ordinances.  The Kewaunee County Board voted 13-5 on Tuesday to approve a countywide ordinance limiting who, where, and when people can drive the vehicles on county roadways. Some of the provisions include a maximum speed limit of 35 miles per hour and a minimum driving age of 16. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says the ordinance gives the rules uniformity across the area and his department the ability to enforce them.

It is now up to the individual towns, villages, and cities to pass the ordinance for them to be allowed on county roads, something Joski says could happen by this spring. You can watch a video and read more about the new ATV ordinance and what it means to you below.




This past week the County Board met and voted to adopt an ordinance regarding the enforcement of ATV/UTV use on our local roadways. Over the past few months, many of the townships throughout Kewaunee County have been contacted by their constituents requesting the authorization to use ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles) and UTVs (Utility Vehicles) on the public roads. These requests are not unusual and there are many areas throughout the state which do allow for use of public roads by these types of vehicles, however the presence of these vehicles co-mingled with regular vehicular traffic creates some concerns.


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


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

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


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


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


Allowing for these vehicles on our roads is a decision prompted by interest from our community, and it is our hope that this will be a benefit to those wishing to travel by use of ATV or UTV. It is important to note that if issues arise this ordinance can be retracted as quickly as it was enacted. I am confident that through mutual respect we can welcome these vehicles and still maintain the safe and enjoyable community we all call home. Please check with your local Town or Village as to the allowance of these vehicles on your local roads as again the authority to allow them rests with the local jurisdictions. To view the ordinance please go to our Sheriff’s Department website at:


Eli Mattson making music comeback

A musician with local ties that was on the national spotlight more than a decade ago is back to his musical roots.  Eli Mattson, who performed and finished second on the TV show America’s Got Talent in 2008, just recorded a new album and has an upcoming concert planned in Sturgeon Bay next month.   Having not performed the last five years due to health issues, Mattson, who now lives in Green Bay, plans to move to New York City later this year to refresh his musical career.  Hans Christian, owner of Studio 330 in Sturgeon Bay, has been producing Mattson’s new album and says working with Eli has been a great experience.



Mattson says his new album offers him a chance to be himself in the studio.



The two intimate concerts, called Eli Mattson Live will be held at 7 pm October 11 and October 12 at Studio 330 in downtown Sturgeon Bay.  You can listen to the entire interview with Eli Mattson and Hans Christian with the audio link below.





Waterway closure in Algoma delayed another week

Another delay of the planned waterway closure for under the Second Street Bridge in Algoma will not mean the construction project will not be done on schedule.   Nautical traffic was to be closed for the season as of this Sunday but Algoma Public Works Director Matt Murphy says that plan was postponed another week.  The waterway will now remain open until September 29.  Murphy explains the reasoning behind the decision.



The scheduled closure will be reevaluated again next Thursday. The complete Second Street Bridge project which began back in early July is still expected to be completed by the middle of November, according to Murphy.  


Great Fire remembrance at Belgian Heritage Center

The history of the “Great Fire of 1871”, known locally as the Peshtigo Fire, lives on with special presentations by Barb (Englebert) Chisholm of Sturgeon Bay.  Chisholm, a fifth-generation American of Belgian descent with ancestors who survived the devastating fire over 148 years ago, will speak at the Belgian Heritage Center next month.  Dressed in character as her great-great-grandmother, Chisholm shares the story of the Englebert family’s survival.



Chisholm, who volunteers at the Belgian Heritage Center in Brussels, will present her program on Saturday, October 5 at 10:30 am and Sunday, October 6 at 10:30 am and 1 pm.  An oral history video called “Women’s Work”, featuring stories told in English and Walloon about the role of women in the Belgian settlement area in the early days will also be shown.   



(photo courtesy of Belgian Heritage Center)


Hometown Pharmacy opens in Kewaunee

Kewaunee welcomed a new business this week as Hometown Pharmacy held a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday.  Hometown Pharmacy opened its doors at 223 Milwaukee Street in downtown Kewaunee.  Pharmacist Sarah Bartel, who has lived in Kewaunee since 1999 and worked for Hometown Pharmacy the past two years, says having access to healthcare in smaller communities is important.


Kewaunee has been without a pharmacy store since May when Shopko closed.  Hometown Pharmacy has two pharmacists, two pharmacy technicians, and a cashier regularly working along with two part-time employees.    


(photo courtesy of Hometown Pharmacy Kewaunee)

Determining competency in the court room

Door County Circuit Court Judge David Weber says a lot of factors come into play when determining if a person is fit for trial. Earlier this week, Judge Weber declared Sturgeon Bay resident Duryea Johnson not competent to stand trial for his alleged sex crimes. The decision is a judicial one and is based on whether or not the defendant understands the charges against them, the proceedings taking place, and if they can help in their defense. The determination is often aided with the help of a report done by a psychiatrist. Judge Weber says it is important to not confuse competency with mental illness.

Johnson will be committed to a state mental health facility for up to a year with a status update coming in December.

Environmental law center celebrates anniversary

From the farm fields of Kewaunee County to the shorelines Door County, Midwest Environmental Advocates has certainly made its mark on a number of local cases in its 20-year history. The environmental law center has tackled many water-related issues since it was formed in 1999. In Door County, it helped represent the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront in its battle in what was seen as a violation of the Public Trust Doctrine in 2016. Its focus has been on large farms in Kewaunee County, including its six-year battle over a water pollution permit that was issued to Kinnard Farms back in 2012. As that case prepares for its day with the Wisconsin Supreme Court, MEA staff member Peg Shaffer hopes it is just one example of how the organization has stuck by its clients in the name of the environment for 20 years.

The MEA will bring together other environmental advocates when it celebrates in 20th anniversary at the Kress Pavilion on October 3rd as a part of its Water Justice Series. You can find details for that event here.

Field days growing

With some not able to get out to their fields, farmers are taking advantage of the free time to learn a bit about how they can potentially do their jobs better . Peninsula Pride Farms hosted their latest field day on Tuesday at Brey Cycle Farm in Sturgeon Bay, which is one of the many the group hosts year-round.  It has been especially useful this year as farmers using cover crops and no-till practices have been able to get to work in their fields quicker and seeing their soil health improve. Nathan Nysse from Peninsula Pride Farms says the field days keep on growing more popular as word gets out and ideas begin working.

Peninsula Pride Farms is currently working on additional field days in the future as they arrange presenters and different equipment demonstrations.

Algoma hunter takes to small screen

The size of the screen you watch him on may be the only small thing about Kevin Seiler’s appearance on television earlier this week. The Algoma hunter and Bay Shipbuilding employee is featured on an episode of “Brotherhood Outdoors,” a television show highlighting union members out in the wilderness participating in one of their favorite recreational activities. In the episode, Seiler took four different modes of transportation to get to deer camp in remote Saskatchewan. Seiler says it was an experience he will not soon forget.


Seiler says he did not mind being filmed on the hunt, especially since it comes with a happy ending of him harvesting a big ten-point buck. You can catch Seiler’s episode on the Sportsman Channel in the near future or by clicking here.

Adopt-A-Soldier porch project resumes

Adopt-A-Soldier Door County, Habitat for Humanity, and the Coast Guard were back at the residence of Door County veteran Frank Lautenbach Tuesday and Wednesday this week for phase two of a porch restoration project. President Nancy Hutchinson says the rebuild is going smoothly. The original porch was torn out in August. She wants to leverage the existing relationships into more projects. If you would like to nominate a worthy veteran for a future build contact the Door County Veterans Service Office.


Wartella is a familiar face and Hutchinson says they maintain a close working relationship following her promotion.


Historical Society fashion dinner next week

You’ll have a chance to learn what Door County Depression-era clothing was like at an upcoming presentation to the DC Historical Society. The meal begins at 6 PM. Sahlin's grandfather was a long-time doctor in the county specializing in pediatrics. Because of the lean times in the Depression, clothing was not discarded readily. Executive Director Bailey Koepsel says that Sahlin has never given a public address on the topic before adding an exclusive feel to the dinner. Sahlin is best known for her ties to the George W. Bush Presidential Museum.


The dinner begins at 6 PM and seating is not limited.


Flu vaccinations are arriving for winter

It is impossible to predict the winter forecast but some early guesses say 2019-2020 could be rough which makes flu vaccines very important. Absolute recommendations are for children and the elderly but all adults are encouraged to be vaccinated. Kewaunee County Public Health Director Cindy Kinnard says vaccines are already starting to trickle in with full supplies available by October. You can find vaccines across Door and Kewaunee Counties.


The vaccination is recommended for the full winter season, but even if someone waits until January or February, that is better than no vaccination at all. 

Union votes down proposed new Bay Ship contract

The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 449 voted Wednesday afternoon to reject the new five-year contract proposal from Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay.  The previous contract had expired last Saturday but union members are continuing to work under the old terms.   Union President Shawn Claflin says the labor negotiations are a process.  He shares the concerns addressed in the new contract that will impact the 285 members of the union.



Claflin adds that it has taken up to five votes by the boilermakers in the past to approve a new labor agreement.  Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding Vice President and General Manager Todd Thayse could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.       

Kewaunee County Senior Fair aids seniors and families

The Kewaunee County Senior Resource Fair is a time of fun for older residents and a one-stop shop for services of interest to them and their grown children.  The 15th annual fair is scheduled on October 3rd.  It will feature 50 different vendors offering flu shots, blood pressure screening, massage therapy and other services that can help seniors live independently at home.  Olivia Delikowski, with the Aging and Disability Resource Center of the Lakeshore, says it's also a good setting for the adult children of seniors to address serious legal and safety issues.



The Kewaunee County Senior Resource Fair will be held October 3rd from 8:00 -10:00 AM at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds on 3rd Street in Luxemburg.

Door County students learn career options at Manufacturing Days

Hundreds of high school students from around Door County will learn about career options close to home at the third annual Manufacturing Days starting October 4th.  The Door County Economic Development Corporation is working with school districts to show interested students there are local companies that can provide living wages and are in need of qualified workers.  Tom Strong, DCEDC Operations Manager, says his group and schools are working with students ahead of time to match them with manufacturers that fit their interests.



Strong says such student visits can help them learn about apprenticeships and down the line could help them obtain full-time employment.  DCEDC Manufacturing Days will showcase 12 area companies on October 4th. They'll host student visits from 8:30 until 11:30 AM.  Public tours and a job fair will run from 12:30 until 4:00 PM. 

$10,000 grant aids Southern Door agriculture research

Southern Door Elementary School students will be able to do some extensive research that could help local farmers.  The elementary school's Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEAM team received a $10,000 grant from the America's Farmers Grow Rural Education program.  That will allow the district to purchase equipment, including microscopes designed for field work.  Students will conduct research on the school pond, the school garden and maple syrup tapping area.  Jessica Meacham, who heads the elementary STEAM program, says students' studies will benefit local agriculture.



Such grants have also helped rural schools, such as Southern Door, obtain robotics and weather forecasting equipment to aid local agriculture research by students. 

Sturgeon Bay approves vaping ordinance

It will now be illegal for minors to possess vaping devices in the city of Sturgeon Bay.  The Sturgeon Bay Common Council unanimously approved a second reading of the ordinance at Tuesday night’s meeting.  The ordinance forbids people under the age of 18 from possessing or purchasing electronic cigarettes in the city.  Mayor David Ward says the action is timely considering the recent reported negative health effects related to vaping.


Ward says other action taken on Tuesday evening by the council includes the first reading of an ordinance that was amended to make possessing one ounce or less of marijuana in a private home a zero penalty for a first or second offense.  Other business Tuesday at the Sturgeon Bay City Council meeting included discussion on the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society agreement with the city and review of the Ad Hoc West Waterfront Planning Committee recommendations.  Ward says the city’s next step with the SBHS is to get a lakebed lease from the state for both parcels of land.  Concerning the waterfront development, Ward adds that the city is looking at moving forward on the walkway along the bulkhead, where there is little disagreement.  The plan is for that to hopefully begin construction in September of next year. 

Student loan forgiveness makes housing more attainable

A Door County architect says student loan refinancing or forgiveness could make housing more affordable for some families.  College graduates face high interest rates and long repayment terms for student loans. Virge Temme says that makes it all but impossible for potential home buyers to come up with a down payment.  Temme suggests that refinancing or even forgiveness would create a market for new home buyers.



Temme says another obstacle for prospective home buyers is stagnant wages. She points out that the federal minimum wage has not been raised in just over a decade and is not keeping up with inflation.

Sturgeon Bay Jaycees marking 70th anniversary

The 70th anniversary of the Sturgeon Bay Jaycees will be celebrated with a reunion of past members later this month.  Phil Schmitz, a former member and state president in 1987, along with his wife Ann, will host the celebration at the Door Country Event Venue located at Schmitz Insurance south of Sturgeon Bay.  Schmitz says the social will encourage people to bring Jaycee memorabilia, photos, and stories to reminisce the history of the organization.  He says the Jaycees have always been a vital part of the community with many past projects over the years including June Jubilee and bringing Country singer Jerry Reed to the Door County Fair.



The Jaycees is a national civic organization that is open to people between the age of 18 and 40.  Schmitz says over 50 past members have already RSVP’d for the Sturgeon Bay Jaycee 70th anniversary reunion that will be held next Friday from 5 until 9 pm.  You can find contact information for attending the Sturgeon Bay Jaycees reunion with this story below.




Mental Health Minute with Dr. Dennis White

Here’s Psychologist Dr. Dennis White with a Mental Health Minute.


You can listen to Dr. White’s weekly Mental Health Minute played four times daily on all five radio stations of    


Sturgeon Bay schools utilizing Crossroads more than ever

A learning resource center with Sturgeon Bay School District roots is becoming a landmark for education beyond the initially-developed school forest.  Established in 1992 by the Sturgeon Bay Educational Foundation,   52 acres of land was initially purchased with many improvements and additions made in the last quarter-century.  Sturgeon Bay Superintendent Dan Tjernagel says the partnership with Crossroads at Big Creek remains very strong even after it became a separate entity from the school district.



Crossroads of Big Creek is a scientific, historical, and environmental learning preserve located at the corner of Highway 42-57 North in Sturgeon Bay and County TT.  Crossroads will be hosting a free seed saving workshop through the Door County Seed Library this Thursday starting at 6 pm.    You can find more information about the event below.

Johnson found not competent to stand trial

A Sturgeon Bay man accused of sex crimes has been found incompetent to stand trial.  Duryea Johnson, 28, was arrested back in June by a Sturgeon Bay undercover police officer who was posing as a 15-year-old boy online.  Door County Circuit Court Judge David Weber deemed Johnson not competent to stand trial due to a court-ordered doctor’s medical report evaluation.  Johnson faces two charges of child sex crimes.  He will now be placed in a state mental health hospital for treatment by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for up to one year.  A progress evaluation by a doctor will be done in the next three months before any future determination is made.  District Attorney Colleen Nordin says a trial will now be on hold until Johnson is competent enough to understand the proceedings, the nature of the charges and assist in his defense.   


Step closer to Ellison Bay housing project

The Town of Liberty Grove is taking steps to make its own affordable housing project a reality. The town board will consider proposals during its Wednesday meeting to remove asbestos from the former Val-A Motel buildings located 11976 State Highway 42 in Ellison Bay. The land was purchased by the town for future development earlier this year and they received word about the asbestos during its phase two report of the property. Town chairperson John Lowry told last month the asbestos removal is just a small piece of the puzzle.

Lowry says he expects construction on the site could begin some time next spring. The Town of Liberty Grove Board will also weigh in on a three-year contract for administrator Bud Kalms and a recommendation to use grant funds for a new tower site when it meets at the town hall on Wednesday at 7 p.m. 

Better late than never for apples

Apple harvesters are getting out to their orchards after a rainy start to September. This year’s apple crop also got off to slow start because of the cool spring temperatures, but the weather in recent weeks has also allowed the fruit still on trees to ripen and get a little more color. Wood Orchard owner Steve Wood says apples are making their way from the trees to grocery stores and fruit stands.

According to the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association, orchard owners produce over 54 million pounds of fruit every year and are a $24 million industry.

Disputing online safety grades

Door County Sheriff’s Department Juvenile Investigator Chris Neuville says the state deserves a better grade for its approach to online safety.  According to online security company Safewise, Wisconsin earned a “D” grade when it comes to keeping kids safe online. It joined Montana, Wyoming, Maine, and New Hampshire for having the lowest marks in the country. Neuville says parents should know that even though specific laws may not be on the books, the state and Door County, in particular, are very active when it comes to protecting kids from online predators.

The Safewise grades, which are posted online with this story, were determined by looking at each state’s laws for cyberbullying and sexting. Neuville added that any parent or child feeling like an online altercation was criminal can reach out to the Door County Sheriff’s Department for help.


Click here to see state-by-state report card and online safety tips

Speeding remains traffic concern

You are not alone if you are feeling like everyone driving around in Door and Kewaunee Counties are speeding. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, speeding is by far the most common traffic violation with over 142,000 convictions in 2014. The number climbs to almost 150,000 if you include people ticketed for driving too fast for conditions. Whether you get pulled over going three or 33 miles per hour over the speed limit, Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says you are getting pulled over for everyone’s sake.

Joski says drivers pulled over should treat traffic stops like they are part of ongoing education of the rules of the road.



The last time I visited the issue of Speed Enforcement our now College Senior Daughter was preparing to get her license. Now as our youngest is getting close to the age for driving many of the same conversations take place as he observes the driving habits on our public roads and asks the same questions “Does anyone drive the speed limit?”

       I can see where he may doubt the adherence to speed limits as it seems as though when you drive the speed limit of other vehicles exist in two forms: Those who are passing you and those preparing to pass you. While it is true that very few people are actually stopped for operating 2 or 3 miles per hour over the speed limit, one should never assume that you will not be stopped.

This conversation also prompted us to discuss what is known as “Officer Discretion” as it pertains to traffic law. I explained to my son that law enforcement officers are much like teachers. Our primary goal is education; our lesson plans are the rules of the road. We educate through traffic stops. If an individual is speeding or failing to stop at a stop sign, we have the ability to educate through various means including verbal warnings, written warnings or citations.

       While it is up to the individual motorist whether or not to abide by the laws, it is within our discretion to adjust the educational level based on what we feel would have the best results.                 For example; if a driver has never been stopped for a violation or has a mitigating reason for the violation, we may begin with a verbal warning. If that same driver was observed demonstrating a continued disregard for the law, we may feel it appropriate to elevate the educational experience to a written warning or even a citation. In the end it is up to the motorists to decide if they wish to engage in an educational experience with Law Enforcement, as we hold classes on all roadways 7 days a week 364 days of the year.

          What is important in our role as educators is our relationship to the community we have sworn to protect. We understand that traffic stops are not a pleasant experience, and that the cost of a citation in today’s economy can be a major setback in anyone’s budget. We exist for the sole purpose of serving and protecting our communities so as to maintain a high quality of life for all.

          We do not do this to you, we do not do this for you; we do this with you as we need the continued feedback and interaction to know whether or not we are successful. These duties and beliefs do not end at the roadway, as we are summoned for numerous reasons to homes or workplaces in response to various calls for service, and it is our obligation in these settings as well to respond and apply the laws which govern our societies and maintain the quality of life we have come to enjoy.

          I have said many times that local law enforcement is very fortunate to serve the communities that we serve, but in addition, I hope that our communities appreciate the quality of those who are serving them as well. It is only through this mutual appreciation that we can continue to be an effective team in meeting the challenges of the future.


Federal approval aids Door County lead abatement

Door County will benefit from federal approval of state plans to test for lead in the homes of low-income families.  The Wisconsin Department of Health Services initiative would check the homes of families and pregnant women who are enrolled in BadgerCare Plus and Medicaid.  Door County Public Health Nurse Katie VanLaanen says any effort to help test for lead poisoning in children is welcomed.  She says the effort starts with a simple blood draw and then determining possible sources if those blood test results merit.



VanLaanen says lead abatement efforts include recommending wet dusting or wet mopping when cleaning a home to prevent spreading lead-based dust from spreading.  Another recommendation is to feed younger children regularly to reduce the temptation to nibble at falling paint chips when hungry and absorb some lead that may have been ingested.

Statz shares Starr story behind fence and helmet

A Sturgeon Bay native and graphic artist revealed the new Packer fence artwork across from Lambeau Field this past weekend which featured legendary player Bart Starr.  Zane Statz, a graphic designer from DePere, along with a friend, Spencer Young, worked all day on Saturday to complete the annual paint project named “Our Champion Our Starr”.    Statz, a 2010 graduate of Sturgeon Bay High School, had the opportunity to paint portraits on a special helmet for the Green Bay Packer’s 50th Anniversary of Super Bowl I two years ago that was auctioned to benefit the Rawhide Boys Ranch that the Starrs help support dating back to 1965.  He says the newly painted fence has added meaning to him because of the honor he had in painting the helmet. 



Statz donated his time in painting the helmet and the fence painting is sponsored by Cheesehead TV.  You can see a picture of the newly painted fence with this story online. 


(photo courtesy of Zane Statz)  


Museum theft on Washington Island

The Washington Island Police Department is investigating a break-in from last week after three items were stolen from the Jens Jacobsen Museum.  An accordion, pair of eyeglasses and a Copenhagen snuff can from the Jens Jacobsen Cabin were reportedly taken sometime last week.  Police Chief Tyler McGrane says the director of the museum had noticed items missing earlier in the week and contacted employees to make sure they did not borrow any of the items. McGrane adds that the theft was reported on Friday after the director noticed a break-in.



McGrane says there is not a reported value of the stolen items and it is not sure the accordion was actually one used by Jens Jacobsen.  Anyone one with any information on the stolen accordion and other items taken should contact the Washington Island Police Department.  


(photo above courtesy of Steve South from National Police Car Archives)



Egg Harbor beach improvements coming this fall

Chairs and towels will be replaced with construction crews as Egg Harbor’s beach gets a facelift in the coming weeks. Thanks in part to a $120,000 grant from the Fund for Lake Michigan, the beach will add approximately 170 linear feet of sandy coastline after a concrete seawall is removed.  Egg Harbor Village Administrator Ryan Heise says investing in improving the beach makes good sense as it looks for ways to keep people local once they get there.

The project, which will coincide with roadwork on County Highway G located near the beach, will not start until after the tourist season comes to a close in October. Heise expects the project will be done in spring 2020.

Mazur buys and radio stations Sales Manager Bryan Mazur is purchasing five radio stations and two web sites from Roger Utnehmer.


Mazur will take over, and the five-station group when the Federal Communications Commission approves the sale of the radio stations by the end of the year.


The stations are WBDK 96.7FM, WRKU 102.1FM, WRLU 104.1FM, WSBW 105.1FM and 103.3FM.


Utnehmer announced his retirement in a Facebook post that is part of this story below.



Kewaunee County targets vaccine skippers

Kewaunee County could join others in the state asking the Wisconsin Legislature to make sure parents get their kids vaccinated. The vote comes after the state health department released data showing 91.9 percent of students meeting vaccination requirements, almost half a percent lower than 2018 and three percent lower than what is recommended to protect the most vulnerable from certain diseases. Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Robert Weidner says it is about protecting kids.

A bill is already on the floor of the legislature to remove Wisconsin from a list of 15 states granting personal conviction waivers that allow parents to opt-out of mandatory vaccines for their kids. The Kewaunee County Board will also discuss details concerning the Dana Farm project and the second reading of its ATV ordinance when it meets Tuesday evening in Kewaunee at 6 p.m.

Kewaunee's Bennett adjusting to new surroundings

In some ways, it is still the first day of school for Kewaunee’s new high school principal. Since he jumped on board this summer, Mike Bennett has been trying to meet with as many staff members, students, parents, and business owners so he can form stronger relationships moving forward. Bennett says their conversations have been about more than just the school year at hand.

While he is enjoying the sports seasons, Bennett says he is excited for some of the events the high school is hosting in the near future, including its fall musical.

Girl Scouts looking for more leaders

You do not have to have a green thumb to help nurture “Daisies” and more in Door and Kewaunee Counties this upcoming year. The Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes is looking for more girls and adult leaders to join the organization. In the past year, the Girl Scouts organization has introduced 42 new badges for members to earn including focus areas in science, technology, engineering, math, and high adventure. Melissa Loest from the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes says volunteers are what drives the organization.

The Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes will host recruitment events for its 46 troops at the Door County Library, Southern Door Elementary School, Kewaunee Grade School, and Sevastopol Town Hall in the coming weeks.



Door County Library Sturgeon Bay: September 17th at 6 p.m.

Sevastopol Town Hall: September 17th at 5 p.m.

Kewaunee Grade School: September 17th at 6 p.m.

Southern Door Elementary School: September 24th at 6 p.m.



Kewaunee Police Chief retiring next month

The City of Kewaunee needs to prepare for a new top cop with the retirement of Chief Frank Salentine after 20 years in the role. Salentine says the decision was made last month and plans are already underway to ensure a smooth succession.


October 18th is Salentine's last day on the job. Salentine has been the Police Chief for 20 years but he actually started on the force in 1990. He plans to stay busy in retirement. Salentine envisions time spent helping at his son's business and on hobbies including gardening.


Ridges Sanctuary presents at Crossroads Saturday

Class was in session at the old schoolhouse on the historical grounds of Crossroads at Big Creek Saturday afternoon. Environmental Interpreter Anna Foster and George Cobb talked about the history of the Ridges, located on State Highway 57 in Baileys Harbor. The location is unique, facing south with cool winds blowing off of Lake Michigan. The Ridges is routinely 10-15 degrees cooler than other places just miles away making  the area a boreal forest, usually found only in the northern edges of the state and up into Canada. That provides a unique ecosystem which is a haven for orchids and endangered plants.



Hiking is available year-round and educational opportunities are provided to adults and children. Foster encourages anyone interested in the Ridges to stop by the Nature Center.

Keep yard waste off of streets

Fall leave pick-up in Sturgeon Bay will be here soon. Maples and other early changers are already starting to ignite color season. Peak is expected in early October and then the leaves come tumbling down. Sturgeon Bay Municipal Services Director Mike Barker wants to remind residents to avoid parking on the street in front of leaf piles. This makes it difficult for city employees to complete the pick-up. Last year, city employees would rake the leaves around parked vehicles but they will not be doing that in 2019. Residents are also expected to keep leaf piles off of the street. 


Ditto for grass clippings. Yard waste winds up in catch basins in the storm drains and has to be fished out. City ordinance defines yard waste as litter and pushing it out into the street can result in fines.


Friends of Forestville Dam plan legal action

The Friends of the Forestville Dam member Christine Reid says the group intends to sue to impose an injunction against the county plan to do a slow draw-down of the millpond that has formed upstream from the levee. 


Agricultural runoff has led to large deposits of sediment that could potentially contaminate groundwater. The county park is a popular spot for fishing and recreation but the pollution puts that at risk. The draw-down is designed to last two years and is not guaranteed to work. It may need to be repeated every five to ten years. The Friends say years ago there was an item in the preliminary county budget to dredge and remove the sediment but it was stricken before the final draft was approved. The Friends want that original concept to be adhered to.


No vacancy is general trend in Kewaunee County

Occupancy over the Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day holiday weekends was up 14 percent compared to a year ago according to Kewaunee County's Public Information Office. Both Algoma and Kewaunee experienced growth from summer holidays in 2018.  Cassie Jelinek, Administrative Assistant for the Kewaunee Area Chamber of Commerce, says Kewaunee's numbers could have been even higher if it was not for high waters closing the marina early in the season.


Businesses in both communities rose to the challenge in the months after with other public and private marinas honoring launch passes for the Kewaunee Marina. You can find the full breakdown below.

2019 Holiday Recap (Memorial Day Weekend, July 4th Weekend, Labor Day Weekend)



Overall, across Kewaunee County of the businesses the county was able to reach and had numbers readily available, they had an approximate 70% occupancy  in Hotels, Motels, Condos, Bed & Breakfast as well Loft rentals. The county had an approximate 89% occupancy at campgrounds.


Algoma had an approximate 75% occupancy in Hotels, Motels, Condos, Bed & Breakfast as well Loft rentals with an approximate 91% occupancy at campgrounds.


Kewaunee had an approximate 54% occupancy in Hotels, Motels, Condos, Bed & Breakfast as well Loft rentals with an approximate 86% occupancy at campgrounds.




2018 Holiday Recap (Memorial Day Weekend, July 4th Weekend, Labor Day Weekend)


Across Kewaunee County of the businesses the county was able to reach and had numbers readily available, they had an approximate 57% occupancy  in Hotels, Motels, Condos, Bed & Breakfast as well Loft rentals. Kewaunee County had an approximate 74% occupancy at campgrounds.


Algoma had an approximate 63% occupancy in Hotels, Motels, Condos, Bed & Breakfast as well Loft rentals with an approximate 77% occupancy at campgrounds.


Kewaunee had an approximate 54% occupancy in Hotels, Motels, Condos, Bed & Breakfast as well Loft rentals with an approximate 69% occupancy at campgrounds.


Do you want fries with that memory?

The Door County Memory Cafe takes orders on the first Monday of the month. It is a colloborative effort between a host of organizations including the Door County Medical Center and the United Methodist Church. The UMC hosts the event from 2p-3:30p. The cafe's focus is on socialization with the help of volunteers and the Parish Nurse, Carol Moellenberndt. In addition to social interaction, those attending get to have an experience with presenters on a little bit of everything. DCMC Outreach Specialist Christy Wisniewski talks about the variety of subjects discussed.


The Memory Cafe is open to those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's as well as caregivers, family, and friends. A dementia support group meets immediately before the Cafe. That is where treatment and care questions are answered by Wisniewski and DCMC staff. The Cafe is a free event.


Luxemburg-Casco experiments with tacklebar football

Fifth and sixth graders at Luxemburg-Casco are experimenting with tacklebar football this season. The goal of the program is to help increase participation in the sport. Youth Football Coordinator Matt Piesler says that the size descrepancy at that age between boys can keep those on the smaller side from playing.


Tacklebar is a fusion of flag and tackle football designed to keep aggression in the game. Athletes wear a harness with two bars that detach when grabbed. Players have to complete a form tackle, leading with the shoulder, and wrapping up to dislodge the bar. Paisler notes the varsity roster at L-C High School has shed dozens of players over the past decade. The hope is tacklebar can stem the loss of young players of the sport and that translates to better participation rates at higher grades.


Potawatomi State Park summer attendance booms

Potawatomi State Park had a great summer season regarding attendance. Almost 6,000 more people were admitted to the park in June, July, and August of this year compared to 2018. Park Superintendent Erin Brown Stender says changes in how the park books campers could be a factor in the increase.


Visitors to Potawatomi have two options for admission to the park. A Day-Use Pass is valid for a single day and there is a yearly pass as well. The yearly pass mimics the calendar year, ending on December 31st. Potawatomi is open year-round.


Door County Vietnam veterans find peace

The Wall That Heals was in Manitowoc this weekend and Adopt-A-Soldier Door County helped pay the way for Vietnam Veterans to take part in the events. The Wall That Heals is a replica of the Vietnam War Memorial in DC. The veterans left by bus at 10 AM Saturday and returned just after four that afternoon. American Legion Post 72 Commander Deb Logerquist made the trip to honor her late father who succumbed to the effects of Agent Orange five years ago. She said the surprises were touching including mail call featuring letters written to the veterans by Sturgeon Bay school kids. Logerquist says The Wall That Heals is as moving as its counterpart on the National Mall.


On the way home the Door County Sheriff's Department provided an escort for the bus from the county line until it pulled into the parking lot at the ADRC on N. 14th Street in Sturgeon Bay. To finally get appreciation from home moved many veterans on the trip to tears.


Algoma rejects bids on stormwater project

The City of Algoma has rejected all bids for the Crescent Beach Stormwater Improvement Project and will be soliciting a new round of offers next month. The project intends to treat stormwater runoff at the north end of Crescent Beach before it is allowed to flow into Lake Michigan. As of now, that storm water runs into the lake unfiltered and may contain chemicals and pollutants. The first round of bids had three submissions with the lowest offer over $100,000 above the sum of the grants received from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Fund for Lake Michigan. Algoma cannot cover such a large difference. The deadline has been pushed back by the EPA to allow the grant for a project completed in 2020. Treasurer Amber Shallow hopes the new timeframe increases the number of bids received and lowers the cost of the project.


Algoma is hoping for a Coastal Management Grant from the State of Wisconsin to be approved in the future. That is another option to help bridge a potential discrepancy between funds already secured and bid values.


Illinois holiday should boost Door County business

Door County's fall colors draw many visitors and a unique holiday weekend is expected to bring many Illinois residents up north. The popular Egg Harbor Pumpkin Patch Festival and Door County Maritime Museum Fall Lighthouse Festival takes place the weekend of October 12th  Jon Jarosh, :: JAR-SCH :: with the Door County Visitor Bureau, says on the same weekend Illinois visitors will be able to enjoy those festival and a little bit more.



Jarosh says Columbus Day weekend will be the highlight of what are expected to be busy autumn weekends for Door County tourism.

Ephraim develops improved wetlands access plan

The Village of Ephraim is taking steps to make the Ephraim Wetlands more accessible to visitors.  The village board took action to resurface trails covering about one-and-half to  two-miles of the wetlands park.  Public Works Supervisor Russ Salfi :: SOL-FIE :: says the trails plan is being considered in two-phases.



Salfi says work on phase one of the wetlands trail project could begin before the end of 2019 or spring of 2020 at the latest.  No timetable has yet been established for phase two.

DCEDC committee drafts pro-broadband tower proposals

An ad hoc committee has drafted some proposals to eliminate outdated tower rules to expand broadband internet service in Door County.  The Door County Economic Development Corporation ad hoc committee on broadband is made up of DCEDC members, technology experts from broadband providers and county officials.  Among the proposals are eliminating rules that currently prevent more than one user on existing communication towers.  DCEDC Executive Director Jim Schuessler says another proposal addresses whether federal approval is needed before other towers could be built.



The DCEDC ad hoc committee's recommendations must now go before the Door County Board of Supervisors for review and possible approval.

Products nominated for state honors showcase local innovation

Several products made in Door County are in the running for the title of “Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin”.  Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay was nominated for the new ship now under construction for the exclusive use of the Washington Island Ferry Line.  Kick Ash Products of Ellison Bay was selected for its gluten-free granolas and coffees and Woodrow Engineering Company of Sister Bay was chosen for the Ritz Stick shoe size measuring device.  Jim Schuessler, with the Door County Economic Development Corporation, says such multiple nominations showcase the innovation local companies provide.



  Over 150 Wisconsin made products are in the running for the annual “Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin” competition.  Voting is now open to the public at to narrow the field down to 16 by September 16th.  From there, eight will be chosen by September 23rd, the final four will be announced on September  30th and the winner will be named on October 8th.


Kick Ash Coffee and granola

Outdated rules and trade policies boost local housing costs

Sturgeon Bay architect Virge Temme says a Wisconsin Realtors Association study is spot-on about factors that have added to the cost of new home construction.  The WRA studied found that outdated rules on minimum home lot sizes, requirements favoring high-end construction materials and lengthy approval processes can add 30-percent to the cost of some housing projects.  Temme says some recent projects she's worked on in Sturgeon Bay show that reducing lot-size requirement can be the deal maker for some potential home buyers.



Temme adds that trade policies and labor challenges have contributed to sending housing prices into previously unknown territory.



Temme says another factor in pricing housing beyond many potential buyers means is the lack of wage increases over the past decade.  

Motorists can help local police target reckless drivers 

Motorists traveling through Door County can help law enforcement better respond to instances of reckless driving.  Such cases are one of the most frequent complaints received by the Door County Sheriff's Department.  The challenge deputies face is getting enough accurate information to take action.  Door County Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says taking note of as many details about the vehicles in question will make it easier to contact the offending drivers.



McCarty says you don't have to be reluctant to call 911 to report offenders.  Such calls are welcome and treated like any other call for help.

ADRC job event links clients with employers

Door County residents with different abilities who are looking for work and employers who are understaffed will be able to meet up in one location. The Door County Aging and Disability Resource Center and Door County Medical Center are sponsoring the 2019 Northeast Wisconsin Job and Resources Fair for Individuals with Different Abilities. It's the first event of its kind designed to help those employers who have trouble filling jobs, especially after the peak tourism season ends, with an untapped labor pool.  ADRC Executive Director Jake Erickson says employers could get extra help and save money.



Erickson says, so far, the job and resource fair has signed up about 15 employers.  The 2019 Northeast Wisconsin Job and Resource Fair For Individuals With Different Abilities will be held on Wednesday October 9th from 8:30 AM until 1:00 PM at the community center on N. 14th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.

Southern Door goes through school safety drills

Southern Door High School enters every school year with a safety week. This past week included  a new drill each day: Monday administrative hold, Tuesday tornado drill, Wednesday fire drill, and Thursday run hide right. Students are held in their homerooms at the end of each day of safety week and conduct the appropriate drills as a class. Teachers of each homeroom read through instructions and present safety videos provided by the Southern Door Principal. 
This 2019-20 school year, there are new safety measures added to the school in hopes of creating a safer learning environment. Improvements include alarms, shatter-free glass, locks and a raptor in the school's offices. 
Speaking to Southern Door's Business Manager, Mark Logan, he enlightened us on what this all means. Mr. Logan said that efforts in safety are to identify potential threats to have time to react before potential danger. The raptor in the offices allows for a face recognition upon entrance and an ID check, so a visitor will be identified for who they are and what they are here for. Mr. Logan said that this protection is just as much for the students as for the adults on campus. If an officer or teacher walking around school sees an unknown face in the hallway, the temporary pass created by the raptor will insure no doubt in safety. 
In the past, Southern Door has maintained it's safety codes and regulations, but this year the school wants to ensure that students and teachers feel as safe as they could be to work hard and play hard in this environment. Mr. Logan believes that this new system will be successful within the upcoming years. He also acknowledged that if an update needs to be made, Southern Door will work to achieve it.



Interview audio from Mark Logan below.



Vape ordinance gets final vote

The ability for minors to vape in the city of Sturgeon Bay could go up in smoke if the common council approves the second reading of an ordinance Tuesday night. The ordinance forbids people under the age of 18 from possessing and purchasing electronic cigarettes in the city. Sturgeon Bay David Ward told earlier this month more about the possible measure.


For individuals, the first violation would result in a $50 fine with every ticket after that costing the person caught $75. Businesses could be fined up to $100 for selling vape products to minors. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will also take on two west side waterfront issues as it takes another look at the ad hoc committees recommendations and the city’s development agreement with the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the council chambers. 


Algoma delays waterway closure 

Boaters will have an extra week to get out on the lake due to a delay in the The Second Street Bridge project  in Algoma.   Nautical traffic was to be closed for the season as of this Sunday as contractors finished putting false work that would limit the clearance under the bridge.  Matt Murphy, public works director, explains the reason the waterway will now remain open until September 22.



The Second Street Bridge project which began earlier this summer is still expected to be completed by early November.     

Chalk on the Bay next Saturday

Some sidewalks around  Sturgeon Bay will be very colorful next Saturday.  Chalk on the Bay will celebrate its third annual event next weekend and feature three local artists and include fun for anyone else wanting to participate.  The street art will be featured all around the the Sturgeon Bay Library and the north end of Third Avenue in downtown Sturgeon Bay.  Elizabeth Meissner-Gigstead from the Miller Art Museum says the day is open to all ages.


Chalk on the Bay is a component of the Harvest Festival and will begin at 9 am next Saturday.  You can find more information on this event with the news release below.   




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Sturgeon Bay, WI)—September 13, 2019—The Miller Art Museum, in collaboration with the Door County Library, Boys and Girls Club of Door County and the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center (SBVC), is pleased to feature artists John Soukup (Cedar Rapids, IA), Shelley Heath (Brookfield, WI) and Kimberly Wood (St. Joseph, MI) next weekend for Chalk the Bay, part of the festivities taking place for Sturgeon Bay’s Harvest Festival Saturday.


John Soukup is a graduate from University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in graphic design. In the evening, he paints on canvases and during summers he travels the Midwest creating with chalk. Soukup’s artwork has been seen across the United States, from the Whitney Museum in New York to private collections in Alaska. He has done work for companies including Marvel, Lucas Arts and Cartoon Network.


“We have a fantastic range of styles represented with this year’s selected artists,” writes Elizabeth Meissner-Gigstead, Miller Art Museum executive director.  “John’s work is reminiscent of American artist Keith Haring, whose celebrated pop art and graffiti-like work grew out of the New York City street culture of the 1980s; it’s bold and playful and you can see his graphic design skills shine. Equally as exciting is the work Kimberly and Shelley who’s styles are hyperreal—Kimberly has an exquisite eye for detail—and Shelley’s unique style, while still vibrant, tending to be more painterly and whimsical.”


Shelley, representing our great state of Wisconsin during this year’s event, brings experience as an architectural illustrator, portrait artist, and plein air painting in addition to her work as a chalk artist. “I really enjoy many genres, and have found that my students [she is an art teacher at Granville Lutheran School in Milwaukee] enjoy paper arts such as quilling, origami, and papier-mâché; my experiences with chalk art have definitely broadened my horizons, especially doing things large scale or three-dimensionally,” Heath writes.


Kimberly Wood is definitely not a newbie to the chalking scene; she has been creating street art using chalk for the last six years. “Depending on the specific event and whether or not there is a theme, I tend to focus on portraiture featuring women, nature elements and animals, incorporating vibrant colors and details.”


“We are thrilled to be able to bring street art to downtown Sturgeon Bay,” Gigstead continued. Art is a powerful catalyst for public and community engagement and the fact that our tight-knit community here in Sturgeon Bay has embraced this collaborative event is both exciting and encouraging. I’m hopeful the community will take this opportunity to participate in the event and engage with John, Shelley and Kimberly—amazing professional artists—during their time here for Chalk the Bay.”


Chalk the Bay made its debut in 2017 as a component of the Sturgeon Bay’s popular event celebrating all things fall, Harvest Festival.  A collaboration between the Door County Library, Miller Art Museum, Boys and Girls Club of Door County and the SBVC, the event aims to create a fun, family-friendly event that cultivates creativity. Building on the success of the previous events is a community chalking contest with four categories: Youth (ages 8-12), Teen (ages 13-17), Adult (ages 18+), and Family. Chalking is set to kick-off at 9am; chalk will be provided. Awards will be announced at 2pm for each of the categories in front of the Sturgeon Bay Branch of the Door County Library located at 107 S. 4th Avenue. Attendees can also expect to see artist Mark Paul—a.k.a the “balloon guy”—twisting long narrow balloons into fun characters ranging from princesses to dolls and fairies as well as unicorns, guitars, swords and shields.


The events of Chalk the Bay will be going on rain or shine. To learn more about the chalking competition or Chalk the Bay, visit or call the Miller Art Museum office at 920.746.0707.

About the Miller Art Museum

The Miller Art Museum is a multifaceted nonprofit organization showcasing an array of visual art through ever-changing thematic, invitational and juried exhibits and houses a stunning permanent collection of Wisconsin art. The museum’s rich legacy of serving the community was launched in 1975 and continues through its mission to foster and inspire the creative life of the community and to be a catalyst for enrichment through cultural, art appreciation, and educational programming for people of all ages.

The museum is located within the Door County Library at 107 S. 4th Avenue, Sturgeon Bay. Hours are Monday 10-8, Tuesday through Saturday 10-5. Closed Sunday. Admission is free; an elevator is available to access galleries on the Ruth Morton Miller Mezzanine. For more information about the exhibit or the museum, call (920) 746-0707 or visit


Image submitted:

Artist John Soukup.






Preparing for a rough harvest

Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agriculture Educator Aerica Bjurstrom says farmers do not need to panic quite yet when it comes to their fall harvest and planting.  Heavy rain this week is adding to the stress farmers have at this time of the year making sure they get their fieldwork completed before the first frost. Bjurstrom remains positive despite the weather, pointing out farmers still have a few weeks before they usually go out to harvest corn for silage. Worst case scenario, Bjurstrom says there are things farmers can do just in case this fall’s harvest comes up short.

Farmers could get a little help from Mother Nature after the weekend with sunshine and warm temperatures coming to the area next week according to the National Weather Service.

Abrams man electrocuted in northern Door County

A 27-year old man from Abrams was electrocuted Monday afternoon near Bailey's Harbor.  A linesman contracted with Wisconsin Public Service was working on Powerline upgrades just off Highway 57 on Meadow Road when the incident occurred, according to a Door County Sheriff's Department report.  The man, who works for MJ Electric a national electrical contractor, was stringing lines and was found unconscious by fellow co-workers who with the help of emergency medical technicians were able to restore his breathing by administrating CPR.  Flight-for-Life transferred the man to a Green Bay Hospital where his condition is still not known.  Highway 57 was closed for about three hours on Monday to traffic while the incident was investigated. No further details are available at this time.

Stillman goes to Washington

A cheese lapel on his jacket was merely a conversation starter for Fish Creek’s Greg Stillman as he advocated for Wisconsin lodging partners in Washington D.C. The owner of properties in Door County like Parkwood Lodge in Fish Creek, Stillman is also the chairman-elect for the Wisconsin Hotel and Lodging Association. The annual trip brought representatives of the WH&LA to Washington D.C. to discuss topics like website booking protections, local authorization of short-term rentals, and the renewal of support for tourism marketer Brand USA. Stillman says their discussions were well received.

Stillman believes the three talking points brought to legislators should make it to the floors of Congress in the upcoming session.

Calcium scores an early detector

A relatively low-cost test available at hospitals in northeast Wisconsin could potentially save you from a future heart attack. Coronary calcium scans offer a non-invasive way to find potential signs of heart disease before it becomes an issue. The scans look for calcium build up around the heart, which is an indicator of bad cholesterol and other factors in the blood causing plaque to build up inside the arteries. Dr. Donnevan Blake from Bellin Health Cardiology Associates says men over 30 and women over 40 can benefit from getting a calcium score.

Blake says the higher the calcium score the more likely it is you could have heart disease in the future depending on your age, with a score of 300 or above a sign of a very severe risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.



Algoma festival city this weekend

Wine, art, and bluegrass fans will all have somewhere to go this weekend in Algoma as three festivals take place. While some will be sipping on wine downtown, others will be listening to music at the Algoma Hunting and Fishing Club at the Silver Creek Bluegrass Festival.  Hearing the music just outside her door over the last 15 years inspired Diane Steffen to start the Silver Creek Art Festival next door at her shop, Dewey Creek Designs. With woodworkers, painters, and henna tattoo artists in the fold for its second year, Steffen says the event is very family-friendly.

The Silver Creek Art Festival runs from noon until 6 p.m. Saturday, which coincides with the final day of the Silver Creek Bluegrass Festival.


Photo courtesy of Dewey Creek Designs

Public meeting on Kewaunee County Highway 42 project 

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is holding a public involvement meeting to discuss proposed improvements to Highway 42 between Kewaunee and the north Kewaunee County line next week.  The plan is for three projects to take place including bridge and culvert work starting this fall between 8th and 9th Road as well as eventual replacement and resurfacing being done within the next two years.  DOT Project Engineer Jeremy Ashauer says the multiple projects will include some small detours.


The meeting will be held next Thursday from 5:30 to 7 pm at Algoma City Hall on Fremont Street and include a brief presentation at 5:45 pm.    


Flea and tick prevention remains important for pets

Pet owners should remain vigilant this fall 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.




Kewaunee County Emergency Management issues flood advice

With heavy rain expected over the next 24 hours, Kewaunee County wants residents to take caution. Emergency Director Tracy Nollenberg says the last update for the NOAA weather forecast shows up to 1.7 inches hitting the general region. It could overwhelm already saturated ground and drainage systems. Nollenberg says three roadways in the county continue to be underwater with caution signs deployed. If roadways have to be closed heed those warnings. At night, it is impossible to accurately gauge the depth of water or whether potentially dangerous debris and chemicals are mixed in. 


If you lose power, please remember to operate a generator away from air intake locations of the residence to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. The general rule is that generators need to be 20 feet from windows and vents.


Volunteers powering home build

Construction supervisor Chuck Stone has had plenty of people to direct this summer at the Door County Habitat for Humanity’s home build site in Sturgeon Bay. In addition to family members of the Bright family putting in their sweat equity hours and special groups coming in to help, the core group of volunteers coming out every Tuesday and Thursday is getting bigger and younger. It is the latter that has Stone even more excited for future homebuilds.

Stone says despite the larger number of volunteers, they can always use more help doing a wide variety of tasks around the build site. The 42nd home built by Door County Habitat for Humanity is expected to finish on time in November.

Southern Door graduate recounts Madison lake rescue

A UW-Madison senior student with Door County ties helped save a drowning man in Lake Mendota last month.  22-year-old Sturgeon Bay native Nathan Coulthurst along with Mark Kendall and Brett Sprecher helped save the life of a distressed 24-year-old man.  The incident occurred on the evening of August 16th near a fraternity house during an alumni gathering.  Coulthurst shares what happened after the apparently suicidal man suddenly ran into Lake Mendota.  He says Kendall, fraternity alumni, and Sprecher, a nearby boater struggled to keep the combative man above water.



Coulthurst says Madison police arrived after they were able to restrain the man in the boat preventing him from jumping back in the water.  He says he has not heard from the saved man but did receive a phone call, a hand-written letter, and a commendation coin from the Madison Police Chief.  You can listen to the entire interview with Nathan Coulthurst below.




(submitted photo)


Village could be future UniverCity

The University of Wisconsin-Madison could have more ties to the Village of Egg Harbor than just appearing in its Fourth of July parade in the future.  The school recently approved the proposal by the village to potentially become a UniverCity, a project which would employ UW-Madison faculty experts for a fresh look at the municipality’s plans for areas like social services, housing, economic development, and sustainability. Village Administrator Ryan Heise believes the university chose to move forward with Egg Harbor for a number of reasons.

If selected, Heise says Egg Harbor could join the UniverCity Alliance as soon as next year.  

Sister Bay veteran takes Honor Flight

Sister Bay Village Board Trustee Scott Baker was one of 95 veterans from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam aboard the Old Glory Honor Flight to Washington D.C. Wednesday. There was a crowd waiting in D.C. to greet them as they deplaned. From there it was a busy day at the National Mall touring the memorials for each conflict and the statue commemorating the raising of the American flag on Iwo Jima. The veterans got to see a demonstration by the Air Force Drill Team and the changing of the guard ceremony at Arlington National Cemetary. Baker says seeing it with his peers made it an unparalleled experience. There was one more surprise waiting for Baker when the Honor Flight landed Wednesday night back in Appleton. Sister Bay fire fighters were there to welcome him home.


Baker recommends the experience to other veterans and encourages them to register for a future trip. The next Old Glory Honor Flight will happen in October.


Above photo courtesy of Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Dept. Facebook page

Flooding leaves farmers without answers

There is no back-up plan for Olson Family Farms owner Rich Olson if he cannot get back out to his fields after a drenching rainstorm Wednesday. Door and Kewaunee counties have experienced near-record precipitation this year, leaving fields nearly unworkable. It comes at a critical time as farmers are trying to plant crops like winter wheat and combine corn so they can feed their animals during the year. Olson says all they can do is hope that the fields will dry out in time so they can get their work in before the first frost.

Olson says they will have to develop up a back-up plan just in case they cannot get back out in the fields in time, something he says they have always been able to do. Farmers will not get any help from Mother Nature as another one to three inches of rain is expected through the end of the week.

Suicide awareness requires community support

You do not need to have a degree hanging on your wall to help somebody seriously contemplating suicide according to Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski. That is the message he hopes more people realize as National Suicide Prevention Week comes to a close on Saturday.  Kewaunee County Sheriff Deputies go through crisis intervention training to spot potential warning signs in individuals when they approach calls. Community members have also seen a rise in the number of Question, Persuade, Refer, better known as QPR, training in recent years. Joski says something as simple as a hello and checking in on how somebody is doing can make a real difference.

Joski believes being proactive with helping people has saved lives despite suicide being the second-leading cause of death for those 15-24 years of age. 



While I try to keep the articles I write as timely as I can, every now and then important dates slip by me. This past week, September 8th through the 14th was recognized as National Suicide Prevention Week. This is a difficult, yet important issue to discuss as anyone who has lost a loved one to suicide can tell you that there are no clear indicators and too often those left behind struggle with a deep sense of guilt. 

        It is reported that every 12.8 minutes someone in our country dies by suicide, and that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for those 15-24 years of age.

        For many, the act of reaching out for help is a struggle in itself. We as a culture attach a stigma to those struggling with depression or mental crisis. While we think nothing of seeking help for the pain caused by any number of physical ailments, the mere suggestion that someone seek professional help for the pain or suffering they are experiencing in their minds is taboo. We as a culture have been told to suppress these feelings or that whatever pain we are feeling, it will pass.

        Although everyone is different and their circumstances unique, there are general warning signs that may be visible. Some may exhibit a sense of hopelessness, recklessness or anger; other signs may be increased anxiety, withdrawal or purposelessness. In some cases individuals may attempt to harm themselves as a way to cry out for help, while in other cases there are no threats of action, just the tragic event itself.

        Throughout the years, I have had the unfortunate experience to notify families of those who have taken their own lives. The lesson I draw from these incidents is to always take the time to help the person next to you, and never be too busy to stop and visit. Not just to ask how they are doing in passing, but to actually stop and listen to their answer to that question. Very few of us can claim to have the educational back ground to analyze or treat these afflictions, but every one of us has the ability to listen and lend support to those who are struggling, and to let them know we care. Here in Kewaunee County we also have a growing number of community members who have taken the time to become certified in a suicide prevention education outreach known as QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer). For anyone is interested in a presentation at their place of business, organization, or school, please feel free to contact me and I can get you into contact with our local coordinator Joan Groessl.

        For more information on suicide prevention and the resources available visit:

Sturgeon Bay native painting Packer fence

The picket fence along Lombardi Avenue across from Lambeau Field will have a new message and a fresh coat of paint this Saturday, thanks to a native of Sturgeon Bay. Zane Statz of De Pere, who graduated from Sturgeon Bay High School in 2010, will complete the project with the help of a friend, Spencer Young. The two have collaborated in the last few years with design and renderings of Packer greats past and present. Statz shares what goes into finishing the 70-foot long fence that is six feet high.



After over 12 hours of painting on Saturday, the finished artwork on the fence will be unveiled in time for Sunday’s Packer game against the Minnesota Vikings. Statz says this was his fifth year of painting the fence and would only say the new artwork will incorporate the century-old history of the Packers. You can see pictures of the past Packer fence artwork above. 


(photo courtesy of Zane Statz)

Door County Fire/EMS climb Lambeau

Fire, EMS, and law enforcement from across Door County took part in the annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at Lambeau Field Saturday, September 7th. Sister Bay and Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht organized the largest group from the county. Hecht says he has done it for three years now and it is an honor to be part of the event. In Hecht's participation team, there were 15 members. Hecht runs down the somber and moving event.


Sister Bay and Liberty Grove Fire are trying to remember 9/11 on the 18th anniversary of the tragedy as well. Hecht says a group is traveling to Appleton late Wednesday to escort a Sister Bay man who is returning home from an Honor Flight to the war memorials in Washington D.C.


Diversified planting promotes butterfly growth

Residents in Door and Kewaunee counties can take pride in their gardens and flowers and improve the habitat for butterflies that can aid pollination.  The key to that is diversifying the plants grown in gardens and flowerbeds.  Craig Thompson, Department of Natural Resources Section Chief says while flowers are a vital food source for butterflies other plant species are needed to help caterpillars before metamorphosis.



Thompson says gardeners don't have to grow native-plant species exclusively.  He says a balance of native species and flowering plants will go a long way toward making your yard butterfly-friendly.

CWD testing benefits deer hunters and DNR research

Voluntary testing for Chronic Wasting Disease can help hunters in Door and Kewaunee counties and wildlife researchers.  CWD has not been detected in deer killed in Door and Kewaunee counties and hunters are not required to have their animals tested.  Department of Natural Resources Biologist Josh Martinez, however, says the free testing at the readily available kiosks can ease hunters concerns about CWD and help researcher track the disease.


Hunters will receive the results of CWD tests by mail. Martinez says anyone wanting personal CWD testing can contact him at the Green Bay field office and he'll gladly come to their residences.

Titletown Tech helping upgrade Door County business center

The Door County Economic Development Corporation believes Green Bay's Titletown Tech district could help upgrade the DCEDC Business Development Center in Sturgeon Bay. DCEDC toured Titletown Tech, which is adjacent to Lambeau Field and aids startup firms and funds entrepreneurs in such areas as sports, media, entertainment, agriculture and advanced manufacturing. DCEDC Executive Director Jim Schuessler says the the business development center would benefit from some of the practices in use at Titletown Tech.



Schuessler says those practices would help build upon existing relationships DCEDC has with UW-Green Bay.


The DCEDC plans to start implementing the ideas and practices learned from Titletown Tech next year.

Algoma Utilities painting south water tower

Until the beginning of October, Algoma Utilities is painting its south water tower. Paint and water don't mix well, at least for public consumption, so the tower is dry until the project is completed. The system is already strained by the Second Street Bridge Project which involves temporary water service outages and relocating a downtown water main. General Manager Pete Haack says the tower painting project is causing issues.


Haack says that if residents have problems related to any of the major endeavors being undertaken do not hesitate to call Algoma Utilities. 


Fresnel lens debuts at Kewaunee Historical Society

The fresnel lens from the Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse has a new home about two blocks from where it lit the harbor for almost a hundred years. The lens is now the centerpiece of the Kewaunee Historical Society collection. At the public unveiling, filmmaker Jake Heffernan gave an hour-long presentation on the process of decommissioning a fresnel lens. A special US Coast Guard team must be on hand with a lampist to move a lens. Heffernan notes there are fewer than a handful of lampists in the United States.


Fresnel lenses are brittle. They flake easy and do not take exposure to the elements well. With lighthouses now almost exclusively unmanned, to find lenses that are in good shape is extremely rare. They are highly sought after by museums across the country. Algoma and Kewaunee lighthouses saw their fresnel lenses removed on the same day in June. Algoma's lens is now down at a Milwaukee museum. Kewaunee is lucky to have retained theirs, on display at the History Center at 217 Ellis Street.


Jake Heffernan presenting


Audience at Kewaunee Historical Center September 7, 2019


Door Can helping more families than ever

More families than ever applied for help from Door Can in the month of August. Door Can helps people with cancer and their families pay non-medical bills. Sue Wehrli, a member of the board on Door Can, says 23 families applied for help from Door Can in August. That was up from nine families just a few months ago. Wehrli says the Door County community is very supportive of Door Can and their help is needed more than ever.



For the month of September, Door Can is partnering with Wilkins and Olander in Sturgeon Bay. For every pair of socks sold this month, Wilkins and Olander will donate 50 cents to Door Can.

Harvest Fest set for strong start

A classic car parade and free movie kick off Harvest Fest 2019 next weekend in Sturgeon Bay. Starting at 6 PM on the 20th, old-school steel and chrome will wind their way through the city on both sides of the canal. Sturgeon Bay Visitor's Bureau Marketing and Events Coordinator Carly Sarkis details the parade route.


At dusk, expected to be 7:30 PM, there will be a free flick in Martin Park. The Disney classic Hocus Pocus sets the fall mood in a family-friendly way with popcorn and drinks available. The classic automobiles return the next morning, September 21st, at 9 AM along Third Avenue for a car show. 

A vision for Liberty Grove's Mariners Park

Steve Eatough and Mike Bahrke presented to the Liberty Grove Property and Parks Committee Tuesday on a rendering they created of a park for the former Weborg property. After the purchase of the land by Liberty Grove, a survey was conducted and returned by 644 residents saying what they wanted in a potential park. Eatough and Bahrke sought to turn that survey into an artist's design. The graphic representation was met with high praise.


Eatough thinks a Wisconsin Coastal Management Grant is a real possibility. He would also like competing visions for the space to be pitched so that the best idea wins. The hope is that Mariners Park is a reality by 2021.


E-Cigarette pneumonia outbreak affects Door County

Vaping mixed with marijuana has created a potentially deadly outbreak of pneumonia in 33 states, including Wisconsin and Door County.  The end result in many cases is intubation and artificial ventilation to try to keep the patient alive. Door County Health Officer Sue Powers says the cause is not yet known but marijuana use is likely involved.


Early symptoms include a cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, and fever before blossoming into full-blown pneumonia. As with most illnesses, recognizing it early is key to successful treatment. Five cases have occurred so far in Door County.


Big fish dominate the season

Even with a public dock closed for much of the season in Kewaunee, anglers were able to find big fish in Lake Michigan this summer. One indicator was this year’s Kewaunee Door Salmon Tournament, which saw its biggest fish caught in 20 years and 13 tip the scales at over 30 pounds. Accurate Marine owner Tom Kleiman says the concern he heard the most at his Kewaunee shop was not the size of the fish, but rather the number.

Even though the open water season may be on its way out, Kleiman says it is a great time to catch fish off the shoreline in the harbors.

Leadership Door County begins 30th year

Leadership Door County hits an important milestone with this year’s upcoming class. The class of 2020 is the program’s 30th in its history as it focuses on the area’s history, government, healthcare, education, arts, and more. Leadership Door County President Dawn Vandevoort says the people have been able to learn a lot about the community they serve by visiting with local businesses and organizations.

The class, which is made up of Ben Nelson, Michelle Johnson, Lauren Bremer, Gary Brinn, Chad Welch, Amy Frank and Shannon Rass, will work together to create a class project to benefit the community before it graduates in June. Past Leadership Door County projects include a mentorship program for the Volunteer Center of Door County, a fundraising kickoff for the Door County Sheriff’s K-9 Program, and a kayak launch at the Cove at Crossroads at Big Creek.

Wartella looking forward to helping veterans

United States Navy veteran Beth Wartella is now taking on a new mission as the Door County Veterans Service Officer.  Her promotion by the Door County Board of Supervisors comes after serving five-years as the administrative assistant for retiring Door County Veterans Service Officer Scott McFarlane.  Wartella, who served in the navy from 2008 until 2011, got a lot of support through letters and calls from local veterans.  She says she'll make sure veterans from all eras get the help they need.

Wartella was notified August 10th that she'd been selected as Door County Veterans Officer.  The final approval had to come from the board of supervisors before she could start her duties.

Suicide walk reminds community there is still HOPE

A walk was held in Sturgeon Bay on Monday to remind those struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts that there is still hope. Prevent Suicide Door County - Nathan Wilson Coalition hosted their fourth annual suicide walk at Martin Park. The organization was created in 2011 and has trained almost 2,000 people in Door County the QPR method: Question, Persuade, and Refer which is used when talking with someone who is having suicidal thoughts. This years’ walk was called “Walk for HOPE” as a reminder to those struggling with suicide that there are those who care about them and there is still hope. Head of Prevent Suicide Door County - Nathan Wilson Coalition Cheryl Wilson says the organization will keep working until they reach their goal of zero suicides in Door County.

Miss Door County Outstanding Teen Ellie Krohn made a surprise appearance at the event. Her platform is on teen suicide and awareness, and she gave an inspiring speech before the walk. 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.



Head of Prevent Suicide Door County - Nathan Wilson Coalition Cheryl Wilson along with Miss Door County Outstanding Teen Ellie Kohn 

(Photo curtesy of Cheryl Wilson)





Parking offers convenience for students

Students can find plenty of room to park their vehicles at high schools in Door and Kewaunee Counties. Aside from making sure they have a valid license, students have to make sure they file the proper paperwork with the district, provide emergency contacts, and agree to the rules of driving and parking on campus outlined in their student handbooks. While the cost for a permit ranges from $20 a year at Luxemburg-Casco and Sevastopol and up to $50 at Southern Door, parking is free for students at Kewaunee and Gibraltar. Kewaunee principal Mike Bennett says they do not want any deterrence for kids getting to class.

Bennett says at previous stops in his career in education, the money collected from permit fees went towards maintenance of the parking lot.


Costs for parking permits at Door/Kewaunee County High Schools


Algoma: N/A

Kewaunee: Free

Luxemburg-Casco: $20/year

Southern Door: $50/year

Sturgeon Bay: $20/semester

Sevastopol: $20/year

Gibraltar: Free

Double keyboard piano's final performance

The double keyboard piano will be making its final appearance at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor. It has been involved in a number of performances at Birch Creek over the summer and Saturday is the last time to see the piano in action. It made its debut on February 9th of this year at the Shepherd on the Bay Church. Mona Christensen, executive director at Birch Creek, says the instrument is like almost no other in the world and has a unique sound. 



Birch Creek faculty member Jodie DeSalvo and Nicholas Towns from Lawrence University will be the pianists. Limited tickets are available for Saturday’s show which starts at 7 PM. The double keyboard piano was created by Peter Nehlsen from Washington Island. It will go back to Nehlson after Saturday’s performance and it’s not scheduled to be used again as of now.

Algoma street project underway

As the Second Street Bridge project continues, the City of Algoma is currently busy with a major street project nearby.  The stretch from Navarino Street south to Steele Street has been under reconstruction since last Tuesday.  Algoma Public Works Director Matt Murphy says Peters Construction started with the sanitary sewer work last week and traffic during the day is being detoured around the work area.



Murphy says vehicles that are in the barricaded areas of work during the evenings are not allowed to do any overnight parking.  He adds that the Second Street Bridge is expected to reopen in early November 


Veterans to visit Wall that Heals

Adopt-A-Soldier Door County is enlisting active-duty members of the Armed Forces and veterans from the area to travel to Manitowoc for The Wall That Heals this Saturday. The Wall is a half-scale replica of the Vietnam War Memorial that travels across the country trying to bridge the gap and bring closure to a war effort that polarized a nation. Veteran Dennis Ott says it is a moving experience.


Breakfast is provided beforehand for those interested. Thanks to the efforts of Adopt-A-Soldier, the trip to Manitowoc is free of charge.


Weather a factor in Algoma manure incident

The Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee will try to sort out the details of a manure run-off incident near Rio Creek when it meets on Tuesday. A field farmed by El-Na Farms in Algoma received a heavier dose of rain last Friday than it expected, prompting some solid manure that was spread last Thursday to run off.  Residents near the site of County Highway P and Pheasant Road were informed of steps to take just in case their water was contaminated because of the incident. Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee member Lee Luft says lots of factors need to take place before potential penalties are issued.


El-Na Farms helped clean up the manure-laden water following the event. Owner Lonnie Fenendael says they acted quickly to deal with the run-off caused by more than two inches of rain falling early Friday morning in less than two hours.   


Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Chairperson Chuck Wagner says the final determination ultimately falls to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

National contest opens doors on island

It may have not won, but Washington Island School District still benefited from a national contest held by Samsung earlier this year. As a part of the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest, Washington Island School students were one of 50 finalists to have their project judged regarding the area’s wastewater treatment system. The district captured a $20,000 grant from the technology giant, but did not win the top prize. Teacher Miranda Dahlke still got to go to a workshop over the summer in Silicon Valley where teachers from across the country got to learn more about how technology can be a tool in problem-based education. Principal Michelle Kanipes says she is excited to see what comes out of it.

The project was similar to one done on by Island students 30 years ago and brought national acclaim to the state’s smallest district.

Door County votes on EMS study

Door County will not be using American Medical Response to evaluate its EMS operations. What was under consideration was only an examination by AMR of the department's practices, especially billing. County Administrator Ken Pabich was the main proponent of the study. His presentation early in the meeting showed a sharp rise in expenditures since 2015 because costs had been deferred or improperly capitalized. 


Supervisor Jon Koch was outspoken against the study, citing its $7,500 price tag. He argued that several past studies had covered the issues AMR could research. The most recent review was an ad hoc committee in 2015. With a new contract just ratified, labor costs are fixed for the near future. Door County EMS currently operates a two paramedic system and, while waivers from Wisconsin DHS are available to switch to one paramedic/one assistant EMT operations, the state has never granted one solely because of cost.


Agricultural tourism growing

Businesses in Door and Kewaunee Counties are cashing in on agricultural tourism. According to the National Agricultural Law Center, agricultural tourism can be as complex as a farm tour or as simple as cutting down a Christmas tree or picking an apple. It can also be a big moneymaker for operations struggling with low commodity prices as agricultural tourism generated over $12 million in revenue in 2012, nearly double what it did in 2007. Isabella Haen organizes tours of Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy in Kewaunee, hosting hundreds of people every month from not just across the region, but around the world. She says people are taking an interest in how their food is made.

Businesses across the state will celebrate Wisconsin Agricultural Tourism Day on September 20th with a variety of activities, including free tours at Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy with reservations.

Liberty Grove supports local control for EMS

As the Door County Board considers proposals from private contractors for its emergency medical services, some townships like Liberty Grove are standing behind their local crews. The Town of Liberty Grove went on record last week stating they believe the management of the county’s EMS operations should remain local. Town chairperson John Lowry says they pay a substantial amount of money for EMS services and believes they do an excellent job.

The county has said they are doing their due diligence to see if there are potential cost savings available and they have not decided one way or another. Lowry is encouraging other local government bodies to take similar action.

Local products featured in state contest

From composite decking to vehicle ferries, businesses in Door and Kewaunee Counties are vying for the same title as the coolest thing made in Wisconsin. Dozens of products from across the state are featured in the contest organized by the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce with Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding, Woodrow Engineering and Kick Ash Products representing Door County and Ponderosa Dairy, NEW Plastics, and Parallel 44 Winery representing Kewaunee County. NEW Plastics’s REVOLVE composite decking recycles items like old milk jugs and turns it into building materials. Owner and Vice President of Sales and Marketing Lonnie Vincent says it is a validation of the work they have been doing locally since 1975.

While Vincent hopes NEW Plastics comes out ahead when the winner is named October 8th, he is excited for what the future has in store for the Luxemburg company as it finishes up a number of additions and renovations on its site.




Civil Discourse: High Speed Rail Would Have Been Better Bet Than Foxconn

Wisconsin turned down more than $800 million in federal stimulus money in 2010 that would have created high-speed rail corridors between Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison and Minneapolis. Turning down that money will cost Wisconsin far more than it will ever gain from Foxconn.

Former Governor Scott Walker made high-speed rail a loser and Foxconn a winner. He promised more than $3 billion in subsidies to Foxconn in return for a commitment to invest $10 billion and create up to 13,000 jobs in southeast Wisconsin.

Today Foxconn has a record of missed construction dates, missed employment levels and a missed product mix. In fact, the first production looks like it will be coffee machine robots rather than high-tech screens, as promised. So much for Foxconn and legislators who were led along a route of job-creation fantasy.

Southeast Wisconsin could have been boosted by the economic development that fills in high-speed rail corridors all over the world if the federal stimulus money had not been rejected. And misguided political leaders not only took a pass on federal stimulus money, they also failed to comply with a contract with Talgo, the Spanish train manufacturer. Talgo created jobs in a poor part of Milwaukee and could have been a major employer for years. The company had contracts to build two trains for Amtrak and additional trains for a proposed Madison to Milwaukee line when Wisconsin pulled the plug. Walker and Republican legislators lost a lawsuit for failure to honor the Talgo contract. It cost taxpayers $10 million.

And Wisconsin lost much more in economic development that could have occurred but will not. Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class, writes frequently about the fill-in factor. He demonstrates the increase in employment, home values and additional economic development that “fills in” along high-speed rail corridors.

But that will not happen in Wisconsin where Walker and Republican legislators put their money on Foxconn instead.

Today you can take a high-speed train the 350 miles from Rome to Milan in about three hours. Free high-speed internet and speeds of up to 180 miles an hour mean Italian train travelers ride in comfort and efficiency.

What Wisconsin lost abounds along rail corridors throughout Italy. Hotels, resorts, and restaurants create jobs that follow rail passengers. In the small remote villages of Cinque Terre trains arrive every fifteen minutes. That’s job creation that will be far in excess of whatever Wisconsin will see from Foxconn.

Wisconsin would have been better off with high-speed rail than we ever will be with the Foxconn promises.

That’s my opinion. I’d like to hear yours.


Sales tax case impacts Kewaunee County budget

Kewaunee County could be making some budget changes depending on the outcome of a lawsuit over Brown County's half-cent sales tax.  A judge says he'll render a decision soon on a challenge to how Brown County uses sales tax revenues.  The Brown County Taxpayers Alliance contends that such funds should be used for direct property tax relief rather than capital improvement projects.  Kewaunee County currently levies a similar sales tax.  County Administrator Scott Feldt says depending on the judge's decision Kewaunee County could face a million dollar impact.



Kewaunee County is currently working on the 2020 budget and estimated county sales tax revenues are being calculated in that spending plan. 

Flying ant swarms may not be over

Last weekend, reports of ant swarms came from across Wisconsin including Door County. Friday evening in Sturgeon Bay, homes and vehicles were covered by the creatures. This is a common occurrence in late August and early September. Swarms are caused by special members of an ant colony who develop wings related to diet. Female queens mate during the flight with males from surrounding colonies, collecting enough genetic material to form a new colony once the flight is over. The swarm ends in mere hours, however, isolated colonies may still produce swarms for the next couple of weeks according to UW-Extension Entomologist PJ Liesch.



The swarms last weekend were cornfield ants, an outdoor variety. They won't do harm to homes or start a colony inside. If new swarms pop up, just know they aren't wasps or more dangerous insects. The males die within hours of the flight. Liesch says it is easiest to just let the swarm play out compared to using ant spray.

ADRC meals serve hundreds each week

The Aging and Disability Resource Center of Door County puts on meals from several locations each week. The main center in Sturgeon Bay has lunches five days a week with at least 75 people taking advantage on a regular basis. If there is an extra feature like entertainment, that swells to over one hundred.  Activities and Volunteer Coordinator Cathy Keller says the other meal locations stagger their servings throughout the week.


The secondary locations usually serve one or two dozen welcome mouths. Keller adds that on top of the healthy community participation for meals, the center in Sturgeon Bay continues to get rave reviews since it opened last year.


DCMC running chronic conditions workshop

The Door County Medical Center and the Aging and Disability Resource Center are tackling chronic symptoms; think heart disease, diabetes, and depression, in a six-week workshop. The classes do build on each other so it is suggested that you attend as many as possible even if you can't be there for all six.  The class is offered only twice a year. This is the final one for 2019. DCMC Outreach Coordinator Christy Wisniewski :: WIS-neh-ski :: says the class is a learning experience, and an empathetic one.


The first class is Monday, September 23rd with the aim to stop the symptom cycle so that those in attendance can still live life to the fullest. The workshops are free and will take place at the ADRC in Sturgeon Bay.


Illegal dumping at Sturgeon Bay compost pile

City of Sturgeon Bay Municipal Services employees never know what they'll find at the compost pile come morning. Recently, they found a toilet that someone decorated with a flower arching out of the bowl. The site is open 24 hours which can be a great convenience for city residents but it can also be a source of abuse. City employees do not monitor the pile day and night and, in the off hours, the dumping intensifies. City employees are putting up signs at the site to remind residents what is legal and what isn't. There's a cost to that. Municipal Services Director Mike Barker says roughly a thousand pounds of trash are dumped per week. There's a cost for that as well.


Barker says that if the issues are not resolved the worst-case scenario is that the compost pile loses its 24-hour status and would be open only during city business hours.


Kewaunee Historical Society shows off renovations

The Kewaunee Historical Society has a lot more room to show off its collection. The organization's headquarters at 217 Ellis Street in Kewaunee has recently purchased the apartment on the second level of the building and renovated the space. This allows the Historical Society to display a myriad of items that have never been available to the public before. Treasurer Arletta Bertand says the collection is the result of decades of donations by the public.


The center is open Thursdays and Fridays plus for special events. It is also open by appointment.






Nothern Door Y hits high note

The Northern Door YMCA and Midsummer's Music are introducing classical music to grades 3-8 again this year. The program has two components, both taught by the Griffon String Quartet. Group lessons are available beginning in the fall and private instruction can also be arranged. Northern Door Y Executive Director Tyler Powell says the first year was a smashing success.


The strings section of an orchestra is traditionally the violin, viola, cello and bass with each instrument providing a different range of notes. Instruction is available for all instruments except bass. The program hopes to prove the old Sinatra tune correct. Life's a wonderful thing as long as you've got that string.


Short film almost ready for its close-up

Eerie Street Productions had a crew of 10 people filming in Kewaunee Labor Day weekend. The shoot was intense, lasting just two days to creating an entire suspense short. It's a wrap. Next up is post-production work including editing and developing a musical score. Eerie Street Productions was founded by James Lawrence and Melonie Gartner. Lawrence wrote "Shadows," a Hitchcock-style thriller, adapting it into a short which was directed by Gartner. Gartner says the goal is to have a finished product in time to show next year at various film festivals.


Gartner was moved into the leading female role due to budget constraints and the Kewaunee home the film was shot at was chosen off of AirBnB. Shadows has been born from humble beginnings but the dream is still alive for it to become a full-length feature film.


Butterfly tagging allows community to become scientists

The eleventh annual Monarch Tagging at Crossroads at Big Creek was held Saturday. During the event members of the community heard a presentation from guest naturalist and monarch enthusiast Karen Newbern about the life cycle and migration of monarch butterflies down to Mexico. Afterward, Newbern showed how to properly tag a monarch before event-goers went and captured their own. Newbern says tagging butterflies is exciting because it allows everyday people to be involved in an international scientific study.


Since the event began, two monarch butterflies tagged at Crossroads have been recovered after making their migration south.

Outdated rules blamed for increased housing costs

A realtors group cites outdated land use rules for raising building costs for new housing in Door and Kewaunee counties and statewide.  The Wisconsin Realtors Association released a study showing that restrictive zoning rules on minimum lot sizes, requiring use of high-end building materials and long approval processes can add 24-percent to the cost of a single family home.  For multi-family housing such rules can boost construction costs by 30-percent.  Jim Schuessler, Executive Director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation, says reforms are also needed in Wisconsin's tax-increment financing system and in rules covering some workforce housing developments.


The Wisconsin Realtors Association study also showed rents are rising faster than incomes.  Between 2007 and 2017, the study found the median rent in Wisconsin had increased nearly 22-percent while median wages grew by just over 17-percent.

Fitness zone project almost complete

The new fitness zone at TJ Walker Middle School in Sturgeon Bay is almost complete. The new Clipper Fitness Zone includes a full basketball court, two sand volleyball pits, a new playground, and amphitheater and was primarily funded through private donations. The idea for the project came from middle school math teacher Craig Sigl. Sigl wanted to improve the outside space at the school and pitched the idea at the end of his first year with the district. Nearly two years later, Sigl’s vision is becoming a reality and he is thankful for all those who helped.

Sigl adds that the new Clipper Fitness Zone should be completed in the next couple of weeks. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be announced at a later date. 

Vintage Day takes community members back in time

The Door County Historical Society hosted an event Saturday that allowed community members to experience what life was like in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The third annual Vintage Day was held at the Heritage Village at Big Creek and allowed event-goers to participate in vintage activities like blacksmithing, cornhusk doll making, touring the Madden Tool Museum, and more. Door County Historical Society Executive Director Bailey Koepsel :: KEP-SEL :: says the event was created as a way to share the heritage and history of the county.


Koepsel adds the Heritage Village will be open until October 12th.

Lions Club looks to add to pavilion

The Brussels Lions Club is looking to add an addition to the pavilion at the town park. Since the Brussels Lions Club was formed, the organization has donated over 600-thousand dollars to the community and town parks. The new 12x15 foot addition would give the club more storage and roof coverage during their annual events. Lions Club Past President Jim Wautier says the club wants to get this new addition approved before more renovations are needed on the pavilion.


The new addition for the pavilion will be discussed at the town’s next board meeting on September 11th. If it gets approved, Wautier hopes the new addition will be completed by the end of spring.

Southern Door provides workshop for adults

The Southern Door School District is offering adults in the community the opportunity to participate in their weekly Fab Lab Workshop. The workshop is entitled “How to Make Just About Anything” and allows participants to create projects using laser engravers, 3D printers, vinyl cutters and more. The workshop will be held in the fabrication lab at Southern Door High School on Wednesday nights and be taught by former teacher Glen VanderVelden and current tech-ed teacher Seth Wilson. The program is in its third year and was created as a way for community members who work on these types of projects at home to take it to the next level. Southern Door Principal Steve Bousley says the workshop is open to anyone in Door County as it strengthens the connection throughout the county.



The Fab Lab Workshop will begin at 6 PM on September 18th and run for ten weekly sessions until November 20th. Registration for the workshop is $75 for Southern residents and $125 for non-residents. Application forms for the class can be found here.

EMS personnel ratify contract with Door County

Door County Emergency Medical Service personnel have ratified a new contract with the county.  Members of IAFF Local 4982 met Friday evening and voted overwhelmingly to accept the deal.  The Door County Board of Supervisors approved the pact when it met August 27th.  Local 4982 President Brandon Schopf says ratification by the membership took a bit longer while some contract language was clarified. Schopf says there were questions about holiday pay for those who are scheduled to work a holiday and those who are off duty.



The new contract takes effect retroactively to January 1st, 2019. 

New school year starting off well

The 2019-2020 school is finally here and students and teachers at the Sturgeon Bay School district are hard at work. The district underwent four maintenance projects during the summer: the asbestos abatement and extension of the automated HVAC system projects at the high school, roof work done on the middle and high school campus, and the new middle school Clipper Fitness Zone. Superintendent Daniel Tjernagel says even though it is only a couple of days into the new school year he’s amazed at the work students and teachers are already putting in.


Tjernagel adds the new middle school fitness zone should be completed within the next couple of weeks.

Food pantry business stays steady

The Stella Maris Parish food pantry in Fish Creek had a consistent flow of people visiting during the summer. The pantry is open 24/7 and volunteers are restocking the pantry consistently every six to eight weeks. Volunteer Jan Liss says the pantry usually sees an increase during the summer but this years’ was more stabilized.


Liss adds that the pantry is always looking for donations and is need of breakfast items as well as canned meats and fruits.


Historical Society hires Smet Construction for Granary project

The restoration of Sturgeon Bay’s historic Teweles and Brandeis Granary will be done by a familiar contracting firm.  Smet Construction of DePere was chosen by the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society to restore the grain elevator.  SBHS President Christie Weber says Smet offers an award-winning contracting firm that will serve the granary well.



Weber says the Historical Society is looking to obtain grants to cover the cost of Phase II and Phase III of the project which will deal with the top two floors of the three-story structure.  The first floor is projected to be a public gathering space.  If all goes according to plan, a ribbon-cutting and dedication of the City’s authentically refurbished, LEED-certified Teweles and Brandeis Granary are expected to happen sometime during the summer of 2021.     

Clothe My People changing drop off time

In order to get all donations organized and more efficiently distributed to those in need, Clothe My People in Sturgeon Bay will not be accepting donations on Wednesdays starting next week.  Estella Huff, executive Director of Feed/Clothe My People of Door County says donations for food and household supplies will still be accepted on Wednesdays.  She shares some of the items that are needed at this time in the pantry.



Huff adds that new faces are visiting the pantry daily with some having relocated recently from Green Bay and Milwaukee.  Clothe and Feed My People is open for four hours during weekdays.   


Southern Door Resource Officer shares goals for school year

Officer Greg Medlen of the Door County Sheriff's Department has become Southern Door
School’s new Resource Officer. He works at the school full time with his office located on the
Elementary/ Middle School Side. Medlen’s goal is to educate, counsel, and keep the school safe
by patrol. Southern Door’s 2019 vision for this new school year is to keep Southern Door School a safe and substance-free learning environment. When addressing the student body on the first day of school, Officer Medlen told the students that he wants to make connections with all of the students and keep their school positive.   He also pointed out that while he is there to educate, he
wants to learn from the students as much as they will learn from him. One course that Medlen will be teaching in middle school is a self-value and safety class for students. Officer Medlen, School Resource Officer, closed by saying how he is looking off to start the year strong and finish safely.


Officer Medlen's message to the students of Southern Door schools on the first day of school on Tuesday is below.


Kewaunee County manure spill under investigation-- UPDATED

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is investigating a solid manure spill in the Town of Lincoln near Algoma.  The DNR and the Kewaunee County Soil and Water Conservation Department responded to the spill at the El-Na Farm near County Highway P and Pheasant Road.  Residents living in the were informed through the RAVE notification system and through county Facebook pages that the spill had occurred.  The Kewaunee County Public Health Department also went door-to-door to inform residents of steps they can take in case their groundwater appears to be contaminated.  The DNR has not yet released details on how much manure was spilled.



Updated release:


MADISON, Wis. -Staff from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Kewaunee County have assessed a manure spill in the Town of Lincoln reported this morning, Sept. 6. The spill location was previously identified as Algoma.

Staff observed that manure recently spread on nearby fields washed off due to a significant overnight rain event that occurred on Sept. 5. The responsible farm, El-Na Farms, is taking steps to contain and collect the manure laden water. The DNR and Kewaunee County staff are collecting water samples to assess water impacts.

Due to the bedrock of the area being shallow and having a karst topography, Kewaunee County issued a Drinking Water Advisory. Local public health staff went door-to-door to notify landowners in the vicinity.

The DNR will continue to monitor the situation and will share additional information as it becomes available.

Fall boating safety takes more importance

Fewer boaters will be taking to the water as the seasons turn, but the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in Sturgeon Bay hopes they are still vigilant with their safety. That is especially true for kayakers, which according to Vice Flotilla Commander Jeff Feuerstein is responsible for more fatalities in Door County than any other vessel. He says they can be as dangerous as much as they are popular.

 Feuerstein advises all boaters to make sure they own personal floatation devices, carry a whistle,  and get their vessels checked for safety every year.

New apple all the "Rave"

Another apple cross variety from the University of Minnesota is making its way to shelves in Door County. Known as a First Kiss apple in Minnesota, the new “Rave” variety is a cross between juicy Honeycrisp and tart Monarch apple varieties. Wood Orchard owner Steve Wood says what they like about it is the void it fills when people really want an apple.

Wood says they planted 10 Rave trees this year for harvesting before planting additional 400 next year. The University of Minnesota is also behind another Wood Orchard favorite, the SweeTango, which made its season debut earlier this week.

Kewaunee Man sentenced to prison for child porn distribution

19-year-old Kyle D. Sanderson of Kewaunee has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for child pornography distribution.  According to a U.S. Department of Justice release, Chief District Judge William C. Griesbach handed down the sentence on Wednesday.  A Canadian-based social media company notified the Department of Homeland Security in April 2018 that an individual known online as “Rp.Destiny” sent pornographic images and video of children to another person.  Investigators located about 4,400 images or videos depicting abuse of toddlers and infants on Sanderson’s smart phone.  Chief Judge Griesbach also ordered Sanderson to spend 5 years of supervision after his release from federal prison.  The Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Kewaunee Police Department aided in the investigation.       


Local AD reacts to low high school sports turnout

High school sports participation across the county is down for the first time in 30 years and Sturgeon Bay Athletic Director Todd Meikle believes he knows why. A study conducted by the National Federation of State High School Association showed high school sports participation across the nation in 2018-2019 had a decline of over 40,000 participants from the previous year; this is the first time high school sports participation saw a decrease since the 1988-1989 school year. Sturgeon Bay Athletic Director Todd Meikle believes this is due to two reasons: school population is decreasing and more student-athletes are focusing on only one sport and may be playing for a select team instead of their high school. Meikle recommends student-athletes play as many sports as possible.


Even though the study shows high school sports participation is down as a whole, participation in girls’ volleyball and boys’ wrestling as well both boys’ and girls’ soccer were actually up in 2018-2019.

Community aids police investigations

Without the help of community members, two incidents in Kewaunee County this week may still be getting worked on by local law enforcement. A Luxemburg man was able to help the Luxemburg Police Department and Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department locate four teenagers firing off weapons Monday while under the influence of marijuana and alcohol. Community members also helped deputies track down the owner of a van involved in a hit and run south of Algoma, which damaged a guardrail as well as the vehicle itself. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says it shows the importance of the community and law enforcement working together.

Joski says a series of citations are coming for the person involved in the hit and run accident He also reminds people that if they help others involved in an incident to make sure local law enforcement is contacted. 



From time to time I like to revisit various topics as they stay relevant throughout the years. I recently gave a talk in regards to facility security and the question came up about calling in suspicious activity. This question is directly related to the aspect of Crime Prevention. The willingness of our residents to engage with their local law enforcement is the foundation solid crime prevention, and it begins with each and every one of us. We all have a stake in the preservation of the quality of life we experience here in Kewaunee County. Many times we begin to take on a false sense of security believing that crimes could not occur in our communities, while they are few and far between, it is our vigilance which maintains this tranquility.

    We do have crimes which are committed and most times, law enforcement is able to develop leads and ultimately solve these cases. I wanted to revisit the issue of crime prevention and hopefully bring to bear the increased awareness of the community in helping to both solve these incidents as well as prevent those in the future.

     The first component to Crime Prevention is reporting suspicious activity. Many times we may see something that looks out of ordinary, or is in fact downright suspicious. Unfortunately many times we do not go any further due to our busy lives, or our desire not involve ourselves in someone else’s business.  For there to be effective crime prevention, we all need to realize our obligation to our neighbors and our communities, and this may mean that sometimes we get involved by calling in suspicious persons or activity. Once law enforcement responds there are two possible outcomes. The first is that the person or activity has a legitimate purpose and we can wish them well and move on. The second is that the person or activity is in fact suspicious and our contact with them could lead to the solving of a past crime or better yet the prevention of a future crime. The bottom line is we all need to be a part of the solution.

     The second part to Crime Prevention is eliminating easy targets. While I would love to say we can live in a community where we do not lock our doors, I would be openly encouraging an environment of easy targets. There is an old saying that locks keep out the honest people, and there is some truth to that. While there will always be those people in our midst who may be inclined to steal, the more barriers we can put before them the more we limit their access to our valuables. If nothing else the barriers will force them to expend more effort in the commission of their crime increasing the likelihood that they will be noticed.

     These barriers are very simple. They include preventions such as: Locking doors of buildings and vehicles. Securing valuables, whether that is a piece of equipment in the yard or valuables in your home or vehicle. Making a record of your valuables so that if taken they can be more accurately reported and effectively recovered. The most important barrier is to be part of your community by noticing and if need be reporting those things that seem out of the ordinary. We should be very proud of the high quality of law enforcement we have in our communities, but we would be negligent by saying we can do it all. A community where law enforcement and citizens work together always has been and always will be a better community.

DCMC gives thanks to employees

The Door County Medical Center showed appreciation for its employees by hosting a tailgate Thursday. Normally a picnic, the organization decided to host a tailgate this year to coincide with the start of the football season. The appreciation event included live music and food trucks where event goers could enjoy hot dogs, tacos and BBQ mac n cheese. Door County Medical Center CEO Brian Stevens says he appreciates all the hard work the employees put in over the summer.


Stevens adds the Door County Medical Center will be celebrating their 75th anniversary on October 16th. More details on the event will be released at a later date.

Pekol tapped to grow local scouting

Growing Boy Scouting in Door and Kewaunee Counties relies on new Voyageur District Associate Bob Pekol. The Rhinelander native came on board in April after previously serving on camp staffs. Pekol’s own experience began as a Tiger Scout, eventually making his way to the Eagle Scout rank. His job now is to help the program he grew up in expand as the organization has added new opportunities for girls and kindergartners to get involved. Pekol says helping leaders and scouts work together to make the Scouts BSA and Cub Scouting programs better excites him the most.

Voyageur District, which also covers Brown County, currently has seven units in each Door and Kewaunee Counties. Recruitment efforts for Cub Scouting continue in Brussels, Sturgeon Bay, Luxemburg, Kewaunee, and Sister Bay this month.




To Join Cub Scouts: (boys and girls grades k – 5)


Sep 12, Southern Door Elementary, Brussels WI  5pm


Sep 12, Moravian Church, Sturgeon Bay, 6pm


Sep 19, Luxemburg Sportsman’s Club, 5:30pm


Kewaunee, Sister Bay TBA

Land erosion along lake continues 

The extremely high water levels on Lake Michigan may be slowly decreasing around the area, but significant storm systems this time of year can create havoc along the shoreline.  Land erosion has necessitated seawalls and rip-rock placement in many areas this past spring and summer.  According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lake Michigan water levels dropped slightly in August but are still at near-record highs.  Mike Kahr from Death’s Door Marine in Gills Rock says shoreline owners should be prepared for more erosion this fall.



Kahr has worked marine construction for the past 40 years and says a similar demand was seen back in 1986 when Lake Michigan recorded the highest water levels ever.   


Ag Heritage Days set for next weekend

Tractors and vintage farm equipment will be on display next weekend at the 26th Annual Ag Heritage Days in Luxemburg. The Ag Heritage Center sponsored -event is a two-day affair that is held at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds. Jim Rabas of the Agricultural Heritage & Resources, Incorporated describes what attendees can expect to experience this year.




You can find more details on the Ag Heritage Days with the link below.





Poultry popularity rising in local restaurants

With the average household reportedly spending $3000 a year dining out, local restaurants are looking to offer the most popular foods to attract more customers.  According to, chicken is the most popular food served on the menu nationally outside of salads.  Steve Geurts, owner of the Grove Food & Spirits in Kewaunee, says he has definitely seen an increased demand for chicken dishes at his establishment.  He says that chicken offers flexibility in cooking many different entrees.



Geurts says he plans on expanding with more chicken choices and that he goes through nearly 100 pounds of chicken every week.  


No January deer hunt in Door County

Door County deer hunters will get one less opportunity to fill their freezers with venison.  A special antlerless deer hunt designed to reduce the herd was held this past January.  After the harvest was tallied the Door County Deer Advisory Council decided against a similar hunt in January 2020.  Council Member Dick Baudhuin says the decision came down to numbers and potential conflicts with other hunters.



Door County has one of the highest deer populations in Wisconsin.  Efforts have been ongoing to reduce the herd.

Donation fabricates future

The donation of two pieces of manufacturing equipment by a local business is helping change the lives of students at Luxemburg-Casco High School. D&S Machine Service in Luxemburg recently donated a vertical machining center and a small lathe to be used by the school’s metals classes and Spartan Machining course. Students are already familiar with the growing fabrication and machine shop because of the time spent by the business’ employees that work with them on a regular basis. Luxemburg-Casco School District Glenn Schlender is proud of the relationship they have developed with local businesses like D&S Machine Service.

Over the last year, D&S Machine Service has made similar donations to other area districts to help generate an interest in manufacturing and to create future employees. Owner Russ Nowak estimates the company has impacted between 70 and 100 students already with a small group of Luxemburg-Casco students and alumni working at the company either as full-time or summer employees.


Picture courtesy of Luxemburg-Casco School District

Riders gallop to state competitions

Youth from Door and Kewaunee Counties will load up their horses and head to West Allis this weekend for the 32nd annual Wisconsin State 4-H Gymkhana. The two-day show will put riders through different classes such as pole bending,  barrel racing, and flags. Having earned their spot at their respective county fairs, Kewaunee County 4-H Educator Jill Jorgensen says it is a great opportunity for members to perfect their craft.

The gymkhana takes place at Wisconsin State Fair Park beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Members in high school or older will compete on Saturday while middle school riders will have to wait until Sunday.  Project members in both counties are also preparing for the State Horse Expo held next weekend also at Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis.

Town to add second charging station

Electric car owners will soon not have to worry about stealing electricity for their vehicles in Ellison Bay. During its Wednesday board meeting, the Town of Liberty Grove approved funds to be used from their 2019 technology budget to install a new car charging station at the Ellison Bay Women’s Club building. The town is already aware some people know where they can hook up their vehicles based on the building’s electric bill during the summer months. Town chairperson John Lowry says it is a good thing to add as more cars are trending towards electricity as a power source.

The Town of Liberty Grove already has one electric car charging station located near the Death’s Door Maritime Museum in Gills Rock. Lowry hopes the new station can be installed later this year.

Lakeshore businesses push for stocking increase

Businesses along the lakeshore in Door and Kewaunee Counties want to see more anglers with more fish next year. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources hosted a pair of informational meetings this week in Green Bay and Milwaukee to discuss increasing the stocking numbers for Lake Michigan salmon and trout. Wisconsin Lakeshore Business Association President and Accurate Marine owner Tom Kleiman says now is the time to capitalize on a lake on the rebound.

Kleiman says the WLBA is in favor of stocking increases specifically for king salmon, steelhead, and brown trout. Final stocking increase numbers for 2020 will not be announced until later this fall.

Teenagers arrested in Kewaunee County

Four Kewaunee County teenagers are expected to be charged with weapons and drug offenses after being caught Monday afternoon.


The boys aged between 15 and 16 were located after a Luxemburg man reported a bullet nearly hitting him while he worked on his roof just before 3:30 p.m. The Luxemburg Police Department and the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department used the information from the complaint to identify and locate the vehicle used in the crime. Upon further investigation, law enforcement learned the teenagers had been using alcohol and marijuana at the time of the incident and shooting at other targets during the evening including street signs in Brown County and a local business. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says more charges could be coming.



Joski commended the homeowner for his diligence in getting the information needed so law enforcement could investigate and eventually locate the teenagers.





Grant aids Door County broadband

Efforts to make Door County more appealing for internet broadband expansion will get a big boost from the federal government.  The Federal Communications Commission awarded a $160-million grant to the state of Wisconsin to improve or expand broadband coverage. Jim Schuessler, Executive Director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation, is not yet certain of how much money will come to Door County.  He believes it will make the area more attractive to broadband providers. However, Schuessler says local governments also need to revise rules and policies, such as restrictions on permissible uses of existing communications towers.




Schuessler says the DCEDC is currently working with several broadband providers about service in Door County.

Kewaunee Harbor Plan ready for council review

The Design Charrettes Team from UW-Extension has made the Kewaunee Harbor Master Plan review ready. City officials received public input this spring, spurring the final proposal with five sites and developer interest already established. Each site is prioritized and set to be implemented in phases. Community and Economic Development Planner Autumn Linsmeier says this will keep the development from becoming too unwieldy. 


The plan will go before the Kewaunee City Council for its October meeting. Linsmeier says the Council has been briefed about updates but has not seen the final version. It could be subject to revisions that would need to be brought back to future meetings.


Packed holiday weekend for state park

The Labor Day weekend brought a hoard of visitors to Door County and Potawatomi State Park was right in the thick of the brush. The campgrounds to the park were completely full and daytime activities like hiking and fishing were very busy as well. Park Superintendent Erin Brown Stender says that the park could have been even busier.

Potawatomi State Park is open daily from 6 AM to 11 PM. You can find more information on the park at the DNR website.

Door County watches Brown County sales tax case

The future of Door County's half-cent sales tax could soon be determined by the outcome of a taxpayer group's challenge in Brown County Circuit Court.  A lawsuit filed by the Brown County Taxpayers Alliance claimed that sales tax revenues should go for direct property tax relief instead of using the money to pay for capital improvement projects.  Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says county leaders are awaiting the outcome of the case.  Pabich says Door County considers sales tax revenues at budget time and they provide indirect property tax relief.



Testimony in the Brown County case was heard over a 20-month period.  Circuit Court Judge John Zakowski says he expects to decide this case soon, although he's not said exactly when that could happen.

Door County an autumn draw for empty nesters

The 2019 summer travel season is now in the books for Door County businesses, though weekends will remain busy as summer-like conditions hang around.  Visitor traffic will be a bit slower on weekends as autumn approaches.  Jon Jarosh, with the Door County Visitor Bureau, says many of the post-summer visitors are those with more flexible time schedules.



Jarosh expects weekends to be busy right up until the Fall color season.  Egg Harbor's Pumpkin Patch Festival from October 12th through the 13th is expected to be one of the biggest events which will coincide during the peak of the fall color season. 

Township opposes coal tar sealant uses

Coal tar sealants won't be allowed on roads or driveways in the Town of Sturgeon Bay.  The town board heard a presentation Monday from Dean Hoegger, with the Clean Water Action Council.  It pointed to the higher risk of carcinogens making their way into homes as coal tar sealants fade.  Town Board Chair Dan Cihlar says the presentation was enough for the town to let private contractors know that alternative coatings will need to be used in the Town of Sturgeon Bay.



The process of adopting a coal tar sealant ordinance will take place at future meetings of the Town of Sturgeon Bay.  Hoegger's presentation pointed to research that found coal tar sealants contain more than a thousand times the carcinogens than asphalt does, namely polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

City of Sturgeon Bay updating comprehensive plan

A relatively light agenda Tuesday saw the Sturgeon Bay Common Council approve the resolution for the future comprehensive plan for the city.  The ten-year plan is a local government’s guide to community physical, social and economic development.  Mayor David Ward says the city will now work with consultants to arrange public input sessions in the coming year.



Ward adds that the first reading of the municipal code ordinance for the possession of tobacco and vapor products by minors was done.  It would prohibit sale and possession of vaping products by anyone under the age of 18.  A second reading will be needed at the next meeting to make the ordinance effective.  The council also went into closed session to discuss the negotiations of purchasing property on Locust Street near Otumba Park and the possible sale of city-owned property on 14th Avenue,  No action was taken on those considerations after the closed session was held.   


Planting right can attract more wild birds

Proper planting on your property can make Door and Kewaunee Counties more attractive to wild birds.  The Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative, operated by the Department of Natural Resources, finds that many bird species have declined in numbers.  That's due in part to changes in their habitat.  DNR Section Chief Craig Thompson says property owners can make their yards and acreage more bird friendly by learning which types of plants naturally improve bird feeding.



The Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative was founded about 15-years ago to promote bird-friendly practices.

Housing development moving forward

The developers for the new 40-unit housing project being planned for the historic West Side School in Sturgeon Bay have released concept renderings and updates.  Northpointe Development in Oshkosh is planning to refurbish the old school in part with historical tax credits.  Additionally, WHEDA tax credits would allow for affordable housing under the Section 42 housing program with eight of the 40 units being guaranteed for U.S. Veterans.  Developer Andy Dumke shares the timeline of the apartment complex if all the tax credits are approved by April of 2020.



The three-story building will house 10 apartments while an additional complex would be built for another 30 units.  The 40 unit housing development would be named Sawyer School Lofts, according to a release by the Door County Economic Development Corporation.  You can see renderings of the Sawyer School Lofts below and above courtesy of DCEDC.


(Above rendering of North East View)


(Below rendering of South West View)







Pet insurance important for pet owners

Although most pet owners consider their furry friend as a member of their family, only an estimated two percent of pets nationally are insured.  Dr. Jordan Kobilca from Door County Veterinary Hospital in Sturgeon Bay and the Luxemburg Pet Clinic estimates that less than ten percent of his clients carry pet insurance.  He says it is becoming more important than ever for pet owners to research and take out health insurance on their pets.



Dr. Jordan says having the insurance helps make medical decisions easier as your pet gets older.  Pet health insurance sales increased over 23 percent nationally in 2018, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association. 

St. Mary and Holy Trinity schools sharing principal 

The first day of school was eagerly anticipated by many local students on Tuesday, but Marc Vandenhouten, principal of St. Mary’s Elementary School had additional responsibilities with Holy Trinity School in Casco to look forward to performing.  Vandenhouten says working a schedule out as principal between the two schools will be a process.



Vandenhouten credits a great support staff at both schools allowing for his dual responsibilities.  St. Mary’s school also offers a 3K and 4K preschool program that is at capacity and complements the kindergarten through 6th-grade classes.  Vandenhouten says the starting enrollment numbers for Holy Trinity School increased 14 percent from last year.      


Fertilizer still important for plants

The gardening season may be winding down, but the task of protecting and maintaining horticulture in the area remains high.  Larry Maas of Maas Floral & Greenhouse in Sturgeon Bay says homeowners that wish to keep their plants looking great this fall should remember to include a regular dose of fertilizer.



Maas says annuals can be trimmed halfway back and all spent blossoms should be removed to allow the plant to thrive.  He adds that most perennials are done blossoming already so you can cut down the spent stalks to have them ready for the first frost and winter ahead.  You can find more tips on fall plant care below.


Sturgeon Bay Visitors Center touts tourism

The Sturgeon Bay Visitors Center is ready to proclaim the summer of 2019 a success. It only officially ended on Labor Day so no hard numbers are available yet, or expected for some time, but anecdotally things were busy. Carly Sarkis was hired in the spring as the new Marketing and Events Coordinator. Sarkis is originally from Sturgeon Bay but lived elsewhere for six years. She has spent the last three months amazed at how Door County has become a summer fixture for people across the Midwest.


To beat 2018, Door County tourism would need to top $366.6 million dollars. Tourism supports over 3,000 jobs in the county.


Why Join? Door County 4-H

The importance of joining an organization like Door County 4-H goes well beyond what they exhibit. Door County 4-H boasts seven clubs stretching from Washington Island south to the county line. Clubs meet on a monthly basis with different project groups focusing on a specific topic meeting periodically throughout the year. While it is easy to see the ribbons they earn, it is the soft skills they learn that really sticks out to Door County 4-H Educator Dawn Vandevoort.

Vandevoort says now is a great time to join one of the Door County 4-H clubs ahead of its open house event being planned for October. This is the third of a multi-part series on youth organizations kids can join locally as they enter their first week of school. 

Animal welfare remains focus

Dairy farmers in Kewaunee County want to make sure the public knows the importance it places on caring for its cows. The perception of animal care on dairy farms took a hit in June when undercover reporters found cases of abuse at Fair Oaks Farm in northwest Indiana. The Kewaunee County Dairy Promotion Committee took the opportunity to educate guests during last month’s Farm to Fork Gala at Deer Run Dairy in Kewaunee about animal welfare with the assistance of UW-Madison Dairy Science Professor Dr. Jennifer Van Os. Kewaunee County UW-Extension agriculture educator Aerica Bjurstrom says Van Os reiterated the importance of farmers giving their cows the best possible place to live.

Bjurstrom says farmers in Kewaunee County are doing a great job caring for the needs of their animals, but there is always room for improvement.


Picture courtesy of Aerica Bjurstom



Estaurine research reserve support growing

If the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration choose to go somewhere else along the bay of Green Bay with a potential estuarine research reserve, it will not be because Door County municipalities did not try. The Town of Gibraltar recently joined six other Door County governmental bodies in their support for the reserve, which would provide a place for long-term research, education, and coastal stewardship of ecological areas near large bodies of water. If granted, Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jim Schuessler says it would be a tremendous grab for the area.

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is currently comprised of 29 areas with only one Wisconsin location based on the Great Lakes.

City targets vaping

Kids in the city of Sturgeon Bay will not be able to use vape products under an ordinance going before the Common Council Tuesday night. The ordinance would not just forbid people under the age of 18 from possessing and purchasing electronic cigarettes and other vaping necessities, but also businesses from selling the products to them. For individuals, the first violation would result in a $50 fine with every ticket after that costing the person caught $75. Businesses could be fined up to $100 for selling vape products to minors. The ordinance, which gets its first of two readings during the 7 p.m. meeting, comes after vaping was linked to several cases of lung disease in Wisconsin including in Door County last month.

Door County Library looking for new members

The Door County Library is on the hunt for new members. The fall is already a busy time of year with school starting back up and a change of hours for the various branches. That makes it the perfect time for residents of Door County who are not library members to enroll. It is free for any resident of Door County. All you need is a driver's license. September is Library Card Sign-Up Month. Librarian Morgan Mann says that means perks across Door County.



There are Door County Library branches in Baileys Harbor, Egg Harbor, Ephraim, Fish Creek, Forestville, Sister Bay-Liberty Grove, Sturgeon Bay and Washington Island.

Adopt-A-Soldier Door County needs your help

Adopt-A-Soldier Door County sends out care packages to troops serving overseas eight times a year. While the wars in the Middle East have fallen off the headlines in recent times, that doesn't diminish the incredible sacrifice that continues today. President Nancy Hutchinson says there are more local soldiers overseas than you think.


Adopt-A-Soldier could use your help making sure care packages are filled. Their wishlist that you can donate includes non-perishable food items, and personal care things like toothpaste, foot powder, and body wash. Hutchinson says there's one item you might not think of but that is always in short supply: super glue. That is used on the battlefield to help close wounds.


Southern Door teams up with the Y

Southern Door School District won a coveted federal grant over the summer that is allowing them to expand their elementary after-school programs. The 21st Century Community Learning Center grant is bringing together SD elementary and the Door County YMCA. The program runs the gamut of student interests according to the undertaking's Co-Directors , Stephanie DeJardin and Makayla Allan.


The program is available to all Southern Door K-5 students and is free of charge.


Algoma bridge project behind schedule

The Second Street bridge project is trying to avoid being a day late and a span short. The contractor is actively seeking out a second work crew to remedy the situation and that means the pace of the project is about to pick up. Algoma Public Works Director Matt Murphy says boaters need to circle September 15th on their calendar.


If workers can make up time the repairs are set to be complete in November. All businesses in the area are open during construction. There will be no access to the bridge during all phases of the work. Highway 42 is currently being used as a detour to traffic passing through the city.


L-C students gain experience outside classroom

Luxemburg-Casco is taking additional steps to make sure its students are book smart and street smart. The district has expanded its apprenticeship program which allows students to get academic credits that count towards their diploma off campus. Students leave for a factory or manufacturing facility during the school day according to Career and Technical Education Coordinator David Gordon.


Juniors and Seniors are eligible for the program. Gordon says students in the apprenticeship program appreciate their education more because they understand how what is taught at school becomes applied in the real world at a job. With the cost of college rising and skilled trades in demand, the L-C apprenticeship program can be an alternative path to a career that remains affordable for everyone.


Hit-and-run in Algoma Monday morning

The Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department is asking for help from the public involving a hit-and-run south of Algoma Monday morning. Very little is known at this point. It appears a minivan of unknown make and model rolled over a guardrail. It sustained heavy damage. The vehicle was towed away from the scene by a large tractor. At roughly 3 PM Monday Sheriff Matt Joski told us that they still do not have any more information.


If you wish to come forward use the reference number 19-06781 when calling the Sheriff's Department.

Math Consultant advises Door County district

Washington Island School District has attracted the attention of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, in a good way. Mathematics Consultant Mary Mooney was on the Island last week to advise teachers of the latest trends in instructing strategies. Washington Island District Adminstrator Michelle Kanipes says the visit was vital as the state prepares for curriculum review this winter.


Mooney also met with parents during the Open House event. Kanipes lauded Washington Island parents as being attentive to their child's instruction. Being able to interact with state officials provided valuable insight to the community as well as the faculty. The school year begins Tuesday.


Dip a paw in, the water's fine

City of Kewaunee K9 officer Charlie is in his fourth year patrolling the municipality, supported entirely by the community. Another opportunity to help is coming up Saturday September 7th, 10 AM to 2 PM at the Pooches in the Pool event. Charlie is a busy officer with a lot of job responsibilities. Charlie helps track people. He has a superior sniffer that ferrets out narcotics. Charlie must also protect his handler, Officer Brian Gale, if the two of them find their way into a life-threatening situation. Gale has the privilege of looking after Charlie even away from police headquarters.


Gale says the training requires equipment that is beginning to show wear and tear. Also, Charlie is already about halfway through his tenure as a K9 Officer and plans have to be started for a transition. Pooches in the Pool is the last swimming event, for any species, at the Kewaunee RV and Campground this year. And if you were wondering, Charlies loves the water.


Secret Treasures of Door County: Jack and Joie

If I want a great Door County burger I head to the Bayside Tavern in Fish Creek. And if I want a really unique shopping experience, I head to Jack & Joie.


This little shop, which opened last year is in a small yellow cottage behind the Bayside Tavern.  It’s run by two designers who also happen to be sisters. Jack & Joie showcases the sisters’ original designs which includes American-made glassware, home décor, candles, paper goods and handcrafted jewelry. They also offer an eclectic selection of curated vintage finds.


Their customers come from all over Wisconsin as well as out of state. Each visitor is pleased to discover something so unique, off the beaten path. Some of the customers say the Wisconsin Old Fashioned glasses they design are one of their favorite gifts to give. And they keep coming back for more. Others are drawn to the stylish collection of vintage barware.


The store is bright, cheery and always welcoming. So check out Jack & Joie in Fish Creek.


It’s a sister act!


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Hatco executives urge protection for ESOP plans

Hatco President David Rolston made sure he took advantage of his time with Congressman Mike Gallagher during the Republican's tour of the company's facility in Sturgeon Bay. One of the first issues to come up was protection for employee share ownership programs, also known as ESOPs. It is a relatively rare corporate structure where employees own all the stock in the company. The stock cannot be bought or sold by the employee. It is part of their compensation depending on tenure, and they have to sell it back to the company upon retirement. An ESOP only grows if the company's valuation increases. In other words, it is somewhat similar to an IRA with one company's stock instead of a broad portfolio. The question is when should the growth in an ESOP plan be taxed?


Rolston says over the 15 years the plan has been in place, growth has averaged 12 percent a year. Rolston believes the benefits from a secure retirement for Hatco employees overweighs the drawback as far as politicians are concerned, namely deferred taxation.


Booyah and more at Brussels kermis

Lee Spude is one of six volunteers who make up the organizing committee for the Brussels kermis. They arrived early Sunday morning at the Brussels Town Park on Junction St. to prepare for a special church ceremony.


Spude says all of the proceeds from the myriad kermis events benefit St Francis and St Mary Catholic Church on the north end of town. Kids were greeted with lawn games and inflatables on the softball diamond. Food was under the pavilion including traditional Belgian dishes like booyah and trippe. Cow pie bingo and a gun raffle happened off to the corner. The live and silent auction brought bidders from an hour away. All items donated were crafted by Brussels residents. 

Kewaunee County ready for final ATV vote

Townships in Kewaunee County have been pushing for an ATV/UTV ordinance for years which would allow the vehicles on paved roads. At this month's Board meeting that could become a reality. Several towns passed their own approvals before the County even began studying the issue. Others have approved preliminary language. Just last month, additions were made mandating insurance for liability purposes for ATV/UTV operators. If that is passed by the County Board, the townships will have to re-vote on the updated ordinance language. Kewaunee Board Chairman Robert Weidner says townships cannot get County enforcement without their ATV ordinances being identical to the County language.



The next Board meeting is Tuesday, September 17th at 6 PM at the County Building in the city of Kewaunee.

Pop-up Planetarium Creates Worlds Of Fun

The Door Peninsula Astronomical Society has a new toy that has already proven a hit with kids. Their pop-up planetarium debuted this summer to different groups and President Dave Lenius says probably 800 kids have experienced it already. Lenius says a couple things stand out to the children, with Saturn's rings being the overall favorite.



The moons of Jupiter are also a source of wonder. The planetarium is operated via computer and can display high-definition images of our solar system to make it seem like you are spanning space. The Planetarium is a high-end model that uses only photographs, not artist renderings. It is about 5 meters across and 10 feet high, enough room for 25 kids or 15 adults.

Sevastopol school gets a facelift

Sevastopol Superintendent Kyle Luedtke thinks students will be pleasantly surprised by some of the touchups done to the building over the summer. The gymnasium floor was sanded down one inch, making it essentially a new surface. It has been repainted and new court lines have been laid down. Bleachers are scheduled to arrive in October so that everything is in before basketball season. Luedtke also highlighted new murals in the cafeteria. The murals were hand drawn and then painted.


The four spent many hours on the murals, sometimes being at the school late into the evening. Students can enjoy the new look of the 1965 portion of the building when classes resume on Tuesday.


PFLAG Door County proud of accomplishments

PFLAG Door County is still a work in progress. President Lori Serb has been in the area for around three years now and wants to take the Chapter's community involvement to the next level. The organization has worked with the Sturgeon Bay Public Library before, helping to catalogue the resources available for families adjusting to having a LGBT child. Starting at 6 PM on Tuesday, September 17th, PFLAG Door County is holding an informal meeting to tout its accomplishments. Serb says she hopes the meeting will result in more awareness from community members about the local PFLAG chapter. Neighboring Illinois has much stronger non-discrimination laws protecting residents on the basis of sexual identity than Wisconsin does. Serb is fighting to change that.



PFLAG Door County's regular meetings are the third Sunday of the month at Hope Church in Sturgeon Bay. Serb believes the Public Library could be a more inclusive environment for meetings going forward.

Kewaunee Historical Society plans special tour

The Kewaunee Lighthouse is getting a brand new L.E.D. light on the fog signal deck and you can scope it out for free September 7th. From 10 AM to 12 Noon, you can tour the entire structure culminating in a spectacular view from the top.  After the lighthouse, it's a short trip to look at the Tug Ludington and to the History Center at 217 Ellis Street for a ceremony retiring the Fresnel lens. Treasurer Arletta Bertrand says Jake Heffernan will give a presentation on the Fresnel lens at 1 PM followed by dessert.



The History Center has been renovated over the past year. What's old is new again and you can get your first look at the additions to their collection. 

Garden Door about to swing shut for 2019

The last Tuesday in the Garden Door event for the year is September 10th. The Door County Master Gardeners put on one outing per month, always the second Tuesday, throughout the summer. Master Gardener Carrie Sherrill says three presentations are expected with the event likely taking an hour and a half. Bird seed is the first topic.


Master Gardeners will speak on the area seed library and how the test plots in the Garden Door have fared this year as well as fall planters. The Garden Door is attached to the UW Peninsular Agricultural Research Station on Highway 42 near Sevastopol. The September event begins at 6 PM due to the shorter days and is free to the public.


Book pop-up features local authors

The community will have the opportunity to meet local authors and discuss the process that goes into writing a book at the Pop-Up Invitation in Sister Bay on September 7th. Local children’s book author Jamie Kay Palmer who has over 15 years’ experience writing children’s novels will be one of the authors featured at the event. Palmer says children’s book authors will not be the only ones there, authors of all genres will be highlighted.

The event will take place at the Learning Center at NWTC Sister Bay and run from 9 AM until 4 PM. Those attending will also have the opportunity to get their books signed by the authors.

There's still some great fishing and kayaking in the fall -- Kayak Series VIII

Sometimes I’m smallmouth bass fishing until early December, but, usually at least into November.  After that last cast of the season I’m usually OK for about a month, but then I’m already looking forward to opening day next season.  Fortunately, I have fishing articles to write and Power Point presentations to update for the various sports shows I speak at, but it’s just not the same as being on the water.  

How does summer go so fast?  And, as I get older it seems to go faster.  Wasn’t it just the other day that I was hitting the waters of Door County to start the season in early May, and, now it’s Labor Day Weekend!  The good news is, don’t put those kayaks and that fishing gear away yet.   September and October, and even into November can be outstanding months to get out and view our Door County beauty from your kayak, and it’s a great time for fishing.  I just read that we are the number one location in the Midwest for viewing the fall colors from the water.  I’ve done it many times and it’s spectacular.  Pick a day with light winds and you have dozens of great locations to paddle and enjoy the beauty.

I’ve talked about this in the past, but as we got into summer many of the bigger smallies go deeper, which is a challenge for anglers in boats or kayaks.  However, as the water cools those smallies begin to come back in shallow.  Probably not as shallow as in the spring, but in a normal fall you’ll find them in the 8’ to 15’ range.  For my fall fishing I’m still using the Ned Rig with the Z-Man soft plastics as well as tube jigs.  The local tackle shop carries the items I mentioned as well as knowing some of the better spots for those fall smallies.  

Two points of caution with fall kayaking and fishing from a kayak.  Be sure to wear proper cold weather gear and be sure to check the forecast related to the wind.  I am only kayaking and fishing close to shore just in case of an emergency.  It’s been great sharing my thoughts about kayaking and kayak fishing with you again this year, and, as always, if you have any questions email me at

Chambers Island's fab four win conservation award

Four Chambers Island Committee leaders will be awarded Conservationists of the Year by Gathering Waters during their Land Conservation Leadership Award ceremony. Mary Brevard, Suzanne Fletcher, Barbara Frank, and Mary Jane Rintelman, also known as the fab four, were instrumental in helping the Chambers Island Nature Preserve become a reality. In 2013, the fab four presented a thirteen-page proposal to the Door County Land Trust to create a nature preserve on the island with a goal to protect 1000 acres of land. Over five years later, the fab four helped raise over $1.8M in private donations to create the Chambers Island Nature Preserve and about 850 acres of land are protected today. Door County Land Trust Executive Director Tom Clay says the organization was taking a risk when they decided to go along with the fab four's proposal.



The Chambers Island Nature Preserve Committee along with Door County Land Trust will continue towards their goal of protecting 1000 acres on the island. The award ceremony for the fab four will take place on September 26th in Madison.

Labor Day travel safety tips

Labor Day weekend is here and with it comes an increase of vehicles on the road in Door County. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation crashes from last year’s Labor Day weekend resulted in seven fatalities and over 350 injuries in the state. Peak travel time for the holiday weekend will be from noon to 8 P.M. on both Friday and Monday which is why Chief Deputy of the Door County Sheriff’s Office Patrick McCarty recommends planning accordingly.



McCarty adds that even though construction zones will not be active during the holiday weekend residents should still expect delays in those areas.

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