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News Archives for 2019-10

LGBTQ community says Door County more accepting

Beth Mitchell says from the time she came out as transgender in 2011 and lost her job as a substitute teacher Door County has become more accepting of LGBTQ residents and visitors.  Mitchell is the newly elected President of the Door County chapter of PFLAG, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.  She says PFLAG has worked to help people understand that members of the LGBTQ community share the same goals and daily challenges as straight individuals.  Mitchell says efforts like the “We Welcome All” campaign with area businesses and other organizations have also helped change local attitudes.



Mitchell also credits faith-based communities, such as Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Door County in Sister Bay and Hope Church in Sturgeon Bay, with helping change attitudes by opening their doors to LGBTQ members. 

Understanding dyslexia

Many students, unencumbered from learning disabilities, make their way through school with the stresses of studying and due dates. However, scattered through school districts, a number of children carry the weight of dyslexia. 


Dyslexia is a learning disability that makes reading, writing, and speaking extremely difficult for individuals who have the disorder. It involves the jumbling of words, letters, and in some cases, numbers. 


When asking students on the Southern Door campus if they knew what dyslexia is, only a few could confidently describe what the disability encompasses. 



Speaking with the Southern Door High School librarian, Tori Martinez, she described how important it is to help those with dyslexia early.



Combating the learning disability young provides students the opportunity to build management skills for it. 


Mrs. Martinez said that she recently listened to a speaker at the Sturgeon Bay Library who told a compelling story of living with dyslexia and how communities can address it. She said that listening to the speaker was extremely interesting and thought-provoking. 

Tori Martinez’s daughter has an extremely mild form of dyslexia and says she is inspired to stay up to date on learnings of dyslexia to power through with her daughter.




Plum Island nuisance deer hunt progressing

The effort to cull the Plum Island deer herd to manageable levels and encourage forest growth is working.  The U.S. Fish and Wild Life Service, which owns the uninhabited island, opened the first of 11 six-day hunts this month.  The goal is to reduce the herd from 40 deer to 30.  Dustan Hoffman, Refuge Manager of the Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge, says the results of the first two hunts have gone well and could greatly aid forestry research on Plum Island.



The Plum Island deer hunts are scheduled to go until years end and could end sooner if the target of 30 deer harvested is reached.

Used book sale Saturday at area library

The Friends of Door County Libaries will be having a "Shop the Shelves" book sale Saturday at the Sturgeon Bay Branch. Door County Libraries consists of eight locations but the sale will only be happening in Sturgeon Bay. The Friends have already committed to a December sale as well where you can pick up some thrifty gifts according to Community Relations Library Assistant Morgan Mann.


The sale happens from nine AM to noon. 

Saint Joseph Cemetery unmarked graves explored

Father Edward Looney of St. Francis and St. Mary in Brussels has been digging into unmarked graves at St. Joseph Cemetery. Father Looney has been combing church records to try and uncover who is resting in peace at the cemetery. The rumors behind those anonymous plots are almost too wild to be true.



An original list was announced in March and updates are still being made. On Saturday, Looney will be offering an indulgence for All Souls' Day and blessing a new statue of St. Joseph. The names discovered in Looney's research will be read aloud.


Photo courtesy of St. Francis and St. Mary Catholic Church.

Make stargazing easier

You have an opportunity to learn more about looking up at the night sky with your own equipment next week in Sturgeon Bay. The Door Peninsula Astronomical Society is hosting its monthly meeting at the Stonecipher Astronomy Center at Crossroads at Big Creek on Tuesday. There will be a presentation made by Steve Ransom-Jones on how to mount your own telescopes and building your own backyard observatory. Dave Lenius, who is on the board for the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society, says he hears often of people getting frustrated after buying their own telescopes.



The Door Peninsula Astronomical Society meets the first Tuesday of every month at the Stonecipher Astronomy Center at Crossroads at Big Creek at 7 PM. All are welcome to attend.

Students have difficulty voting

People who come to Wisconsin to go to college may find it harder to vote if they decide to make their residence here. Students are not allowed to use their college photo ID to register to vote in Wisconsin. According to Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck, Wisconsin has some of the most restrictive voter photo ID laws in the country. Those laws were enacted in 2016 for students. Heck says it’s a real problem for college students because they lack the time to get the proper ID.



Common Cause is involved in a lawsuit with the State of Wisconsin to try and make it easier for out-of-state college students to vote.

Tips on a safer Halloween for pets

Keeping your dog safe during Halloween and trick or treating should be priority one for pet owners this week, according to a local veterinarian.   Dr. Jordan Kobilca from Door County Veterinary Hospital in Sturgeon Bay says if your dog is at all anxious it is better to keep them away from all the excitement of Halloween.  He offers advice on how to properly fit your pets with costumes if you do decide to dress them up.



Dr. Jordan recommends that you stay away from putting masks on your pets and keep them away from all candies and chocolates that can be dangerous.  Putting reflective material on costumes to make your pets more visible is a good idea If walking the neighborhood.  Also, check the collar and leash to make sure they are properly fitted so your pet does not slip loose.  Halloween is the second busiest day of the year for lost pets, according to Dr. Jordan.  Door County Veterinary Hospital encourages pets in their costumes to stop by the clinic for a photo op and treats on Halloween. 

A reminder for the time change

When you turn your clocks back an hour for the end of Daylight Savings Time, Gibraltar Fire and Rescue says it is the right time to test all your monitoring devices. With the extraordinary rainfall that the Door Peninsula has seen in 2019, smoke detectors are not a priority for most. Assistant Chief Jerrad Anderson says that winter is the worst time of the year for that mindset.


Daylight savings time ends at 2 AM on Sunday. 

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Hours

Luxemburg and Casco did their trick-or-treating over the weekend. For the rest of the Door Peninsula, hours are on Halloween proper. 


Kewaunee — 3:30 to 7 p.m.
Carlton — 3:30 to 7 p.m.
Algoma — 4 to 6 p.m.
Red River — 4 to 7 p.m. 
Jacksonport: 3 to 7 p.m. 
Sister Bay: 3:30 p.m. to dusk
Forestville: 4 to 6 p.m. 
Sturgeon Bay: 4 to 7 p.m.
Baileys Harbor: 5 to 7 p.m.


The potential for bad weather has cancelled Halloween in other parts of the country already. Several municipalities in New Hampshire have rescheduled for Saturday. There is the threat of significant snowfall tomorrow night locally with forecasts varying from a dusting to as much as 4-8 inches. The forecasts calling for heavy snow have it rolling in after trick-or-treating hours so all events are expected to go on as planned.

New Door County Transportation Manager

Door County has hired a new Transportation Manager and it is a familiar face with an established track record in the sector locally. Pam Busch will be moving from the Mobility Manager position with Door-Tran to her new role at the county level. Busch hopes that the transition will be an easy one.


Busch will oversee the Door 2 Door Rides shared taxi service and the ADRC transportation program. Busch says Door 2 Door is up to 40,000 rides annually with its largest user base being the elderly population in the area. 

Algoma Chamber fights shoreline erosion

The Algoma Chamber of Commerce consulted water resource engineers two weeks ago regarding shoreline erosion near its location. The intense easterly winds, rain, and waves since turned it into an immediate project that was completed on Monday. A new rock wall is now in place to help protect the hill that slopes down to Crescent Beach says Executive Director Kay Smith.


Ice floes are disruptive to the beach in the spring once warmer temperatures begin to thaw Lake Michigan.


*Photo courtesy of Algoma Chamber Facebook page.

Friends of Forestville Dam search for allies

The Friends of the Forestville Dam have had to abandon plans for an injunction against the proposed millpond drawdown scheduled for this Friday. Village President Terry McNulty says he has contingency plans in place with the first priority being to find allies.


McNulty says he has been testing downstream from the dam recently, saying it is cleaner than you can get from a tap. Kewaunee County is dealing with water quality issues of its own related to agricultural runoff and McNulty is betting they don't want to import similar problems from southern Door County.

Gibraltar adopts $12.38-million budget

The Gibraltar School District Board of Education voted to adopt the 2019-2020 budget that includes a modest increase.  The $12.38-million dollar spending plan is just above the $11.83-million budget for 2018-2019.  School Board President Mark Weborg says this year's budget helps meet the district's needs while keeping spending to a minimum.



Part of the increase in this year's budget is due to renovation work underway in the IMC and some classrooms in the Gibraltar Schools building.

Veterans Day ceremonies announced

The Door County Veterans Services recently released details of the upcoming Veterans Day ceremony that is scheduled for November 11 at Southern Door High School.  The American Legion Post 372 will host the event that will honor all branches of military service.  Door County Veterans Services Officer Beth Wartella says the guest speaker will be no stranger to Southern Door schools.



The Veterans Day ceremony will be at 9:30 am on Monday, November 11.  Washington Island will also be holding a Veteran’s Day ceremony at 10:30 am that day at the Trueblood Arts Center.  The Island will be recognizing Jake Ellefson and his brothers with a brief biography and slide show.  You can find more information on other Door County Veteran’s Day events with this story below.





Here are the details for this year’s Veterans Day ceremonies:
--American Legion Post 372 will be hosting the Veterans Day Ceremony at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, November 11th in the Southern Door High School gymnasium. The public is invited to attend and veterans from all branches of service will be recognized.  The guest speaker will be Mr. Thomas Van Lieshout, an U.S. Army Korean Veteran. The Southern Door High School band and choir will perform patriotic music. There will be a luncheon for veterans and their family members following the ceremony.
--Washington Island will hold a Veterans Day ceremony at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, November 11th at the Washington Island Trueblood Performing Arts Center. The Island will be recognizing Jake Ellefson and his brothers with a brief biography and slideshow. After the ceremony, veterans will be invited to stay for a Q&A session regarding veteran’s benefits with the new County Veterans Service Officer Beth Wartella and Senior Constituent Services Representative for the Office of Congressman Mike Gallagher, Kerry Niemcek Skaleski.
Other events include:
--The ADRC/Community Center (formerly known as the Senior Center) will be holding a brief ceremony to recognize veterans during the noon lunch on Friday, November 8th. County Veterans Service Officer Beth Wartella will be the speaker and Vietnam veteran Ken Pollock will play patriotic music.
--Unity will be hosting an Appreciation Reception at Sturgeon Bay Health Services (formerly the Dorchester) for veterans and their families on Friday, November 8th from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.. The public is invited to attend. Beth Wartella, the Door County Veterans Service Officer will be sharing a presentation on veteran’s benefits. Refreshments and social to follow.
--The Peninsula Symphonic Band will present their annual Veterans Day concert at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, November 11th at Prince of Peach Church, 1756 Michigan Street, Sturgeon Bay. The public is encouraged to attend this popular event as the band plays many patriotic selections.

Food Sampler event in Luxemburg Wednesday

A Halloween-themed event that is carrying on the tradition of the Taste of Kewaunee County will be held Wednesday evening in Luxemburg.  The best of foods and beverages offered by local establishments will be featured at the “Boo-z & Bites” at the Luxemburg Fairground’s Exhibit Hall.  Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation (KDEDC) Executive Director Richard Baker says the event has drawn over 200 people in the past and is a great prelude to Halloween. 



All proceeds from the Boo-z & Bites will benefit the KDEDC, the Kewaunee Rotary Club, and the Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce.  Wednesday’s event will be from 5:30 until 8 pm.  Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door.     


Miller Art Museum concludes year with Juried Art exhibit

The Miller Art Museum’s 44th Juried Annual exhibition will open to the public next Saturday.  The exhibit will feature 37 contemporary regional artists living in Northeastern Wisconsin including Door and Kewaunee counties.  Helen Del Guidice, the curator of the Miller Art Museum, says this year’s 48 chosen entries include a wide range of artwork.



The exhibit will run from November 9 through December 30.  You can see some images of the artwork that will be on display at the Miller Art Museum’s 44th  Annual Juried exhibition below.



  1. Paul Goderstad, Treasure, oil painting. Image courtesy of the artist.
  2. Nancy Sargent, Rain Dance, acrylic painting. Image courtesy of the artist.
  3. Arlene Stanger, Windswept, digital photograph. Image courtesy of the artist.
  4. Archelle Wolst, Brittany in Black, oil painting. Image courtesy of the artist.
  5. Mac Shueppert, Off Dearborn, pastel.  Image courtesy of the artist
  6. Jim Leatham, Winter Stream, oil painting. Image courtesy of the artist.





















RIDE4KIDS gets new equipment

The Door County Leadership Class of 2019 may have graduated this summer but they still had a gift to give. Tuesday, the group met one last time to celebrate the fruits of their help project. Over $8,000 was raised to purchase specialized equipment for the RIDE4KIDS program which helps to stimulate the development of disabled children through exercise. Mollie Brauer says that it was a unanimous choice among the group to help RIDE4KIDS.


The classes happen at the Door County YMCA and that was the location for the showcase. It was open to any individuals or organizations who helped make the new equipment possible.


Sheriff: everyone pays for illegal dumping

The Kewaunee County Sheriffs Department warns those who illegally dump unwanted items on back roads that they'll pay directly or indirectly for such violations. That warning comes as the department posted a photo of a sofa left in a ditch just north of Algoma asking for public assistance to find the violators.  Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says those who believe they're saving money by leaving it to local governments to take care of the unwanted items they dump on public lands need to rethink that mistaken idea.



Sheriff Joski says the removal costs to taxpayers increases as people leave electronic waste, such as old TV's and computers, in ditches or on other public lands.

(Photo courtesy of Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department. This sofa was found in a ditch north of Algoma. If you know something about it please contact Deputy Vandermoss at 920-388-3100.)

Winter wheat planting plummets

The Door Peninsula is planting less winter wheat keeping in line with trends across the country. The number of acres dedicated to winter wheat in the US has fallen to the lowest level since 1909. There are a number of factors for the decrease including better yields, low prices, changes in diet, and more. In the area though, Kewaunee County Agricultural Agent Aerica Bjurstrom says rain is the main culprit.


Bjurstrom warns that the inability of farmers to get cover crops down this fall will lead to significant topsoil erosion through wintertime. 

No plows yet in Kewaunee County

The state of Wisconsin got its first significant snowfall of the season but no plows were needed yet in Kewaunee County. Highway Commissioner Todd Every says the state highways and bridges were treated before the storm to prevent icing. With all the wet weather so far, other construction projects have taken longer than expected to get done and the snow-clearing equipment is not quite ready. Every is confident Kewaunee County will be ready if a large snowstorm hits in November.



More snow is expected later this week on Thursday or Friday. Every says he’s seen different reports how much snow will be coming and is unsure whether the plows will need to come out then.

Girls more involved in business

Girls are involved in the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) at Sturgeon Bay High School more than ever this school year.  The FBLA helps run the Clipper School Store where they sell Sturgeon Bay apparel. They meet every second and fourth Thursday of the month where participants learn business skills to help them in their careers beyond high school. Michelle Gibson is the Sturgeon Bay FBLA Club Advisor and she’s happy to see how many girls are involved with the program this year and how the older boys have treated them.



The Future Business Leaders of America are looking to make a business trip to Milwaukee or Madison in the spring. Last year, they went to Miller Park for a Brewers game to learn more about sports marketing.

Foxconn halt on innovation centers criticized

Foxconn Technology Group's plan to put the development of several innovation centers on hold, including one in Northeast Wisconsin, is drawing criticism from some opponents.  That follows a Wisconsin Public Radio report finding that Foxconn-owned properties in Madison, Racine, Eau Claire and Green Bay have yet to be developed as innovation centers.  The company indicated last year that each center would employ between 100 and 200 people and the company would receive state tax credits for each job created.  WPR cites Racine city officials as saying that Foxconn is focusing all of its efforts on the main assembly campus in Mt. Pleasant and putting the innovation centers on hold.  That comes as no surprise to State Senator Dave Hansen,  a Democrat from Green Bay and a long-time opponent of the Foxconn deal.



Foxconn purchased the Watermark Building in Green Bay, which was once part of the Younkers complex, and has done some renovations.  The opening of the Green Bay innovation center, however, was originally set for later in 2018.

Getting out of an abusive relationship

Help of Door County is reaching out to victims of domestic abuse that may feel there is no place to turn.  Steve Vickman, executive director of Help of Door County, says making the decision to remove oneself from an abusive relationship can be a tough one for those victimized, especially when children are involved.  Vickman advises victims to not hesitate to get out of an abusive situation immediately.



Vickman says victims will need to consult an attorney, but that Help of Door County advocates are available 24/7 to help with safety plans and moving forward.  He says family court will ultimately determine custody afterward, but it is important to contact Help of Door County who can assist in getting family restraining orders to deal with threats.  October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month.      

Sturgeon Bay finalizing budget and housing plans

The City of Sturgeon Bay’s addressing of future developments and the 2020 budget has set up for a busy early November.  Mayor David Ward says the Planned Unit Development for a 40-unit housing project in the old Westside School was approved by the Plan Commission earlier this month.  He shares the next step by the city to move forward on the development.



Ward says that North Point Developments is in the process of obtaining state historical and affordable housing tax credits by April of next year to help finance the project.  The City of Sturgeon Bay’s budget for 2020, that includes planned operation and capital expenditures, will be presented for final approval at a special council meeting at 6 pm on Monday, November 4.   

Tipps awarded national IGA award

Allen Tipps from Stodola’s IGA in Luxemburg was surprised Monday morning by his co-workers with a national “Employee of the Month” award.  Nominated a few months ago by store owner Alex Stodola, Tipps received recognition and a plaque when he walked into the breakroom around 9 am.  Stodola says the award was much deserved.



Tipps, who has worked at Stodola’s IGA for the past 20 years, shares what he enjoys most about being a carryout at the supermarket.



The newly restarted program is part of brand relaunch by IGA called “Local equals Fresh” at the over 3,000 stores around the country, according to Stodola.   


(photo submitted of Allen Tipps receiving the award from Alex Stodola)  

Home cleaning service adds businesses to portfolio

A Door County home cleaning business is branching out into office cleaning to get through the normally slow fall and winter months.  That strategy is paying off for Mi Casa Door County.  The service, which started in 2017, is already working with several local companies for cleaning services and is ready to take on more.  Mi Casa Door County co-owner Gabriela Moncada says the decision to offer office cleaning was based on a simple desire to retain employees by offering them more consistent hours in the traditional off-season.



Mi Casa Door County has developed a loyal clientele in the short time it's been in business.  Moncada estimates about 30-percent of their customers are in Sturgeon Bay during the summer months while 70-percent come from Sister Bay.

Weather advisory in effect

With the first significant snowfall of the season coming, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from 10 pm Monday until 7 am Tuesday for all of Northeastern Wisconsin.  Accumulations of snow are expected to be up to two inches.  Slippery roads may impact driving conditions for the early morning hours.  Drivers are advised to use extra caution when traveling.  Another four inches of snow are possible on Thursday of this week.  Stay tuned to the radio stations of for more updates as they warrant.  


Survey examines Cisco return in Green Bay

Researchers will take to Green Bay next month to see whether a member of the herring family is making a comeback.  The Cisco had a thriving history in the waters around Door County in the 1930s through the 1950s, when pollution and other factors began decimating the species.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will use the Kewaunee-based Research Vessel Stanford H. Smith to net and assess the populations of the Cisco and other fish species.  Fisheries Biologist Ted Treska says if there are signs the Cisco stocks are returning that's good news for the waters of Green Bay.



Treska says Cisco populations are thriving in eastern Lake Michigan where they're being caught in abundant numbers from break walls and other locations near Charlevoix.

Johnson wants trade deals done

Recent manufacturing surveys have shown headwinds for the sector and Senator Ron Johnson says the trade wars are part of the problem. Johnson says he disagrees with the President on trade wars being easy to win. He emphasizes that everyone loses, although it seems clear that China is being hurt more. Johnson says his advice for the administration is simple.


Johnson is also calling on the Democrats to expedite their review and approval of trade deals already negotiated including the new USMCA with Mexico and Canada that is to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. 

Lyme disease moderate threat in Door County

Door County is affected by Lyme disease but not to the extent of some other counties in the state. Door County Public Health Registered Sanitarian Chelsea Smies says there were just over two dozen cases in 2017 locally which compares to more than 1,000 cases in the hardest hit counties. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that occurs when you are bitten by a tick. Smies points out it is a common misperception that the disease can be transmitted immediately.


The most obvious symptom for someone struggling with Lyme disease is a large bullseye-like rash. The disease affects the nervous system and the consequences can be permanent although most do improve over time.


Peninsula State Park under construction

There's a lot more happening at Peninsula State Park than just a new Eagle Tower. The park is currently seeing five separate construction projects all underway to be completed before the beginning of the busy summer season that typically starts in May. Several projects are improvements at different camp sites within the park according to  Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Birkholz.


The flurry of activity will be highlighted at a ground-breaking ceremony for the nature center on October 30th. Peninsula State Park features the busiest campground in the DNR system. The facilities date back to the 1950's.


Weather delays paving in Door County

The Door County Highway Department is behind schedule on its paving projects this fall due to the excessively wet weather. Asphalt projects are generally wrapped up by the end of October because the ground temperature needs to be around 50 degrees when the asphalt is laid. Highway Commissioner John Koldziej says that's not possible this year.


If the pavement cools too soon, the asphalt does not have proper density and it can roll and become rough. Because of the queue, emergency repairs to the entrance of Ellison Bluff County Park have been delayed until early November. 

Sturgeon Bay excited for TJ Maxx

Lines were long and the parking lot full in the early morning at the TJ Maxx grand opening at Cherry Point Mall in Sturgeon Bay on Sunday. People were excited about the department store opening its doors and doing a ribbon-cutting ceremony beforehand. The manager of the new TJ Maxx store, Alex Baril, presented Feed and Clothe My People of Door County a donation of $10,000.



Feed and Clothe My People Board President Carol Krueger cut the ribbon after receiving the large check. Gift cards were given out to the many people waiting in line and the first 500 customers received a free reusable bag. The grand opening was at 8 AM and the store will be open from 9:30 AM to 9:30 PM Monday through Saturday and 11 AM to 8 PM on Sundays normally.

Drug take-back programs run all year

National Drug Take Back Day was October 26th but in the Door Peninsula programs run all year. That includes on Washington Island. In 2018, nearly 10 million Americans misused prescription drugs. The national promotional effort helps raise awareness that local residents have options to avoid being part of that statistic. Washington Island Community Health Program Director Christine Andersen says the publicity is a huge help.


On Washington Island, it is estimated that 45 percent of the population is over 65 years old. Seniors are most likely to be taking prescription medication and to have excess prescriptions in their home. 


Rising college costs hurt churches

The traditional path for a Protestant minister is what is known as the "four plus three" route. That refers to a four-year bachelor's degree followed by three years to obtain a Master of Divinity diploma. New Hope United Church of Christ pastor Gary Brinn says that while he was able to take that route, rising tuition is putting it out of reach for many who may otherwise be called to the profession.


Churches, just like private businesses, are busy creating new ways to fulfill requirements for their career. In some cases that means the return of the seminary which acts as a trade school of sorts, the religious equivalent of an apprenticeship.


Technology helps in substitute teacher search

Sturgeon Bay School District is dealing with a shortage of substitute teachers, similar to the problems faced by others in the area. Superintendent Dan Tjernagle says that when he first came to Sturgeon Bay Schools six years ago, it wasn't a problem. That has changed recently and the avenues to attract substitute teachers are changing too.


Using social media to post positions allows the district to appeal to recent college graduates who are younger and looking for a foot in the door. Tjernagle says that other enticements like increased compensation have not been resorted to yet.

EPA pushes for more lead contamination testing

The Environmental Protection Agency visited Green Bay recently announcing a flurry of new requirements for utilities in the State of Wisconsin and the nation. The EPA wants utilities to make public all water service lines that still contain lead. The EPA also is demanding additional testing by water systems for schools and child care facilities. Dean Hoegger of the Clean Water Action Council of Northeast Wisconsin says the new restrictions don't go far enough.


Exposure to lead in drinking water as a child leads to a delay in the maturation process and damage of several vital organs including the brain and kidneys. 

Credit card debt pinching consumers

A decades-low unemployment rate, wage growth, and solid gains in GDP point to a strong economy but there is a shadow to the overall rosy picture according to Money Management Counselors Executive Director Leslie Boden. She says loosening credit card standards are beginning to get consumers in trouble.


Credit card debt has stayed generally flat since the last recession. Auto loans and student debt were the main drivers of growth in the recent past. Given the additional debt burden, there is little wiggle room left over for absorbing new credit card debt. 

Employees need ransomware training

Ransomware is a specific type of malicious software which seeks to lock computer users out of their own network. Computer instructor Daniel Hubing says email is the trojan horse for ransomware to get into a business network.


Other preventative measures include having an external backup of your computer systems, having the most recent operating system update, and running full scans with your company's anti-virus software. Hubing is teaming up with Sturgeon Bay Police Officer Chad Mielke for a symposium on ransomware in late November. Businesses and local government employees are specifically encouraged to attend

Costumes add color to Sturgeon Bay

Thrills on Third turned Sturgeon Bay into a Halloween Town that Tim Burton would be proud of. Earlier this week, Customer Relations Manager Erin Helgeson stopped by the station to talk about what makes Thrills on Third a fun time. 


At 10 AM, Third Avenue was closed down for the costume parade through downtown to Martin Park. Once at the park, the finalists in the Quantum PC costume contest were announced. One dog and three children were recognized for their outstanding costumes. Activities continued throughout the afternoon. Video of the parade is posted at the Door County Daily Facebook page. 


Pictured above: Winner of the animal category. Golden doodle out for a stroll as the house from the movie Up.


Children's category winners:


Third place: A bowl of Fruit Loops


Second place: Jasmine from Aladdin


First place: A Star Wars droid


Recall election could attract new voters

For the first time since 2002, Door County will have a recall election and that could attract a different voting cohort than a more traditional political contest. Forestville is seeking to recall Door County Supervisor Roy Englebert in District Three. Happening in an off-year election where it is the center of attention on a light slate, that just adds to the intrigue. League of Women Voters Co-Chair Barbara Graul reminds new balloters about voter ID requirements during registration.


And there are stipulations for prospective voters on election day as well.


The date for the recall election cannot be set until it is known if a primary will be needed beforehand. 

Algoma appoints interim Emergency Director

The City Administrator in Algoma usually wears multiple hats including acting as its Emergency Management Director. While that position waits to be filled, Mayor Wayne Schmidt has been busy making an interim appointment to the Emergency Management Director post. Treasurer Amber Shallow says Matt Murphy will take over temporarily.


According to Shallow, it was Schmidt who approached Murphy about the responsibility. A new city administrator is expected to be on the job by January. 

Peninsula State Park renovates Nature Center

Work is beginning on an addition to the Nature Center at Peninsula State Park. There could be a short pause in the worst of winter but construction will resume in the spring to be finished by May. The roughly $350,000 project seeks to bring the 80-year-old building into the 21st century. Friends of Peninsula State Park Business Manager Steve Strucely says the changes will be extensive, from the plumbing up.


Strucely says there could be a second phase to the project but it is not yet known when that would be completed. 

Vision screenings go high tech

The Egg Harbor Lions Club has teamed up with the Door County Health Department to provide free vision screenings to every child currently enrolled in school, both private and public. Some of those schools can be quite small, maybe as few as 15 students, but others require hundreds of kids to be tested in a day. That necessitates new technology. School Aide Coordinator Sara Neu touts the camera's speed and accuracy.


A picture of the camera during an eye scan can be seen attached to the story at All preschoolers, 4K, and kindergartners are screened with the camera. For other grades, the camera is used if a child is unable to read the traditional eye chart. 

Luxemburg-Casco offers JEDI Virtual School

The Luxemburg-Casco School District is now participating in a not-for-profit charter school program that is connecting students with potential careers.  The JEDI Virtual School consortium works with about 14 school districts within the state.  The chartering school is designated with the Lake Mills Area School District and all students from elementary through high school graduate with a diploma.  Mike Snowberry, Director of Learning Services at Luxemburg-Casco, says over 120 students are placed already, including students from other Kewaunee and Door County schools.  He says the career-based curriculum offers many specialized classes that cover many fields of interest.



JEDI has been offering education classes for over 20 years and uses rolling enrollment.  Students can utilize traditional semester schedules to block scheduling.  The school format provides students with the flexibility to school anytime and virtually anywhere with internet access. 

Openings available for gardener class

You can learn how to get that green thumb you have always wanted through Door County’s Master Gardener classes. Potential members must go through 36 hours of classroom courses in addition to 24 hours of volunteer time before passing an open book exam at the end. Master Gardeners then donate their time and go through additional training to remain in good standing. Door County UW Extension Agricuture Agent Annie Deutsch says Master Gardeners learn as much as they teach.

Classes take place from the first Wednesday in January to the last Wednesday in March. The Door County Master Gardeners accepts only 12 new students per year.


Click here for more information on how you can apply for one of the open spots online with this story.

Southern Door students make mental health STRIDEs

Door County STRIDE has presented the importance of students’ mental health to schools in the area, like Southern Door. STRIDE provides counselors that are available for students to talk with, whether it concerns the stresses of school or processing home situations. 
At Southern Door School, implementations have been made for students to get involved. Currently, one counselor is available for kids to meet with during the school week.  When meeting with representatives Melissa Andrews and her co-worker, Dakota Londo, they talked about how students are encouraged to make use of STRIDE resources. Asking, “how would someone know if seeing a counselor is the right move for them?” they responded that it could be used in different ways for each student, and there are benefits that you will not know till you reach out. 
Melissa emphasized that one of STRIDE’s goals is to diminish the stigma surrounding mental health.



Providing a safe, school-located outlet for talking is their first step in the school systems of Door County. 
Want to know how you can make a difference? Talk to your kids about the STRIDE program and consider getting them involved with counseling resources at their school. 


Full interview with Melissa Andrews and Dakota Londo:





T.J. Maxx opens in Sturgeon Bay

Shoppers in Door and Kewaunee Counties will have one more option for holiday gift buying come October 27th.  That's when T.J. Maxx holds the grand opening of its newest store at the Cherry Point Mall in Sturgeon Bay.  The new location will offer 21,000 square feet for shoppers looking for just about anything.  T.J. Maxx Public Relations Specialist Katie MacLeod says Sturgeon Bay was selected as a new store location after careful evaluation and is ready to aid community organizations.


The doors at Cherry Point Mall open at 8:00 AM on Sunday, October 27th. The first 500 customers will receive reusable shopping bags.  T.J. Maxx will employ about 60 people and plans to hire more help for the holiday season.

Fire destroys storage building

A storage building that caught fire late Friday morning in Sturgeon Bay is a complete loss.  The Sturgeon Bay Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 644 Tacoma Beach Road in Sturgeon Bay a little after 11 am Friday with the barn-like storage building fully enflamed.  No one was inside of the structure at the time of the fire and the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department was able to contain the fire from spreading to a nearby wooded area within minutes.  The property belongs to Dave and Liz Hoffman.  Damage to equipment inside included a motorcycle and a lawn tractor used by Source Building Services, according to Hoffman.  The cause of the fire is not known at this time.  We will have more information on this story when it is made available.   

Community conservation rings true nationally

The acquisition of Pebble Beach in Sister Bay was just one of the positive stories Door County Land Trust Executive Director Tom Clay was able to share at a recent conference held in North Carolina. Clay took classes and connected with other stewards as a part of the Land Trust Alliance conference held in Raleigh. Clay says no matter who he talked to at the conference, the key takeaway he had was pride in community conservation efforts is found everywhere.

It expects to be a busy end of the year for the Door County Land Trust as they plan on closing on properties in Ephraim, Washington Island, and Chambers Island. That will push the number of acres protected by the Door County Land Trust to over 8,500.


Picture submitted by the Door County Land Trust

Geography hinders autism support

PATH of Door County hopes a central location will be key to getting more families the help they need for their autistic or other developmentally challenged children. The organization celebrated the one year anniversary for its location on Jaycee Court on Wednesday. Like many services in the area, the geography of Door County makes it hard for people to get around quickly, which makes it difficult to get providers to come support people who really need the help. Deb Doyle from PATH of Door County hopes that with time, they can attract those people to come back.

PATH of Door County is looking to continue to host special events like its recent Halloween and Homecoming parties for people who may not otherwise get to participate in those activities.

Names released in Nasewaupee fatal crash

The Door County Sheriff’s Department released the names Friday morning of the two people involved in Wednesday’s two-vehicle crash that left one person dead. According to a release from Door County Sheriff Tammy Sternard, 53-year-old Rosemary Atkinson was attempting to cross the southbound lanes of State Highway 57 in her sports-utility vehicle when she was struck by an oncoming car driven by 46-year-old Christine DeWitt. Atkinson died in the crash while DeWitt was airlifted to a Green Bay hospital to be treated for serious injuries. No update on DeWitt’s condition was provided. The accident closed State Highway 57 for approximately four hours on Wednesday and is still under investigation by the Door County Sheriff’s Department with assistance from the Wisconsin State Patrol traffic crash reconstruction unit.

Door County Board to look at Alternate Work Schedules

The Door County Board of Supervisors will be looking to address a more family-friendly work schedule for county employees at their next regular board meeting.  County Administrator Ken Pabich says the alternate work schedules would address the needs of current employees.



Tuesday’s meeting agenda includes an amendment to update the sign ordinance so it is compliant with federal court cases that impacted how you can regulate signs.  Pabich adds that a special report on the private well sampling program will be made by Erin Hanson.



The Door County Board of Supervisors meeting will start at 9 am Tuesday at the Door County Government Center on Nebraska Street in Sturgeon Bay.

Area Farmers seeing better milk price trend

While farmers continue to get the last of their crops off the fields in Door and Kewaunee counties, one local dairy farmer is optimistic as milk prices continue to creep higher.  Rich Olson of Olson Family Farm in southern Door County says the trend for milk prices is finally going in the right direction.



The all-milk price forecast for 2019 is $18.40 per hundredweight which was higher than last month’s forecast, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service.   The raise was due to higher expected cow numbers and milk per cow.  Overall milk prices had fallen 40 percent since 2008 before making a rebound this past year.    


Gibraltar Fire hosting open house

Gibraltar Fire and Rescue is hosting its annual open house on Saturday during Jack O'Lantern Days. The event has been going on for over 5 years and is a great recruiting tool for the department. Assistant Chief Jerrad Anderson says three current members of Gibraltar Fire and Rescue were signed up at the open house in years past. There's lots of family fun as well.


The Gibraltar Fire Station is located on County Road F in Fish Creek. The open house runs from 10 AM to 2 PM. 

Forestville Mill Pond drawdown starting next week

The controversial drawdown of the Forestville Millpond is scheduled to start next week.  Property owners around the area were notified by letter this week reminding them that the action will begin on November 1.  The Door County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution earlier this year that ideally will improve water quality, compact the sentiment, as well as suppress invasive species and the carp that are in the millpond.  Door County Parks Superintendent Ben Nelson says one misconception out there is that there is no monitoring of the drawdown.



Nelson says a DNR specialist will be visiting the site weekly and the gradual drawdown will be completed within four to six weeks. The Friends of the Forestville Dam organization has voiced opposition to the drawdown, believing the dredging of the millpond would be a better solution.    


Law enforcement serves holiday spirit

Members of the Sturgeon Bay Police and Door County Sheriff’s Departments served a side of holiday spirit with the butter burgers and frozen custard made at Culver’s in Sturgeon Bay Wednesday. It was part of the annual Lights of Christmas program started by a Fox Valley radio station about five years ago to help make the holiday season a little brighter for local families in need. The event raised close to $1000 in tips alone collected by the officers and deputies. Culver’s will also donate a portion of their sales to the cause. Sturgeon Bay Police Officer Brandon Shew organized the event and reflected on a personal experience he had last year passing out gift cards bought because of the program.

In addition to Culver’s, Shew credited other local businesses like Econo Foods in Sturgeon Bay and Piggly Wiggly in Sister Bay for matching the gift cards bought at the stores dollar for dollar. You can still donate money and new winter clothing items to the Lights of Christmas program at the Sturgeon Bay Police Department.



Gun debate spurs special session

Universal background checks and red flag laws are on the table after Governor Evers called the Wisconsin Legislature into special session on Monday. Speaking at an event in Milwaukee, Governor Evers and Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes pointed to a recent Marquette University Law School poll overwhelmingly supporting expanded background checks as one reason for the executive order to bring the Legislature together on November 7th. Democratic state Senator Dave Hansen says the support is out there.

This is not the first time the Wisconsin Legislature has been called into special session over gun control. Last year, the special session yielded $100 million in school safety aid after it was called following a shooting at a Florida high school. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said earlier this week he will likely not hold a vote on the proposals when the special session convenes . State Senator Andre Jacque could not be reached for this story.

Thrills on Third kicks off Halloween week

Local communities like Sturgeon Bay begin getting into the Halloween spirit this weekend. While the twin villages of Luxemburg and Casco have trick or treat hours on Sunday, Door County communities opt for the festival ahead of the more traditional October 31st date. Thrills on Third in Sturgeon Bay this Saturday gets the whole community involved beginning with a costume parade and contest sponsored by Quantum PC at 10 a.m. followed by family-friendly activities throughout the city in the afternoon. Marketing and Special Events Coordinator Carly Sarkis says the event is fun for everyone.

Egg Harbor, Fish Creek, and Ellison Bay also host Halloween events this weekend. 






Sunday, Oct. 27
Casco — noon to 2 p.m.
Luxemburg — 1 to 3 p.m. 


Thursday, Oct. 31

Kewaunee — 3:30 to 7 p.m.

Carlton — 3:30 to 7 p.m.

Algoma — 4 to 6 p.m.

Red River — 4 to 7 p.m. 

Jacksonport: 3 to 7 p.m. 

Sister Bay: 3:30 p.m. to dusk

Forestville: 4 to 6 p.m. 

Sturgeon Bay: 4 to 7 p.m.

Baileys Harbor: 5 to 7 p.m.


Luxemburg's Wagner returns favor

Luxemburg resident Chuck Wagner celebrated the 49th anniversary of his deployment to Vietnam welcoming home some of the very people he served with in the Army. Wagner encouraged some of his military friends to take the Old Glory Honor Flight two years after he took the journey himself. He was among the hundreds lining the halls of Appleton International Airport Wednesday night to welcome home the organization’s 53rd mission waiting for friends who needed an extra push to go on the trip. Wagner says it was just as emotional last night as it was when he returned from the Old Glory Honor Flight in 2017.

Wagner says the experience changed his life after being treated poorly when he returned from the Vietnam War. The Old Glory Honor Flight program has taken hundreds of military veterans dating back to World War II to visit memorials in Washington  D.C. since the organization was founded in 2009.

School budget well below taxable authority

Sturgeon Bay School District sought to budget under a worst-case scenario for 2020 and that means a lighter load for taxpayers. All options presented at Wednesday's board meeting were at least $250,000 below what the district has the authority to levy. Each alternative was defined by how many maintenance projects were to be undertaken in the coming year. Business Manager Jacob Holtz talks about how different circumstances of the actual budget are from the scenarios used to create it.


Instead the district got a 15 percent decrease in its health insurance and new money from the State. Holtz describes the situation as "healthy." The important thing to note is the district is not cutting back funding.


Save money in winter

You have a chance to make sure your home is operating efficiently thanks to Sturgeon Bay Utilities. They are offering to cover half the price of a Home Energy Assessment from Focus on Energy. This allows them to look at your home and make recommendations on how to make it more energy-efficient.  General Manager of Sturgeon Bay Utilities Jim Stawicki says this could help save you money in the long run. Stawicki shares what a Home Energy Assessment entails.



A Home Energy Assessment costs $300 so SBU will cover $150 of that. For those with lower incomes, SBU is willing to work with you and make it even less expensive. You can stop by Sturgeon Bay Utilities Monday through Friday at 230 E Vine St in Sturgeon Bay for more information on a Home Energy Assessment.

Construction company battles high water on erosion control

A Door County-based marine construction company continues to help as many waterfront property owners as it can with erosion control.  High water levels, however, remain a big challenge.  Death's Door Marine Incorporated of Ellison Bay now has five people working six days a week to meet customer's needs.  The company is also investing in new equipment to keep up with demand.  Mike Kahr, owner of Death's Door Marine Incorporated, says his company is prioritizing its work schedule to help those who have immediate needs.  He adds that's not easy under current conditions.



Kahr says he'll continue to take on clients until weather conditions make it impossible to do any more erosion control work for this construction season.

Holocaust event at Sturgeon Bay Library

Marcia Kritzler-Egeland will be giving a talk Thursday at 2 PM at the Sturgeon Bay Public Library about her mother's escape from Europe in 1941. Millie Kritzler was Jewish and not even a teenager when she came across the Atlantic Ocean according to Community Relations Library Assistant Morgan Mann.


Kritzler and the other refugee children were taken in by the Quakers in Kansas City. She knew no one in the country before arriving. Kritzler had to build a new life here, a reminder that the toll of the Holocaust goes beyond just the loss of life under the Nazi regime. 


Fatal accident closes Highway 57 Wednesday

A two-vehicle accident Wednesday afternoon on Highway 57 and South Cloverleaf Road near Southern Door High School has resulted in one fatality. The other driver is now being airlifted to Green Bay to receive treatment at a hospital there for significant injuries. Clean up has begun at the scene of the accident and the highway will be reopened later Wednesday night. The full press release from Sheriff Tammy Sternard is below.



DCMC robotic surgery has a successful first year

Robotic Surgery at Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay is marking a successful first year.  Dr. Michael St. Jean, who heads the minimally invasive robotic surgery program, says about 200 procedures have been performed since the service began last Fall.  Those include hernia operations and acid reflux treatments.  Dr. St. Jean says DCMC's program offers a unique option that's making Sturgeon Bay a treatment destination.



Dr. St. Jean says DCMC's robotic surgery center is an advantage to patients in Door and Kewaunee counties, who can get minimally invasive treatment on an out-patient basis.

Dorr Hotel eyeing construction start in Sister Bay

Initial work on the Dorr Hotel project in Sister Bay could start late this year once final approval comes on design changes.  The four-story, boutique hotel project will come before the village planning commission October 29th with requests to change the design to add two more rooms where a deck was previously planned.  Construction was originally planned to start earlier this year.  Sister Bay Village Administrator Beau Bernhoft says those design changes and property concerns delayed the start of construction.  He says those issues are close to being resolved.



Bernhoft believes that once final approval is given the Dorr Hotel developers will meet their target opening date in 2021.

Supervisors tour Washington Island emergency service sites

The Door County Board of Supervisors will hold a special meeting touring two sites for a proposed county emergency service facility on Washington Island.  County supervisors will consider a free, undeveloped site and another with a building that once housed a dairy production plant.  County Administrator Ken Pabich says both sites offer potential cost savings.




The Door County Board of Supervisors tour of Washington Island will take place Friday, October 25th, departing the Washington Island Ferry dock at Ellison Bay at 9:00 AM.  

DCEDC using grant writer for broadband project

The Door County Economic Development Corporation is looking to aid county-wide broadband internet with help from a full-time grant writer.  DCEDC will partner with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College to bring in someone who's well skilled in the application process.  DCEDC Executive Director Jim Schuessler believes a grant writer can make the difference for the project with a tight deadline ahead.




Schuessler says in addition to having a full-time grant writer the effort to bring county-wide broadband could be aided by a pair of area broadband and telecom companies.

League of Women Voters Door County gets briefed

A full day of presentations last weekend in Madison gave local representatives of the Door County League of Women Voters ideas to bring home and implement.  Shirley Senarighi, along with Pat Scieszinski and Mary Ann Ewig of the Door County League of Women Voters, was among about 170 attendees from around the state at the annual fall issues briefing.  Senarighi shares how one presentation dealt with Maine’s electoral innovations on fixing elections.



Senarighi says other issues discussed included the equal rights amendment, the immigration process, redistricting and the history of African-Americans in Wisconsin from the 1700s and the 1800s.  The League of Women Voters Door County is hosting a game of Jeopardy on the history of the Women’s Rights Movement at Stone Harbor Resort & Conference Center in the Sturgeon Bay Room on Thursday from 5:00 until 7:00 pm. 


(Photo courtesy of Pat Scieszinski and Shirley Senerighi) 


"Catch and Release" fishing catching on

Smallmouth Bass fishing has been popular in Door County for a long time and one aspect of the sport is growing and bodes well for the fishery.  Local kayak fishing professional Bill Schultz, who is a big proponent of “catch and release”, says the numbers show that more anglers are using that practice on the area waters.  He says Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources statistics back it up.



Schultz says more and more tournaments are going to “catch and release”.  He says all kayak fishing tournaments follow the “catch and release” system of immediately putting the bass back into the water after measuring and weighing it.   Schultz predicts that Door County could be in line for a world record Smallmouth Bass, as well as Walleye and Muskie in the future.   


Transmission line failure sparks power outage

The Village of Luxemburg lost power at 2:40 on Monday afternoon thanks to three outages. In total, roughly three-thousand people were affected. Approximately 2,900 had power restored by 5 PM with the last outage resolved after 7 PM. Wisconsin Public Service Communications Specialist Matt Cullen says WPS helped resolve the problems that originated from a transmission line failure.


The line is operated by American Transmission Company, a regional power provider. Transmission lines deliver power from plants to local substations. Schools, businesses, and homes were all affected.


Algoma Piggly Wiggly closing in November

After 20 years of operating Craig’s Piggly Wiggly in Algoma, owner Craig Peterman is closing the doors and retiring.  The store announced last week that the business will be permanently closed by the end of November saying “we would like to thank all our customers”.  Peterman says it was a difficult decision but he felt it was time to retire.



Craig’s Piggly Wiggly started offering “going out of business” storewide discounts this past Monday which will stay in effect until the closing.  Peterman says he will be staying in the Algoma area but has not made any plans after retirement. 


County plans thorough jail exploration

Kewaunee County officials are traveling around the area over the next several weeks as phase two of their jail facility study gets underway. The committee visited Green Lake County’s facility last week and will visit similar buildings in Door and Oconto Counties as they try to discover ways to best maximize the space. They would like to make it efficient from an operational perspective and a staffing angle. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says he has learned a lot from the committee members without law enforcement backgrounds simply because they ask questions that may have otherwise been assumed.

Joski says the jail facility planning committee will begin breaking down what they learned and developing a conceptual draft of a new building as soon as they complete their circuit of tours. 



As we continue through the Phase Two portion of our Facility Study, we have begun the discussion regarding “Spaces”. This is a very important part of this phase as it provides insight into the many implications to having the properly sized and positioned “Spaces” so that we can realize the maximum efficiencies from both an operational perspective as well as the optimal use of staff. While many of these spaces are dictated by building code, some are a based on the intended vision we have for our facility from a community perspective. When done properly, the layout of these spaces will provide the maximum flexibility as both our community as well as those we house change in years to come as it relates to needs and the ability to meet those needs.

       In support of this phase of the study, members of the Public Safety Building Study Committee had the opportunity to tour the Green Lake County facility on October 16th.  This was a great chance to see how a county similar in size to our own county underwent this same process and to share the knowledge they gained through it. Next week we will be touring The Door County Facility along with the Oconto County facility. While the primary focus of these tours are the spaces and functions of the facilities related to the jail, we will also have a chance to view their Public Safety communications areas so as to gain an understanding of how this vital component of our project can be laid out for maximum efficiency.

       One of the main take aways I had from this first tour was the need to keep a focus on the future. As we walked through the facility we were provided access to areas which although not in use at the time, will provide for future growth either in the area of staffing as well as over all jail capacity. This is a crucial consideration as we will only have one chance to do this right and although it is always tempting cut costs, we must make sure that those cost savings are not at the detriment to long term functionality.

       Another key consideration that was shared by the staff at Green Lake County is the importance of feedback from those working in the jail as they have a greater understanding of daily tasks and how the overall design of a facility can either enhance operational efficiency of be a detriment to it. This is very important as the staffing of this facility will represent a greater cost than that of the facility itself. This is an issue we will pay close attention to in our upcoming tours as well.

       Once these tours are completed, our Committee will meet and discuss all of the knowledge we have gained and use that knowledge to begin the process of developing a conceptual draft of our own facility. It is important to note that we continue to look at this facility from all angles and consider all possibilities from the five options which were approved by our Committee as part of Phase One. It is through the diversity of this committee that we will be able to look at these options from so many different perspectives and arrive at what we will all feel is the best course of action. Once the work of developing a design for spaces with maximum efficiency is completed, we will be reporting out to the County Board and even more importantly to our community.

         If you have any questions about the current progress, or the work we have done thus far, please feel free to give me a call. Also, as in the past, I am always available to provide a tour of our current jail so that there can be a solid understanding of our current facility and its limitations. I can always be reached at (920)388-7177. I look forward to providing my next update in the weeks to come.

Day shifts escape volunteer departments

While the number of members varies between volunteer departments in Door County, there is one area fire chiefs like Brussels-Union-Gardner’s Curt Vandertie would like to see dramatically improved. The B-U-G Fire Department has grown this year thanks to seven new members, including five with previous experience. Vandertie says they are good on numbers, but it is when those members can actually get used where it gets tricky.

Vandertie credits the camaraderie, training opportunities and its new fire station for helping attract and retain recruits.

Wind slows ferry traffic

The fall winds are making travel through Death’s Door a little more interesting for the Washington Island Ferry Line. Some afternoon trips had to be eliminated Monday after storms caused rocky waters and flooded docks. Ferry traffic was back to normal Tuesday morning, albeit a little bit slower due to strong headwinds for vessels heading towards the mainland. Ferry President Hoyt Purinton says the water is at levels he has not seen in some time.

Purinton advises travelers to call in advance and keep up-to-date with their social media channels for any changes in their service. The Washington Island Ferry Line continues its hourly trips to and from the mainland through Sunday before it cuts that number nearly in half on October 28th.

Curiosity stems second overseas trip

Hearing her students try to learn German earlier this year while on a school trip inspired Luxemburg-Casco social studies teacher Lauren Schumacher to start planning for their 2021 excursion.  The Luxemburg-Casco School Board approved plans last week for students to head overseas once again as a part of the L-C Abroad program, this time touring Paris and Spain. With Spanish already a part of their curriculum, Schumacher says the choice was simple.

Students attending the trip can be from the graduating classes of 2022, 2023, and 2024 and are invited to check out the informational meeting Wednesday evening at the Luxemburg-Casco auditorium beginning at 5:45 p.m.


Click here to RSVP to informational meeting at Luxemburg-Casco High School


Photo courtesy of L-C Abroad

Apple harvest still strong despite weather

Despite unseasonably wet weather conditions this fall, area orchard owners are still getting the majority of their apple crop harvested.  Steve Wood of Wood Orchards in Egg Harbor and Sturgeon Bay says the apple picking is coming to the home stretch.  He estimates that over 75% of apples have been harvested already.



Wood says there were some lost days with rain during the harvest but hopes are to get the remaining apple crop collected before the cold temperatures come in the next few weeks.  


Mental Health Minute  -- Achieving happiness

Here is Psychologist Dr. Dennis White on what makes us happy.



You can listen to the Mental Health Minute with Psychologist Dr. Dennis White four times a day on the radio stations of 


High waters close Murphy Park docks

Damage caused by high water levels and wave action on Green Bay has forced the early closure of the Frank Murphy County Park boat landing.  Door County Parks Department employees discovered that damage during an inspection last Thursday.  Facilities and Parks Director Wayne Spritka says the structural integrity of the launch was weakened quickly by the elements.



Spritka says anglers and duck hunters on Green Bay will still be able to launch at the Murphy Park boat landing, however, they'll do so at their own risk.

Maintenance on Bayview Bridge this week

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced that work crews will be doing routine maintenance for two days on the Bayview Bridge in Sturgeon Bay.  Tuesday and Wednesday from 7 am until 3:30 pm, flagging operations will take place allowing only one-lane traffic through at a time.  Drivers should expect brief delays when crossing the bridge.  The Bayview Bridge is of Bascule design that spans 228 feet and was built in 1978.  The maintenance work is expected to be completed on Wednesday.    


Gibraltar continues to take shape

Construction projects currently taking place at Gibraltar Secondary School remain on pace to be finished by the beginning of 2020. The walls of new classrooms are up and plastered while natural light shines in on the new library and media center. This also means the unique experience of attending classes in the mobile units located outside its gym is also just a few weeks away from ending. Principal Gereon Methner credits the teachers and students for continuing to keep their focus despite all the changes going around them.

As one project nears its end, Gibraltar Area School District will have to begin adapting to another one as the Highway 42 resurfacing project begins in earnest this week. While no major impact to busing is occurring at this time, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is planning on closing the school’s entrance sometime in mid-March.



Tracking down tile lines

Kewaunee County knows what it can do to help protect its groundwater, but sometimes it is just a matter of finding the culprit that can be challenging. The Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Department has been working with farmers this harvest season on ways it can still get its work done efficiently without harming the precious natural resource. Doubling setbacks and splitting its application of manure are just two ways the department is encouraging farmers to operate as it battles for dry days. Complicating things are tile lines installed by farmers as early as the 1930s and 1940s in some cases to remove excess water from the soil. They can be useful if you know where they are and detrimental if you do not. Department Director Davina Bonness says the county is making it a priority to discover where they are so future landowners and renters know where they are located.

Bonness says confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are required by law to include tile lines, inlets, and outlets on their nutrient management plan, but admits it is hard to keep track of something you did not know was there.

Fall Fest rousing success

Outside of a couple of minor incidents, revelers at this weekend’s Fall Fest were well behaved as they enjoyed the festivities and the colors. Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department Chief Chris Hecht headed up one of the changes this year as they took over the Saturday morning pancake breakfast for the now-defunct Northern Door Kiwanis Club. Years after the event was marred by three accidents, Hecht appreciates visitors making safer choices at this year’s Fall Fest activities.

The Sister Bay Advancement Association added shuttles and safe ride options to this year’s event, even coordinating buses with the Baileys Harbor Civic Association to get people around.




Picture by Ann Tripp

Secret Treasures of Door County: The Hitching Post

With the end of October looming, many Door County businesses head into hibernation until the spring. In this edition of Secret Treasures of Door County, author and photographer Tom Jordan gives you at least one reason to continue to visit the area all year long.


If you live in Door County one of the most compelling questions after Labor Day is: “So…who’s going to be open… now?” A lot of restaurants and shops are seasonal. So your choices become limited, especially during the winter. But, fortunately, one cozy little restaurant near Valmy stays open year-round.


The Hitching Post. Now owned and operated by Andy and Carolyn Ripp, the Hitch offers lunch and dinner in an old log cabin building. When the weather is cold the fireplace is roaring and the beers are flowing.  And the food is better than typical pub fare. The soups are amazing and the sandwiches and quesadillas are incredible. On occasion, they even have live music. A full bar is available and the service is always friendly. And if you’re really lucky they’re lab puppy Willow will sneak out and great you. 


The Hitching Post. A cozy, family-friendly restaurant open year-round. Check it out!



Click here to see more of The Hitching Post!

Southern Door new playground equipment

It’ll be a little easier for Southern Door to get new playground equipment thanks to a donation from the Jandu Pride Pumps Promotion. Southern Door is hoping to raise enough money to replace the old equipment in the summer of 2020. Elementary School Principal Cory Vandertie says the district needs to raise $275,000 for that to happen and so far the school has raised about $195,000. Vandertie says part of the plan is to add a special obstacle course for the middle school.



Jandu Petroleum made its September Pride Pump donation to Southern Door and the new playground equipment. The Pride Pump promotion is a joint effort of Jandu Petroleum and The promotion raised over $11,000 for Door and Kewaunee County school districts last school year.

Sevastopol sees state aid drop

The Sevastopol School District saw its share of state aid drop by nearly $12-thousand dollars.  The district is among the smallest in Wisconsin.  It's also land rich which means higher property values for homes and businesses in the district.  Sevastopol School Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says property values increased from last year which means the district received a lower share of state funding.



Based on DPI estimates last summer, the Sevastopol School District was able to reflect that loss when formulating its budget plan over the summer. 

Sister Bay votes to expand facility

The Village of Sister Bay voted Tuesday to approve a $3 million project that expands and renovates the wastewater treatment facility. The project improves existing infrastructure and adds meeting space in addition to other improvements according to Village Administrator Beau Bernhoft.


The USDA provided a grant which helps fund roughly half of the project. The project has not been in the works for years. Upgrades were identified recently by the Utilities Director and other municipal employees. 

DCEDC/elected leaders seminars on broadband a success

Two seminars between the Door County Economic Development Corporation and local elected leaders were well received.  The seminars were designed to explain county policies currently in place that are hindering broadband expansion.  DCEDC Executive Director Jim Schuessler says northern communities are enthusiastic about doing what's needed to expand broadband.  Schuessler believes residents in those communities need to make their voices heard by county leaders including supporters like County Administrator Ken Pabich.



Schuessler says the DCEDC will also be taking steps to secure more grant money to move broadband access forward.

Ridesharing working well in Sister Bay

The Village of Sister Bay's efforts to recruit and train drivers for ridesharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, are working successfully.   The village began developing rideshare services in 2018 and began offering one-day classes for those interested in becoming Uber or Lyft driver last May.  Coordinator Louise Howson, with the Sister Bay Advancement Association, says those efforts have been well received by drivers and passengers who've used the service in larger communities.



Howson says even as activity slows down during the winter months there will continue to be a demand from visitors and residents for those rideshare services.

State school aid means relief for most taxpayers

Most property owners in Door and Kewaunee counties will get a break on their taxes because of increased school aid in 2019-2020.  Wisconsin's Department of Public Instruction released the final numbers for state aid to local schools this week.  All Kewaunee County school districts will get increased state aid.  That includes almost $275,000 more for Algoma, nearly $240,000 more for Kewaunee and about $371,000 more for Luxemburg-Casco.  In Door County, the Sturgeon Bay School District will receive nearly $60,000 in additional school aid and while Southern Door schools will get nearly $199,000 more from the state.  Southern Door Business Manager Mark Logan says such aids were already figured into the 2019-2020 school budget and each property owner's tax bill will be adjusted.



Two other Door County school districts saw their state aid decrease from last year.  Gibraltar Schools will get $450 less in state aid while the Sevastopol School District will see state aid decrease by just under $12,000 this year.   Washington Island School receives no state aid.

Algoma working to save South Pier from erosion

High water levels and wave action on Lake Michigan are taking a toll on the South Pier in Algoma.  City officials are looking for help from Wisconsin's Congressional delegation to secure and fix the pier.  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials inspected the pier to assess the damage.  Mayor Wayne Schmidt says following that inspection it was determined that immediate work and long-term repairs are needed on the South Pier.  He also says precautions have been taken to ensure public safety.



Schmidt says Algoma is also working to reduce shoreline erosion brought on by rising lake levels. 


(Photographs courtesy of the City of Algoma)

Range Light restoration moving forward

Restoration work on the Ridges Sanctuary Range Light in Baileys Harbor can now move toward completion thanks to a successful fundraising effort.  The “Restore the Range Light” campaign raised over $305,000 since it was started in 2016 and it's completion last month.  Drew Richmond, Development and Marketing Director for The Ridges, says that will allow construction crews and volunteers to put the finishing touches on restoration in time for the summer tourism season.



Last summer,  gifts from the David L. and Rita E. Nelson Family Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and the Raibrook Foundation help put fundraising efforts over the top.


(Photographs courtesy of The Ridges Sanctuary)



Impeachment process unclear even to senators

United States Senator Ron Johnson says that he doesn't have any special insight into the impeachment inquiry being conducted by House Democrats. Johnson accuses House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff of keeping even fellow lawmakers in the dark.


The Senate serves as the jury for the trial after a President is impeached by the House of Representatives. If other members of the legislative body feel as Johnson does, that could slow the process down considerably from the accelerated timetable that Democrats seem to be hoping for. 


The full interview from Saturday October 19th.



County clerks help voters ensure they're registered

Residents in Door and Kewaunee counties who haven't moved don't have to be concerned about their voter registration status.  Those who've received letters from the Wisconsin Elections Commission seeking confirmation of their voting addresses should confirm or update that information as soon as possible.  That recommendation is from Kewaunee County Clerk Jamie Annoye. It comes as several state residents and a conservative legal group have challenged the state's deadline of April 2021 for voters contacted by mail to update their addresses.  The challengers want voters to comply within 30-days or have their registration information removed from voters polls.  Annoye says the county clerks office can help verify that you're registered or help you re-register.




Annoye says voters can also register to vote on election day if they've not previously registered in their new district. 

Aging Door County population strains resources

Door County continues to age and the changing demographics are straining resources. The Washington Island Community Health Program was formed to connect aging residents with access to services that would allow them to continue to live independently. Executive Director Christine Andersen says the remote location has always caused issues for those living on the island. Now, though, the problems translate to Door County communities in general.


In keeping with that trend, Andersen says demand for WICHP is at an all-time high.


No monarchs, no problem in Door County

For Door County residents who love their butterflies there is still one of the orange and black migrating variety flitting from yard to yard in October. The painted lady butterfly is not as celebrated as monarchs are but it provides a similar splash of color to local gardens. Naturalist Karen Newbern says painted ladies do migrate but it is not widely understood.


Painted ladies are known as irruptive migrants because the pattern is not seasonal or geographic in nature. There is some speculation that the migration pattern is tied to the El Nino phenomenon which occurs every four years in the Pacific Ocean. 


New condominium development in Algoma

There is a developer's agreement in place for three new condominium buildings in the City of Algoma. Each building is expected to be worth at least $900,000 and will increase the taxable base by a significant amount. The proposed site for the buildings is not currently serviced by city utilities including sewer and water so Algoma is issuing revenue anticipation notes to add the necessary infrastructure. Treasurer Amber Shallow explains how those work.


Authorization occured at the Common Council meeting on October 16th. 

Money Management Counselors opens new office

The nonprofit organization Money Management Counselors will have a new mobile office allowing them to better serve northern Door County. By appointment only, the group can schedule its preferred one-on-one sessions inside the Nicolet National Bank branch in Sister Bay on the first Monday of the month. Executive Director Leslie Boden says that if demand necessitates, the Sister Bay office could see more use in the future.


Money Management Counselors helps with a range of financial issues including budgeting, bankruptcy, student loans, and more. The group's permanent office is in Sturgeon Bay and it serves Kewaunee and Door Counties. 

Local high school gets power tools donation

Sturgeon Bay's Technology Education Department received a pallet of power tools after their program was selected following a grant application with Milwaukee Tool. Technology and Engineering Instructor Brian Pahl says the donation helps to maintain the capabilities of the department.


Pahl originally heard of the opportunity through conversations with a teacher from another district. The grant application was sent out last month with quick turnaround. 

Veterans concert helped by American Legion

The Algoma City Band is turning to the American Legion to help notify veterans of a concert celebrating their service. The event will be at Algoma Elementary School on the evening of Wednesday, November 13th. American Legion Kewaunee County Commander Tracy Steiner says that once the curtain goes up, the Legion provides a small, but integral, part of the program.


The concert has become an annual tradition held the week of Veterans Day. Sometimes it is on the holiday proper, but this year it is a couple days after. There are many events happening on the 11th. 

Algoma bridge opening December 7

The Second Street Bridge in Algoma will now be looking at a December 7 opening.  Matt Murphy, Algoma Public Works Director, says the construction crews just finished pouring the south embankment pillars this past Thursday.  He shares the next step for the bridge project.



Murphy says all storm and sewer work has been completed on the First and Second Street project.  He says new curbs and gutters will be installed in the next week with sidewalk completion and the blacktopping of the street to follow.   Plans are for the streets to reopen to the public by the evening of October 29, according to Murphy. 


Children used in abusive relationships

In many domestic abuse situations, children can be caught in the middle of abusive conflicts in a household.  Help of Door County Executive Director Steve Vickman says abusers will often use tactics against their partners to get their way.  He says many times abusers will use physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse to control the other person.  Another manipulation is pitting a child against the abuse victim.



Vickman adds that children will often believe the abuser and at least go along with it for self-preservation.  He says it is best to refrain from blaming the child or badmouthing the other parent because of the confusing time it may be for the child.  October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.      


Non-recyclable plastics causing local concerns

With California recently failing to pass legislation that would have banned the production or sale of any non-recyclable single-use containers in the state by 2030, local environmental activists are expressing concerns on plastics and the long term impact in the area. Wayne Kudick, chair of the Stella Maris Parish Creation Care Mission, says the problem is even greater with the makeup of the Door County landscape.



Kudick lists some of the other countries that are banning or taxing plastics worldwide.



Kudick adds that the plastic bag tax in the United Kingdom meant it produced six billion fewer bags in the first year reflecting an 83 percent reduction rate.  In the United States, California and Hawaii are the only two states that have banned disposable bags.    


Halloween Walk a learning experience

This weekend’s Algoma Halloween Walk is a lot more than just some high school students dressed up as cartoon characters. Since the Algoma School District took over the event five years ago, it has provided students an opportunity to organize all facets of the event. From setting up the craft and theme areas to helping make the wishes of young kids come true. Event Director Jennifer Massey says it is rewarding to see the students run the event.

The Algoma Halloween Walk kicks off the ghoulish end of the month in Kewaunee County on Saturday and Sunday at Algoma High School from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Proceeds from the event go to support programs at the school district and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.



Grant aids Sister Bay waste water plant

The Village of Sister Bay is now closer to upgrading it's nearly 30-year-old waste water treatment plant thanks to a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant.  The $1.6-million grant is the final piece of funding for the project and is being combined with a low-interest USDA loan of $3,391,000.   Sister Bay Village President David Lineau says upgrading the community's waste water treatment facilities has long been under discussion.



Sister Bay's Village Board recently approved the hiring of an engineering firm to draw up the specifications for the project.  From there, the village will put the waste water treatment facility project out for bids.

Maritime Tower gets a name

Thanks to a generous Green Bay donor, the Door County Maritime Museum is a big step closer to making its planned tower a reality. The museum announced Friday a $1 million gift from the George Kress Foundation for the ten-floor structure planned to be filled with interactive activities. The maritime tower will be named after the late James F. Kress, former owner of Green Bay Packaging. Deputy Director Sam Perlman says this is an important step towards eventually breaking ground.

The donation leaves the Door County Maritime Museum just over $1 million short of its capital campaign goal for the maritime tower of $5.5 million.

PATH proud of home

A year after it purchased the former Jaycee Clubhouse in Sturgeon Bay, PATH of Door County is showing it off to the community. PATH has been working hard making many improvements to the building to make it fit for families with members dealing with autism and other challenges. Volunteer Executive Director Deb Doyle says it was important to establish a home base after years of moving from location to location.

During the year, PATH organizes camp, after school and tutoring programs, family engagement activities, and parent education opportunities. PATH will host its open house on October 23rd from 4 to 6 p.m.

Old grants aid new projects

The city of Sturgeon Bay will be able to keep two grants it received in previous years to help begin work on west waterfront projects. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is allowing two matching grants from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund totaling $447,000 to be used in the future construction of a promenade and dock wall on the city’s west side after litigation essentially froze its use for years. Community Development Director Marty Olejniczak says the DNR was understanding about why the grants had not been used.

The grants were part of the city budget approved by the Sturgeon Bay Common Council earlier this week. To cover the $447,000 it needs to match the grants, Olejniczak says options like naming rights, donations, or dollars from the general and tax increment district funds will be considered.

Different look for Sevastopol homecoming

Much like Luxemburg-Casco and Gibraltar, things will look different for Sevastopol alumni as they return to the area for homecoming festivities. Just like any homecoming celebration, theme days dot the week ahead of Friday’s football game and bonfire followed by Saturday’s dance. However, Sevastopol has gone under some changes ahead of its bigger referendum projects, including a renovation of its gym and cafeteria. Principal Adam Baier hopes alumni and the community as a whole see the work they keep putting into the building.

Baier says alumni and community members will see some of the big changes to Sevastopol’s campus, which includes over $25 million in renovation and new construction projects, within the next year.

New inspection program aids culvert work

The replacement work on culverts under sections of Highway 42 in Kewaunee County and Jacksonport in Door County are being made possible through a new Wisconsin Department of Transportation inspection program.  The culvert being replaced in Kewaunee County was not due for reconstruction for a few more years.  Chris Blazek, the DOT's Northeast Region Maintenance Supervisor, says culvert inspections are conducted every four years.  He says the new inspection system helps find culverts that have deteriorated more rapidly than expected.



The electronic inspection reporting system also allows the DOT to photograph culvert and bridge conditions and ingest them into department computer systems immediately.  

Sturgeon Bay High School Choirs warming up for Broadway

The Sturgeon Bay High School Choir is taking their show on the road for the first time ever.  The choir’s Broadway Cabaret and dinner show will be presented off-campus at the Union Supper Pub next month.  The show will feature 53 cast members from the three high school choirs plus a variety of solo artists performing classic Broadway show tunes.  Choir Director Leslie Hill says show-goers will be in for a treat on November 2.



Hill says the choirs will do a sneak preview at the Senior Luncheon at the ADRC Community Center the week before the performance at the Union Supper Pub.  Tickets for the dinner show are available at the Sturgeon Bay High School office for $20 until October 28th.   Proceeds will help defray the cost of the choir’s scheduled trip to New York next June.    


(photo courtesy of Sturgeon Bay High School Choir)


Great Lakes Shipwrecks featured at historical program

The Door County Historical Society is bringing to light the darkened remains of countless ships that are found at the bottom of the Great Lakes.  Rochelle Pennington, an award-winning newspaper columnist and best-selling author of ten books, will be sharing stories called “Shipwrecked Shores: An Underwater Look at the Greatest Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes” at a presentation on November 18.  Door County Historical Society Director Bailey Koepsel says attendees will find the program fascinating.



The presentation will be held at the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay beginning at 6 pm on Monday, November 18.  You can information about the program and dinner below.  


(photo courtesy of Door County Historical Society)


The Monday November 18 dinner will be catered by Scaturo’s. On the menu is baked chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffed shells, dessert, and beverages. The price is $22 for members, $25 for guests. Please RSVP by November 11.

This program is at the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church is located at 1756 Michigan St., Sturgeon Bay. Make your reservation by sending payment to the Door County Historical Society, P.O. Box 71, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235. 

The reservation deadline is Monday, November 11; space is limited. For further information, contact the Door County Historical Society at (920) 421-2332 or

Gibraltar turns down property purchase

Residents of the Town of Gibraltar voted Wednesday to reject a proposed property purchase. The bold plan sought to buy 195 acres behind the Settlement Courtyard Inn off Highway 42 for over two million dollars. Supervisor Bill Johnson says residents had two main reservations against buying the Redmann property.


Besides affordable housing, single-family homes on 20 acres and multi-family housing were also explored. Over 400 people attended the meeting. The final vote was 180 against compared to just 51 opting for the plan. 


Kewaunee County gets broadband boost

Two resolutions passed by the Kewaunee County Board on Tuesday could pave the way for more people getting better access to broadband Internet. The board approved leasing a portion of one of its towers to Door County Broadband for future subscribers. The county will be compensated based on new customers. The board also approved paying $40,000 for their portion of a grant with hopes of constructing a new tower in the Lincoln area. Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Robert Weidner is happy both resolutions were approved.

Tuesday’s board meeting also featured a public hearing for the 2020 budget. Members of the public spoke against the elimination of two county positions, but the board will have its last say next month when it votes on a final draft of the budget.

Flu shot clinic keeping busy

Flu vaccination clinics run by Door County Medical Center are finding plenty of people to keep healthy this winter. According to the State Health Department, close to 3,500 Wisconsinites were hospitalized with flu-related complications last season. Cheryl Wilke from Door County Medical Center says the clinic sites have been busy since some of them opened at the beginning of the month. She advises people of all ages to get the vaccine and schedule their visit in advance.

Door County Medical Center will have their flu vaccination clinic open at their outpatient medical office through the end of the month, while opportunities to get your shot also exist in Algoma, Fish Creek, and its Sturgeon Bay children’s center in November. Costs vary depending on your insurance coverage and type of dosage.

Accident renews harvest safety call

A Casco woman was admitted to a hospital after crashing into a manure hauler earlier this week. No names were released, but the woman was traveling near Cherneyville and Sleepy Hollow Roads near Kewaunee when it failed to yield to a Black Creek-based manure hauler working for a nearby farm. Extension Kewaunee County agriculture agent Aerica Bjurstrom says farmers and motorists need to take proper precautions when out on the roadways.

Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says the manure and fuel spill caused by the crash has been cleaned up. Farmers will be crisscrossing their fields over the next few weeks as it is finally getting dry enough to take their implements out into some of their fields. 



Fall brings harvest, and that means road sharing between passenger vehicles and farm equipment. Because most of the roads in Kewaunee and Door Counties are rural, practicing patience and caution can prevent a serious accident.


Farm vehicles can be recognized by their size and slow moving emblems displayed. Be prepared to slow down when you see these vehicles. Some may also have flashing yellow lights or a beacon strobe light. Dusk is a particularly busy time as farmers are returning from the fields this time of day.

Because some farm vehicles are not required to have turn signals and brake lights, it may seem as if the vehicle is stopping in the middle of the road, when in fact they are preparing to turn left. Please use caution and patience behind these vehicles; the most common accident occurs when a motorist thinks the vehicle is pulling over when in fact the farmer is swinging the vehicle wide to line up with a gate or driveway.


Farm equipment is commonly driven on the shoulder of the road to allow for better passing space for motorists. Although farm equipment operators are not required to drive on the shoulder, they typically do this as a courtesy for vehicle traffic. Be aware that farm implements driving on the shoulder may swing out into the road to go around a mailbox or other obstruction. Also this fall more than others, you may see more equipment operating at night, as many farmers will be working hard to harvest in between rain events.


The keys to safety when sharing the road with farm equipment are care, caution, and patience. Have a safe fall harvest and keep an eye out for your neighbors on the roads.

Bright day for Habitat dedication

The eyes were as wet inside as the people were outside during Door County Habitat for Humanity’s 42nd home build dedication Wednesday afternoon. Rain forced the majority of the attendees into the new garage of the Bright family. Organizations presented the Bright family with a bookshelf, bible, and toolbox while they, in turn, showered Door County Habitat for Humanity and its volunteers with praise. The Bright family put in 845 sweat equity hours into the home, so Kari says it was hard staying out of it for five days ahead of Wednesday’s dedication.

The house is a unique building for Door County Habitat for Humanity as it is the organization’s first zero-entry home. That allows daughter Tatiana to safely maneuver around the house in her wheelchair, giving her freedom she never had before. Construction supervisor Chuck Stone says delivering a new house for a partner family never gets old.

The house is not quite finished yet as Stone hopes the Bright family will be able to move in by the end of the month.



Mental health documentary

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health issues a documentary being shown at Sturgeon Bay High School next week could help. The documentary is called “Do It for Daniel” and is about Daniel Olson, an All-State athlete in Michigan who struggled with depression and anxiety. He was 19 when he took his own life in 2012. A screening of “Do It for Daniel” will be shown at the Sturgeon Bay High School Auditorium on Tuesday from 6-8 PM. Dakota Londo, the Community Impact Coordinator for United Way of Door County, helped organize the event. She says it’s a good movie to show to the community and get people talking about mental health.



The showing of “Do It for Daniel” is free and open to the public. Anyone under 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

New pastor debuts in Sturgeon Bay

October 6th was the first sermon for the new pastor at Hope United Church of Christ in Sturgeon Bay. Reverend James Gary Brinn comes to Hope United from Maine. Brinn is in his fifties and he did not begin his path to being a pastor until after the September 11th attacks in 2001. Brinn was working in Manhattan at the time and the tragedy had a profound impact on him. He had to complete his bachelor's degree with students who were 15-20 years younger.


Brinn says the transition broke with standard protocol. Usually there is an interim pastor for two years when a UCC Reverend retires. Combining the streamlined changeover with Hope United's growth, Brinn doesn't intend to change everything. He does envision a mini youth movement though.


Photo courtesy of Hope Church 


Ellison Bluff repair delayed

Early in October, the Door County Facilities and Parks Department closed the entrance to Ellison Bluff County Park with the expectation it would be reopened soon. That has been pushed back until the beginning of November at the earliest. Parks Superintendent Ben Nelson says the cause is two-fold.


The reallocation of funding to pay for the repairs has already passed out of the Facilities and Parks Committee. It must still go to the Finance Committee and finally to the Board of Supervisors.

Domestic violence toll highlighted by lighting ceremony

The Violence Intervention Project remembers those killed across Wisconsin as a result of domestic violence on Tuesday, October 29th. The ceremony begins with a social hour at 5:30 PM at Grace Lutheran Church in Kewaunee. Advocate Micayla says hundreds attend and the night's activities aren't possible without the participation of residents from the area.


A local choir and a speaker are also involved. 33 people killed from across the state last year; men, women, and an unborn child are set to be remembered. Micayla says that the trend is heading in the right direction. There will also be candles lit for the 198 people helped by VIP in 2018. 

Eagle Tower ready to soar

The return of a Peninsula State Park icon became official Wednesday afternoon after the State Building Commission unanimously approved funding for Eagle Tower. An additional $1.4 million was needed to make the project a reality after the latest round of bids for the tower’s reconstruction came in about $1 million over budget. The reconstructed tower will have a large ramp structure to make it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. State Building Commission Vice-Chairperson and State Representative Rob Swearingen credited fellow member of the Assembly Joel Kitchens for making sure the project got done.



Friends of Peninsula State Park raised $750,000 to help support the Eagle Tower project. Swearingen expects the timeline for the new tower to move rapidly now that the funding has been secured.

Rain creating problems for firefighters

Conventional wisdom would suggest that wet weather would be welcomed by the Southern Door Fire Department, but it is creating challenges of its own. Captain Kim Starr says it can lead to as many problems as it solves by hindering efforts to get equipment to the site of the blaze on rural properties.


Southern Door Fire has a UTV to help get water and men to places where the fire trucks cannot go. Starr also points out that saturated ground destabilizes root systems for trees. If those trees fall on power lines, there can be an increased risk for electrical fires.

Youth suffer with depression alone

Depression is on the rise among adolescents and young adults and many are facing it alone. Many factors have been cited as contributing to the decline including the weakening of traditional social institutions where meaningful relationships were developed in the past. Social media's influence is also being examined. Bellin Health Community Engagement Team Leader Jody Anderson says that nearly two-thirds of depressed youth struggle without help.


Bellin Health is teaming up with the Luxemburg-Casco School District to offer Youth Mental Health First Aid training on November 18th and 19th to help address the situation. 

Ticks still a threat into fall

Unlike many other summer pests, ticks remain active until the first freeze. When hiking in the fall, it is important to take preventative measures to keep you and your pets free of the parasites. Door County Public Health Registered Sanitarian Chelsea Smies reminds you to avoid tall grass in the forest. Stick to worn trails and use bug spray on your clothing before you leave. When back inside, any ticks attached to apparel can be killed by a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes. If a tick is discovered on your body Smies says to take care when removing it. 


Ticks are a potential health risk due to the bacteria they carry which can lead to serious illness including Lyme disease. 

Building Commission to decide on local project

The new Eagle Tower at Peninsula State Park could get the go-ahead Wednesday when the State Building Commission meets. A first round of bids showed the differential between what has been raised by the Friends of Peninsula State Park and the estimated cost of the project to be nearly a million dollars. Modifications to the tower's requirements were made and bids were sent back out with the cost being lowered to a more reasonable number. Business Manager Steve Strucely is cautiously optimistic that funds can be shifted to accomodate the tower and that the Building Commission will approve the project.


Originally the Friends hoped the project would begin this fall but that is looking less likely with the continued review.


Pebble Beach dedication Friday

People will have the chance to see a nearly unexplored portion of Door County when Pebble Beach in Sister Bay is dedicated.  The Celebrate Pebble Beach ribbon cutting will make a 17-acre section of forest and 600 feet of shoreline officially open to the public.  Cinnamon Rossman, Development Director for the Door County Land Trust, which helped facilitate the purchase, says those attending the ribbon-cutting will get the first glance at the evidence of geological history that few people have previously seen.



The Celebrate Pebble Beach ribbon cutting takes place at 2:30 PM on October 18th along Pebble Beach Road in Sister Bay.  It'll be held rain or shine.


Edited to reflect the fact that the Village of Sister Bay owns the Pebble Beach property. The Door County Land Trust helped the purchase to take place.

Sen. Hansen supports direct legislation laws 

A resolution designed to ultimately change the state constitution to allow for direct legislation to be passed through a state-wide referendum is being floated in Madison.  State Senator Dave Hansen, who has served 19 years for the 30th District, says Assembly Joint Resolution 32 could eventually lead to citizens initiating constitutional amendments and vetoes similar to Act 10 in Ohio.  Many states already have direct legislation laws in place, according to Hansen.



Sen. Hansen says the key is that when the legislature tends to ignore the will of the people, the people should have means to circumvent the legislature to make their voices heard.  He adds that a successful resolution would also address healthcare expansion, campaign finance reform, and medical marijuana that have public majority support with no state legislative action currently.  


Sister Bay Shuttle service succeeds

The Village of Sister Bay's free shuttle service is marking a successful first season and could serve as a model for other Door County communities.  The shuttle ran a 30-minute loop around the village Thursday through Saturday starting Memorial Day weekend. Shuttle service ran from 11:00 AM until 2:00 AM.  It continued to run on weekends through September. The Sister Bay shuttle carried over 4,000 passengers since it started. Louise Howson, with the Sister Bay Advancement Association, says the shuttle proved popular with residents, maritime visitors and could help other Door County communities transportation needs.



Howson says the shuttle will return next summer and budgeting for the service is currently under discussion by the Sister Bay Village Board.



Kewaunee County Manufacturing Career Day a big success

Over 200 students from the three Kewaunee County High Schools participated in the Manufacturing Career Day on Tuesday in Algoma.  Ninth-graders from Algoma, Kewaunee and Luxemburg-Casco schools toured three manufacturers throughout the day.  Students visited Multi Color, Olson Fabrication, and CTI Hospitality.  The event, sponsored by the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation, is designed to showcase career opportunities in manufacturing.  KCEDC Executive Director Richard Baker says underclassmen exposed to manufacturing careers are more likely to enter that field.



Baker adds that the Manufacturing Career Day event also included presentations that explored career opportunities in banking, human resources, agriculture, and public safety.  


Plants battle frost

Mother Nature has been hitting crops in Door and Kewaunee Counties with everything she has this year with her most devastating blows still on the horizon. Snowflakes flew in Door and Kewaunee Counties over the weekend and some spots have already been affected by the season’s first frost. For some crops, it is just time to clean up for the year. Door County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Annie Deutsch says there are some things you can do to protect your plants if putting them into pots and moving them indoors are not options.

Deutsch recommends you harvest what you can before the weather makes the decision for you, though she says apples can usually stay good on trees until temperatures reach 28 degrees and carrots actually get better with a frost.

Law enforcement rally around holiday causes

Law enforcement personnel in Door and Kewaunee Counties begin taking on the role of Santa Claus this month. Members of the Door County Sheriff’s Department and Sturgeon Bay Police Department will help serve lunch and dinner at the Sturgeon Bay Culver’s next Wednesday as a part of the Lights of Christmas campaign, which raises money for gift cards and other necessities for deserving families. Both Door and Kewaunee Counties host their own Chop n’ Shop-with-a-Cop events while Sheriff Matt Joski anchors two other holiday campaigns, including the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots Drive. Joski says it is important for the public to see law enforcement personnel in a different light.

The programs help support hundreds of families every year. 



       I know that I had stated that this week’s article would continue my summary of the operations here at the Sheriff’s Department, but I want to take a moment to bring awareness to a few campaigns which are currently underway in an effort to increase support of those programs as we get closer to Christmas. These programs are not those that you will receive an electronic voice message from soliciting money, or the types that you will be flooded with mass mailings asking you to send your money to distance places. These are programs which are happening right here in our community to help those right here in our community.

        The first of these programs is our annual “Shop with a Cop” program. Each year we here in Law Enforcement work with the local school districts to identify a few children whose families could use an extra bit of help. We then contact these families and ask that they allow us to spend a day shopping for gifts not just for that child but for that child’s family as well. It is a humbling experience to shop alongside a child who rather than running towards the toys or electronic games, heads over to the clothing section to get Dad some socks, or to get Mom a new jacket. This is also a great opportunity for these children to see law enforcement in a way that most don’t have the opportunity to see. While our local law enforcement officers volunteer their time and donate many items themselves to make this day successful, we also count on donations to assist in our efforts. If you would like to donate to this cause, just give a call to the Sheriff’s Department.

          The second program that has been in our county for over two decades is the annual Toys for Tots campaign. This one holds a special place in my heart as it is sponsored by the United States Marine Corp Reserve. In this program, boxes are placed throughout Kewaunee County and on December 21st these toys will be handed out for children whose parents have pre-registered as residence of Kewaunee County. There are many great organizations and businesses that help in making this program such a success year after year. To assist in this program, please drop off a new unwrapped toy at any of the drop off sites.

           The third program which actually assists residents of our county throughout the year is our local Salvation Army Kettle Campaign. Just like you I have seen these kettles over the many years at various places during the Christmas season. Sometimes I dropped some money into them and sometimes I walked by them. Only until I began as a voucher writer for the Salvation Army did I realize the importance of this charitable organization and the importance of these kettles. Throughout the year, myself along with other voucher writers here in Kewaunee County receive calls from people who have lost jobs, experienced unforeseen medical costs or have just found themselves in a place of need. We assist with Rent, Utilities, Food, Gas and other basic essential needs to help get them through the crisis they may be facing. To assist in this program you can of course take a moment to drop some money into the kettles located at various stops throughout the county. You can also give of your time to ring bells at these sites as the likelihood of giving increases when these kettles are staffed rather than just sitting idle in a corner of the store entrance. It is a great way to spend time for a good cause and visit with people as they are giving. To volunteer for this program at the Kewaunee and Luxemburg kettle locations, just go to: and follow the links to Kewaunee County. To volunteer at the Algoma Kettle locations, please contact Jerry Guth at: (920)487-5491

              If you have questions on any of these programs, please do not hesitate to contact me, and I can steer you in the right direction. Just like shopping locally has the best impact for our communities, giving locally also provides the best results for those here in Kewaunee County.



Recall a Door County rarity

Voters in Clay Banks and parts of the town and village of Forestville are the only ones in Door County heading to the polls this November. District 3 Supervisor Roy Englebert is being recalled after citizens collected enough signatures to prompt the election. Englebert has been targeted by the Friends of the Forestville Dam for his role in the drawdown of the mill pond slated to begin on November 1st. Door County Clerk Jill Lau says this is the first time a supervisor has been recalled since 2002 and the election comes at a cost.

As the person being recalled, Englebert will already appear on the ballot while challengers have until October 22nd to file the necessary paperwork. November 19th is the slated election date for the recall.

City ok's harbor plan

Kewaunee Harbor can begin taking a different shape after the city council approved a master plan during its meeting Monday night.  The Harbor Master Plan gives the city guidance as it looks to improve the campground, beach park, and river landing areas while also connecting it with its downtown. Kewaunee Community and Economic Development Planner Autumn Linsmeier says having the plan will make it easier to get much-needed grants as the projects progress.

Linsmeier added how important it was to get feedback from local business owners and citizens to make sure the city had the community’s support with direction they were going. You can find a copy of the Harbor Master Plan by clicking here.

Sevastopol discusses in-house substitute teacher pay changes

Teachers and administrators in the Sevastopol School District will discuss the possibility of increasing compensation for in-house substitute teachers who cover classes for other instructors.  They cover for teachers who have to leave for family emergencies, doctor appointments or other personal reasons.  Teachers who serve as in-house substitutes are currently paid $16.31 an hour for each class period they cover.  That rate has been in place for a couple of years while compensation for full-day substitute teachers was increased to $120 a day.  Full-time teacher representatives have indicated they'd like to see in-house pay rates increased.  Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says the need and benefits of the request will be discussed at the district's quarterly meet and confer session.



The Sevastopol School District's Meet and Confer session includes teachers and administrators representatives and two school board members.  That meeting will take place Wednesday, October 16th in Room 107 at the school building on Highway 57.

Smallmouth bass public meeting tonight

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will host a public meeting on Tuesday to discuss the state of the smallmouth bass fishery in the area.  The meeting will be held at Crossroads at Big Creek in the Lecture Hall and will give DNR staff members an opportunity to engage stakeholders and share information on the status of the fishery in the waters of Lake Michigan and Green Bay surrounding Door County.  Local kayak fishing expert Bill Schultz, who plans on attending the meeting, says the last time a session was held two years ago the feedback was very helpful for all parties involved.



The smallmouth bass discussion will begin at 6:30 pm on Tuesday at the Crossroads at Big Creek Lecture Hall in the John Collins Learning Center.  The meeting is free for the public to attend and is expected to last two hours.     

Wet conditions could close snowmobile trail sections

A local snowmobile dealer believes saturated soil conditions could close some trails in Door and Kewaunee Counties over the winter.  Dean Simonar, Vice-President and Sales Manager with Simonar Sports Incorporated of Luxemburg, believes most of the trails going through farmland and forests should be fine under the right conditions.  Wetland trails, however, are a different story.



So Simonar says the next best thing snowmobilers and tourist businesses can hope for is a good snowfall.  The Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs says that equals millions of dollars for local economies.

Horseshoe Bay Farms tours successful

Horseshoe Bay Farms Incorporated says hundreds of visitors took advantage of public tours Saturday, despite rainy cooler weather.  The non-profit group offered group and self-guided tours of the farms' historic 8.5 acres during the annual Egg Harbor Pumpkin Patch Festival.  Horseshoe Bay Farms Incorporated Board Member Andy Gill says the tours gave participants a chance to offer suggestions on future uses for the property.  He says visitors offered some great suggestions.



Gill says while the exact number of visitors is still being tallied there were about 500 people who took advantage of the free Pumpkin Patch Festival parking and shuttles.  He says many came strictly for the tours.

Tax rate drops in proposed budget

Kewaunee County residents could stand to pay less in taxes next year according to is preliminary budget. The budget is set for around $22,575,000, a decrease of about $210,000 from 2019. That means a $17 savings for taxpayers with a $100,000 home. Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Robert Weidner says the biggest news comes from the highway department.

According to the budget book included by clicking this link, the budget cuts a full-time position from the UW-Extension office and makes changes to other positions in the county. A public hearing on the 2020 Kewaunee County budget will take place before the board conducts its business at 6 p.m. at the administrative center in Kewaunee. 

Gibraltar DECA gives real-world lessons

Even as the rain came down during its fundraiser at last Friday’s football game, it was just a small sampling of the many activities organized and executed by Gibraltar’s DECA Club. DECA helps prepare kids for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality, and management. In addition to hosting different events during the year and attending competitions, Gibraltar’s DECA Club runs the school store, also known as GBay. The experience is part of the reason sophomore Anthony Casanas joined.

Flexibility was an unintended skill taught during the Gibraltar DECA Club fundraiser on Friday, having to turn a football toss game into a “pass the bucket” campaign to raise over $160 for the GoBo Foundation.

Lincoln levy increase proposed

An increase on the tax levy is another thing residents in the town of Lincoln can blame on the snow. The town of Lincoln board will leave it up to the voters next week on potentially exceeding the allowable town tax levy by 37 percent, which is a total dollar increase of $21,517. The town had been trying to hold the line in recent years, even as services provided by the county and others climbed. Town chairperson Cory Cochart says road and winter maintenance is the main culprit. 

Cochart says the purchase of election machines and other expenses contributed to the request. The special meeting will be held on October 23rd at 7 p.m. at the Lincoln Town Hall. A vote will take place after a background information presentation, a public comment and question period, and a reading of the ordinance.

West waterfront plans moving

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will get an update on the plans to redevelop the west waterfront during its regular Tuesday meeting. In a memo sent by administrator Josh Van Lieshout, the city is currently working with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to obtain a lakebed lease for the future home of the grain elevator after Coleman Engineering performed two soil borings at 100 East Maple Street last month. According to the memo, the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society still needs to evaluate the existing pilings at 92 East Maple Street, complete a remediation plan for the site, and submit the final project plan, budget, and financing for approval. The council will also review the recommendations made by the Ad Hoc West Waterfront Planning Committee and develop a plan of action. The meeting will take place inside the council chambers at Sturgeon Bay City Hall beginning at 7 p.m.


In addition, the Sturgeon Bay Common Council is meeting at 4 p.m. today (Monday) to approve the city’s 2020 budget and set a public hearing date for the same time on November 4th.

Algoma searches for new city administrator

The City of Algoma is searching for a new city administrator.  That comes just over six months after Jeff Wiswell retired and his duties were shared be the city clerk, city treasurer and Mayor Wayne Schmidt.  He says sharing the duties has worked well, though a full-time administrator is needed and has been included in Algoma's 2020 budget proposal.




Schmidt says, so far, the City of Algoma has received applications from four candidates.  He's hoping to receive more by the November 1st deadline.

Sister Bay gears up for Fall Festival

Sister Bay's annual Fall Festival starts on Saturday morning with the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department pancake breakfast. Take in the parade through downtown and an arts and crafts fair which features nearly 100 vendors. Restaurants and bars in the village will have musical acts. Sister Bay Advancement Association Assistant Coordinator Miluzka McCarthy says Fall Fest is like homecoming and a lot of people return to Door County for the festival specifically. Fall Fest wraps up with a crowd favorite event.


The Sister Bay Advancement Association bills the Fall Fest parade as the largest in the county. Fall Fest will happen rain or shine.


Wisconsin Humanities Council visits Door Peninsula

The Wisconsin Humanities Council's Grant Program Director visited Sturgeon Bay and Kewaunee October 4th. The trip was a follow-up related to successful award applications for the archaeological dig at Crossroads and a new historical walking trail near the Kewaunee Pierhead Lighthouse. Meg Turville-Heitz says a majority of her job is helping nonprofits and governments applying for WHC grants with the byzantine process.


 It was the first trip for Turville-Heitz to the area in roughly 18 months. Humanities disciplines and activities involve taking a critical eye to various subjects from art to history. 


Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin Humanities Council Facebook page.

Legislation aims to expedite substitute teacher hiring

State regulations are preventing schools in Door and Kewaunee counties, and others state-wide, from having enough qualified substitute teachers.  It's become harder for school districts to attract substitute instructors because of better paying jobs in other fields.  Southern Door School District Superintendent Patricia Vickman says districts are also hampered by rules that set a time limit before retired teachers can work on a part-time basis.


Legislation is being considered to reduce the time that retired teachers must wait before becoming substitutes.  According to the Wisconsin Education Association the biggest need for substitute teachers is in areas such as special education, library services and foreign language interpreters. 

Algoma seeks bond issuance for sewer project

Funds have already been secured for the road portion of the infrastructure projects on Second Street and First Street in the City of Algoma with sewers up next. The city is issuing over one-million dollars in bonds to complete replacements of sewer mains and water mains downtown. Additionally, according to Treasurer Amber Shallow, funds generated will be rolled over into projects in 2020.


The bonds are expected to be authorized at a Common Council meeting on Wednesday.


Cana Island construction stalled by elements

Construction on the Cana Island Interpretive Center will finish about a month later than planned due to complications from the elements.  The interpretive center was scheduled to open in October.  Door County Facilities and Parks Director Wayne Spritka says high water levels on Lake Michigan and adverse weather have now pushed back the completion date.




The Cana Island Lighthouse and the soon-to-be finished interpretive center are owned by the Door County Facilities and Parks Department while day-to-day operations are managed through a contract with the Door County Maritime Museum.

Whitefish Dunes hosting fall work day

Whitefish Dunes State Park is looking for volunteers for Saturday morning. Interim Park Manager Erin Dembski says there are only two full-time staff members at the park currently and a laundry list of tasks that need to be done.


The fall work day is set well in advance and will happen rain or shine, regardless of crowds that could be significant given the expected peak color season in that time frame.  Whitefish Dunes is a popular winter destination featuring trails for cross-country skiing, hiking, and snowshoeing.


Washington Island makes cider

Washington Island travelers had the opportunity to make cider this weekend and bring a different kind of memento back to the mainland. The Washington Island Farm Museum brought out apple presses from its collection. According to Executive Director Bonnie Burnham, one press is a vintage collector's item.


The apples had to be transported onto the island before the event from a northern Door County orchard. Five gallons worth of apples, once pressed, translates into roughly three-quarters of a gallon of DIY hand-pressed apple cider.


Harbor Towns Association annual meeting this week

From Kewaunee to Washington Island, the Door Peninsula is well represented at this week's Wisconsin Harbor Towns Association annual meeting. Algoma Chamber of Commerce President Kay Smith explains why the Harbor Towns Association is a vital part of the area's success.


There are 18 communities on two Great Lakes in the organization. Smith started her tenure as Executive Director of the Algoma Chamber on October 1st. The Wisconsin Harbor Towns Association meeting is a part of learning the ropes as she settles in to her new position.


Egg Harbor Lions give vision screenings

The Egg Harbor Lions Club can take pride in knowing that they are the driving force behind every school child in Door County getting a free vision screening. Lions Club member Jim Sanden says the program fills a need that otherwise would not be served.


The number of kids failing the test has fallen dramatically since the screenings started as students get a proper diagnosis at an early age. That is important because vision or hearing problems can lead to a student falling behind academically. The vision screening takes just seconds, featuring a futuristic camera that scans a person's eyes. The Lions team with the Door County Health Department's Sara Neu who tacks on a hearing test as well.


Monarch butterfly migration continues after tagging

Door County is abuzz around Labor Day with monarch butterfly tagging events. In the fall, monarchs migrate from across America and southern Canada back to Mexico where they spend the winter. It's a journey of over 2,000 miles in some cases. So what exactly happens to the butterflies who are tagged? A group called Monarch Watch organizes observers south of the border to help identify tags. Naturalist Karen Newbern says many make it because monarchs are not exactly a delicacy.


Still, migrating monarchs have to deal with bad weather and exhaustion. Both of those factors can prove lethal.


Sturgeon Bay School District offers free test

Sturgeon Bay School District is doing free developmental screenings for children ages three-and-a-half to five years old on October 21st. The tests are for children who reside in the Sturgeon Bay School District, regardless of where they will be attending school. Special Education Director Sharon Sanderson says that the tests are not intelligence based.


Young children have a wide variance for most of the factors assessed and each child is observed for about 30 minutes. Given those constraints, the screening is designed to flag only those children who stand out in a glaring manner. Most children who lag in a developmental sense naturally catch up to their peers through interaction once school begins.


Chimney inspections necessary in fall

Gibraltar Fire and Rescue encourages all homeowners to get their chimney inspected this time of year. Winter weather is arriving early in Door County and a little time and money spent now can save homeowners in the long run. Assistant Chief Jerrad Anderson says there are advantages far beyond removing soot from last year.


Creosote builds up in the chimney when wood is burned. In most cases it can removed via a brush. Homes that have chimneys without insulation are the most susceptible to having problems. Third degree creosote buildup is tar-like and is concentrated fuel waiting to go up, potentially starting a fire that can engulf the entire home.


Car thief facing charges in two counties

Just after midnight on Thursday morning Raymond Wood was allegedly involved in several serious crimes in Kewaunee and Door Counties beginning with auto theft. Wood is believed to have stolen a vehicle in the City of Algoma, his hometown. Wood was pulled over in Door County on a traffic stop and he fled the scene. The chase had to be ended due to safety concerns. Shortly after, Wood crashed the stolen vehicle on Walker Road, north of the City of Sturgeon Bay and just west of Highway 42. Police found the vehicle turned over on one side and on fire. Door County Sheriff Deputies had to use the K9 unit and unmanned drones to track Wood down. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says that Wood will face charges in both counties.


Alcohol is thought to be involved. will provide more information as it becomes available.



Photos of the accident scene courtesy of the Sturgeon Bay Police Department Facebook page.


Expect no changes to Sister Bay's Pebble Beach

Village Adminstrator Beau Bernhoft doesn't expect any radical changes at the recently acquired Pebble Beach property. Pebble Beach is about 16 acres with over 500 feet of shoreline. Bernhoft says there are no plans for new structures or any intention to make it more domesticated. There is the possibility that the number of visitors could necessitate one adaptation.


The tract was purchased with the help of the Door County Land Trust and will remain available to the public in its natural state for the foreseeable future. 


Local Cub Scout troops integrate girls

In May of last year the Boy Scouts of America began accepting girls and that integration process is happening with Troop 1140 in Brussels. Chairman Mike Verhagen says that girls and boys mingle as Cub Scouts but they become separate troops as they get older.


Last year the Girls Scouts of the USA sued the Boy Scouts of America for trademark infringement. Even among the general public, confusion exists as to what allowing girls into the renamed Scouts BSA means. In practice, girls are organized as separate troops with women in the leadership positions. That means girl Scouts are a viable alternative to Girl Scouts teaching different values and focusing on separate activities.


Deer Donation program returns for 20th year

Wisconsin DNR is helping deer hunters avoid freezer burn on their extra vension with the deer donation program. Wildlife Damage Program Assistant Elizabeth Tanner explains the program and its laudatory goal.


Being a part of the deer donation program doesn't grant hunters an extra tag but they can snag a commemorative hat. There are two participating meat processors in Door County. For hunters planning to enjoy themselves in other parts of the state affected by CWD, all testing and handling requirements still apply for deer that are donated.


Highway 57 to close south of Jacksonport Monday

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced this week that a section of Highway 57 south near Jacksonport will be closed starting on Monday.  The two-to-three-day work project will be between Loritz Road and Jorns Road south of Jacksonport.  Traffic will not be allowed on the highway while construction crews perform excavating and culvert replacement.  A detour will be in use on County V and County T while the maintenance work is being done.  The work may be delayed until Tuesday pending weather and equipment delivery.  



Dry week helped farmers get needed silage 

Area farmers used the sunny, dry weather earlier this week to get crops off the fields that have been too wet for harvesting.  Rich Olson of Olson Family Farm in southern Door County, like other Kewaunee and Door County farmers, was able to get the corn silage needed to feed livestock through the winter and beyond.



Olson estimates that about twenty percent of the corn has been harvested to this point in the area.  He adds that milk prices are continuing to trend up which is good news for dairy farmers.  According to Progressive Dairy, the United States Department of Agriculture predicts milk prices moving closer to $19 next year.  The 2019 all-milk price was forecast at $18.35 per hundredweight in September.  


Southern Door taking on "Youth in Government" -- VIDEO

Some students from Southern Door High School that take part in Youth in Government are Amanda Puccini, Emma Hanson, Suhani Patel, Chloe Staudenmaier, Anna Staudenmaier, and Delilah Rose. All returning delegates this year, these students are widespread over the provided program areas. 
Emma Hanson, a three year YIG delegate, is involved in the Branch of the Senate. Here she writes a bill, presents it to fellow senators, and debates on the Senate floor. Emma says that she enjoys debating proposals she is passionate about because she believes young individuals need to be more involved and informed about this country’s government. 
Delilah Rose, a four year Press Corps delegate takes on broadcasting, photography, interviewing, and writing articles throughout the session. Delilah likes taking advantage of debating privileges given to press representatives and juggles the media while also raising her placard on the floor. 
Tyler Powell, one of Door County’s advisors, says that this program is an excellent opportunity for students to develop valuable skills for the future, including speaking, debating, and building connections. 


Colleen Crocker-MacMillin, another Door County Advisor, agrees with Tyler when he says that the Door County Delegation, including the Southern Door students, are exceptional delegates that promote not only Y-Core Values but also holds great promise for our government’s future.  


Emma Hanson
Thoughts of Women Empowerment through YIG



Suhani Patel
Southern Door Junior
Thoughts of Women Empowerment through YIG



Rain adds to well testing importance

Your annual well test in Door and Kewaunee Counties should be even more urgent than in years past. The timing between expected rainfall and manure spreading has been challenging to say the least this year for farmers, with much of eastern Wisconsin currently under a moderate to extreme runoff advisory. Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Department Director Davina Bonness says its voluntary well testing program is even more important this year because of the fall timing and the wet weather.

Bonness says farmers are talking about taking extra precautions this fall due to the groundwater concerns, which include split applications and doubling its setbacks. You can learn more about how you can participate in the voluntary well testing program in Kewaunee County, which is available for a fee, below.



Manufacturing booming in Wisconsin

A drive through the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park can show you the strength of manufacturing in Wisconsin. According to the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, manufacturing in the state produced $63 billion in total output in 2018, good for almost 20 percent of its gross domestic product. That has helped Wisconsin see the second-highest manufacturing job growth in the country according to government reporting web site The Center Square. That is not surprise to NEW Industries owner Chris Moore, who says he has been investing millions of dollars into equipment and training for his employees just to keep up with demand.

The only thing hindering the further expansion of the business according to Moore is the worker shortage in Door County. Eleven businesses highlighted dozens of open positions at last week’s Door County Manufacturing Day.

Luxemburg firefighter honored as First Responder of the Year

Luxemburg’s Al Tlachac was recognized as the District 1 First Responder of the Year on Thursday in Madison.  The 73-year-old volunteer was honored along with over 90 others from throughout the state at a ceremony at the State Capitol.   He has been with the Luxemburg Fire and Rescue Department for over 45 years.  Tlachac says he was humbled to receive the award and says all his fellow first responders are deserving of the recognition.



Tlachac was nominated by Luxemburg Fire Chief Lew Du Chateau and is one of 30 firefighters and 19 first responders that volunteers for the department.  He owns his own business, Al’s Barber Shop, on Main Street in Luxemburg and has no plans on retiring anytime soon from either of his current duties.  


(photo submitted of Tlachac receiving his award from Dist. 1 Rep. Joel Kitchens.  Tlachac's wife, Donna, and grandson, Hunter, were on hand for the ceremony.

Last call for Rock Island State Park

This weekend is your last chance to take the ferry to one of Wisconsin’s most remote state parks. October 14th is the final day the Karfi Ferry makes its daily trips to Rock Island State Park.  Traffic was busy to the island this summer, with many of its 42 campsites booked from the Fourth of July to just after the Labor Day Weekend. Michael Cole spent much of his time on Rock Island in the park’s visitors center. He says once people hiked the park’s trails and checked out some of its historic structures, the two ferries to get there became well worth it.

Although much of the island and the ferry service shuts down after October 14th, Cole says there are people that still make the journey to Rock Island State Park to do more camping and even snowmobiling in the offseason.




Picture courtesy of Mike Kowols

Scouts look to fill void

A Luxemburg Scouts USA troop is answering the call for local food pantries after a larger effort was moved. The annual Bay-Lakes Council Scouting for Food Drive was moved from the fall to the spring earlier this year. That leaves local organizations like the Holy Trinity Pantry and Kewaunee County Food Pantry in a pinch since they counted on the Scouting for Food Drive to fill their shelves. Scoutmaster Jason Miller says the switch forced Troop 1042, chartered by the Luxemburg Sportsman’s Club, into action.


For over a week, Scouts USA Troop 1042 will have boxes at businesses located throughout the area before collecting all items for distribution on October 19th. 

Corn does not need late harvest

The general perception is that the late planting season locally means a late harvest season. Kewaunee County Agricultural Agent Aerica Bjurstrom says planting happened into mid-summer.


Corn is a commodity at the seed level and as a final product. Farmers in the winter contract for seeds to be delivered assuming normal weather patterns. Once it was known that would not be the case in the area, those seeds got sent to other parts of the country and around the world. Seeds planted here had a maturity in some cases of under 90 days. Corn for most farmers would have been ready mid-September if it wasn't for the consistent rainfall.


Keys to effective estate planning

Dying without a will or an estate plan can cause many delays in settling personal estates.  According to a survey, over half of all American adults lack a will or estate plan.   An estate plan is more comprehensive and detailed than a will. It divides up your property when you’re not around anymore.  Attorney Bob Ross of Ross Estate Planning in Sturgeon Bay says if you lack either or both, there are three critical things you need to do right away.



Two excuses often given for not having a will or an estate plan is that they hadn’t gotten around to it and they don’t have enough assets to leave anyone.  Ross advises everyone to take the time to get their end-of-life documents and plans in order.


Youth Deer Hunt successful

The Youth Deer Hunt held last weekend was a big success in Door and Kewaunee counties.  Chris Kratcha, the DNR conservation warden stationed in Sturgeon Bay, says hunters 15 years of age and younger again were eligible to hunt deer the first weekend of October statewide as long as they were chaperoned by a mentor.  He says it is a great way to introduce young people to the popular sport.



Kratcha says the hunt locally makes up about only two percent of the total deer harvested annually in the area.  This year about 100 total deer were taken in Door County.  Kewaunee County had about 95 deer registered last weekend.  

Southern Door Fire plans annual open house

National Fire Safety Week is capped off locally with the Southern Door Fire Department's annual open house on Saturday. The event runs from 10 AM to 2 PM and features a variety of family activities. Captain Kim Starr says the event gets bigger every year but it is just a coincidence the open house is on a holiday weekend in 2019.


The highlight of the event is using a working fire hose to put out flames on a model home. Temperatures are only expected to be in the 40's so appropriate clothing that will keep participants dry is recommended.



Picture courtesy of Southern Door Fire Department.

Smoke detectors missing in action

It has been a lighter than usual year in terms of structure fires for the Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department, but that does not mean Chief Curt Vandertie does not leave the scene of a call a little frustrated. Vandertie says it is still common to go into a home or business without a functioning smoke detector. This comes after several campaigns in recent years to help residents install devices at little to no charge. For Vandertie, working smoke detectors means precious moments of response time.

Vandertie also recommends calling 911 right away when a fire erupts as some of the more tragic outcomes could have been improved with a quicker response. The BUG Fire Department along with others in Door and Kewaunee Counties have spent National Fire Prevention Week educating kids about safety measures. Vandertie says those efforts could also be applied to young adults and elderly.

Animal lab gets final touches

Kids attending Luxemburg-Casco schools will be able to learn more about where their food comes from in the future. With help from the Luxemburg-Casco FFA and FFA Alumni, the small animal lab has been rebuilt and an aquaponics table has been added to the school’s campus in Luxemburg. The organizations are also working with the district to build a new greenhouse and large animal lab for the school’s agriculture programs. Luxemburg-Casco FFA Alumni President Matt Haen says it is all about education.

The Luxemburg-Casco FFA and FFA Alumni raise money for such projects and other educational opportunities through events like this Sunday’s Toy and Craft Show at Luxemburg-Casco High School. Haen says members will give tours during the event, which begins at 9 a.m.

Farmers face weather in harvest race

Rural roadways in Door and Kewaunee Counties were crowded Wednesday as farmers rushed to their fields to harvest this year’s corn and soybean crops.  Four days of sunny and dry weather dried out some fields just enough to squeeze in some harvesting, though others are still sitting in standing water. Lee Kinnard from Kinnard Farms in Casco hopes to average 10,000 tons of chopping each day as weather and available machinery permits. He is thankful for having a good crew working long hours to get it done.

Rio Creek Feed Mill agronomist Adam Barta says soybean and corn yields have varied from field to field, so it is important to have a good strategy before you get going.

Area farmers hope to get as much as they can harvest before Friday when much cooler temps, rain, and possibly even snow hit the area. Motorists are being reminded to travel with caution due to the increased number of implements on the road and often the mud that comes with it.

Culvert replacement detours drivers

Drivers on Highway 42 in the Town of Pierce will be making detours starting October 14th.  That's when the Wisconsin Department of Transportation will begin work to replace a culvert between 8th Road and 9th Road. DOT Regional Communications Director Mark Kantola says the culvert replacement project became necessary when inspectors were preparing for another planned highway improvement project.



The detour on Highway 42 between 8th Road and 9th Road in the Town of Pierce will last until October 18th.  That's when the road will reopen although construction crews will do some finishing work until October 25th.

Universal 4K a possibility

A new proposal in the Wisconsin Assembly could expand educational opportunities for some of the state’s youngest residents. Two bills circulating in Madison would make it easier for school districts to offer full-day four-year-old kindergarten to families while another would open the door for three-year-olds to join them.  The proposals come from the Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding, which included Rep. Joel Kitchens of Sturgeon Bay. Karen Corekin-Delamer from the Northern Door Children’s Center in Sister Bay appreciates lawmakers making early childhood education a priority. She fears the proposals come at the expense of high-quality infant and toddler care early childhood learning centers like hers provide.

Some school districts like Southern Door and Kewaunee have already made the switch to full-day 4K programs.

Highway 42 improvements in Fish Creek approved by Evers

Resurfacing work and other improvements on Highway 42 in Fish Creek will begin next week.  Governor Tony Evers signed a $5.6-million contract for work on 1.2-miles of Highway 42 between Bluff Lane and Gibraltar Road.  In addition to resurfacing, the project will also “urbanize” the section between Shore Road to Gibraltar Road.  Wisconsin DOT Regional Communications Manager Mark Kantola explains what “urbanize” will mean to Fish Creek residents and visitors.




Work is being conducted by Vinton Construction and will start October 15th.  The project will stop for the winter and resume in the spring with completion expected in June of 2020.

Children of The Farm return home

The children representing each of the four families who helped to found The Farm of Door County will be on-hand October 12th to talk about life in the early days of the effort. The Farm bills itself as a living museum of rural America and according to Julie Schopf Heroux no one knew if it would work. It took years to become profitable.


Heroux says she has lost touch with many of the children of the other founding families over the years. That makes the colloboration on this presentation so special. Heroux says she has had a blast collecting different photos and mementos to display at the talk which will happen at Crossroads at 1 PM on Saturday.


Completion of 2nd Street Bridge rebuilding project delayed

Work on the 2nd Street Bridge rebuilding project in Algoma will take nearly a month longer to finish.  The Algoma City Council received an update on the bridge project at this week's regular meeting.  The span was expected to be finished by mid-October.  Mayor Wayne Schmidt says a combination of worker scheduling issues and geological complication have delayed completion for about a month.




Schmidt says there was good news on Algoma's infrastructure improvements on 2nd Street, 1st Street and a portion of Navarino Street. That work is expected to be completed by next week with plans to put down at least one layer of asphalt before winter.

Public Health encourages groundwater testing

Roughly 140 local residents have registered for groundwater testing being conducted by UW Oshkosh but Door County Public Health wants more. The department wants a geographically diverse random sample that represents the wide variety of soil types in the county says Registered Sanitarian Chelsea Smies.


If a homeowner is selected for the study the test costs $20 and it includes monitoring for bacteria and nitrates. Homeowners who are not a part of the study can get testing done for $45.


UPDATE: Missing biker found safe in Door County

16-year-old Jordin Vandertie has been found safe according to the Door County Sheriff's Office. The boy had been missing since Tuesday evening and was located a little over 24 hours later. Vandertie disappeared, having last been seen on County Highway C in the Little Sturgeon vicinity. The Door County Sheriff's Office updated their Facebook page just after six PM on Wednesday alerting the public that Vandertie had been located.



Later colors could boost fall tourism

Door County  has yet to reach its peak fall color season and that could pay off for tourist businesses.  Jon Jarosh, Communication Director for the Door County Visitor Bureau, says this is a busy time for tourism with fall-theme festivals over the next two weekends.  He says with leaves changing colors a bit later, and the right temperatures, visitor traffic could finish strong by month's end.



With all of the autumn activities, Jarosh says motels and inns are all but booked up for the next two weekends.  So a longer color season might attract a few more visitors to make one more trip to Door County.

Archaeological digs continue despite rain

Rainy weather is not stopping the yearly archaeological digs at The Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay.  Local school groups taking part in the excavations on The Cover Preserve, however, are having to park off site and walk a little further to the archaeological site.  That's because getting there will mean a muddy walk.  Coggin Heeringa, Director of The Crossroads at Big Creek, says the rain certainly didn't dampen the enthusiasm of students from St. John Bosco Catholic School.




Crossroads is now raising funds to create a driveway/parking complex which will increase the safety and convenience of The Cove for recreational users and for school groups on field trips, but at the same time, protect the environmental and cultural resources of the site.

Pantry gives care packages to newly released prisoners

The Kewaunee County Food Pantry and the Kewaunee Police Department are working to help those recently released into the community from state prisons.  The police are now referring former prisoners to the pantry for care packages to help them start over.  Ken Marquardt, Kewaunee County Food Pantry President, says the packages just meet some basic needs.




In the six weeks that the program has been in operation three former prisoners have been helped by the care packages.  Marquardt says, as far as anyone at the pantry or police department knows, this may be the first program of its kind.

Rains and later ripening not stopping apple pickers

People determined to pick their own apples are not letting rainy weather and late ripening keep them away from Hillside Apples in Casco.  A colder, wet spring kept orchards from blooming until almost early summer.  That delayed ripening for most apple varieties about two weeks.  A rainy fall has not affected the quality of the apples, though it has left orchards wet and muddy.  Bill Roethle, co-owner of Hillside Apples, however, says people are coming to the orchards well prepared.




Roethle says apple lovers will have another two weeks for picking.  That's because some more varieties of apples are starting to ripen.

Herbst honored as National Hispanic Scholar

Nicholas Herbst, a senior at Sturgeon Bay High School, recently was recognized as a 2019-2020National Hispanic Scholar.  One of more than 7,000 academically outstanding Hispanic/Latinos last spring that took the PSAT for juniors, Herbst was notified last week that he was awarded the honor.  Herbst says he is extremely proud of the award and shares the engineering program he experienced this last summer.



To be eligible, students must be at least one-quarter Hispanic/Latino.  Students with a cumulative junior year GPA of 3.5 or higher are designated as Scholars.  Herbst plans on attending U.W. Madison while studying Bio-medical Engineering next year. 


DNR "saves" homeowners house from lakeshore erosion

A lakeshore property owner near Algoma is giving kudos to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  Sue Patel, like many other shoreline homeowners this summer and fall along Lake Michigan, is dealing with high water levels jeopardizing her land and home.  Patel reached out to the DNR about two weeks ago after finding out her foundation had cracked.  After she was not able to connect with contractors, concrete companies or structural engineers, Patel finally reached out to the DNR as a last resort.



Patel owns a seasonal house on County U about four miles north of Algoma and belongs to an association with seven other property owners that goes back over 100 years.  She says the DNR Water Regulation and Zoning Specialist from the Bureau of Watershed Management, along with a Door County contractor who just put in rip-rap, literally saved her home from falling into the lake.  She had even contemplated moving the structure.  Patel says her only regret is not having reached out to the DNR back in May. 


(photos submitted)







Fallen Algoma police officer honored with memorial today

An Algoma police officer who died in the line of duty 50 years ago is being honored.  Patrolman Ronald Lee Leist drowned on October 9th, 1969 while attempting to rescue two anglers who fell into waters just off the south pier in Algoma.  Police Chief Randy Remiker says a low-key ceremony will be held Wednesday to honor and remember Leist.



Patrolman Leist was only 30 years old when he died and was the last and only Algoma police officer to die in the line of duty.  The ceremony is scheduled for 5 pm on Wednesday by the memorial displayed near the south pier. 

Frostman and Barnes meet with Door County business leaders

Two high-ranking state government officials from Madison visited Door County Wednesday to discuss the workforce challenges facing the area.  Wisconsin Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes and Department of Workforce Development Secretary Caleb Frostman met with over a dozen local business leaders Wednesday in Sturgeon Bay.  After a 90 minute session with leaders from the education, manufacturing and tourism sector, Frostman was encouraged at the progress being made in Door County.



Frostman says Governor Tony Evers has made a huge commitment to improving the roads and investing $49 billion in broadband to increase the state’s economic structure.  


Kewaunee County 4-H holds open house

The fun found at this Saturday’s Kewaunee County 4-H Open House and Fall Fest could last a lot longer than the two-hour event itself. The annual celebration held inside the Exhibit Building at the Kewaunee County Fair in Luxemburg gives families a chance to have some fall fun while also checking out dog project demonstrations, learning about animals and more. Kewaunee County 4-H Educator Jill Jorgensen says the event is a great way to let current members interact with each other and families not familiar with what 4-H is to learn more about it.

The event also serves as a conclusion for National 4-H Week activities, which celebrates an organization open to all youth from kindergarten all the way up to their freshman year of college.



Handling Fall Fest traffic getting easier

The Sister Bay Advancement Association is making sure the revelers planning on attending next weekend’s Fall Fest can get there with ease. In addition to its own shuttle service crisscrossing the village from different remote lots near its downtown, the Sister Bay Advancement Association is teaming up with its counterparts in Baileys Harbor to provide busing from the town to Fall Fest. With parking at a premium, coordinator Louise Howson is thankful for any assistance to help get people around the event quickly and safely. She hopes this is the beginning of other communities assisting each other when it comes to big festival weekends.

You can find more information about the shuttle services for Sister Bay’s Fall Fest below. Earlier this month, Horseshoe Bay Farms announced it would open to the public on Saturday to offer tours and also be a remote parking lot for this weekend’s Pumpkin Patch Festival in Egg Harbor.


Picture courtesy of Sister Bay Advancement Association



Feedback needed for facilities plan

With the initial report from Eppstein Uhen Architects and Miron Construction already out, Sturgeon Bay School District is asking the community for further feedback on its facilities plan. The studies pointed out a number of different improvements needed to address its safety, security, educational flexibility, and operational efficiency. It even suggested closing Sunset Elementary School to help save money. Superintendent Dan Tjernagel says the initial feedback has been mostly positive.

The surveys should start arriving in district mailboxes in the coming days and are due back November 1st. The results will be shared at a Sturgeon Bay Board of Education learning session on November 5th at 5 p.m. in the high school library.

Shrine benefiting local tourism

An important anniversary is only a part of the reason the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help is helping fill hotel rooms in Door and Kewaunee Counties. The Champion landmark has seen its attendance increase 25 to 30 percent annually for the last several years, now approaching 160,000 visitors. The Mother of Mercy Hall, which was dedicated earlier this year, has allowed pilgrims to not just spread out while they are on the grounds, but also their visits. Communications Director Corrie Campbell says this allows visitors to experience more of the area in between sessions.

The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help completes its novena commemorating the 160th anniversary of the site’s Marian apparition on Wednesday with a special mass performed Bishop David Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay at 11 a.m.

Job fair to address disability community

The first-ever job fair for people with disabilities will be held this Wednesday in Sturgeon Bay.   The Northeast Wisconsin Job and Resource Fair for Individuals with Disabilities will be held at the Aging & Disability Resource Center of Door County (ADRC).  Organizer and Door County Medical Center Exercise Physiologist Adam Peronto says the outreach with this event will benefit the entire local community.


Peronto says 34 organizations from across northeastern Wisconsin will be represented at the job fair.  He adds that they are expecting over 125 attendees for the Northeastern Wisconsin Job and Resource Fair for Individuals with Disabilities.  


DCEDC Technology Committee to bring communities together on broadband

The Door County Economic Development Corporation will give local elected officials an update on efforts to make county policies more broadband friendly.  The DCEDC will hold a pair of seminars to explain the organization's meetings with county officials to revise policies that currently make county-wide broadband expensive.  Jim Schuessler, DCEDC Executive Director, says simple changes could quickly expand broadband internet.


The first DCEDC broadband seminar for local elected officials is scheduled for Tuesday, October 15th at the Door County Economic Development offices on Walnut Street in Sturgeon Bay.  The second seminar is set for Thursday, October 17th at Door County Broadband on Triax Parkway in Baileys Harbor.  The time and registration information is below.




The first DCEDC broadband seminar for local elected officials is scheduled for Tuesday, October 15th at the Door County Economic Development offices on Walnut Street in Sturgeon Bay.  The second seminar is set for Thursday, October 17th at Door County Broadband on Triax Parkway in Baileys Harbor.  Each session runs from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM. 


To register email


Public helping in reported DUI in Sturgeon Bay

After numerous OWI arrests were made in Sturgeon Bay last month, local law enforcement is asking for help from the public to help crackdown on the problem.  Sturgeon Bay Police Captain Dan Brinkman encourages anyone to report a suspected driver who appears under the influence.  He says the community has been very proactive in the past.



Captain Brinkman says the Sturgeon Bay Police Department made 10 arrests of drugged or drunk drivers in September compared to the usual four or five.  He says of the eight arrests for OWI this last August, five were repeat offenders who had between two and five prior convictions.  An uptick of drugs like THC, meth, and cocaine are being found in people locally who are driving under the influence, according to Brinkman.          


Luxemburg-Casco looks at NWTC courses onsite

The Luxemburg-Casco School District is exploring the possibility of offering college-level technical education classes at the high school in the future. Superintendent Glenn Schlender says a meeting last week with NWTC and Nexus Solutions, the district’s facilities management company, could open the door to an automotive maintenance technician program offered at the school.  Schlender explains the plan being discussed.



The program would be paid for through grants and other funding resources, according to Schlender.  Luxemburg-Casco would be only one of three high schools in the state that would offer the accredited program.  Schlender adds that a similar one-year diesel diploma program could be coming in two years.  That would potentially utilize the current middle school building in Casco for alternative education courses after the seventh and eighth-grade classes are moved to the Luxemburg location.    


Local drivers reminded to be alert for deer

With deer/vehicle crashes typically peaking during the months of October and November, area drivers are being advised to be extra aware on the roadways.  According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, over 20,000 crashes between deer and motor vehicles occurred in the state last year.  More than half of all reported crashes in Kewaunee County involved deer last year.  Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski suggests many deer accidents are caused by following other vehicles too closely.



 Joski says limiting distractions in the car while driving can also save you some possible damage to your vehicle.   

Bellin enjoying her Fairest run

Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair Paige Bellin is making the most of her reign as it nears its end. Since the Kewaunee County Fair, Bellin and her Junior Fairest Savannah Bailey have been making the rounds to local events to volunteer and meet with visitors. Bellin’s time as Fairest of the Fair may have been abbreviated compared to others, but she says she has enjoyed what she has been able to fit in since she was crowned in May.

Even though her reign ends at the end of the year, she will still represent Kewaunee County at the Wisconsin Association of Fairs Convention in January. Bellin hopes her experience will inspire others to follow in her footsteps as the Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair, which opened its registration for 2020 over the weekend. 





Lighthouse Tours filling up

Time is running for you to get unique views of Door County’s lighthouses. The Door County Maritime Museum’s Fall Lighthouse Festival is an October reprise of its spring event taking visitors around the county by land and by water. Not only do the tours get people closer to lighthouses than they would otherwise, DCMM Community Engagement Manager Carrie Dorski says the tours provide a nice boost to local boat captains.

Dorski says those looking for a tour, your best bets are the lakeshore lighthouse cruises during the weekend and the schooner trip on Sunday. 



Algoma cow chosen Supreme Champion

The best cow in the world calls Kewaunee County home. Mead Manor Def-Adeline Red, owned and shown by Michael and Megan Moede, won several awards in the International Red and White Cow Show during this weekend’s World Dairy Expo. The weekend was capped off Saturday night when it was named the Supreme Champion of the Junior Show as the best cow out of seven different breeds. If getting the spotlight on them during the show at the Alliant Energy Center was not special enough, Michael Moede says having raised Mead Manor Def-Adeline Red her entire life makes the honor extra impressive.

A senior Dairy Science major at the University of Wisconsin, Moede says what separated his cow from the others was its size and balance along with its udder. The World Dairy Expo not only brought thousands to Madison over the weekend but also some groups to Kewaunee County farms during the week to see their operations and the technology they use.



Screenshot from video shot by Aerica Bjurstrom



Getting parents involved sooner

If parent-teacher conferences in Door and Kewaunee Counties seem earlier than they were when you were a kid, you might be on to something.  While some districts wait until the first weeks of November to host their parent-teacher conferences, Sevastopol will begin hosting theirs beginning on Wednesday. Sevastopol Middle and High School Principal Adam Baier says there are a few reasons for having the first conferences just five weeks into the school year.

Baier encourages all parents to contact their kids’ teachers even sooner than their scheduled conferences if they have concerns.

Federal 5G rules won't impact Door County broadband

The Door County Economic Development Corporation says FCC rules designed to boost the growth of 5G wireless networks won't impact efforts to improve broadband internet in the county.  Among the FCC rules are limits on what providers pay in application fees and annual right-of-way access fees.  Some communities claim those fees are well below the costs they incur for approvals and field inspections for 5G cells.  Jim Schuessler, Executive Director of DCEDC, says that 5G's designs will not likely affect efforts to expand broadband internet in Door County.




The DCEDC is working with county leaders currently to change rules governing uses of existing communications towers to make it easier to offer broadband capabilities.

Algoma Youth Club has leaky roof

There is no serious damage to the Algoma Youth Club but a small roof leak has developed over the summer. That is set to be addressed Monday evening at the City Council meeting. Mayor Wayne Schmidt says bids have gone out to look at a full roof replacement or for a patch job addressing only the leaking section. Schmidt indicates that the Council is split on which direction to take prior to the meeting.


The Algoma Youth Club dates back to the 1950's but the building is much older than that. Originally, it was a factory built near the beginning of the 20th century.


Sister Bay Village Hall hurt by flooding

High water levels this year have caused flooding in the basement of the Sister Bay Village Hall, particularly in the bathroom area. Fixing the damage has sparked a broader conversation. Administrator Beau Bernhoft says that renovations across the board will be considered while restoration of the bathroom is being discussed.


The Parks, Property and Streets Committee is also looking at the possibility of adding restrooms to Village Hall that will be for Marina patrons only. The Committee is set to meet on Monday.


High water levels could worsen groundwater contamination

Rising water levels on Lake Michigan, the bay of Green Bay and inland lakes and rivers will add to existing groundwater contaminants.  That's the hypothesis from Dean Hoegger with the Clean Water Action Council.  Areas of Door and Kewaunee counties have Karst rock formations that have made those areas vulnerable to groundwater contamination from the farm and industrial runoff.  Hoegger says those problems will likely increase due to the above-normal snowmelt and rainfall.




Hoegger says under normal conditions it can take up to a century for some aquifers and other water sources to cleanse themselves of nitrates and other contaminants.  He expects heavy rains and snowmelt to lengthen that process. 

Cormorants plague Pilot Island

Cormorants were once an endangered bird but that has changed over the past generation with Pilot Island bearing the brunt of it. Cormorants do not like interacting with humans but since the US Fish and Wildlife Service has closed Pilot Island to the general public they have flocked there. The substantial amount of fecal waste has had deleterious effects for vegetation and is impacting surrounding locations according to Liberty Grove Adminstrator Walter Kalms.


US Fish and Wildlife has taken some steps to curb the population including oiling the cormorant eggs before they hatch. Liberty Grove would like more to be done.


Algoma Library creating Memory Cafe

Adult Service Librarian Katie Haasch is in the beginning phases of creating a Memory Cafe. While the title evokes nostalgia, it is not a drive-in diner. A Memory Cafe is a safe place catering to those suffering from early-onset dementia. Haasch says qualified volunteers are needed.


The endeavor is in its early stages but Haasch is looking to run the Cafe during the work week. This would allow caregivers to stimulate their charges with experiences outside of the home. Galvanizing the brain can help halt the disease's progress. 

Birds of prey displayed Saturday at Ridges

The Open Door Bird Sanctuary brought four feathered friends to The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor Saturday. The presentation centered on birds of prey including local species you can't normally get close to according to Ridges Program Manager Katie Krouse.


Another local bird of prey displayed was a kestrel falcon. The Open Door Bird Sanctuary is a 34-acre preserve near Jacksonport that is open to visitors on Saturday afternoons from late June to Labor Day. For the rest of the year their ambassadors coordinate various presentations. Birds of prey are currently experiencing a renaissance with recovering populations.


Nuisance deer hunt coming to Plum Island

A limited firearms deer hunt is planned for Plum Island between mid-October until late December.  The controlled hunt is being coordinated between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which owns Plum Island, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  It's designed to harvest 30 of the estimated 40 deer now inhabiting the island.  Refuge Manager Dustan Hoffman says the herd needs to be thinned to give rare plants and other vegetation a chance to regrow naturally.




Hoffman says the deer herd grew to an unmanageable size as more deer looking for food swam the shallow waters around Northport, Washington Island and Plum Island. Hoffman says by controlling the herd the Fish and Wildlife Service can develop a rare type of forest that can thrive on its own.




Permits for the nuisance deer hunt on Plum Island must mailed or emailed to the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge by 4:00 PM Wednesday October 9th.  Completed applications should be e-mailed to, or mailed to: Horicon NWR, W4279 Headquarters Road, Mayville, WI  53050.

More to Belgian migration than Peshtigo Fire

The Belgian Heritage Center remembered the Great Peshtigo Fire this weekend but there is more to the immigration story, both trial and triumph, than that one event. Historian Barb Chisholm says that many Belgian immigrants found the terms of their passage to Wisconsin changed at Castle Gardens, the predecessor of Ellis Island.


Chisolm's own relatives got delayed in Chicago where they worked for a year before finally scraping up enough cash to get to northeast Wisconsin. Once here, they learned that the thick forest would have to be clear cut and the stumps removed from the fertile soil before farming could begin in earnest.


Bruemmer Zoo planning major addition

A new education center is in the works at the Bruemmer Park Zoo near Kewaunee. Zoobilee was held Saturday with lots of fun even under cloudy, cool skies. Crowds came for a cook out, classic car show, family activities, wagon rides and even some early trick-or-treating to help make the idea a reality. Kewaunee County Parks Director Dave Myers runs down some of the plans for the zoo.


The Bruemmer Park Zoo already works with area children for the Zoupart event in late February. An education center is a natural extension of that to engage youth in the community year-round.


New veterans organization for Door County

Representative Mike Gallagher helped launch NEW Battalion in 2017 and that model may be coming to Door County. Currently visiting different locations across Sturgeon Bay is a one-of-a-kind patriotic Lambeau Field print with a winner announced at the Salute to Veterans dinner November 9th. Facilitator Bill Suave hopes for $10,000 to be generated by the framed print through a raffle with the proceeds going to the new organization.


NEW Battalion's pilot program launched in Brown County named Bravo Company. In Door County, enrollment in the VFW and American Veterans is declining precipitously due to older demographics. The hope is a Door County spin-off organization of NEW Battalion can reinvigorate the local veteran community and reach veterans the other organizations cannot.


Local Master Gardeners class filling up

The Class of 2020 for the Door County Master Gardeners is already half-full. The organization only takes 12 new students each year. Classes start in January on Wednesday evenings for 13 weeks. The cut-off to register is the end of November but Master Gardener Carrie Sherrill says those interested will want to decide earlier than that.


In addition to 36 credit hours of education, Master Gardener students are required to volunteer in the spring and summer followed by graduation. 


Sister Bay ice rink improvements examined

There are no plans for an indoor ice rink in Sister Bay but improvements to the existing outdoor venue are on the table. The biggest complaint in recent years has been the late start to the winter season keeping the rink unavailable until after the holidays. Sister Bay Advancement Association Associate Coordinator Miluzka McCarthy says bettering the existing rink is a priority.


The City of Sturgeon Bay has tabled any additional discussions on an indoor rink and have kicked the idea up to the Door County Supervisors Facilities and Parks Committee. McCarthy says Sister Bay would be happy to be considered as a possible location for an indoor rink if the idea gains traction at the county level.


Big Brothers Big Sisters looking for men

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Door County is always looking for volunteers but the need for men is glaring. In 2018, 131 children were served by the organization with 83 being girls and just 48 being boys. Door County Coordinator Patty O'Rourke says that ratio isn't out of the ordinary.


Recent statistics show boys faring worse academically compared to girls in grades K-12. That has consequences later on in life with women attending college in greater numbers and a dropping labor force participation rate among men. Proper mentorship may be key in arresting those trends.


Blessing of the animals Saturday

Christ the King Episcopal Church in Sturgeon Bay celebrated the feast of St. Francis of Assisi on Saturday by holding a blessing for area animals. Assisi is the patron saint of animals and is acclaimed across Christian denominations. Reverend Olin Sletto presides over Christ the King and Holy Nativity in Jacksonport. The Sturgeon Bay blessing is the larger of the two events, hosted on the first Saturday of October. Sletto says the blessing has become a community tradition but there's still one thing missing. 


Sletto stood guard out in front of the church with Deacon John Koski, armed with Assisi pins to attach to a collar or leash and a supply of Milk Bones. It's not always lighthearted. Sletto recounted a time when he was asked to bless a dog in its final days. Video of the blessing accompanies the story at Door County Daily News dot com.



Proper bicycle storage reduces maintenance

With winter coming, most road bicycles are set to be stored away for the season. While some will switch to fatter tires to gain traction in the snow, that's not for everyone. This is an important time of the year for maintenance. Even doing a basic wash can add to the life of your bike as corrosion is avoided while the bike idles. If you plan to store a bicycle, inside is better than outside. Wherever the bike ends up to ride out the winter, Door County Silent Sports President Dave Ferguson says getting it off the ground matters.


Inflating tires to the correct levels and suspending the bicycle prevents bulges or flat spots from developing in the tires. If the problems are severe enough, they can lead to spoke and rim damage. Another tip is to get a tune-up at a bike shop in the fall to avoid fighting the crowds come spring.


International Observe the Moon Night Saturday

NASA and other global government agencies set Saturday as International Observe the Moon Night and there are options in Door County to celebrate. The Door Peninsula Astronomical Society is gathering on Utah Street in Sturgeon Bay. President Dave Lenius runs down the different activities.


The Astronomical Society has telescopes and more at its disposal, but the moon is one of the few objects in the sky that can be observed with a simple pair of binoculars or even the naked eye. All that's needed to make International Observe the Moon Night a success is a clear sky. If you miss it, don't worry, the full moon doesn't come around until next week.


Local church supporting green efforts globally 

A local church group is applauding India’s goal to make the country free of single-use plastics by 2022.  An initial attempt in India to place a national ban was changed to an awareness campaign on Wednesday, coinciding with the 150th-anniversary birthdate of Mahatma Gandhi.  Wayne Kudick, a member of the Creation Care Team at Stella Maris Parish in northern Door County, says they have been practicing what they preach.



Kudick cites Coca-Cola’s efforts to eliminate all plastic packaging and use recyclable containers by 2030.  Stella Maris Parish in northern Door County has a mission to protect, sustain and preserve the environment.


Big Brothers Big Sisters celebrates program

Tuesday, October 1st, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Door County held an annual breakfast for supporters and to raise awareness of the program. At the location of Stone Harbor, coordinators and directors of Northeast Wisconsin and Door County held the fundraiser. 
Patty O’Rourke, Door County Coordinator of BBBS, was recognized for her contributions to the program over the past years. Mrs O’Rourke spends most of her organized time for the program at Southern Door School. She operates in the main meeting room for Bigs and Littles in the middle school. 
Accompanying Mrs. O’Rourke from Southern Door school, Delilah Rose emceed the event. Delilah is a Senior at Southern Door High School and a four year Big Sister. 
Recognized at the breakfast was Ms. Skletzski and Ms. Whitelaw-Gorski. Both are Big Sisters in Northeast Wisconsin. Ms. Skletzski celebrates one year as a director for the program located in Green Bay, and Ms. Whitelaw-Gorski shared her compelling story as a Big.


Peter Kerwin made closing comments on the BBBBS program breakfast. Mr. Kewin is part of the Door County Advisory Council. He stressed that every dollar counts using the BBBS motto: defending the potential of youth changes lives.




Hundreds come out for Manufacturing Day

Orange flags lined the streets of the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park Friday as eleven businesses opened their doors to the community. High school students got to tour businesses like Cadence Inc. and Hatco before the public got their turn in the afternoon. It was an opportunity for NEW Industries owner Chris Moore to show off the multi-million dollar investments it has made in its facility. He believes it is good   the public sees what actually goes on behind closed doors at area manufacturers.

Door County Manufacturing Day also acted as a way to connect to potential employees for the hundreds of job openings in the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park.

Lethality Assessment Program being implemented in Door County

A joint effort by local law enforcement and Help of Door County has been instituted to help save lives. The Lethality Assessment Program is an evidence-based program designed to identify victims of domestic abuse who are at high risk of experiencing lethal violence.  Help of Door County Executive Director Steve Vickman says the collaboration between his organization and the Door County Sheriff’s and Sturgeon Bay Police Departments is an important step in preventing tragic situations.


Vickman says when police now go on a call they will ask eleven questions to potential victims.  If a red flag is raised it will prompt an immediate call to a Help of Door County Advocate.  That advocate will connect with the victim right away and eliminate the risk that down the road there might be a potentially lethal incident for that person.  



New Executive Director hired at area Chamber

Kay Smith has been hired as the Executive Director for the Algoma Chamber of Commerce. Before taking the job at the Algoma Chamber, Smith was the Executive Director of the Volunteer Center of Door County. Smith enters the job at a busy time of the year for the organization.


Smith believes her experience in the private sector and in the non-profit space will help make the transition into her new role as smooth as possible. Early on, Smith says she is consulting with the Chamber's Board of Directors and meeting as many member businesses as possible before she experiments with new ideas.


"Dad's Season Tickets" exceeding expectations

Getting a seat for “Dad’s Season Tickets” at Northern Sky Theater’s new space may be getting almost as hard as grabbing one for a Packers game. Since it opened earlier this fall, “Dad’s Season Tickets” has sold out the campus’ Gould Theater 14 times, forcing Northern Sky Theater to add more performances just to meet the demand. While curiosity in the new creative campus may be one factor driving ticket sales, Holly Feldman from Northern Sky Theater also credits the show itself.

The three additional shows are at 10 a.m. Friday, October 11th and 25th, and at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, October 16th. Feldman says the show’s author Matt  Zembrowski has developed a curriculum for high school students attending the show and will offer a talkback following the Friday morning performances. The show closes on October 26th.



Picture courtesy of Northern Sky Theater

Therma-Tron-X, Luxemburg-Casco Schools recognized

A Door County business and a Kewaunee County school district are being recognized by the local manufacturing community for connecting the industry with education. The Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance announced fifteen recipients for its Excellence in Manufacturing/K-12 Partnerships Awards on Friday. Therma-Tron-X in Sturgeon Bay won an educational partnership award for its commitment of $2 million to support the Sevastopol School District referendum last year. Luxemburg-Casco School District earned its manufacturing partnership distinction by reaching out to businesses like D&S Machine Service to learn how they can help each other in the future. Ann Franz from the NEW Manufacturing Alliance says both awards show how schools and businesses are working well together.

Therma-Tron-X and Luxemburg-Casco School District will formally receive their awards at an October 29th ceremony in Green Bay.

Big Hill Park gets close-up

Mountain biking enthusiasts have an extra reason to hit the trails this Sunday at Big Hill Park in Sturgeon Bay.  The Friends of Big Hill Park are debuting the new Old Fang Short Course, the city’s first public off-road bicycle trails. The project took approximately two years to get to this point after the Sturgeon Bay Parks and Recreation Committee gave its approval in 2017. Cycling enthusiast and Sturgeon Bay Trail Warriors coach Randy Sahs says it is a great opportunity for families to check out the sport.

The event, which includes open trail riding and food, takes place this Sunday at Big Hill Park from noon to 3 p.m.

Expect mud on roads

Do not be surprised if roads get a little bumpy over the next few weeks in Door and Kewaunee Counties. Cool temperatures over the next week will not make drying out wet fields an easy task. Fitting in the work in a tighter than expected time frame was one of the topics   discussed at a meeting held earlier this week by Peninsula Pride Farms in Brussels. Peninsula Pride Farms President and Dairy Dreams owner Don Niles says they have a plan of action.

Even the best made plans could still lead to mud leaving the fields and onto the road. The Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department is reminding farmers their responsibility to clean up the road after they are done and for motorists to travel with extra caution if they notice fieldwork is being done.



Luxemburg-Casco's new gym gets concrete floor Monday 

The construction project at the Luxemburg-Casco High School will have one of the busiest days ever on Monday.  Starting at 6 am on Monday, about 50 cement truckloads will be delivered and poured for the school gymnasium.  The six-inch deep cement flooring will need 463 yards of concrete to cover the surface floor area.  Luxemburg-Casco School District Superintendent Glenn Schlender explains how the construction crews will work it with the walls of the gymnasium already up.



Schlender says the recent heavy rainfalls have slowed down the middle school addition process because of the muddy conditions.  He adds that the ceiling decking on the hallway between the new gym and the existing high school building is being worked on.  Brickwork is currently being laid in the new middle school technical education area and a roof over the new wrestling center is being constructed.  No timelines are set with weather challenges being faced but the new gymnasium should be completed in early January, according to Schlender.  


Algoma projects getting to "exciting" stage

Boat traffic under the Second Street Bridge in Algoma will now remain open through October 13.  The falsework on the bridge will begin on October 14 which will get the construction project that began in July moving, according to Algoma Public Works Director Matt Murphy.  He says you will see the new bridge start going up quickly in the near future.



Murphy adds that the construction work on the First and Second Street project is progressing with sidewalks, curb and gutter work expected to start on the week of October 14th.  Second Street will be graveled and travelable starting next Friday. 


Liberty Grove man found safe

A Thursday night Silver Alert in Door County has a happy ending.


The department had issued the Silver Alert for Don G. Pardonner at around 9 p.m. Thursday night after the Liberty Grove man was last seen on Wednesday near Grove Road.


As of 6 a.m., the Door County Sheriff's Department reported that Pardonner has been found safe.





Changing habits -- "Mental Health Minute"

Here is psychologist Dr. Dennis White with a “Mental Health Minute” on changing habits.



You can listen to Dr. Dennis White’s “Mental Health Minute” four times a day on the radio stations of



YMCA reaching out to community

The Door County YMCA is working to be inclusive to the entire community.  Executive Director Tom Beerntsen says the YMCA is not an exclusive club and that the charitable contributions raised during the annual campaign go towards fee assistance.



Beerntsen adds that the Door County YMCA has over 8700 members utilizing the facilities in Fish Creek and Sturgeon Bay.


Fish Creek prepares for construction

Start planning your routes now if you plan on traveling through Fish Creek in the coming months. Construction is set to begin later this month to resurface Highway 42, which also includes the creation of a turn lane and sidewalk near Shore Road, the replacement of lighting, and new pedestrian traffic improvements near Gibraltar schools and the Northern Door County YMCA. It has been a long time coming for businesses in Fish Creek, which have been bracing for the projects for a few years to only see it pushed aside later. Fish Creek Civic Association President Denise Stillman says business owners are ready for the project to get going so the inconveniences are minimal and the rewards are seen quickly.

Most of the construction is expected to run from October 21st through November 22nd before taking a break for the winter, while some portions have already started. The project will start again in late March and run until approximately the end of June.



Click here for the project overview from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation including detour and closure information.

Ellison Bluff entrance closed to vehicles

The entrance to Ellison Bluff County Park has washed out because of the rainy conditions over the past month. The gravel path often has to be touched up throughout the year but it is rare for a total closure to be required. Parks Superintendent Ben Nelson says the snag comes at one of the busiest times of the year for Ellison Bluff.


The Door County Facilities and Parks Department plans to meet with the County Highway Department this weekend to determine an immediate fix. The goal is to have a solution in place next week. Hikers can still gain entrance by foot while vehicle traffic is prohibited.


Sheriff lauds VIP

Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski credits local organizations like the Violence Intervention Project for a dip in the homicide rate in domestic abuse incidents. There were 37 such instances last year in Wisconsin, compared to 40 in 2017. VIP helps domestic violence victims gain a voice when they may be too fearful to speak out otherwise. Joski says that kind of advocacy is saving lives.

According to Joski, VIP served 125 women, 24 men, and 49 children affected by domestic abuse. 



The month of October is recognized as National Domestic Abuse awareness month. This is truly a global issue whose victims walk among us every day. Domestic abuse is defined as the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault or other abusive behavior as part of a systemic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. While most of us associate domestic abuse with physical abuse, other forms include psychological and emotional abuse.

        It is reported that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. On average nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner, which over a year’s time equates to 10 million women and men.

        Here in Wisconsin during 2018 there were 37 Domestic Abuse homicide incidents which resulted in 38 deaths, and yet less than half of all domestic violence incidents are reported to law enforcement. This compares to 40 Domestic Abuse Homicides in 2017 resulting in 45 deaths.

        Sadly, domestic abuse is the number one cause of birth defects. More than all other medical causes combined.

        In all of this tragedy there is good news. We have organizations and individuals working tirelessly to put an end to domestic violence by being the voice of the victims. They are ready to serve as advocates for those who fear to speak for themselves. In 2018 our very own Kewaunee County Violence Intervention Project served 125 women, 24 men and 49 children that were domestic violence victims.

        To commemorate this month’s awareness, and to support those affected by domestic violence here in Kewaunee County, the Violence Intervention Project will be holding a lighting ceremony at Grace Lutheran Church on October 29th at 6:00 P.M. This has become an annual tradition of support and sharing, and all members of our community are welcome to attend. We will be lighting candles in remembrance of those who have lost their lives to domestic violence and will be joined by a guest speaker. For more information on this event, please feel free to contact the Violence Intervention Project at 487-2111

         If you know of someone living in an abusive relationship, please encourage them to attend this event. It may be the first step in changing their lives for the better. More importantly, if you yourself are a victim of Domestic Abuse, please consider taking the time to attend and surround yourself with people who are ready and willing to help you take that first step. This is especially important if you are a parent, as you not only have the ability to change your life for the better, but more importantly change the lives of your children preventing them from being the next generation of either abusers or victims. As parents our primary duty is to our children and teaching them how to establish and maintain healthy loving relationships is the greatest obligation we have.

New questions for smallmouth fishery

Higher levels are taking smallmouth bass into uncharted waters ahead of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources public meeting this month in Sturgeon Bay. The DNR will present information from recent surveys of the Door County smallmouth bass population as well as gather input from various stakeholders. Competitions often provide a barometer of how a fishery is doing, and the Sturgeon Bay Open Bass Tournament has seen its catch rate and winning sizes go up in recent years. Tournament President JJ Malvitz says with the lack of knowledge about where smallmouth bass winter and higher water levels opening new habitat, he would like to see more technology be used to learn about the population.

The public meeting will take place on October 15th from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay.

Sister Bay Mobil sold

Dave Lienau has sold his last tank of gas and sub sandwich after turning the keys over to the Sister Bay Mobil on Monday. Juggling his roles as a Door County Board Supervisor and Sister Bay Village President, Lienau owned the Sister Bay Mobil for 15 years, introducing new food items and products along the way. Ultimately, the call of the mountains for skiing and the pull of his two young grandkids won out. Lienau cannot thank the community enough for supporting his business.

You will still be able to find Lienau around the Sister Bay Mobil cleverly disguised as an employee as he helps out the new owners, Anna and Nick Nistor, during the transition. Lienau says he also plans on keeping his roles in local government for as long as he can.

High lake levels continuing in fall

More recent rainfalls and less evaporation are making for Lake Michigan levels continually troublesome for many property owners around Door County.  The shoreline along both the lake and Green Bay has been battling shore erosion for several months. Kieth Kompoltowicz from the Great Lakes Corps of Engineers explains the reasons behind the high water levels this year.



Lake Michigan average water level reached 582 feet in late July tying the record set in 1986.  With water levels typically declining in the fall, Lake Michigan still measured nearly 582 feet last week which is 16 inches higher than it was last September.  


Kewaunee County broadband access benefits telediagnostic businesses

Kewaunee County Supervisor Lee Luft says telediagnostic companies stand to be a big winner in the push for improved broadband internet access. Currently, area businesses have to bring in specialists from far away to look at equipment. The problem cuts across several industries from agriculture to manufacturing.


Similar applications could be seen for consumers, especially involving telemedicine. The rural nature of Kewaunee County means patients often have to travel long distances for specialists who come at a high cost, potentially beyond what insurance will cover. 


Plum Island signal station roof springs big leak

The roof of the fog signal building on Plum Island was repaired this summer, at least temporarily. Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands volunteers and the US Fish and Wildlife Service discovered gaping holes in the shingled roof. The damage was so extensive that it immediately was moved up to a priority project for the organizations. FOPPI Board Member Patti Zarling says the fix should last through winter.


Paul Kuenn was the lead volunteer on the project. He used weather barriers, lumber boards, and cap nails to patch the holes. A decision will have to be made in the spring when two projects concerning the life-saving station resume on the island as well. A new roof could cost as much as $7,000.


New Bank of Luxemburg logo reflects modern banking

Bank of Luxemburg customers are seeing a new look for their favorite financial institution.  The 116 year-old bank is sporting a new bright orange logo on outdoor signs, bank lobby interiors and on staff clothing.  Tim Treml, Bank of Luxemburg President and CEO, says the company wanted a look to reflect changes in banking, even though the former logo served the bank and customers well for 75-years.




While the logo has changed, the Bank of Luxemburg remains locally owned and operated.  Treml says the decision to go for a new branding was just to shake things up a bit and, so far, customers like what they've seen.

Parkinson's group finds strength through sharing

Door County is following a trend of increased cases of Parkinson's Disease being diagnosed around the Great Lakes region.  Parkinson's patients and their families are turning to support groups to work with health care professionals and others to learn how to face the disease.  Sturgeon Bay United Methodist Church has had an active Parkinson's support group since 2004.  Parish Nurse Carol Moellenberndt says the support group helps members realize they're not dealing with the disease alone. It also provides up-to-date information on the course Parkinson's Disease takes and improvements in treatment options.


The Sturgeon Bay United Methodist Church Parkinson's support group will be holding a program featuring Nurse Practitioner Dacy Reimer with Lakeside Neurocare.  She specializes in the treatment and care of Parkinson's Disease.  The free program starts at 12:30 PM on October 3rd at the church on Michigan Street in Sturgeon Bay.

St. Mary's of Luxemburg prays for farmers

St. Mary's Catholic Church in Luxemburg set aside an hour of their weekly Eucharistic Adoration Wednesday to pray for farmers and the prospect of good harvest weather.  Father Daniel Schuster explains how Adoration brings comfort.


A similar event occurred Tuesday at Holy Trinity in Casco and 15-20 people attended compared to the normal five or six. Non-Catholics were welcomed at the event.



Manufacturing Day opens doors to public Friday

Eleven manufacturers are opening their doors to all comers for a tour as a part of Door County Manufacturing Day in Sturgeon Bay Friday, October 4th. 


The now annual event highlights not just the new technology being used by today's manufacturers like NEW Industries and Cadence, but also the employment opportunities available.


Another one of the participating businesses is Hatco, which has expanded over a half dozen times since they moved to the area from Milwaukee. Vice President of Manufacturing Steve Christoferson discusses the company's efforts to educate the public on how Hatco products are made.


Door County Manufacturing Day runs from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday




Luxemburg-Casco celebrating homecoming around construction

Local schools are continuing the tradition of homecoming this week with planned events and activities.  Luxemburg-Casco is celebrating homecoming this week as the major construction project continues at the high school.   Amber Connor, Family & Consumer Sciences teacher and homecoming coordinator, shares some of the plans for the week.



A community cookout will be held at 5 pm on Friday with the homecoming football game against Denmark at 7 pm at the Luxemburg-Casco Sports Complex.  The homecoming court will be announced at halftime while the king and queen will be announced after 8 pm at the dance on Saturday evening.   Algoma is also celebrating homecoming activities this week. 


Housing starts jump as local builders play catchup 

The increase in housing starts around the country has put the pressure on local home builders to keep up with the demand.  United States housing numbers jumped 12.3 percent last month, the highest level since June of 2007, according to  Craig Vandenhouten, co-owner of Van’s Lumber & Custom Builders in Dyckesville and Egg Harbor, says the building industry is busy but Mother Nature could cooperate better this fall.



Vandenhouten is hopeful the weather turns drier so his 12 construction crews can get back on schedule.  Year-on-year, housing starts increased 6.6 percent nationally while building permits advanced 12 percent, according to


Alexander Noble Museum adds four new vintage gowns

As the season-closing approaches for the Alexander Noble House Museum in Fish Creek, the historical setting has recently added more items to the wedding collection in-house.  Laurie Buske, director of the Gibraltar Historical Association and Alexander Noble House Museum, shares some of the classic dresses brought in.



The museum is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am until 3 pm until October 19.  The Alexander Noble House Museum is a Greek Revival farmhouse located on Highway 42 in Fish Creek and is listed on the Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places.   


Sturgeon Bay officially shrinks pot penalty in short meeting

A compact agenda made for one of the shortest Sturgeon Bay City Council meetings in recent history.  The 32-minute meeting opened with three public comments before consent agenda items were passed unanimously.  The common council did take action after the second reading of the ordinance to eliminate the fine for possession of marijuana on private property and to make penalties for possession on public property the same as those for open intoxicants.  The amended penalty provision passed by a 5-1 vote with Council member Gary Nault voting against it.



A second reading was also given to amending the Ethics Board structure/membership which will now allow the mayor to appoint alternates to the fixed board.  After a few future agenda items were brought up and committee chair reports were shared the brief city council meeting adjourned a little after 7:30 pm.  

St. Joseph's Church exceeds goal for restoration project

St. Joseph’s Catholic Parish in Sturgeon Bay is continuing to work on a church restoration project this fall.  Masonry repairs began over a month ago and calls for work on the twin Gothic steeple towers.   The project will also include a restoration of the rose stain glass window located in the choir loft in the back of the church.  Dianne Coopman, a finance council and ad hoc restoration committee member, says the parish exceeded expectations on raising $230,000 for the estimated repairs.



St. Joseph’s parish began in 1865 and the 108-year-old church is under both the National and Wisconsin Historic Registry.  The complete project is scheduled to be completed by the end of November, according to Coopman.  

Mattress by Appointment opens second location

Kewaunee County residents went to bed Monday night a little closer to a better night’s sleep. Mattress by Appointment owner Davis DeWolfe opened his second location this week in Luxemburg after a year full of success at his Sturgeon Bay store. With plenty of customers coming up from Kewaunee, Brown, and Manitowoc Counties to shop, DeWolfe hopes to save his customers almost as much on drive time as he does on the mattresses he sells.

Mattress by Appointment Luxemburg is located on  Center Drive and as the name implies, is open with a simple phone call

Cancer survivor takes in special hunt

Harvesting a 200-pound bear was just part of the enjoyment Southern Door High School junior Griffin Slezewski was able to experience over the weekend. Slezewski is just a couple of months removed from finishing his battle against leukemia, which kept him at a Green Bay hospital for much of the year. A hospital employee connected the Slezewski family with Take’em Outdoors, a Wisconsin non-profit that takes individuals with life threatening or terminal illnesses out hunting. Alongside his father Kevin and brother Ben, Slezewski was able to get his bear on the second weekend out. It was an experience he will not soon forget.

The hunting trip was just the latest example of the community support the Slezewski family has received since his leukemia diagnosis in January. Southern Door’s wrestling and basketball teams held special cancer awareness events during their seasons and over $12,000 was raised to help defray the cost of Slezewski’s treatments. This Thursday, we will have a follow-up sto r y at about Slezewski’s journey back to the cross country course and wrestling mat.

Farmers take on rainy harvest together

Nate Nysse cannot remember a worse year weather wise for farmers in his years as an agronomist, but finding solutions together might help everybody find a little sunshine. Peninsula Pride Farms hosted a meeting at the Brussels Community Center Monday with farmers and personnel from the Land and Water Conservation Departments at both Door and Kewaunee Counties. The two sides discussed the challenges they will be facing over the next several weeks and potential ways to make a bad situation better. Nysse believes communication will be key as farmers look to get to their fields to harvest this year’s crop and plant next year’s.

As an agronomist, Nysse is telling his farmers to look at alternative strategies to safely apply manure. Mother Nature does not plan on playing nice anytime soon with farmers as rain is in the forecast through Thursday night.

Sturgeon Bay tug boat captain dies

The owner of Sarter Marine Towing in Sturgeon Bay died Monday after a boating accident in Lake Superior. According to reports to local media from the St. Louis County (MN) Sheriff’s Department, Donald Sarter of Sturgeon Bay and two other men were overcome by rough waters before waves eventually flipped their boat shortly after 11 a.m.. Wh ile two other men on the boat, including a New Franken man, were able to swim to shore, Sarter could not be revived after being pulled from the water. After purchasing Selvick Marine Towing in July, Sarter told he was looking forward to improving the business for when his son got out of the Army.

The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department is continuing their investigation, but will have to battle waves in order to do so according to the National Weather Service.


Picture courtesy of Sarter Marine Towing Facebook page



Sturgeon Bay Police encountering more impaired drivers

Two arrests this past weekend in Sturgeon Bay for impaired driving have local law enforcement emphasizing again zero-tolerance when it comes to drunk or drugged driving.  Sturgeon Bay Police Captain Dan Brinkman says the department made a total of 10 OWI arrests in September.  He says the idea of posting names and photos of those arrested and charged with a felony on social media is not designed as public shaming, but rather addressing the public’s right to know.



Captain Brinkman will be holding a “Coffee with a Cop” at 7 am this Wednesday in Sturgeon Bay at Glas Coffeehouse.  He says he welcomes public input and discussion on the topic.  You can read the Sturgeon Bay Police Department news release detailing the two incidents from this past weekend below.


(photo courtesy of Sturgeon Bay Police Department)





Banker agrees that lending traffic equals a good economy

A local bank executive agrees with a federal report showing increased lending by state-chartered banks reflecting a strong economy in Wisconsin.  The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation says for the first six months of 2019 state-chartered banks in Wisconsin increased their net loans by nearly six percent.  The same institutions also saw net income grow by nearly ten-percent.  Bank of Luxemburg President and CEO Tim Treml says that's fueling consumer confidence among Wisconsin employees.



Treml adds that even with employees working more hours to keep up with the demand on products employers are also borrowing money to stay productive.



The FDIC report also found that for the first half of 2019 98-percent of all state-chartered banks were profitable and nearly 66-percent saw earnings increases of over 2018.

Gibraltar schools construction project taking shape

The construction projects for the Gibraltar Area School are progressing well in Fish Creek.  The district’s $4.4 million project includes a new security entrance, new classrooms, and a remodeled library/media center.  Secondary Principal Gereon Methner says the project is taking shape quickly.



Methner expects the new renovations and additions to be completed by the start of the second semester in January.  


(photo courtesy of Gibraltar Schools) 


Tips on safely storing your boat for winter

Boaters around the area are putting their watercraft away for the season and one local marine business owner has tips on how to winterize your boat.  David Simonar of Simonar Sports in Luxemburg says water left in engine compartments can eventually lead to damage if not properly removed.  He shares other helpful advice in storing your boat for winter.



Simonar also recommends checking your lower unit oils.  He says make sure you disconnect the boat’s battery and store it in your basement or garage.  You can find other helpful tips on winterizing your boat below.


13 Little Secrets to Winterizing a Boat
Free BoatUS Guide to Winterizing Available


Boaters across the country are getting ready to put their boats to bed for a long winter’s nap, but not every boat owner knows all the secrets of winterizing a recreational boat. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) shares some quick tips to ensure safe storage until next season.
1.  California, Florida and Texas have the most engine winterizing claims. Boaters in northern climates know to winterize but all it takes is one deep freeze in a normally balmy state to cause major damage to your boat. Unless you’re in an area that never freezes (like Key West or Hawaii) you probably need to winterize.
2.  Water expands almost 10% by volume. That expansion means that any water left in your engine, potable water system, or refrigeration system can do some major damage over the winter. Even an engine block can crack open during cold weather. The key is making sure all water gets drained out or replaced by antifreeze.
3.  Batteries are happier at home. Remove your batteries, bring them to the garage or basement and use a trickle charger to keep them topped off to protect them and extend their life.
4.  It’s easier to prevent mold than to stop it. Without some air circulation, your boat’s interior can build up condensation, which can lead to a moldy mess next spring. Solar-powered vents and boat covers that lets air circulate can help keep mold at bay.
5.  Waxing the hull now makes spring clean-up much easier. The grunge of sitting all winter at a boatyard comes off a lot quicker if you apply a coat of wax before you put your boat to bed.
6.  There are two types of antifreeze. Ethylene glycol – the kind in your boat’s cooling system works fine for engines, but it’s very toxic. Propylene glycol is safe for potable water systems and is also fine to use for the raw side of engine cooling systems – check the label. Make sure antifreeze is rated to protect down to the lowest possible expected temperatures.
7.  Add fuel stabilizer before you fill your tank. That helps mix the stabilizer so it protects all of the gas. Running your engine for a few minutes after mixing it up will get some stabilized gas in the engine’s fuel system, protecting it over the winter.
8. If enough water enters your fuel tank, gas with ethanol can phase separate over the long winter storage period. For boats with portable gas tanks, try to use up fuel now. Any remainder can be used (if unmixed with two-stroke oil) in your vehicle. If your boat has a built-in gas tank, fill the tank almost to the top, leaving a little room for expansion. This will minimize condensation on tank walls, stopping phase separation in its tracks. Never plug a fuel tank vent.
9. Write down what you did or had your shop do. That way, next spring you won’t wonder if the lower unit lube was changed or the spark plugs replaced.
10. Take home any removable electronics, small outboards and even alcohol. The dark days of winter are when boats are most frequently broken in to. Not every thief is a professional – some may just want to raid your boat’s liquor cabinet.
11. Remove all food. Not only might it spoil, but it can attract rodents and other pests, leaving you with a nasty spring surprise.
12. Using a heater as alternative to winterizing is a really bad idea. Not only can the power go out during a big winter storm leaving the boat unprotected, the heater, extension cord or connections can (and do) overheat and cause a fire.
13. In addition to snowstorms knocking-out power to heated indoor boat storage facilities, do-it-yourselfers sometimes make mistakes when winterizing. Either way, for boaters who live in northern states, protecting yourself with ice and freeze coverage insurance may be a smart option. It’s often very affordable, but there’s a deadline to purchase, typically by the end of October.
For more information on how to properly store a boat over the winter, including how to cover a boat, winterize plumbing, store ashore or in the water, and to get a free downloadable BoatUS Boater’s Guide to Winterizing checklist, go to


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