News Archives for 2019-11

Egg Harbor plans Church Street project

The Village of Egg Harbor intends to completely renovate Church Street from Harbor School Road north to Highway 42 in 2021. Trustee Lisa Van Laanen says that about a third of the engineering work is done but there is plenty left to plan.


Church Street runs parallel to 42, east of the highway as the state road snakes through the main business district. The project may not be scheduled for over 18 months but a grant deadline already passed at the beginning of the month so the Parks and Public Works Committee is required to get a head start on securing funding. 

Tariffs affect local industry

When you ask Algoma Lumber Company President Dan Kudick how the industry is doing in 2019, his response is a reserved "okay." Kudick believes that the main headwind is the spat of trade wars in recent years. China gets the most attention but the US has had escalating tensions with European and North American countries as well.


The industry is also lobbying for a change in travel restrictions for lumber trucks on the interstate highway system. The hope is to attach the Safe Routes Act of 2019 to the highway appropriations bill to help push it through as the year wraps up on Capitol Hill. 

Door County Veteran Service Office makes hire

Beth Wartella is settling in to her role as Door County's Veterans Service Officer including making her first official hire. Nathan LeClair served in the US Navy from 2005 to 2013. Military service is a family tradition for LeClair. His uncle served in Vietnam. Wartella describes LeClair's role.


LeClair is from the area and Wartella believes that will help ensure the Door County Veterans Service Office continues its relative stability compared to posts in other parts of the state. Wartella says the low turnover has made the office more effective. LeClair's first day was October 28th. 

White-nose syndrome ravages Wisconsin bats

Door Peninsula bat populations are being decimated by a relatively new disease. White-nose syndrome stems from a fungus believed to have originated in Europe. It was discovered in New York State barely ten years ago and can kill 95 percent to 100 percent of bat colonies it afflicts. The disease hurts cave-dwelling bats says DNR Mammal Ecologist Paul White. He explains what happens to bats who come down with the virus.


The drop in the bat population robs farmers of natural pest and insect control. Some estimates peg bats as contributing $1.5 billion in positive economic value to Wisconsin's farm economy.


Public hearing set for fee increases

Door County transportation programs are running a deficit. Both Door 2 Door, the county taxi service, and the ADRC bus, which is meant for the elderly, have been managed by the Department of Health and Human Services for years. Director Joe Krebsbach says that has caused the oversight of the programs to slip through the cracks. With Pam Busch taking over the newly formed Transportation Manager position, fare increases are on the table to shore up the fiscal health of the services.


Because the federal government provides funding for the programs, they must offer a public comment opportunity for policy changes. The meeting is set for Tuesday at 9 AM on the first floor of the Door County Government Center. 

A firetruck on a ferry? No problem

The Washington Island Fire Department put out the call for assistance on Tuesday, November 13th to battle a structure fire. Northern Door County volunteer departments answered the call for mutual aid and the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department had to enlist the Washington Island Ferry for help according to Fire Chief Chris Hecht.


Hecht says the recent incident was only the fifth or sixth time that Sister Bay Fire has had to answer a call on Washington Island in the last quarter century. If manpower is all that is required the department uses a commercial fishing vessel to make the trip. Hecht says the ferry is capable of comfortably transporting the ladder truck.


Algoma Tech Ed program gets donation

Algoma School District's Technical Education Program received a donation earlier this month of a new track saw from the Brown County Homebuilders Association. The organization is hosting a design project for middle school students to be judged during the annual home expo. Only four schools are invited to the contest and Algoma had made multiple appearances. Tech Ed Instructor Matthew Abel explains why a track saw helps the program.


The project changes each year. 2019's design challenge is open-ended, creating a work space that is four feet by five feet and can be up to five feet tall. There is no weight restriction except that four people must be able to move it. That's more than just your average shop class. 


Birch Creek Music attracts international talent

The Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Egg Harbor has become a hub for talent from around the world. Faculty who teach throughout the summer hail from 15 states and the student body comprises even more geographic diversity than that according to Executive Director Mona Christensen.


Christensen says the relationship between student and teacher is mutually beneficial. The experience of being a "Creeker" helps pupils develop contacts that shape their future. Almost half of Birch Creek Students go into a field of study related to music in college. Most choose a school in which an instructor at Birch Creek is a tenured faculty member. 

Door Cancer sees spike in demand

Door Cancer has seen applications for their help rise to a record 23 families for the month of November. The organization helps provide monetary support to families who have a member being treated for cancer. That assistance could be in the form of mortgage or car payments. Unexpected expenses like lodging for families when an individual is receiving treatment in Milwaukee or another large city also add up. Board Member Sue Wehrli says November's applications are far outside the norm.


Door Can's partner for the rest of November, Bliss, is a retail shop in Sturgeon Bay. Five percent of the revenue generated by Christmas ornament sales at Bliss will go to benefit the nonprofit organization.


Nimmers recognized as "Persons of the Year"

John and Sheila Nimmer live in Sturgeon Bay now but the heart of their lives and business involvement is still in Luxemburg. The Nimmers were recognized this past week as the Persons of the Year by the Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce.  John, who started Forest Construction with his three brothers in 1977, says he is proud and humbled by the honor.  He says the Luxemburg community is truly special.



Sheila Nimmer, who owned the former Rocks of Ages Jewelry and Beading business for over twelve years shares how both she and her husband found out about winning the award. 



The Nimmers will be honored on December 7 in Luxemburg at the annual Luxemburg Chamber Christmas Party.  This is the first in a series of the three winners from the Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce awards.  



(photo courtesy of Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce)

Town explores Tannerite ban

The town of Liberty Grove could ban an explosive substance that was the subject of a citizen complaint at the last board meeting. According to the complaint, Tannerite targets were being used by a gun owner in the town and the explosions from being hit were loud and shaking windows. The board advised the town’s administrator to see if the Tannerite targets could be included in its fireworks ordinance. Town chairperson John Lowry says they may also seek to outright ban it.

The Liberty Grove Town Board will take it up again at its next meeting this Wednesday at 6 p.m. at its town hall.

Practicing holiday food safety early

Many people don't realize that food safety is the most important ingredient in preparing food for the holidays.


Size Matters

If you’re planning a buffet at home and are not sure how quickly the food will be eaten, keep buffet serving portions small.

  • Prepare a number of small platters and dishes ahead of time, and replace the serving dishes with the fresh ones throughout the party.
  • Store cold back-up dishes in the refrigerator and keep hot dishes in the oven set at 200 °F to 250 °F prior to serving. This way, your late arriving guests can safely enjoy the same appetizing arrangements as the early arrivals.

Take Temperatures

Hot foods should be kept at an internal temperature of 140 °F or warmer.

  • Use a food thermometer to check. Serve or keep food hot in chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays.
  • Be aware that some warmers only hold food at 110 °F to 120 °F, so check the product label to make sure your warmer has the capability to hold foods at 140 °F or warmer. This is the temperature that’s required to keep bacteria at bay!
  • Eggs and egg dishes, such as quiches or soufflés, may be refrigerated for serving later but should be thoroughly reheated to 165 °F before serving.

Chill Out

Cold foods should be kept at 40 °F or colder.

  • Keep cold foods refrigerated until serving time.
  • If food is going to stay out on the buffet table longer than 2 hours, place plates of cold food on ice to retain the chill.

Keep It Fresh

Don’t add new food to an already filled serving dish.

  • Instead, replace nearly empty serving dishes with freshly filled ones.
  • Be aware that during the party, bacteria from people’s hands can contaminate the food. Plus, bacteria can multiply at room temperature.

Watch the Clock

Remember the 2-Hour Rule: Discard any perishables left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, unless you’re keeping it hot or cold.

  • If the buffet is held in a place where the temperature is above 90 °F, the safe holding time is reduced to 1 hour.
  • Watch the clock with leftovers, too! Whether you’re sending “doggie bags” home with guests or are saving them for yourself, leftovers should be refrigerated as soon as guests arrive home and/or within 2 hours!

Adapt “Old Family Recipes” Safely

Some of your favorite traditional recipes may call for raw or lightly cooked eggs. These may include homemade Caesar salad dressing, ice cream, custards, rice pudding, chocolate mousse, eggnog, and some sauces. 

However, some raw eggs can contain harmful bacteria. These can be particularly dangerous when consumed by those at higher risk for foodborne illness – such as pregnant women, young children, older adults, and those who may have a weakened immune system because of organ transplants or diseases like diabetes, cancer, or HIV/AIDS.

Help keep your party guests safe by adapting your favorite egg containing recipes (or substituting prepared products for some items). Here’s how:

  • Add the eggs to the amount of liquid called for in the recipe, then heat the mixture until it reaches 160 °F on a food thermometer.


  • Use store-bought products of the foods listed above, which are often already cooked or pasteurized. (Check the label to be sure.)


  • Purchase pasteurized eggs. These eggs can be found in some supermarkets and are labeled “pasteurized.” Here are several types consumers can buy:
    • Fresh, pasteurized eggs in the shell (found in the refrigerator section).
    • Liquid, pasteurized egg products (found in the refrigerator section).
    • Frozen, pasteurized egg products (found in the frozen food section).
    • Powdered egg whites (found in the baking section).

Luxemburg-Casco gets a positive report card

The Luxemburg-Casco School District graded out well compared to other schools in the state on the annual District Report Cards.  The report, which was released earlier this week by the Wisconsin Department of Instruction, ranked L-C in the top third among school districts in the state.  Director of Learning Services Mike Snowberry says that Luxemburg-Casco schools are proud of finishing into the Exceeds Expectations category or above.


Luxemburg-Casco district scored 81.4 which was more than 19 points higher than the state average of 62.3.  You can find more information on the District and School Report Cards with the link below.


Student correspondent shadows Sen. Jacque

On November 5th through the 6th, I interned for the Door County Wisconsin, District 1 Senator, André Jacque. I had the opportunity to both shadow and work in the Jacque office to learn about the daily routine of a Senator. 
On the first day of the internship, I shadowed Senator Jacque on the Senate floor and to an Assembly meeting. Sitting next to the media, directly behind the Door County Senator, gave an excellent view of the busy, debate filled Senate. 
On the second day, I was based in the office and tasked with writing op-ed for one of André Jacque's Bills. The communications director, Evan Hafenbreadl, of the office, helped with explaining how the office functions as a support system for its Senator.


I return from this internship with a new-found knowledge of how our government operates from my behind the scenes look. The affairs in Madison addressed by the legislative branch happen in a well-discussed manor, but evidently is a slow process. It is clear that there is not just one person who doesn't just make the decisions, but there is a just and complex system that runs through the media, offices, representatives, senators before the governor himself. Through this, I appreciate the accomplishments that have been made thus far in our Wisconsin Government. I appreciate the opportunity to share my support and opinions with my District Senator.


Below is the entire interview with Hafenbreadl:



Water treatment facilities not hampered by wet conditions

Wet weather and rising water levels in the ground and on Lake Michigan are not causing problems for Door and Kewaunee county water treatment systems.  Stormwater control systems are kept on separate drainage lines from sewage treatment facilities.  Cliff White, Operations Manager for Sturgeon Bay Utilities, says line separation and placement make water intrusion from storms or spring thaw into sewage systems a rare, though not unheard, of occurrence.



White says SBU constantly monitors stormwater and sewage lines for signs of breakage and to replace broken lines as needed.

Lake Michigan barriers keep out Asian Carp despite high waters

The flooding that enabled Asian Carp to get into the Mississippi River has not been a problem in allowing them access to Lake Michigan and the waters near Door and Kewaunee counties.  So far, barriers in Illinois and Indiana have been working, which is a relief for commercial fishing operators like Charlie Henriksen of Sister Bay.  He admits though he'd like to see action at another point for invasive species.



U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Charlie Wooley says barriers erected along those Illinois canals between the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan are working.  Another built-in marsh in Indiana is also proving effective.



Wooley also says the Asian Carp are right now about 22-miles away from the Mississippi River barriers.  He says his agency and others continue looking for new ways to contain the Asian Carp. 

Southern Door sees benefit in student correspondents

A report by one of its own student correspondents helped changed the course for one family attending Southern Door Schools. Superintendent Patti Vickman credits the program with bringing at least two new students to the district, which brought with it thousands of dollars of additional aid. Vickman says it is experience that is hard to find for many in the region.

Southern Door has had three student correspondents contribute articles over the years and Vickman hopes other schools are just as successful finding one as she believes it is great to get their perspective on different issues and events.

Three schools prepare for state One-Acts

Door and Kewaunee Counties will be well represented at UW-Milwaukee next weekend for the Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival. Luxemburg-Casco, Algoma, and Gibraltar will all compete in the one-act play contest during the course of the three-day event. Algoma performed its One-Act play, “Oz” one last time before the state competition at the Algoma Performing Arts Center earlier this week. A modern take-off on the “Wizard of Oz,” Director Jeffrey Dier is proud of how his actors and crew handle the changes that come with competing at the state level.

Local schools were successful at last year’s Wisconsin High School Theatre Festival One-Acts Contest with Algoma’s “Fourteen Lines” earning all-state honors and Gibraltar’s "Death’s Door" earning awards for being a critic’s choice as well for its crew, directing, and ensemble. The festival runs from November 21st through the 23rd.



Photo courtesy of the Algoma Performing Arts Center Facebook Page

Work begins now for 4-H projects

Before they ever step into the show ring or in front of a judge, 4-H members in Door and Kewaunee Counties put in a lot of work. Many members are looking for different projects to participate in during the new year like livestock, photography, and robotics, which require some additional meetings to attend. Door County 4-H educator Dawn VandeVoort says now is a great time to get involved.

Often a minimum number of project meetings are needed to be attended by the youth members in order to show at the county fair. The re-enrollment deadline for Door County 4-H is November 30th while Kewaunee County’s was October 31st. You can enroll at any time if you are new, but Kewaunee County places a February 1st deadline if you want to show at the fair.

Door County approves funding for broadband pilot projects

Door County is moving forward and funding a pair of broadband pilot programs.  Nsight, the parent company of Cellcom, is applying for grants through the Wisconsin Public Service Commission for multiple projects. Those include broadband service expansion on Washington Island and in the Village of Egg Harbor.  Door County will contribute $5,000 for each project pending receipt of the grant money.  Ryan Heise, Egg Harbor Village Administrator, says Nsight's plans meet a big need in his community.



Nsight is using the Egg Harbor and Washington Island broadband projects to determine whether similar broadband systems could be used in other Door County communities. 

100+ Women Who Care growing and helping more people

With just barely two-years since it began, 100-plus Women Who Care Northern Door County has provided $82,000 to local charities and grown substantially.  The Northern Door chapter of the worldwide organization started with just two organizers and now boasts 285 members.  They pool their donations, nominate groups they'd like to help and select the final recipients. The latest recipients included Door Tran.  Northern Door co-founder Ann Morgan says their $10,000 donation was given at just the right time.


Co-found Peggy Reineck believes 100-plus Women Who Care is attracting more interest because of the group's ability to pool resources and make a bigger difference.



Reineck and Morgan say those who join 100-plus Women Who Care become aware of local charities that were unknown to some members.  Some have now become enthusiastic supporters of those charities.

Historic Kewaunee building hosts new restaurant

The historic 1881 Ballering Building in Kewaunee will host a new restaurant in 2020.  That comes after extensive renovation and historic preservation work on the four-story building.  Art Schiller, co-owner of the building, says the as-yet-unnamed first-floor eatery will be operated by the former owners of DC Deli in Baileys Harbor, who checked out the Ballering Building on the spur of the moment.



Schiller is especially pleased to have Boyd and Candace Finnell and their new restaurant as tenants. That's because he and his family will be able to grab quick takeout meals and bring them home to their residence in the two floors above the restaurant. 



(photo courtesy of 

Luxemburg Chamber announces award winners

Five Luxemburg business and community leaders will be honored for their contributions to the area in December.  The Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce has announced the annual award winners for 2019.  Chamber Board of Directors member Jean Dax shares why John Nimmer of Forest Construction and his wife Sheila, who owned Rocks of Ages Jewelry & Beading, were chosen for Person of the Year.



  Todd and Brenda Burdick were chosen as the Community Service Award winners for going above and beyond the call of duty, according to Dax.



Dax adds that photographer Ron LeCloux will be receiving the Spartan Spirit Award.



The honors will be formally presented at the Luxemburg Chamber Christmas Party on December 7 at Northbrook Golf & Grill. will feature the award winners in upcoming articles over the next week. 



Narcotics raid in City of Kewaunee

The Door/Kewaunee Joint Drug Task Force conducted raids at multiple locations in the City of Kewaunee on Tuesday. Two female employees of the Emerald Shores Assisted Living Facility, 40-year-old Lissa Miller and 43-year old Melanie McCracken, are accused of taking opiate prescription drugs meant for use in the facility and selling them on the street. Kewaunee Sheriff Matt Joski says the investigation began away from the nursing home but records there could wind up providing much needed evidence as the criminal investigation unfolds.


The raids were conducted safely and Sheriff Joski commends all involved. Members of the joint task force who executed the raids came from the Sturgeon Bay Police Department, the City of Kewaunee Police Department, and the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department. 



Program changes considered after second Huber escapee found

The second Huber inmate from the Door County Jail to walk away from the program is now back in custody.  Dennis Harris Jr was reported missing Wednesday and was found Thursday morning in Green Bay.  Door County Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says a tipster led to Harris's capture.



Harris is the second Huber inmate to go AWOL in the past two weeks.  McCarty says the next step is a review of the program.



Chad Skarvan walked away from the Huber program on November 4th.  He returned to the Door County Jail November 11th and surrendered to sheriff's deputies.  

DCMC to open breast milk depot

Door County mothers with breast milk to give will not have to drive to Green Bay to make sure it still goes to good use. Door County Medical Center and Mother’s Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes have joined forces to open the breast milk depot inside its Women’s Center. The depot will collect the breast milk to screen and pasteurize before it gets distributed to babies at Door County Medical Center and other partner hospitals across the region. Registered Nurse and lactation consultant Jessica Skinner has worked on bringing the program to Door County Medical Center since earlier this year. She is thrilled it is becoming a reality.

The breast milk depot opens at Door County Medical Center on November 20th. 





Parade annual course in collaboration

Located 20 miles apart during the school day, students at Gibraltar and Sevastopol are already hard at work making a holiday tradition come alive once again. The Sevastopol Student Council and Gibraltar DECA Club have collaborated together on the Jacksonport Thanksgiving Parade since shortly after the event was established over 20 years ago. They work together promoting the parade in the community and arranging the fundraising aspects of the event, which this year will support Door County Secret Santa. Sevastopol Student Council Advisor Lindsay de Young says it is awarding to see the two schools work together.

The parade, which kicks off at 10:30 a.m. on November 28th, is merely three blocks long but last year collected over $8,000 to support the late Sevastopol secretary Paula Symons in her battle against cancer and other Door County families.


Picture courtesy of Jacksonport Thanksgiving Parade and Benefit Facebook page



Winter storm causes clean-up switch

Mother Nature had its final say Wednesday on your fall clean-up projects whether you had them done or not. According to the National Weather Service approximately 1.5 inches of snow fell in Sturgeon Bay and 3.5 inches blanketed Kewaunee during the November 13th snow storm. That could leave some lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and other pieces of equipment out of commission until the snow melts. Jim Lemens from Lemens Hardware in Luxemburg says there is a step you can take just in case you did not use all of the gas this year.

As for your snowblowers, Lemens recommends getting them tuned up or doing simple maintenance like changing the oil and sparkplugs so you are ready for the entire season. Temperatures are expected to warm up after the weekend, but the area could get some additional snowfall on Sunday.

Suffrage topic of Friday book discussion

The League of Women Voters Door County is kicking off its celebration of the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement and the ratification of the 19th amendment with a book discussion Friday morning. Visitors to the Sturgeon Bay branch of the Door County Library will be able to video call with author Elaine Weiss, who captured seven decades of the fight to help women get the right to vote in her book “The Woman’s Hour.” LWC Door County action coordinator Pat Scieszinski says it captures the women’s suffrage movement well, especially the battle over voting rights that occurred in Tennessee, the final state to ratify the 19th amendment.

The book discussion will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Several events are scheduled to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the League of Women Voters and the 19th amendment over the coming months including movie showings in December and a birthday party for the organization in February.

Dean Foods bankruptcy could benefit area farmers

Dean Foods announcement that it's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection could benefit dairy farmers in Door and Kewaunee counties.  The company's decision is based on low milk prices, the loss of some larger customers and a drop in consumer demand for fluid milk.  Dean Foods is also in negotiations for a possible sale to the Dairy Farmers of America cooperative, or DFA.  Greg Letter, the owner of Thunderstruck Holsteins of Brussels, says if DFA were to acquire Dean Foods that could work to the advantage of local dairy farms.



Dean Foods has reported losses in seven of the last eight quarters of operations.  If Dean and the Dairy Farmers Association do come to a sales agreement, it would still be subject to higher offers from other bidders.

GOP lawmakers criticized for short sessions on gun safety

The Republican majorities in the Wisconsin State Legislature are drawing fire from one local lawmaker for calling to order special sessions on gun safety regulations and immediately adjourning without discussion.  The special sessions were called by Democratic Governor Tony Evers to consider a pair of bills that would restrict firearms ownership.  State Senator Dave Hansen, a Democrat from Green Bay, says Wisconsin residents want to be heard on those bills.  He says he can't believe that GOP lawmakers don't appear to be listening.



GOP legislative leaders indicated in advance they would reject Evers's call for a special session on gun regulations.  That follows a Marquette University poll that showed 80-percent of respondents favoring universal background checks on all firearms sales and so-called red flag laws, which would require anyone deemed to be a threat by a court to surrender their firearms.

Gerrymandering debate comes to Door County

The Door County Fair Maps Task Force brought Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Director Matt Rothschild to Egg Harbor on Wednesday. Rothschild hosted a community forum at the Kress Pavilion to explain what gerrymandering is and why it is a concern. Rothschild says Wisconsin should adopt a less politicized districting process like that found in the state of Iowa.


Rothschild says that it is fundamentally wrong for the popular vote to diverge from representation to the extent that it occurs in Wisconsin. He maintains he believes that to be true regardless of the party that benefits. 

Door County inmate walks away

For the second time this month, an inmate from the Door County Jail has not returned from his Huber release. 


According to the Door County Sheriff's Department, Dennis L. Harris, Jr. left the jail at approximately 9 a.m. Wednesday morning for a job interview. Instead of going to the job interview, Harris was given a ride to the Veterans Affairs Clinic in Green Bay. Serving a sentence for a drug-related charge, the Sheriff's Department does not consider Harris to be a danger to the public. If you have any information about Harris' whereabouts, you are encouraged to contact the Door County Sheriff's Department.



Local fitness center sees explosive growth

YMCA CEO and President Tom Beerntsen has a lot to be thankful for as the organization has seen a surge in membership the past four years. Beerntsen says numbers have never been better.


What is particularly impressive given the sizable existing member base is the pace of new enrollments at the facility. Beerntsen says the local Y has added 800 people to its ranks in just the past three years. For those in from out of town during the holidays, the Door County YMCA has a reciprocity agreement to accept members from clubs across the country.


Christmas Stroll provides deer widow relief

The 2019 Kewaunee Christmas Stroll brings together 25 businesses from across the county for two weekends of fun. It is quite the logistical undertaking organized by Kewaunee Area Chamber of Commerce President Vicki Vollenweider. This year's stroll is on November 22nd and 23rd as well as the 29th and 30th. Shoppers can grab a passport which is stamped by each business they visit with the chance of cash prizes increasing with the more they stop at. Vollenweider says it is the first weekend that is the most heavily trafficked.


You can pick up your passports at the Kewaunee, Algoma, or Luxemburg Chambers and at participating businesses.


Lambeau exhibit opens at Belgian Heritage Center

The Belgian Heritage Center unveiled their new Curly Lambeau exhibit on Saturday. Throngs of people gathered for booyah and beverages beginning at 11 AM. Starting at 1 PM, Packers Historian Cliff Cristl gave a presentation. The exhibit has been in the works according to Director Bill Chaudoir since he came across a plaque provided to Lambeau by a state Hall of Fame.


The exhibit will be a permanent addition to the center but some of the items on display could change. The center has leased the items from the Packers Hall of Fame on a yearly basis. The exhibit is the only place where you can do a deep dive into Lambeau's geneology. Several cousins and family members were at the unveiling. Lambeau's parents were both native Belgians.



More spending and more savings in Door County budget

Door County is spending a little bit more in the 2020 budget while also saving property owners money.  The 2020 spending plan totals nearly $81-million dollars.  With revenues of about $51-million dollars, the county tax levy will be about $30.3-million.  County Administrator Ken Pabich says that means a break for home and business owners.



Pabich also credits department supervisors with bringing in reasonable budget requests that helped Door County hold the line on spending. 

Fire departments called to Washington Island

Tuesday night at 6:46 PM, Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department was called out to Washington Island to assist the volunteer department there with a chimney fire. Also responding were Baileys Harbor, Ephraim, Gibraltar, and the Jacksonport Departments. The Washington Island Ferry was used to transport an aerial truck from the mainland to the island which was a unique logistical hurdle. That truck, Ladder 22, replaced a vehicle that was then sold to Washington Island Fire. It was fitting that the two trucks worked side-by-side on this call.


Crews were able to return home at 11:24 PM. 


*Photos courtesy of Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire's Facebook page.


Personnel Committee looks at pay raise for city officials

The Sturgeon Bay Personnel Committee will be considering a possible salary increase for elected officials at its meeting on Thursday morning.  Dan Williams, chair and District 3 representative, says councilmember David Hayes requested that the personnel committee explore a possible change in compensation for aldermanic positions and the mayor.



The impact of any change would not happen until after the next spring’s election and only for newly elected officials.  Williams says councilmembers currently earn $600 a month for their duties and a change in salary has not been done in several years.  The mayor makes $850 per month as it stands now.  The Personnel Committee will also consider a new fire department part-time fire inspector/fire prevention position at Thursday’s meeting that begins at 10 am in the Second Floor Conference Room at City Hall.  


High lake levels challenging for local commercial fishing

Higher water levels on Lake Michigan and Green Bay are having little impact on commercial fishing on parts of Green Bay while also resulting in smaller catches closer to Lake Michigan.  The biggest challenge that higher lake levels pose for commercial operators has been the loss of docking and launching areas.  Charlie Henriksen, the owner of Henriksen Fisheries of Sister Bay, says another drawback has been fall storms.



Henriksen says one benefit of the higher waters is providing more spawning areas for some fish species. 

Active shooter drills may cause trauma for students

Lockdown drills and simulated shooter attacks are nearly a part of safety protocol at all schools as fire drills were years ago.  Some former educators and experts are concerned that some preparedness may be causing more trauma for students than necessary.  According to the Pew Research Center, over half of all teens nationally told researchers that they worry about a shooting happening at their school.  The study also showed that nearly two-thirds of parents of teenagers fear a shooting at their child’s school.  Former Sturgeon Bay principal Shirley Senerighi :: SEN-ah-REE-gee ::  says an entirely trained professional staff at the school is key to handling a crisis situation.  She says students will look to adults for guidance.



Senerighi, who says she trusts local school officials decision-making on the topic, recommends age-appropriate drills for younger children that are more general.  She says even teenage students should not have to experience any training that may be too explicit and cause unneeded trauma.     


Farmers in good shape with silage corn

With Door and Kewaunee farmers hoping to get their final crops off the field this fall, one area farmer says the silage corn needed for his livestock during the winter months is in good supply.  Rich Olson of Olson Family Farm in southern Door County says nearly all the corn is harvested for the season.



Olson adds that milk prices continue to trend upward.  According to the Wisconsin State Farmer, milk prices are benefiting from a strong cheese and butter market nationally.  Class III milk prices are averaging about $16.75 compared to $14.65 last year.  


Kewaunee County cracking down on ag vehicles

After a decade of outreach, Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says operators of commercial motor carriers and implements of husbandry need to follow the rules or pay the price. The call comes as many farmers are trying to compete with wet fields to finish their fall harvest and planting. Some of the violations getting a closer look over the next several weeks include blocking roadways and obstructing lanes without proper signage. Joski credits the operators that have already taken the necessary steps, but there are people that are still repeating the calls for change.

Joski thanks his deputies and the Wisconsin State Patrol for their efforts to help keep the roadways safe through proper enforcement of these rules as the harvest wraps up.


Kewaunee County Implements of Husbandry Recommendations

Changes to  Implement of Husbandry Laws—Wisconsin Act 377

Jacque hopes bills stem OWIs

The Wisconsin Legislature took more steps to curb excessive drinking in the state with State Senator Andre Jacque hoping that more are on the way. Last week the State Senate approved two bills toughening the penalties for those operating vehicles while intoxicated. One would place a mandatory five-year sentence on people convicted of OWI homicide while the other would institute a minimum six-month jail stint on their fifth and sixth convictions. Senator Jacque says he is continuing to push for a bill closing a loophole that allows people to have multiple first-time OWI offenses if they happen to be on different vehicles.

Jacque says he is working on a number of other bills related to drunk driving, human trafficking, and other issues during the current session which concludes on Thursday.

Restore celebrates anniversary

Another person’s trash has been somebody else’s treasure for a decade in Sturgeon Bay. It was ten years ago in November Door County Habitat for Humanity opened its ReStore as a way to raise money for its affordable housing projects. During that time, the ReStore has seen dozens of pieces of wooden furniture, unique lamps, and other items find new homes. ReStore manager Megan Dietz says she has seen the changes since she took over the post three years ago.

Dietz says in 2018 the ReStore saved over 100 tons of usable building materials from going to the landfill. Door County Habitat for Humanity will celebrate the ReStore’s anniversary with sales throughout the month. 

PFLAG changes meeting venue

A Door County organization supporting the local gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community hopes a change of scenery will help make it even more inclusive. After more than 20 years at Hope Church in Sturgeon Bay, PFLAG will begin meeting at the city’s Door County Library branch. PFLAG President Beth Mitchell says Hope Church always treated the organization well, but believes the move is in their best interests moving forward.

Mitchell hopes the change in meeting day, which will now be the third Tuesday of every month beginning November 19th at 6 p.m., will also help increase the number of people attending.

Experts needed on "front end" --- Mental Health SERIES

Having a mental health professional involved early on in a crisis situation could help prevent more tragedies from happening, according to a Sturgeon Bay psychologist.  Some communities are forming alternatives to police when it comes to initially dealing with emergencies brought on by mental illness.  Cities like Eugene, Oregon have formed a mobile mental health crisis intervention team that handles almost 20 percent of the entire public safety call volume for that area.  Psychologist Dr. Dennis White says more successful outcomes locally may require a response by mental health experts early on in a crisis.   



Dr. White adds that the Oregon model’s statistics show that a lot less effort has to be put into treating people while avoiding suicides and violent behavior by putting resources into the front end of a mental health emergency.  This is the second in a series on the mental health crisis facing communities and law enforcement.


Veterans Day ceremony featured at Southern Door

The Door County community gathered Monday morning at the Southern Door High School to honor local veterans who served in the military.  Before a packed Eagle gymnasium, all branches of the U.S. military were saluted in a sixty-minute program.  Former Southern Door principal and U.S. Army Korean Veteran Thomas Van Lieshout was the guest speaker.  He had a parting message to the students in attendance about planting seeds of harmony and respect.



Members of American Legion Posts, Amvets, and the VFW  in Door County were recognized as well as all veterans in attendance.  Veterans and guests were invited to a luncheon following the ceremony at the school.  You can watch the entire video of Monday's Veterans Day ceremony at Southern Door High School below.




Skarvan returns to Door County Jail

One week after not returning to the Door County Jail, inmate Chad Skarvan turned himself into authorities at about 1 pm on Monday.  Skarvan, who was in jail for criminal trespassing, left last Monday and did not return to jail becoming a Huber Walk-Away, Escape Inmate.  Door County Chief Deputy Pat McCarty says Skarvan will be interviewed with potential charges pending. 



 Deputy McCarty says the Door County Sheriff’s Department did receive a number of tips and information concerning the whereabouts of Skarvan the past week from the public.  


24 year-old man dies in Washington Island crash

The Door County Sheriffs Office released more details of a Washington Island traffic fatality from early Saturday morning.  24-year-old Roark Scott Kraft Davidson of Washington Island died in a one-vehicle crash on County Road W just north of Detroit Harbor Road.  According to the release, the preliminary investigation indicated the driver of a southbound red 1993 Cadillac Deville crossed the northbound lane and struck a tree on the east side of the road.  Davidson was pronounced dead at the scene and was the only person in the car.  The roadway was reportedly snow-covered at the time of the crash.  The accident remains under investigation pending an autopsy report from the Dane County Medical Examiner’s office.

Committee member acknowledges tile line difficulties

Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee member Lee Luft knows they have a tough road ahead of them when it comes to identifying the location of all of the tile lines being used in farm fields across the area. Tile lines are used by farmers to drain excess moisture off their fields during periods of heavy rains and snowmelt. Unfortunately, it has also been a conduit for liquid manure if it is not spread in the right places. Luft says not only are finding proper maps a struggle, but locating the tile lines themselves is also a challenge.

Even with the struggles, Luft says Kewaunee County is taking a leadership role in identifying where the tile lines are, where they go, and the impact they have in the area. The topic highlights Tuesday’s committee meeting, which will be on Tuesday at the Land and Water Conservation building in Luxemburg beginning at 8:15 a.m.

Sarkis turns experience into position

For Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center Marketing and Events Director Carly Sarkis, telling stories about the community started as a student correspondent for Reporting on the stories of Sturgeon Bay High School during the 2012-2013 school year, Sarkis turned that into a number of internships and positions in Chicago and Madison before being hired by the SBVC in May. Sarkis says interviewing United States Senator Ron Johnson was an experience she continues to carry with her.

Sarkis recommends others make the small time commitment to become a student correspondent, saying it is very fulfilling and allows you to have a new perspective on life at a young age.

Highway project keeping pace

Motorists north of Fish Creek are still on track to get some relief on State Highway 42 next week. The southbound lane of State Highway 42 between County Highway F to Shore Road expects to be reopened by the end of the day on November 22nd as construction crews continue to install new storm sewers, add curb and gutter to some spots, and begin electrical work for street lighting. Wisconsin Department of Transportation Project Manager Jeremy Ashauer says the weather is to blame for some of the minor delays occurring within the project.

Even when the southbound lane is reopened, motorists will still need to be on alert as flagging operations will continue to be on the job during the daytime hours. You can find a timeline of upcoming jobs as a part of the Highway 42 reconstruction project by clicking here.

Winter weather battles leaf pickup

Mother Nature is undefeated when it comes to local public works departments battling snow and leaf collection deadlines. Door and Kewaunee Counties have received three measurable snowfalls already this fall, challenging November snow records before the halfway point of the month. Some communities have had to bounce back and forth with their equipment making sure they are properly outfitted for either leaf collection or snow removal. Algoma Public Works Director Matt Murphy says at some point, you have to know when to say when.

Algoma will continue to do curbside leaf pick up until Thursday before getting all of their trucks ready for the winter. Sturgeon Bay Municipal Services Director Mike Barker says they have yet to get through one complete run-through of the city with its leaf collection, something it likes to do at least twice before the season is done. He expects the city will be done by the beginning of December. Leaf collection schedules vary from community to community while compost dumping sites also remain an option.


Photo courtesy of Tom Jordan

High water levels creating project queue

Homeowners and public infrastructure are being strained by high water levels on Lake Michigan in the Door Peninsula. Area Engineer for the Lake Michigan Office of the Army Corps of Engineers Robert Stanick says the amount of work needed is piling up.


Stanick says things are further complicated by the fact that all offices in the Great Lakes District are seeing the same increase. The district than must fight with other regions of the country to get its share of the overall Corps budget. The rapid rise in funding needs for the Great Lakes District has surpassed the budget available. 

Manure restrictions kick in early for farmers

Winter's early arrival in the Door Peninsula means that manure curtailments are taking effect sooner than many farmers would like. The Director of Conservation Professional Training with UW Extension Kevin Erb says it is important to cooperate with local governments to find the best possible solutions.


Some options include limited manure spraying on low-risk fields in respect to runoff or teaming up with other farms in the area with excess storage capacity where the manure can stay until spring and the planting season.


Legislation potential boon for local businesses

Algoma Lumber Company hosted United States Congressman Mike Gallagher earlier this month to petition for the passage of the Safe Routes Act of 2019. Gallagher is a sponsor of the legislation which aims to lift interstate travel restrictions for logging trucks. Owner Dan Kudick gave Gallagher a tour of the facility and says passage of the legislation could mean more clientele from neighboring states.


A companion bill is sponsored in the US Senate by Wisconsin's Ron Johnson. Currently, lumber trucks must travel state highways through metro areas like Green Bay taking them by schools and churches as well as other high traffic areas. The hassle limits Algoma Lumber Company's ability to find vendors who will sell to it. 


Council member backs marijuana decriminalization

State Senator Fred Risser has introduced a bill that would decriminalize marijuna possession of 25 grams or less. The legislation has support from a number of influential politicians in Madison including Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes. The idea is supported by Sturgeon Bay Councilman Seth Wiederanders. Wiederanders says its just smart policy considering trends in other Midwest states. Where Michigan has approved use for any reason, Wisconsin still outlaws medical dispensaries.


Wiederanders was the main proponent of Sturgeon Bay's recent move to allow pot possession within residences and reduce fines for public possession to be in line with penalties for other open intoxicants.


Kewaunee VSO has found his dream job

Robert Stearns began his tenure as Kewaunee County Veteran Service Officer in May of this year and says it could not have gotten off to a nicer start.


Stearns says that soldiers transitioning to civilian life face almost too many options and much of his job is to simplify it by building personal relationships with veterans in Kewaunee County to cut through the information overload. Door County's Veteran Service Officer is also new at her post. Stearns says he has been working closely with Beth Wartella so that both can hit the ground running.


Soggy trails a concern for Kewaunee snowmobilers

Swampy areas in Kewaunee County always cause problems for snowmobilers so the wet weather has the Promotions and Recreation Department on high alert. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a good solution to the problem. Kewaunee Parks Director Dave Myers says you can't groom your way into dry trails. Last winter, trails weren't passable until late in the season.


Myers says that snowmobilers should always be on the lookout for warning signs in areas that provide the most trouble. County trails are open to all properly registered snowmobiles with Department of Natural Resources tags. 

Door County Libararies celebrate NaNoWriMo

November is National Novel Writing Month, more commonly known as NaNoWriMo, and the Sturgeon Bay Library is participating. On Tuesday, a writer's workshop was hosted by local author Judy DuCharme focusing on how to put together a first draft in just 30 days. It sounds like a gimmick but Youth Services Librarian Beth Lokken says NaNoWriMo has spawned some impressive works.


The libaries will also be having a short fiction writing workshop later in the month which is an equally daunting literary challenge.


Kewaunee County Supervisors tour jails

Kewaunee County Supervisors on the Jail Committee toured two prisons in Door and Oconto Counties recently as they continue to work toward a final decision on their jail study. The group previously went to Green Lake County. County Board Chairman Robert Weidner says the visits will not lead to any immediate action. 


Even with the discussion before the whole committee, Weidner says a final decision won't be until April or May of 2020. Weidner would like one more look at other facilities, especially Green Lake.


Egg Harbor plans through 2023

The Village of Egg Harbor's Parks and Public Works Committee is already planning out to 2023, nearly a half decade from now. Chairwoman Lisa Van Laanen says they intend to do a streetscape project through downtown when construction on Highway 42 is scheduled by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.


Egg Harbor has plenty of projects to keep it busy until then including work on the beach and road work on Church Street and County Road G. Egg Harbor plans construction away from the tourism season so most jobs are scheduled between October and March weather permitting.


Door-Tran seeking new executive

Mobility Manager Pam Busch has moved on from Door-Tran to the county level and that has left a hole in the executive ranks of the organization. Busch does intend to help out as a part-time employee at Door-Tran in the near term but that arrangement will last for only a couple of months. Busch says Door-Tran is looking to fill the position quickly and it is a great opportunity.


Door-Tran is a nonprofit that subsidizes travel costs through a voucher program. It also uses volunteers to help provide transportation to those who qualify.


*Photo courtesy of Door-Tran Facebook page.

Lights, Santa part of Sister Bay event

Capture the Spirit transitions Sister Bay from Thanksgiving to Christmas on Black Friday. Starting at 3 PM to allow the turkey to wear off, Capture the Spirit includes fun for the whole family. Louise Howson of the Sister Bay Advancement Association says lighting up the Village's downtown and the Christmas tree is just part of the fun.


Of course, once the activities are wrapped up, kids can sit on Santa's lap and make sure he gets a head start on their Christmas list.


New Door County website looking for help

Door County has a new website that completely overhauls the look and feel of its internet presence. The county has made adjustments to gain ADA compliance and has made navigation to find information a significantly easier process. Technology Services Manager Joanne Kurowski says the last piece of the puzzle is an aesthetic one.


Kurowski says the website is dynamic and will feature an ever-changing rotation of photos so she implores people to keep their submissions coming.


4-H and Toys for Tots join forces

There's more to 4-H in Kewaunee County than the local fair. Horse and livestock showings occur at several points throughout the year and the holiday season is the time for charitable activities. 4-H will be teaming up with Toys for Tots again in 2019 according to Youth Development Educator Jill Jorgensen.


Last year, the Toys for Tots program delivered presents to over 80 families in Kewaunee County alone. 

Permanent memorial planned at St. Joseph Cemetery

Father Edward Looney of St. Francis and St. Mary in Brussels has been actively researching the history behind a large number of unmarked graves at St. Joseph Cemetery. He has received help from local historians since posting an original list of his findings in March. Parishioners are gifting the cemetery with a statue of St. Joseph which was blessed last weekend. Looney is planning more than that though at the graveyard.


The Catholic Church celebrates the dead for the first eight days of November beginning with All Saints' Day following Halloween. 

Gibraltar librarian collaborates on video game

Another video game developed by the University of Wisconsin’s Field Day Lab will have the fingerprints of a Gibraltar Area Schools librarian. Mike Scoville will join other teacher fellows, archaeologists, and public media professionals to develop a new game focusing on the world of shipwrecks. With Scoville’s background in education, he will provide feedback to the Field Day Lab team on the game as it is developed before allowing students to test it.  He says he is excited to be included in this project.

Scoville previously served as a teacher fellow during the development of a social studies and history-focused game called “Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case.”  He will be formally introduced at an event this Sunday and Monday in Manitowoc.


Click here to check out the last game Scoville was a fellow for, "Jo Wilder and the Capitol Case."

Volunteering a Thanksgiving tradition

For 45 years, the Sturgeon Bay United Methodist Church has opened its doors on Thanksgiving afternoon to share a free meal with its neighbors. The annual community Thanksgiving Dinner welcomes everyone to the dinner, no matter who you are with or if you can pay. Leslie Youngstead and her husband Duane are celebrating an anniversary of their own at this year’s meal having coordinated the event for the last 10 years. Serving over 150 meals in an afternoon takes a lot of volunteers, something Youngstead says leaves people walking away happy.

Whether you are volunteering, stopping in to dine, or picking up a meal to go, Youngstead encourages people to contact them by November 25th to reserve their spot. 



Make your reservations at the church by calling 920-743-3241

Sign up to volunteer by calling Duane and Leslie Youngstead at 920-746-8643

Student correspondent relishing her role

An interview three years ago through the Door County YMCA Youth in Government program led Delilah Rose into a journalistic opportunity she now loves.  Rose, a senior at Southern Door High School, has been a student correspondent at the radio stations of since her sophomore year.  She says the chance to write stories and interview people about important issues and topics is the most rewarding part of the job.



Rose cites her story on AIDS last year as one of the most important articles she has written over the last three years.  Seeking a four-year college degree with a major in Pre-Law and a minor in Communication, Rose hopes to attend Lawrence University next fall after graduating from Southern Door High School in the spring.   


Auto deer hits spiking in November

With the highest number of reported car-deer crashes occurring in early November, drivers should slow down and be alert for increased deer activity.  Accidents typically peak during early November as the bucks pursue potential mates during the rut.  Randy Sahs of Sahs Auto Collision in Sturgeon Bay says the early snow precipitation this fall also is contributing to a busy body shop.



Deer activity spikes during the hours around dawn and dusk.  The average cost to repair a November deer strike was $3,875 in 2018, according to an analysis from the Highway Loss Data Institute. 


Farmers dealing with moisture in fields

As below normal temperatures continue in the area and are forecast for the next week, local farmers are still looking to get into their fields to get the corn off.  Rich Olson of Olson Family Farm in southern Door County says there is still a lot of standing corn in the area.


Olson says the challenge is that the moisture has no way of drying out with the current conditions.



Many fields have standing water and the problem with the tall patches of corn is that it takes a long time for the frost to form.  Olson adds that means the cover on the field and the recent light snow is actually protecting the 50-degree ground from freezing. 


Gibraltar seeks to elevate dock

Elevated water levels are expected to remain well into 2020 and that has the Town of Gibraltar looking to reconfigure the Fish Creek Town Dock. Supervisor Bill Johnson points out that the Army Corps of Engineers forecasts Lake Michigan to be 11 inches higher to start 2020 than it was at the same time beginning this year. Forecasts are for continued levels near all-time record highs. Johnson says that means its time to examine options.


Johnson says along with the dock work, raising the height of the boat launches is a priority for next spring. Johnson says there is no cost estimate at this time.


Open Enrollment Period for health insurance 

You can enroll or change your Marketplace health insurance right now until December 15, according to a Kewaunee insurance agent.  Mike Walston of Robertson, Ryan & Associates says the enrollment period began last Friday and the coverage will start on January 1, 2020.  He says there are actually two open enrollments going on right now.



Walston says the coverage has remained about the same but some rates have come down while insurance offerings have increased from one to three this year in Kewaunee County.  


Fields could take decade to recover

Mud covers roads in southern Door County and Kewaunee County, the consequence of heavy farm equipment rolling through wet soil. Off the pavement, the ruts left behind will affect farming in the area for at least a decade according to Kewaunee County Agriculture Agent Aerica Bjurstrom.


 Fields will struggle to filter water properly and they become more likely to flood in low lying spots. Bjurstrom says that it may affect what crops can be planted in the area. She believes alfalfa could become more common as farmers adjust. 

Area diabetes program gets national recognition

The Door County Y's Diabetes Prevention Program is a success and is being recognized by the Centers for Disease Control.  The year-long program is now in its third year of helping residents referred by doctors to eat healthier, lose weight and get active.  Tonya Felhofer, Diabetes Prevention Program Coordinator, says people come into the program without great expectations and leave with a new, healthy outlook.


Felhofer says the diabetes prevention program is currently being offered for the first time at the Y's Northern Door Center on Gibraltar Road in Fish Creek.  There's still time for new participants to join that session.  A similar class is scheduled to start at the Y's Sturgeon Bay Center on Michigan Street in January. 

UW-Milwaukee donation helps Sturgeon Bay firm

A Sturgeon Bay marine design firm will benefit from a $10-million donation to help the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee build a new Great Lakes research ship.  Seacraft Design of Sturgeon Bay has been involved in preliminary concept work on the proposed vessel since 2006.  The $10-million gift from anonymous donors would cover the bulk of the estimated $15-million building and operational costs of the ship to be named  “Maggi Sue”.  Mark Pudlo, President of Seacraft Design, expects his firm to now move forward with the design and cost breakdown work on the project.




The “Maggi Sue” would replace UW-Milwaukee's current research vessel “Neeskay”,  a former U.S. Army ship acquired in 1970.  Seacraft Design is also involved with the design for the new Washington Island Ferry.


*Photo courtesy of Seacraft Design website.

Granary gets a fall cleaning

The historic Teweles & Brandeis grain elevator that was moved back to the west side of Sturgeon Bay has been given a complete cleaning recently.  An update was given Tuesday at the city council meeting by Shawn Fairchild of the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society.  Fairchild says Andy Hanks of Door County Pest Control was given the charge to clean the 119-year-old structure.  Hanks says the scrubbing and cleaning of debris found in the grain bins went much smoother than he expected.



Fairchild says other restoration work is being planned.



Fairchild says some protocol issues will be sent back to the city in the near future.   


(photo  courtesy of Sturgeon Bay Historical Society) 


Door County Sheriff Department -- Mental Health Crisis SERIES Part 1

With local law enforcement having to deal with mental health issues in many situations, some communities around the country are finding alternatives to police with mental health teams responding to emergencies.  Eugene, Oregon has formed a mobile mental health crisis intervention team called CAHOOTS, which stands for “Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets”.   Door County Sheriff Tammy Sternard says an organized community partnership would be needed to have a similar response team in place here.



A recent study found that between 25 and 50 percent of all fatal officer-involved shootings involve someone with a severe mental illness.  Sternard says officers in Door County are being sent to be CIT certified in Crisis Intervention Training.  She stresses that is only one of the steps being taken by her department to deal with mental health problems that officers encounter with the public. 


Full plate for Veterans Service Officer

Veterans Day falls on a Monday this year and that means it's going to be a long weekend for Door County Veteran Service Officer Beth Wartella. The weekend's ceremonies begin Friday at the ADRC in Sturgeon Bay with a veterans luncheon followed by a ceremony at Sturgeon Bay Health Services. The weekend's events become more somber the next day.


Wartella is so busy that some other projects have been pushed to the back burner including development of the new chapter of NEW Battalion. The timetable for that organization is now the first quarter of 2020. 

Gonzalez named new leader of Help of Door County

The Board of Directors for Help of Door County has hired a familiar face as the new executive director for the organization.  Milly Gonzalez, who has been working the past three years as the Advocate and Domestic Violence Coordinator at HELP of Door County, was informed Tuesday that she was selected to succeed Steve Vickman who is retiring.  Gonzalez says she is excited to take on the leadership role at Help of Door County.



Gonzalez moved to Door County 11 years ago from Chicago where she managed a Transitional Living Program for a Domestic Violence Agency in Illinois.  She says Vickman will stay on and help for the next few weeks during the transitional leadership period at Help of Door County.   


Councilmember would have voted for old West Side School Development

A councilmember who missed the last Sturgeon Bay City Council meeting would have voted for the Planned Unit Development that barely passed on Tuesday.  Mayor David Ward broke the 3-3 tie of the council by voting for the PUD of the old Westside School Development.  District 7 Representative Helen Bacon, who missed the meeting due to illness, told that she believes that if the development doesn’t happen now it probably won’t in the future.  She says she is in favor of the developer’s 40-unit apartment plans for the historic building and adjacent property.


Northpointe Development is in the process of obtaining historical and affordable housing tax credits from the state by next April to fund the project.  The Sturgeon Bay City Council will need to have a second reading of the new ordinance approved at the next meeting on November 19 for it to be enacted.  

Imagination Library chugs along

Thousands of books will continue to be delivered to children in Door and Kewaunee Counties thanks to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. In December 2018, the Door County Partnership for Children and Families joined forces with the program to make sure kids in the area from birth to five years old have access to books by mailing them a free one every month. Over five hundred kids are registered for the program, far surpassing the original 150 person goal the partnership had when it launched. Candis Dart from the Door County Partnership for Children and Families says it has proven to be a great program.

Door County Partnership for Children and Families will celebrate the program’s one-year anniversary and the accomplishments of its 49 program graduates at an event next month.



Jobs saved in Kewaunee County budget

Kewaunee County residents will not see their tax bill go up despite the board saving two jobs from being cut. The board moved money around from several different areas including the Economic Development Fund and the Land Information Office. The moves saved an administrative position in the UW-Extension office and a part-time clerk in the Register of Deeds office from being eliminated, albeit by close votes. In the end, Kewaunee County Board Chairperson Robert Weidner says he is proud of the budget that was passed by an 18-1 margin.

Weidner noted he was also happy for the money budgeted for important road projects as well as being able to adequately compensate its workforce.  The average property owner with a $150,000 home will save approximately $25 on their county taxes in 2020 as a result of the budget passage.

District ponders initial referendum study

The public showed its support of condensing its elementary students into two buildings according to a recent survey conducted by the Sturgeon Bay School District and the research firm School Perceptions. Over 800 residents participated in the survey, weighing in on a number of issues ahead of a potential capital referendum. Over 70 percent of respondents said they would be in favor of a plan closing Sunset Elementary School.  As a result, the school district could either add four classrooms to Sawyer Elementary School or move fifth-graders to TJ Walker Middle School. Sturgeon Bay School District Superintendent Dan Tjernagel says there is a lot to take away from the study.



The survey also addressed capital improvements at all the school buildings and the possible cost of the referendum. According to the study, approximately half of the respondents would support a capital referendum in the $20 to 30 million range. 


Presentation from School Perceptions

Statement from Superintendent Dan Tjernagel

Jacque not giving up vape fight

Local State Senator Andre Jacque says there are more opportunities to help protect the state’s youth from the harmful effects of vaping with e-cigarettes. According to the Wisconsin Health Department, 69 people have developed lung-related issues due to vaping, triggering lawmakers across the country to pass legislation curbing e-cigarette use. Senator Jacque’s bill outlawing vaping in indoor spaces likely will not be taken up for a vote despite close to 90 percent of respondents in a recent poll being in favor of such legislation.  The DePere Republican says something needs to be done to help protect the public’s health.

Senator Jacque says he is much more confident a related bill forbidding the sale of e-cigarette products to minors will pass through the Wisconsin Legislature.

Opportunity to learn about ransomware threat

Computer instructor Daniel Hubing will be hosting a symposium on ransomware with Sturgeon Bay Police Officer Chad Mielke in late November. The symposium starts at 6 PM on November 26th at the ADRC building. Hubing teaches a class at the ADRC on computer usage and says security has become a priority. Hubing explains how ransomware differs from traditional viruses.


Ransomware looks to hold business computers hostage rather than an individual's laptop or desktop. RSVPs are suggested by email at

Interviews begin for Algoma administrator position

The City of Algoma has begun the first round of interviews to fill its vacant administrator position. Previous experience is strongly recommended according to Treasurer Amber Shallow.


Shallow says that even without an administrator, all city departments are interacting in an efficient manner. Algoma is currently engaged in multiple infrastructure projects in the downtown area. The adminstrator position has been open for roughly six months.


League of Women Voters mark suffrage anniversary

It's been 100 years since the 19th Amendment was passed granting women the right to vote. The presidential election isn't until 2020 but the League of Women Voters says it is important to remember the milestone this year, even if it is just through registration. Door County Co-Chair Barbara Graul says the suffrage movement involved decades of effort.


Same-day registration is possible for future elections but Graul advises against it due to the incredible lines that form. She says a little work now will pay off in the future.


Mental health in focus at Luxemburg-Casco

Bellin Health is hosting a Youth Mental Health First Aid clinic at Luxemburg-Casco Intermediate School November 18th and 19th. The two-four hour sessions are meant for more than just school staff. Law enforcement and emergency personnel and residents of the district who regularly come in contact with adolescents and young adults up to age 25 are encouraged to attend. Community Engagement Team Leader Jody Anderson explains the wide range of issues that comprise youth mental health first aid.


You can RSVP by following the link:

Business center LED upgrade saves money

The Door County Economic Development Corporation's Sturgeon Bay business center has seen the light about LED bulbs; That's cutting monthly energy use and saving money.  The DCEDC switched from fluorescent lighting to LED fixtures to provide brighter, more consistent lighting inside and out.  Operations Manager Tom Strong says the switch to LED has been a good economic move and could inspire business center tenants when they eventually move into their own buildings.




Strong says LED bulbs have a long life and don't require ballast used by fluorescent lighting systems, which add to the cost savings.

Self-disposal pouches for medications gain popularity

More Door County residents are using self-disposal pouches to safely get rid of unused medications.  Bay Hometown Pharmacy in Sturgeon Bay offers the drug disposal pouches free of charge.  Co-owner Jake Blazkovec says this disposal option offers people an alternative to biannual drug take-back events, especially when confronted with leftover medications from a deceased relative's home.




People statewide appear to be getting smart about keeping prescription medications out of wastewater streams.  The annual Drug Take-Back Day on October 26th diverted just over thirty tons of unused or outdated medications from Wisconsin wastewater treatment facilities.  That was the second-highest collection in the United States.

Grant helps students discover Washington Island environment

A grant to the Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor will help Washington Island students learn more about nature close to their homes.  The Door County Community Foundation awarded a $1,000 sustainability grant to the Ridges for its Washington Island Environmental Education Pilot Program.  Anna Foster, Environmental Interpreter for the Ridges, says the grant will allow them to help gear up students of all ages to look further into their surroundings.




The Ridges Sanctuary started the Washington Island Environmental Education Pilot Program this year.  A total of nine field trips to the island are scheduled through May 2020.  

Door County locked and loaded with winter salt

The Door County Highway Department is ready to go when Winter 2019-2020 brings in serious storms.  Highway department crews have not had to go into full plowing, sanding and salting operations during our early cold spell and snow fall.  Highway Commissioner John Kolodziej says when the time comes his department is locked, loaded and ready to keep roads passable for traffic.




Towards the end of last winter, the Port of Green Bay had to open a shipping channel to bring in salt shipments.  Local public works and county highway departments found their salt supplies running low because of harsher-than-anticipated winter weather.

Consumers relying on dealerships along with internet 

Although the idea of vehicles being purchased online may be appealing to some car buyers, local dealerships are finding that the internet is being used more as a resource than being competitive.  According to a Cox Automotive Car Buyer Journey Study, car buyers spent over 14 hours researching and shopping for a vehicle with 61 percent of this time spent online, but 34 percent of the total time spent at dealerships.  Peter Beane, President and owner of Jorns Chevrolet in Kewaunee, says consumers can even get background information on vehicles via the internet.



Beane says vehicles are built to last longer more so than ever before.  A recent Harris Poll revealed that respondents said they would not want to buy a vehicle without a dealership involved and that sales consultants have the expertise to help people navigate the complex vehicle buying process.


Door County Archives plans progressing

Door County is moving forward on plans for a new museum and to repurpose the location of the existing archive.  The county purchased the former Younkers store on 4th Avenue in Sturgeon Bay early this year to create a museum and store county records.  Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says some designs for the new museum are being drawn up while other county agencies are looking to reuse the current archives site on Michigan Street.



Pabich says if a new user cannot be found for the current archives building it will be demolished and the land retained for future county use.

How to deal with bullying 

One of the most significant problems facing children today is bullying, according to a Sturgeon Bay psychologist.  Dr. Dennis White says many kids are dealing with bullying in school and online.  He says it is less acceptable today than it was in the past.  Dr. White believes children need more tools in dealing with bullying.  He advises kids to stand up against bullies.




Dr. White says anyone observing a bullying incident should also speak up because the more people stand up to bullying, the less socially acceptable it becomes.  He advises parents to report and follow up on situations at schools and organizations where their child has experienced bullying.

Mayor's vote carries PUD approval

A split Sturgeon Bay Common Council vote on the Planning Unit Development for the old West Side School was decided by Mayor David Ward’s aye vote Tuesday night.  Public comments before the meeting were split as well as four spoke in favor of the proposed affordable housing development while four others asked the council to save the West Side Field that would be removed. 


Council members David Hayes, Seth Wiederanders and Dan Williams voted in favor while Gary Nault, Kirstin Reeths, and Kelly Avenson voted against the recommendation.  The 3-3 tie required Mayor David Ward to vote since District 1 councilmember Helen Bacon was not present. 


A first reading of the ordinance to rezone from Single Family Residential to the PUD for the property known as West Side School and West Side Field then passed with the identical earlier vote. 


The Sturgeon Bay City Council will need to approve a second reading at the next regular meeting on November 19 for the ordinance to be enacted. 


Northpointe Development is planning on a 40 unit apartment complex at the West Redwood Street location. 


In other business Tuesday, the council voted unanimously to have city attorney James Kalny file a motion to have Judge Raymond Huber lift the injunction placed on Lot 92 on the west side waterfront as part of the court case between the city and the Friends of the Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront.  Lot 100 would not need to be considered.  They also passed a consideration to identify Cherry Blossom Park as a dog-free park. 


CPR training complements AED classes

AED's, or automated external defibrillators, have become standard equipment for first responses to cardiac emergencies in Door and Kewaunee county shopping centers, schools and churches.  The AED's can help resuscitate victims of cardiac failure while emergency medical technicians are responding.  The devices, however, are not making cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, obsolete.  Liz Larson, Coordinator of the Sister Bay-Liberty Grove Fire Department First Aid and CPR Training Center, calls training for both CPR and AED-use a perfect combination.




The Sister Bay-Liberty Grove Fire Department has two upcoming AED and CPR training sessions set for November 18th and December 9th at the fire station on Mill Road in Sister Bay.  Registration information is available below.



To register call 920-854-4021 and leave a message or email

Door County Sheriff's Department looking for Huber inmate escapee 

The Door County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating an inmate who has walked away from custody.  According to a news release on Tuesday afternoon, Chad A.  Skarvan left the jail Monday morning at about 7 am but did not return to jail and is now considered a Huber Walk-Away, (Escaped) Inmate.  Skarvan is described as 6 feet and 190 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.   Skarvan was in jail for criminal trespassing. As the Door County Sheriff’s Department continues efforts to locate Skarvan, they are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to call the Sheriff’s Office and the public is not believed to be in any danger.  



(photo courtesy of Door County Sheriff's Department) 




Chasing career dreams in law enforcement

The 40-plus minute drive from Luxemburg to Sturgeon Bay a few times every month gets Luxemburg-Casco senior Brandon Bouche that much closer to his dream job. Bouche is a member of the Sturgeon Bay Police Cadets, a career exploratory program that gives students between the ages of 14-20 first-hand experience of what it is like being a police officer. Bouche appreciates the opportunities the program gives to members to see the more human side of the position.

The Sturgeon Bay Police Cadets meet every other week on Tuesdays and will head to Wisconsin Dells in late January to compete in a state competition. 



Tourists resilient through road construction

Even with road construction strangling traffic in and heading towards Door County from southern Wisconsin and Illinois, tourists still found a way. According to the Door County Tourism Zone’s latest report, room tax returns are up four percent over last year through August while sales tax numbers appear to be on pace to be the best ever. Those are two major indicators used to determine how successful the tourism economy has been so far this year according to Jon Jarosh from the Door County Visitor Bureau.

Jarosh says the late colors and the growing fall business are also helping shop, restaurant, and lodging owners justify staying open through the very end of October and into November.

Late planting unlikely

Without a little help from Mother Nature, Rio Creek Feed Mill agronomist Adam Barta believes some fields may be bare this winter. Many farmers were able to power through their harvest despite battling cold temperatures, wet fields, and moist crops.  Barta estimates only 50 percent of the soybean crop has been harvested locally, while farmers got much of their corn off the if they did not give up on it. As the timeline gets later, Barta fears many farmers will not have the ability to successfully plant cover crops this year.

Barta says the wet weather has allowed farmers to only get about 10 to 15 percent of their fields planted with a cover crop, which is also used forage and bedding for animals.

West Side School development goes for zoning approval

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will meet Tuesday to consider the recommendation of the Plan Commission to approve the Planned Unit Development (PUD) for the former West Side School and ballfield that is adjacent to it.  Mayor David Ward who also serves on the Plan Commission says this will only be the first reading of the ordinance.



North Point Development is planning on having a 30-unit apartment complex built where the West Side Field is now and another 10 units within the old school building.  The Sturgeon Bay City Council will also be looking at possibly making Cherry Blossom Park a dog-free park.  A  letter to Judge Raymond Huber requesting the lifting of the injunction placed on Lots 92 and 100 issued during the City’s case with the Friends of Sturgeon Bay Public Waterfront will also be considered.  The council meeting is set to begin at 7 pm on Tuesday at City Hall.    

Less daylight can bring on SAD

The continued shorter hours of daylight can bring on a disorder called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or better known as SAD, according to a local psychologist.  Dr. Dennis White of Sturgeon Bay explains how the lack of sunlight can impact one’s body and health.



You can listen to the entire Mental Health Minute on Seasonal Affective Disorder with Dr. Dennis White below.



Providers, insurers help with enrollment

Health care providers and insurance brokers are making sure residents in Door County do not go uninsured in 2020. Over 11 million Americans use to get health insurance, though the U.S. Census Bureau reports 27 million people went uninsured in 2018. Door County Medical Center is one agency helping people navigate the health insurance game with a series of open enrollment events, including one Tuesday afternoon. DCMC Team Lead Patient Advocate Cassie Olson says they helped 120 people last year get insured by helping them answer questions and consider options.

Olson says you must bring the social security numbers for all immediate family members, proof of income, and email address to the events. If you cannot make it on Tuesday, Door County Medical Center will host similar open enrollment events on November 21st  and December 7th. You can find a full schedule below:


- November 5th from 2-7 p.m.

- November 21st from 1-6 p.m.

- December 7th from 8 a.m.-noon

Stezenski-Williams to lead Boys & Girls Club 

After serving as the interim-CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Door County earlier this year, Brian Stezenski-Williams has been given the permanent position.  Stezenski-Williams was informed by the Board of Directors last month that the position was his to keep.  He says although he didn’t expect to stay on beyond his interim status, the decision was an easy one after six months on the job.



Stezenski-Williams served as the executive director of the Wausau Boys & Girls Club from 1995 to 2018.  He says the Boys & Girls Club of Door County is getting between 50 and 70 percent daily participation from their 215 registered members which is well above the national average of 25 percent.   


(photo submitted)


High numbers for firefighting courses

Chiefs of Door County’s volunteer fire departments are smiling at the prospect of adding more members to their respective forces. Over twenty people for an average of two per department are wrapping up firefighting courses in the county, which made it necessary to have a northern Door and a southern Door class site to meet the demand. Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Chief Chris Hecht says it comes at a time where every volunteer fire department could use some extra hands.

While the entry-level firefighting courses happen periodically throughout the year, Hecht encourages people to join their local volunteer departments year-round to fill any of the needs they may have.

Law enforcement stretched thin

It was over the hills and through the woods for Kewaunee County law enforcement over the weekend as they responded to several calls in an approximately 12-hour span beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday. Vehicles in ditches, welfare checks, a child runaway, and an injured hunter highlighted the busy evening, which saw four to five officers from different agencies have to work together to respond to every call. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski applauded the officers and the community for their help making sure everyone was safe.

Joski says there were no further updates on the people involved in the over dozen incidents that occurred, but specifically thanked Scott Fenendael for helping a retrieve an injured hunter in the township of Ahnapee with his ATV.



Good news on bad water

Despite its water quality making national headlines in recent years, Kewaunee County Board Supervisor Lee Luft took some positives away from recent data released by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  The Wisconsin Well Water Quality study took a deep look at seventeen different factors, including contaminants like nitrates, bacteria, and lead. While Kewaunee County numbers in some of those areas are not great, Luft says there are counties worse off than them. He credits the various stakeholders in Kewaunee County for working together to address these issues that are going unnoticed in the rest of the state.

He believes their proactive steps have made Kewaunee County a leader when it comes to addressing water quality issues. The Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Committee meets on November 12th to discuss these numbers as well as give updates on the area’s total daily maximum load study and its tile line discovery program.


Click here to see the reports

Habitat searches for new director

After five years at the helm, Door County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director David Van Dyke is looking to build onto a new career. Door County Habitat for Humanity officially began its search for a new executive director last week shortly after the organization dedicated its fifth home under Van Dyke’s watch. In addition to the home builds, Door County Habitat for Humanity saw its Brush with Kindness program expand to over two dozen home repair projects in 2019 and a partnership form with Adopt-A-Soldier to help with veterans. Van Dyke says the position has been transformational for him after previously serving in a leadership role with the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes.

Van Dyke says staying on for five years was always in his plans and hopes to pursue a career in natural resources after a new executive director is found.



Congressman Mike Gallagher visits Algoma Lumber

United States Congressman Mike Gallagher is sponsor of the Safe Routes Act of 2019 which seeks to lift restrictions for lumber trucks on the interstate highway system. Machinery operator Adam Pallex gave Gallagher a first-hand look at how the restrictions affect trucks coming through Green Bay when they rode together from Pulaski to the Algoma Lumber Company.


Lumber industry officials point out the loss of fuel efficiency when trucks go through residential areas. There is also increased maintenance costs and brakes wear out quicker. Lumber trucks are noisy and could potentially be dangerous as they drive by schools and churches where young children are at play. Gallagher says the first-hand experience he gathered Saturday will be invaluable information to share with his colleagues in DC.




YMCA open for free Thanksgiving

Door County YMCAs on Thanksgiving will be open for business and anyone can get in for free. All you have to do is bring in a canned good and even non-members will get in without paying. The YMCA in Fish Creek will also be offering free classes that day including yoga and cycling. Megan Schneider, an instructor at the Northern Door YMCA, says it’s a good way to get your exercise in before eating big Thanksgiving meals.



Both the Sturgeon Bay and Fish Creek YMCA’s will be open from 7-11 AM on Thanksgiving Day.

Mercury moving across the sun

A Door County organization will be helping you watch an astronomical phenomenon happening next week. On November 11th the planet Mercury will be able to be seen in its orbit crossing over the sun. Since it’s dangerous to look directly at the sun, the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society will have a special telescope camera pointed at the sun and you can view it safely at the Stonecipher Astronomy Center or through an online feed. Dave Lenius, a member of the board on the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society, shares why he thinks this is such an awe-inspiring event.



The Mercury Transit will start at sunrise and it will take about 5 ½ hours to cross the sun. is where the Door Peninsula Astronomical Society will be streaming the Mercury Transit. The name of the channel there is “DPAS.”

Curly Lambeau's Belgian roots examined

The Belgian Heritage Center plans to unveil an exhibit dedicated to Curly Lambeau. The collection debut is slated for Saturday at the center located on County Road DK in Brussels. Curly Lambeau is one of the area's most famous Belgian descendents. The exhibit is timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Packers. Board Member Ann Jinkins says the team is heavily involved with the event.


The celebration kicks off at 11 AM with booyah and craft brews on tap. Packers Historian Cliff Christl will be speaking beginning at 1 PM. 

Adopt a Soldier receives big grant

Adopt a Soldier Door County will have some help in their partnership with Habitat for Humanity thanks to a grant from Home Depot. Nancy Hutchinson wrote the grant letter to Home Depot and she was surprised when Adopt a Soldier was awarded $5,000. Hutchinson says that some of the money has already been put to good use. 



Adopt a Soldier is now putting together Christmas care packages. Hutchinson says items they need the most are snacks and quart-sized bags.

More civility needed in politics

The 2020 election is exactly one year away from now and the Door County Civility Project is trying to make politics more respectful. Shirley Senarighi, a volunteer for the DC Civility Project was at Hope United Church in Sturgeon Bay on Sunday promoting a new campaign called “Golden Rule 2020: A Call for Dignity and Respect in Politics”. It’s not a coincidence this event is on the day that is exactly one year before the 2020 election. Next year’s election date is November 3, 2020. Senarighi explains how people can become more civil when discussing politics.



The “Golden Rule 2020” was created by leaders from many Christian denominations and organizations in an event hosted by the National Institute for Civil Discourse in Washington, D.C. in May of this year. Many churches throughout the country are having events to promote civility and respect in politics.


Teacher pay reform crimps available subs

Pay reforms instituted by the State of Wisconsin to help prevent the practice of double dipping are contributing to the substitute teacher shortage. The shortage has amped up over the past couple years according to Sturgeon Bay Superintendent Dan Tjarnagle. He says that it affects retired teachers and employees who worked in other capacities in education.


Sevastopol School District is now entertaining pay raises to help alleviate the issue. Sturgeon Bay has not committed to that yet but it is on their radar.


Winter Park taking group reservations

Kewaunee County's Winter Park is now accepting group donations for the upcoming season. Kewaunee County Parks Director Dave Myers says that organizations and school trips account for a significant part of the park's seasonal business.


The reservations can be booked for dates starting in January. Group reservations are for 50 people or more and can be made for Sunday evenings from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM or weekdays at any time. Myers says the tubing hill is a favorite of elementary and middle school students.


Lake Michigan marine sanctuary nomination renewed

Proposals to designate a Wisconsin-Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary have been renominated for consideration by the federal government.  Governor Tony Evers and Wisconsin U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin announced support for the proposed sanctuary plans developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration.  One proposal would cover 1,260 square miles of Lake Michigan off the coasts of Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Manitowoc and Kewaunee counties.  Originally, Kewanee County was not considered for the sanctuary plan.  Kewaunee County Supervisor Lee Luft, a marine sanctuary supporter, says the waters off of his county would greatly enhance a marine sanctuary.




The waters off of Door County would not be part of the Wisconsin-Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary.  Luft, however, believes there is still hope for Door County's inclusion based on the success of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary on Lake Huron.




If approved, the Wisconsin-Lake Michigan National Marine Sanctuary would join 12 existing national sanctuaries and underwater monuments.

Scouts help kids unplug

The creep of technology into all facets of life is turning into a recruiting benefit for local Scout Troops. Troop 1140 Chairman Mike VerHagen from Brussels says that Scout camps don't permit electronics use.


While most electronics use is eliminated, many Scouts still make phone calls home at night and adults may choose to listen to music during down time. That's a far cry from what is almost a social media addiction everywhere else. Research from the University of Michigan shows that young adults' use of Facebook causes them to become less happy with their lives. The Scouts hope to be an antidote to those feelings of isolation and sadness.


Property values bring lower taxes

Sturgeon Bay Schools will see one of the lowest millage rates for residents in a generation in 2020. Business Manager Jake Holtz says that frugal budgeting and rising property values are the driving factors.


Holtz reiterates that the district isn't necessarily levying less but the increase in the taxable base helps bring each individual homeowner's share of the pie down. Home values continue to rise in the Sturgeon Bay area at a pace far exceeding inflation. That points to the necessity of affordable housing to keep younger residents in Door County. Changing demographics strain resources in the healthcare industry and make it harder for businesses to keep large-scale manufacturing nearby. 

Quilt and craft show jumbo sized

The Kewaunee Artisan Center is reaping the benefits of switching to a biannual schedule for its Quilt and Art Show. With a two-year lead time, the center will be putting on display over 280 different pieces. Admission is free with a non-perishable food item. All canned goods collected will be donated to the Kewaunee Food Pantry in time for the holidays. It is not the only charitable endeavor of the KAC according to Show Chair Anne Sinkula.


The show is on Saturday, November 9th at the Heritage Farm. Sinkula is hoping to have attendance top 400 people.


Ransomware increased threat for Door County government

Local governments have come under fire from ransomware hackers in recent years, and that includes Door County. Technology Services Manager Joanne Kurowski says the differences are stark.


Kurowski says that Door County takes the threat seriously and is proud that the county has never had a successful attack against it. Door County shares fiber optic bandwidth with a host of other county and municipal government organizations. It also shares limited network access with those groups so a ransomware attack must be guarded against with vigilance. 

Winter erosion control limited for state park beaches

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will monitor high water levels and erosion on state park beaches along Lake Michigan over the winter.  Beyond that, DNR officials say there is not much more they can do to reduce erosion damage.  For example, erosion over the summer reduced access and detered visitors from portions of the beach at Whitefish Dunes State Park.   Michael Bergum, East Central District Park and Recreation Supervisor, says unless erosion poses a threat to park structures it's not practical to take any other actions.




Bergum reminds visitors that changing lake levels are a natural occurance.  Some years Lake Michigan has fallen drastically as well as risen.

(Photograph courtesy of WI Department of Natural Resources)

New club at Kewaunee High School

The Kewaunee School Board approved a trap shooting club at the district's high school at last week's meeting. The group will begin activities almost immediately with competitions beginning in the spring, the busiest time of the year for high school trap organizations. Group Head Randy Charles says the sport doesn't require traveling to neutral sites for matches.


The group will have its activities off-campus at the Kewaunee Trap Club. Cost is expected to be $300 per student unless donations are made to bring the price down. Twenty students have already expressed interest in joining. 


Volunteer fire departments struggle to retain members

Southern Door Fire is on the look out for new members. Captain Kim Starr says the department is having trouble retaining firefighters because of the quiet nature of the district.
Other Door County departments have mentioned that they face a different set of difficulties relating to employers. Not all area businesses are cooperative in releasing firefighters to respond to calls. The one constant among departments is the struggle of maintaining appropriate staffing.


Algoma prepares for administrator interviews

The City of Algoma is preparing for the first round of interviews with applicants for the city administrator's post.  That job has been vacant since Jeff Wiswell retired last March.  Algoma Mayor Wayne Schmidt expects the interview process to begin in early November as the city reviews each application.



Once the city settles on a final candidate and makes a job offer, Schmidt says the new administrator will start work on January 1st.

Gallagher introduces TRUST Act

In a bi-partisan effort to protect critical federal trust funds from being wiped out, 8th Congressional District Representative Mike Gallagher along with three other congress members has introduced the TRUST Act this week.  The legislative act called “Time to Rescue United States’ Trusts” would establish special congressional rescue committees tasked with crafting legislation that strengthens federal trust funds on the brink of insolvency.  Rep. Gallagher says the funds from key federal programs could be exhausted within 13 years if nothing is done.



Gallagher is not hopeful action will be taken up soon in Congress since attention has been diverted by partisanship that saw a resolution pass on Thursday by a 232 to 196 margin to establish impeachment procedures.  


Rotary Club uses 5th Thursday as community day

The Sturgeon Bay Rotary Club uses the fifth Thursday of the month as a community outing.  President-nominee Tia Bellisle says the quarterly day as an opportunity to share the organization’s philanthropic ideas with the community.  The last event was held at Crossroads at Big Creek and gave the members a chance to even hike the trails Thursday evening.  She says the Sturgeon Bay Rotary Club is involved in many local programs including those for young people.



The Sturgeon Bay Rotary Club which currently has 92 members normally meets weekly on Thursdays at noon at the Sturgeon Bay Yacht Club.    


Gibraltar school district aids Door County Auditorium

The Door County Auditorium is getting a little help with its budget and seating improvements from the Gibraltar School District.  The Gibraltar Board of Education approved a request to reduce auditorium rental fees.  Board President Mark Weborg says that would help make up for some revenue reductions during renovation work.



Weborg says the board of education also approved funds to help upgrade seating inside the 725-seat auditorium.



While it's a school venue, the Door County Auditorium has hosted performances from headliners including Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Victor Borge, and the Indigo Girls.

Sevastopol Plan Commission meets

The Town of Sevastopol Plan Commission met on Thursday night to discuss public input relating to the 20-year comprehensive plan which is in the process of its first review in a decade. The plan is required by state law and Acting Chairperson Linda Wait says that comments were down compared to the last cycle starting in 2007. Public input was almost solely about the proposed quarry RV campground near Pinney Park. Wait says the town has limited control over the resolution of that dispute.


Bay Lake Regional Planning Commission aided Sevastopol with the update and a Coastal Land Management grant helped defray much of the cost. 

Kewaunee 4-H reenrollment extended

There are two major deadlines in 4-H on the calendar with one of those seeing a tweak this year. The reenrollment period for Kewaunee County 4-H has been extended until midnight on Sunday. Youth Development Educator Jill Jorgensen says Halloween tends to make October 31st a tough date to meet.


The deadline for new enrollees in 4-H is February 1st. Jorgensen says it is beneficial to get an application in before then as work is already underway on the horse, dairy, and beef projects for 2020. 

Leveling project for Sister Bay Ice Rink

The Village of Sister Bay is looking at many improvements for its outdoor ice rink. Residents have expressed interest in making sure that the rink can be available by the holidays regardless of the weather outside. Ideas being floated include a shelter for the rink to keep the ice surface from direct sunlight during the day and a cooling system. The ad-hoc committee has also suggested less extravagant measures. Village Administrator Beau Bernhoft says leveling of the rink is expected this fall.


Bernhoft says there are no plans for an indoor rink in Sister Bay. 

Turkey Trot in Sevastopol Saturday

The Sevastopol Parent Teacher Organization is hosting the annual Turkey Trot on Saturday. The run usually attracts between 200 and 250 participants running in their choice of four different distances. Same-day registration is possible and turkeys are handed out to the winner of each age group. Concessions and refreshments will be served as well. PTO President Tracy Wautlet says that while the runners are on the course, judges will be sampling entries in the chili cookoff.


The Turkey Trot is the biggest event of the year for the Sevastopol PTO. Funds generated go towards a variety of school functions from athletics to prom. 

Door County Medical Center receives Partner Award

The Door County Medical Center (DCMC) was recently awarded the 2019 Rural Community Partner Award by the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance.  Brian Stephens, the DCMC CEO, says strong vibrant rural communities depend on great healthcare, education, and churches to form strong relationships.  He says DCMC is truly surprised and honored to receive the recognition.


Nominated by Southern Door Schools Superintendent Patti Vickman, DCMC is the sole provider of school nursing, athletic training, and occupational and physical therapy services to Door County schools.  Stephens mentioned programs like the nursing assistant certification, LEAP- the Human Kindness project, RIDE for Kids,  and STRIDE are making a great impact in the community.




Photo submitted:  Patricia Vickman, Southern Door Schools Superintendent, Brian Stephens, DCMC CEO, and Kevin Grohskopf, DCMC Chief Business Development Officer with the Rural Community Partner Award


Teen  "pops up" business starting today

18-year-old Kyle Gau of Algoma has opened a pop-up store in his hometown again this year.  Currently attending NWTC and pursuing a degree in Environmental Science, Gau is having a re-grand opening Friday for Waterfront Creations at 610 Fourth Street in Algoma.  Operating the business, along with his mother Stephanie,  Kyle credits his mother for adding more variety to the inventory that features local homemade products.


Stephanie highlights some of the unique items found instore.


Regular store hours are Wednesday through Friday from noon until 6 pm and Saturday from 10 am until 4 pm.  For the Re-Grand Opening Waterfront Creations will be open until 8 pm.  The “pop-up” store plans on being open for the final two months of the year.  


Adopt a Soldier Partners with Habitat

Adopt-A-Soldier Door County and Habitat for Humanity Door County would like to team up again and help more local veterans. Those two organizations destroyed and then rebuilt a ramp for a Sturgeon Bay veteran with the help from the Coast Guard. The ramp was finished in September. Now Adopt-A-Soldier and Habitat for Humanity want to help another veteran in need. Gary Wemmert, the Volunteer Supervisor at Door County Habitat for Humanity, says it’s a great partnership because Habitat for Humanity has the experience creating safe homes. Wemmert adds now all these two organizations need are veterans asking for help.



If you are a veteran and are in need of financial assistance or has a home that needs repairs you can contact the Door County Veterans Service Office. Contact information is online with this story.


Door County Veterans Service Office Phone Number: 920-746-2226

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