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News Archives for 2019-11

Winter bat survey underway in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin DNR has begun its annual bat survey which is carried out by agency personnel and experts. The survey is becoming a greater challenge due to white-nose syndrome and the effects it has on cave-dwelling populations including those in Door County. The disease actually changes where bats hibernate according to Mammal Ecologist Paul White.


White-nose syndrome kicks metabolism into high gear, wasting away fat stores needed for the winter and waking bats from their torpor. White says that bats in the northern part of the state, including Door County, have been hardest hit by the disease because exposure to winter weather can be lethal for the creatures. 

Gibraltar High School aces report card

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction released its annual report cards earlier this month and Gibraltar High School passed with flying colors. The school received the highest possible mark, five stars, which corresponds with a "significantly exceeds expectations" rating. District Superintendent Tina Van Meer says the improved grade relates to the district's efforts to help the worst-performing students.


Even more impressive for Gibraltar High School is that the grade boost comes during a year of significant distraction. Construction has forced students into temporary classrooms only reached by trekking through the elements. That construction is set to end shortly. 

Music has universal appeal

Midsummer's Music and the Griffon String Quartet have become an active part of Door County playing to audiences young and old. Executive Director Allyson Fleck says it is amazing how just four musicians can quickly become the center of attention in large gathering spaces. Fleck says children are often the catalyst for a gathering crowd. Fleck doesn't believe the younger audience requires a curated playlist, but tweaking the presentation helps.


The quartet gave presentations to schools earlier this month highlighting the ideas of teamwork. There is no conductor for the four person group so they must each monitor their rhythm so that they are producing a cohesive musical piece.


Americans spend relatively little on food

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation says the price of a Thanksgiving meal was stable compared to 2018 but that's only part of the story. The organization points out farmers continue to see less and less of America's grocery tab, down to 14 percent of the total. Americans will spend only 10 percent of their disposable income on food, the lowest average in the world. Door County Farm Bureau President Daniel Vandertie says increased yields are a double-edged sword.


Exports help to offset the costs of overproduction but trade issues have shut off markets to local farmers and forced them to reduce prices to sell their crops. 

What is a comprehensive plan?

Door Peninsula communities are examining and modifying their comprehensive plans, something required by law that must be done every ten years. But what is a comprehensive plan and why is it viewed as an aid for municipalities large and small? Sturgeon Bay community Development Director Marty Olejniczak says flexibility is the key.


Comprehensive plans have been mandated since 1999, but Sturgeon Bay has been doing one since the sixties. Sturgeon Bay residents can expect to see a survey regarding the plan mailed out soon. 

Street construction in Algoma nearly completed

Other than a few punch list work items, Street projects in Algoma are about 90 percent done.  Matt Murphy, public works director for the city of Algoma, says the South Lake Street along with the First and Second Street construction projects will be finished up in the spring with a few landscaping touches.



Murphy adds that the 1st and 2nd Street utility and city projects are about 95 percent complete.  Both streets are open as the city nears the opening of the new Second Street Bridge scheduled for Friday, December 6.  Plans have not been made for bridge dedication celebration at this time, according to Murphy.


Bandow receives national athletic director recognition

Luxemburg-Casco High School Athletic Director Jenny Bandow has joined an elite group of interscholastic athletic administrators.  Bandow, who also serves as the Dean of Students at the school, was recently recognized by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association as a Certified Athletic Administrator.  She shares what being an athletic director means to her.




To earn the CAA distinction, recipients must go through a voluntary certification process that evaluates the educational background, experience and professional contributions along with the completion of a comprehensive written examination.  Bandow has served as athletic director at L-C for the past 13 years and has been with the school district since 2000.


Farmers wrapping up challenging year

With one of the most challenging years ever for Door and Kewaunee County farmers to get their crops off the fields, the near-record rainfalls and extreme weather swings have the agricultural community scrambling to get finished with their harvest.  Rich Olson of Olson Family Farm in southern Door County stated earlier this month what farmers will do with any of the standing corn in the fields that remain.



Olson says for the most part area farmers are in good shape when it comes to silage corn for the livestock’s winter supply.   


CANCELLED: Southern Door FFA Toy Show Sunday

UPDATE: Due to the expected winter storm, the Toy Show has been cancelled Sunday. No word yet on a make-up date.


Southern Door High School FFA President Breanna Bongle commented that Future Farmers of America is reinventing its name at Southern Door School. Emphasizing that FFA is not just for farmers, Breanna said that the school organization is a great outlet to inform and give back to the community.  Not a farmer herself, Bongle joined because of her sister, Becca Bongle. Her love for the organization has grown over the years, and she encourages everyone to take part in FFA. 

Coming up December is the annual FFA Alumni Toy show. Breanna said that the FFA Southern Door students help out with the Toy Show. She says that it is great to see the turn out each year and all the contributor's sales and toys. 


"The 14th annual FFA Alumni Toy Show" will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 1 at Southern Door High School, 2073 County Road DK in the high school gym. There will be all sorts of toy vendors plus vendors with items that interest ladies from jewelry and makeup to Tupperware. In addition to shopping, there are activities such as a silent auction, door prizes, and bucket raffles. Come and shop, enjoy the farm toy displays, and grab some lunch, too. Admission is $3; children ages 10 and younger admitted free. Proceeds of the Toy Show help provide jackets, scholarships, and program support to our local FFA student chapter." 


Bongle's future plans include attending UW-Green Bay next year. She hopes to stay in Future Farmers of America the possible first two years out of high school. 




The complete interview with Breanna Bongle is below:



Kewaunee music programs stay in tune

Despite losing its choir director earlier this school year, the Kewaunee music programs have not missed a beat. Choir director Erin LaFond had only served the district a year before her sudden departure left a hole in the Fine Arts Department. Kewaunee band director Kelton Jennings and private tutors, some coming from as far as UW-Stevens Point, have helped fill the void as it prepared for its fall musical earlier this month and winter concert in December. The experience has left Kewaunee principal Michael Bennett impressed with the type of teamwork that exists on his staff.

Bennett says it will have a new choir director in place at the beginning of 2020. The Kewaunee Music Department's winter concert is scheduled for December 15th and will be replayed on 102.1 MORE FM on December 20th during its "Music to Wrap Presents By" celebration featuring other high school groups.

Deer hides make an impact

A deer shot in Door and Kewaunee Counties this week will let a child have a fun time this summer in Rosholt. Since 1996, Lions Clubs in southern Door County have collected deer hides that are later sold to raise funds for their camp. Thanks to the funds raised, eligible kids and adults with disabilities have been able to attend the Wisconsin Lions Camp in Rosholt for free. Forestville-Maplewood Lions Club member Chuck Wagner says hunters in Door County have been very supportive of the program.

Hunters that would like to donate their deer hides must do so at selected spots in the county before they are picked up in the coming weeks. 



Click here for more information on the Wisconsin Lions Club deer hide collection

Door County Archives building gets public input

You can help with plans to transform the former Younkers store on Fourth Avenue in Sturgeon Bay into the home of the Door County Archives.  The Door County Library will hold an open meeting to let people share their ideas on other possible uses of the building.  Morgan Mann, Community Relations Librarian, says any idea is open for consideration and people have already offered some suggestions.


The open meeting on the future Door County Archives project will be held at the Sturgeon Bay Library Branch on S. 4th Avenue Thursday, December 12th from 5:30 PM-7:30 PM.

Winter storm expected this weekend

A major winter storm is expected this weekend that could impact travel in Door and Kewaunee counties.  According to the US National Weather Service in Green Bay, from late Friday until 6 pm Sunday anywhere from six to 12 inches of snow is possible.  The majority of the snowfall is to occur Saturday afternoon and into Sunday morning.  Holiday travelers should expect deteriorating weather that will result in snow-covered and slippery roads.  Winds may cause blowing and drifting snow as well.  You can find information on carrying a winter survival kit in case you get stranded with this story below.



Wisconsin DOT suggestions: 

A winter storm survival kit is extremely helpful should you become stranded. Consider keeping it in the back seat of your vehicle (in case your trunk jams or is frozen shut). Items to consider:

• Blankets or sleeping bags

• Extra stocking caps, warm socks, gloves/mittens

• Flashlight with extra batteries

• First-aid kit

• Booster cables and windshield brush/scraper

• Drinking water and high-calorie, non-perishable food (trail mix, energy/protein bars)

• Sand or cat litter for traction

• Cell phone adapter/charger








Lack of resources cited in mental health cases

A mental health team like ones established in Oregon would be a luxury for law enforcement agencies in Kewaunee County. Instead of calling the police for mental health-related 911 calls, a special team of professionals in Eugene and Springfield, Oregon is called in to help de-escalate the situation when responding to a crisis. In Kewaunee County, sheriff’s deputies call for help from the human services and crisis services departments to determine if detention is the best option or if other strategies would work better. If detention is the choice, then deputies must transport the person to Green Bay or even Fond du Lac to get the treatment they need. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says it can be a strain on their resources.

Joski recently attended the Wisconsin Attorney General’s Conference on Emergency Detentions and says mental health situations are certainly a part of the equation as the county plans a new or renovated public safety building.


Other parts of this ongoing series on mental health:

Tammy Sternard



Recently I attended the Wisconsin Attorney General’s Conference on Emergency Detentions. This conference was to serve a means by which to discuss the various challenges we face when responding to an individual who is in a mental health crisis. The way the statute reads, we as law enforcement officers have the authority to place into secure detention those individuals who have a substantial probability of physical harm to themselves or others as evident by recent acts or omissions, attempts or threats. The statute covering such processes is Chapter 51.15 and Chapter 51.20.

        What this looks like on any given incident is that law enforcement is notified either by the individual or someone who has witnessed the behavior. These calls may originate as threats of suicide or erratic behavior which again poses a risk to the individual or those around them. Upon arrival and determination of factors, our first call is to Human Services as they have the expertise to make a determination regarding mental health and to arrange for appropriate housing if an Emergency Detention is warranted. We then transport the individual to a medical care facility for medical clearance. This is a requirement before any individual can be admitted to a care facility and this process also serves as a interaction opportunity for either a Human Services Counselor or a staff member of Crisis Services to determine if in fact secure detention is the best option or if the person would be better served by the implementation of a safety plan or other diversion tools.

       Once the individual is cleared from the medical facility, we as law enforcement then transport them to the final destination which can be as close as the east side of Green Bay or as far away as FonDuLac. We can have a process that lasts only a few hours to one that ties up our resources for multiple shifts. It is in these processes that we are trying to find solutions for the sake of both our financial sustainability as well as the best possible care for the individual involved. It is truly unfortunate that our response to a person in a mental health crisis is being handcuffed and subjected to a ride in the back of squad car, but for the sake of the officer’s safety and that of the individual, that is our protocol.

       While attending the conference it was encouraging to be part of conversations on what is being done in other areas of the state, and ways we can improve communications. It was also eye opening to hear of the challenges other communities face that we have already conquered. A good example of this is our ability to effectively communicate and problem solve either pro-actively or in some cases after a call has completed and there were complications in the process. Kewaunee County also does an amazing job of sharing knowledge, and data as well as resources. One good example that we were able to provide was the way in which we share information regarding crisis plans from Human Services or Incident summaries from Law Enforcement. Our ability to better understand each other’s roles and responsibilities goes a great distance to helping us overcome some of the challenges in these dynamic calls.

       From the many conversations that were held, there was an agreement that one of the primary goals in improving the overall system is to address statutory language as it relates to the Emergency Detention process. We have dedicated legislators that are willing to listen and play a role in a comprehensive review of this statute and how we can make it more affective for all of those who play a role in keeping our communities safe.

       Another important piece of this conversation needs to be how we improve our resiliency and how we support each other in times of distress. That is however a subject for another article!


As we recognized Thanksgiving this Thursday, it is appropriate to take stock in all that we should be grateful for. It could be the amazing and supportive people we are surrounded by every day or the positive events we experience whether as a result of our own efforts or maybe for no explainable reason at all. Even if you find yourself in challenging circumstances or surrounded by people who are less than supportive, there is still cause for gratitude. You may just have to dig a little deeper or search a bit harder, but it is there.

             If you are challenged by a work environment that you feel takes you for granted, take the time to share with those around you how grateful you are to have them in your life, even if for no other reason than they motivate you to pursue other exciting career opportunities. If you have had a rough financial year, be grateful that you have weathered the storm this far and use that challenge to look at things differently and possibly re-align some priorities. Maybe you have even lost a loved one recently and question what there is to be grateful for. Be grateful that they were in your life and cherish the memories you made together. Also, take this experience of loss to be even more grateful for those still here and never take a moment for granted.

             To fully realize the potential that gratitude has in improving our mental well being there are two components which are essential. The first is the ability to see the good through the negative, or for that matter to see the good in the good. We have to literally train ourselves to be mindful of the miracles that surround us each and every day. The second is to share that sense of gratitude with those around us. If you are grateful for that amazing spouse, friend or family member, make sure to tell them. They may be struggling with a sense of being taken for granted and a simple gesture of appreciation could change their whole perspective. Maybe you are surrounded by people who are always looking for the bad in any given event. Break away from that mindset and be the person who can always find the good in the moment. Just as negativity can be contagious, so too can gratitude catch on and over time change your immediate surroundings.

               So this Thanksgiving holiday, during all of your gatherings and visits, make sure you took the time to share what and who you are grateful for in your life, and hold onto that gratitude for the other 364 days of year.



Communities opting out of tower policy to aid broadband

Door County communities are doing their part to promote broadband expansion by opting out of the county's policy covering tower use.  That's prompted in large part by villages, townships and cities joining broadband providers in applying for state grants to expand internet access.  Door County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jim Schuessler says by opting out of the county's nearly one-size-fits-all tower policy communities can sharply reduce start-up costs.




The lighting requirements and the need to register towers with the FAA won't apply to broadband towers being proposed in several communities.  That's because the towers are below 200-feet high and are excluded from the county tower policy.

Special pump focuses on community

More than just schools benefit at the newest spirit pump in Door County. Operating since September, the Door Stop Amoco Spirit Pump in Sturgeon Bay is similar to others in the area with two cents of every gallon dispensed going towards a designated program. In addition to causes at Sturgeon Bay and Sevastopol School Districts, the spirit pump has also supported other causes like Door County Partnership for Children and Families, Lights of Christmas, and Friends of Peninsula State Park to the tune of almost $700. Door Stop operations manager David Sandlers says the impact on the community is tremendous, especially when it partners with its on-site Culver's on their share nights.

Sandlers says similar to the Share Night program at Culver's, you can inquire at the Door Stop Amoco station to see if your organization can benefit from the program.

What hunters need to know about CWD testing

Some deer hunters in Door and Kewaunee counties are having their animals tested for Chronic Wasting Disease and conservation officials say hunters need to follow some steps to aid accurate testing.  Unlike southern portions of Wisconsin, CWD has not been detected around our area.  DNR Conservation Warden Chris Kratcha, however, says a few hunters are not taking any chances this season.  He says area hunters have to travel a bit for testing and simple preservation of deer heads is a necessity.



Kratcha says getting CWD testing in areas where the disease has not been detected will give researchers important data for their studies.

Whitetails Unlimited look to engage youth

Sturgeon Bay-based Whitetails Unlimited is not concerned about the lower than expected deer harvest from this year's opening weekend. Hunters registered over 90,000 deer last weekend, down almost 25 percent from the previous year. The DNR blames the late rut for the lack of movement in the woods. It comes at a time when kids are opting for the instant gratification of video games and smartphones indoors rather than heading outside for sports and other recreational activities. Whitetails Unlimited Program Services Director Russ Austad credits youth programs with introducing kids to shooting sports, which hopefully leads them to hunting.

Austad says Whitetails Unlimited is also working just as hard to retain current hunters and reactivate those that may have given the activity up.

Trees pick up new trends

It is not just about the shape and size for families heading out to pick out their perfect Christmas tree anymore. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, there are about 16 different varieties grown throughout the country. One of those options includes the Concolor Fir, which Aissen Tree Farm owner Tammy Aissen says has been growing in popularity for a number of reasons including being a little friendlier to those allergic to Christmas trees.

Aissen says another growing tree trend is having their trees colored with paint prior to being harvested to match their Christmas decorations. According to Aissen, both trends have been going on at their operation over the last two to three years.

Fields take beating after wet, cold harvest

As the last crops are harvested this season in Door and Kewaunee Counties, the lasting impact of the struggles will be felt for years to come. Farmers were forced to operate heavy machinery on wet fields this fall just so they could harvest anything for their operations and if they were lucky, plant cover crops for the upcoming year. The efforts led to soil compaction, which Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agent Aerica Bjurstrom says is not good for the long-term health of the field.

Bjurstrom says farmers did not have much of a choice, but fears it will be close to 10 years before some area fields recover from the impact of this year’s harvest.

Another Secret Treasure of Door County. The Sunflour Bakery

David Patton’s day begins at 2:30 a.m. That’s the time he arrives at his bakery on Michigan Street in downtown Sturgeon Bay and starts his work. This is his fifth year as a baker and, after stints as a cook,  chef and restaurant owner he believes this is the career for which he was destined. All of his products are made from scratch in very small batches. On a typical day, he’ll bake a ton of cookies and muffins but it’s the bread and scones that people crave the most. His seven-grain and sourdough are the biggest sellers but his personal favorite is the Starboard wheat. It’s made with grain byproduct of the Starboard brewery. After fermenting, the liquid makes the beer and the grain makes the bread.


On one busy weekend, David made over 2,000 scones. His yield on bread is anywhere daily from fifty to two hundred. Yet he is so popular that if you show up in the early afternoon he may be out of the bread or scones you’re looking for. My secret tip? Try the muffins. He uses sour cream and they are moist and incredible.


An Appleton native, David and his family moved out west but longed to return to Wisconsin. Sturgeon Bay caught his eye and for that we are all grateful.


The Sunflour Bakery. Certainly worth a visit. But get there early.



Gibraltar DECA helping with Thanksgiving Day Parade

The annual Thanksgiving Day Parade in Jacksonport Thursday will be more than just about floats and marching bands.  This year’s parade will benefit the Door County Secret Santa program and sponsor a family for Christmas through Feed My People.  Brandon Stillman, chapter president of the Gibraltar High School DECA Club, says the school organization is excited to reach out to the community.



The Door County Secret Santa anonymously pays heating bills for area families recommended by friends and neighbors during the holiday season.  The Jacksonport parade begins at 10:30 Thursday morning and will start at the Fire Station with participants lining up in the parking lot by 9:45.  


(Photo from 2018 Jacksonport Thanksgiving Day Parade) 


Algoma bridge opening December 6

Algoma bridge opening December 6 After a few delays, the new Second Street Bridge in Algoma will be open to traffic next weekend. The construction that began this past July was slowed due to a combination of worker scheduling issues and geological complications. Matt Murphy, the public works director, says the bridge project was a major undertaking with all the challenges faced. He updates the recent bridgework being done before the opening next Friday.



Murphy says the higher Second Street bridge will not have the metal girders like the old bridge and will be nearly an identical twin to the Fourth Street Bridge in Algoma.

Pennsylvania elimination of statute of limitations applauded

The state of Pennsylvania’s overhauling of child sexual abuse laws on Tuesday by giving victims more time to file lawsuits is a step in the right direction according to a Wisconsin survivors network advocate.  Peter Isley, a founding member of SNAP (Survivors Network of those of Abused by Priest), says Wisconsin’s statute of limitations over the years has been a major concern.



Isley says prosecutors have become more aggressive in their job in recent years.  He says when a child sex offender who harms or rapes a minor leaves the state the statute actually tolls and allows more time for charges to be brought.  In Wisconsin, there is no statute of limitations for criminally prosecuting anyone for sexual contact or intercourse with a child under the age of 13.  According to state law, a sexual assault against a minor 15 years old or younger can be prosecuted until the victim turns 45 years old.

New L-C Gym and Wrestling Room taking shape

With an anticipated January opening, the new gymnasium and wrestling room at the Luxemburg-Casco High School is in the final stages of the project.  The new scoreboards are being installed this week with the gym floor being expected to be laid in early December.  Jenny Bandow, the athletic director, says the project is still expected to be completed in January.



Bandow says a possible open house to celebrate the new gym may be planned.  A firm date on the official opening of the new gym will be announced in early January. 



(photo submitted) 

Transit grant could rehab local bridge

Door County's plans to rebuild part of County Highway J near Forestville could be paid for with state money.  The project is already in the county budget for 2021.  The Door County Highway Department plans to submit that project to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation $75-million supplemental grant program.  Highway Commissioner John Kolodziej says that money would fund 90-percent of the project including a bridge.




Kolodziej says a number of Door County communities are also applying for the state transit grants.  The deadline for applications is December 6th. 

Beware of scammers posing as ministers

Church congregations in Door and Kewaunee counties are being warned about emails from those posing as ministers seeking gift card donations. The Door County Sheriff's Department reports this type of scam is on the increase this holiday season.  Investigators say the emails look convincing and claim to be from local faith communities.  Sergeant Investigator Jason Stenzel says if anyone emails or calls you asking for money, banking information or even gift cards, get verification.  He says law enforcement can also help you if you still have questions.




Sergeant Stenzel says, so far, no one has fallen victim to this scam.  He also says such scams move in cycles and can use different approaches to illegally obtain cash or banking information.

Groundbreaking set for Dorr Hotel

Over a decade of planning and delays caused by the Great Recession will be in the past when groundbreaking takes place in Sister Bay for the Dorr Hotel project.  Ceremonies are set for December 3rd at the project site on Mill Street.  The Dorr Hotel will have 47-rooms, including eight suites.  Village Administrator Beau Bernhoft says the Dorr Hotel will bring back some accommodations lost when the former Helm's Four Season Hotel was demolished to create the Sister Bay Public Beach.



DCEDC Executive Director Jim Schuessler says the addition of the Dorr Hotel is an economic boost for the entire county.



The Dorr Hotel is expected to be completed in 2021. Reservations will be taken starting in the spring of 2020.

Kewaunee County halts siren tests for winter

It will be a quieter winter for several Kewaunee County communities as far as outdoor warning sirens are concerned.  Monthly tests of the sirens in Algoma, Luxemburg and Casco have been cancelled from December 4th through March 4th.  The sirens will remain operational for emergency use. Kewaunee County Emergency Management Director Tracy Nollenberg says the decision to temporarily end monthly tests is intended to make sure the outdoor sirens remain in peak operating condition and save taxpayers money.


Emergency Management Services will continue to monitor the sirens remotely to detect possible communications problems.

Heavy holiday weekend travel expected

Local law enforcement is urging drivers to use care when traveling the highways during the busy holiday season which begins this week.  AAA projects that 55 million people nationally will travel 50 miles away or more from home this Thanksgiving Day weekend.  Locally, the Door County Sheriff’s Department is asking area drivers to plan ahead, take their time, and be aware of increased deer activity.  According to AAA, peak travel time is expected from 2 pm until 7 pm on Wednesday and Sunday afternoon.  You can find holiday road trip survival tips with the link below.


Schools facing sports participation decline

With a national trend showing that sports participation is down for the first time in 30 years, one local athletic director is optimistic that numbers will bounce back.  A study by the National Federation of State High School Associations reflected the largest declines among football and basketball programs.  Jenny Bandow, athletic director at Luxemburg-Casco High School says participation numbers at L-C are more indicative of the size of the classes rather than any real decline.



Luxemburg-Casco began the winter sports schedule on Tuesday as the girls' basketball program played their first game of the 2019-2020 campaign.  The study also showed that the number of athletes competing was the third-highest number ever.  Programs that showed increases were boys soccer, volleyball and girls wrestling. 



(photo courtesy of Ron LeCloux.  State Champion L-C Spartan Volleyball team)   


Jacksonport approves $75,000 for broadband towers

The Town of Jacksonport is joining Door County Broadband's application for state grant money for broadband internet service.  The town board approved spending $75,000 as part of the company's grant application. Door County Broadband will contribute $90,000 to that effort.  The state grant would then match those funds. Town of Jacksonport Chair Randy Halstead says that money would pay for three broadband towers.  He says only one would be put up initially to determine where the other towers would be placed.



Halstead says once the agreement to partner with Door County Broadband was approved those attending the special town board meeting applauded the decision.

Wisconsin Catholic Conference against contraception bill

The Wisconsin Catholic Conference is still fighting a plan to make it easier for pharmacists to prescribe birth control. The Assembly bill authored by Sturgeon Bay Rep. Joel Kitchens would allow pharmacists to prescribe contraceptive patches and birth control pills to patients 18 years or older. The patients would still have to fill out a self-assessment form as well as have their blood pressure taken. While proponents say it the bill’s passage could save millions of dollars in related unplanned pregnancy costs, Wisconsin Catholic Conference Executive Director Kim Vercauteren says there are other issues beyond the church’s teachings.

Vercauteren says the Wisconsin Catholic Conference prefers people to practice natural family planning rather than artificial means. While the Assembly approved their version of the bill in early November, the measure was not passed by the Senate before the Wisconsin Legislature went on recess until the New Year.

Opening weekend deer hunt numbers down 

Despite favorable weather conditions, a later-than-normal start to the 2019 deer hunting season in the area and Wisconsin was down nearly 27 percent than last year.  According to the Department of Natural Resources, over 93,000 deer were harvested and registered statewide the past weekend during the gun hunt.  That compares with over 123,000 deer in 2018.  The number of bucks taken was down even more by about 30 percent.  Local Conservation Warden Chris Kratcha says historically a post-rut season can cause a decline in the deer kill.



Door County had 1,176 deer harvested while Kewaunee County showed 948 deer taken.  Kratcha says the hunt has been safe so far in Door and Kewaunee counties with no reported accidents.  Four people were reportedly slightly injured statewide during the opening weekend.



(Photo courtesy of Rick Ripley)  




Total numbers from the state on deer kill the first weekend compared to last year:



Shopko tenant remains elusive

It will still be a while before the former Shopko retail space is bustling with activity again. The Village of Sister Bay, the Door County Economic Development Corporation, and the building’s owner are still working diligently to fill the space after Shopko stores across the region went dark in late June. Sister Bay Village President Dave Lienau says it has worked hard to be a place where people want to work, live, and play.

Even though it does not sound like it will be in the former Shopko space, a national retailer does hope to move into Sister Bay in the coming months. Tuesday’s Sister Bay Plan Commission meeting agenda featured a presentation by developers hoping to build a Dollar General in the village.

Organization fights to make college IDs compliant

Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck hopes the University of Wisconsin System makes it easier for college students to vote in upcoming elections. Student groups and organizations like Common Cause Wisconsin are pushing the UW System to make their identification cards at all 13 of its campuses compliant with the state’s voting laws. It would require the student identification cards to have a signature line and an expiration date of two years rather than five. Heck believes with more students from out-of-state staying in Wisconsin after graduation, make the identification cards compliant now can cause a good habit for the future.

Currently, only four of the UW System’s 13 four-year campuses have compliant voter student ID cards. Eight private universities and colleges and 11 technical colleges are also in compliance with the state’s voter ID laws.

Guilette named conservationist of the year

Ebert Enterprises crop adviser Nick Guilette’s work on area farms is getting national attention this month. In a ceremony held last week at the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington D.C., Guilette was named the inaugural Certified Crop Adviser Conservationist of the Year. Guilette works with farmers on their agronomy needs and nutrient management plans while keeping track of their conservation practices. He says being named the conservationist of the year was a humbling experience.

Guilette is happy conservation practices have taken more of a priority as water quality issues have dominated the headlines in recent years, especially in sensitive areas like Kewaunee County. He adds helping establish Peninsula Pride Farms and the Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farm Network as being some of his proudest achievements. 

Kewaunee County seeks transit funding for Highway AB

A section of County Highway AB near Stangelville would get some improvements under a state transit grant program.  The Kewaunee County Highway Department is applying for funding under the $75-million Multimodal Local Supplement funding program.  Highway Commissioner Todd Every says the two-mile section of Highway AB in the Town of Franklin would finally get the attention it needs.



Wisconsin counties and communities have until December 6th to file their applications for the Multimodal Local Supplement funding program.

Vickman officially retires from Help of Door County

The face of Help of Door County that past three years, Steve Vickman, finishes his final day with the organization on Tuesday.  Vickman, who announced his retirement earlier this summer, has been working with new Executive Director Milly Gonzales, during the transitional period the past three weeks.  Vickman says the transition has been very smooth.



Vickman has no immediate plans upon retiring other than spending more family time with another grandchild due to arrive shortly.  He adds that he will stay in the area with his wife, Patti who is currently the Southern Door School District superintendent. 


"Gratitude" Day should be everyday

Expressing gratitude can help one’s outlook on life and make a positive impact on your mental health, according to a Sturgeon Bay psychologist.  Dr. Dennis White says November’s celebration of Thanksgiving could as easily be called “Gratitude Day”.  He says there are many personal and social benefits to practicing gratitude.



You can listen to Dr. Dennis White’s entire Mental Health Minute below this story and find out more on how gratitude can boost happiness. 





Kewaunee County officer identified from last Tuesday's shooting

The Kewaunee County Sheriff’s deputy who was involved in an officer-related shooting last week has been identified through a release by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation.  Deputy Aaron Schley shot and killed Luis Cardona after he shot and injured his ex-girlfriend Babette Caraballo last Tuesday near a park in Kewaunee County.  Cardona had apparently kidnapped Caraballo in Green Bay earlier that day.  Caraballo remains hospitalized in serious condition.  Schley, an eight-year veteran of the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department, is on administrative leave per department policy while the case continues to be investigated 



News Release:


MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is investigating an officer involved death (OID) in the township of West Kewaunee, Wis. that occurred on the morning of Tuesday, November 19, 2019.


The Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Office and Green Bay Police Department responded to the area to attempt to rescue a kidnapping victim and arrest the armed kidnapping suspect.  After locating these two individuals, shots were fired by the suspect and then one law enforcement officer fired his weapon at the direction of the suspect. Law enforcement immediately performed lifesaving measures.


This law enforcement officer is identified as Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron J. Schley, with 8 years of service. Schley is on administrative leave, per department policy.


The suspect, Luis A. Cardona, age 38, succumbed to his injuries on the scene. The kidnapped individual remains at a local hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.


DCI is continuing to review evidence and determine the facts of this incident and will turn over investigative reports to the Kewaunee County District Attorney.


No additional details are currently available.


New Fairests to be crowned Saturday

Kewaunee County will have a new Fairest and Junior Fairest after this weekend’s gala event in Luxemburg. Two Junior Fairests and one Senior Fairest will participate in this year’s event, which includes preparing a self-introduction, taking part in an interview, answering impromptu questions, and playing a radio ad. It is an experience Isabella Haen remembers fondly, having served as both the Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair in 2017 and the Wisconsin Fairest of the

Haen advises the participants to have fun with the experience and be themselves. The Kewaunee County Fairest of the Fair Gala, which also serves as a fundraiser for the program, is November 30th at the Kewaunee County Fairgrounds beginning at noon.


Click here to learn more about this free event.



Will tower grants fund adequate broadband internet service?

Door County Broadband is seeking state grants to expand broadband internet services in Door County. Wisconsin received $160-million from the FCC for broadband expansion.
Door County Broadband wants to put up $30,000 of its own funding and is requesting that the Town of Jacksonport provide $25,000 as part of a grant request for a 190-foot tower for upgraded broadband service.  If the Public Service Commission approves a grant request it would provide $55,000 in matching funds.  Jacksonport Town Supervisor Tom Wilson, however, said when the town board met November 19th some taxpayers in the Clark Lake area might not benefit from such use of township funds.


The company says smaller towers to expand into underserved areas could be done with grant funding in 2021. Door County Administrator Ken Pabich says having the communities and the county provide funding can help improve Door County Broadband's chances of receiving grant money.




Broadband providers in Door and Kewaunee counties and statewide have until December 19th to apply for the state grants, which will cover projects for 2020.

Deutsch to leave extension post

A dream come true means a month of goodbyes for Door County UW-Extension Agriculture Educator Annie Deutsch. After four years on the job, Deutsch recently accepted an internship with the Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization based in Fort Myers, Fla. ECHO is a faith-based agricultural support agency working on ways to reduce hunger and improve the lives of small-scale farmers worldwide. Deutsch’s interest in the area of study began eight years ago while working at her church’s garden. Now she cannot believe it is all happening.

Deutsch will remain with Door County UW-Extension until December 20th before heading to Florida for the 14-month internship. She says even though her future job could send her around the world, she will still visit the area to see family and friends.

Friends make friends in Minnesota

Friends Community Church in Sturgeon Bay is reaching beyond the Mississippi River to make its impact felt by others. The Minneapolis Friends Meeting is a growing congregation thanks in part to an influx of refugees from war-torn Kenya. Friends Community Church Pastor Nancy Bontempo says The Religious Society of Friends, which is based in the Quaker tradition, is becoming one of the fastest-growing sects in Africa.

Bontempo says the Sturgeon Bay congregation is helping the Minneapolis Friends Meeting go through the paperwork needed to establish themselves and to help their refugee members assimilate and get on the path towards citizenship.  




Photo courtesy of Friends Community Church

Protecting yourself from ransomware

A tech firm based in Milwaukee is giving businesses in Door and Kewaunee Counties 14 million reasons to keep up-to-date protecting their computers. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Russian hackers recently stole information from Virtual Care Provider, Inc., which manages internet security and data storage services for over 100 nursing homes nationwide. In exchange for giving the data back, hackers are asking the company for $14 million. No nursing homes in Door and Kewaunee Counties were affected by the breach, but Erin Helgeson from Quantum PC in Sturgeon Bay says it is a good reminder for all businesses to teach their employees the importance of safe browsing.

Helgeson says having a reliable back-up database of your information off-site is another way to protect yourself from having to pay out thousands or millions of dollars because of ransomware.

Sturgeon Bay updates its Smart Growth plan

The City of Sturgeon Bay is updating its comprehensive plan. Unlike other local municipalities who only adopted the process after it became mandated by state law, Sturgeon Bay has had some form of a strategic outlook since 1969. Sturgeon Bay Community Development Director Marty Olejniczak says the plan is not compulsory outside of a handful of exceptions.


There are many opportunities to give your input into this year's plan. A recent community visioning workshop occurred last Thursday at the Sturgeon Bay High School. Surveys will be going out soon. 

How to respond to power outages

Last month, Luxemburg  suffered a village-wide power outage and this is the time of year where dramatic changes in weather can cause havoc on the electric grid. If you lose power, it is still imperative to notify your utility company according to Wisconsin Public Service Communications Specialist Matt Cullen.


You can notify WPS through their website or by the phone. Cullen says that when crews are out to a problem location early, they will have a solution that much faster. Minutes mean a lot when the weather turns colder. 

Nature Center renovation will have two phases

The Friends of Peninsula State Park intend to keep busy over the next several years. Funds raised recently for the new Eagle Tower project and the nature center are beginning to be disbursed. The Friends are planning a second phase to the nature center project that will help visitors get a whole new look at the park via an observation platform according to Steve Strucely.


The deck would require another funding drive by the Friends so it is unclear when it would be completed but Strucely says 2021 is a pretty good estimate. 

Tech Ed seeks non-traditional students

Sturgeon Bay High School's Technology Education program is attracting new students with a home maintenance course. Instructor Brian Pahl says the new "around the house" class focuses on handy man tasks that are becoming lost skills in the modern day. Pahl says parents are so appreciative of what their children are learning.


Pahl says the class teaches kids that skilled trades shouldn't be intimidating. He says that the course has been instrumental to increasing participation by girls in STEM-related fields at the school. 

Winter forecasts not a factor in budget

The National Weather Service has released its winter forecast for the Door Peninsula and it could be a snowy one. In recent months, other predictions for a wicked winter have been issued by the Farmers' Almanac. They went so far as to predict a 'polar coaster' which would batter the upper Midwest with freezing weather. None of that doom and gloom is factored into the Door County Highway Department budget for the upcoming season according to Highway Commissioner John Koldziej.


The other concern with a potentially harsh winter is the effects on roads and infrastructure. 

Sister Bay Ice Rink getting festive

Sister Bay is working on improving its outdoor ice rink and some of the suggestions are more aesthetic such as adding outdoor lights. Village Adminstrator Beau Bernhoft says it should add a festive feel to the area.


Other improvements being looked at include covering the ice to protect it from direct sunlight and grading the surface making it easier for the rink to be used consistently throughout the season. 

Food Pantry use spikes at holidays

Feed My People, Clothe My People is expecting a traditional surge in demand at their food pantry for the holiday season. The needs don't necessarily change from other times in the year because the pantry does not do Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners on its own. Director of Operations Estella Huff says they have help.


That's not to say the donation of an occasional turkey, yam or can of pumpkin wouldn't be appreciated. The food pantry has seen increased use in recent months and the holidays are the busiest time of the year. 

City of Algoma unveils new website

Cyber surfing just got easier courtesy of the City of Algoma's brand new website. The sleek design is more user-friendly utilizing drop-down menus to link to different departments. Residents and businesses can download proper paperwork to conduct business with the city or complete necessary permits. Mayor Wayne Schmidt says Clerk Jamie Jackson allowed for much of the work to be done in-house.


The website is still under construction but updates occur frequently. Expect all of the new features to be live soon.


Hunters must mind their surroundings

The Door Peninsula has seen the two wettest years on record and an early cold snap wreak havoc recently which has consequences for hunters. Chief Conservation Warden Todd Schaller of the Wisconsin DNR says there are two main concerns.


Schaller stresses that while safety always must be a priority during the hunting season, his worries regarding treacherous landscapes are specific to the unusual weather of the past two years. For 2019, it is prudent to treat this season like it's the first year you have hunted on your property, no matter how familiar it may feel. 

2020 will begin with higher water levels

The Army Corps of Engineers is expecting Lake Michigan to remain near record levels through the winter time.  Lake levels ebb and flow on a seasonal basis so the most accurate way to describe it is by comparing expected levels this upcoming winter to the same time last year according to Army Corps of Engineers - Detroit District Chief of Watershed Hydrology Keith Kompoltowicz.


Kompoltowicz says the Army Corps forecast involves a range with the upper end of the guidance being record water levels. The forecast is here:

Public accepts fare increase

Door County successfully adopted fare increases for the Door2Door taxi service and the ADRC bus this week. Because the programs receive federal funding, the proposals were required to have a public comment period which occurred Tuesday morning. Door County Transportation Manager Pam Busch says there was a muted response.


The ADRC bus has not had a fare increase since its inception around 40 years ago. Still, doubling the price, even if justified, could have resulted in sticker shock. Busch says her new role was created by the county to make the hard decisions to make the programs financially sound. She is grateful for the public's understanding

Foreign students make big impact with summer employers

The J-1 student visa program is a huge success with local businesses and students from Door County's sister city of Jingdezhen, China.  Those involved have stepped up efforts to bring in more Jingdezhen students to fill summer jobs.  Grant Thomas, who's with the sister city program, says that's because the Chinese students have gone above and beyond to help businesses and visitors alike.


Thomas says the word is already getting out at colleges and universities around Jingdezhen that Door County wants them.  Many are already signing up for summer 2020. 

Three counties battle Rio Creek fire Friday

Shortly before 9 PM on Friday a home and attached garage became engulfed in flames near State Highway 54 and Rio Creek Road. Luxemburg and Casco Fire Departments devoted all of their resources to fighting the fire for over five hours. They were joined by a host of other agencies according to Training Officer Mike Beyer.


Beyer is appreciative of the turnout considering it was a Friday night on the eve of hunting season. Highway 54 had to be closed from Oak Street to County Road P and traffic control was performed by the Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department and Highway Department. Beyer says the cause of the fire is still under investigation. No one was injured and the fire did not spread from the rental property to nearby farm structures. 

Traffic options to keep Sunrise School students safe

The Sturgeon Bay Parking and Traffic Committee will again consider options to keep Sunrise Elementary School students safe from traffic on S. 14th Street.  Among the possibilities are closing off  S. 14th Street during school hours or blocking it off permanently.  Brian O'Handley, the principal of Sunrise and Sawyer Elementary Schools, raised concerns about safety risks and has spoken with people about the best way to reduce traffic flow and maintain access to facilities like Memorial Field.



The Sturgeon Bay Parking and Traffic Committee will meet November 25th at 4:30 PM in the City Council Chambers on Michigan Street.

Door County Jews have a small, enthusiastic congregation

While there is no synagogue in Door County, there is a very active and enthusiastic Jewish community.  Members of the congregation calling itself “From Generation to Generation” practice Reform Judaism and conduct Sabbath services in English. They're led by a lay leader. With about 20 worshippers per service from winter to spring to just over 30 people with summer visitors, it's not practical to have a full-time or part-time rabbi or to maintain a synagogue.   Patricia Podgers, who serves multiple roles with the congregation, says they make up for size with enthusiasm for Shabbat and Hanukkah gatherings.


While their congregation is small, Podgers says it's growing.  So it's possible future sabbaths could be held in an area community building.

Fire rages near Rio Creek Friday night

A structure fire drew a response from fire departments across the area Friday night near Rio Creek. The inferno closed State Highway 54 in both directions. The detour took vehicles south of the fire along Elm Street and Rio Creek Road. The fire began in the 8 PM hour at a farm between the Meade Manor Pet Clinic and Rio Creek Road immediately off of 54 in Casco Township.


Updates will be forthcoming with more details.

Granary still waiting on lakebed lease

Kelly Catarozoli of the Sturgeon Bay Historical Society gave the Sturgeon Bay Common Council an update on the Teweles & Brandeis Granary this past week.   The Sturgeon Bay Historical Society is currently waiting for the Department of Natural Resources to approve the Lakebed lease that would allow the group to finalize plans and budgeting that will be presented to the Finance Committee, according to Catarozoli.  She shared some other updates.



Catarozoli added that many volunteers salvaged parts from the granary that are being stored and sorted out for reuse.  A meeting is planned with some of the contractors next Monday to move the project forward.  She stated that there has not been a change-of-use for the building that is still intended to be a public space for events in the future.      

Children's Book Drive off to strong start

The 21st Annual Children’s Book Drive for Door and Kewaunee counties is already exceeding numbers from last year.  The yearly book drive for underprivileged kids has collected over 14,000 books in the past 20 years.  Over 800 books have been collected to date with the promotion continuing until December 20.    Ashley Madson, receiving coordinator for the Thrift Store in Sturgeon Bay, says parents really appreciate the opportunity for their children to receive books this time of year.



Gently used or new books for the 2019 Children’s Book Drive can be donated by dropping them off at Bayside Home Medical in Sturgeon Bay, Denny’s Super Valu in Algoma and Stodola’s IGA in Luxemburg.  Books will be distributed by food pantries in Door and Kewaunee County. 

Local Thanksgiving meal prices standing pat

With Thanksgiving Day less than a week away, shoppers will find that the prices for the big traditional home meal about the same last year.  According to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau, the 15 Thanksgiving food items in-store only increased from $60.14 to $61.57.  The increase of only about two percent can be attributed to the average cost of a 16 pound Turkey that rose $2.72 to $21.76.  The price of a four-pound ham offset that a bit with a drop from $10.32 to $8.68.   Jon Calhoun, store manager at Econofoods in Sturgeon Bay says prices in-store have stayed steady across the board and shoppers are staying with the usual holiday staples.



You can find a breakdown of the 15 Thanksgiving food items in an informal annual review done by Wisconsin’s Thanksgiving Marketbasket survey below.





Wisconsin’s Thanksgiving Marketbasket survey is an informal, annual review of food price trends in relation to changing farm prices, weather and wholesale and retail food marketing. Wisconsin Farm Bureau members collected price samples of 15 Thanksgiving food items in 29 communities in November.


Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers are asked to look for the best possible prices, without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals.



Wis. 2018 price listed first

Wis. 2019 price listed second

National 2019  listed third


Turkey, 16 lbs.




Milk, 1 gallon whole




Cream, half pint




Rolls, 12         




Relish tray (1 lb. carrots/celery)




Fresh cranberries, 12 oz.       




Pumpkin pie mix, 30 oz.




Pie shells (2)  




Cube stuffing, 14 oz.




Sweet potatoes, 3 lbs.




Green beans, 1 lb.




Miscellaneous ingredients




Ham, 4 lbs.




Russet potatoes, 5 lbs.




Frozen peas, 16 oz.









(Statistics courtesy of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation)


Stand safety important for deerhunters

As area deer hunters head out to their tree stands Saturday morning, local DNR officials are asking them to use common sense and check over their stands before climbing up to hunt.
Door County Warden Chris Kratcha says besides gun safety, hunters need to make sure their tree stand is safe to climb.



According to a 2013 hunter survey done in Wisconsin, 84 percent of hunters used tree stands, 62 percent owned a safety restraint, but only 31 percent always used them.  An estimated 600,000 hunters are expected to head into the woods throughout Wisconsin this opening weekend of the nine-day firearms hunt. 


Gibraltar construction work continues

Construction crews working on the State Highway 42 project through the town of Gibraltar will work into December as long as the weather holds up. In a recent update on the project, the timeline has work lined up through the week of December 2nd as it prepares for the eventual winter shutdown. Preparing areas for future sidewalks and street lighting features dominate much of the work schedule. Flagging operations will also remain on State Highway 42 from Bluff Lane to County Highway F through the next two weeks. Jeremy Ashauer from Wisconsin Department of Transportation appreciates the patience of community members and visitors driving through the area.

Once the project shuts down for the winter, it will not restart until the spring with a goal of completing all of the work in June. 


You can read a full update on the project by clicking here.

Keeping young Catholics engaged

The twin Catholic parishes of Holy Trinity in Casco and St. Mary’s in Luxemburg continue their hard work keeping their young members engaged. According to the Public Religion Research Institute, nearly forty percent of young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 consider themselves religiously unaffiliated, compared to just 15 percent identifying as Catholics. Father Dan Schuster, the pastor of the two parishes, says they recently confirmed 62 young people into the Catholic Church. He hopes a new post-confirmation program called the “Dead Theologian’s Society” is just one way they stay engaged with their faith.

Schuster says he would love to see many of the seventh through twelfth graders currently involved in the Jesus-based conversation group called Alpha to continue as adults.

Gibraltar students in giving mode

Student organizations at Gibraltar have been hard at work this fall preparing for a variety of events benefitting the community. Last month, the Gibraltar Student Council hosted a blood drive while its DECA chapter began planning next week’s Jacksonport Thanksgiving Parade and Benefit. A joint effort with the Sevastopol Student Council, Gibraltar senior Jack Weitman says he has learned about how public service and fundraising have an impact.

Gibraltar senior Kayla Scharrig appreciates the life lessons they are learning along the way.

The Jacksonport Thanksgiving Parade and Benefit supporting Door County Secret Santa kicks off at 10:30 a.m. on November 28th. The following week on December 4th at 11 a.m., the Gibraltar Student Council will take another turn giving back to the community with its Senior Citizen Holiday Dinner held at the district’s middle school gym.

Lawmaker on calls to close GBCI and cut inmate population

Social justice groups have found Governor Tony Evers and his administration receptive to proposals to reduce the inmate population in Wisconsin state prisons and close the 121-year old Green Bay Correctional Institution.  Critics, however, say under present circumstances that could create a public safety concern.  Current facilities are overcrowded and would become more so without a new prison to replace GBCI. Kewaunee County has been mentioned as a location for a new facility. State Senator Andre Jacque says many questions need to be answered before inmate reductions and new prisons are considered.




Senator Jacque agrees that it's no longer a question of if GBCI will be closed, especially with operational costs of nearly $40-million yearly.

Auto technicians requiring more computer background

With the more sophisticated engines being built for vehicles, auto technicians require substantially more training and education than years ago, according to a local car dealer.  Pete Beane, who owns Jorns Chevrolet in Kewaunee says the technology under the hood is more challenging than ever for auto repair.



Auto mechanics require substantial training especially for franchise dealers like GM, Ford, and Chrysler.  Employment of automotive service technicians and mechanics is projected to grow 6 percent by 2026.  The average auto tech makes an annual medium income of about $36,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 


Gonzales ready to lead Help of Door County

Milly Gonzales, the newly hired executive director of Help of Door County, is excited about her new role with the organization.  Named to succeed Steve Vickman a couple of weeks ago, Gonzales says her first priority is finding a replacement for her position as an advocate.



Gonzales says Help of Door County has numerous support groups and programming in the jails to reduce recidivism.  Safe houses and crisis intervention are other ways Help of Door County works to protect victims of domestic abuse.  You can learn more about Help of Door County services below.  


Good time to update estate plan 

With less than six weeks until the end of the year, keeping your estate plan updated is an important task one should do before 2020, according to one Sturgeon Bay estate planner.  Attorney Bob Ross of Ross Estate Planning in Sturgeon Bay says reviewing and updating one's estate plan should also be done when changes occur in your family.  He says one should take note of life-changing events that may affect their estates.



Ross says people may want to make changes to their advance financial and health care directives as well as take advantage of charitable contributions for tax purposes before the New Year.  


Door County Medical Center celebrates Rural Health Day-- VIDEO

The third Thursday of November is officially National Rural Health Day and a local medical facility commemorated it along with a new 75th-anniversary wall.  Door County Medical Center CEO Brian Stephens shares the importance of providing comprehensive healthcare to a rural community.



Christa Krause, chief nursing officer, says Door County Medical Center recently added new technological advancements that help in rural areas.



Door County Medical Center was awarded the 2019 Rural Community Partner Award for significant contributions to their rural school district last month.  





Hunting trespassing already a problem

Hunters in Door and Kewaunee Counties are being reminded before the start of the gun deer season to make sure they know where they are and whose land they are on. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says they have already received a high volume of trespassing calls related to hunting since archers and crossbow users started their season in September. A common issue is often land changing hands that hunters did not know about prior to heading out. Joski adds the complaints have not been limited to humans.

When it comes to gun safety, Joski reminds hunters to not just shoot on movement, but to make sure they know their target and what is beyond it.



This Saturday marks the beginning of the week long deer hunting season. While this event has many traditions, and memories which make it special to so many in our community, it also brings with it some re-occurring issues which deserve to be mentioned. The first of these issues is safety. By this I mean the safety of those participating in the hunting season, and those who choose to enjoy the beautiful outdoors as they would any other time of year. It goes without saying that for those who are hunting that there are two basic rules; know your target, and know what is beyond your target. Especially in the era of rifle hunting, the second of the two rules is very important. Although not intended, there always seem to be those few calls involving stray rounds. The DNR just started a great awareness campaign with a message of verifying your target. The bottom line is: “Don’t just shoot at movement”

           If you are one of those individuals who just want to enjoy being outside over the next two weeks, be aware of the increased activity in the adjacent properties, and public lands. Although you are not required to wear it, and it isn’t the most stylish color, blaze orange is always a good choice. Also, whether you are hunting, or just going for a walk, always let someone know where you are going, and what route you are taking to get there.

           The other issue which seems to become more frequent is that of trespassing. This is pretty self explanatory; if you don’t have permission to be there, don’t be there. Many property owners allow for others to be on their land for the purpose of hunting. This is not mandatory on their part, if they choose to say no, respect them for that decision and move on. Also don’t assume that just because you’ve hunted there for many years you don’t have to ask permission. Circumstances change and it is a good idea to re-establish these relationships each year. If you are unsure of the status of your favorite hunting spot, it is best to reach out to the property owner and verify. Especially in this day and age where recreational land is being leased and then sub-leased. I wish everyone a safe and productive hunt.

Habitat selects Northern Door family

For the first time in five years, Door County Habitat for Humanity will build north of Sturgeon Bay for its home build. The organization’s board of directors approved the family of Douglas Marvin to be its 43rd partner for a home built by volunteers. Door County Habitat for Humanity is working with the Door County Housing Trust to find a building site for the home in northern Door County so Marvin can keep his two sons at Gibraltar Area Schools. The challenge is the opposite of what the organization has had in the past when it had a site but could not find a qualified family. Executive Director David Van Dyke is happy Door County Habitat for Humanity will be able to extend its reach.

Van Dyke says it will need to tap into northern Door County’s volunteer base to make the build a success as many of its workers live in the southern part of the area. Door County Habitat for Humanity will break ground on its 43rd home this spring.

Liberty Grove makes room

Attainable housing could be one option developed on land recently cleared by the Town of Liberty Grove. The town purchased the site of the former Val-A Motel earlier this year with the hopes of developing the land for future use. After testing the site and flirted with the idea of it being a potential training ground for the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Department before the redevelopment would occur, the former motel buildings were torn down earlier this month. Town Chairperson John Lowry says now they can move forward.

A county study completed earlier this year showed an extreme lack of housing options in northern Door, including units for the senior and seasonal workforce populations.

Bjurstrom reflects on Irish ag trip

Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agriculture educator Aerica Bjurstrom found a little bit of home abroad last month touring farming operations in Ireland. She was part of a 70-person group of county agriculture agents from across the country learning from Irish farming operators. Bjurstrom says climate, thin soils, and feeding practices makes it hard to compare Kewaunee County farmers with those of Ireland. She says both groups of farmers are experiencing external pressure from the general public.

Another takeaway for Bjurstrom was how Irish farmers have been able to adapt to its rainy climate, something local operators may have to do themselves if rainy and cold falls become the norm for the area.



Photo courtesy of Aerica Bjurstrom

Door County judge applauds drug treatment court

The creation of an adult drug treatment court is the culmination of a goal set by Door County Circuit Court judge Dave Weber.  The Wisconsin Department of Justice announced Monday that Door County will receive $140,000 for the drug treatment court.  Judge Weber says similar courts in Wisconsin help those charged with non-violent crimes, who also have substance abuse issues, understand they don't have to face their battles alone.




Judge Weber adds offenders also come to understand self-discipline is the key to winning out over addiction.




Judge Weber expects the drug treatment court to be operational in early 2020.  The money for the drug court will help fund a program coordinator and caseworker and a part-time treatment supervisor with the Door County Department of Human Services.  Judge Weber, the district attorney's office and defense attorney will handle these cases in addition to their regular workloads. 

Rare November opening for Belgian Heritage Center

The Belgian Heritage Center was open on November 9th for the unveiling of the Curly Lambeau exhibit. That's rare enough considering the center is normally closed at the end of October for the season. The Lambeau exhibit is permanent, and given its late debut, the center is offering the public one more chance to view it in 2019 according to Director Bill Chaudoir.


Some of the rare items on display have been loaned by the Packers Hall of Fame. 

Peninsula State Park Nature Center takes the gold

The Peninsula State Park Nature Center is the gold standard, according to the Friends of Wisconsin State Parks.  The nature center received the Gold Seal award from the organization.  Steve Sprucely, with the Friends of Peninsula State Park, says the award says much about public interest in the nature center and everything else the park has to offer.




The Gold Seal awards are given to Wisconsin State Parks in ten different categories each year.


(Photo Courtesy of The Friends of Peninsula State Park)

Kewaunee Light Parade unique in area

The Kewaunee Holiday Lights Parade returns on Friday at 6:30 PM. Chamber President Vicki Vollenweider says she doesn't think there's another one like it anywhere nearby.


Weather is a big factor in how many floats take part in the parade but Vollenweider says 25 is around normal. Good conditions will see more with poor conditions less. The parade is a capstone event for the first day of the Christmas Stroll which involves businesses from across the county. It ends with kids meeting Santa at Lakehaven Hall. The hall has fun kids activities on Saturday as well. 

Contaminants complicate Sevastopol school demolition

The Sevastopol School District will begin formulating a plan on how to dispose of contaminants from the 1924 and 1946 school additions, which are slated for demolition in 2021.  The district's CORE Team, which is involved in the planning for the new school expansion project, will discuss the best way to handle debris, including asbestos.  Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says that will be a complex process requiring input from demolition experts.




The demolition of the 1924 and 1946 additions will take place in the summer of 2021 when students and staff are off for the summer.  

Seniors should carefully consider high dose flu shots

With the flu season approaching, Door and Kewaunee County residents who are 65 and older now have the option of high dose flu vaccines.  The Centers for Disease Control says the majority of flu-related deaths occur among older Americans.  So, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has licensed two high dose vaccines for those over 65.  Door County Public Health Nurse Sue Powers says the decision of whether to use Fluzone High Dose or FLUAD should be made with help from health care professionals.




The Door County Public Health Department will provide flu shots, however, it is not administering the high dose flu vaccines.  Powers also recommends people follow common sense health practices to keep from spreading the flu.  That includes covering sneezes and coughs, keeping your distance from those who are sick, stay home if you've got the flu and regular handwashing with soap and water.

Survey helps shape future of parks

Door County residents and visitors are getting their chances to help the Parks and Facilities Department plan future improvements at their favorite facilities.  The county is currently conducting an online survey that gauges the most popular attractions at each park and which of those parks are most visited by people.  Ben Nelson, with the Parks and Facilities Department, says public input gives his department some needed guidance for the 2020 through 2025 parks master plan.


The online survey is open to the public through November 29th. The online survey is open to the public through November 29th.   You can log on at  

Englebert wins Town of Forestville recall election  

Door County Board of Supervisors District 3 Representative Roy Englebert retained his seat after the recall election Tuesday evening.  Englebert received 53.8 percent of the vote and defeated challenger Lora Jorgenson, a Village of Forestville trustee who is a member of the Friends group that opposed the Forestville Millpond drain down.  Engelbert says he was pleased to retain his seat and was only doing what he felt was in the best interest of his constituents.



Englebert says he looks forward to moving ahead with the Door County Board approval of the annual budget that will lower taxes and chairing the next Town of Forestville meeting coming up on December 16. 


(photo submitted)   


West side apartment project gets final approval from city

A lengthy Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting Tuesday night led to the final approval of the plans for the old West Side School and ballfield.  After 30 minutes of public comments with seven people opposing the removal of the west side field, councilmembers eventually approved the second reading of the ordinance for the Planned Unit Development and the purchase of the West Side Field by Northpointe Development by 5-2 votes.  Councilmembers Gary Nauilt and Kirstin Reeths voted against the approval.  The council amended the PUD to include a guarantee that any future owners of the property maintain at least 50 percent affordable housing. The plans call for a 40-unit apartment complex that includes 10 units within the old school and 30 more where the ballfield presently sits.  The project is still contingent on Northpointe Development receiving affordable housing and historical tax credits to be approved by the state by April of 2020 before moving on the project.


Prior to the business part of the meeting, Mayor David Ward presented a certificate of recognition of the Sturgeon Bay Boys Soccer State Championship earlier this month.  The council also heard from Sturgeon Bay Police with a presentation on school safety and active shooter events.  


The council convened in closed session shortly before 10 pm to consider the next step in the case regarding the Stone Harbor excessive tax assessment matter.  No action was taken after the closed session.


Four Kewaunee County veterans heading to Korea 

Four Korean War Veterans who live in Kewaunee County will have the opportunity to return to Korea after serving in the military there over 60 years ago.  Jerry Simonar and Anthony Treml of Luxemburg, as well as Lloyd Nimmer and Art Belter of Kewaunee found out earlier this month that they and 46 other Korean War veterans from Northeastern Wisconsin will be taking the Old Glory Honor Flight next May.  The 87-year-old Simonar shares what he is looking forward to most on his return to Korea.



The veterans taking the 10-day trip will need to pass a physical next spring to be eligible.  They will then be accompanied by guardians on the trip which will leave from Appleton.  The veteran’s expenses for the Old Glory Honor Flight Return to Korea are being paid for by the South Korean government, according to Simonar. 

Christmas Stroll helping to promote buying local

The 2019 Christmas Stroll will be held the next two weekends in three Kewaunee County communities.  A long-standing tradition that encourages shoppers to visit unique shops and markets in Kewaunee, Luxemburg, and Algoma, will begin this Friday and Saturday.  Cassie Jelinek of the Kewaunee Chamber of Commerce says the event will include a new twist this year.



The four-day promotion is sponsored by the Kewaunee, Luxemburg, and Algoma Chambers of Commerce and runs from 10 am until 4 pm each Friday and Saturday.  Shoppers get a passport stamp from participating businesses with opportunities to win $25 certificates and big cash drawings.  You can find more information on the Kewaunee County Christmas Stroll with this story online.


Planning ahead for feeding the herd

Feed mills in Door and Kewaunee Counties are planning ahead for the needs of its customers in 2020 as farmers try to continue their harvest. According to Successful Farming magazine, only 44 percent of the corn crop statewide has been harvested compared to just over 70 percent for soybeans. The cold temperatures and snow have also made it hard for cover crops and other forages to be planted. Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Aerica Bjurstrom expects there to be a shortage in feed, both in quality and quantity. Adam Barta from Rio Creek Feed Mill says dried grains from other parts of the country may have to be brought in to meet the demand of the area.

Barta says farmers are busy harvesting what they can to top off their silos for the winter while also planning ahead for what they hope will be a better year for cropping.

UPDATED: Kidnapping ends in Kewaunee County with one dead, one injured

A kidnapping that started in Green Bay ended late Thursday morning in Kewaunee County with a man killed by law enforcement. According to a statewide bulletin from the Green Bay Police Department, Babette Caraballo was kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend Luis Cardona from her work on the city’s far east side early Tuesday morning.  The pursuit ended near the Riverview ATV Park where, according to WLUK-TV in Green Bay, Cardona and Caraballo were located. Deputies fired at Cardona after he shot Caraballo, who was transported to an area hospital due to her injuries. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski could not be reached for additional comment as the case gets turned over to the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Office of Criminal Investigation.


We will have more information on this incident as it becomes available.


Press Release from Sheriff Matt Joski

(Kewaunee, WI) On Tuesday November 19 th , 2019 at approximately 7:33 AM, the Kewaunee County

Sheriff’s Department received a request for mutual aid response from the Green Bay Police
Department regarding an armed abduction. Information was provided that a 38-year-old male subject had abducted a 40-year-old female subject at gun point from a location in the City of Green Bay.
Units from the Sheriff’s Department along with the City of Kewaunee Police Department and
Wisconsin State Patrol in cooperation with officers from the City of Green Bay did locate the vehicle in a remote area near a park in Kewaunee County.
Law enforcement made contact with the suspect on the property of a private residence adjacent to the park, at which time the suspect did discharge his weapon injuring the female subject. It was at this time an Officer from the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department discharged his weapon at the suspect.
The female patient was transported by Kewaunee Rescue to a medical facility in Green Bay with life threatening injuries. Her status is unknown at this time. The male subject succumbed to his injuries on the scene.
This incident remains under investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of
Criminal Investigation. All media inquiries should be directed to the Wisconsin Department of Justice.


Finding healthcare still prompts questions

Despite the health insurance exchanges being around since 2014, brokers and hospitals in Door and Kewaunee Counties still have plenty of questions to answer from their patients. Door County Medical Center assisted over 120 people signing up for health insurance during the open enrollment workshops they hosted last year. Darcy Babler from Door County Medical Center’s Patient Financial Services Department has been helping people get their insurance in order through the exchange since it started five years ago. She says asking questions is important, especially when it comes to income.

With two additional plans available this year for Door County residents, Babler advises people to search around for the best coverage for your budget. You can schedule an appointment to discuss your coverage with your insurance agent or Door County Medical Center will host its next open enrollment workshops on November 21st from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and December 7th from 8 a.m. until noon.  

Organization provides arts opportunities for Sevastopol

Whether they are acting on stage or playing a musical instrument, the Sevastopol Music, Art, and Theater Guild makes sure students have everything they need to succeed. A part of the Sevastopol Education Association, the MAT Guild fundraises all school year long and donates everything they make right back to the classrooms to buy supplies and fund programming opportunities. MAT member Julie Haen says the school’s band program is just one example of where their money goes to work.

Fifth-grader Logan Simon plays the tenor saxophone in the school’s band and appreciates everything MAT does for him and his classmates. It is why he says he will even have a table at this weekend’s Arts and Crafts Fair with all the money he makes going back to the organization.

The Arts and Crafts Fair benefiting Sevastopol MAT is this Sunday from 9 a.m to 3 p.m. in the elementary school gym.

Door County to get drug treatment court

State funding will give Door County a long-desired and much-needed drug treatment court.  Door County will receive $140,000 for an adult drug court from the Wisconsin Department of Justice.  Door County District Attorney Colleen Nordin says such a program can succeed while other approaches have had, at best, limited success.



Door County Sheriff Tammy Sternard says having an adult drug treatment court will complement existing alternatives to incarceration.


Such treatment and diversion programs are aimed at non-violent offenders with substance abuse issues.  Sheriff Sternard says that saves taxpayers money by freeing up bed space for those convicted of more serious offenses.



Where are your children.....on the internet? Mental Health Series

A slogan from decades ago applies to today’s safety for children as ever before, according to a Sturgeon Bay psychologist.  The question “parents do you know where your children are” means not only outside the home but also where they are on the internet?  Dr. Dennis White says parents need to be vigilant when it comes to protecting their children from cyber threats and exploitation.  He says knowing where your child is going online is the first step.



You can listen to Dr. Dennis White’s entire Mental Health Minute on keeping your child safe on the internet with this story below.



Olson shares value of student correspondent role

Taking his experience as a past student correspondent at Southern Door High School for the radio stations of, Matt Olson has joined his two passions of agriculture and writing into a career in Hartland.  Olson currently works at the public relations firm of Charleston Orwig that specializes in helping clients in the food and agriculture sector.  He shares why being a student correspondent is a valuable resource to the community.



Growing up on a farm and an FFA alumnus, Olson fondly remembers covering the events of FFA week at his school. He worked as a student correspondent at Door in his junior and senior year at Southern Door High School in 2011 and 2012 before going graduating from UW-Madison in 2016. 


(photo submitted)        


LeCloux named Spartan Spirit Award winner

A long-time photographer from the Luxemburg-Casco High School sports scene is receiving well-deserved recognition from the community.  Ron LeCloux, a freelance photographer, was named the Spartan Spirit Award winner by the Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce last week.  LeCloux has been clicking his camera for nearly 15 years at a majority of Spartan athletic events.  He says the honor is truly humbling and believes volunteering is an important aspect in every community.



LeCloux shares the most rewarding part of being a photographer for the school.



LeCloux will be honored along with two other recipients at the annual Luxemburg Chamber Christmas Party on December 7.  This is the second in series of the three Luxemburg Area Chamber of Commerce 2019 award winners.  


(Photo courtesy of Luxemburg Chamber of Commerce, Ted Stodola, Alex Stodola, Ron LeCloux, Jean Dax and Glenn Schlender, L-C School Superintendent)


Thanksgiving weekend visitors boost Door County businesses

Thanksgiving weekend isn't synonymous with July 4th or Labor Day weekend for Door County.  However, it does provide one more opportunity for visitors who like small-town holiday experiences to come north.  Jon Jarosh, with the Door County Visitor Bureau, says the peninsula remains a tourist and family destination even with colder conditions.


Jarosh says Thanksgiving ranks with Christmas and New Year's weekends as late season, holiday destinations for visitors.

Southern Door Hosts County Veterans Program

Monday, November 11th marked the United States Federal Holiday: Veterans Day. Southern Door High School hosted the 2019 County Veterans Program honoring military veterans. The ceremony encompassed both band and choice performances, student readings, and recognition of local veterans. 
The program was attended by Southern Door middle schoolers, high schoolers, teachers, parents, and community members who served. 
After the program in the High school gymnasium, veterans and their loved ones made their way through the student lined hallways filled with applause to a luncheon. Southern Door staff and students served the meals and helped the visitors. 
Talking with students of Southern Door, they had one comment in common. They were all grateful for the service and bravery of veterans. Many students expressed how proud they were of veterans who have served from our community. 
It will be until four years until Southern Door School district hosts the County Veterans Program again.


Students opine on what Veterans Day means to them: 





Graffiti at Anderson Dock questioned

The Village of Ephraim hopes to keep a tradition from crossing the line into graffiti.  Ephraim’s Anderson Dock Barn Ad Hoc Committee, made up of representatives of the Board of Trustees, the Hardy Gallery, and the Ephraim Historical Foundation, will take up the issue at a meeting on Wednesday.  Boaters have signed the building’s walls with their initials for years, but recently the practice has spread to nearby rocks, Jersey barriers, and the gallery’s bathroom. Village President Mike McCutcheon says solutions are necessary.

Work would need to be finished before the gallery opens for the season Memorial Day weekend. The meeting is set to take place at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the village’s offices.




Photo by Tom Jordan

Granary project sends LEGO team to sectionals

Give a trio of Southern Door Middle School Students time and some LEGOs and maybe they could craft a plan for the future of Teweles and Brandeis grain elevator. That was the hope as Avery VanRemortel, Spencer Slezewski, and Hailey Veeser competed at Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, Wisconsin in the FIRST LEGO League regional competition. In addition to programming a Mindstorms EV3 robot to complete missions, Door County’s only LEGO team tackled the granary as a building or public space in the community with an issue that needed to be solved. Mentor Tracy Slezewski says the team of eighth-graders came up with some interesting ideas.

The presentation of the ideas and their programming abilities were good enough to earn the team a berth into sectionals, which will be held next month in Appleton.


Pictures courtesy of Tracy Slezewski


Council looks to purchase school site, softball field

Developer Andy Dumke can finally put the wheels in motion to repurpose West Side School and the adjoining softball field if the Sturgeon Bay Common Council approves a number of items on Tuesday’s meeting agenda. The council first needs to approve rezoning the site from single-family to Planned Unit Development before giving its blessing to purchase the site. The sale price is listed at approximately $850,000. City administrator Josh VanLieshout says it is important to note that a lot has to happen before construction crews begin work for Northpointe Development Corporation.

VanLieshout says he understands the attachment the community has with the site, but also believes this is an opportunity to address the city’s documented affordable housing shortage. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will meet in its chambers at City Hall Tuesday beginning at 7 p.m.

Tree farms prepare for holiday rush

Thanksgiving is well over a week away, but area Christmas tree farms are already in the holiday spirit. Wisconsin is home to over 1,300 Christmas tree farms, including more than a half dozen located in Door and Kewaunee Counties. Aissen Tree Farm in Pilsen needed to turn away people during their open house over the weekend out of concern for the trees lasting all the way to Santa’s visit. Having walked past the hundreds of the trees ready for customers to cut down, owner Tammy Aissen says newly installed tile lines protected some trees from oversaturation.

Aissen says with proper care, trees could last in the home between three and five weeks.

Wiederanders says marijuana reform up to state

Sturgeon Bay has already acted to relax marijuana penalties. Possession within a person's primary residence no longer carries any consequence. In public, fines have been reduced. With decriminalization being debated in Madison, Councilman Seth Wiederanders says nothing further can be done at the local level.


Legislation under consideration in the State Assembly would decriminalize all marijuana possession under 25 grams, including possession in public places. Proponents of decriminalization say that it will alleviate the disparate impact current laws have on minority populations. 

Dana Farm ice rink held up by weather

Kewaunee Parks Director Dave Myers says that the prospect of an ice rink at Dana Farm requires hope at this point. The fall rains have delayed any construction and prep work at the site.


The county envisioned the ice rink and the nearby Winter Park to created a seasonal destination for residents of surrounding communities. Colder temperatures and shortened days reduce the ability for wet ground to dry out. Myers says that the snow tubing hill is ready for the season, as long as temperatures cooperate.


Southern Door FFA Toy Show in December

The Southern Door chapter of the FFA has more presents than Santa's sack this year when it hosts the 14th annual Toy Show on December 1st. Member Kathy Massart says vendors will be on hand to sell to men and women of all ages. Just don't expect trains.


For Massart, organizing the show is a labor of love. She and her husband have a large collection of Farmall toy tractors. Whether you favor red or green and yellow, you'll find what you're looking for at the show. On top of that there is a silent auction and bucket raffles throughout the event. The show runs from 9 AM to 2 PM and is expected to attract roughly 300 visitors. 

Kewaunee County 4-H sees strong reenrollments

The reenrollment period for Kewaunee County 4-H ended on November 3rd and the group saw another strong year with a majority of members opting to remain part of the organization. Youth Development Educator Jill Jorgensen says that flexibility is the key.


4-H has 6.5 million members nationwide divided into over 90,000 clubs. Compared to other youth organizations, 4-H enrollment has held up remarkably well. The reenrollment rate is usually around 60% and studies have shown that kids who enroll at a younger age are more likely to stick with the program.

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.

Removing trace medication risks from home drinking water

Safety concerns about drinking water in Door and Kewaunee counties have renters and homeowners wondering what steps they can take to reduce or eliminate contaminants. While there are filters that can be attached to faucets, water treatment experts say your best bet is to go with a reverse osmosis system. An RO system eliminates molecular contaminants that are smaller than water molecules. Jeff Tebon with Culligan Water Conditioning Services of Sturgeon Bay says it's simple to find out what filtration system would work best for you.



Tebon says reverse osmosis filtration is tailored to remove nearly all metals like iron and lead and organic contaminants and parasites from home drinking water.

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. 


(photo courtesy of

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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