News Archives for 2021-01

Changes proposed for counties joint drug task force

The Door County Board of Supervisors Finance Committee will consider the planned dissolution of the Door County Kewaunee County Joint Drug Task Force.   That proposal is on the agenda of the committee's Monday afternoon agenda.  The proposal calls for each county to operate its own drug enforcement operation.  When the joint task force was formed nearly two decades ago, combined operations were a condition for federal grants.    Sturgeon Bay Police Chief Clint Henry says splitting the task force into separate entities doesn't mean any scaled back efforts to fight illegal narcotics trafficking.

 



Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski also says the end of the partnership with Door County won't mean an end to cooperation with other law enforcement agencies.

 




The meeting of the Door County Board of Supervisors Finance Committee is scheduled for 2:00 PM Monday will be held remotely.  Any interested in attending can log on to   


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Adopt -A-Soldier program continues mission

Despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Adopt-A-Soldier Door County was still able to deliver 85 boxes of care packages to local soldiers deployed overseas. Nancy Hutchinson, the founder of Adopt-A-Soldier, says the organization typically sends out over 1,000 packages a year. She shares how the program designed for soldiers adjusted and donated back into the community locally.

 

 

Hutchinson notes that the Adopt-A-Soldier program is planning to take the collection of items during the first quarter of 2021, with about 85 to 90 Easter care packages being sent to troops stateside and abroad. Other shipments would go out for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The packing operation moved last year to Door Bible Baptist Church in Brussels, and Hutchinson adds that hopes are to have more volunteers helping with the program in the future when the COVID-19 health crisis is more under control. 

Tai Chi balance program coming to YMCA

A 12-week specialty class designed to help individuals avoid serious injuries caused by falling due to loss of balance will be available at the Door County YMCA soon.  Megan Schneider, member services director at the Northern Door YMCA, shares the benefits of the Moving for Better Balance class based on Tai Chi's principles.

 

 

The Door County YMCA's Fish Creek location will start the course at the end of January, while the Program Center in Sturgeon Bay will begin in March.  You can find more information on Moving for Better Balance below.

 

 

(PHOTO courtesy of Door County YMCA)


Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp preservation expands

The preservation of some wetlands that impact wildlife, water, and fish quality in and around Door County continues to grow.  The Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp State Natural Area will grow by 75 acres with the addition of two forested areas near Ephraim's Eagle Harbor.  The now 383-acre preserve protect coastal wetlands vital to flood control.  It's bound on the north, south, and east sides by the Niagara Escarpment. Tom Clay, Executive Director of the Door County Land Trust, says in addition to flood control and wildlife protection, the swamp is an economic asset for the area.
 




Among the endangered species that benefit from the Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp Natural area is the Hines emerald dragonfly.

 

 

 

Christmas tree disposal deadline looms

The residents of Sturgeon Bay still have a week left to get rid of their Christmas trees with the help of the city.  Mike Barker, Municipal Services Director, says all trees must be placed at the intersecting streets closest to their homes to be picked up.  He asks residents to remove everything from the tree before placing it on the corner of the street for pickup.

 

 

The last day of Christmas tree pickup in Sturgeon Bay is Friday, January 22.  Barker notes that the trees are piled up at the compost site until spring when a large grinder comes in and grinds up the trees.  The wood chips then can be used by residents for mulch in flower beds or gardens. 

Possible Internet solution coming to Door County

Those struggling with little to no Internet coverage in Door County may soon have their prayers answered thanks to Elon Musk. Parts of Door County are already part of a beta testing launch of the satellite Internet service called Starlink. Developed by Musk’s SpaceX, Starlink uses thousands of satellites in low orbit around the planet to provide a high-speed Internet connection for users through their own units. The need for fast and reliable Internet in Door County has become a hotter topic since the pandemic started as adults were forced to work from home and students needed to learn through remote construction.  Quantum PC owner Nathan Drager says some homeowners in the areas of West Jacksonport and Clark’s Lake have already seen great results from their beta testing. He believes it could be a game-changer, especially for areas with poor Internet coverage.

Right now the beta is only available to those living in the northern part of the United States and southern California. If there are no hiccups, Drager believes Starlink could have an even wider release later this spring.


Library hopes for large turnout for Big Read

The 2021 NEA Big Read in Door County has the makings for one of its busiest and biggest yet. Readers in Door County have been able to get their hands on this year’s selection, Station 11, since late November via library distribution sites and mobile apps. Station 11 is a dystopian tale of relationships and how culture is reshaping itself and defining a new normal. Beginning on January 28th, participants can watch a performance by the Griffon String Quartet, participate in a book discussion, and hear from the book’s author Emily St. John Mandel. All the events associated with this year’s Big Read will take place virtually. Morgan Mann from the Door County Library hopes that allows more people to participate during the course of the two-week celebration.

The library received a grant from several different organizations and charitable trusts to host the NEA Big Read, which runs until February 15th. You can learn more about the book Station 11 and see the schedule of events for the NEA Big Read by clicking this link.

 

 

Author Emily St. John Mandel, photo credit: Sarah Shatz

Fair boards preparing for 2021 events

Officials for the Kewaunee County Fair and Door County Fair are moving forward with their events in 2021 after canceling them in 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns. Fifty-three county fairs were canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic and nine others were not open to the public. Kewaunee County Fair Secretary Isabella Haen says she has been in contact with officials from the 13 fairs that were able to hold events in 2020. They have said their efforts went above and beyond were actually needed and have extra supplies as a result. Haen says the fact that smaller local shows like the Kewaunee County Futurity were able to be held gives her confidence they can develop a plan that could work.

The Door County Fair is also planning for an in-person event to celebrate their 150th anniversary, but have contingency plans and safety protocols developed just in case. Haen says the Kewaunee County Fair will announce their entertainment in the coming weeks while the Door County Fair will have already booked a number of acts including the BoDeans.

 

The Kewaunee County Fair is scheduled for July 8th-11th while the Door County Fair is set to take place July 28th-August 1st.

Evers broadband plan a good fit locally

The Door County Administrator believes the county will greatly benefit from Governor Tony Evers' proposal to fund broadband expansion. 

 

Evers' 2021-2023 budget plan includes $200-million to bring broadband internet to under-served communities.  That proposal was outlined in the governor's State of the State address on Tuesday.  Administrator Ken Pabich says he agrees with Evers' assessment that reliable internet service is now a necessity. It's also a challenge for Door County.


Pabich is hopeful the state will see the benefits of additional funding for broadband expansion.


Heise proud of what he's leaving behind

It is more than the physical structures and improvements that make outgoing Egg Harbor Village Administrator Ryan Heise proud of his time in Door County. His time in Egg Harbor is coming to a close after five years as its administrator before he takes on a similar role in Saugatuck, Michigan. The expansion of the beach, the establishment of a public art initiative, and the construction of the Kress Pavilion were among the major projects he helped oversee during his tenure. Speaking to DoorCountyDailyNews.com shortly after the Saugatuck announcement, Heise said an overlooked aspect of the Kress Pavillion project he looks fondly on was the transparent process the village held as the plans took shape.

Heise believes that kind of transparency will bode well for the village as it prepares for upcoming road projects involving Church Street this fall and the Highway 42 project in 2023. He wishes he had more time to address the village’s attainable housing needs and to see what happens to the Alpine Resort.  The Village of Egg Harbor held a special Board of Trustees meeting on Friday to discuss recruiting Heise’s replacement.

State Biotech Center highlights science summit

Youth in Brown, Door, and Kewaunee counties will get a chance to explore science for the comfort of their own home next month with a little help from the area’s 4-H organizations. The UW Extension Offices in Brown, Door, and Kewaunee counties are teaming up with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Biotechnology Center to host the Northeast Wisconsin 4-H Science Summit on consecutive Saturdays in February. Participants in grades 5-8 will receive a kit to work on the science experiments at home while interacting with other youth and members of the UW Extension and UW Biotechnology Center teams.  Kewaunee County 4-H Educator Jill Jorgensen says this is another great opportunity for youth to learn in a virtual setting.

The weekly Zoom calls take place from 9-11 a.m. Saturday mornings on February 6th, 13th, and 20th and you do not need to be a 4-H member to participate. You can find more details on the Northeast Wisconsin 4-H Science Summit below.

 

 

Fire engulfs Sturgeon Bay garage

A garage in rural Sturgeon Bay is a complete loss after a fire occurred there late Friday night.

 

Crews were dispatched to the home on Sand Lane at approximately 10:15 p.m. to the report of visible smoke and flames from the garage. Upon arrival, the Sturgeon Bay Fire Department called for two water tenders from Southern Door Fire Department to fight the blaze. A short time later, the garage became fully engulfed before the roof eventually collapsed. The departments used approximately 62,000 gallons of water to put out the fire and cool down nearby structures. No injuries were reported and the fire remains under investigation as the cause of the blaze is yet to be determined.

 

The Sturgeon Bay Fire Department, Southern Door Fire Department, Door County EMS, and the Door County Sheriff’s Department were able to clear the scene just after 4 a.m. Saturday morning.


Stone Harbor readies playoff and Super Bowl game plans

Lambeau Field is allowing 6,000 fans for the Divisional playoff game between the Packers and the Rams.  Stone Harbor resort, however, will continue limiting the number of Packer fans at its Saturday playoff party to 100.  That's among the COVID-19 precautions that Stone Harbor put in place at the beginning of the regular season.  The resort also installed more TV's to allow for social distancing without missing any of the action.  General Manager Nancy Bertz says other options will be in place to accommodate playoff fever in a safer and fun manner.
 



Stone Harbor is already planning the annual Super Bowl party.  Bertz says this year's event will host more football fans, again with safety in mind.
 


Bertz says tickets are already going fast for the Super Bowl party and expects a sellout Saturday night with a Packers win.

 

(photo courtesy of Stone Harbor Resort) 

COVID-19 positive tests down

Door County Public Health disclosed 16 more positive tests of the coronavirus on Friday with one probable case.  Thirteen new recoveries were noted as active cases increased four to 307.  No new hospitalizations or COVID-19 fatalities were reported.

Kewaunee County added 13 more COVID-19 cases, with active cases going up three as ten new recoveries noted.  There were no additional hospitalizations or deaths.
 

Wisconsin Department of Health Services identified 2,269 new COVID-19 cases in the state on Friday. The positivity rate was about 28 percent of the over 8,000 test results.  The DHS also reported that over 213,000 doses of vaccines had been administered in the last month.  

 

 

 

Math Meet held differently, Sturgeon Bay takes honors

The first Packerland Conference Math Meet of the year had similar results but was held a little differently.  In past years the teams travel between each school district, but now the weekly competitions are held at each respective school.  Sturgeon Bay Math teacher and Coach Cliff Wind says the camaraderie and instant feedback from the students are missed.   Sturgeon Bay captured the first meet on Monday with 286 points, with Oconto finishing second with 215.  Sturgeon Bay’s success can be attributed to the educators, and the way classes are scheduled, according to Wind, having won conference championships for nearly twenty years in a row.

 

 

Sturgeon Bay students claim the top spot in three of the four classes and the junior varsity competition.  You can see the complete results of the first Packerland Conference Math Meet below.

 

 

 

Seniors Name   

1              Abram Abeyta   STURGEON BAY 37 points

2              Henkel, Lexie     GIBRALTAR         33

3              Hitzeman, Jack  GIBRALTAR         32

4              Schmidt, Breanne            ALGOMA             32

5              Lee, Hannah       ALGOMA             30

                                               

Juniors                                 

1              Stephens, Maggie            STURGEON BAY 37

2              Konop, Andrew STURGEON BAY 35

3              Ash, Makayla     STURGEON BAY 34

4              McKeefry Phillip               OCONTO              32

5              Holmgren Grace               OCONTO              31

                                               

Sophomores                                     

1              Pudlo, Russell    STURGEON BAY 37

2              Serafico, Scarlet STURGEON BAY 35

3              Walker, Espen   STURGEON BAY 32

4              Nell, Luke            NEW      30

5              Bartels, Owen   KEWAUNEE        29

                                               

Freshman                                           

1              Zittlow, James   SOUTHERN DOOR            34

2              Linnan, Ezra        SEVASTOPOL     29

3              Tomberlin, Jade STURGEON BAY 22

4              Stephens, Ben   STURGEON BAY 20

5              McCormack, Helen          GIBRALTAR         16

                                               

                                               

Varsity Teams                                   

1              STURGEON BAY                286

2              OCONTO                             215

3              KEWAUNEE                        211

4              SOUTHERN DOOR             200

5              NEW                                      199

6              ALGOMA                             183

7              SEVASTOPOL                      153

8              GIBRALTAR                         140

                                               

JV Teams (7 total teams)                                           

1              STURGEON BAY #2           269

2              KEWAUNEE        #2           114

3              OCONTO              #2           65

4              SOUTHERN DOOR #2           41

 

 

 

Door County preparing for next phase of vaccination distribution

The state of Wisconsin could start COVID-19 vaccinations for Phase 1B-eligible people in the coming days. The decision would follow other states that have already moved on to other groups of people after first vaccinating health care workers and assisted living residents. Indiana started vaccinating those 80 years of age and over last Friday. Illinois and Michigan announced it would move to its Phase 1B plan in the coming days, which includes those 65 and over and select frontline workers. A move to Phase 1B for Wisconsin could mean approximately 8,000 people in Door County would become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.  During a Facebook Live session with Door County Medical Center and Door County Public Health Department, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise reiterated why the vaccines are rolling out in the way that they are currently.

The administrations of President Donald Trump and President-Elect Joe Biden have called on states to act quicker to open the COVID-19 vaccinations up to those 65 years of age or older or have underlying health conditions.

 

 

Court decision impacts Kewaunee County case

A Wisconsin Supreme Court decision made earlier this month could have an impact on a nearly decade-old case involving a Kewaunee County farm. The state’s highest court granted the legislature the ability to intervene in a pair of cases involving the Department of Natural Resources and Clean Wisconsin. One of those cases dates back to 2012 when Kinnard Farms sought to increase its herd to 6,000 cows.  According to Wisconsin Ag Connection, Administrative Law Judge Jeffrey Boldt ruled back in 2014 that the expansion could take place, but only if monitoring wells were installed. Brad Schimel, who was the Attorney General in 2015, said state agencies cannot impose permit conditions that are not state law, something a Dane County judge disagreed with when he made his ruling to allow the DNR to reinstate the regulations. Nancy Utesch from Kewaunee CARES has been one of the most active voices against groundwater contamination in the area and does not believe the legislature should step in.

Utesch believes the time has come to act, not to keep volleying it between courtrooms and state agencies.

She suggests the re-establishment of the state intervenor’s office, which was created by Republican Governor Warren Knowles back in the 1960s as a watchdog office to protect the public interest in water regulatory issues. The office was disbanded in 1995.

Boys and Girls Club, Sevastopol team up on learning center

Sevastopol School District students will have somewhere to go on days they are not required to attend in-person classes.

 

The district and the New Boys and Girls Club of Door County announced this week it was setting up a Learning Support Center just north of their building at the Institute Saloon. The center will provide a place for students to complete schoolwork and participate in other activities. Boys and Girls Club of Door County Executive Director John McMahon said in a press release that the center will provide over 100 students and parents additional resources to support academic success in the community. Sevastopol Director of Pupil Services Melissa Marggraf expressed her appreciation for the partnership, saying the district remains dedicated to finding alternative paths to support students and their families. The Learning Support Center is open to 24 students a day to allow proper social distancing. You can find more information about the Learning Support Center and how you can register by clicking this link.

 

Picture from the Door County YMCA, which developed a similar program for Gibraltar students last fall.

Area sees another COVID-19 death

Kewaunee County recorded its 34th COVID-19 death on Thursday, however, recoveries outpaced new cases. Since their last update on Tuesday, Kewaunee Count Public Health noted 22 new positive tests with 40 recoveries, bringing active cases down 19 to 63. There were no current hospitalizations, and that number remains at two.

    

Door County saw positive cases outnumber recoveries of COVID-19 for the second day in a row. On Thursday, Door County Public Health reported 30 new coronavirus cases with 18 recoveries noted. Active cases increased by 12 and now stands at 303. No deaths and one additional hospitalization were reported in Door County. 

 

Wisconsin Department of Health Services disclosed 2,712 additional COVID-19 cases on Thursday, with 99 more hospitalizations and 42 more deaths.

Door County COVID-19 vaccine update

The first round or Phase 1A of vaccines for Door County provided about 1,450 doses.  According to a press release by the Door County Public Health Department on Thursday, most healthcare personnel and long term care residents have received the first round of a COVID-19 vaccine.  Public Health worked with Door County Medical Center and local pharmacies to initiate the initial vaccination process.  The release notes “how we receive the vaccines and who is eligible for these in each phase of our role out is determined by the State Department of Health Services.”  


So far, Door County has received both Pfizer and Moderna brands and cannot control the quantity or times the vaccines are received.  


The state is approximately halfway through getting all 1A-eligible people immunized.  
You can read the entire press release here.

Monitoring key to online safety

The recent federal indictment of a Sturgeon Bay man for child pornography production has local law enforcement stressing the importance of safeguarding your child from potential predators online.  Door County Sheriff Deputy Pat McCarty says the most important tip he can give parents is to monitor their child’s activity on social media and electronic devices.  He notes that many times parents may not even know who their child is interacting with online.

 

 

McCarty notes that predators often look for opportunities to groom children for illicit purposes.

 

 

McCarty says that law enforcement sees younger and younger children being approached online by people with nefarious intentions.  Parents should put restrictions and controls on their child’s mobile devices, as well as monitoring and putting oversight in play.  McCarty suggests sitting down with your son or daughter and having a conversation if you notice a change in your child’s behavior or activity.

Local disruption not expected ahead of inauguration

While the Wisconsin National Guard heads to Washington D.C. and the Wisconsin State Capital gets boarded up, law enforcement officials expect things to be calm locally. Governor Tony Evers announced Wednesday the deployment of 500 Wisconsin National Guard members to Washington D.C. to support security ahead of the Presidential inauguration on January 20th. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned state governments of possible armed protests in all 50 states at their capital buildings in the aftermath of last week’s unrest at the United States Capitol. Sturgeon Bay Police Captain Dan Brinkman is not concerned about similar events happening here because of the trust he has in the community.

Brinkman says there has been no fall out from last week’s events that led to five people dying and dozens of others being arrested.

 

Picture courtesy of the Sturgeon Bay Police Department

Relief bill put on hold

It will likely be two weeks before a COVID-19 relief bill gets passed by the Wisconsin Legislature after the Assembly and the Senate left for their home districts on Wednesday. The state Senate passed an amended version of Assembly Bill 1 on Tuesday and earned the endorsement of Governor Tony Evers. The new version took out provisions that would ban mandatory vaccinations, restrictions on local public health officers, and actions that would have moved the needle on in-person school and worship. First District Rep. Joel Kitchens acknowledges that members of the Senate did introduce some of the omitted elements as separate bills, but he believes they should be negotiated as part of a bigger package.

Kitchens hopes the talks between Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, new Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMehieu, and Governor Evers continue during the break so they can vote on a relief package when they return.

Kewaunee County administers first COVID-19 vaccines

Two-hundred doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are expected to be given in Kewaunee County in the coming days.

 

The Kewaunee County Public Health Department received the Pfizer-produced vaccines earlier this week and began administering them on Tuesday. Right now the only people eligible to get the vaccine are those considered to be in Phase 1A, which includes emergency personnel, community-based residential facilities, funeral homes, eye clinics, and dental offices.

 

In a statement released on Thursday, Kewaunee County Public Health Director Cindy Kinnard stressed patience for those waiting to get the vaccine. They are not sure how many additional doses they will receive and when they will get them.

 

You can contact the Kewaunee County Public Health Department to be placed on a waiting list for the COVID-19 vaccine for when you are eligible to receive it.

New Democratic Party Chair reacts to Gov. Evers speech

Tuesday was a significant day for Kris Sadur of Brussels In more ways than one.  Not only did she conduct her first meeting as the new chair of the Democratic Party of Door County but she celebrated it by watching Governor Tony Evers’ State of the State Address.  Sadur is excited about her new position and appreciated Gov. Evers encouraging words spoken.

 

 

Sadur noted Gov. Evers calling for an overhaul of the state’s unemployment system and a transparent process for drawing the state’s political maps as important issues.   Another call to action was for a bipartisan effort to expand broadband access in the state, which Sadur says is critical, especially in parts of Door County.   Sadur moved to Door County two years ago from the Chicago area, but has been coming to the area for the last 25 years.   

Door County adds one more COVID death

Another Door County resident has passed away from COVID-19 complications according to the most recent report from the public health department.

 

That increases the total of COVID-19 related deaths to 16 in Door County on a day that saw 26 new positive tests and 19 recoveries.  Over 40 percent of the tests performed came back positive.

 

Kewaunee County will not be reporting new COVID-19 numbers until Thursday.

 

Statewide there were 2,134 new positive tests and 38 COVID-19 related deaths.

 

Door County 

The Public Health Guidelines we know to be effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 remain unchanged. We are urging the community to remain diligent in following these guidelines to reduce further spread of COVID-19 in our community.

Tests Performed: 15,055 (+58)
Positive: 2,213 (+26)

Probable: 179 (+7)
Negative: 12,663 (+25)

Recovered: 2,085 (+19)
Active: 291 (+13)
Deaths: 16 (+1)
Total Ever Hospitalized: 75 (+2)
Understanding the Reported Data

 

Wisconsin

Tests Performed: 2,928,143 (+7,427)
Positive: 513,270 (+2,134)
Negative: 2,414,873 (+5,293)
Deaths: 5,248 (+38)

Total Ever Hospitalized: 22,705 (+122)
Wisconsin Summary Data

Trump impeached for a second time

Wisconsin’s congressional members voted along party lines as President Donald Trump was impeached for a second time Wednesday.

 

Rep. Mike Gallagher, who represents Door and Kewaunee counties as part of the Eighth District, voted against impeachment, joining the state’s four other Republican members. He also voted against a separate measure requesting Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the powers of the 25th Amendment which also could have been used to remove the President. In a statement released late Wednesday afternoon, Rep. Gallagher says the impeachment will not cause President Trump’s tenure to end quicker or help to restore constitutional order.  He called on all members of Congress to work together to earn back the American people’s trust.

 

The stage now moves to the Senate where Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin told MSNBC’s Katy Tur Tuesday they should remove President Trump as quickly as possible. Senator Ron Johnson tweeted on Tuesday that anyone wishing to exercise their First Amendment rights to do so peacefully. He added if protests turn violent that offenders should be arrested and prosecuted. Fox News reported on Wednesday that Senator Mitch McConnell has indicated a Senate trial would not occur until January 20th.

 

STATEMENT FROM REP. MIKE GALLAGHER, PUBLISHED ORIGINALLY IN THE WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL

 

"I strongly opposed the un-Constitutional and dangerous effort to overturn the election on January 6th, but I think impeachment accomplishes nothing.

 

"First, let’s be candid. President Trump bears responsibility for the tragic events of January 6th, 2021. He lied to his supporters, insisted that his “sacred landslide” election was stolen, and suggested that Vice President Pence should or even could reverse the outcome. He then dithered for hours as the Vice President, the Congress, and its employees were in mortal danger, castigating Pence as a coward. Many of my colleagues carry a heavy share of blame as well, jumping into the fray for political advantage. And of course, those in the insurrectionist mob who chose to desecrate our seat of government, attack our police, and embarrass our country must face the full force of the law.

 

"In wake of this tragedy, failing the President’s resignation, a swift and strong censure from Congress is the most prudent path forward. Yet House Democrats refused our good faith offer of censure. Instead they have rushed to impeach the president even though any trial in the Senate would likely begin after he leaves office, and therefore it will not remove President Trump from office and is unlikely to prevent President Trump from holding office again. Many among their ranks, apparently including Speaker Pelosi, also believe Republican Members of Congress who objected to the Electoral College vote deserve to be expelled from the body.

 

"This is not wise. It will not advance the cause of justice. It will not restore our constitutional order. If anything, it will simply feed a cycle of enmity and polarization, which is already spiraling further out of control, chilling speech and silencing debate. We must break that cycle, whatever the cost to our own careers and however unsatisfying to our own sense of anger and outrage.

 

"That cycle, fed by and feeding upon mutual distrust and recrimination, did not start on January 6th. It did not begin with President Trump’s election. It is not likely to end soon. However, if we act with prudence, we can at least begin to reverse course. We can work to rebuild rather than erode trust. We can step back from the ledge. Everyone in Congress, House and Senate, Republican and Democrat, should commit to that goal.

 

"We do not know all the pertinent facts about January 6th, and we likely will not know them until well after President Trump has left office. We know that the president enflamed the crowd and encouraged them to march towards the Capitol in a show of resolve. But we also know that he did not tell them to lay violent siege to the Capitol.

 

"That semantic distinction matters. Impeachment is a political tool, but its credibility with the public hinges on charges matching the facts. The fact that the president urged a peaceful march, however irresponsible in context, will make an eleventh-hour impeachment for “Incitement to Insurrection” look partisan and pointless.

 

"A second partisan impeachment will create more and not less cynicism among the American people. Done hastily, it will sow confusion and distrust. Delayed until summer, it will collapse. A second failed impeachment will dramatically empower, not diminish, President Trump.

 

"This is not a time for such fruitless games. It is a time for honesty. We are here because  America’s elected leaders have been lying to the American people. President Trump’s denials about the election may have been the most conspicuous of these lies, but he is not alone. Leaders of both sides have spent the last four years cashing in on temporary outrage.

 

"The proverbial chickens have come home to roost. The American people do not trust us.

 

"We need to earn back their trust. The American people demand accountability. They especially cry out for justice for Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was beaten to death by members of the insurrectionist crowd.

 

"To give them justice, let us start by telling the truth. Why was security at the Capitol so light? Why did it take so long to call out the National Guard? What happened to the Chain of Command? Did anyone in the White House speak to participants in the riot? If so, who and when and to what ends? What did the president say and do during the multi-hour gap between his speech and his tweets telling the rioters to go home? The American people want to know the real answers to these questions. They deserve to know.

 

"Congress should empanel a special investigatory committee, with subpoena power, to establish and then publish the facts surrounding January 6th. The committee should have an equal number of Republicans and Democrats. Its meetings should be closed to the public and its members and staffers should commit to a gag order. Service on this committee must not be an opportunity for grandstanding.

 

"If the special committee uncovers criminal wrongdoing, even if it involves President Trump, that information should be transmitted to the executive branch for appropriate prosecutions.

 

"Doubtless, a thorough account of the events of January 6th will also reveal acts of great bravery. We have already seen video of police officers putting themselves in great danger to protect us. We owe them all a debt of gratitude. The American people deserve to know those facts too. 

 

"This will not be possible on the path of impeachment. The House has passed articles, but the Senate will likely acquit. Along the way we will get more grandstanding but little truth.

 

"Even if the Senate were prepared to convict President Trump, disqualifying him from running for president a third time expresses a fundamental lack of faith in the American people. President Trump has lost my support—permanently. Yet this decision, ultimately, is up to the American public. Previous disqualifications prevented local corruption from infecting federal officeholding. That is a good and responsible use of the disqualification power. Yet if we, as a Congress, put special fetters on who can run for president, then we may as well just admit that we do not trust the American people to make a wise choice.

 

"Perhaps that is what some of my colleagues believe. I do not. The American people want a Congress that works for them, not for retweets. They want legislators, not pundits. And they want to be told the truth. We all had a hand in creating the toxic environment that blew up on January 6th. We are going to have to work together to fix it."

 

Get Healthy Bingo Challenge  

A new health and wellness challenge is playing on a popular game to get people more physically active and fit while having some fun during the winter months.  Realizing that the pandemic has put many restrictions in place, members of the Get Healthy Kewaunee County workgroup are initiating a Bingo Challenge.   WIC Director and Dietitian Rachel Bauer explains how the Get Healthy Kewaunee County Bingo Challenge works.

 

 

Examples of tasks that need to be completed include visiting Winter Park for snow tubing or skiing, eating five servings of fruits and vegetables, and donating a healthy item to a local food pantry.  Bingo cards will be made available online this Friday and must be turned in by March 1.  Prizes include a free monthly fitness membership, $50 gas cards, and gift cards from local businesses. 

 

To see Bingo Card click here

The Sturgeon Bay Police receives certification

The Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group has recognized the Sturgeon Bay Police Department with certification for their "use of force" policy.  According to the letter sent to Police Chief Clint Henry by the group, Sturgeon Bay Police qualified to receive federal grants for reaching eligibility requirements set down by the U. S. Department of Justice for the next three years.  Glendale Police Chief Mark Ferguson, the Wisconsin Enforcement Accreditation Group president, shares the two criteria that must be met for certification.

 

 

The Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group scrutinizes and reviews local police departments' policies of "use of force".  Ferguson says 180 agencies in the state have applied and received the certification, with the deadline being January 31.

State senate passes COVID-19 relief bill

The Wisconsin State Senate has now put it on the Assembly to approve their COVID-19 relief bill after passing an amended version Tuesday afternoon. The bill includes legal protections for businesses, extending the hours of the state unemployment office, and requiring state health plans to cover COVID-19 vaccinations for lower-income individuals. First District State Senator Andre Jacque says while it does not cover everything they would have liked, it advances the legislation.

 

 

Some Assembly Republicans have already voiced their displeasure with the pared-down version of their bill. Rep John Macco of Green Bay post on Facebook he would not support a bill "that doesn't protect churches, our right to worship or protect against mandatory vaccines." Jacque understands his frustrations and hopes to work with Macco and other members of the Assembly and Senate to address those concerns.

 

 

Even though it was not the compromise he had hoped for, Governor Tony Evers signaled his support for the Senate bill and urged the Assembly to do the same.

Area adds 33 new COVID-19 cases

For the second-day in-a-row, Door County saw recoveries outnumber positive cases of COVID-19. On Tuesday, Door County Public Health reported 17 new coronavirus cases with 24 recoveries noted.  Active cases decreased by six to 278, which is the lowest in several weeks.
One additional hospitalization was reported in Door County.
 
Kewaunee County Public Health disclosed 16 more COVID-19 cases on Tuesday with ten new recoveries.  The active cases in Kewaunee County went up six to 82.   The Hospitalizations in Kewaunee County remained at two.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services confirmed 2,790 more coronavirus cases on Tuesday, along with 149 more hospitalizations and 49 deaths. 

 

 

 

Sturgeon Bay man faces indictment for Child Porn production

A federal grand jury has returned a two-count indictment against a 36-year old Sturgeon Bay man for engaging in child pornography production.  According to a U.S. Department of Justice news release Tuesday, Christopher J. Kone could face up to a mandatory 15 years in prison and up to 30 years imprisonment on each count if convicted.  Matthew D. Krueger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, made the announcement.   Door County Sheriff's Office also investigated the case with the assistance of the Door County District Attorney's Office. 

 

The case will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel R. Humble.

 

 

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrives in Door County

Door County Public Health will roll out the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for up to 250 unaffiliated healthcare workers this week.   Door County Medical Center had provided the Moderna vaccine to consenting frontline staff in the past two weeks.   Health Director Susan Powers says the hospital is collaborating with Public Health to now vaccinate dentists, chiropractors, eye doctors, private nurses,  EMTs, and other 1A designated workers by invitation only.  The first shipment of weekly doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be given in the next few days as another order will come next week.

 

 

Powers says Door County Medical Center does have some vaccines leftover and that Public Health could send any 1A population to get vaccinated if they should run out of the 250 doses received.  She says the State of Wisconsin has not opened the vaccine to the 1B population, which is not clearly defined by the state at this point.  Once Wisconsin has determined who is eligible under the 1B classification, Door County Health Department will then wait for the green light to vaccinate.  

Southern Door High School building bridges for returning students

As families become more comfortable sending their kids back to school, Southern Door High School is helping make sure they make a smooth transition.  The Bridges Program launched last week to give students who have been learning 100 percent remotely since the beginning of the school year to engage with their teachers and be on campus for a limited amount each week. Students would go to the school’s FAB Lab three days a week for two hours a day. They would have access to a teacher separate from the rest of the student population to answer questions and monitor progress. Southern Door High School Principal Steve Bousley hopes the program is successful in re-engaging students with in-person learning.

 

 

Bousley says the program was developed in response to parents asking for additional learning opportunities for students in remote learning and for help addressing their child’s social and emotional needs. Interested families can contact the school district to be a part of the program.

 

This story previously said Southern Door School District. The program is for high school students only. DoorCountyDailyNews.com regrets this error.

Healing services to continue in priest's memory

A Catholic priest and frequent visitor to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion will be honored with the Eucharistic healing prayer service he helped begin. Father Ubald Rugirangoga died last week in Salt Lake City from COVID-19 complications. A survivor of the Rwandan genocide, Father Ubald made several visits to the Champion Shrine in recent years, most recently in October. Communications Director Corrie Campbell says Father Ubald had a very strong Marian devotion and believed heavily in the healing power of the religious site.

Campbell believes Father Ubald had a strong connection not just to the Champion Shrine, but also to Door and Kewaunee counties.

The Eucharistic healing prayer services led by Father Ubald drew more than 25,000 people to the Champion Shrine over the last five years. In addition to continuing to hold Eucharistic healing prayer services on the last Saturday of every month in his honor, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help is planning to release details on a special Mass for the Repose for Father Ubald in the near future.

 

Screenshot from 10/8/2020 Eucharistic healing prayer service

Call for Presidential removal falls on party lines

The opinion of removing President Donald Trump from office falls largely along party lines in Wisconsin.

 

In a statement the day after the unrest that occurred in and around the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, Democratic U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump. The statement also called on Congress to address possible impeachable offenses if the 25th Amendment is not used. 

 

Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher is taking the opposite approach, instead joining a group of seven House members in requesting President-elect Joe Biden to ask Speaker Nancy Pelosi to discontinue her efforts to impeach President Trump a second time. In the letter, the members of Congress called the impeachment proceedings shortly before inauguration day “as unnecessary as it is inflammatory” and suggest it would “undermine [his] priority of unifying Americans.” 

 

As of Tuesday morning, Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson had not released a statement on the possible impeachment hearings, but joined Rep. Gallagher and Senator Baldwin in denouncing the violence that ensued at the Capitol last week.

 

House Democrats introduced the articles of impeachment on Monday.

 

 

LINK TO LETTER SIGNED BY REP. GALLAGHER 

 

Peninsula Transportation Coalition gets boost

A recent grant will help the Peninsula Transportation Coalition further study options for a bus system that would work simultaneously with others currently supplying rides.  Coalition member Louise Howson says the $2,500 grant from the Door County Community Foundation is the latest step in its mission to meet service goals for residents and visitors and offer employment opportunities.  She says the next step is to connect routes between and within Door County communities, much like what was done in Sister Bay.

 

 

Howson says plans are for the shuttle to run this summer.   The endgame is to have a transportation system that runs throughout the Peninsula in the smoothest and most efficient manner.  The new system would work hand-in-hand with Door Tran and the County’s Door2Door Rides and ADRC services.     

 

(photo courtesy of pixabay) 

Recoveries up as Kewaunee County adds one COVID-19 death

Kewaunee County reported their 33rd coronavirus death on Monday, and the area saw more recoveries than new cases of COVID-19 since Friday.  Kewaunee County had 27 recent recoveries compared to 26 more positive tests confirmed.  The active cases decreased by two and are now at 76.  Two people
remain hospitalized from Kewaunee County with COVID-19.    

Door County has also added 26 coronavirus cases since Friday.   Recoveries went up 56 to lower the active cases to 284.  There were no reported deaths in
Door County and hospitalizations remained the same.  

Wisconsin Department of Health Services confirmed 1,456 more positive tests of COVID-19 on Monday with 56 more hospitalizations and five deaths. The DHS also announced that starting January 18, Police and Fire personnel will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. 

 

 

 

 

 

Fans inside Lambeau Field decided Tuesday

Local Packer season ticket holders who opted in back last summer will find out Tuesday if they can purchase tickets for this Saturday afternoon’s NFL Divisional Playoff game.   Bob Spude of Sturgeon Bay was one of about only 20 percent of season ticket holders to opt-in and received an email informing him about how the presale online will be handled on Tuesday.  Limited to only 6,000 fans inside Lambeau Field, Spude is still excited for the opportunity to possibly watch the Packers in-person. 

 


 Spude is planning on getting four of the six allowable tickets in the socially-distanced pods throughout Lambeau Field.  The mobile tickets are non-transferable and range from $127 to $177 apiece plus fees.  The presale for tickets begins at 10 am Tuesday through Ticketmaster.  The kickoff is set for 3:35 pm Saturday between the Green Bay Packers and the Los Angeles Rams.   

Washington Island turning COVID corner

Services on Washington Island continue to be altered due to a surge of cases, but Town Supervisor Hans Lux believes things are improving. As of last week, there were over 50 positive cases on the island since the pandemic began, with many of those coming since Christmas when two residents passed away from COVID-19 complications. Several of the positive cases involved town employees according to Lux, which cause offices in the town to close. The town hall is expected to reopen on Wednesday by appointment only and the community van will go back into operation with the proper COVID-19 protocols in place. The police department and the recreation center remain closed for at least one more week and Washington Island School is in virtual learning until January 18th. Despite the inconveniences caused by the surge, Lux is happy the residents of the island took the precautions seriously.

Lux adds that the town should know if things can return closer to normal on Friday. That is also when the Washington Island School Board will reconvene to discuss if they will continue in virtual learning or welcome students back to the building on that following Monday.

 

AFFECTED SERVICES FOR THIS WEEK (JANUARY 11TH-JANUARY 15TH)

 

ISLAND EXCHANGE/LANDFILL

The Island Exchange has resumed normal winter operating hours. It is open 8 am to 12 noon Monday and Wednesday, and 8 am to 3 pm Saturday. Please continue the rules of being patient, masking, and waiting at the stop sign until an opening develops at one of the two stations (paper/cardboard & garbage). Please keep person to person contact to a minimum and always maintain a minimum six-foot distance on-premise.

 

TOWN OFFICES

The Town Offices will reopen to appointments only beginning on Wednesday, January 13th. Please call #847-2522 to schedule. All transactions will take place at the side window and masking will be required. Any messages left will be answered when office staff is available to do so.

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT

Officers will continue to be on duty; however, the Police Department offices will be closed to the public during this time. Incidents will be handled whenever possible by phone if the officer’s presence is not required on the scene. If you have an emergency, call 911. To leave a message for an officer to return, call #847-2355. If you wish to reach the on-duty officer, contact Door County Dispatch at #920-746-2400, Option #0

 

REC CENTER

The Rec Center will be closed the entire week as well and is planned to reopen on Monday, January 18th. The Rec Center follows the school schedule as to access.

 

WASHINGTON ISLAND SCHOOL

Washington Island School has shifted to virtual learning only through January 18th. The school will revisit this decision on January 15th.

 

WASHINGTON ISLAND COMMUNITY VAN

The Washington Island Community Van will begin scheduling rides again, provided COVID-19 protocols are followed. This includes the passenger and driver will always be masked, restrictions apply as to where trips can be taken to, and cleaning of the van prior to and after transport. For more information, contact Ti Heal at 920-847-2014.

Town administrator peaks discussion at special meeting

The Town of Gibraltar Board will host a special meeting this Wednesday to discuss the future hire of a town administrator.

 

Bringing a town administrator into the fold has been a topic of discussion since November when it began talks to work with The Harding Group. At a board meeting held earlier this month, The Harding Group presented a project plan for a town administrator, which also included the development of the job description and an organizational ordinance draft outlining the roles of the board, chairperson, and appointed officials. According to the Town of Gibraltar budget presented in November, approximately $71,000 has been budgeted for the role.

 

The Town of Gibraltar will host the special board meeting on Wednesday beginning at 6 p.m.

Kewaunee changes high school schedule

As the pandemic has evolved, so has the schedule for Kewaunee’s high school students. Since school started back in September, the high school has gone through two stints of 100 percent virtual learning for the entire class body of at least two weeks. Students started a new model of instruction on Monday that will have all freshmen, sophomores, and juniors in the building for four days a week. Seniors will have in-person instruction three days a week but are allowed to come to school additional days if they are in danger of not getting enough credits to graduate. It is a change from a previous model where students would be in the building for a couple of weeks straight before going to remote learning for five days. Kewaunee Principal Mike Bennett says the schedule was difficult not just on staff but for parents as well. He hopes this new model will be in place for the rest of the school year if the pandemic allows it.

Bennett is thankful to the district's parents for filling multiple roles for students during this school year as they have bounced back and forth between virtual learning and in-person instruction. The high school started 2021 with one week of virtual learning as an extra precaution for students coming back from winter break.

Basketball game attendance on agenda for Gibraltar School Board 

The Gibraltar School Board will be considering an action to allow parents to attend their child's home basketball games in the future on Monday.  Right now, with COVID-19 precautions in place, no fans are allowed in the gymnasium for ballgames.  The administration will be bringing along a recommendation that will enable parents to attend the games while following safety protocols to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread among adults, employees, and the student-athletes.  The Gibraltar School District Board will also discuss resuming in-person board meetings and public access while allowing members to attend virtually if they so choose.  A primary election for the school board will be needed in February as the number of candidates is more than twice the number of seats available.  The school board meeting's virtual executive session will be at 6 pm, with the regular meeting scheduled for 7 pm. Gibraltar's Financial Planning Committee Meeting will be on Wednesday.

Witcpalek elected to Edge Farmer Cooperative

One of the top milk-based farm cooperatives in the country has elected Jamie Witcpalek of Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy to its board of directors. Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative announced last week that Witcpalek and Justin Peterson of Creamery Creek Holsteins in Bangor will join the board for three-year terms. Witcpalek has been involved with Edge for over ten years, since her father, John Pagel started the organization. Pagels Ponderosa Dairy near Kewaunee milks 575 cows per hour, producing 10 gallons of milk per day. According to the news release, Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative provides dairy farmers throughout the Midwest with a powerful voice in Congress, with customers, and within their communities. 

Crossroads mapping out hiking trails 

Although the lack of additional snow recently prevented ski trails from remaining open in some parks and other venues in the area, Crossroads at Big Creek reminds people that all their paths are available for hiking. Coggin Herringa, the naturalist at Crossroads, says health experts agree that it is better to spend some time outside of the home to keep healthy. She notes that the Big Creek Preserve has a new set of maps for hikers to navigate the trails.

 

 

Crossroads at Big Creek is currently going through a restoration program to eliminate invasive species from the three properties being managed.   The 200-acre preserve has recreational opportunities at the Ida Bay, and Cove preserves along with Big Creek.  The Collins Learning Center and restrooms are closed to the public at this time, but trails are open with social distancing practiced. 

Door County YMCA extends weekend meal program

The Door County YMCA announced this past week that it would continue its Share Our Strength Weekend Meals Program through May 30.  In partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Door County, lunch-time meals and snacks are offered free to community members.  Door County YMCA's new Chief Executive Officer Heidi Erickson says it is one of the many programs that will be expanded this year to benefit the community.

 


The registration process has not changed. Anyone interested in receiving food from the program needs to have enrolled for the upcoming weekend before 10 am Wednesday through the Door County YMCA website or phone (920) 743-4949.  Pick up for the requested meals is between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm on Friday afternoons.  Pick up in Sturgeon Bay will now be at the Lansing Avenue Center, while in Fish Creek, it will still be at the Northern Door Program Center. 

Options for controlling wild turkey population boom

Wild turkeys are abundant around rural and urban areas in Wisconsin. Farm fields and neighborhoods in Door and Kewaunee counties are no exception.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says the birds are thriving because of wide-open grassy areas in and around farms, where livestock feed may also be nearby.  The availability of pet food outdoors, bird feeders and gardens have some flocking to neighborhoods in cities and towns.  Those conditions can cause conflicts between farmers and city residents alike when the birds feed and damage property.  DNR Wildlife Biologist Josh Martinez says there are no special hunting seasons planned to reduce the wild turkey population.  He says the best first step is to make your property less attractive to the birds.  From there, Martinez says farmers and communities can take more drastic measures.

 



Property owners in more populated areas can also remove nuisance birds by bow hunting.  Martinez says to check community ordinances first and, if necessary, with your neighbors.
 



Martinez also recommends obstructing reflective windows as much as possible.  Those can agitate tom turkeys into thinking their reflections are rival toms that are invading their territories. 

 

(Photo courtesy of Wisconsin DNR)

United Way sets record in annual campaign

The United Way of Door County has been kept busy due to COVID-19 and the community rewarded them for their efforts. Over $750,000 was donated during their annual campaign that wrapped up officially on Thursday. Its previous high watermark for donations was approximately $563,000 and the organization has only crossed the $500,000 threshold four times in its history. United Way of Door County Board President Peter Kerwin says some donors gave multiple times during the course of the year knowing how much the funding would be needed. Even with the record giving, the United Way of Door County will not be able to fund every application request 100 percent completely due to the increased need in the area. Despite that, Kerwin knew the community would come through in a big way.

Kerwin also noted over $100,000 of the total came from new donors. Some of the funds collected by the United Way of Door County will go towards child care options across the county, HELP of Door County, and the Door County Dental Clinic.

Early morning fire in Baileys Harbor

The Baileys Harbor Fire Department responded to a fire of an unoccupied vehicle that was parked in a driveway at 2534 Linda Lane shortly after 8 am Saturday.  Baileys Harbor Fire Chief Brian Zak describes the scene when they arrived at the fire.

 

 

Zak adds it is unknown what caused the engine fire.  No injuries were reported and the pickup truck is considered a complete loss.  Northern Door Mutual Aid was initially paged but was canceled since the fire was contained and did not reach the residence.   

 

(photo taken by Tad Dukehart)  

First day of school coming for Gibraltar Secondary

Staff at Gibraltar Secondary School will get to see many of their students in-person for the first time since last March this Monday and Tuesday.  Students in sixth, eighth, ninth, and twelfth grades will be in the building on Monday, and on Tuesday it will be orientation day for kids in grades seven, ten, and eleven.  After that, the two groups will alternate weeks until Gibraltar Secondary School enters phase two of its reopening plan. When they are not in the building, students will still be learning remotely five days a week. For families opting to not allow their kids back, they will learn synchronously with the students who are in the classroom. School will look different than it did pre-pandemic with students and staff members masking up among other mitigation efforts. Principal Gereon Methner says he is just happy to be able to see students get off the bus and walk through the hallways again.

Methner says it varies by grade level, but up to 75 percent of kids will be returning to the classroom. Gibraltar Elementary School will be in Phase 2 of their reopening plan, which allows more students in the building. High school-aged students participating on the school’s athletic teams have been able to come to the building for practices and games since their seasons started in late November.

Moore cabin gets restored

A unique part of Wisconsin agriculture and 4-H history received a little tender loving, care over the last several months. The cabin located on the Dana Farm property near Winter Park in Kewaunee is the childhood home of Ransom Asa Moore, who is known as the “Father of 4-H” in addition to creating the University of Wisconsin’s agronomy program and agriculture short course. After 170 years, the fireplace got cleaned up and the cabin’s restorers paid extra attention to the logs that make up the building’s walls. After its unveiling earlier this week, Kewaunee County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Aerica Bjurstrom is happy people will be able to visit this small piece of history for years to come.

The Moore Cabin was restored as a part of a grant given by the 2017 Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days Committee. The cabin is now used for small group gatherings.

 

Village election outlook: Contested election coming to Luxemburg

Luxemburg may offer the only contested village election this spring in Door and Kewaunee counties. Village President Jack Seidl, who was selected for the role approximately seven months ago after the death of Ken Tebon, is slated to face Larry Hurley. Germaine Burkart, Brian Barbiaux, and Lori Hurley are all running for re-election to their posts on the village board but will be joined on the ballot by Ronald Tlachac and Daniel Rueckl.

 

It is all incumbents in Casco as Kelly Pinchart runs again as Village President and Troy Alsteen and Dennis Cravillion look to keep their role as trustees.

 

The Village of Sister Bay will need to fill at least one position on its board with only two trustees running for three spots. Scott Baker and Nate Bell are running to keep their seat while Rob Zoschke is running for village president.

 

Like Casco, the Village of Egg Harbor will just have its three incumbents on the ballot as John Heller looks to stay on as president while Angela Lensch and Joe Smith hope to continue their role as trustees.

 

Additional candidates could still jump into the races as registered write-in candidates. The deadline to do that is April 2nd, just a few days ahead of the spring election on April 6th.

Preparing for winter travel

Motorists in Door and Kewaunee counties should still be prepared for more treacherous roads ahead as the winter driving season heads into a second month. The area has only had a few measurable snowfalls this winter, with the most substantial amount occurring last week when the area saw three to five inches of snow come down. The season is still young and Randy Sahs from Sah’s Auto Center in Sturgeon Bay says a good set of tires could be the difference between you staying on the road or not.

Sahs also recommends your vehicle get a thorough inspection to check on its brakes, batteries, and wiper blades. Local law enforcement and emergency personnel also encourage motorists to travel slowly and give plenty of space to other vehicles on the road while traveling. As of Friday morning, The Weather Channel does not show snow in the forecast for the next 10 days.

Long term lessons from DPI COVID-19 survey

Wisconsin schools, including those in Door and Kewaunee Counties, had to make adjustments in teaching, food services, and transportation to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Local school officials hope those adjustments can help guide education operations during future crises. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Report on Virtual Instruction and School Operations During the Public Health Emergency 2019-2020 School Year surveyed all public school districts.  The  60-page report outlined how each district handled virtual remote learning and non-virtual instruction.  That included providing computers and WIFI hotspots to kids or printed materials for use at home. It also looked at how some districts tried their own approaches to meeting some COVID-19 related challenges.  Sturgeon Bay School Superintendent Dan Tjernagel says this was a huge learning experience for educators on teaching during a major crisis.


Many districts followed similar approaches in remote learning, teaching schedules, and reassigning school personnel to other tasks.  Sevastopol School Superintendent Kyle Luedtke says there was no one-size-fits-all for some school operations.  He believes, however, that documenting the responses will help future educators plan for future crises.

Luedtke believes school administrators will do a lot of note comparisons when they meet virtually later this month.

 

 

Townhall highlights childcare possibilities and challenges

A virtual town hall on child care by the United Way of Door County looked at a new option for families while also showing that many challenges remain.  The meeting focused on the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy program.  Cori McFarland, Deputy Director of the Door County Department of Health and Human Services, believes the shares program offers another option to local families, though many are unaware of it.
 



One obstacle to making the Wisconsin Share program work in Door County is the lack of daycare facilities.  McFarland says the county is looking at attracting non-traditional care providers.

 



More information on the Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy program can be found at https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/wishares 

New COVID-19 cases outpaced by recoveries

Door County saw more recoveries on Friday than new positive cases of COVID-19. Ten new positive test results were confirmed in Door County, but health officials reported 16 recoveries.  There were no new deaths or hospitalizations recorded.

 

In Kewaunee County, 10 new positive tests were confirmed, and 20 recoveries noted, dropping the active cases by 10.  Like Door County, no recent deaths or hospitalizations were recorded.

 

Wisconsin topped the half-million mark for positive tests on Friday with 3,474 more cases.  Door County has reported 2,144 coronavirus cases, while Kewaunee County has 2156.  According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the death toll increased by 40, and hospitalizations went up 136.

 

 

 

Hastings forever connected with Door County

The person who inspired the bright yellow daffodils that cover Door County roadways every spring has died. The former Executive Director of the Door County Chamber of Commerce Bob Hastings is being remembered for being the driving force of tourism and business in the 1990s. Hastings passed away in Florida last Sunday at the age of 72.  Director of Communications and P.R. for Destination Door County Jon Jarosh shares some of the more notable and visible promotions spearheaded by Hastings.

 

 

After Hastings left his position with the Door County Chamber of Commerce, he started up the publication Door County Magazine. According to his obituary, Hastings moved to the east coast and was the Penobscot Bay Area Chamber of Commerce's CEO.   Later he became the Executive Director of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce in Massachusetts before retiring with his wife, Donna, to Florida in 2014. You can read Bob Hastings' complete obituary here.

 

 

Vaccine rollout smooth locally despite state's lagging

You can count Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise among those anxious for the next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations to begin. Heise says over 60 percent of the hospital’s employees have been vaccinated with the first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. He adds all of the residents at the skilled nursing center and half of their staff have also been vaccinated with the second dose coming for some as soon as January 20th. Statewide, the state has struggled to keep up with the demand for the vaccine with only approximately 110,000 receiving it since the rollout started in mid-December. Rep. Joel Kitchens sent a letter to Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm requesting more transparency in the roll-out process of the vaccine, which is the third slowest in the Midwest. Heise’s initial concern was when rural hospitals like Door County Medical Center would receive the COVID-19 vaccines since urban areas like Green Bay got the Pfizer-version first. He says now they are waiting to see who gets to have the vaccination next after healthcare workers and when.

Door County Medical Center has also been able to take care of some of their volunteers, dentists, optometrists, and emergency services employees while Door County Public Health waits for their shipment. Heise adds that once they get more vaccines and they shift phases, they will have plenty of people to administer it.

He says only two or three of the several hundred people they have vaccinated so far have had some kind of minor side effect. He expects the shift to phase 1B, which will include people 75 and older, teachers, first responders, and corrections workers, to start receiving vaccinations later this month.

Sevastopol takes virtual stage this weekend

The challenge of the perfect Christmas gift in turn of the century New York City seems small compared to what students at Sevastopol High School have endured bringing its play to the stage this weekend. Alexis Garret, Owen Ensign-Foulds, Sienna Cain, Lilly Turner, Brooklyn Brauner, Lucas Apsey, Finn Mathews, Brynleigh Ash, Alexa Olson, Izzy Wadkins, Bea Dramm, and Merrick Mann star in Sevastopol’s production of “The Gift of the Magi.” It tells the story of a near penniless couple trying to find the perfect Christmas for each other. Like many events over the last nine months, the students will be masked as they perform the play four times for a live streaming audience. Director Amy Ensign says diction was just as important as anything due to the masks.

Ensign adds the students have adjusted well to performing in front of a camera instead of a live audience.

The performances will take place on Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday at 2 p.m. and are free to watch. You can click on the links above to join the show during the given time.

Luxemburg bowling alley burglarized

The Brown County Sheriff’s Department estimates that tens of thousands of dollars of damage was caused when a Luxemburg bowling alley was burglarized earlier this week.

 

The report posted by the department and shared by Kewaunee County agencies revealed that two unknown offenders cut phone lines and broke into C Z’s Bushville Lanes during the early morning hours on Sunday. While inside, the suspects broke open an ATM and numerous gaming machines. Investigators with the Brown County Sheriff’s Department believe the pair of culprits targeted the business and were familiar with its operations.

 

The department released video footage of the incident on Thursday (shown below) and are seeking the community’s assistance to help identify the suspects.

 

Screenshot is from the video posted below. 

 

 

Zahn reflects on 30 years as County Treasurer

After three decades in office, Last Thursday was Jay Zahn’s official final day as the Door County Treasurer.  Zahn, who announced his retirement last July, was elected Door County Treasurer in 1990 and has been responsible for collecting property taxes ever since.  Carrying many pleasant memories with him for the rest of his life, Zahn shares what he will miss most about his work.

 

 

Jay’s uncle Chester Ostrand actually served as the Door County Treasurer for 18 years prior to Zahn taking office.  A Door County native, Zahn has been involved with many local organizations over the years including the Rotary Club of Sturgeon Bay, the Jaycees, the Miss Door County organization, and the Sevastopol Board of Education.     

Another COVID-19 death 

Door County reported their second coronavirus death this week on Thursday. and 15th overall.  The number of confirmed positive tests increased by 32, while health officials noted 16 more recoveries.   The active cases went up by 13 to 317, and there were no new hospitalizations. 

 
Kewaunee County saw an increase of 19 COVID-19 cases on Thursday and 13 more recoveries.  The active cases went up six to 82, with one more person hospitalized.  


Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 3,791 new positive tests for COVID-19 with confirmed cases approaching half a million.  There were 40 more deaths and 99 additional hospitalizations in the state on Thursday.

 

 

   

 

Temporary Trail Closures at Potawatomi State Park

The beginning of logging operations has temporarily closed some trails at Potawatomi State Park.  The logging is being done mostly north and west of the campground area to clear trees impacted by emerald ash borer and beech bark disease.  Park Superintendent Erin Brown-Stender says the temporary closure is needed as a safety measure.

 

 

Stender adds that trails within the southern portion of the park will remain open.  The snowmobile trail up to and including the campground will be accessible when Door County opens that zone.  Snowmobilers will be able to enter the park and go as far as the campground.  The logging operations at Potawatomi State Park are scheduled through mid-May, but the trails could open sooner if the work is completed early.   

 

 

(Map courtesy of Potawatomi State Park)

Public safety building plans get trimmed down

Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski hopes its proposed public safety building is getting closer to having the residents weigh in on it. Planning for the new facility was placed on hold during the pandemic in order to get a firmer grasp on what the county’s financial picture would look like. As a result, some of the offices and other features were cut out of the project to the tune of $13 million in savings.  Joski says the new $20 million-plus proposal addresses the needs of here and now.

He adds during phase three of the public safety building planning process, it is the committee’s mission to refine the operational costs and the site plans so they can present the most accurate information possible. When considering a future referendum, Joski says failure is not an option.

Further discussion about the public safety building is expected to take place at the next Kewaunee County Board meeting on January 26th. Joski says the site for the facility located near the county’s administration center would give them room to add-on in the future if there was community support.

Kinnard selected as DBA president-elect

Casco farmer Lee Kinnard could be next in line to serve as the president of the Dairy Business Association Board of Directors after being selected as its president-elect on Wednesday. The owner of Kinnard Farms, he has been on the DBA Board of Directors since 2017 and served as its secretary for the last two years. He is humbled by the trust the state’s other farmers have put in him as the DBA continues to collaborate with policymakers. Kinnard is especially proud of the new partnership the organization has forged with the Nature Conservancy and Clean Wisconsin.

His farm is part of Peninsula Pride Farms and the Door-Kewaunee Demonstration Farm Network as both groups seek more sustainable farming practices. Kinnard is excited to get more involved on committees addressing sustainability and regenerative agriculture during his two-year term as president-elect. The DBA consists of 650 members and includes large and small farmers, cheesemakers, animal health companies, lenders, and insurance providers.

Door County Library offers hygge talk

The Door County Library is encouraging you to throw on a pair of slippers and find an extra cozy blanket to cover up with next week. Via Zoom and its Facebook page, the Door County Library is welcoming UW-Madison Assistant Professor Claus Andersen to talk about the concept of hygge, which is a Scandanavian term for coziness. Andersen will discuss how hygge fits in with the Scandanavian lifestyle and how Americans can learn from it. For those who need a little extra help reaching a state of hygge, Morgan Mann says the Door County Library has you covered.

The presentation, entitled Hygge, Health, and Happiness, is part of the statewide Badger Talk series from the University of Wisconsin and will take place on January 13th at 2 p.m. Similar to its activity kits for kids, you can call the library to reserve your own hygge care package to go.

 

 Picture courtesy of UW-Madison Badger Talk Series

 

 

Spring election update: Primary set for Kewaunee

At least one municipality will have a primary before the spring election on April 6th.

 

Three candidates filed papers to run for the District 2 seat in Kewaunee being vacated Jeff Dworak: Evan Gibbs, Wendy Shelton, and Jeremy Robillard. The top two vote-getters in the February 16th primary would face each other in the spring election. Kewaunee’s other seats will be decided at the spring election. District 1 alderperson Arthur Schiller will try to defend his seat from former Kewaunee mayor John Blaha and District 3 alderperson Joe Mills will run against Robin Nelson. Richard Taylor is the only candidate running to represent District 4 and 5, which is being vacated by David Kuehl. 

 

In Sturgeon Bay, incumbent alderpersons Helen Bacon, Dan Williams, Gary Nault, and Kirsten Reeths will run unopposed to keep their spots on the common council.

 

Algoma’s city council will likely feature two new members with Leah Pierquet filling Jacque’s Wiese position representing District 2 and Steve Lautenbach taking over for Mitch Groessl in District 3. John Pabich and Lee Dachelet are also running to keep their posts.

 

The Village of Sister Bay will need to fill at least one position on its board with only two trustees running for three spots. Scott Baker and Nate Bell are running to keep their seat while Rob Zoschke is running for village president.

 

Legacy born at new Dana Farm Ice Rink

Winter Park in Kewaunee will soon have a new attraction nearby thanks to three warm days in Algoma close to four years ago. The Dana Farm Ice Rink will soon open to skaters free of charge once it freezes over. In addition to the ice rink, a warming shelter with bathrooms was also built and the nearby Ransom Moore cabin was also restored. The $100,000 project was funded in part by a donation from the 2017 Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days Committee. Randy Ebert, who hosted the event at Ebert Enterprises, is proud of the legacy Farm Technology Days continues to leave for future generations.

Kewaunee County Promotions and Recreation Director Dave Myers hopes cold temperatures come soon so skaters can stop by and enjoy the new ice rink. As for Winter Park, its tubing hill is expected to open this weekend with COVID-19 safeguards in place. Myers says more snow and cold temperatures are needed for the ski hill, but is hopeful it will open by next weekend.

 

Recoveries outpace new Door County cases

Door County saw more recoveries than new positive cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

Thirty new positive cases were confirmed in Door County, but health officials reported 45 recoveries. There were no more deaths or new hospitalizations recorded.

 

In Kewaunee County, 20 new positive cases were confirmed and noted 15 recoveries for a net increase of five additional active cases. Like Door County, there were no new deaths or hospitalizations recorded.

 

Statewide, 3,406 new cases were reported and 60 additional died from COVID-19. That put Wisconsin above the 5,000 COVID-19 related death mark since the beginning of the pandemic.

 

Kewaunee County Food Pantry gets help from Feeding America

A nationally-based network is aiding one area food pantry to keep up with the community's additional needs.  Ken Marquardt of the Kewaunee County Food Pantry says the increased demand for provisions has been offset by Feeding America, the second-largest U.S. charity that serves over 200 food banks.  He says the pantry is in a good position starting 2021, thanks to donors' generosity and Feeding America.

 

 

The pantry is open Monday and Wednesday from 11 am until 1 pm.  Marquardt estimates that the Kewaunee County Food Pantry helped 119 new families last year and provided for 180 families during the highest demand month of November. 

Erickson excited to return to YMCA family

New Door County YMCA executive director Heidi Erickson is ready for the challenges facing the organization.  Replacing former CEO Tom Beerntsen, who is retiring, Erickson worked as the Northern Door County YMCA executive from 2016-19 before accepting a position at the East Side YMCA in Green Bay.  Erickson says returning to Door County is like coming home again.

 

 

As far as looking ahead, Erickson notes that the plan is to enhance virtual programming provided through the YMCA.

 

 

Erickson credits Beernsten for being a strong leader for the Door County YMCA and helping with the transition period before he retires.  Currently living in Suamico, Erickson plans to move back to Door County shortly.  You can listen to the conversation with Heidi Erickson on the podcast page at DoorCountyDailyNews.com.

Sturgeon Bay moves Third Avenue beautification plan forward

The City of Sturgeon Bay took care of business in quick-order with a 15-minute Common Council meeting Tuesday.  The Council unanimously approving a Memorandum of Understanding between the City and Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding for a Third Avenue beautification plan.  The recommendation came from the Finance/Purchasing & Building Committee, and chair Helen Bacon says the professional project will be paid exclusively by Bay Ship.

 

 

City Administrator Josh VanLieshout added that the Memorandum of Understanding's importance is to create a framework for the City and public to participate in the corridor plan on Third Avenue.  The beautification plan was issued by the Plan Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals as a contingency in granting height variances requested by Fincantieri last year for the expansion of the shipyard for contract work on a U.S. Navy frigate by Marinette Marine.  The upgrades would address landscaping, parking enhancements, the new building's appearance, and the following of storm-water management set down by the DNR.

Door County Civility Project's strong message for 2021

 Incorporating the principles of civility into the fabric of everyday life is the goal the Door County Civility Project wants people to follow in 2021. Steering Committee member Shirley Senarighi says the past year showed us that we could handle a whole lot more than we thought was possible.  She encourages people to approach things with the proper perspective and to be respectful of others' opinions while avoiding passing judgment.

 

 

Senarighi also notes that the additional stresses brought on by COVID-19 concerns should not be excuses for any uncivil behavior.

 

 

You can find a link to Door County Civility Project’s “Speak Your Peace” video series on showing respect, responsibility, and listening to understand below.

 

http://www.doorcountycivilityproject.org/

Public hearing set for former West Side School apartment proposal

A potential new apartment development for the old West Side School building will be the focus of a public hearing in two weeks.  The City of Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission will hold the hearing to allow public testimony regarding the proposed zoning code amendment.  Northpointe Development will then seek approval of a conditional use permit to convert the former West Side School building into multiple-family dwellings with detached garages.  Developer Andy Dumke is proposing a 15-17 unit apartment complex that would house at least half low-to-moderate-income (LMI) rentals. The public hearing by the City of Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission will be held at 6 pm in Council Chambers at City Hall on Wednesday, January 20. 

 

Notice of Public Hearing The City of Sturgeon Bay Plan Commission will hold a public hearing in the Council Chambers,...

Posted by City of Sturgeon Bay on Tuesday, January 5, 2021

 

Another area COVID-19 death

Door County suffered another COVID-19 death on Tuesday.  It was the fourteenth reported COVID-19 fatality since the pandemic began in March.  Only five new coronavirus cases were confirmed on Tuesday out of the 18 tests performed, and active cases went up four with one recovery noted.    

Kewaunee County went up another 17 cases on Tuesday, and active cases increased by 13 with just four new recoveries.  The 32nd death in Kewaunee County was reported on Monday.    
 
One person was hospitalized in Kewaunee County, while Door County did not have any new hospitalizations.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 3,403 COVID-19 more cases on Tuesday with 95 more deaths.

 

 

Show stopped but charity continues

The curtains will not be raised this winter at the Agricultural Heritage Center in Kewaunee, but the group responsible for the annual Hooray for Hollywood shows is still hoping to make an impact in the community. Last year’s Hooray for Hollywood shows raised over $53,000 for approximately 30 Kewaunee County organizations. It also donated additional funds to area food pantries due to the high demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hooray for Hollywood decided to cancel its 2021 performances due to the pandemic, but many of the businesses that have supported past shows are still sending in checks. President Lori Kleiman says it means a lot that the community is still supporting their mission despite knowing the show will not be going on this year.

Kleiman says some of the normal beneficiaries from the shows are still making requests, albeit smaller ones due to the uncertainty of 2021. She adds other organizations can still request funding from Hooray for Hollywood while businesses and individuals can still make donations. You can find those details below. Performers in past Hooray for Hollywood are using the extra time off to prepare for a return in 2022.

Southern Door to offer AP capstone program

Southern Door High School will become one of four in northeast Wisconsin schools and one of 1,800 in the entire country to offer an AP Capstone Diploma program next fall.  The program will focus on college-level research, collaboration, and presentation skills necessary for continuing education and future careers. Students that receive a score of three or higher in the two AP courses will receive a certificate. AP Seminar will culminate with a test while AP Research ends with a year-end paper, presentation, and defense. Southern Door principal Steve Bousley calls it a tremendous opportunity for students to get a taste of college in high school.

Students can start requesting to be in the Fall 2021 course later this year. This represents one of the several AP-level courses available to Southern Door students, many of which offer the opportunity to earn college credit.

Diabetes class gives support

Those at risk of developing diabetes do not have to tackle it alone thanks to a program offered by the Door County YMCA beginning next week. The Diabetes Prevention Program is for those trying to get a firmer grasp on their overall health and wellness.  Attendees learn about nutrition and developing behavioral changes over the course of the year. The class meets once a week to start the year, before transitioning to twice a month, and then monthly sessions. Tonya Felhofer from the Door County YMCA says the class really helps with accountability for people seeking a change in their lifestyle.

The class is usually limited to 10 people and begins on January 12th. You can find more information about the Diabetes Prevention Program below.

 

 

Successful resolutions need gradual progress -- Mental Health Minute

A Sturgeon Bay psychologist says making a new behavior a new habit for your New Year's resolutions requires patience as well as a lot of willpower. Dr. Dennis White predicts you will probably fail if you want instant change.  Bad habits are developed over a long period, and setting realistic goals over time can make your new goals more achievable.

 

 

Dr. White warns that some bad habits are problematic because they represent compulsive behaviors that are part of a deeper psychological issue, like alcoholism.  Over 50 percent of Americans make resolutions every year, but only 15 percent reportedly succeed.  You can listen to the entire audio of this week's Mental Health Minute with Dr. Dennis White on the podcast page. 

Another area COVID-19 death, over 100 recoveries

Kewaunee County Public Health's COVID-19 update on Monday reported one more fatality since last Wednesday. The death is the 32nd in the county, which saw a significant increase in recoveries with 58 over the previous five days. There were 38 additional positive tests for the coronavirus compared with 330 negative test results. The active cases decreased by 21 and now are at 64.     

  

 Door County had 34 more people test positive for COVID-19 since last Thursday, with active cases going down by five to 315 and 56 recoveries noted. 

 

 There are currently no hospitalizations in Kewaunee County and no new people hospitalized in Door County.   

 

 The Department of Health Services reported a decline in COVID-19 cases Monday, with 1,407 confirmed positive tests and 51 more hospitalizations on Wednesday. The death toll in Wisconsin went up nine since Sunday. 

 

 

 

 

 

Unemployment claims backlog finally cleared

People in Door and Kewaunee counties waiting for their unemployment claims to be processed received good news over the holidays.  Last week, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) announced that the Unemployment Insurance Division had cleared up the regular claims backlog.  Former Executive Director of the Bay Area Workforce Development Board Jim Golembeski credits the new leadership in the DWD for using creative thinking by partnering with Google and working through claims in new ways.  He says the processing of recent unemployment insurance claims is impressive.

 

 

Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, DWD has processed nearly 8.8 million weekly claims, which are comparable to four years' worth of claims in just nine months.   As of December 26, over 590,000 claimants in Wisconsin received over $4.68 billion in unemployment insurance benefits. 

Brussels car fire rings in New Year

A motorist was uninjured when his car caught fire along Highway 57 in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day. The Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Department responded to the scene just before 3 a.m. to find the vehicle near County Road H on Highway 57 fully engulfed in the ditch. BUG Fire Chief Curt Vandertie says the vehicle potentially caught fire in the engine compartment in the area around the tires as the driver tried to get unstuck. Vandertie says if you go into a ditch along a state highway that you are required to call for a certified tow truck operator to get you out. He adds it is just easier and safer to let them do the heavy pulling.

 

 

Crews were able to leave the scene a few hours later after putting out the fire and letting the car cool off before the tow truck operator was able to remove it from the ditch. Vandertie reminds motorists to stay in their vehicles to wait for assistance if they do get stuck in the snow.

Washington Island extends service reductions

Many Washington Island services will be operating on a reduced level this week as the town handles a spike of COVID-19 positive cases in the town. The police station and the town offices will remain closed this week as it was last week. The Rec Center will also be closed and hopes to reopen on January 18th when Washington Island School possibly returns to in-person instruction. The Washington Island Community Van will also take the week off out of concern for the coronavirus. Town supervisor Hans Lux told DoorCountyDailyNews.com last week he hopes people take the actions seriously.

This is the second week of service reductions on the island since the positive COVID-19 test spike began in late December, during which two town residents passed away due to complications with the virus. The island’s landfill and recycling center will remain open with COVID-19 mitigation techniques encouraged.

Gallagher in favor of certifying electoral votes

Rep. Mike Gallagher joined six other Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives on Sunday calling for election reform, but not going as far as voting against certification.

Gallagher joined Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Ken Buck (R-CO), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Chip Roy (R-TX), and Nancy Mace (R-SC) in saying it is the states’ job and not Congress’ job to select electors. The move is counter to what members of the Senate did on Saturday when U.S. Senator Ron Johnson joined several others to announce they would object to certifying the Electoral College results when both houses of Congress meet on Wednesday. Both groups agree there are parts of the election process that need further investigation. The statement specifically cites “the reckless adoption of mail-in ballots and the lack of safeguards” as two aspects they believe should be looked at in the future. The statement also points out that in the text of the U.S. Constitution and the 12th Amendment that “there is no authority for Congress to make value judgments in the abstract regarding any state’s election laws or the manner in which they have been implemented.” That means unless the states’ electors say otherwise that the votes should not be changed by Congress.

 

Johnson and 10 other senators are calling for an appointed Electoral Commission to conduct an emergency audit of the election returns in a number of disputed states, including Wisconsin. 

 

You can find statements from both Gallagher and Johnson below

 

SENATOR JOHNSON

WASHINGTON – During an interview on “Meet the Press” Sunday, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) spoke about his support for creating an electoral commission to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns from disputed states.

 

“The fact of the matter is that we have an unsustainable state of affairs in this country where we have tens of millions of people that do not view this election result as legitimate. We've just come off of four years where the other side refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of President Trump, and here we are again.”

 

“This is an unsustainable state of affairs right now. That’s all we're saying is as long as someone will be objecting to this and we’re going to be taking a vote, let's propose a solution in terms of transparency, investigation, with a commission.”

 

“There is a double standard here and we are not being transparent and we are dismissing the concerns of tens of millions of Americans. Again, I didn't light this fire. This fire was lit over four years ago and we have destroyed the credibility – you have destroyed the credibility of the news media by your bias. And of course people like James Comey, Andrew McCabe, John Brennan destroyed the credibility of the FBI and our justice system as well. We have an enormous problem in this country, it’s unsustainable, and the only way you solve it is with information and transparency and hearings and investigations. It’s not quackery, it’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s what is going to be required.”

 

REP. GALLAGHER

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Ken Buck (R-CO), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Chip Roy (R-TX), and Nancy Mace (R-SC) today released the following statement concerning the January 6 vote to certify electoral votes. 

 

“We, like most Americans, are outraged at the significant abuses in our election system resulting from the reckless adoption of mail-in ballots and the lack of safeguards maintained to guarantee that only legitimate votes are cast and counted. It is shameful that between both chambers of the U.S. Congress, we have held precisely one hearing on election integrity since Election Day.

 

"The people cannot trust a system that refuses to guarantee that only legal votes are cast to select its leaders. The elections held in at least six battleground states raise profound questions, and it is a legal, constitutional, and moral imperative that they be answered. 

 

"But only the states have authority to appoint electors, in accordance with state law. Congress has only a narrow role in the presidential election process. Its job is to count the electors submitted by the states, not to determine which electors the states should have sent.

 

"The text of the United States Constitution, and the Twelfth Amendment in particular, is clear. With respect to presidential elections, there is no authority for Congress to make value judgments in the abstract regarding any state’s election laws or the manner in which they have been implemented. Nor does Congress have discretion to disqualify electors based on its own finding that fraud occurred in that state’s election. Congress has one job here: to count electoral votes that have in fact been cast by any state, as designated by those authorized to do so under state law.

 

"As of this moment, not a single state has submitted multiple conflicting slates of electoral votes. In other words, every state has sent either (a) Biden electors, or (b) Trump electors. Of the six states as to which questions have been raised, five have legislatures that are controlled by Republicans, and they all have the power to send a new slate of electoral votes to Congress if they deem such action appropriate under state law. Unless that happens between now and January 6, 2021, Congress will have no authority to influence the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. 

 

"To take action otherwise – that is, to unconstitutionally insert Congress into the center of the presidential election process – would amount to stealing power from the people and the states. It would, in effect, replace the electoral college with Congress, and in so doing strengthen the efforts of those on the left who are determined to eliminate it or render it irrelevant. 

 

"From a purely partisan perspective, Republican presidential candidates have won the national popular vote only once in the last 32 years. They have therefore depended on the electoral college for nearly all presidential victories in the last generation. If we perpetuate the notion that Congress may disregard certified electoral votes—based solely on its own assessment that one or more states mishandled the presidential election—we will be delegitimizing the very system that led Donald Trump to victory in 2016, and that could provide the only path to victory in 2024.

 

"There is one and only one path to victory for President Trump on January 6, 2021, and it depends on state legislatures certifying Trump electors in the states at issue, pursuant to state law and the U.S. Constitution, and based on a finding that votes lawfully cast in November were sufficient to produce a Trump victory. If they believe there was fraud—and if they believe that such fraud affected the outcome of the election—they must, as a body, convene immediately and send us that information, along with certified electoral votes cast by a Trump slate of electors. Absent such action, there is not a constitutional role for Congress to change the outcome of any state’s vote.

 

"The text of the Constitution is clear. States select electors. Congress does not. Accordingly, our path forward is also clear. We must respect the states’ authority here. Though doing so may frustrate our immediate political objectives, we have sworn an oath to promote the Constitution above our policy goals. We must count the electoral votes submitted by the states.”

 

Sturgeon Bay to decide on Bay Ship's beautification plan Tuesday

The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will have the final say on the Memorandum of Understanding between the City and Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding regarding Third Avenue's beautification on Tuesday.  The Finance, Purchasing and Building Committee approved the plan last month, which was part of a contingency in the shipyard receiving a height variance for a new fabrication hall approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals last October.  Bay Shipbuilding needed to provide details of landscaping, parking enhancements, the building's appearance, and the following of storm-water management as set down by the DNR.  The City granted the shipyard two variances concerning an upgraded plan to contract with Marinette Marine's building of a U.S. Navy Frigate.  The Sturgeon Bay Common Council will meet at 6 pm on Tuesday in Council Chambers at City Hall. 

Local grocer expects full food chain recovery by summer

Supermarkets faced challenges keeping their shelves fully-stocked last year as the foodservice supply chain was strained in many areas due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The disruptions in the supply chain had supermarkets scrambling to streamline and look for alternate products to meet consumer demand. Tadych's Econofoods Store Manager Jon Calhoun says with more people staying at home and cooking, especially before the holidays, expected spikes in purchases occurred throughout the store.  He expects the food supply chain to be fully recovered by this summer.

 

 

According to Supermarket News, the trends of more simplified product lines and food brands will continue well into 2021 with a one-to-two percent increase in "food-at-home prices".  Calhoun appreciates the continued support provided by the local community and encourages everyone to shop all area businesses.

Door County room tax increase under study

The Door County Tourism Zone Commission is funding a study on the impact of a proposed increase in the lodging room tax by 2.5%. It's currently set at 5.5%. The commission's Ad Hoc Room Tax Committee voted to accept a proposal from the UW-Whitewater Fiscal and Economic Research Center to study the proposal's potential benefits and impacts. Center Director Dr. Russell Kashian says research has found similarities between Delavan and Door County on how to use increased revenues to enhance a visitor's experiences and attract return customers.



 






Kashian told the committee during a Zoom meeting Tuesday that communities that have raised their room taxes have not seen significant decreases in lodging occupancy rates.

 

(photo courtesy of Rock Koshkonong Lake District)

Domestic abuse centers on power and control

Help of Door County is educating the public that domestic violence is not so much about anger as it is about power and control. Milly Gonzales, the executive director, says an abuser who is losing power and control will lash out and do everything they can do to keep it. She says financial control is another major issue faced in Door County for a variety of reasons.

 

 

Gonzales adds that children can often be used as pawns by abusers, who accuses victims of bad parenting and threaten to take children away. You can find more information about Help of Door County and the complete conversation with Milly Gonzalez below. 

 

 

Choosing the right executor in your will is crucial

One overlooked aspect of estate plans and wills can be selecting the best person to be the executor. Jim Downey from Blazkovec, Blazkovec & Downey in Algoma and Sturgeon Bay says the roles and responsibilities of the executor of the estate or trust come with a lot of work. He says the decision to choose the representative to handle the duties can be challenging at times.

 

 

Downey says he sees that most executors chosen for either the financial or healthcare power of attorneys are usually closest geographically.   

Kewaunee County ends year on a giving note

Kewaunee County residents helped make sure families in their area were able to end 2020 on a high note. The Kewaunee County Toys for Tots Drive assisted 108 families in 2020, making sure 267 kids had toys, a game, stuffed animal and a stocking stuffer under their tree. The final amount of the area’s Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign will be announced next week, but has helped dozens of families in the past thanks to the community donating thousands of dollars. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski helps coordinate both campaigns and says even in a year of uncertainty, he knew for certain the area would give back.

Last year’s Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign raised over $20,000 to help fund vouchers for Kewaunee County residents.

Johnson joins GOP senators in election challenge

Wisconsin U.S. Senator Ron  Johnson joined a group of 10 other Republican senators on Saturday to challenge the results of the November 3rd election.

 

In a released statement, the Republican senators claim there were enough charges of voter fraud and irregularities that an emergency audit of the states with disputed results should take place. One of those states would be Wisconsin, which has faced court challenges by President Donald Trump and the Wisconsin Voters Alliance. Johnson held a hearing to address possible voting irregularities in the middle of December.

 

He told DoorCountyDailyNews.com that even though it was unlikely to change the result of the election, it is important for Americans to be able to trust their elections. The statement comes just days before Congress convenes on Wednesday to confirm the results of the Electoral College. 

Funding coming to aid people with transit challenges

Organizations helping people with transportation challenges in Door and Kewaunee Counties will get some much-needed funding in 2021.  The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will distribute $3,799,860 to 57 public and non-profit agencies that provide transportation to seniors, those with physical challenges and those who have no other way of getting around.  Door Tran in Sturgeon Bay received nearly $146,833 through the 5310 grant program in 2020.  Executive Director Nikki Voight says that helps those who depend on taxi service and military veterans.

Eastshore Industries, Incorporated of Algoma employs those with disabilities.  It received $56,800 dollars in 2020 to replace a transit van.  CEO Tracy Nelson says this year's funding will add a handicapped-accessible van that will seat more people and help clients to better live on their own.


5310 grant funds also help non-profit transit providers cover day-to-day operational costs.

Snowmobilers excited for season's start

The sounds of snowmobile engines may soon be revving throughout Door and Kewaunee Counties. The combination of snowfalls on Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday this week and cold temperatures have allowed groomers to tend to parts of the trail systems in both counties. Weather conditions can change those plans, but Kewaunee Moonriders President Tom Cherovsky is excited for snowmobilers to experience some of the trail improvements made over the last several months. In many cases, the improvements were made to help keep snowmobilers safer while riding.  Kewaunee Moonriders also made a positive impact off the trail in October when it announced it would waive the establishment fee for the 2020-2021 season in order to help still promote the businesses that have supported the organization over the years. Cherovsky reminds riders that if they do hit the trails to stay on them to keep themselves safe and so they can continue using the land they ride on for years to come.The websites for Door and Kewaunee Counties remain the best place to keep up-to-date with trail closures and conditions.

 

 

Early childhood teachers learning pandemic lessons

Northern Door Children’s Center Community Relations Coordinator Karen Corekin-De La Mer says you can always learn from kids, even if it took a pandemic to find out. Like many early childhood facilities across the country, the Sister Bay-based Northern Door Children’s Center has been operating at a lower capacity since the pandemic took its hold in March.  Teachers have learned how to be interactive with their families even on days where they can meet in person. Corekin-De La Mer says seeing the resiliency of their kids has been great to see, even among its youngest of students.

Northern Door Children’s Center is also operating on a cohort model to make sure students and teachers from different classrooms do not mix to help keep as many people in the building and healthy as possible.

Birch Creek hoping for 2021 season

Birch Creek Music Performance Center is moving forward with plans to have students and staff on its Egg Harbor campus for the first time in over a year. The pandemic caused the Birch Creek Board of Trustees to cancel the 2020 season, which included all events, programs, and in-person sessions. The organization was able to offer virtual programming for interested students. Executive Director Mona Christensen says the sessions for percussion and steel band, symphony, and jazz will be held at half capacity. Concerts and other events will be held outside and socially distant if possible. Christensen is confident they can still offer a rewarding experience while also keeping students and staff safe.

CHRISTENSEN1

The two-week sessions begin on June 13th for percussion and steel band, June 27th for Symphony, July 11th for Jazz I, and July 25th for Jazz II. Registration opens on January 4th. 

 

 

S.S. Badger car ferry sold

The historic S.S. Badger car ferry that carries passengers across Lake Michigan from Manitowoc to Ludington has been reportedly sold. The coal-fired ferry was sold to Interlake Holding Company of Ohio last Wednesday along with two other vessels, including the Badger's sister ship the S.S. Spartan, which is not in operation right now. The Pere Marquette Shipping Company and Lake Michigan Car Ferry Company also sold a tug-barge in the transaction. The S.S. Badger, built and launched by Christy Corporation in Sturgeon Bay nearly 70 years ago, is the last coal-fired passenger steamship operating in the country. Kewaunee was once a port for the car ferry before discontinuing service in 1980. Offering four-hour daily trips between Manitowoc and Ludington from May until October every year, the S.S. Badger was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2016. 

 

(Photo courtesy of J.R. Manning and S.S. Badger website)

Weather offered good news for farmers

While 2020 offered bad news in many different ways, the weather was a breath of fresh air for area farmers. Wisconsin had gone through three of the wettest years on record in terms of precipitation. Kewaunee broke a 29-year record with 41.09 inches of precipitation and Sturgeon Bay broke a 34-year record with 50.11 inches. Wisconsin farmers saw a little less rain in 2020 with six months below their historical averages. Peninsula Pride Farms President Don Niles said last week that the more favorable weather allowed farmers to work through their plans and implement some of the conservation practices they have not been able to do for several years.

Financially, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service estimates Wisconsin farmers will see their highest income level since 2013. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the $119.6 billion in 2020 is a 41 percent increase over the previous year. While it is buoyed by payments from the federal government, farmers did see soybean and corn prices go up at harvest time. Monthly milk prices varied over the course of the year, but are currently below where they were at the beginning of 2020.

Budgeting better in 2021

Money Management Counselors is stressing the importance of financial budgeting as 2021 begins.  The community organization in Sturgeon Bay works with families and individuals to improve their lives by teaching sound economic principles to implement all year long.  Director Leslie Boden says although Christmas is over, a long-term spending and savings plan is vital to do all year long.

 

 

Boden adds that sticking to lists and boundaries set down by a plan can make it easier to keep within your budget.  She advises people to utilize a "cash envelope" where you put only so much money aside for gifts throughout the year and only use those funds.   Another idea to save money is to recycle gift cards you might have received and give them to someone else. You can find more tools to create a budget for spending here. 

First-year teacher connecting with students

Lynn Rueckert admits there have been some struggles and achievements as a first-year science teacher at Kewaunee High School. Rueckert teaches three classes, physical science, chemistry, and physics. These classes add up to a total of about 100-120 students. She describes one of her struggles as learning how to teach students a hands-on subject while having virtual and "in-person" students. She also struggles with students who do not value education and feel that it has nothing to do with the "real world." Because of this, Rueckert has changed her teaching style to relate to the students and their interests. 

 

 

 She believes this different teaching style is successful in helping students retain a subject's information and connect with their education.

 

(Photo courtesy of Kewaunee School District)

COVID-19 community testing starting up again

Door County will be teaming up with the Wisconsin National Guard again to provide free weekly COVID-19 testing in the community starting next Monday.  Dan Kane, Emergency Management Director, says the testing will rotate every Monday from 8 am until 4 pm in Sturgeon Bay and Sister Bay through March 8.  He notes the best way to access the new Sturgeon Bay location, the Door County EMS facility by the fairgrounds.

 

 

The Sister Bay location for testing will still be at the fire station on Mill Road.  Kane recommends anyone suffering from mild symptoms related to COVID-19 or possible exposure to utilize the test site.  The pubic is encouraged to pre-register but are not required to do so.  You can find more information on community testing here.  

 

 

Smartphone app aids COVID contact tracing

Cellphone users who've tested positive for COVID-19 can now trace the people they've had contact with locally or beyond Door and Kewaunee Counties.  The WI Exposure Network is a new mobile phone app that sends a code to people who've tested positive.  Once that code is entered into the app a phone's Bluetooth technology then anonymously notifies other people contacted during the time of potential exposure.  Susan Powers, with the Door County Department of Public Health, calls the WI Exposure Network app one more asset to combat COVID-19.
 


The WI Exposure Network app is available for download through the Google Play Store or through an iPhone's settings.  No GPS or other personal information is collected or saved during the app's use. More information can be found at www. dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/notification.htm.        

Developers withdraw appeal for RV Park

Members of the Quarry RV Park opposition group were able to let out a sigh of relief on Thursday after the developers withdrew their appeal. The appeal hearing with the Door County Zoning Board was supposed to take place on February 2nd about the parcel located near George K. Pinney County Park northwest of Sturgeon Bay.  The Door County Resource Planning Committee ruled in February to deny the application submitted by Quarry Bluff LLC because it failed several of the conditional use permit criteria. In July, the developers Mike Parent and Tom Goelz wrote in a letter they are negotiating possible alternative uses for the site which could eliminate a hearing. No Quarry RV Park member Brenda Lange says she is thankful it is done for now.

The Bay Shore Property Owners Association announced in October it had approached the owner of the land, the Margaret Druetzer Trust, regarding possible public use options for the quarry. The organization hired an appraiser in September to support the discussions.

Washington Island School goes to virtual learning

A spike of COVID-19 positive cases on Washington Island is forcing its school students to stay away from the building for at least the next two weeks.  The Washington Island School Board made the decision earlier this week to keep the students at home for remote instruction through January 15th. School officials on Wednesday delivered Chromebooks and other instructional materials to its students so they could work from home. School Board President Amy Jorgenson knows a few of their families have been impacted by the increase in positive cases on the island and says the decision was made to protect all of its students, parents, and staff members.

Washington Island officials announced last weekend it would be closing its town hall and police station while altering some of its other services as a result of the outbreak. Jorgenson says a decision will be made by January 15th on whether or not virtual instruction will continue or if they can come back to school on January 18th.

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