News Archives for 2021-05

L-C schools unmasked

Luxemburg-Casco School District will be one of the first school districts in the state to drop its masking requirement and other COVID-19 protocols.


The school board passed a motion 4-3 on Wednesday during a special meeting to have the district operate in a pre-COVID-19 environment effective immediately. The decision will make masking optional, end the current rules regarding quarantine, and remove some of the other mitigation strategies over time.


Superintendent Glenn Schlender says the district’s principals will meet later on Thursday to discuss next steps.


Schlender compared the new rules to what has been in place for students and staff suffering from the flu. Luxemburg-Casco School District currently has 14 active cases and 62 out for being close contacts for COVID-19 among its student population.  Its staff has one active case and one additional member out for being a close contact.


The school board also voted to end the school year early for its students with grades 4K through eighth stopping on May 28th and June 3rd for the high school students.

Doc encourages herd immunity chase

Door County Medical Center Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jim Heise wishes everyone who can get vaccinated for COVID-19 does so in the near future.


Close to 60 percent of Door County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but that rate has slowed down in recent weeks. Since reaching a high of over 3,000 doses administered the week of March 28th, the number of vaccinations has tumbled almost 50 percent to 1,777 last week. Similar trends across the country along with new variants have made national health experts wonder if herd immunity is possible.


Heise hopes residents take advantage of the return of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the possibility of kids getting shots in the future.

He adds that he does not feel like the state will see surges in positive COVID-19 cases, but rather just “blips” like what Michigan and Oregon have had to weather this spring. Heise hopes people would reconsider their thoughts on not receiving the COVID-19 vaccines, saying the science behind the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines dates back five years as scientists looked for ways to battle HIV.

Construction season begins in Kewaunee County

Motorists traveling through Kewaunee County will have to get used to the sight of traffic cones and construction equipment over the next several weeks. Preliminary work has already begun in Luxemburg on Main Street as a part of an ongoing paving and utility work projects. The street is not expected to completely close during the work, but it could be cut down to one lane with flaggers on duty. Repaving parts of the roadway near County AB and County A will begin in earnest on May 17th with work expected to be finished in early June. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced Wednesday it would start repairing the bridge approaches over the Kewaunee River between County AB and County C beginning on May 10th and running through May 14th. DOT official Mark Kantola says it is nothing out of the ordinary.

Detour information for the bridge approach projects are below. Major work on Highway 42 from south of Kewaunee city limits to the Manitowoc County border is also scheduled to begin later this summer. Traffic in Luxemburg will be slowed down Thursday morning due to a house moving down Main Street beginning at 9 a.m.  The house will have to cross Highway 54 and parking will be restricted on Main Street north of Ash Street until after the move.





WIS 54 closure begins next week in Kewaunee County

Repairing bridge approaches


(Kewaunee County) The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Northeast Region announces traffic impacts on WIS 54 between Luxemburg and Casco in Kewaunee County to repair a bridge approach over the Kewaunee River.  

Kewaunee County

Maintenance crews will be repairing bridge approaches on WIS 54 between County AB and County C in Kewaunee County beginning at 7 a.m., Monday, May 10 through 4 p.m., Friday, May 14. Traffic impacts are as follows:

Westbound and eastbound WIS 54 will be CLOSED to traffic between County AB and County C. A detour will direct eastbound WIS 54 motorists north on County AB to County K, take County K east to County C and south on County C to WIS 54

Westbound WIS 54 motorists should take County C north to County K, head west on County K to County AB, take County AB to WIS 54.

Motorists are urged to slow down and be mindful of workers near highways.

Golden Heart Awards celebrate volunteers Thursday

The Golden Heart Awards will be adding two new categories to the annual ceremony Thursday evening in a hybrid event.  The 19th edition this year will include a Health Care Workers of the Year and Essential Workers of the Year awards.  The four other awards will be for the Karl May Lifetime of Service, the Environmental Stewardship, Youth Volunteer Scholarship Award, Group Volunteers, and the Adult Volunteer of the Year.  United Way nominee Peter Kerwin, who is resident voice of the Sturgeon Bay Clipper Soccer broadcasts on NEW Radio Sport Network, says he is honored and that volunteering is so very important.



The Golden Heart Awards will be live-streamed on the program’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.  Emcees for the event will be Destination Sturgeon Bay Executive Director Pam Seiler and Sturgeon Bay Schools Superintendent Dan Tjernagel.  The awards ceremony will begin at 6 pm on Thursday.’s student intern Brady Tooley is nominated for the Youth Volunteer Scholarship Award.  You can find the complete list of 2021 nominees below.


Congratulations to the 2021 Nominees for Golden Heart Volunteer Awards! We appreciate you!

Posted by Golden Heart Awards Door County on Saturday, April 24, 2021

Congrats to the Essential Workers of the Year Nominees!

Posted by Golden Heart Awards Door County on Saturday, April 24, 2021

Congrats to the Healthcare Workers of the Year Nominees!

Posted by Golden Heart Awards Door County on Saturday, April 24, 2021

Door County adds two new cases

Just a pair of new cases of COVID-19 was reported in Door County on Tuesday.


Twenty-seven test results came back negative with no new hospitalizations or deaths reported. Wisconsin reported 639 positive cases on Wednesday with 49 new hospitalizations and 13 deaths.


On the COVID-19 vaccination front, 385 doses have been administered in Door County as the area closes in on 60 percent of the population receiving at least one shot. Kewaunee County has administered 123 doses this week with close to 37 percent receiving at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.


The Kewaunee County Public Health Department is administering the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m. at its headquarters in Kewaunee. You can make an appointment, but walk-ins are also welcomed. 


Door County 

Tests Performed: 17,574 (+23)
Positive: 2,594 (+2)
Probable: 220
Negative: 14,760 (+27)
Active: 61
Total Ever Hospitalized: 92 
Death: 22  


Tests Performed: 3,464,996 (+5,026)
Positive: 600,936 (+639)
Negative: 2,864,060 (+4,387)
Active: 8,628
Deaths: 6,863 (+13)
Total Ever Hospitalized: 29,600 (+49)

Governor talks tourism, vaccinations during Door County stop

Governor Tony Evers applauded the resiliency of the tourism industry during his stop in Door County on Wednesday.


After visiting an Appleton art museum, Evers visited a pair of businesses in Fish Creek and Baileys Harbor before stopping by Cave Point County Park. His visit coincided with National Travel and Tourism Week as he spoke about the importance of outdoor recreation to Wisconsin’s tourism economy. Last year, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources showed double-digit percentage increases in fishing license sales, state park stickers, and recreational vehicle trail passes. With approximately 1 in 3 adults fully vaccinated in Wisconsin,


Evers said it is important for visitors to know they can be safe while traveling around the state.


Direct visitor spending saw a 28 percent drop in 2020 due to the pandemic, which amounts to approximately $4 billion. Evers previously pledged $50 million for the tourism industry and $600 million to support businesses affected by the pandemic as a part of the over $3 billion received from the latest federal government relief package.



Methner to leave Gibraltar

Gibraltar Secondary Principal Gereon Methner is saying goodbye to Gibraltar Secondary School after six years on the job.


Methner accepted the position of principal with Freedom Middle School last month after also being a finalist for the Florence County School District Superintendent position. He resigned his current post during last month's Gibraltar School Board meeting. The move to Freedom will bring Methner and his wife closer to family as their young son grows up. He says it was a hard decision for him to leave Gibraltar, but he also believes his successor will inherit a school that is in great shape.

Methner says he will look back fondly on his time at Gibraltar, especially when it comes to the staff and the families he interacted with during his tenure. He will finish out the school year as Gibraltar’s principal while the district and its school board look for his replacement.


The decision also means that the Ephraim Business Council will likely have to begin its own search for a new tourism coordinator as Methner’s wife Lane also departs.




Kewaunee confirms key hire

The Kewaunee School District has a new superintendent after Scott Fritz accepted the position on Monday. After a lengthy interview process, Board President Brian Vogeltanz showed confidence in the hire, stating that the board was impressed with Fritz’s educational work history and dedication to smaller school districts, as well as his willingness to become part of the Kewaunee community. 


Fritz will be coming to the district after serving eleven years as the high school principal at Howards Grove. He was drawn to the family feeling of the small-town atmosphere and school district. Fritz begins the role on July 1st. 


Local traffic gets defined

The words “local traffic only” can seem loosely defined, and those three words came up at Tuesday’s Sturgeon Bay Common Council meeting. There, City Administrator Josh VanLieshout gave a definition to the phrase and the limitations along with it. 



VanLieshout added that not doing so unnecessarily puts workers at risk and delays project finish times. Issues with people not permitted to drive through work areas doing so is something city workers deal with each year. City Engineer Chad Shefchik said the issue requires a yearly public service announcement. He also said some drivers have a tendency to not use an alternate route unless something is “hard-closed.” VanLieshout expressed that he was happy with Shefchik making the city aware of the projects so far. VanLieshout said that the curb and gutter work happening around the city is in preparation for upcoming resurfacing. He highlighted Michigan Street as one area that he will be getting surfacing work started in the coming weeks.


"Direct communications" key to resolving Rodgers-Packers rift

A former Sturgeon Bay mediation expert says that both sides need to address the situation immediately for the Green Bay Packers to rectify a strained relationship with quarterback Aaron Rodgers.  Rodgers, who has reportedly told some within the organization that he does not want to return to Green Bay next season, has not publicly commented about the situation since the story broke on draft day last week. However, the Packers organization has said they will not trade Rodgers and believe he will be their starting quarterback this year.  Colleen Crocker-MacMillin, who practiced mediation for 20 years and was the mayor of Sturgeon Bay, shares what she would recommend resolving the conflict.



MacMillin adds that it is too easy for messages sent through social media and texting to be misconstrued.  She suggests that both parties tune out the outside “noise”.



Rodgers is reportedly upset with the Packer organization, namely General Manager Brian Gutekunst, for not renegotiating his current contract, drafting quarterback Jordan Love last year, and releasing wide receiver Jake Kumerow last fall.  

City council approves donation for picture point

As Sturgeon Bay continues to expand so does opportunities to add to the city’s beauty. Sturgeon Bay residents Chris Kellems and Beth Renstrom have been catalysts behind an idea to bring a Woolly mammoth sculpture to Sturgeon Bay’s leg of the Ice Age Trail. The Sturgeon Bay Common Council approved the donation of the sculpture upon funds being met. Kellems was attracted to bringing the mammoth to Sturgeon Bay, because the mammoth is a symbol of the Ice Age Trail. Kellems originally spotted the mammoth at the Edgewood Orchard Gallery in Fish Creek. She also knew as she laid eyes on the mammoth that she wanted to raise the money to buy the mammoth and move it to Sturgeon Bay. 



To begin fundraising, Kellems had to gain approval from multiple boards. While the project doesn’t yet have capital or a set spot behind it, Kellems said the idea has received overwhelming support including people pledging to donate. Destination Sturgeon Bay is even willing to handle the project’s funding. The city’s role is not confirmed yet, but will likely revolve around affording the mammoth with a site and site preparation. Common Council member Helen Bacon, who made the motion to approve funds, spoke about the fun that the mammoth sculpture will give people passing by.



The motion to approve the donation unanimously passed. Destination Sturgeon Bay is the recipient for all monetary donations.


Peninsula State Park getting updated

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced on Tuesday upgrades that will be noticed at Peninsula State Park this season. Improvements include new facilities, property upgrades, and reopening certain attractions. There will be four restroom additions or upgrades and a new sanitary station. There also will be an addition of a nature center. The campsites have also been given a makeover. The Eagle Bluff Lighthouse will be open for tours within two weeks and the Northern Sky Theater is opening June 14th. A complete list of upgrades and additions can be found below.


Three new COVID-19 cases

Door County Public Health confirmed three COVID-19 cases on Tuesday from the 23 tests performed.  The number of active cases remained at 61 with no new hospitalization or deaths reported. 


The Wisconsin Department of Health Services disclosed 721 positive tests of COVID-19 on Tuesday with 86 more hospitalizations and 11 deaths. 


On the vaccination front, 59.4 percent of Door County residents have received at least the first vaccine and 51 percent have been fully vaccinated.  In Kewaunee County, 36.7 percent of the residents have received at least the first vaccine and 32.1 percent are fully vaccinated.


J-1 Visa program at uncertain point

When it comes to the J-1 Visa Program, there are reasons for and against optimism says Door County Membership Director, Phil Berndt. After the pause on the J-1 Visa program was not extended earlier this year, hope grew that Door County businesses would get to fill their staffs with J-1 Visa students. Over fifty organizations, including Destination Door County, have petitioned for President Biden to direct the Department of State to immediately add J-1 cultural exchange applicants to the Department of State’s national interest priorities and to waive personal appearance for returned participants applying in the same category. Berndt shares that some countries have already started moving on J-1 appointments, creating careful optimism. 



Area businesses are optimistic that more consulates will open interview slots. However, Berndt notes there are still hurdles to clear.



Berndt hopes that more interview slots in time for the Summer. 


Technology aids rosary marathon

Catholic followers in northeast Wisconsin can pray right along with the Pope and other clergy members with a couple of clicks of the mouse. Pope Francis kicked off the month-long “Marathon of Prayer” on Saturday as believers recite the Holy Rosary in hopes of ending the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization invited shrines around the world to join in the effort. It is nothing new for the National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, which has used its web presence to lead believers in the Holy Rosary while keeping particular intercessions in mind. The Shrine’s rector Father John Broussard says live-streaming their group rosary has been a great way to not just connect with pilgrims but to introduce people to the rosary.

The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help hosts its group rosary on its Facebook page at 10:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday and at 6:30 p.m. A United States Conference of Catholic Bishops survey shows only 44 percent of Catholics pray the Rosary, most of which do it alone.


Picture courtesy of National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help

Weather cools down planting progress

Farmers in Door and Kewaunee counties are in a familiar spot when it comes to asking Mother Nature for a little help. Temperatures in the region have been eight to ten degrees below normal for this time of the year according to Wisconsin Farmer. The weekend warmup was a welcome sight, but it was short-lived as the cooler weather returned to start off this week. While it is still too cool for some crops to be planted, Adam Barta from Rio Creek Feed Mill says farmers are still taking advantage of the time and weather they have had so far.

The United States Department of Agriculture reports that 45 percent of the oat crop has been planted with 18 percent already emerging, which is a week earlier than last year. Barta says crops like triticale, winter wheat, and alfalfa overwintered well thanks to the milder than usual weather. He expects area farmers to hit full-throttle on their planting efforts in the coming weeks as things warm up.

Planting in to take invasives out

Over 250 trees and perennial plants were given out by the Door County Land Trust at Main Street Market last weekend with an ulterior motive in mind. The giveaway was the first of three weekends where the Door County Land Trust is celebrating “The Big Plant.” The Village of Egg Harbor and Crossroads at Big Creek have held similar events already this year. Cinnamon Rossman from the Door County Land Trust says the trees will hopefully replace the thousands of ash trees that have had to be removed due to Emerald Ash Borer infestation. She adds the removal of the ash trees has caused some unintended consequences that could be addressed by planting the trees and perennials.

The Door County Land Trust will be giving out additional trees and plants on May 8th at Southern Door School District and May 15th at their Sturgeon Bay headquarters. The events run from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.


Photo by Dave Heilman and Door County Land Trust. The yellow coneflower is one of the options of plants people can choose from as a part of DCLT's Big Plant Initiative.

Increased awareness of motorcycles being stressed

With more motorcycles cruising on the roads in Wisconsin this spring, local law enforcement reminds drivers to be alert for the two-wheel vehicles, especially at intersections. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (Wis-DOT) reports that motorcycle crashes often occur when a car or truck driver changes lanes, turns left, or pulls out in front of a motorcycle. According to the DOT, motorcycle fatalities increased 40 percent in 2020 over the previous five-year average. There were over 2,000 motorcycle crashes last year in Wisconsin, resulting in 112 motorcycle-related deaths. Door County Sheriff Deputy Pat McCarty says all drivers must be aware and share the road equally.



May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.  More information from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is below.




State Patrol reminds motorists to look twice, share the road with motorcycles



Motorcycle fatalities increased 40% in 2020 over the previous five years average. May is national “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month” and the Wisconsin State Patrol is asking motorcyclists and all other motorists to share the road, be alert and safe. 2020 preliminary data for Wisconsin shows there were 2,095 motorcycle crashes, 1,788 motorcyclists injured and 112 motorcycle fatalities.


As warm weather returns, more motorcyclists will be on Wisconsin roads. “Drivers must be in the habit of looking for motorcyclists,” Wisconsin State Patrol Captain Ryan Chaffee said, “and motorcyclists should watch for other vehicles and get properly trained and licensed. Together we can save lives.”


Motorcycle crashes often occur when a car or truck driver changes lanes, turns left or pulls out in front of a motorcycle. Motorcycles are smaller and more difficult to see, especially in your blind spot. Failure to yield the right of way to another vehicle (state law 346.18) can result in a $175 citation, but penalties are much more severe if the violation results in someone getting injured or killed.


Motorcyclists can do their part by getting properly licensed, wearing visible and protective equipment, and carefully scanning ahead for potential hazards such as gravel, debris or wildlife in the roadway. 


Motorcyclists have two options to get the required Class M license: pass a motorcycle driving skills test after making an appointment at a Division of Motor Vehicles service center or successfully complete a WisDOT-approved rider education course. Motorcyclists who successfully complete an approved safety course earn a skills test waiver used to obtain their Class M license.


“Whether a person is brand new to motorcycling or a returning rider, a safety course is a wise investment,” Captain Chaffee said. “Safety along our roadways requires all drivers to share the road, watch their speed, eliminate distractions and be alert.”

Peninsula Title celebrates groundbreaking

The groundbreaking for a new building on Sturgeon Bay’s west side will take place on Tuesday morning.  Peninsula Title will be celebrating the building of a new office at the former Mandarin Garden Restaurant site.  Peninsula Title is a division of Bay Title & Abstract and is accommodating for additional growth.  Owner Jack May says the new location will offer more office space and additional parking.



The formal groundbreaking will be held at 11 AM Tuesday at 512 South Lansing Avenue in Sturgeon Bay.  Mayor David Ward will be on hand to make opening remarks before the ceremonial first shovels go into the ground.  Peninsula Title is currently operating business at 1242 Green Bay Road.


(photo submitted)

L-R:  Henry Isaksen, Mayor David Ward, Paul Shefchik, Jack May, Holly Tlachac, Joel Daoust, Jon May, Justin May, Jamie Albert, front row: Brinkley

Five more COVID-19 cases

Door County Public Health reported five positive cases of COVID-19 out of 43 tests performed on Monday. The number of active cases went up three, with two probable cases noted. There was one new hospitalization but no deaths. In Door County, 59.3 percent of residents have had a dose of the vaccine, and 50.9 percent are fully vaccinated. 


Kewaunee County has 36.7% of residents with at least one vaccine dose and 32 percent are fully vaccinated.


The Wisconsin Department of Health Services showed a decline in new positive tests of the coronavirus with 349 on Monday and no deaths reported.  


Littering hits Algoma park again

A new form of pickup basketball at Perry Park in Algoma will be needed soon to keep the hoops available at the park.  A littering problem has put that recreational sport in jeopardy.  Sara Robertson, Director of Parks & Recreation, says garbage issues have plagued the park the past few years, especially in the spring.  Last year the parks department locked the gates for two weeks and the littering got better.  Robertson says the solution is quite simple, just pick up after yourself or others. 



Robertson adds that if the trash problem does not improve, the basketball hoops will be removed for a period of time.  Placing cameras in the park has been discussed as a possible solution in the past but funding has been an issue. 


(photo courtesy of Algoma Parks & Recreation)

Pandemic takes bite out of tourism

Counties across the state saw up to 30 percent less direct visitor spending in 2020 due to the pandemic. Direct visitor spending in Door County dropped 18.77 percent from 2019 to $304.2 million. It also saw double-digit percentage declines in other tourism indicators such as total business sales and taxes collected. Door County still was a top seven destination according to the state’s numbers. Jon Jarosh from Destination Door County says despite the dip, the numbers show the importance of tourism to the area.

Kewaunee County saw a 10.22 percent drop in its direct visitor spending in 2020 over the previous year to $22 million. Kewaunee County Director of Tourism Jennifer Gonzalez says outdoor recreation opportunities helped keep the area afloat.

Both Jarosh and Gonzalez are encouraged by what 2021 could bring to their respective counties as more people get vaccinated and some popular attractions and events return after a pandemic-riddled 2020. As a state, Wisconsin saw a 28 percent drop in direct visitor spending in 2020, down to $8.8 billion.  May 2nd-8th is National Travel and Tourism Week.

New Agropur permit gets public hearing

The general public will get their opportunity to weigh in on the re-issuance of a pollution discharge permit for Agropur’s Luxemburg cheese plant.


According to the permit’s fact sheet on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ website, Agropur has applied for a multi-discharger variance (MDV) for phosphorus for the upcoming five-year term. Under the variance pre-approved by the DNR, Agropur will be required to report the total amount of phosphorus it discharges into a tributary of the East Twin River each month and at the end of the year. The company would have to pay $54.99 per pound of phosphorus discharged during the previous year in excess of the target value of 0.2 mg/L to Brown, Manitowoc, and Kewaunee counties.  The East Twin River is listed as an impaired waterway by the DNR.


The public hearing for the re-issuance of the pollution discharge permit for Agropur will take place virtually on May 10th at 10 a.m.

Final food box distribution this week

Door County residents will be able to take advantage of the Farmers to Food Box events one final time this week. The United States Department of Agriculture is ending the program nationwide as it looks to the next stage of handling the needs brought on by the pandemic. Events at the Sister Bay/Liberty Grove Fire Station and the Door County Fairgrounds will start at 4 p.m. on Friday and at the Washington Island Fire Department a little bit later that day at 4:30 p.m. With assistance from the Door County Food Pantry Coalition, the Door County Fire Chiefs Association, and Feed America, the program has distributed thousands of boxes to families in need. United Way of Door County Executive Director Amy Kohnle is thankful for the volunteers that showed up to help make sure local residents got what they needed.

Until the USDA develops another program, Kohnle reminds residents that they can visit any of the nine members of the Door County Food Pantry Coalition to donate or pick up items when they are in need.



Live Algoma meets their biggest fan

Representatives from the 5 Healthy Towns Foundation in Michigan left the Algoma School District facilities last month in awe and hopes to do more.


Much like Live Algoma, the Five Healthy Towns Foundation is a group representing Stockbridge, Chelsea, Dexter, Grass Lake, and Manchester in search of improving the overall health of their communities. The representatives got to see firsthand many of the businesses and organizations Live Algoma partners with such as The AbiliTees Project and MCC Color Label. Algoma School District


Director of Improvement & Community Engagement Teal Van Lanen says the organization has been following Live Algoma’s work for some time.



Van Lanen says representatives from Algoma are already planning a return trip later this month. She hopes the two organizations can team up for initiatives that could include youth exchange programs.




Watering key for early spring plant care

The planting in flower beds and gardens of annuals may be a few weeks away, but homeowners can start getting their perennial plants looking better right now. Larry Maas of Maas Floral & Greenhouse in Sturgeon Bay shares a few tips on tending to perennials to help them thrive and grow this spring.



Maas adds that watering plants is essential in early spring for perennials especially considering how dry weather conditions have been lately.  He notes that fertilizing is best done when plants show a little growth on them.  

Closures heading to Sturgeon Bay

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will be fully closing separate bridges this week. On Monday, May 3rd, the Michigan Street Bridge will have a full closure from 7 AM to 4 PM. Beginning Tuesday and going through Thursday, the Bayview Bridge will be under daily full closures from 7 AM to 3 PM. Traffic will use signed detours and the bridges will be open to marine traffic. 


There will also be street closures from Monday until Thursday. At 7 AM on Monday gas line construction will close South Neenah Avenue between East Pine Street and South Oxford Avenue until 5 PM on Thursday. The area will be open to local traffic only during that time. Travelers are asked to avoid these blocks when possible and to be mindful of workers.


SBBT adopts new release method for fishing tournament

The catch-photo-release method utilized last summer in national fishing competitions held in Door County has the Sturgeon Bay Bass Tournament implementing the practice for their upcoming event. The immediate release of the fish consists of measuring and weighing the catch on the boat using bump boards and weigh scales and uploading a photo to a mobile app before putting the fish back into the water. The old catch-hold-release format required the fish to be transported after hours in live wells and then released after being weighed on land. That method caused fish to be taken off their spawning sites and create more stress before their release back into the water. SBBT President and Tournament Director Gary Nault says the new weighing procedure was an easy decision for the committee to enact this year.



The Sturgeon Bay Bass Tournament begins next Thursday with a first-ever practice competition that will payout the top three positions. Nault says event organizers estimated that the economic impact of the two Major League Fishing tournaments held in Door County last year was about $5 million over two weeks.  You can listen to the entire interview with Gary Nault on the podcast page at 


(photo courtesy of

YMCA, DCMC merging for senior event

The Door County YMCA will be taking a day to specifically address the health and wellness of senior citizens in the coming week. To keep people safe, the YMCA will be offering the annual Senior Health and Wellness Day virtually on Wednesday. The day will cover several topics, with programs ranging from memory and mindfulness, joint replacement, diabetes prevention, livestrong program for those who’ve battled cancer, fall prevention, and their arthritis program. Senior Director of Healthy Living at the Door County YMCA, Mary McHugh, was appreciative of Door County Medical Center’s willingness to sponsor the May 5th event. 



Another benefit is that the program is free of charge. 

Heeringa Honored

This Crossroads at Big Creek announced that they founded the Coggin Heeringa Research and Education Endowment Fund to honor one of Door County’s influential members. The endowment funds will be used to contribute to ongoing research. 


While Crossroads has other endowments through their community foundation, they wanted one specifically for their research and education, and wanted to honor Heeringa in some way. They were able to merge these two ambitions, and Executive Director Laurel Hauser appreciates that the endowment will be a permanent fixture with Heeringa’s name forever attached to it. Hauser also appreciates the mark Heeringa has left so far at Crossroads. 



Heeringa spent two decades as the Executive Director until last year when she moved into the role of Program Director and Naturalist. People can visit the fund here.


Gunman, two others dead at Oneida Casino shooting

Three people, including the gunman, are dead and one person is seriously injured after a shooting at Oneida Casino in Green Bay Saturday night.  An active shooter was reportedly called into the Brown County Sheriff’s Office at 7:28 pm Saturday evening.  According to the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, the suspect has employment ties to the Oneida Casino and the shooting was targeted.  Two of the three victims are reportedly employees at Oneida Casino.  The critically injured person was airlifted to a Milwaukee hospital, according to Fox 11 News.  The shooting remains under investigation and more details will be released on Sunday.  




Gov. Evers Releases Statement Regarding Shooting at Oneida Casino Complex


MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers tonight released the following statement regarding the shooting at the Oneida Casino complex:

“Kathy and I were devastated to hear about the shooting at the Oneida Casino complex tonight. Our hearts, thoughts, and support go out to the Oneida Nation, the Ashwaubenon and Green Bay communities, and all those affected by this tragedy.

“While we are waiting for more information, we hope and pray those who were injured will recover and are grateful for the first responders who quickly responded to the situation.”

Digital coupons impacting local supermarkets

The redemption of coupons at grocery stores is prominently going the way of digital in the past year.  According to Inmar’s Promotion Industry Analysis, online coupons in 2020 were redeemed more than the traditional printed paper inserts for the first time ever.  Tadych’s Econofoods Store Manager Jon Calhoun says the convenience and efficiency that digital coupons and apps offer are reasons he expects the trend to grow in the future.  He says the process can occur before shoppers head to the checkouts.



Calhoun adds that coupon redemption has remained strong throughout the pandemic and that people always enjoy saving money.  Consumers are becoming more digitally savvy and 69 percent of shoppers reported that using a coupon changed how they decided to purchase items during the last quarter of 2020.  

Brussels Lions recognized

This week, the Brussels Lions Club was paid a visit by District Governor Lion Amy Quig as she presented multiple awards. The top honor a Lions Club member can receive was awarded to Brussels Lions Secretary, Penny Wautier. She was presented the Melvin Jones Fellowship, named after the Lions Club founder, which goes to a club member who has gone above and beyond in their role. Wautier said she doesn’t like to be a bragger, but she did feel honored. 



At the presentation, Ron Delwiche was also awarded a 55-year membership chevron for his years of serving with the Lions. Wautier referenced the history of the Lions, saying it’s a big reason she tries to get younger generations involved. Wautier also showed gratitude for the presence of Quig, who made the trip from Pickerel to speak to the Lions Club. 


Senate candidate speaks on clean water, tourism

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson has a new opponent who’s recently thrown her hat in the ring. Wisconsin Treasurer Sarah Godlewski is running for the Senate seat, and has spent the last two weeks making stops around the state, including the northeast end. While discussing the great lakes, she discussed her and Johnson’s opposite viewpoints on the climate change argument. 



She also discussed her high regard for public education. Godlewski talked about her firsthand experience seeing the digital divide in public schools when schools went to remote learning. Godlewski also touched on Door County and Wisconsin’s tourism industry. She mentioned that she felt like the tourism industry has been underfunded, even through the CARES Act. 



Godlewski has been the treasurer since 2019, and resides in Eau Claire.


New "surf rake" purchased for Crescent Beach

The Algoma Public Works department took care of cleaning up Crescent Beach this past week as it waited for a new piece of equipment called a “surf rake” to arrive.  Workers gathered and burned a considerable amount of driftwood on Tuesday that had washed up on the beach this spring due to higher lake levels.

Algoma Public Works Director Matt Murphy says the city purchased a new beach cleaner thanks to a grant.  The pull-behind “surf rake” grooms a six-foot path that takes care of all types of debris on the beach.



Murphy adds that the City of Two Rivers is currently using the same surf rake model Algoma purchased.  The unit costs roughly $50,000 and will be used approximately two to three times a month to maintain Crescent Beach throughout the year.



(photo courtesy of 

SeaPerch swims on at Washington Island

Students at Washington Island School are depending on robots like Bubbles and Pablo to help them earn a berth in an international competition.


With support from the Door County Maritime Museum for the second year in a row, Washington Island School competed in a virtual SeaPerch competition over Zoom on Friday in hopes of qualifying for the international challenge in June.


SeaPerch is an aquatic robot students build before unleashing them into the water where they have to navigate an obstacle course and complete a mission.


Washington Island expanded the program to involve more students this year, which allowed members of last year’s team to mentor the others. Teacher Miranda Dahlke says it was great to see that they applied what they learned last year to their new robots.



The SeaPerch program emphasizes science, technology, engineering, and math concepts. Technology education teacher Matt LeBrun says the students also learned a lot about problem-solving as they experimented a little more with some of the robot’s different features.


Washington Island is the only local school competing in this year’s SeaPerch competition. Last year, Sevastopol won the regional competition at Southwest High School in Green Bay. The pandemic prevented them from competing in the international competition at the University of Maryland.


Screenshot is from Friday's competition on Zoom

Church continues to provide service options

No matter how you choose to worship at Tanum Forest Lutheran Church, Pastor Peter Mannoja is happy you are simply choosing to do so. The Sturgeon Bay area church opened its door for services in the beginning of April, one of the last congregations to do so. Opening those doors did not mean Tanum Forest Lutheran Church began abandoning its members who did not feel comfortable returning.


Mannoja still celebrates drive-in services in the church’s parking lot on Saturdays and his message is still streamed online. He believes the success of the church as a sense of normalcy continues to grow is because his congregation has options.



Mannoja is happy members have been able to return so he can see in real-time how the church’s message resonates with them. He credits the church’s task force with developing a plan that is flexible with how the pandemic impacts the community.

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